Should you “Get Out” and See This Film?

get-out

Another February weekend, another time for a horror movie to hit the silver screen. Tonight, my review is on Get Out, a simplistically titled tale that is from the mind of Key & Peele’s Jordan Peele! How well does a film directed/written by a comedian fare, as always, it’s my job to share some thoughts, insights, and opinions on the latest film. So, stay in, grab a drink and read my thoughts on this “epic” film.

LIKES: • Good Central Character • Comedic Relief • Well-Paced • Decent Story

Summary: It’s always good to have a character you can grip onto if you are going to watch them face the nightmares of this film. Chris is one of those protagonists that fulfills that role containing all the elements you want in a character: backstory, level headed decisions, not annoying, etc. Daniel Kaluuya is certainly one of the better horror genre actors, and portrays his role in a manner that doesn’t want to make you roll your eyes, outside some emotional flatness the team made him portray. Yet the other actor to steal the show (not based on looks) was LilRel Howery as Rod the TSA. Rod’s scenes are purely comedic, serving to relieve the tension the movie builds up and keeping it decently integrated into the story. These scenes, in addition to lightening the mood, keep the pace of the movie flowing to avoid that prolonged dragging feeling that many horror films seem to have. Such a pace kept the film interesting to me by keeping the suspense at a maximum. Perhaps the biggest strength to me, is that Get Out has a decent story laced with some originality. While not the scariest tale to hit the screen, this film has some hot topics built into the story (primarily racism and its wrongdoings) that go alongside the character building moments of the story. In addition, there is a nice twist to the tale, which may please many fans of this genre.

DISLIKES • High Political Points • Unnecessary Scenes • Not scary • The ending being a little too easy

Summary: While Peele’s writing is certainly impressive, tasteful, and clever at times, it also falls victim to being overly political for me at times. Get Out has many scenes were the extras throw the multiple judgmental stares, the rude, overstep their boundaries with too personal (and insulting) questions, or out of the way monologues about skin color that were more eye-rolling than necessary. It’s not that I don’t believe this issue exists, I just grow tired of directors deviating from the cleverness and pace of the story to make a point in these movies. Another unnecessary deviation was some of the comedic relief moments. Don’t get me wrong, Rod’s comedic relief was very welcome and had some of the best dialogue presentation of the film. However, there were moments where his scenes felt out of place, randomly thrown in there where they felt more like an SNL intermission than being pertinent to the story. Guess a comedian can’t fully drop his roots.

His comedic background may also be the reason this movie wasn’t too scary either. Again, Peele has done the genre justice in terms of making a thriller with a decent plot that has some substance to it. But this movie failed to scare me at any point of the film, outside of maybe a few creepy stares from the brother or other staff. I think Peele tried to make it creepier from the realism aspect, but outside of that the jump scares were poor, the extras presentation was more annoying than scary, and the theme of the movie takes a different twist. Finally, when the movie reaches its exciting climax, Peele’s writing definitely leaves you feeling fulfilled on many levels. However, much of that ending seems to be a little too conventional that takes away from what he built. Things happen in random succession and there are a few moments where logic (and realism) are dropped like so many hot potatoes it again becomes more humorous than fun.

The Verdict:

Despite my doubts, Get Out is a movie that stands out (in a good way) from many of the horror movies unleashed in the last few years. I always find value in a film has a good central character that has development and a well-paced, intriguing story to support it. In addition, while the comedy does have its out of place moments, the comedy is also a welcome diversion to make you laugh, fortunately in a manner that isn’t overly stupid. However, if you are looking for a movie that will haunt your dreams and make you jump, this isn’t the movie for you. Whether it is the lack of scare tactics or the overly political moments, Get Out’s horror aspect is highly diluted in this film, feeling more like a mystery than anything else. Worth a trip to the theater? I’m on the fence about this one, but I have to say wait on this one until it hits home in a few months.

My Scores: Horror/Mystery: 7.0 (mystery element) Movie Overall: 6.0

 

Is There A Cure for Disturbing, Complex, Boredom?

wellness

            Horror movies continue to storm the theaters this month, and each is certainly its own unique twist on the genre.  This weekend, a fairly odd titled movie called A Cure for Wellness has snuck into the theaters. The trailers have painted this one an interesting tale to say the least, promising a mystery to be contained within the walls of former Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) the sanatorium? Robbie K back to present more thoughts on yet another movie to hit the theaters.  Let’s get started.

 

LIKES:

  • Creepy Atmosphere
  • Unique Twist
  • Detailed

 

Summary:  If you wished for a creepy movie, then consider it granted because A Cure for Wellness is the personification of creepy.  The setting itself is more than enough to give you chills, as you delve into an isolated manor on top of the hill where dark, empty hallways and broad smiling staff await to “treat” our characters.  As Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) delves further into the mystery, he finds more pieces to the ever-shifting puzzle that only further gives you goosebumps.  And within these halls is indeed a unique twist to the normal horror story.  A Cure for Wellness will certainly have some “twists” that you haven’t seen before (or haven’t seen in a while) that of course has to do with the water they magnify in the trailers.  While I can’t tell you all the connections that lie within the walls of this film, you should certainly expect it to be detailed.  Where many horror movies trade detailed plots for cheap scares, Cure for Wellness does the opposite by making a very complex story with fewer jump moments.  You’ll have to pay attention to connect the clues, but rest assured the writers did a decent job developing the story to avoid any gaps or loose ends.  Nice to see that art hasn’t been lost.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Boring
  • Long Run Time
  • A little too convoluted
  • Stretch of the imagination
  • Disturbing

 

Summary:  While I am impressed with their attention to detail, A Cure for Wellness has many limitations that took the magic away for me.  First thing for me was how boring it was. The mystery is intriguing, but all the setup, detective work, and excessive focus on dried out dialogue took away from my curiosity.  In addition, Lockhart’s treks through the facility have little suspense to them, partially due to the security being surprisingly lax, and the sense of urgency being rather diluted.  The overall pace of the film is slow and without anything to spice up the climax, the 150-minute runtime feels much longer.

Maybe if the ending had been more satisfying the wait would have been well worth it, but sadly Cure for Wellness failed in this regard for me.  While certainly unique, Cure for Wellness got a little too creative at times and stretched into the realm of extremely bizarre.  It was an attempt to blend science with magic, as two very different paths blended together into an awkward twist I didn’t quite comprehend at first.  And even the execution at the end wasn’t that impressive, as the cheesy theatrics came to a rushed ending.

But the biggest limitation is the number of disturbing scenes contained in this film.  Imagine, if you will, the traps of the Saw films.  Remember the gore and suffering portrayed in those moments, where our poor cast was forced to scream until they met their fates?  Well, this movie mimics those details again, only without Jigsaw’s cleverness or convoluted designs.  You’ll get to see some truly psychotic moments in this film, as Lockhart falls victim to the treatments and “pampering” that must have been born in Hell.  You can guess that this kind of stuff isn’t my particular cup of tea, and while certainly suspenseful at times, our team got excessive in drawing these moments out. Perhaps this is the reason they say you won’t sleep at night.

 

The VERDICT:

 

A Cure for Wellness looked to be the unique twist the genre has been lacking for some time.  While the mystery is very detailed and developed in this creepy asylum world, it still has some pitfalls that take away from the movie. I’ll agree this movie will join the ranks of the cult status films primarily due to the graphic bouts of psychosis and disturbing twists. Past this though, it’s not a movie I can recommend for the theater, unless you get certain thrills from this kind of torture. 

 

My scores are:

 

Mystery/Thriller: 6.0

Movie Overall: 4.0

You Can’t Fight What The Trailers Promised: Simplistic, Vulgar, Banter Filled Comedy

fist-fight

 

The comedic genre has certainly changed colors over the years. What once was about dry wit, goofy antics, and cheesy puns has transitioned into a far more aggressive routine that throws away the clever for the meme worthy.  And this weekend, another movie attempts to join the ranks of this category in the form of Fist Fight starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube. Does this movie stand out among the hundreds that come before it, or will it blackout to the higher quality works?  Robbie K here sharing his opinions once more on the newest “hits” of the theater.

 

LIKES:

  • Well timed moments
  • Delivers on its promise
  • Good moral/cultural references

 

Summary: My likes start with some well-timed comedic moments involving well written dialogue and some slightly unique zingers.  Charlie Day’s neurotic delivery makes up a good chunk of these moments, but Ice Cube’s reactions often add a needed zing to maximize the laughs.  Even Tracy Morgan gets a few moments to shine that had me laughing the most of all. Yet these moments are rare, and surrounded by a sea of much simpler comedy which is exactly what the trailers promised.  There are few surprises in this film, meaning it is just wholesome, simplistic fun at an overpriced ticket.  No complex plot twists. No clever spin on a bad situation. And not even a complex plan to circumvent the fighting is present in this movie, just straightforward slander and fist punching “goodness.” Yet, there is a ray of hope.  Surprisingly, Fist Fight has a strong moral about standing up for yourself and trying to find confidence.  It also tries to point out that action has consequences, trying to inspire the younger audience members to curb their own traditions to a calmer, more respectful level. 

 

DISLIKES:

  • Banter gets old
  • Crude Humor that isn’t clever
  • Annoying Student Characters
  • Lazy Writing…again

 

Summary: As I stated earlier, the movie delivers what the trailers promised.  One thing portrayed was comedy centering on mindless banter.  Fist Fight has a few moments where our character try to battle their limited wits in a contest of words and “logic” to prove their points. Yet most of these moments crossed the line into annoying territory, dragging everything out to eye rolling proportions.  If this is your style, then this movie is for you, but this reviewer got a bit tired of this theme, primarily when Charlie Day and Jillian Bell fell into the same conversations of drugs and inappropriate sex, which fell into the line of pure stupidity.  But Jillian Bell’s dialogue isn’t the crudest component to this movie.  Fist Fight’s rough high school setting is filled with tasteless trends involving pornographic themes, detailed masturbation moments, and enough male genitalia references to last you a life time.  The crude humor has its moments where it is well played, but much of it crosses into the excessive territory that quickly loses its comedic strength.

Even worse, is how annoying, disgusting, and self-centered the youth who center on the crudeness are.  Fist Fight’s population of extras are a massive swarm of selfish, arrogant, disrespectful brats whose cleverness is wasted on dangerous, over the top pranks.  At times, you only wish Charlie Day or Ice Cube to smack them upside the head to offset the extreme stereotypes of the movie. Yet the biggest dislike for me, is the lazy writing that plagues this film.  Despite some clever references and well-timed zingers, Fist Fight is just one giant calamity of cursing and relentless pleading.  Long time followers know I’m not the biggest fan of the F word, so you can guess that being bombarded with the word over and over again did nothing for me.  I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times the word hit home, but hearing teenagers and faculty alike using it haphazardly did nothing to impress me, or even make me laugh.  But again, if this doesn’t bother you, then this dislike will not phase you.

 

The Verdict:

 

No surprises here, Fist Fight is a movie that is mediocre at best.  A few cheap laughs, a simplistic story, and some surprisingly strong morals will be the guiding light of entertainment in this film. Those who like the styles of shows like Workaholics, Sunny in Philadelphia, or movies like Get Hard are probably the ideal audience for this movie and the most likely group to see it in theaters.  But the lazy writing, extreme level of inappropriateness, and portrayal of warped ethics are not enough to make this movie stand out in terms of quality or uniqueness. And depending on the person, you may be either entertained, offended, or straight up disgusted by this film.  So, is this movie worth a trip to the theater?  The answer for me is no, and you are better waiting for this on Redbox or Netflix. 

 

My scores:

 

Comedy: 6.5

Movie Overall: 4.5-5.0

 

 

The Great Wall: Will Certainly Hit Your Eyes!

wall

            The Great Wall, one of the famous wonders of the world and a prime example of architecture to test time.  Chances are though you have not heard of the legend behind its crafting and the real terror held back by its strong stone. Tonight, I got to see that legend come to life in a movie entitled The Great Wall.  Led by Matt Damon, this movie promised to be an interesting spectacle whose quality was up in the air.  What are the results?  As always read on to find out.

 

LIKES:

  • Creature design
  • Culture references captured on screen
  • Impressive visuals
  • Semi-exciting battles

 

SUMMARY: When the first trailer opened up, I wondered what the mysterious beasts that lurked in the great beyond looked like.  While latter trailers portrayed them as mere lizard dogs, the Great Walls Tao Tei were a nice spin to modern paranormal monster.  Both deadly and bizarre, the monsters had clever integration of biology meeting magic, to craft a worthy rival capable of testing the might of China’s army.  These beasts fit very well with the theme of the movie, taking extraterrestrial and mixing it with influences from the Chinese culture.

Speaking of culture, the movie does a nice job designing artificial sets and costumes mirroring many of China’s strong traditions.  The armor, while a little fake looking, was a blend of beauty and lethality with colors and symbols being organized into various roles in the defense. The landscape mirrors the pictures in National Geographic, vivid and bright that contrast the strong, stoic grey of the wall.  And while the visual specs are certainly stunning (probably better in 3-D), the values of honor, friendships, and trust are hammered deep in the dialogue/cinematography of this movie, primarily through the two lead characters.

When not portraying the culture though, the impressive visuals are primarily for crafting the “exciting” battles that Great Wall promised.  This film pays great homage to the art of CGI, with many elements mirroring the effects seen in the Lord of the Rings films (Helms deep anyone).  Realistic extras seemingly blend into the massive chaos that are the fights, mixing with their relatively realistic behemoths they are trying to hold.  Outside of the visuals, the battles have some exciting moments, taking the defensive concept and adding clever toys our soldiers use.  The first battle in particular gets the gold for quality as it is fast, dynamic, and the most detailed of the five soirees of death.  If only the fights could have continued this momentum, perhaps the movie would have been even more exciting.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Matt Damon’s acting at times
  • The rushed story/editing
  • Characters lacking development
  • The battles drop after the first one

 

SUMMARY:  Certainly the first dislike is not the best dislike to have, but hear me out.  Damon is known for some stellar performances, but this direction didn’t work for me.  He was supposed to play a rather skilled night, and while his choreographed battle moves hit the mark, his cool guy dialogue failed.  Damon’s delivery was an awkward, stiff attempt to be funny, which only had me giggling at how out of place it was.  Others struggled to make up for it, but Damon could have brought some more Bourne elements to his rogue nature. As I said though this is the minor dislike

While others seemed to enjoy the story, I felt it needed some tinkering to make their tale as strong as the wallMuch of the story was hastily developed, answers coming in a plethora of “Ah-Hah” moments as they conveniently stumbled on miracle pieces of information. Moments that were supposed to hit the heart hard or add some build-up to the spectacle were edited to blunt sequences where things were solved too quickly. Even worse was most of the character development.  Many of the lieutenants, squires, and even the Tao Tei had so much potential for deep, edgy tales that helped us relate to either hero/beast and get us hooked into the moment.  Nope, again like the story, many of the characters are stacked like wobbly Jenga blocks only to be knocked down with little more than a few Chinese words.  This is sad, as deeper characters and plot could have taken this movie out of the hoakie realm and put it closer to the winner’s circle.

However, the biggest let down for me were the action scenes.  As mentioned the first battle (seen mostly in the trailers) had the break out of the gates excitement you wanted to see.  After that battle though, many of the fights quickly grew monotonous, the hasty editing doing little than show gruesome deaths, overdramatic lunges with weapons, very short bouts of destruction.  I had hoped that each battle would lead to a grand finale where army and hive drones clashed, glorifying our generals with strategic warfare that pushed both to their very limits. Yet, once again Hollywood Studios decided to give mediocre, simplistic, drawn out sequences that once more tied up rather conveniently.  Sigh…

 

The VERDICT:

 

Great Wall certainly is a spectacle to the “eyes” as Damon leads the charge in impressive visuals and decent military bouts.  Friends who liked the Chinese mythology, will certainly enjoy this comic book like tale and all the “excitement” it brings.  Yet, despite all the good, Great Wall really lacks in the complete story department and character building, leaving the predictable plot a little dry, lacking, and dare I say rushed.  Perhaps this would have been offset, had Universal Studios put their money into bolder fights and more dynamic moments.  Worth a trip to the theater?  For visuals, yes (including 3-D), but for everything else I recommend saving your money for something else you fancy. 

 

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Fantasy:  6.5

Movie Overall: 5.0

Getting Wicky With It!

wick-2

 

The Boogeyman has had a lot of different forms over the years from grotesque features, grossly deformed into the vision of nightmares to a man with slicked back hair and a… depressed look on his face?  No, I’m not delirious my friends, but the reference I made is to the codename of John Wick, the legendary assassin of 2014. After a thrilling, and complete conclusion, one may have thought Wick’s journey ended there.  Obviously, Hollywood did not think so and thus comes Chapter 2 of the action adventure and whatever, random target that is assigned.  Robbie K here, and today we take a look at John Wick: Chapter 2.  Let’s get started!

 

Likes:

  • Dry sense of humor
  • Visuals and special effects
  • Stable camera work
  • Lots of action and excitement

 

Summary:  There isn’t much in regards to John Wick, so finding a like outside of action, but one component is the dry sense of humor this film has.  Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a man of few words, but the few he speaks are worth a good laugh.  The writers win points for a dialogue that is both pun filled and classy, timing them at key points to maximize laughs while sticking to the stoic nature of our players.

 

Yet the humor is just an added bonus to what is John Wick’s strongest feature, the action.  All the reviews are in agreement that Wick is back with more action than ever imagined, as this one-man army unleashes a storm of well-placed bullets, knife slashing (and sometimes pencil) stand offs, and Marshal Arts punches.  Wick’s skills with a pistol (among other weaponry) are intense displays of choreography, proving that you can coordinate extras dying to imaginary wounds in an exciting way.  The hand-to-hand combat also gets points, not quite as developed as the 70s and 80s movies, but still an enjoyable element to mix things up. Helping support all the action is impressive special effects, which adds the extra flare and touch that gets our hearts pumping (e.g. explosions, crashes, and comic book bashing sounds). You can guess there is plenty of blood to go around too (for you gore seeking fans), which adds more to the chaos and violence at hand that somehow… adds a bit of satisfaction to the mix.  But even better, is the entire film has stable camera work that keeps you scoped on the action without making you vomit due to vertigo.  Overall, this exciting package gets two thumbs up in its etiquette, design, and impressive work on the action.

 

Dislikes:

  • Keanu’s acting (at times)
  • Simplistic story
  • Overstepping boundaries at times
  • Some fights a bit blocky
  • Unorthodox presentation
  • Slower parts a bit…too slow

 

Summary: While we never expected an academy for this performance, there are times where Keanu’s acting is a bit too lax.  His lines are meant to be serious, but come out awkward, effortless, and sometimes bored at the unoriginal dialogue.  While this certainly isn’t a big weakness, there are moments where this acting took away Wick’s awesome factor, or made me chuckle unintentionally.

 

Acting aside, the story is another limiting factor that Wick really needs some fine tuning on.  Yes, I know story isn’t the main theme of this series (hence why I make a genre rating people), but movie overall this film’s plot is a little less put together than its predecessor.  A random guy shows up, tells a vague back story to establish a weak connection, and then becomes another revengeful chase across two cities.  All the convoluted (shallowly explained) relationships and teases did nothing but make more targets for Wick and did nothing to add to the story for me.

 

Finally, while the action is indeed awesome and well done, there are still a few limitations that hit this quality.  First, those who aren’t fans of repetitive gun play and headshots, need to skip this film…because that is a majority of the action.  But outside of repetition, the action sometimes oversteps the boundaries of realism.  A car mercilessly being smashed (and smashing) yet still running, a number of injuries that magically heal, and the inaccuracy of other assassins are just some of the eye-rolling moments of this film. In addition, some of the fist fights get very blocky, have awkward pauses, or lack the edge (music and sound effects) that make the fighting less exciting and more we just extending screen time.  Another component I didn’t like was how they reduced Wick’s fighting of other assassins to a messy set of montages that seemed out of place and were lackluster compared to Wick fighting off nameless extras.  Such missed potential for memorable rivalries, and more diverse fights. And even more missed potential, was the slower parts not taking time to advance a story, or establish better character dynamics, which made for some dragged out moments.

 

The Verdict:

 

Wick’s journey of revenge and killing is certainly more exciting than his last ordeal.  The emphasis is on the action, with a majority of the film geared towards the stunts, effects, and violence, so adrenaline junkies strap up and hit the theater.  However, if you are looking for the complete package of story, dynamics, and balance, then this film isn’t the right one for you.  Wick still lacks a lot of other qualities in the movie overall category.  Worth a trip to theater?  Yes, as the special effects and excitement are made for the theater.  But if you can’t handle extreme violence then skip!

 

My scores:

Action/Crime/Thriller:  8 (for the action)

Movie Overall: 5

In Fun, It’s Funny, It’s Exciting and He’s Batman

batman

            You can build with them, you can imagine with them, and thanks to technology you can now play games with them.  I’m talking about Legos, the loveable building blocks that have spanned across all genres in their themes.  Like everything, Hollywood is happy to use it as a medium for pictures and this weekend we get the second adventure in brick land.  Will Lego Batman hold the same gusto as its predecessor from years back?  Or will it fall and smash into a million pieces?  Robbie K is back with yet another review to help with your movie choices.

 

LIKES

  • Funny
  • Lots of Movie References
  • Plenty of Comic References
  • Action packed, yet not violent
  • Fun morals built into a decent story

 

SUMMARY: If you remember the first film, you remember that it was not only fun, but funny.  The same can be said for the sequel, as Batman and his colleagues lead the charge in another rambunctious adventure.  Will Arnett as Batman takes point, delivering hilarious dialogue that we loved in the Lego movie, which is only further amplified by Michael Cera’s nasally, high-pitched presentation.  Amidst cheesy lines, constant bragging, and fancy one-liners is a comedic goldmine that will have both kids and adults laughing in their seats.  Yet, it was the comic and movie reviews that this reviewer loved and how clever their integration into the story was.  Gremlins, Lord of the Rings, and ridiculous 1960s Batman references are just a fraction of the nostalgia present in this movie, which will certainly bring back some fond memories for older fans, while hopefully inspiring younger generations to research.

 

But if comedy doesn’t keep you entertained, perhaps the exciting, kid-friendly, action will provide the entertainment you need.  Batman and his assistants have enough Kung Fu, laser blasting, building destroying moments to keep one hooked into the adventure at hand until you get to the fun moral filled moments.  Speaking of which, Lego Batman continues the trend of tying a lesson into overall story, which didn’t feel preach… at least until the end, then it is super preachy (though funny) delivery of the overall lessonOverall the adventure remains fun, fast, exciting, and humorous, which is always refreshing to watch.  However…

 

DISLIKES

  • Action is short-lived
  • Comedy sometimes gets stuck in banter
  • Batman Villains take a bit of back seat
  • Not the first one quite

 

Summary: I get it, Lego Batman isn’t meant to be the next action, stunt movie of the year, however it still would have been nice to see a little more pizazz to their fights.  Batman and company have some cool kung-Fu moves, but the directors simplistic repetition of these moves grew stale without some extra twists. Unlike the Lego movie, Lego batman also didn’t use the master builder power quite as uniquely, even though there was so much potential to be had.  In addition, the comedy also was a slight step down for me as well. Think about the diversity in Lego Movie, where each character has their own style of making us laugh and how well it mixed together to keep things fresh and fun.  Batman’s style again was very one dimensional, and while there were a bunch of well-timed one liners, the general theme of ego is the central focus, well that and his stupidity sometimes.  For me, it kind of grew stale (again) to be subjected to endless banter and drawn out dialogue.  This staleness may have been broken had they integrated the villains into the movie a little more. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Batman I also think of, you know, the bad guys that make up his universe too.  Unfortunately, Gotham’s psychopaths and crime lords take a back seat, (to again an enjoyable twist), and it would have been nice to integrate some of them into the mix a little better.  You can see that many of the dislikes come from comparison to the Lego Movie, and while this film is good, for this reviewer it just did not match up to its predecessor.

 

The Verdict:

 

Despite the dislikes though, Lego Batman is an adventure well worth the wait.  The movie will deliver the laughs, fun, and comedy promised by the trailers, and will entertain all ages (especially if you get the references).  Lego Batman is one of those movies designed to be fun, but hasn’t lost the uniqueness or imagination that many films lack.  As mentioned earlier, most of the dislikes come from a comparison to the Lego Movie, but if you can separate the two, then one will certainly enjoy the adventure to be had with this film.  Is it worth seeing in the theater?  Absolutely, and may be one of the few movies where 3-D adds to the experience (note I did not see it in 3-D).  Lego batman is a perfect fit for a geek’s night out, family outing, or if you are like me going solo for a laugh. 

 

My scores are:

 

Animation/Action/Adventure:  8.5

Movie Overall:  7.5

Darker, Sexier,Deeper Story. Still Requires Some Work

darker

Robbie K here, and I’m back to bring you yet another movie review on the latest movie theater “hits.”  No doubt that many are ready for the mass advertised Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the literary work that “graced” the world so long ago.  Despite how badly the first installment did, Hollywood is taking another shot at the series.  Is this thing up to the test?  Or is it just a plain, dirty dream filling, mess.  As always, I’m going to do my best to put bias aside (unlike some reviews) and give you some insight into this flick.  Let’s go

 

LIKES

  • Still Tasteful…mostly
  • Story a little better
  • Surprisingly funny at time
  • Soundtrack Still Kicking

 

Summary:  While I’m not the biggest fan of the Fifty Shades series, this reviewer has to recognize the pressure placed on the directors for this series.  For me, I think they did a nice job keeping the movie tasteful while indulging in some of the…sexier qualities of the film.  Although supposedly darker, the movie keeps most of the steamy scenes in decent detail without crossing into porn threshold, except the last scene…nothing tasteful about that.

But when the actors aren’t trying to sell the sex, the story that tries to give it purpose starts to emerge.  While certainly not the strongest story, Fifty Shades Darker is a little more dynamic, bringing some mystery, some drama, and some love to the table.  Those who wanted a little more details to the cast will get their wish, somewhat, and wetting your appetite for the next film.  Amidst all the dramatic moments though are some well-timed comedic moments, often pointing out the ridiculous concepts housed in this series. Yet the best thing, for me at least, was the soundtrack. Once more the music editors have selected/crafted tracks that fit well into the scenes, including a number of songs that will capture the heat of the scene. Was it as good as the first installment?  I don’t think so, but it still does its job.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Story is still lacking
  • No butts about it
  • Extra Characters Lacking
  • Character Development Simplistic
  • Acting still needs improvement

 

Summary: Okay, I’m not ignorant enough to not recognize that a lot of people are going for the “passionate” moments.  But a reviewer looks at the other qualities, including the story.  Despite being better and having more components to it, Darker’s story is still lacking.  Many of the plots promised in the trailer are simplistic at best, often dropping them for another sex scene or sequence of the couple arguing.  The mysterious girl, the blonde dominatrix, and many other tales involving other characters are diluted attempts to add suspense, adding a little suspense and foreshadowing for the next installment before the potential is dropped.  In fact, the only thing really developed to me was the origins of the strange obsession with domination and sadism.  As mentioned earlier, the character development is stronger in this film, but it too didn’t live up to the potential it could have.

 

While their sex life was reaching a climax, their backstories barely moved from baseline, other than a few flashes of sad origins and some insight explaining their approach to love.  For many this won’t be an issue, because it gives some more time for spicy antics, overdramatic quarrels, and plenty of butt and breast shots for audiences to absorb.  Yes, you get plenty of the eye candy in this film, which helps cover up the work in progress acting.  If I’m not mistaken, both leading roles are awkward, reserved, and have some traumatic history.  However, this does not provide an excuse for sloppy line delivering, creepy staring, and using grunts and sighs as space fillers.  I wasn’t the most thrilled with either leads’ performance in the movie, outside of being able to do it on the screen (they seem to have that down pat).

 

The VERDICT:

 

Overall Fifty Shades Darker delivers what was promised, steamy scenes interlaced with the romantic drama that is enjoyed by so many.  I think it still held some taste, mixing the sex with a story that provides the entertainment most will be looking for.  Can it match to the picture your imagination patient when reading?  No, because Hollywood doesn’t have an unlimited budget and has rules to abide. But it does its best to provide what many craved.  Yet not even sex can make up for the limitations in acting, detailed story, and character development that goes beneath the skin.  I’m sure my review will not stop fans from trekking to the theater, but this reviewer can’t recommend this one for the theater, unless you just want to see the sex on a massive screen.  Yet, it also doesn’t deserve the worst score, because it delivers what I think it promises, though not all the way.  Oh, and make sure to stay for the credits for a teaser that really is a tease.

 

My scores are:

 

Drama/Romance:  6.5

Movie Overall:  5.0