Guards Up For Action Packed Laughs

Bodyguard

 

Summer movie season is starting to putter out, but the movie magic continues to trickle to get a buck out of us.  This weekend tries to muster up some chuckles in the form of not one, but wo comedies that look to be more of the same.  I start my weekend off with The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring the dynamic duo Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. With dynamic comedy styles and a track list of movies behind them, one can only wonder what these two bring to the big screen this weekend.  Fortunately, I have the privilege of providing that information and giving you some insight.  Let’s get started on another review, shall we?

 

Likes:

 

Soundtrack:  Always good to have a soundtrack with quality music and surprisingly Hitman’s Bodyguard kills it on this aspect.  Much of the music fits in with the scenes, often used as a comedic ploy to compound on the humor presented in the movie.  They even managed to make the action even more exciting with the music, primarily during Black Betty’s epic guitar solo.  One way or another though, you may find yourself tapping your feet to the soundtrack at hand.

 

Action:  When they say action/comedy they mean action comedy alright.  Hitman’s Bodyguard has edge packed into its gun happy, pro-violence run and in a variety of styles that help diversify the plot.  Jackson and Reynolds, or at least their doubles, are involved in a variety of stunts that mix martial arts, weaponry mastery, and insane driving on their journey to testify.  I myself had an adrenaline-fueled blast with the movie, but one fan hollered in approval at the hardcore action contained in this film, despite how illogical, unrealistic, or death defying they were.  And as a note, the camera work is quite stable to pull off an approval from yours truly.

 

Comedy:  The leading component of this film though, is the comedy loaded in to the firearm that is this film.  I found myself laughing for most of the movie at the writing this film had.  The screenplay writers had a field day with the dialogue of this film, stretching their minds to deliver lines worthy of cheap laughs to witty gold.  I certainly enjoyed the entire spectrum in this movie, but really enjoyed the timing of the jokes and the delivery from the two leading actors, especially Jackson, sold the line for full price.  While certainly not the best writing to grace Hollywood, Hitman’s Bodyguard hits some balance that other comedies ignores.

 

Dislikes:

 

Jokes grow stale:  Despite all the antics packed into this pistol, many of the potshots are crafted into the same mold and fired so rapidly that they quickly lose their punch.  Reynolds’ angles are the biggest victim of going stale and becoming more eye rolling/annoying than gut busting.  I have to agree with my fellow reviewers in how the movie is relentlessly throwing jokes at you during the film and it gets tiring after a while, especially when interrupting the more serious moments.

 

Gary Oldman’s character:  Oldman is a master of playing those grittier roles and he didn’t shy away from the communist leader role in this film.  Sadly, the villains have little bite, reduced to threatening facial gestures (amidst unimpressive makeup), a few grandiose speeches, and oh yes, a running scene.  The worst part though has to be the accent and direction Oldman gave the character, which sounded forced, stretched, and uncommitted to the character at hand.  This protagonist was boring and outside Oldman’s normal range, leaving the flunkies to bring the pain.  Had they focused on his lieutenant a little more, we may have had a real ringer.

 

Jackson’s catchphrase:  I know, you get Jackson, you often get a certain phrase alongside him, and Hitman’s Bodyguard is no exception.  This film is relentless with their cursing, focusing on the magical F word and all its iterations as the primary ammunition for comedy.  Jackson in particular goes overboard with these words and while funny at times, gets old after a while.  Salma Hayek’s cameo was a welcome change to the mix, but with the lazy writing and merchandising off this word, I can’t get on board with their overuse.  To quote the movie, Jackson may be destroying the MF phrase, which is hard to do.

 

The Verdict:

 

I had fun with Hitman’s Bodyguard and enjoying the approach this movie took with comedy and action.  It’s go simplistic, unoriginal stunts that are predictable, but it is nicely executed keep your heart pumping.  In addition, the laughs are nicely integrated into the film to go along with the pace of the movie and not diverging down the slow, unnecessary paths that most do.  Still, it’s not the most unique movie to grace the theaters and like many films is unable to obtain that balance of using their gimmicks.  Throw in the over utilization of the F word and well…you see where it gets panned on.  Still, it is an enjoyable ride for a movie venture, but your money many be better spent elsewhere. 

 

My scores:

 

Action/Comedy:  7.5

Movie Overall:  5.0

Atomic Action

Atomic Blonde

 

Spies, they come in every shape and size from goofy men in naked gun to the suave iterations of James Bond.  Yet one thing is certain, they often are involved in incredibly threatening situations that require luck, training, and sets of skills to get the job done.  This weekend, a new agent appears in the world of the silver screen and her name is Charlize Theron.  This gorgeous actress has been teasing the trailers with some exciting, seductive, and sexy scenes of her movie Atomic Blonde, promising an adventure to be had.  Robbie K back with another review, so let’s get this mission started.

 

LIKES:

 

Theron’s acting:  Lead actresses carry a lot of the movie when they are the featured character. Fortunately, Theron nails the role of the spy on all the avenues promised by the trailer.  Her physical looks, capable of making people go gaga, are only the superficial wrapping paper for the talent within, as she unleashes her cold ruthlessness with a little twist. She plays the wise and sly role well, bringing a dynamic character who has great chemistry with her fellow cast, crafting a deadly board to run their games on. Theron may be monotone in much of her roles, and often may play the same types of roles, but it works in this setting quite well.

 

Funny:  While certainly not the sole theme of this movie, Atomic Blonde is a figurative blast in the laughter department.  One of my friends compared some scenes to Monty Python in their comedic ploys of minions constantly getting up.  Seeing these stooges fall, dive, and become injured in a number of manners, but have ridiculous stamina is entertaining on many levels.  In addition, Atomic Blonde has some well-timed, and well-aimed, lines to relieve some of the tension. Mix all this with the over-the-top shock factor of this movie and you won’t help but laugh at the presentation at hand.

 

Action: The trailers painted an exciting thrill ride of death defying battles and spy warfare destruction.  And the trailers didn’t lie at all.  Atomic Blonde knocked hard on the action door as Theron faced the insurmountable odds of the secret army of spies out to hinder her mission and end her beautiful life.  The film has a number of styles for you including hand to hand combat, gunplay (and lots of it), and a few car chase scenes to keep things interesting.  Each of the drawn-out battles fits into the mission well, and the dynamic setting adds to the heat of the moment that is satisfying on so many levels.

 

The Soundtrack:  As Frozen proved years ago, a good soundtrack is something to take notice of.  Atomic Blonde’s featured tracks are all in the 80s, and the sweet beats are utilized to an excellent level that brings out the spirit of the scene.  And if you don’t care about a track matching to the movie, but like the synthesizer heavy music of the decade, then good news, you’ll be dancing in your seat to the sweet beats of the movie.  Whatever the reason, note that Atomic Bomb’s soundtrack is certainly a blast to the past of energizing music.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Convoluted story:  You may not have expected much of a story, after all most action heavy films seldom have one.  Yet, the thin story was certainly a complicated mess given everything packed into the movie and the directions they took to present it.  There is a mystery there, but it is overshadowed by the stunts and combat that ring throughout the movie. While the action is exciting, it distracts from the main plot and left little to follow given the shock factor of the series.  The dry dialogue doesn’t help much either, nor the fact that the movie jumps through so many perspectives in a short amount of time. The bottom line is…the presentation makes for a rather dry story, with only a few emotional oases to breathe life into the film.

 

Violence:  Action often does breed violence, but Atomic Blonde’s battles are true spectacles of mutilation and torture.  All the extras in particular are brutally battered in the fights, bashed in extraordinary detail to turn a few heads or make one of my friends cover her eyes. Theron’s character gets hit pretty hard too, painting her a few shades of gore as well. The gunplay makes for a ballad of painting the walls red, and the emphasis of close up, head explosions can be a little overdone at times. However, the most disturbing components are seeing the up and close drawn out deaths of a few character and their agonizing last breath.  Keep that in mind before jumping into the theater.

 

The unneeded romance scene:  I’m not one for the hot and sexy sequences in bed, but I can appreciate it when either done with class or pertinent to the story.  A scene in the trailers, and of course the movie, showed a rather hot moment that just didn’t feel necessary to me in the story.  Certainly, editing could have left this out, or at least the director’s cut, but without the added emphasis of relationships to the movie, I could have done without it.

 

The Verdict:

 

Atomic Blonde held much of what the trailers promised. It is an off the wall, very shocking film that leaves little to the imagination.  It is a thrilling, adrenaline pumping ride that felt fresh given the unique presentation and a soundtrack to further add fun.  Unfortunately, the stunts, violence, and convoluted presentation derailed the story for me and left me wondering what it is I just watched. There is plenty of theater worthy material to justify a visit, but if violence isn’t your cup of tea, pass this mission on to someone else. 

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Mystery/Thriller:  7.5

Movie Overall:  6.0

War or Survival of the Apes: Still Apemazing

Apes

Planet of the Apes, a series that has had ups and downs over the decades it’s been in existence.  The recent remakes have breathed life into the series and delivered some fantastic films that scream science fiction as they explain the events leading to the “classic” story. After a grand slam, middle movie that started the war, the third installment promised to bring that battle to full swing (according to the trailers).  Robbie K here with another review to fill the details and help guide your viewing choices.  War…what is it good for?  Let’s see if we can answer that question.

 

LIKES:

 

The Graphics:  The new series forewent the costumes, makeup, and looks of the classic series and instead focused on CGI graphics to bring the apes to life.  Once more, this series gets the animation perfect in all the high definition detail that modern technology bringsAndy Serkis (or Smeagle from LOTR for most of you) flexes his motion capture muscles in a stunning performance as Caesar the lead ape.  The movements are fluid, the facial gestures on point, and despite being painted as a chimpanzee, manages to brilliantly bring out a human like protagonist you can’t help but love.  When the more exciting moments are brought in, the border between reality (pyrotechnics) and virtual display is blurred even further in a balanced execution that keeps things in check.  Overall, the visual presentation is stunning.

 

The Story:  When you are doing prequels, it can be difficult to answer questions, but still craft an original story that is good (see the countless Star Wars prequel discussions).  War for the Planet of the Apes manages to achieve this balance of answering questions, while still bringing a story of its own.  This film manages to further develop Caesar’s life, while integrating key relationships that establish a firm foundation needed for these movies.  Much of the film is packed with this deep dive into the character psyche, while trying to infuse tension and suspense at the fates of the other apes. A good story indeed.

 

The Emotion:  And what makes the story so good, it’s the emotion captured in much of the scenes and sequences in the film.  Caesar himself is a complicated mess of feelings, motivations, and morale decisions, which is all brought out in the motion capture animation of Serkis’ work.  Watching his reactions, as well as the visualization of the war are brilliantly displayed with fantastic cinematography and supporting audio that maximizes the punches/kicks of the moment.  Animal activists will get double the slaps, but such emotion kept me engaged in the movie and suspenseful as what would happen next.  This may be the best component of the movie for me.

 

DISLIKES:

 

The Length:  Another example of editing, War for the Planet of the Apes could have cut some time off the movie.  This could have been achieved by shortening some of the suffering scenes, or dropping another sequence itself, though this might have weakened the story at points.  For this reviewer, there were components that felt a little long winded and unnecessary, which kind of bored me give the title of the movie (more on this later).

 

The Torture:  If seeing characters tortured is your idea of entertainment, then get stoked because this is your movie.  War for the Planet of the Apes has many dark moments that show the horrors that war can truly be.  The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is a stereotypical, military antagonist and this movie is not afraid to show off his cruelty in that overinflated manner Hollywood makes famous.  Many scenes may be disturbing to those with sensitive constitutions or again animal activist passion.  I found myself quite irritated, annoyed, and ticked off at times at seeing these scenes over and over again.  While I admit a few of these scenes were needed, there is too much of a “good” thing that can lead to it being overdone.

 

The Lack of Action:  For a movie called War for the Planet of the Apes, I was expecting more combat to be packed in.  The trailers promised scenes of battle between man and ape, with military tactics going up against technologically advanced soldiers.  Sadly, this was not the case as this film had only two battle sequences to throw some excitement into the mix. These scenes were cool, but a little anti-climactic and didn’t show the bravado I really wanted to see to deliver that exciting bang I craved.  Sure, War is not just about the exciting battles made famous in cinema and video games, and this film shows another side to War.  If that is going to be the case, don’t edit the trailers to promise that.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            War for the Planet of the Apes might have been better named survival of the Planet of the Apes.  While not the most exciting of the movies and a little darker in regards to portrayal of the Apes’ journey, it definitely has the emotional punch of the other installments.  It’s a beautiful tale that brings the prequels to full closure, while still opening up another movie or two to continue bridging the gap between classic and new.  I do agree that it is one of the better movies of the summer, still it needs a little tweaking in the editing and action department to bring it to full life.  Worth a trip to the theater?  The answer is yes!

 

My scores:

Action/Adventure/Drama:  8.0

Movie Overall: 8.0

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

Had No Problems Sleeping Through This Movie

sleepless

 

Crime Thrillers seem to be the rage this weekend, as this is my third movie with the genre tag to review.  My latest review is on Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx. From the trailers, this film looks like a mash up of Triple 9 with Taken, and perhaps with a lower budget. Can the man of many talents make this movie, or is it just another knock off meant to take our money.  Robbie K here and as always please read on for my input on the latest films to hit the silver screen.

 

LIKES:

  • Complicated Crime Story
  • Michelle Monaghan’s dynamic character
  • Humorous

 

Summary: For those worrying about this being another mindless action flick, you have nothing to worry about.  Sleepless is more convoluted relationships and chasing rabbit holes than anything else.  Much of the story centers on trying to uncover the truth behind a massive drug dispensing ring and who the true leader is.  There is not much more I can say past this simplistic plot, but this predictable theme remains constant throughout the entire tale.  In fact, the only good thing past this simplicity is Michelle Monaghan’s character, a very passionate (and obsessive) cop caught between a lot of rocks and hard places.  Her fiery determination, single minded sense of justice, and act first ask later attitude adds the needed excitement to this otherwise bland tale.  And the movie is surprisingly humorous, though how much is on purpose vs. accidental remains to be seen.  Much of the movie has very “silly” moments that had me   laughing by how cheesy and out of place it was (e.g. random people showing up, surprisingly bright dealers forgetting to check things, and a seemingly endless supply of ammunition). These ridiculous notions made a targeted serious movie, end up an indirect comedy for this reviewer.

 

DISLIKES

  • Gets stale quickly
  • Dropped concepts that don’t work
  • Action nothing like Taken
  • Lacked a uniform direction

 

Summary: As I mentioned earlier, Sleepless main theme is walking around a casino trying to find the goodsThis endless game of hide and go seek the drug got old fast, as a giant bag full of cocaine continued to disappear despite all the high technology and hired help.  Watching Foxx and the rest of the cast go in endless circles lost its entertainment value quickly, and lacked very little suspense.  In addition, much of the concepts they highlighted in the trailers did not last long in this movie, which was very disappointing to say the least.  The whole kidnap the kid and try to find him was over in five minutes, and the rest of the drama was very lackluster compared to the other films I saw this weekend. An even bigger disappointment was the lack of real action in this movie, a big selling point promoted in the trailers.  Surprise, surprise, the action is diluted down to a few staged fist fights and a little shoot out that won’t be high on the most thrilling fights listFor this reviewer, all these shortcomings came from what seemed a lack of direction in what type of movie they wanted.  Instead of an epic action movie with a crime theme, we got a circular tale where nothing was really accomplished until the final ten minutes.  This my friends is the biggest shortcoming of the film, and the missed potential it held.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Sleepless certainly doesn’t live up to its name, as I found myself fighting sleep from the boredom I had watching this tale.  Outside a convoluted crime ring, and some humorous antics, this movie did not deliver the thrills it set its sights on.  If you’re looking for a gory, adventure where we walk around a fancy casino, then check this movie out, but this reviewer encourages you to save the time (and money) by skipping this movie.  I can maybe suggest if for Netflix, but even that is a bit of a stretch for this movie for me. 

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Crime/Thriller: 4.0

Movie Overall:  4.0

Action Lover’s Creed

assassins-creed

 

Tis the season for presents, and for many boys and girls a video game often becomes the idolized prize.  So why not make a movie about this popular media franchise then huh?  Robbie K here with another review, this time on Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender.  The track record of movies based on video games isn’t so strong, therefore I was uncertain of the quality of this movie.  Will Assassin’s Creed break the trend or is it just another game over?  As always, please read on to hear my opinions.

 

LIKES:

  • Fast paced story
  • Impressive world creation
  • Action, action, action

 

Much like the video game series, Assassin’s Creed is a tale that moves at a brisk pace.  A tense opening gets the adrenaline pumping, before the film jumps into the thrilling journey of Aguilar and his brotherhood. The tale continues to speed through, keeping the excitement going with each passing minute.  Don’t fret, there are some slower moments to help you catch up and describe and reestablish the purpose of the action and keeps the flatter parts to a minimum.

Fans of video games know that many titles have incredible worlds for your adventurer to explore.  Assassin’s Creed’s world is one such setting, and the movie does a fantastic job recreating the Spanish cities.  Both live props and CGI are crafted together in extraordinary detail, bringing with it a sense of nostalgia and a historical atmosphere.  The culture is brought to life in the obstacle course of Inquisition age, and the special effects add an extra kick to ramp up the excitement.  The modern-day lab setting also has a cool vibe to it, primarily in the chamber where the machine lies.  I give props to the design team for the smooth transitions between worlds and figuring out a way to meld the action together.  And speaking of action…

Assassin’s Creed’s biggest selling point is the action sequences. Like the plot of the movie, these scenes are fast, adrenaline pumping spectacles that combine martial arts, acrobatics, and a few “runaway” horses. While many of these moments are a little repetitive, the stunt choreography is incredibly well done and well representative of the game.  Fassbender’s (and his stunt peoples’) training comes out in full force as you watch them traverse climbing towers and beat up the poor extras.  I myself loved the weapon fights and acrobatic moments, especially near the end, listening to all the sound effects ringing through the theater which amps up the scene and immerses you into the fight.  Action lovers rejoice, for this is the movie for you.

 

DISLIKE

  • Some weak plot elements/Plot gaps
  • Some shaky camera elements
  • Limited supporting characters

 

          The major weakness of this movie for me is the story elements.  For the most part the story does a fine job of balancing character development with a dilemma and goal. The quest to find the elusive Apple of Eden has elements of a treasure hunt, where the clues are located in the psyche rather than an extensive list of hidden object clues. And I kind of enjoyed the flashing back and forth between the present and past, which kept you ground in all aspects of the tales.

          However, even with this presentation the plot has some gaps and weaker elements that take away from the story. For one thing, the whole line work in the shadows focus was a bit of a flop for me instead turning to the action element. Sure, there was a bigger plot working in the background, (which was predictable), but the Assassin’s Creed probably should have been retitled Martial Arts creed.  In addition, the ending scene seemed a little too easy for the infiltration.  For such a threatening group, the Templar have surprisingly lax security and the Assassin’s work at the end was a little anticlimactic despite the set up for a sequel.  The whole family drama revolving around Fassbender’s character didn’t fit well for me, and felt little weird/unnecessary in the grand scheme of the movie. As for the supporting characters, their place resides at the end, but outside of that they did little to support the story and were almost unneeded in the grand scheme   These plot holes illustrate that the balance was off and their emphasis was more on the stunts and action.However, let it be known that its very difficult to handle the limitation of time in the movies. Assassin’s Creed complete tale had at least 12 hours to pan out, and I felt they did a nice job hitting the highlights.  They just needed to bring the presentation a little closer to work.  

In regards to the action, as I stated it’s exciting, it’s well choreographed, and it’s a brilliant display of stunts/technology. However, there are times when the camera work is a bit shaky, making for some dizzy spectacles or unnecessary shots.  The fact they shot this in 3-D seemed unnecessary as well, for it added little to the world other than blades or arrows poking out of the screen.  And while I enjoyed seeing Fassbender’s fights transition between modern and past worlds, they went a little overboard at times to the point it became boring. For the most part though, the action scenes are top notch.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Assassin’s Creed is definitely one of the popcorn flicks of the holiday season. The well-developed world, the fast story, and the constant moving action are certainly the highest selling points of this film.  The movie would have been so much more though, if they had been able to pull the story together and give more of a purpose to the whole aspect. In addition, the character development and integration of the supporting characters would have also been nice to see. So, is this movie theater worthy?  In regards to the stunts and world yes it will add pizazz with the theater technology, but in terms of the movie overall, hold out until the movie hits Redbox.

 

My scores:

Action/Adventure/Fantasy:  8.0-8.5

Movie Overall:  6.5

Fun, Funny, and Fierce. This adventure is as crazy as the characters.

suicide squad

           It’s here, it’s here, the long awaited antihero movie has finally reared its rather odd looking head into theaters tonight. With all the justice filled men and women in sparkling underwear, Hollywood’s superhero sea needed a little color added to it. Suicide Squad looks to be just the ticket to provide that color and the trailers only fueled my excitement. But one always wonders if the movie will be as good as the trailers, or if it will bite the big one. Hi, Robbie K here, and I’m here to share my opinions on the latest movie. Let’s get started.

 

The GOOD

  • Comedy is spot on
  • Decent action/antihero theme
  • Margot Robbie is awesome

 

There is so much to say about this movie, and I wish to start with the comedy. If there is one thing superhero movies deliver on (outside of flashy outfits) it is usually a good comedic kick. Suicide Squad ups that factor as the band of rogues provide their views on life, often in a pessimistic jab. The lines are well written filled with a combination of whit and pizazz that are blended into a potpourri of themes that are very entertaining to hear. Our writers were also able to balance these lines throughout the movie, and mix in some additional comedic styles to further blend in the mix. And the delivery, alongside the timing, maximized the punch and  intended relief in this rather somber tale.

But you didn’t come for comedy alone (this isn’t Bad Moms). No…you came for action with an antihero twist. Once again, the movie delivers as our assorted criminals tear through the CGI generated villains with their various gadgets and styles. These moments are exciting, giving a decent balance of everyone’s abilities from Quinn’s use of a baseball bat or Diablo’s computer animated fire. The first battle in particular was my favorite of the bunch, but the other fights weren’t bad and provided some exciting (often explosive) fun. And it’s all nicely packaged with that living on the edge, careless joy that bad guys seem to enjoy and we expected. It’s dark, it’s vicious, and it certainly is fun…at parts (more on that later).

Yet one of the biggest positives of this movie both my friend and I agree on is Margot Robbie. The beautiful actress certainly brings the sex appeal, which is highlighted by the trailers, and she certainly got a response by the audience members in the stage. Outside of looks though, she nails the role of the psychotic Harley Quinn. Her high pitched screams, the ecstatic enjoyment of danger, and the devoted passion for violence were all captured by her and she certainly brought the edge we longed for. In addition, the movies performed by Quinn matched her personality and completed the deadliness of Mr. J’s assistant. She was a major carrier of the film and certainly a well-casted member of the crew.

 

The BAD

  • Story was kind of lacking
  • Action crosses into cheesy and unbalanced territory
  • Emphasis on only a few characters

One thing that a lot of movies can’t seem to get is the balance of story with action. Suicide Squad’s tale doesn’t feel much like a comic book tale, and fell short on some levels for me. A random opening that drops into a long winded origin tale whose pace became very erratic. From their the tale rushed at parts and then dragged at others and prolonged dialogue prior to the fight didn’t help things along. The “twists” behind their missions were kind of lame (and somewhat random) and was not impressive despite the buildup of the trailer (I was hoping more Joker and less gargantuan beast). It wasn’t the worst story of a hero flick, but this reviewer thinks it needed some tightening up.

Something else that didn’t stay consistent was the action. Remember I said the first battle was exciting, fast, and truly rocked. Well that momentum gradually gets lost as the movie progresses. Exciting romps become quick skirmishes where overdramatic theatrics are the weapon of choice instead of choreographed numbers. The exciting conclusion at the end is probably the least engaging of the fights, and dropped into the uber theatrical, symphony driven sequences that Hollywood loves. In addition some of the comedic irony in the film made the battle almost pointless and only further took away from the action.

And finally the balance on the characters was a little skewed considering the trailers announcing the line up. Deadshot and Harley Quinn took center stage in both story and action, and although they portrayed it well kind of robbed the involvement of the other characters. Pyro and Sorceress had their own contributions to tale, but even those were a cheesy subplot that fit awkwardly in this tale. As for Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, and other members of the team, they fell into comedic relief positions that either started a laugh riot or fell on deaf ears. Again, everyone played their parts well, but the disproportionate representation of the characters and the unorganized tale robbed us of potential magic. So much for teamwork I guess.

 

The Verdict

            Despite the cheesiness, uncouth, and disproportionate aspects of the movie, Suicide Squad is certainly a fun movie to kick August off with. I feel you many will certainly enjoy the laughs that the gang will provide and the action sequences are sure to get some applause until they fall into corny territory. Again it doesn’t seem like they could decide on the route to go, but DC studios is getting closer to getting the formula right. Is this movie worth a trip to the theater? I think it certainly is, but not in 3-D if I do say so myself.

 

My scores:

Action/Adventure/Comedy: 8.0-8.5

Movie Overall: 7.0