Tag: Action

Thunder Force

“Shit we better get into that super hero genre game” – Netflix, probably, after losing their Marvel Shows. They didn’t want to get bamboozled again, so they figured they would just buy a movie by someone who was making their own. Enter Ben Falcone, ready for his next bi-yearly (usually) basic comedy starring his wife, Melissa McCarthy.

Their last film, Superintelligence, made my worst of the year list. I don’t remember fully how the other ones did, but I don’t recall it ever being met with high amounts of laughter or praise either, so there is that. 

Honestly, based on the cover of Thunder Force, it just seems like a movie they would put out entirely to make fat jokes with their heroes? I fucking hope not. I can hope they can do better than that overall. But I still wouldn’t put it past them given the people involved with it. 

steal
Pickle jokes too. Definitely gotta have some pickle jokes. 

Back in the 80’s, some sun shit happened, that gave some people super powers! Unfortunately, this only went to people who would be classified as sociopaths, which wasn’t a good thing for anyone out there. They were named Miscreants, and began to take a toll on society, and make things unbearbale. 

At this time, young Lydia and Emily became unlikely friends. Lydia was crass, but protected Emily, who was smart. Emily’s parents were killed by Miscreants, and she had to live with her grandparents. Emily dreamed of one day figuring out how to give powers to the good guys, and that was her life goals.

Decades later, these two eventually grew apart. Now barely functioning as an adult, Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) is an adult construction worker and has nothing important to say about her life. Emily (Octavia Spencer) is rich, a scientist, a mom, and really close to getting some super powers. Once they get reconnected, unfortunately, Lydia gets given the special juice to make her super powered, so now she is in the experiment. Their first goal is to just control these powers, but stopping crime seems like a necessity. In fact, the Chicago mayor election is happening, and one of the Miscreants, The King (Bobby Cannavale) has been in charge of the city to put a leash on the other super powers, but he doesn’t like the idea of any sort of super heroes trying to stop them, or him. 

Also starring Jason Bateman, Pom Klementieff, Melissa Leo, Taylor Mosby, Marcella Lowery, Melissa Ponzio, and Ben Falcone, of course. 

science
Actual footage of Cerebro trying to find more Melissa’s to put into this movie. 

This film doesn’t really need a long in depth review to fully understand it, I imagine, but I will still go for it for a bit. First off, on the fat joke department, there was only actually one, which was surprising. I think I only laughed at one joke the whole film, a dinner scene freak out about sea food, because it was a good set up with the characters. At the same time, that scene was very slow and messed a lot with the pacing of the film. Why add that romance at all to the story? Not enough filler?

I was hoping as these two ladies were costars that it would feel like Spencer was getting a bit out of these supporting actress roles where she is there just to help the protagonist realize their true potential, or some shit. But it doesn’t. Despite the costarring, she still feels like second fiddle to McCarthy’s character, and thus is just supporting the crass member of the team into being the star. They also decided to do almost nothing with her powers. One gets super strength, the other can turn invisible and then…taze people. That is about it. Weak.

McCarthy’s character isn’t just annoying, but I have to wonder why she didn’t get powers as a kid. Her character, although not fully a sociopath, is a huge asshole. When this is a movie about good people getting powers to stop crime, but one of them isn’t really good? It is very uncomfortable. McCarthy’s character is showboaty and egotistical. She also uses her powers to get free food from places that were just getting robbed? Like. It left a big sour taste in my mouth, as she prevented a robbery, while then technically robbing at a smaller scale. 

This film has very low stakes, and these people who have superpowers rarely act like sociopaths. Is this something that affected the whole world or Chicago? Because in 20-30 some years, I would expect a whole lot more bad stuff going on than just mostly normal Chicago with the occasional gas station getting robbed. What is happening else where? Actual bad stuff? 

Low concept, low thought out film, but thankfully the humor isn’t completely bottom of the barrel. 

1 out of 4.

The Paper Tigers

What a year for martial arts films it has been!

We have The Paper Tigers, which this review is about and …!

Oh I think that is it so far? I definitely haven’t reviewed any more. There might be some out there I guess. We still have a lot of year left, so there is time.

But the good news is, I liked The Paper Tigers, so even if it is the only martial arts film that releases this year, I can still say it is a good year for martial arts films.

standoff
If there shadows fought separately, this would be the best martial arts film year. 

The Paper Tigers were a feared (not like, for your life, but feared like in awed) group of martial artists, trained by Sifu Cheung (Roger Yuan). Why were they feared? Because the trio never lost. That means in an official bout, of one on ones, or even in a trio match where the best 2 out of 3 wins. So there is some wiggle room there, but overall, they have never lost as a team, and they were gonna go far.

But then, their ages got older, joints got achier, and life got harder. Danny (Alain Uy) used to be the strongest of them, now he has a corporate job, a kid and is getting divorced for being so distant and a bad father/husband. Hing (Ron Yuan) has lost his hair, gotten fatter, but hasn’t lost his humor, and Danny (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) has his own dojo, but has still softened up in his age, despite still training daily.

Their lives come together again when they find out that their Sifu has died and have to go to their funeral. There is some mystery in their lives that made them drift apart, but when they determine that it is likely that their Sifu was murdered? Well, now they are going to have to investigate together to avenge his death. And if it means getting back into fighting shape in order to battle some more youthful fighters, then so be it.

Also starring Peter Adrian Sudarso, Yoshi Sudarso, Gui DaSilva-Greene, Raymond Ma, Matthew Page, Ken Quitugua, Jae Suh Park, and Joziah Lagonoy.

old men
Tea breaks are important for training. And dum dums. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into The Paper Tigers, as it began with a few kids starting training, and then followed up with a montage of them training and getting older, in home movie formats, before we get to the modern day. We got to see these kids grow up and train and get swole and fast, and become champions. It was up up and up for them, for us to get juxtaposed with our protagonist as an adult and trying desperately (and failing) to find a parking spot.

Because that is the major theme of this film is getting old and honoring your past. Reconciliation with your past as well, fixing mistakes, in order to grow as a person.

But also, martial arts!

The Paper Tigers I was able to find funny and emotional at the same time. It never made me cry, but the emotions did run rampant near the end, because the final fight scenes had some high stakes. You really pull for the protagonist, even after finding out he hasn’t been the best of a stand up guy lately, because like all great husbands, they start off as fixer uppers and we can see them become great! (That is a joke, please do not be in a relationship with someone to fix them up). I did like his relationship with the son by the end, when he realized he was doing wrong, and when he became more serious.

The main characters are all really exciting to cheer behind, purely because they have weaknesses and struggles. Entirely relatable, even if you cannot do any sort of martial arts. The fight scenes are well shot as well, visible, and amusing at points as well.

The Paper Tigers is the best martial arts film this year. So far. And I have no idea if we are getting any more, but this one you might have never heard about before now is definitely recommended.

3 out of 4.

Wrath of Man

“Is Guy Ritchie finally back?!”

That is the question I ask myself every time I am about to watch a new Guy Ritchie film. I believe the last time he was actually “back” was when he did The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and I wouldn’t define his Sherlock films as really back either. So maybe he has been off for over a decade for the most part. Taking on strange projects. Nothing that feels like a Guy Ritchie film based on the movies he gave us in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

I could list his many duds, but it is unnecessary. You all know it is true. Duds or okay films or weird sell out films.

But is Wrath of Man, with his favorite actor ever, his return to his roots? This is what we want, after all.

security
Are these security guards? Nope. Killers.

Hill (Jason Statham) is just a regular average guy, who has done some security work in the past, looking for a new job. He is going to be a security officer who rides in an armored car that picks up and drops off large quantities of money. It is a dangerous job apparently, because people really love to steal from armored cars.

The company he works at now, that he barely qualifies for, is known for having good trained officers and not getting robbed as much, so they get the big business. But when a crew takes out their drivers and steal from them? Well, the drivers are now more shook. So Hill joins them at a strange time. But he quickly puts the stop to another robbery, bad ass incarnate and all, and becomes a hero to them.

But why, why did he join, and what connection does it have with the robberies?

Also starring Eddie Marsan, Niamh Algar, Laz Alonso, Chris Reilly, Holt McCallany, Rocci Williams, Josh Harnett, Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood, Deobia Oparei, Raúl Castillo, and Andy Garcia.

construction
Is that a construction worker? Nope. A killer.

Maybe…maybe Guy Ritchie is back?

I left Wrath of Man liking it, and it did have a lot of similarities to his earlier work. We didn’t just get the good guys point of view, we got the bad guy point of view as well. Hell, our good guy isn’t really a good guy either. This is about different tiers of bad guys, and some good guys who also get involved. It has betrayal, many named important people getting killed, and it is told non chronologically.

It is also a relatively simple story, given the situation. The only leap of faith we have to take is a society where armored cars get robbed all the time.

It was nice to have the scale be relatively small with so many people being typical bad guys. Criminals vs criminals is the type of action film I can get behind. Especially if one is technically doing some good, even if for selfish reasons.

I don’t think there is anything inherently special about Statham’s “acting” here just like his other work. The twists are pretty simple to determine. It was nice to see various people in the random roles throughout the film. And you can even see Post Malone as Robber #6. If that appeals to you as well.

3 out of 4.

Vanquish

What can a reviewer even say about a movie like Vanquish?

Not a lot it turns out, as I struggled at the end of this review. But when I saw the poster for the movie, it was one that immediately let me know it wouldn’t be that good. It is the kind of cover that you only see on a Redbox catalogue and choose to never watch it. It is the kind of movie that if you saw advertised on a billboard that you would assume has been up there for decades and forgot about.

Also, guns as wings? Is it some angel of death?

Oh just don’t hurt me too much, Vanquish film.

pew
Ah fuck, blue tones, my greatest weakness. 

Victoria (Ruby Rose) is just a single mom trying to make it in the world. She is doing the best she can, one day at a time. Until her daughter gets KIDNAPPED.

Okay, it turns out Victoria used to be drug smuggler or deliverer. She was involved with some bad people who did bad things, but not her, right?

So who kidnapped her kid? Well, Morgan Freeman of course! No not the actual one, a retired cop named Damon (Morgan Freeman) who apparently is jaded and angry and needs to threaten Victoria with kid-killing at this point in his life. What does Victoria need to do to get her kid back? Well, you know, just kill a lot of people.

A whole night of killing of bad people under a threat. Ah yes, what a night.

Also starring Patrick Muldoon, Nick Vallelonga, Julie Lott, and Hannah Stocking.

face
Let’s call this support for solid mask usage. Or at least visor usage. 

Not only is Vanquish forgettable, it is potentially website destroyable. I wrote this review earlier in the day and published it and saw it and it was on my computer, and now it isn’t. This is my second write through. This writing is apparently better, to be honest. It has more filler and more words because I gave that first version little attention, because the movie Vanquish was not worth my attention.

But here is goes again. Vanquish is not only bad, it is boring. It is not only boring, it was a waste of time. It was not only a waste of time, it was also bad.

None of the acting is good in this film. Freeman probably has a 10% good rate these last few years. He has phoned it in enough that he has a payphone booth up his ass. I barely know anything about Rose, but as a lead in this film I never cared about her character. It was just one bland and tasteless action scene after another. And occasionally the filter pissed me off too, for style reason.

If you want me to like your movie, make a good movie. I don’t care about your digital effects.

0 out of 4.

Without Remorse

Something surprising to me is that there are only six Tom Clancy films out there, with the first one being The Hunt for Red October in 1990. I have seen only one of them. I saw the last one before Without Remorse, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which I remember almost nothing about.

There are a lot of books by Tom Clancy, and they all have these same characters. And based on what I have seen in this film and in the last one, I still have no desire to watch any more of them, and certainly never read one of the books. A lot of pew pew spy action thrillers I guess. I am sure everyone get betrayed a dozen times and somehow gives a lot more bullet deaths than they end up receiving. Huge body counts. Catastrophic deaths.

This is all an assumption. Hell, maybe the first one was really tame.

But Without Remorse is going straight to amazon, probably because they have a successful Tom Clancy show, and now they want successful movies as well. Make money while you can, that is my motto.

action
Also to avoid old shrimp. That’s another motto. 
John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) is a Navy Seal, part of an elite team of soldiers, and is good at his job. He is good at the killing of bad guys and terrorists, while protecting the innocents, and going in and out of a job quickly with minimum damage. So, a normal movie soldier of a seal. You know.

Well, after a mission, that was quite a success, it turns out it secretly wasn’t a success after all! Months later, his team is assassinated by Russian soldiers on American grounds. They go after John too, but they can only get his pregnant wife (Lauren London), as John survives. A Russian attack on American soil is a pretty big deal. Especially if it was ordered by a Russian operative (Brett Gelman), who they thought was dead. Ahh, America fooled again.

Now John is going to have to go on a secret revenge mission, get them back without starting a new world war. He has to make them pay for killing his friends and PREGNANT WIFE, you know?

Also starring Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Jamie Bell, and Todd Lasance.

intrigue
A man in a hand is worth a gun in the other.

I don’t think I have ever cared less about the death of a fictional pregnant woman than in this movie. I am not saying she deserved it or anything. But we barely get to know her as a character before it happens. And it happens early in the movie. After that, there is some grief and determination to get revenge, but it isn’t too believable. Jordan is too good of an actor to not have him focus on that anger grief sadness more and use it to tear the bad guys a new one.

Okay, the bad guys are teared into a new one. But it feels plastic. It feels like a generic action movie, because that is all that Without Remorse ends up being. A generic action film. I guess it being based on a Tom Clancy novel should have given that away. Not that I have first hand experience with any of the source material, like I already said, but lets go on and assume the plots are normally weak.

Despite Jordan being a good actor normally, there is little here outside of the standard action. Is there conspiracy twists? Sure. But they don’t make things more interesting. I don’t care about things setting up for future films when they can’t bother to get the first one right.

Without Remorse has action in a lot of dark places, so you’ll get to use your imagination, alongside many bullets for those who just like the action to be mindless while pretending it is more than mindless. (Note, this is not more than mindless). The people excited for this movie due to the previous ones or the books will probably like it as well, let’s leave it at that.

1 out of 4.

Mortal Kombat

Moooooooortal Koooooombaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

I could write a whole review about the non-video game medium of Mortal Kombat, but that is not what you are here for. The first film, despite its flaws, is iconic, and gave us the theme. The second film, despite its bigger cast of characters, is a train wreck and shit, and we all wish it could have been better.

There was the cartoon, that as a kid I found really cool, and as an adult, well, never saw it again besides the few random episodes. There was a 90’s show that I saw a few episodes of as an adult, and didn’t try to watch a lot more after that.  And then there was Mortal Kombat: Legacy, an attempt to make it cool again, focus on the fights, and focus on the Kombat. I still haven’t seen that, because I suck, but I did buy the whole thing on Blu-Ray to watch eventually. Apparently the release of this film was still not the right time.

Regardless of the quality of video game movies and how they always end up disappointing, I was excited to give this new movie a chance. One rated R and ready to give us Fatalities.

 

hat
I always liked picking hat-guy in the game, so I could throw his hat.

 

Like before, Earth is about to get fucked. There is a secret tournament that happens, and if Earth loses ten times in a row, we are all gonna die, basically. And you know what? We have lost the last NINE times already. That is some pre-movie shenanigans. So the stakes could not be higher.

Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) is in charge of protecting the Earthen realm from interference, but as an Elder God, he can’t just go and defeat the bad guys for them. Sad.

This movie is actually about a new character, name Cole Young (Lewis Tan), so his powers are a secret until the movie lets us know them. Secret secret secret. He is married (Laura Brent) and a father (Matilda Kimber), and he is a washed up MMA fighter, who takes on shitty fights for $200 bucks and usually loses. But he has this dragon mark, which means he eventually is going to participate in the tournament for Earth’s existence, but he had no idea.

Tournament shournament though. Because Shang Tsung (Chin Han), leader of the Outworld forces, is going to make sure the next tournament is a cakewalk. Nothing permits him from going and getting his guys to kill the main fighters before the tournament even starts. Time to cause a ruckus! Oh, Shang, you rascal.

So what cast of characters do we get in the film? We have Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Cano (Josh Lawson*), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), Mileena (Sisi Stringer), Kabal (Daniel Nelson), Nitara (Mel Jarnson), and Reiko (Nathan Jones).

 

get over
No Baraka? I demand Baraka! Gimmie those blade hands.

 

People who want a Mortal Kombat movie want a few things. They want a nice cast of characters. They want a lot of fights. They want their fights to be bloody, long, with moves that the characters use in the movies. They want these battles to be cool and surprise. They want goddamn fatalities. Someone has to say Finish Him. Maybe even Fight.

And at least on that front, I would say this film certainly delivers.

It was cool, we had a variety of characters, some more charismatic than others. We got to see some people start off strong and some grow into their powers. We got some magic.  We have a few fatalities and some deaths, not all of which are surprising. And it is good to finally get some bad Sub-Zero, we keep getting good Sub-Zero, and that is silly.

But I am leaving still a bit disappointed. Why is that? I don’t think I got a complete story.

Obviously the plot is going to be a weak point in a movie like this (Despite the video games being steeped in their own timelines and history, I am sure there are winners in that). But when it was over, I more asked “That was it?” to myself and it left a sour taste. Technically my plot description of the movie is accurate, but I still found it awkward where  it ended. Because this is not a guaranteed film series. Most are not, unless they film it all at once. We aren’t guaranteed a Mortal Kombat 2. And if we were, I don’t care. I am not a franchise reviewer, I review the movie. And this movie doesn’t give a complete story.

Come in for the fights, and stay for the fights. But be disappointed when the sequel never happens (And if it does, statistically, it will be a lot worse based on the history of these films).

 

2 out of 4.

 

* How in the hell did they make the nerd guy from House of Lies into an amusing and deadly Kato? Holy shit Josh, well done.

Twist

I often post interesting stories on how I ended up finding about a movie if it ends up being a more obscure piece. The story for Twist is rather unique for me given the circumstances.

You see, the director of Twist is Martin Owen. Martin Owen also directed a film last year called Max Cloud that I was given a screener for. But, I also interviewed Martin Owen, which is a shame, because I disliked Max Cloud a lot. It made my worst of the year list.

But in preparing for the interview, I looked up his past and future work, and also briefly talked about his upcoming movie Twist which had some actual famous people in it and a bigger budget. I wasn’t looking forward to Twist, because I disliked Max Cloud so much, but I was still curious on how it would end up.

PARKOUR
It would end up in parkour-land, apparently. 

Oh boy oh boy, our young Oliver, who is going to just go by Twist (Rafferty Law) (that’s the movie name!), is a criminal! Well, he doesn’t have a family, so that might as well be illegal.

But no, he is also a graffiti artist. He likes to spray paint the sides of buildings or whatever, illegally, because he considers himself to be an artist. And he often has to run from the law due to this fact, but the good news is, is that he is really good at parkour. Climbing up and down walls. Jumping over roofs and alleys. Shimmying up ladders. Whatever.

This gets him discovered by a gang of thieves! And they want him to help with the heist of a century. It is going to involve parkour, a lot of parkour. Also it is an art heist, so that keeps the theme in tack. But he is a new guy on a team. Can they trust the little bastard?

Also starring Noel Clarke, Lena Headey, David Williams, Jason Maza, Sophie Simnett, Franz Drameh, Rita Ora, Jade Alleyne, and of course, Michael Caine.

Michael Caine is in this movie
There is no parkour here, there isn’t even parcheesi. 

You may be asking yourself, is Michael Caine actually in this movie? Or is that a thing where he has about two scenes and that is it, so highly billed and advertised but not really in it? Nah…he is actually in it many times, as the head of the orphan art thieves. Go figure. But Michael Caine has said for years he doesn’t mind being in shitty movies, as long as he gets his pay day. That quote is paraphrased.

Twist, and let me remind you I really have no clue what the plot of the original is about, outside of an orphan wanting more food, tells a pretty dull tale. It is a heist film, and a secure painting must be found, stolen without anyone knowing, and brought back to the hideout. So a lot of shenanigans, and red hearings will be in the way, and probably some, oh what is that work, twists?  Ahh. Is that a pun technically? I hope not, because of course a heist movie will have some twists.

Twist is definitely better than the previous work, Max Cloud, and it might just be due to the budget. It looks nicer, there is some unique camera shots, and the acting isn’t as bad (although cheesy over the top acting was part of the point for Max Cloud). Twist is still overall a dull, and boring movie but at least it isn’t trash trash.

It is also quite forgettable. It took me almost two months to write this review, and who knows how long I will take to actually publish it as well.

1 out of 4.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla. King Kong. Lizard. Ape. Will buildings get destroyed? Yes. Buildings will get destroyed.

The attempts to combine these franchises (well, one recent Kong Movie and two recent Godzilla movies) into one ultimate destruction battle was a lofty one, but clearly not one unheard of in our connected universes strategy of films. It was a guarantee, I imagine, to one day occur. I tried to come in ready for it, but honestly, I still never saw Godzilla: King of Monsters from two years ago, and at this point, I can’t imagine I will.

I was hoping that seeing the other two intro films would be enough, but it looks like this film made mostly throw backs to that last one, versus the other two. Damn it.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the director promised there would be an obvious winner and not some bullshit tie overall. That is an important claim to make and really one of the main reasons I decided to even watch this one.

blast
Oh, Rave Godzilla has to be one of my favorite Godzillas. 

Rawr! Let’s get it on! Wait, no, not yet. First of all, Godzilla has been firmly established as some sort of Alpha Predator, whose sole purpose and existence is meant to make sure no other threats ruin the world. Godzilla doesn’t want to destroy, it wants to keep the balance and go back to the depths.

Kong though is another alpha predator thing. So some people are worried that this means Godzilla is going to come and destroy him at some point, so they have him in hiding, sort of.

There are also some corporations doing corporation things. There is a theory of a Hallow Earth where these beasts must have come from, that is likely to have huge power sources. So some companies want that power. Some want to just return Kong to his home. Some want to destroy all the monsters. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, they are going to have to fight, multiple times, and we are going to have to see things get fucked up along the way.

Also starring some humans like Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Shun Oguri.

kong
Is this his “fuck around, find out” face?

Hey? Do you like monsters fighting? Then this film has some of that! Honestly, I did think there would be more fighting overall, so I am surprised that there wasn’t even more. But I guess only two main monsters can wail on each other for awhile. There are some minor monsters in the Hallow Earth area too, but they don’t do much for the action or the plot.

Of course the plot is weak. And again, I am disappointed about how much of it is based on the King of Monsters film, just because I hadn’t seen it. Literally any returning characters (outside of the giant ones) were from that movie. It did have some surprises in store, which helped keep things interesting. But at least early on, the slowness of the plot, and even the first battle, failed to keep things super interesting for me.

Now one major plus is that the fight scenes were all incredible visible and detailed, and I loved that. Giant monster fights and CGI have usually meant a lot of dark fights, or messy blurs, where your mind has to put in the action, but that only happened a little bit in the first major fight, due to the underwater aspect. The major fights that mattered where very clear and that added a huge amount of awesome to the film.

And what about the winner? Did the director lie? No. Not really. I can understand the moment they are saying that there would be clearly one winner, no takeaways. But we still had to fall into some similar versus film tropes that I also wanted out of my movie. From what the director said is the definitive answer, I agree with who was chosen, as it is the one that makes the most sense.  However, again, still, they make it super definitive either. It isn’t as final as I would have hoped based on the remarks, so really, the director remarks set up my expectations to be higher than they would have been otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Kong is still a lot of fun, especially in the last third. Just have to slog through the human stuff, and the early battles.

2 out of 4.

Cherry

The Russo Brothers and Tom Holland go together like Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Both of them have careers that sometimes intersect and sometimes produce good movies. Yes, I did come up with that comparison myself, why do you ask?

I have a big fan of the Russos since their episodes on Community, and honestly, don’t know if they have done anything bad up to this point. They have done basically all of the best Marvel movies, so it is good to see them move on to a different source material. A book I have never heard of before. And if they bring along someone hoping to break from their boyish and charming mold, then it would be hard to pick someone better than Tom Holland right now.

What is Cherry about? I bet it ain’t about fruit.

spooderman
I think the Russo brothers intentionally made him look like Tobey Maguire Spider-Man here.

Cherry (Tom Holland) (I can’t really tell you if that is his first name or last or what) is a young college student, a bit off, a bit popular or cool, but still a bit out there. And he sees a girl, Emily (Ciara Bravo, also hoping to lose her kids tv channel roots) and he wants her. He has a girlfriend back at home, but she is the past, Emily is the future.

They begin to couple, and they have a time, but Emily doesn’t know if he is good for her, and decides some forced time apart is important. She goes to Montreal, so he decides to enlist, having not left in his life.

The rest of the film deals with his basic training, his time overseas, the amount of fucked up shit he sees over there, his PTSD from those events, and of course, some nice opioid and heroin addiction leading to a life of crime.

Is that not enough for you? It should be. It is quite a lot of topics for our hero (?) to hit and endure, and it is over 2 hours to make sure it has some breathing room. But not much.

Also starring Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, and Damon Wayans Jr.

spooderman2
Oh shit, and now he looks like Uncle Ben’s killer?

I described Cherry as a thrill ride already, but it really is a wild movie. A Wild Cherry film, if you will. I stole that joke from another, but it is okay, because I set them up for it when I was delirious. If I was a smarter man on that day, I would have made it on my own.

This film feels like it definitely was meant to get people to not think of Holland as some sweet kid (And so was the point of The Devil All The Time, right?).  We need to see if Holland can be a mega movie star on his own without the backing power of Disney behind him, and I truly do think he delivers. His character is fast talking, crass, and absolutely in love despite showing it in a weird way. I couldn’t catch a break for this film because the characters in the movie can’t catch them either. Some of the war scenes just totally made my heart sink, and were put in just to show the absurdity of everything in life and how people can just suck.

This is a much better film than the also recently released Chaos Walking, also starring Holland. It is so hard to describe outside of just the topics presented. It feels timely and fresh though nonetheless. It didn’t give me the same feelings of angst as other recent releases like Greenland, but it is still up there in quality. Not for the feint of heart. They use naughty language in this movie. t

3 out of 4.

Nobody

Who is this guy? This Nobody. This comedian. This laugh em upper. This ambulance chasing lawyer. What is her doing in this action movie? Who invited him to the party?

I will admit that going in to see Nobody, I thought this was supposed to be an action comedy. You know, a slightly more funny John Wick. Because the star is goddamn Bob Odenkirk. He isn’t an action person, there is no way they can realistically pretend he is either…can they?

What I will say though after watching it is that it is definitely not a comedy. There are amusing action parts, but at no point are you going to go on a laugh riot. Hell, John Wick is full of amusing action parts as well, but it is not a comedy. It turns out that they never advertised this movie as a comedy either, I just assumed so based on its sort of ridiculous poster. And I guess that is on me.

bus
There is nothing more serious than this face right here.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) (What kind of name is Hutch Mansell?) (What kind of name is Bob Odenkirk?) (Fair point, moving on) is your typical family man. He has a wife (Connie Nielsen) and two kids (Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath). He goes to work every day. He rides the bus. He takes out the trash. He misses the trash. He sleeps. He jogs. It just goes on and on and on.

But one day Hutch finds himself to be the victim. A home robbery. Two people break into his house and demand money and valuables and he doesn’t have much to give him. And thanks to his son, there is a real good chance they can apprehend these criminals and keep their stuff, but Hutch misses his cue and he becomes a sort of laughing stock. Or at least everyone pities him. His family thinks less of him. Is he even a man? How dare he not do violence.

All of this makes him crack. He does seem to let on more than he knows about action stuff, but he wants to keep it contained. And after deciding to go after the criminals, he eventually gets himself into a bigger fight than he imagined. One that gets him involved with a dangerous Russian crime lord (Aleksey Serebryakov). Can this nobody still protect himself and his family? Is he actually a nobody?

Also starring RZAColin Salmon, and Christopher Lloyd as an 82 year old with a shot gun.

gun
And this is Odenkirk with a uhhh…. faster shot gun, idk guns. 

Do we have room in our world for another John Wick? Of course we do. After all, there have been plenty of movies before of seemingly normal guy (Who might secretly be abnormal) go on to do amazing feats of killing and vengeance. It isn’t something John Wick made up.

But with John Wick the actor was someone who we had seen in action movies before. Someone who knows Kung Fu. Not an actual regular looking joe who we know as a regular actor comedian. That is a plus. And also, the John Wick movies (2 and 3) got worse with each version, because the script blows, and they didn’t focus on the action enough.

So sure we have room for this movie, but is it good? Surprisingly yes.

It doesn’t feature narrative prose that one would look for in award winning films, it still has a weak plot. But the action is not only good, it is far more graphic and intense than I thought it would be (Watching people get stabbed and broken bones graphically, when I still thought it was a comedy, would do that). Odenkirk fucking brings it. And later on when he has help, they fucking bring it too, and it is just an amazing defense set with a spectacular finish.

I would be excited for more Nobody films, even if narratively it wouldn’t make sense for the character to continue. It didn’t make sense for John Wick either and it turned out gr — err, oh wait. It turned out bad. And will likely get worse.

Nobody was surprisingly fun and intense. A great action movie for those who want this sort of action genre. We don’t get a long one-take hallway scene, but the bus scene does feel almost just as good.

3 out of 4.