Tag: Thriller

Emergency Declaration

I haven’t had a big chunk of foreign films to review at my disposal this year, but honestly, that is probably my fault. The fact that I haven’t yet seen RRR is a goddamn travesty. I assume that because of what everyone has said about it.

For Emergency Declaration, I was finally given a big foreign release film to review ahead of time! And its a plane disaster film! Great. I am sure subtitles isn’t enough for me to call it uniquely different than other plane movies. I hope the plot really feels different as well. But I don’t think there has been a lot of plane movies either, since the pandemic.

I wonder if the Big Plane industry has been controlling Hollywood, to prevent plane movies from being released. You know, to build up trust in the airlines again after the pandemic and those scares. This conspiracy probably doesn’t have legs because I am sure there have been quite a few plane movies released recently, that I just don’t remember.

rain
Dude its raining. Protect your phone man. The rice thing is a myth. 

Planes can be fun. But they can also be…not fun. In-ho (Song Kang-ho) is a detective! His wife (Woo Mi-Hwa) loves to travel, but In-ho does not and always cancels on planned trips, so she decided to go to Hawaii with her friends. Oh well. But it turns out in this area, there was someone posting a threat to kill people on a plane soon. In-ho found himself investigating these events, and found a really gross and deformed body in the potential terrorist’s house. Including experiments and data on rats, about some biological weapon.

But the terrorist is nowhere to be found! Shit, he is on a plane. And we even get to see him to buy a ticket and get on the plane. He just wants to go somewhere far, with a lot of people on board. Somewhere like Hawaii.

And now, with bioterrorism in the sky, and let lose on the plane, how are they going to help those passengers who don’t have a place to land? How will they navigate the geopolitical landscape when people wouldn’t want to help them if they have an unknown, deadly, and contagious virus on board? How will they find a cure in a small amount of time? And how many will die along the way?

Also starring Lee Byung-hun, Jeon De-yeon, Nam-gil Kim, Si-wan Yim, So-jin Jim, and Park Hae-joon.

pilot
“How do I fly this plane with people bleeding everywhere?”
“That sounds like a real sticky situation you got there.”
It turns out, I loved Emergency Declaration. And it is hard for me to really point out which moment or scene sealed the deal for me.

One notable component about this film is that it is pretty damn long for a plane disaster movie, rocking in at 2 hours 20 minutes. A lot of plane disaster films can’t get a runtime like that, while keeping up the tension. And yet, this film keeps up the tension.

Anything that could go wrong does go wrong in the plot. When there seems like a reasonable out for them to get help, there becomes good plausible reasons for that to not work. When the plane at one point has to turn around to head back home, the look of absolute defeat in the characters eyes as they feel the turn and see the sunset change sides of the plane just really reaches deep into your soul. Speaking of soul, one moment near the end, when plane riders are finally able to get usable signal with their devices to video chat with their loved ones is completely heart wrenching. Did it make this movie reviewer cry? Of course it did.

And honestly, the plot outside of the plane, with our detective discovering initial clues with his fear building up, to the dealings with the Biotech company, and other countries government responses to their plight, along with various types of protests at home, all helped extend the tension in new and wonderful directions.

In terms of how topical this film feels, of course this film would make people think of COVID. People traveling, getting sick from an airborne virus, and people around the world trying to protect themselves from getting this virus as well. Because it is a weapon, it acts very fast, and is pretty deadly, and strangely enough, this film was written and started some level of production before COVID was a thing. So good on them finishing it anyways, even if one would assume it was inspired by recent events.

A lot of the side plots in the film will feel like clichés potentially. But if you have enough of them, and cram them all in, it gives a really compelling picture, with a large interesting cast, of various personalities all trying to do one thing. Survive.

4 out of 4.

Master

Immediately hearing about a movie named Master, I get a little bit of unease. I think that is the goal. It certainly harkens up slavery in America’s past, especially given the main poster for this film.

Actually going into this movie, I have no clue what it is about. It could have been a period piece, a horror, a drama, or it could be a very surprising comedy, honestly. Lacking a better introduction, I am going on to the review.

glare
Don’t glare at me, I don’t research every movie coming out, I swear.

Let’s go to college! Namely, Ancaster College! Does it sound like a really white college? That is what we are going for here. A really white old historic college somewhere in the northeast. You know, what of those type of colleges. An Ivy league.

Jasmine (Zoe Renee) is a new freshman, ready to learn and live and laugh and love. But she is getting a lot of stares. She sticks out. For obvious reasons. Plus, people keep talking about her room. It is a cursed room some say. It is where a girl killed herself in the past. Not fun at all.

Jasmine has to deal with the normal college pressures, while also, apparently, being one of the only black people on campus. There are a few black teachers around though. Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) and Sascha (Kara Young), the latter who is a faculty member trying to go for tenure, and one of Jasmine’s teachers.

Things start getting more controversial, when Jasmine is failing her essay, about race issues no less, and she starts to get more and more vivid nightmares on this campus.

Maybe…this campus, is really just a big cult? Who knows. If so, the College Board should be informed.

running
When going out for a run, it is important to bring a buddy, because racists are out there, yo. 

It was hard to tell what Master was going for, in its run time. Is it going for a real supernatural horror, causing the events of the film? Or at the events of the film just metaphors, for what the characters experience, with micro- and macro-aggressions against them? Or maybe some level of in between?

Now, I will keep the truth to that question a secret of course. But I will say I was disappointed with the direction it ended up taking. It told a fine spooky movie of sorts, but I don’t think it really delved enough into the actual problems going on in the movie. They were alluded to, and I feel for a lot of people it will just go right over their heads. I am not saying that being subtle is bad, no. It is just that it isn’t really subtle either. It just seems to bring things up, and then ignore them later.

This is a movie that really feels like it was made to be streamed, where it might find an audience. But it lacked a lot of things that could have made it really stand out, as some sort of horror themed Dear White People. But we just got a pretty tame movie overall, with some fine acting and okay plot. This is one now doomed to go to streaming and be forgotten in a few days.

2 out of 4.

The Cursed

I could be wrong, but I believe it is stated in the constitution that every 2 years we need at least three werewolf movies. That can be a movie about werewolves specifically, or that feature them in anyway. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania and Werewolves Within, I believe, are our last two, so now we have The Cursed to make sure that three minimum is met. Strangely enough, this one comes from France. Did you know the French cared about werewolves? I didn’t know.

This movie used to have a different title, Eight For Silver. I don’t fully know what in the heck that even means, but it does sound mysterious, so I like the original title. It would have fit this movie nicely. So does The Cursed, sure, but The Cursed could mean a lot of different things. It isn’t necessarily werewolf specific.

On an unrelated note, werewolf means a human turning into a wolf like beast. But all the other weres don’t work the same way. Werebear is a bear wolf cross thing, not a human turning into a bear. Super weird on that.

teeth
Sweet teeth you got there. Are you a cyberpunk werewolf?

Something evil in these woods! Time to go way back. To a time before most electricity, somewhere in the late 1800’s. Where? I don’t know, somewhere in Europe. People in a village go have a battle with some traveling groups, and quite a few people die, but the village wins. This actually curses their land, and makes a lot of uncomfortable things start to happen.

What kind of things? Well, like nightmares. Extra fog too, if I had to imagine. People go missing, and people also show up dead. That is a bigger problem. People maybe have seen monsters in the woods as well. Scary stuff. Are they being hunted by some beast?

Well the slightly good news is an expert is on the way. John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) is a visiting pathologist, and he has seen similar things before. He will try to help them put an end to this madness in their territory, or you know, die with the rest of them.

Also starring Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran, Nigel Betts, Stuart Bowman, Simon Kunz, Tommy Rodger, and Áine Rose Daly.

fire
I am pretty sure most werewolves hate fire and shout about it often.

When it comes to curses, this is a pretty good one to wreck a small village hundreds of years ago. And it seemed to work quick.  So it was effective. But still, that last title would have been more fun, even if the reference is more awkward.

I am doing my best to be sensitive to the Romani people, who are referred to as the Roma in here. They don’t use the slur, which is great! But also, they are the “bad guys” here who curse our white regular villagers with their magic and stuff, after they are killed. That is probably not cool. They shouldn’t have done that. It is not like the curse was done to show that our main characters are truly the bad people all along (Although that is one interpretation you could make, I don’t think that was strongly argued enough though). The Romani people have had enough going bad with them throughout history in terms of negative connotations, so we should really be leaving them alone by now, honestly.

In terms of actual scares, I do think The Cursed did a wonderful job building the atmosphere for the setting. It was very tense. It also was gross. They didn’t do traditional werewolf things, that is for sure. At parts we have strange almost alien like aspects to it. I definitely had to look away at various parts, not at all pleased with the effects that went on with some of the grosser scenes. It isn’t even a movie trying to gross the viewers out, it just definitely succeeded for me.

In terms of the plot, it is pretty standard. None of the actors stand out to me more than anyone else. This is a bit of a downer.

I think the film excels at its use of effects, atmosphere, and world building. It tells a bit of an original story in the way the curse works, but not in the plot to deal with said curse. It both gains points for some creativity, and loses it for a lack of creativity in other areas.

I don’t know if werewolf enthusiasts will enjoy this movie either, given how much it deviates from the norm. Depends on how deviant they are in general. My best advice would be to go in not really knowing what to expect, and you will likely have some surprises along the way.

2 out of 4.

Every Breath You Take

I feel like as a society, we should be at a collective point where people realize that the song Every Breath You Take is creepy as fuck. Sting has already said it is sinister and controlling and not a wonderful love song. And yet people still are oblivious and think its beautiful.

It is a creepy phrase and a great name for a movie. Especially if it involves a stalking romance.

Every Breath You Take doesn’t really involve romance (although there is some sexmance, if you will) and stalking. Maybe not the perfect title for this movie. But maybe the perfect title for a Casey Affleck autobiography?

face
Of course you can see every breath they take if you are that fucking close to their mouth. 

Philip (Casey Affleck) is a therapist, and maybe a good one, maybe a bad one. Really hard to tell. He did have one patient, Daphne (Emily Alyn Lind), who was really low and sore and couldn’t open up. And to encourage her to open up, he talked about himself. He talked about his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and kid (India Eisley), and his fears and regrets. He wasn’t trying to make her his therapist. He was just trying to be more relatable for her. And it worked! She talked and got better and he started to tell people of his discovery.

Well, then we find out that Daphne goes and dies. You know. Suicide. Shit was this his fault? We all know people will blame him anyways. Makes sense.

Maybe people like James (Sam Claflin), Daphne’s brother. Who ends up having to talk to him about it, for some closure. But then he just…keeps hanging around. He inserts himself into Philip’s life as they do funeral plans and deal with her belongings. He befriends the wife and daughter and show up in their lives when Philip isn’t around. He seems to have…ulterior motives for being there. Can Philip stop this man from stalking them all, when it would be hard to prove, and when he is doing his own shitty things?

Also starring Hiro Kanagawa and Veronica Ferres.

abduct
“Howdy lady, did someone break your car? What a coincidence. I fix cars.”

At times, Every Breath You Take certainly feels like a movie that was forced to be a straight to DVD film. Which times? Well, at least 90% of the time. Not that those movies have to be inherently bad, because this one isn’t shockingly awful or anything like that. It just never rises to any level worth really getting excited about.

Affleck feels like a broody sad version of himself that is in a lot of films. He did it better in Manchester By The Sea, he did it better in even A Ghost Story. So it doesn’t feel new in that regard at all. Claflin plays a wormy, charismatic, clearly evil being. It is frustrating how obvious it all plays out on the screen, because apparently all of the women in this movie are easily cast into his shady as fuck web. Besides that, the rest of the cast are just smaller parts in this film and not given a lot to work with. They don’t feel believable and this really drags the movie down.

And this is frustrating, because given the story, it could have been a wonderful movie overall, but basically every part of it falls flat. The twists are obvious, and then silly. The thrilling scenes near the end don’t thrill but are laughable. There are elements of people trying, but when those elements are few and far between, it is just a disaster of a film.

1 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.

The Virtuoso

When one thinks of the word ‘virtuoso’ they usually put it towards piano, but it of course can be used for any music. We all accept that. Hell, it could be for any art form. You can be a sculpting virtuoso, or a cross stitching virtuoso, but I can’t imagine anyone likes cross stitching enough to be a virtuoso at it.

And with The Virtuoso, we have a movie about hitmen for hire, killing people. I guess killing people, to make it look like an accident, and never be seen or heard from could be like an artform. They made a game called Hitman, and the ability to cause deaths accidentally is graded on points, I think. I only tried playing it once and I did a bad job at it. Please correct me if I am wrong about the game Hitman. I wouldn’t want such a storied franchise with terrible movies to accidentally have something said incorrect about it.

Back to The Virtuoso. Oh, yeah. The review.

bar
Some say I am food eating virtuoso. But I just think I’m a picky eater.

 

 

The Virtuoso is about a guy named The Virtuoso (Anson Mount). Awesome. Good plot. Head home.

We don’t get to know his name, or really any other names here. After all, we also get people with names like The Mentor (Anthony Hopkins) and The Waitress (Abbie Cornish). Our hero (?) doesn’t like to use names I guess, makes things too personal, everything is just a job.

He is a real detailed oriented person and secretive. It has a level of difficulty to hire him for a job, but that helps maintain his own anonymity and allows him to have a life outside of the job. And unfortunately, he gets “forced” into doing a rush job without a lot of proper planning, and that really throws him off balance in life, because extra people died who were innocents, and that is not okay.

Eventually he gets put on a new mission, that requires a lot of set up in a small area, and a lot of targets to take out. Maybe this will be his final one. He can’t get over the killing of innocents. Maybe this will be his swan song. 

Also starring Eddie Marsan, David Morse, and Chris Perfetti

 

 

graveyard
“Hey! Come back here Mr. Two-Time-Oscar-Winner!”

 

The Virtuoso is narrated by the lead character, but done in a very unique way. I guess we are to assume that we are also the virtuoso, and it is more like a stage summary of events. “You look around the room, and check the exits.” You line up your sights and hold your breath.” This sort of thing. Him describing the process and letting us know what is going on. It was very strange at first, but it definitely grew by the end as an interesting tool and didn’t feel unnatural anymore. And also by the end it has a fun little payoff as well, so it makes the journey feel worth it in that regard. 

The Virtuoso is also relatively slow. The beginning execution where the disaster happens that gives our main character regret is relatively quick, but the main plot after that is a much slower build. I don’t know a lot about Mount in other films (but he was in Crossroads which I keep meaning to watch…) but he seems to be trying to play a role similar to Timothy Olyphant in Justified, in terms of coolness, but a lot, lot, quieter. Maybe it is just because their faces are similar to me. He is a fine lead, extremely stoic, but the side characters do a job of making this story interesting.

And in case you are curious, Hopkins is actually in this movie several times, not just a quick one or two scenes. Not just a big name grab. I did like Cornish in this one as well. She has a much bigger role in this film than anything else I have seen her in, and adds some unique plot to the story. 

Overall, if you are looking for a quiet drama with a handful of twists about an assassin, you will end up enjoying this. If you want something with more elaborate deaths, or more action, or more twists, then this one will put you to sleep. 

 

 

2 out of 4.

 

Doors

You know what we need? More beautiful and glorious independent sci-fi film. I think Arrival counted as indie. Maybe it wasn’t. It felt indie at least.

And Doors, at least by cover art and plot, looks like something that could be confused with Arrival.

So I will go in expecting Arrival level quality, or else I riot and walk.

kids
Arrival had some kids in it, sure. 

Doors is actually a sci-fi movie with four related yet independent parts (the last one is very short). It involves suddenly these black alien entities that appear all around the world in random places. They get nicknamed as doors (even though they don’t look like doors), but you can walk into them and go somewhere. And they also talk to some people.

The first segment, Lockdown, is when they first arrive, and centers on some students taking a test. That one stars Kathy Khanh, Julianne Collins, Aric Floyd, Rory Anne Dahl, Christopher Black, and Saman Kesh.

Then a few weeks later, we have the Knockers segment, named after people who go into the doors to investigate. They have a limited amount of time to gather any intel to report back, before being trapped or losing their own minds. This one features Josh Peck and Lina Esco.

The third segment, 100 or so day after the doors, we focus on Jamal, a lone scientist who thinks he has figured out how to actual communicate with the doors. Hearing them and letting them hear him. Starring Kyp Malone, Kristina Lear, Bira Vanara, and Wilson Bethel.

The last segment is a quick zoom interview, with a conspiracy DJ and a famous alien scientist, featuring Darius Levanté.

knockers
Even got fun containment costumes. Will it make me cry? 

Doors was nothing like Arrival, of course, and I only have myself to blame for that. With four different stories though, unfortunately, it would require most of them to be good -awesome for the movie to be worth it. From my count we have two average stories, and two below average stories, which is a huge disappointment.

The first two were the okay ones. In the school, it had a couple nice moments, but that was about it. It kept up the mystery which is nice. The second story, with the knockers, had the potential to be fun. It had a lot of mind fuckery going on inside the doors. But mind fuckery for mind fuckery’s sake is not worth it if there is no real purpose behind it. I mean, maybe the purpose is evil aliens. It however still needs something to give it meaning or reason and it chooses not to.

What I am saying is, I can’t overall like it, if I don’t eventually find out a reason for what was going on. And they don’t give a good reason, besides Alien space magic tech and that is it, which is a sort of boring answer.

The last two stories? Well, one didn’t seem interesting. It had a guy be able to communicate back and forth with a door for others to hear. But we also already knew they could communicate in some way. Was that more interesting? Nope. More just silly door shenanigans. And the last one felt like it wanted to be a scene out of a Paranormal  Activity movie.

Doors could have been great. It could have tried to give any answers to it. It could have gone for some deep psychology. But it went for a couple of scares and a couple of snoozes instead. Yawn.

1 out of 4.

Voyagers

I don’t know how I can take seriously someone with the last name of Burger. Talkin’ bout Neil Burger that is, director and writer of voyagers. He has been around the block once or twice in movie land. I have reviewed a few of his films before. He did The Upside, Divergent, Limitless, and even The Illusionist way back ago, which he also wrote unlike the previous few.

None of his films I have loved, some of them I have disliked, but at least one I did like overall. It just didn’t go as far as I had hoped (but it did launch a TV show eventually, so good on him).

Now going into Voyagers, I knew nothing about it. Some movie set in space. So what? That isn’t special. Earth is in space, so everything set on Earth is also set in space. But seriously, I heard about this movie two days before watching it, only seeing a single poster, so going in almost as blind as possible to this one, and I hope this one will not muddle about and get me into that “love” territory for one of his films.

kids
Picture of me teaching how to love movies during the pandemic.

In the future, our Earth is gonna be fucked. We know this, and all the movies know it, because it is a popular topic. So we have to get off this rock and find a new rock that could support our life, but this time, try not to screw the planet up. But we haven’t gotten that sweet cryosleep technology figured out yet, so any travel to the planet would have to be real time, with those at the start not going to likely see the planet in their lifetime, with over 80 years of journey time.

So what is the human race going to do? Well, the plan is to send a big group of kids, slightly genetically picked to be smart and efficient. They will be test tube babies. They will under go schooling and training together. And then they will be sent in the rocket. And one adult (Colin Farrell) as a guide, so they can go earlier than planned, and he can help out, knowing he definitely won’t see the new planet.

And sure, things go well for a bit. But once a student discovers one of their supplements was a lie, and actually used to suppress their hormones to keep their emotions and sex drives very low, things start to get bad. Distrust begins to happen. And a death. And now with no trust, and factions, and SO MANY EMOTIONS, they are going to have to see if they even want to continue this mission at all.

Starring so many young actors and actresses! Like Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Archie Madekwe, Archie Renaux, Chante Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Madison Hu, Quintessa Swindell, Viveik Kalra, and Wern Lee.

bad touch
This is not a good touch, get your puberty off of her! 

Sure enough, this ended up being one of those movies where I really got into the story and dug it, and found myself along for the ride at several points. The beginning had a good chance of dragging on too long with the set up, but it zoomed through everything pretty quickly. Before and after sexy puberty time, the aura of the ship was noticeable and getting darker.

Is this movie saying sex emotions are bad?! Nah, it is just telling a story with some thrills (and just a little little bit of sex, it is just a PG-13 flick), on a very unique ride through space. I will say the movie got really close to making a really good point about growing up, or “society” or whatever, but never seemed to land that point just right, which is probably why a lot of people left this movie annoyed.

Basically, it feels like Lord of the Flies, in space. And honestly, I had to pause it multiple times just because I was getting  stressed out for some of the characters who couldn’t get out of their situation. They were literally trapped on the same ship, and I didn’t know if the movie would end on a good or a bad note.

And hey, maybe this movie is just an allegory for pandemics. A few selfish people who don’t want to listen to the rules can ruin things for everyone. Literally the future of our species too.

Oh yeah, come on director. Gonna have a lot of test tube babies and can’t get more diversity in this film? It has like the bare minimum, but we are talking about a future colony going to settle all the humans. I’d expect a bit more of an effort.

3 out of 4.

Crisis

There is a Crisis in America! And no, don’t go running to Ted Cruz, he won’t care.

But I should be more specific — there are a lot of active crisis’ in America. One crisis at a time is for small time nations. We have problems that span hundreds of years, so we are pretty good at having bad things happen, whether they are naturally occurring, or due to systematic issues.

Which crisis is this one going to tackle? Well, let’s just say that it involves the cops.

coppers
That literally narrows it down zero. 

See, drugs are bad, mmkay. And this is a movie that is going to talk about all of the badness of drugs, specifically, Opioid based drugs, since they are the hot commodity now that is fucking up things more than other substances.

What we have is three slightly interconnecting stories.

There is Agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), who has been undergoing drug stings and trying to get not just the local dealers, but the suppliers, which requires the long wait and time.

There is Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly), a mother, whose son, who wasn’t perfect, was found overdosed with the drugs, and she didn’t even know or he had drugs before in his life!

And of course, Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman) who is a professor of medicine stuff, and is helping do clinical trials for drugs as part of his research. And he is finding a new opioid, that is supposed to be less addictive, might not be as advertised.

Also, some other people and criminals and cops and more! Starring Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Veronica Ferres, Kid Cudi, and Lily-Rose Depp.

professor sad
Someone covering up science? Unheard of!

Ahhh drugs! We have to fight the drugs, the war on drugs is killing us!

That sentence is meant to sound extreme, because the war of drugs has been a big failure for many reasons that this review has no reason to get into. But that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t make good points, because it does. This opioid thing mostly sucks because the makers of it claimed it was great, without knowing the addictive properties (or maybe they did?!) and got a lot of people hooked on painkillers, doctor prescribed.

But I do have a hard time getting really annoyed at the real life aspects they want me to be pissed at, when also parts of it are made up. I know for legal reasons, they probably couldn’t name a real drug. But did this professor research story actually happen? Like for something else? If so, that does bring an extra level of fuckery to the mix. I know in my life opioids are addicting and not as advertised, but it is hard to draw that conclusion when it is also paired with exaggerated or potentially made up plotlines.

What truth should I go out and shout?!

Overall, the plot is okay. I do wish it had some more edited out of it, as it dragged in parts for me, and strangely, the cop parts were the weakest for me. I did get sort of lost before the end. I couldn’t remember who backstabbed or pissed off who. Is that on me? Maybe. But Crisis could have been more entertaining as well.

2 out of 4.