The Average Moviegoer Review – LOGAN (2017)

The Average Moviegoer Review – LOGAN (2017)

8 ——–Even as a kid I always thought Superman’s moral code was as ridiculous as his suit that had flashy undies on the outside. I remember thinking why can’t he just kill the bad guy instead of putting him in jail? I have always loved a superhero who cut loose when the going got tough. A hero who gave no bones about what he was taking on and could absolutely decimate anything in his path. And when it was fueled by sheer unrestrained rage it just made it all the more satisfying. And that is why I have been a fan of the Hulk from when I can remember. But think of a hulk that isn’t green, is more or less your size, is indestructible, hunts like an animal and to top it all off, has retractable metal claws. Anyone who still thinks this isn’t the ultimate superhero package is kidding themselves. You have a favourite that you think can take him on? Don’t bother. He is the beast unleashed, an unstoppable one man annihilation army, the apex predator. The century and a half old antihero with a heart of gold, that everyone loves to hate and hates to love. Aptly named after the animal that personifies his traits of being a snarly, grunting, solitary, illusive, short, muscular, fast, ferocious, big clawed, tireless, insanely strong carnivore that can pick up a scent of blood better than a great white, is capable of single handedly taking down prey almost six times its size, fears literally nothing, has an unrivaled survival instinct and a ton of attitude to boot. The Wolverine.

I’m sure you can tell from the description how much I love the character. I am sure then you could also deduce my disappointment at having to watch watered down children friendly versions of him on the silver screen for the past 17 years. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun. I even enjoyed it in the abysmal Wolverine origins movie let alone the X-Men movies and quite frankly the quite decent wolverine sequel. But we all knew what was missing. Where there is wolverine there needs to be heads chopped, guts spilt and carcasses flying all over in general, never mind the unapologetic language to go around. Thanks to Deadpool that came out last year this movie got the license to break the shackles named PG 13 and man does it show. When the first word uttered in the movie is the F bomb, you know it means business.

Forget the conventional superhero movie plot. This film shreds it and chucks it out the window from scene one. Our protagonist is battered, bruised, aging and possibly dying. He drives around in a stretched Cadillac, using his real name, ferrying anyone and everyone who can pay him good money. He’s saving for boat to get away from the drudgery of it all. What’s worse is he doesn’t even want to fight. Forget the Wolverine that chopped an arm off before he initiated a conversation. This version wants to warn his attackers away multiple times before he even attempts anything. His claws don’t work like they used to, he doesn’t heal like he used to and to add to all of this the professor is a total mess. We learn Logan’s been caring for him in an abandoned smelting plant of some sort across the border in Mexico. He suffers seizures that could annihilate the population of a city and the medication that Logan’s been procuring illegally is the only thing keeping that from happening again. They both live with Caliban and hope for the day they can get away from all this. Into their lives walks Laura, who by now everyone knows is the pint sized dynamite, X23. You soon learn of her backstory and as to why she needs Logan’s help to head where she is going. The rest of the story is their journey there and how their relationship develops on the way.

James Mangold did a decent job with the last Wolverine and the promise that came with this one was immense. It was Jackman’s last venture, they had the license to thrill and Fox did provide them with an ok budget. The idea was to reinvent the genre completely. Did Mangold succeed? Well yes and no. Let’s do the good bits first. The casting was spot on. It was kept to a bare minimum and everyone was given the absolute perfect brief. Stewart excels as the sick, aging, foul mouthed Professor X and his exchanges with Logan provide most of the comic relief in this seriously dark movie. Dafne Keen plays X 23 with aplomb. She doesn’t have lines till the very end of the movie so most of what she conveys is with her eyes and damn does she do well. After playing the part for 17 years you’d imagine that the person playing it would probably sleep walk through the role. You see that’s where Jackman is different. He gives it everything he’s got like he always does and lives and breathes Logan. What he has done is practically ruin this character for our generation and made it difficult for us to accept anyone else in the role in the future. Aren’t we glad Dougray Scott walked out on the role at the last minute all those years ago. The story is kept simple and linear and set in the near future, with a palette that has dull tones throughout, typifying the grimness of it all. If you ask me it’s a welcome relief from the colourful assault on the senses that these type of movies have become nowadays. Mangold could have gone into overkill with that R rating instead he cleverly uses it to enhance the overall quality of the movie. You are transported to a world where everything isn’t fine and dandy, where you don’t get away with everything, where the pain is real, the loss is real. It’s just like Logan says, in the real world people die. And my word do they die spectacularly. Remember how I said before that Logan doesn’t want to fight? But you obviously know that he eventually is forced to and when he is, it’s very satisfying. Out come the claws and do what they were supposed to for the 17 years he was on screen. They scythe through anything and everything in front of him, metal, wood, flesh and bone. Heads are impaled, jugulars are ripped open, arms are chopped off and mind you Logan is responsible for only one half of that. X-23 holds her own in every action sequence and you know that she is not to be messed with. The aftermath of it all isn’t pretty either. You feel the agonizing price Logan has to pay after every bloody encounter. Finally, we get what we wanted to see all along in a wolverine movie.

From here I would have ideally liked to have gone on to the concluding paragraph but I am afraid I have to point out one or two issues. It probably is nitpicking I agree, but that’s probably because I wanted this movie to be perfect. Throughout the movie Logan seems to have a limp and a cough that conveniently appears and disappears at will. Why? Why introduce those factors because all it does, is end up looking gimmicky. Then there is a boob in there, yes no kidding. It’s almost as if Mangold succumbed to the R rating free reign he had. Towards the end of the movie when it feels like there is a long way to go Logan falls asleep and the kid takes the wheel. And then next shot they are there! I mean what happened to the rest of the journey? Are we to assume that she drove continuously for two days when Logan slept? Then there is the action. Don’t get me wrong it was immensely satisfying. But I hate how new age directors put the cameras inches away from it all to make the audience feel more involved or something. Hasn’t Captain America civil war not taught you anything? We like the action as a spectacle. We don’t want to be involved. Just pull the shot a little further back and allow us to sit back and watch the action unfold rather than have to follow it left and right with every punch, kick or jab that is thrown. But then we get to the big issue. Look back at any successful solo superhero franchise and think about what sets it apart from the rest? What is the one thing that ensures that the movie is great? It’s the bad guy. That’s what this movie lacks, a definitive villain. The Revears and Dr. Rice make a case for one but that’s about it. The one character, who is one of surprises/shocks of the movie and could have been capitalized on, sadly is sparingly used.

So in conclusion did I like the movie? As a superhero movie? May be not as much as I would have liked to. There is talk about this doing what The Dark Knight did almost a decade ago. Make the whole world take the superhero genre seriously. And this movie does try really hard to. But in doing so it sometimes forgets it had the license to be a superhero movie too. I wanted to see more, a lot more of Wolverine taking out hordes of opponents. And being a fan, whether it was the right thing to do or no, I couldn’t live with the ending. But as just a movie though? Yes I loved it, I most definitely did! It is one of the few movies to come out in recent times that starred a mainstream actor and is actually good. A movie that has been shot well, has a great cast and a good simple story that has an emotional core. A movie much like Deadpool where the fact that it personally meant a lot to the lead actor and the director comes through in the material. (Speaking of which, be there early to catch a little surprise nugget.) It’s a fitting swansong for my all-time favourite superhero and the man that has played it loyally for 17 years. We will miss you Jackman and we do hope you reverse your decision to stay away from it forever. We don’t mind that you are half a foot taller than the actual character.

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The Average Moviegoer Review – Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice (2016)

The Average Moviegoer Review – Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice (2016)

Never has there been a movie in recent memory that has garnered this much interest before its release. And why shouldn’t it? Batman is taking on Superman! The movie has a million plot holes but since it’s a comic book movie lets forgive that for the moment.

I quite liked Eisenberg’s take on Luthor. I thought he would overdo it but just like in “the social network” he surprised me. Weirdly enough it reminded me of SRK in his anti-hero movies. Luthor is of the opinion that he is supremely gifted in the knowledge department and if only he had the physical prowess to boot he could rule the world. This drives him to psychotic ends to prove himself, and the fact that he is psychotic sort of forgives the lack of a clear explanation of his motive to be bad. But why he needs to take on batman and superman so vehemently is left unexplained which was irritating.

Cavill’s superman plays second fiddle throughout. He has the same wooden expression for everything and only women will like him. Yes that’s all there is to him. I don’t see what all the fuss on the internet about Gal Gadot’s wonder woman was for. ***Spoiler Alert, skip to next para to avoid it****………………………I hate to ruin it for you but that great entry they are all talking about is what you have already seen in the trailer.

Now for the two best things to come out of this movie. Jeremy Irons playing Alfred. In the miniscule amount of time that he is on screen he nails it. His Alfred is a much more classic Alfred. Younger than what we have been used to for the past decade and a lot more involved in the decision making as he is in the comics. He is as sardonic as he can be which is great fun and a perfect foil to the perennially brooding Bruce Wayne.

Which brings us to the best thing to come out of this movie. Batman!! He is what batman should have always been apart from the very first time you see him in the movie perched awkwardly on a wall. He is the living, breathing, towering mound of muscle that puts the fear of God in criminals. He is fast and fights like a fluid beast akin to the Arkham games that have released over the past half-decade. Eh…Except when he is in that huge suit. He looks ponderous and plain silly when he movies in it. Animate the suit Snyder! Animate it! That’s why iron man looks so cool! His Batwing is cooler, the Batmobile is smaller, sleeker but just as good as the last one and the suit looks more classic, more organic. But the absolute best thing about this Batman is the fact that he couldn’t care less about moral code anymore. It’s like he is saying a big f@k you to all the people who do nothing about the criminals he locks behind bars repeatedly. He is no more the batman that didn’t let joker fall to his death off that ledge. He is the batman who would have taken joker in, beaten him to absolute pulp and then made it look like the injuries were a result of that fall. He is the judge, jury and executioner. And hey credit to Ben Affleck. He has come a long way from being “that guy who won the Oscar with Matt Damon” and holds his own in his intense scenes. There is already talk of three independent Batman movies in the making and I honestly can’t wait for them just to see this Alfred and this Batman.

The movie itself? It was all about the confrontation between the two titans of the comic book world and after all that waiting, it is what we expect it to be rather than something that blows our mind away. They wasted time in the buildup to it unnecessarily, with weird pointless and absolutely uncalled for hallucination scenes and other complicated ways of stitching the plot together like tying Luthor to all the bad stuff happening. It looks like a haphazard mess and gets to a point where you are telling yourself “ok enough is enough bring on the fight already”. And the fight does come over an hour into the movie. Like I said before, keeping that suit real instead of animating it was a massive mistake, but it does make bats look geared up to take on one of the strongest beings in the universe. Got to admit that when he is standing still the suit does look very cool. The fight lasts for a small but significant amount of time and is resolved very, very comically. Memes about that moment will be written for ages. From there on the movie picks up pace and rattles onto to an explosive climax. Doomsday is every bit the terrifying Kryptonian super villain that he is in the comics. And it takes everyone working together to beat him. The ending is meant to shock you but come on Snyder who are you trying to fool?

Is it a great movie? No. I am not a big fan of the whole “cool dark theme”. I like it when things happen in daylight and I can see things clearly like in The Avengers. Is it as bad a movie like all the reviews are saying it is? Most definitely not. Now a days hating anything on the internet makes you cool. I presume most of the people trashing it are probably a part of this bandwagon. Is there hope for better? Sure as hell there is! There is a hallucination scene where you see a massive clue, both literally and figuratively, to who the baddie in the justice league movies will be. Those who know will guess and the others would’ve googled it by now. There is another ridiculously shoehorned scene where you see bits and pieces of the other members of the justice league namely – the Flash, Aquaman and the Cyborg that makes you want to see all of them taking on the big definitive baddie together. And the wait isn’t long, it’s only a year away. Here’s hoping for the best.

The Average Moviegoer Review – Deadpool (2016)

The Average Moviegoer Review – Deadpool (2016)

No it isn’t the greatest movie ever made but it won’t disappoint you and will be worth every penny you paid. It sets a breath taking pace very early on and doesn’t let up till then end so you have to keep up with it. The jokes keep coming thick and fast and its R rated, so before you have time to react to one you have already been gobsmacked with another. Ryan Reynolds was born to play the merc with a mouth and will do so for the foreseeable future, there is no question about it. He deserves the part that he himself lobbied for in the face of strong opposition. It’s thanks to him that initial footage leaked that the fans loved and pressed FOX into making the movie. Morena Baccarin is a beautiful woman but she seemed like just another face when I watched her in Homeland. But in this! Phew! And the wild chemistry between the two crackles on screen, every single frame of it. TJ Miller could’ve been given a little more screen time because for whatever little time he is on screen, he is hilarious. Kudos to the director and Reynolds for sticking to their guns and making the movie exactly the way they envisioned it and that sincerity shows through. Only a movie made like that can make fun of itself and look cool while doing so. Mind you no one is spared, including Reynolds himself, the flops in his career and Fox who are the producers. The movie is filled with references about the Xmen and Wolverine. It’s a blatant cry out to both the franchises to get Deapool in. Imagine a Deadpool and Wolverine R rated movie! Now that would be something. Now here’s the thing, the movie is an out and out fanboy movie so you need to know at least the basics about the character to enjoy it. The problem is the movie barely tries to be an origin story. It assumes that you already know everything which, if you ask me, is a gutsy move. The breaking of the 4th wall, his shaky moral code, the humour that ranges from tongue in cheek to in your face, the little details of his origin, may all seem a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with character. So my advice is read up on his origin story and other few good comic editions, of which there aren’t as many as the other marvel characters have. Once you do, watch it again. You’ll definitely look at it differently this time round if you didn’t appreciate it as much earlier. Having said all this, I went to watch it with two friends of mine who had absolutely no idea about Deadpool and they loved the movie.

What the movie suffers from is production value. Whenever spending on CGI could be avoided the director has tried to keep the action off screen and left it to the audience’s imagination. And whenever it couldn’t be he has done everything to make it look good but even a director can do only so much. Fox didn’t have the bollocks to back an R rated movie all the way and it shows in the substandard CGI. But! The people have spoken! As I write this review today the movie has already grossed almost 8 times the estimated 60 million dollars that FOX spent to make this movie. Let me put that in perspective. Remember the Green Lantern movie Reynolds was in last, that sank without a trace? That was made on a budget of 200 million! These kind of numbers are unprecedented for an R rated movie. So we could be rest assured of the fact that the next Deadpool movie will look absolutely epic, which is slated to have Cable by the way according to the post credit scenes. A final word of advice, if you do go for the movie go a little early, because the movie has the most hilarious opening credits I have ever seen.

 

The Average Moviegoer Review – Jurassic World (2015)

The Average Moviegoer Review – Jurassic World (2015)

I was 9 when I watched the first Jurassic park and had no idea of who Steven Spielberg was. Since there was no internet back then and cable was just picking up the pace, I had not seen the rushes and had absolutely no clue of what the movie looked like. But I was a geek even back then so I knew a lot about dinosaurs. In spite of this I remember being blown away by everything I saw. One of the many memorable scenes in the movie is the first time Alan and Ellie lay their eyes on a dinosaur. It’s a Brachiosaurus walking past them in all its gargantuan glory. I remember feeling exactly the way their characters looked like they did, awe to utter amazement to shock to absolute glee. And near the end of the scene when John Hammond says “Welcome!… to Jurassic park!” I knew I was in for the ride of my life. The movie just went from strength to strength from that scene on. I think human elements in movies like this are just an unnecessary distraction and best kept minimal, but Spielberg knew how to get it just right. And then who can forget the T-Rex. All said this movie ranks among my all-time favourites, which I agree is a never-ending list but we don’t have to bother about that now.

So why am I ranting on about the movie that began it all instead of reviewing the one I watched? Well, people have a habit of comparing sequels with their timeless originals and then berating them endlessly. It’s either a very genuine purist opinion or just the opinion of someone from the internet generation who joins the bandwagon for the need to look “cool” on social media. And it works! Nowadays you badmouth anything on the internet and suddenly you are popular. Either ways what people like this must understand is that, it is almost impossible to top a good original. Movie makers have tried tirelessly and for the large part failed to replicate the magic of the first attempt simply because the novelty value would have faded and the audience gets into an “oh this? Yeah I’ve seen this before” mode. In order to overcome this, the poor movie makers try to reinvent the concept completely in an attempt to blow the audience’s mind and wipe out any trace of the original from it. There was a time when planning to do that would have meant that your surname name better have been Cameron or Lucas or something. Because otherwise all you would end up with was a very expensive mess.  Which ironically is not a problem these days, because any expensive mess also makes a lot of money, thanks to the aforementioned internet generation. How else do you explain the success of the last transformer movie?

Coming to Jurassic world, did I like the movie? – Yes I absolutely did. Will it make a truck load of money? – Yes it absolutely will. Is it among the all-time greats? – No it absolutely isn’t. Does it compare to the original? – No it absolutely doesn’t. But then why do I like it? – Because it has dinosaurs people! Dinosaurs! Giant fascinating animals that last roamed the face of our planet almost 60 million years ago.  Animals that our race has never shared the planet with ever.  Animals that this movie brings to life so realistically, that for its 2 hour running time you will actually believe that Isla Nublar is an actual place that you will book your next vacation to. Animals that any one among us would die to see today simply because it would make the kid in us go “WWWAAAAOOWWWW”. And boy did I go WWWAAAOOOWW. The extent to which CGI has improved in this day and age is unbelievable. Every time a dinosaur is on-screen my jaw ended up on the floor. I couldn’t tell where the animatronics ended and where the CGI began.

I for one think the director is a clever bloke. He was well aware of the limitations of his surname and decided very quickly that reinventing something that had left such a bad taste in the mouth of the massive fan following, last time around, would be career suicide. I mean Spielberg himself couldn’t do it with The Lost World and let’s face it, Jurassic park 3 was just a fun big budget B movie. So first thing he does is get the basics right by following the formula of the original, hoping against hope that 22 years is enough time to wipe the memory of the original plot clean in everyone’s mind. So The park is reopened, we have an ambitious owner, we have the two kids who get lost and whose rescue drives the human element in the plot, we have the good guy, we have the uptight park manager, the romantic angle between them, we have the funny guy operator, the “murican” with ulterior motives and finally and most importantly, a stellar cast of Dinosaurs. Listen I’ll be honest with you, once I saw the first animal, I couldn’t have cared less about the people in the movie. But, a word on all of them that actually mattered to the plot, before I get to those magnificent creatures. The kids, the little one was ok the older one was terrible. The funny guy operator was actually funny, I don’t know who he is though, but he had one half of all the good lines. I don’t know and I don’t care about who the uptight park manager, who plays the kids’ aunt, is. She was run of the mill. We can safely say Irfan Khan has booked his big ticket to Hollywood. And to be that big a star and yet do sweet and simple movies like Piku? I mean credit where credit’s due for this chap. And finally Chris Pratt is making a habit of playing this nice guy do gooder and getting bloody good at it. He had the other half of the good lines.

Now that we have all that nonsense out of the way, we get to the stars of the show. Like I mentioned earlier the magic combination of animatronics and CGI make these animals look so life-like, that you don’t even need the humans in the movie to empathise with. You feel the sheer awe and terror that would have run up your spine had you been in the movie, when you see these creatures in action.  There are ones that play bit part roles but we’ll stick to the important ones. The amphibious Mosasaurus. There has not been anything this huge on the silver screen lately. I mean if you thought Godzilla or those flying snake things in the Avengers movie was big, you have another thing coming. I know you have watched it in the trailers but wait till this thing opens its yawning wide chasm of an oral cavity on the big screen.  It will put the fear of God in you. For whatever little time it is on-screen it’s absolutely fun.  The raptors. I know this is going to sound weird but they are the cutest things I have seen on-screen in a long time. It was a stroke of genius to show them being tamed. The fact that they are proper apex predators and taming them is no joke is shown really well. One of the best scenes in the movie is when one of the assistants falls into the raptor pit by accident. And when they show these things moving at full tilt, on the hunt, they are an absolute joy to watch. Then comes the big baddie. The Indominous Rex as they call it. The anti-Christ of the dino world, created by humans for pleasure, only to be on the receiving end of its wrath. And it proves to be every bit of the big toothed, big clawed scaly monster it was touted to be. Kids and the weak hearted will need a change of underwear every time this thing appears on-screen. MEGA SPOILER for true Jurassic Park fans ahead, so if you don’t want the suspense broken skip to the last paragraph. Although I’m sure you would’ve heard of it by now so might as well. The T-Rex. She is back!! There were rumours running rife about an epic battle at the end between the indominous and the Trex. They even tease her mid movie. But when it happens it’s worth the wait. I didn’t even care about the cheesy nonsensical excuse to get her out. When that door to paddock 9 started to opened and the lady waved the flare at whatever was looking at her, I jumped up from my seat and cheered my lungs out. The music rises to a crescendo and out she steps from the shadows, the long-lost anti-hero of everything that was Jurassic Park. She is visibly older and slower but she is a towering giant, all muscle and she’s still got it! There is a slo mo shot of her in her element just before she shows the indominous who’s boss. I have to admit, no matter how silly it is, my eyes watered at this point. Nostalgia can do strange things to you.

Yes the human element is weak, yes they compromised on the CGI for everything except the dinosaurs, yes there are some ridiculously idiotic plot points and gaping plot holes like my closest friend, who just watched the movie, pointed out. If the Mosasaurus could leap out of its enclosure so easily in the end, could it not just as easily have killed the people watching it? She asked. The difference is she is intelligent and has an eye for these things no matter what. I on the other hand am not dumb, but I turn into a 9 year old the moment I see something of epic proportions on the big screen. My advice? Be a 9 year old for 2 hours. You’ll enjoy the movie.

The Average Moviegoer Review – P.K.(2014)

As a movie it fails. It looks half boiled and put together in a hurry. Hirani has always had the ability to seamlessly weave the underlying message in the movie with the story. Here though the story seems to be loosely put together around an idea that he was desperately trying to throw light on. He etches out bit part characters in this one, that had the potential to stay with you forever like the others from his movies in the past have. Sadly though all the characters other than the two main leads sometimes look utterly wasted and are almost forgotten the moment you leave the hall. The same is the case with some of the scenes in the movie, including the much hyped climax that everything leads up to. Humour, where Hirani is never known to pull any punches, has always been his forte. But even that department falls short of the mark. As a result of all this I would even go as far as to say that, as a story, PK is nowhere close to being in the vicinity of the other three movies that he has made, that I absolutely loved. The director ends up being a victim of the benchmarks he himself set in the past. Aamir and Anushka are the life of the movie. Aamir gives it everything he has got to bring out the innocence of the character which is essential to the plot and does a bloody good job at it. Credit to Anushka for holding her own in the scenes with him though. I really like her, the way she injects life into scenes reminds me of Juhi Chawla sometimes. I sincerely hope she doesn’t get stereotyped after a while.

But now we get to the main bit. The reason I liked this movie, despite everything I’ve just said, is because it boldly poses some serious questions to a very touchy audience that is easily offended by anything and everything that is slightly out of the ordinary. Questions that I have asked the people I have known over and over again. Is there a god? And if there is one god then why are they so many religions and beliefs? Who decides the population distribution among these religions and how? Is this god our almighty all powerful omnipresent creator? And if god is all that then why does he/she need people down here as delegates telling us what to do and what not to? And worse of all why oh why does this god have the temperament of a sadistic needy attention seeking teenager? Instead of trying to gobsmack them with it, Hirani does everything to package these questions in childlike innocence and gradually get to the point he is trying to make. We are made to see the state of this nation and its nonsensical and very convenient traditions through the eyes of Aamir’s character who questions all of it just like a child would. I liked the way the movie shows a believer’s conventional responses to uncomfortable questions. Responses like “if having faith gives people hope what is your problem?” Or “you think you’ll question the existence of our god and we would sit quiet instead of protecting him?” or “are you telling me god is wrong? GOD??” then of course there is the most popular one “don’t question anything because its god!” It attempts to prod anybody in its audience with slightly higher than average intelligence to think beyond these responses. And I daresay it damn near succeeds! Yes Paresh Rawal’s Oh My God did attempt to do something on similar lines but it ended up reconciling itself with the existence of God but PK doesn’t. This one leaves it for us to decide for ourselves. Kudos for that Hirani.

My barometer for judging whether the movie is good or bad is simple. If a movie is good enough to make me want to watch it again, it’s a good movie. So do I want to watch the movie again? No. But would I recommend it to you? Yes, with much lowered expectations though and for a very very specific reason. Oh by the way…surprise guest appearance at the end.

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The Average Moviegoer review – Edge of Tomorrow

We all love to hate Tom Cruise. He may be a nice guy but there are so many things to instantly hate about him. Firstly, the over enthusiastic reactions for the simplest of things, then comes the “trying really hard to be cool and funny” routine. Then there is the sometimes comically narcissistic approach towards film making, I mean Mission Impossible 4 – what the heck was that? But for me personally the clincher is his deep rooted belief in the unbelievably ridiculous faith of Scientology. Anytime I see the chap guffawing on TV, on say a talk show, all I’m thinking is the poor lunatic doesn’t even know he is one. But all this simply vanishes when you see the man hurl himself from buildings, climb bare rock faces, drop down via rope into the safest room in Langley or take actual hits just to immerse the audience in the action completely. And bloody hell does he succeed in doing that every single time. Honestly, love him or hate him, credit where credit’s due. I don’t know a single mainstream actor who’d put his body through all this ever, let alone at the ripe old age of 50!!

That being said I walked into this movie with minimal expectations for a couple of reasons. I always have enjoyed Cruise’s action movies but his last two outings that I had to sit through, MI4 and Oblivion, were nothing short of being absolutely terrible. But mostly because Godzilla and the Xmen movie prior to this, were huge let downs. But there was still hope. The Groundhog Day meets alien invasion plot had the potential for a lot of moments where you’d go “Maaaan I wanna do that”. Doug Liman at the helm didn’t hurt either. Did it disappoint? Yes and No. It was refreshing to see Cruise play a loser, for a change, who gradually transforms into a warrior on a mission. His inability to come to grips with the fact that this is really happening to him, is shown pretty well. But what motivates him to go with the plan of defeating the aliens and gun for glory isn’t. Emily Blunt tries hard to play the stuck up war hardened veteran whose only mission is to wipe out the alien race. Don’t get me wrong, when I say she tries she really does but she sadly comes a cropper. Her face always has one bland expression and she looks comically ungainly in that suit. There is a lame attempt at a romantic angle between the two, midway into the movie, that reminds you of one word – afterthought. The support cast is barely there and Gleeson and Paxton are wasted. There are a few laughs in the movie, mostly involving Cruise’s multiple deaths and his prior knowledge of what’s going to happen, having been there already. Then there are some really cheap jokes like the one about transferring his time resetting powers by having sex that had me facepalming. Cruise is at home in the action scenes and like I said before, he does it all himself as always. The sheer ease with which he injects intensity into those scenes and makes them look real will put much younger actors to shame. Much of the fighting was shot on location which lent an authentic feel to the action, but the fact that they didn’t want to spend greatly on CGI is blatantly evident. Not in one scene that involved the war could I tell what the aliens looked like or how they moved or fought. It seemed like the humans were trying to fight what appeared to be gooey blurs. Lastly and needless to say most importantly, there is the whole issue of time travel. Now movie fanatics, who are experts at this, may dissect the way this concept is portrayed in the movie in myriad ways. But I for one am an average movie goer and am very happy that they kept it very simple. I even liked the whole ending bit where he gets his powers back and goes back in time, to a point where everything is back to the way it was but he is transformed for the better. I thought that was pretty cool. In spite of the plot holes and ridiculous scenes, I guess I liked this movie more than the other summer blockbusters that disappointed me because I didn’t expect much from it. It’s a one-time watch and it was not boring that one time. One advice to people making movies on reliving the same day – Always use the “I know what’s going to happen already because I’ve been there” gag as many times as possible. Can never get enough of it!

The average moviegoer review – Godzilla

I have to admit that when I watched the Emmerich version back in 98 as a kid, I actually sort of enjoyed it. Yes Godzilla looked like a giant Iguana, yes they reduced him to a hermaphrodite, yes they quite simply ripped scenes off Jurassic park but I didn’t care. I was 14 and for a generous amount of time in the movie, I got to see a monster of gargantuan proportions on the screen decimating everything around it. Because that’s what a monster movie should be about isn’t it? Do not make the mistake of watching Godzilla anywhere else except IMAX. Trust me, I did and it ruined the experience. Three days later I watched it at the IMAX cinemas and it was worth it.

The bad –
The absolutely unnecessary human drama that nobody really gave a damn about from the moment they saw the first MUTO.
The irritating British assistant lady whose reaction to everything is the same high pitched noise and the same shocked expression, someone should have shot her dead.
The lack of monster action in a monster movie, yes I know you are trying to be clever, yes you are teasing the audience, yes the Spielberg method works blah blah. But Spielberg gives us absolutely thumping action after all the buildup. Where was that? After abruptly cutting away from monster scenes about 7 million times, when we finally get to the climactic final battle, Godzilla is barely there! Sometimes it’s ok to just stick to the usual clichéd “monster ripping monster apart every 15 minutes” formula.
Aaron Taylor Johnson, there is a definite razzie nomination for you this year.
Stupid and completely unnecessary scenes with equally pointless characters like the little Japanese kid that gets separated from his parents, the black bus driver, the black “I give the orders but I’m not really the boss” navy chap and the lead couples’ son to name a few.
The killing off of Bryan Cranston. I mean he was the only one who was actually putting in a proper performance in the movie. Why oh why would you not want him throughout? Instead we get to see amateurs and their substandard and sometimes unbearable acting.
The thing that gets the least screen time amongst everything significant in the movie is, believe it or not, Godzilla. Even the MUTOS get more screen time than him. And whenever we see him in action it’s on someone’s TV screen or in the dark or worse, under some sort of weird dust cloud cover that the female MUTO generates. I mean why? They had the budget, they had the scale. Why hide the best part about the movie?
And Ken Watanabe. He is a good actor no doubt but why does he stare so much? So much!

The Good –
Bryan Cranston. The man can act. You put him anywhere and he lights a scene up. Heisenberg isn’t his last great act.
The monster CGI is magnificent. The MUTOs look absolutely staggering!
But the show stealer, for the minimal amount of time that he is on screen, is Godzilla. And in the IMAX format you get to see him in all his glory. He is an absolutely colossal mountain of muscle, scales and spikes and looks every bit the unstoppable force of nature capable of utter annihilation unleashed on the planet, that he is known to be. The first time you get to see him whole is when he lets out that famous roar. The scene is shot superbly and had me cheering so loud that I almost dislocated my epiglottis. The camera moves up from his gigantic legs up to his face and then pauses for just a second. He looks you in the eye and then comes the ear splitting brain curdling torrent of noise that nothing prepares you for. The sheer ferocity of it shook the entire hall to bits. You do get to see everything you want to see in a Godzilla vs evil monster wrestling match, just very very less of it. His atomic breath was a surprise but looked really cool.

I just hope this was just a foundation for a very good series that could easily have at least two more movies. May be we get to see more of Godzilla demolishing everything around him then, and less of the rest of the nonsense.