The Stepfather Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

This film plays out just like you would expect it to. It’s a dime a dozen horror/slasher kind of film where everyone is too oblivious for their own good. There was one scene which was an interesting subversion but on the other hand the whole scene felt really annoying and stretched my disbelief to the max so I’m not sure it was a great tradeoff. This film doesn’t do much right tbh, I suppose at least it reminds you on the dangers of rebounding. It can always get a little dangerous.

So the movie starts off with Jerry murdering a family and then running off to his next disguise. Basically his gimmick is that he will take on a new identity and marry a widow who has a kid. They’ll then live a normal life until he gets bored or upset and then he takes them out before repeating the process. What you have to understand is that for him to do this so often, a lot of people are just marrying him real quick. We don’t know how many times he’s pulled this off but it’s heavily implied that the scene we saw in the beginning of the film wasn’t the first time.

With the current family he is able to quickly get on Susan’s good side but her daughter Stephanie is a harder sell. She doesn’t like Jerry and isn’t happy about having to get used to him. Jerry needs to win her over quickly because he wants a perfect family and so if that doesn’t happen then she will have to go. Stephanie didn’t like Jerry from the start so unfortunately nobody takes her too seriously when she starts to say that he might be shady. After all that may just be sour bananas right?

It’s just a little hard to buy into the fact that all these widows are so desperate that they’d marry Jerry right away. During the film there’s a quick scene where he’s already starting to get his next life all set up and immediately after a few seconds of flirting it semes like he’s got his next victim all picked out. Cmon now, the film’s going to have to work a little harder to make that seem even slightly realistic. It’s an interesting gimmick for the main villain to have but it’s not too practical.

Now the whole film there is a guy named Jim who is on the case. This paragraph and the next 4 will have big spoilers so skip them if you haven’t seen the movie yet. I just have to dive in here because this character was just so bad. Whew……this guy was really bad. SO here’s what happens, he’s the brother of the last girl that Jerry took down for the count. He has follows the guy across the state and has narrowed his search down to a few people left. Finally he gets a definitive lead and knows exactly who he is looking for. So Jim goes to the house and yes he brought his gun with him. Jim sees that the door is open and everything is awful quiet. Okay that means Jim is ready right? He takes out his gun and just starts popping off??

No, Jim walks in and starts to look around. That’s when Jerry tries to sneak up on him but the door is so old that it makes a noise so Jim sees him. “Is that you sir???” Jim basically asks and Jerry just grins. “Long time no see Jim”…..and you figure Jerry is out of ideas and options because there’s nothing he can do. Jim has the gun and there is no element of surprise. There is absolutely nothing that Jerry can even hope to do in this situation. It’s all curtains, roll credits. Except…..that’s actually not what happens here.

See….Jim…..forgot to take his gun out of his pocket. Why…..I can’t even….what’s even worse is that Jim’s pocket is closed with a zipper and it gets jammed. Noooooooo

This is one of the most contrived moments I’ve seen in cinematic history. So Jim starts fumbling with the zipper while Jerry walks over and murders him. That’s just embarrassing. That’s not only awful writing in what was already a terrible movie but it makes no sense. Clearly the idea here was to subvert your expectations since the entire film has Jim running around looking for Jerry so you’re expecting the big payoff. No instead he gets neg diffed (Defeated with negative difficulty) and wastes his gun.

You need the full context here. Jim already knew what the guy looked like, he knew his address, and he knew that the guy just quit his job in the current alias which means he is about to murder his family. Jim’s the one who connected all of these dots earlier and even warned the cops. So he knows exactly what to expect and the door was open plus the house was eerily quiet. Why didn’t he already have his gun out? Why use a pocket with a zipper so you can’t take the gun out at a moment’s notice? Man………

Okay that’s it for spoilers. So back to the film, Jim’s a pretty awful character and I don’t need to talk about him much. Jerry’s bad which is pretty much automatic as one of those random serial killers. It’s not like there is any interesting motivations to his actions or anything like that. He’s just one of those lunatics so you’re waiting for him to get his at some point. He just tends to get lucky that his opponents are either not very smart, have 0 IQ, come in with no plan, or forget their own stories. He gets a lot of breaks here.

You’ve got the therapist Dr. Bondurant who seems decent at times but then tends to fumble. I appreciate that he’s proactive and tries to meet with Jerry but then he quickly starts making easy mistakes. Being obvious about his questions, forgetting his lies even though he just needs to bluff his way through 10 minutes, etc. This guy should have done way better and the way he goes out is just awful. Look, if you’re going to die anyway then at least try fighting back, jump out the window (They’re on the ground floor), tackle, do something. Instead he’s still trying to say that he’s not lying while he’s being stabbed. At that point nobody cares, certainly not the murderer. You need to fight back instead of hoping that he’ll stop.

As one of those films where you know Jerry is evil from the jump, it does always make for an interesting perspective. You get to really backseat drive the main characters here and their decisions feel even worse this way. I like the idea though even if it doesn’t do anything to save the film here. Stephanie is okay but unfortunately she did make it tough for anyone to believe her with how she never even gave Jerry a chance. I think she should have made a bigger deal about Jerry’s random episode in the basement but realistically almost anything she did would have had her get murdered anyway so I’m not sure it would have done much. At the end of the day when you’re a kid there’s not a whole lot you can do.

The film can be quite violent so you’ll want to give this one a pass if you’re not up for that. It definitely limits the film’s potential from the jump but in this case you also had to factor in the writing. Jerry also gets the family a dog and right away there were a lot of red flags. Now, the dog does escape initially when Stephanie gets home but I don’t recall the dog appearing after that in the ending. Did it survive or not? It’s hard to tell and at least from my recollection it didn’t feel definitive. I like to imagine that he did live for that result but the film was treading on very murky water there.

Overall, The Stepfather is a movie where the plot is hard to buy right from the start. Nobody is ever helpful in trying to take him down and if anything they’re just getting in each other’s way. There are no true standout characters and the film just doesn’t have much of a soul to it. If any of the characters were even remotely tough then you expect that they would have been able to do more here. It’s also why you probably want to really take your time in a relationship before you get serious. Not sure how much it would have helped in this case but to an extent I like to think the cracks in Jerry’s façade would have started to appear. It’s not like he’s the best actor with how he forgets who he is once in a while and even uses the wrong names in random conversations. He’s not all there so it’s not like he’s some kind of genius mastermind.

Overall 2/10

Punisher: War Zone Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for the return of the Punisher but this one isn’t quite able to match the first one. It goes all in with making the Punisher a rather imposing figure who takes down everyone in his way but along the way it forgot the charm of the series and doesn’t focus as much on how he helps people on a local level. This film is one you’ll ultimately want to end up skipping.

The movie starts with Punisher taking down a group of villains as he always does but this time he ends up taking out an FBI agent as well. The guy was undercover so Punisher figured that he was one of the villains but that was not the case. Now he feels like he should retire out of guilt but his partner Microchip convinces him not to do that. At the very least he tells the Punisher that he needs to finish the job by taking out Jigsaw first since that villain ended up surviving. Punisher agrees so he’s back on the streets to murder the villains but will he really be able to take out Jigsaw and his brother Jim?

The interesting part about the movie is that it would be over before it began if this version of the Punisher wasn’t so sadistic. Usually the Punisher goes around just shooting everyone as a quick death. He dishes out the punishment which is lethal for these villains and that’s the end of it. Only this time instead of doing that he tossed Jigsaw into a machine that crushes glass so it would slowly shred the guy to bits. Usually that would work but not in this case. The Punisher just seemed to be enjoying the show a bit too much here as he was even watching until some other villains attacked and he had to deal with them.

It’s clear that in this version the Punisher really enjoys his work to the point where he goes all in on this. You’d almost think he was a super villain as well with some of the scenes here. There’s another moment where he beats one guy up, then tosses him to the ground where he is impaled by spikes, then he breaks the guy’s neck/slashes it with a final fall. It’s all so extra and unnecessary that when the Punisher lands you could easily photoshop him with Michael Myers or someone like that and nobody would bat an eye. That would absolutely be a villain’s intro.

Now, I would always argue that the Punisher is a villain in all continuities. He murders all of his opponents and while they are villains, it’s still murder. Characters like the Punisher are always interesting as a what if since you can imagine this to be how things would go if Batman or another hero would murder their opponents. Ultimately it may result in safer streets and probably does but the cost is too high. So while it’s an interesting idea, we’ve still got to keep in perspective that if the heroes were here they would have a duty to take him down.

At least what still makes Punisher a decent character is he does have an honor code and doesn’t go after innocents or anything like that. When you see him just taking out the villains it’s fun enough but anytime you have to resort to torture or really taking it to the villains then it can be a bit too extreme. For that reason I much preferred the Punisher as portrayed in the earlier film. He seemed to have a lot more of his humanity and he was still punishing his opponents but very somberly and without getting into it.

Now if the Punisher’s scenes are that violent, you’re probably wondering what the villains do. Well, they don’t hold back either and you have people being eaten and ripped apart. The film’s absolutely as edgy as you would expect and it’s all really over the top. It’s the level of violence that would doom any film right out of the gate. You’ve got to have some restraint with scenes like this. Establish that the villains are evil and we don’t really need to see the rest. It would have made the film a whole lot better.

There’s no real reason to like Jigsaw as a villain. The guy is your classic mobster who wants a shot at greatness and will do anything for it. He betrays allies and just keeps on moving up. The guy is rather insane although you would expect most villains at his level to be insane since they probably crack on the way up. His design after getting torn up is certainly gruesome.

Then his brother Jim is even worse. That guy is completely off the walls and even talks like he’s looney. The scene of him being a cannibal is disturbing and you know that ultimately he won’t be taking the Punisher down. This guy is good against people who won’t fight back but a gun will take him down like all the rest. It’s not like any of these villains are bullet timers after all.

Paul is the main FBI agent trying to take the Punisher down. You can see why he’s so frustrated since the local cops all seem to support the Punisher and even the guy at the head of the taskforce isn’t particularly cooperative. The reason for this is fairly clear as everyone is rooting for the villains to be taken down. The city seems extremely corrupt so they’re probably tired of every villain just getting in and out of jail. This makes Paul’s job of avenging his comrade a lot tougher.

Paul’s a good character though and one of the few that you can root for all the way through. He does tend to get in the Punisher’s way but it’s very understandable from his perspective. Then you have Microchip who is a good partner to the Punisher. He knows exactly how to make that guy tick and what sets him off. You need someone like that to have your back and get the ammo ready. Punisher wouldn’t be able to function nearly as efficiently without him. The guy should probably carry more guns with him though so that he isn’t picked off.

While the movie is mainly devoid of humor, there is one scene that was pretty fun. You’ve got 3 athletic villains who are running and jumping across the roof while a really fast paced happy song is playing in the background. You can see how it’s all going very well for the villains but suddenly one of them explodes and we cut to Punisher with his cannon. That was the best scene in the movie by far. It works in showing that the Punisher is absolutely not playing around here and also in how fast the tone changes. It instantly goes from being a happy moment to a really intense one. The scene also helped to enhance the film’s overall soundtrack since the music there was really good.

Overall, Punisher: War Zone will definitely remain in the shadow of the first one. It just doesn’t really improve on much while falling below on a lot of areas. I would say the only area where this one wins is in showing the Punisher off as more of an unstoppable force. You can see why the whole city fears him and one scene shows how he has already taken down hundreds and hundreds of opponents. That was a great moment without a doubt. The film just can’t get away from its tendencies to make every scene as violent as possible. Show don’t tell is a rule that it takes too literally and that can often be what takes a film down for the count.

Overall 2/10

Dredd Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Judge Dredd has returned for another film outing. The first film was rather solid and had a good blend of action and excitement. This one doubles down on how corrupt the city is which makes sense on why the Dredds are around. It unfortunately focuses a little too much on the tragedies as opposed to Dredd making the world a better place and ultimately falters due to its own violence but at least you do get a hype soundtrack here and some memorable action scenes.

The film starts off with Dredd taking out some more delinquents and then his boss says that he will have to evaluate a new cadet. Dredd isn’t thrilled about that because historically he’s been a solo act but this is how it has to be this time. The new recruit is Cassandra and she is a telepath which is definitely handy to have in the field but Dredd still feels like she might not be ready for the level of danger in this job. He intends to be a harsh but fair mentor but what should have been a routine bust ends up being a whole situation as Ma-Ma takes over the building and locks it down. She is the head of the ultimate gang that runs this show and says that Dredd must die. He and Cassandra must try to stay alive while also keeping their prisoner Kay alive so he can be tried and brought to justice.

With the heroes locked in that does make for a rather tense setting in the building. I also thought there was a good amount of variety as the heroes go through the floors so it never felt confined. This is a really big building after all so that never became an issue. The visuals are solid here with a lot to look at and Dredd’s uniform definitely appears to be very faithful to the comic. I wouldn’t have any complaints there. It also ties in well with the really good rock music that plays throughout the film. It helps to get you in the zone and it makes the film as a whole a lot more exciting too. A good soundtrack goes a long way.

Dredd also makes for a very solid main character. He doesn’t let his emotions get in the way and tends to be a very pragmatic character who wants to take in his opponents alive but if they shoot first then he has to respond. Often times they are dealing with hardened murderers here so Dredd and Cassandra just have to open fire when they’re being attacked. Given the context of the world at large and the situation they’re in, it makes sense why they can’t all be jailed. In this world attacking a Judge is also a really serious offense.

The criminal system here is definitely interesting and I’d like to see that go into more depth someday. Regardless, Dredd lives up to his hype of being the most dangerous Dredd around. He overcomes a significant disadvantage in numbers and makes it all look easy. Not to say that he’s unbeatable though and he has to deal with real issues like running out of ammo but he always chooses the optimal path in tough situations.

Then we have Cassandra who does really well too. Her mind reading ability comes in handy several times. I was glad it helped her dodge a pretty big trick by the villains in pretending to be an ally at one point and it also gave her the edge over Kay. When you’re a telepath you should absolutely be able to crush anyone trying to beat you in the mind space and that’s exactly what happened here. If it had been close at all then that would have been disappointing. An expert just shouldn’t lose to a novice.

Cassandra’s abilities also put her in a unique position to really know who is a victim and who is an attacker. She’s more emotional and lenient than Dredd as well which can be an asset or a liability depending on the circumstance. Either way she would definitely make for a very good judge and they would be lucky to have her on the team. There aren’t any other heroes in the film with a notable role so Dredd and Cassandra have to be able to rely on each other when the going gets tough. If either one of them was not prepared for this then it would not have gone over well.

The main villain Ma-Ma was not all that good though. I appreciate that she had a plan for everything at least. No matter what the heroes did she would reveal another tactic or technique to even the field. Right up to the end it felt like she had everything under control and it took a really crafty idea to take her down. I can appreciate the grit it took to rise to the top and all but ultimately she’s quite psychotic and her grand goals don’t amount to much more than wanting to be at the top. If she could fight more personally that would have helped her.

She’s considerably better than Kay though. They’re both rather demented and I don’t think for a second that she would hesitate to do any of the stuff that Kay did, but he was around more so in a way we got to really see how depraved he was. The guy was annoying throughout the film and in a way he’s lucky that he wasn’t shot dead with a lot of the other villains. If Cassandra could have said she was 100% positive he may have been axed out near the very beginning.

So the Dredd movie has a lot of nonstop action and I love the premise of being stuck in a building filled with enemies and no way out. That part’s good but the film just ends up suffering due to how over the top violent it is. In a lot of ways I think the movie was trying to really show that it was different than the original. The original was more comedic and had a lot of light hearted moments so this one probably wanted to show how dark the city of Dredd’s is. It does make sense that it would be bad out there since the point is that the world’s really gotten as bad as possible but even then you can do that without all of the details.

The people who die are basically cut up and die in really vicious ways. You have the whole mental battle with Kay and Cassandra which immediately goes for the gritty/nasty kind of visions for them. They both play dirty in order to get the win at the audience’s expense. Then even the gun fights could be handled in more of a stylized way. You definitely don’t need the full explosion for every shot. There are plenty of action films with gun fights where you know the hit connected and the guy goes down but it’s not a huge splatter. It’s not as big a deal as the other elements since they are at least combatants but you could tell it’s the film trying hard.

I also thought the slow-mo was way overdone here. I went in a full circle with that because at first I was rolling my eyes at this, then they showed that it was a part of the plot. So I thought, all right…they showed this so we could understand the drug. But then it kept on happening over and over again so it went all the way around the world back into being excessive again. At that point it just became a negative. Slow motion shots can be cool, a lot of action films use this to great effect but there needs to be a purpose. A cool background effect, a nice scene, a great pose, etc. Not just someone smoking their drugs as we see it in slow-mo. It was just annoying more than anything. At least it did nullify one scene that I thought was going to be a fanservice moment but it turned out that this was not the case. Slow-mo has its use there at least although you could just say that the scene was filmed well because slow-mo could also backfire in that kind of way.

Overall, Dredd is a very intense action film. I can see the appeal as it’s basically the Punisher in a really rough environment who doesn’t need to take any prisoners. In this case he’s even government sanctioned so it’s not like he is defying the law to do it. I’d say you can do this without making the film be so over the top though. It takes away from the scenes that are pretty cool like when the other Judges showed up. That was really interesting. This film in a lot of ways is like Resident Evil. It’s a very interesting film but also tragic in the sense that you can see how this could have been great if it could have just held back a lot.

Overall 2/10

The Abominable Dr. Phibes Review

I have to say that this film was not as good as I thought it would be. Now granted, it’s not like I was expecting a masterpiece or anything but for the most part you could say that I was getting my sights set on a decently fun horror flick. Instead it taps into that Hammers Productions kind of feel with the deaths being more on the disturbing side and the film’s dark comedy is so dark that it goes all the way around into being rather gritty.

The movie starts with Phibes nearly dying after finding out that his wife’s operation did not go well and she was taken out of the picture. He has now sworn revenge against all of the doctors who were in on this. He doesn’t care to hear if it was an accident or anything like that. He says they directly murdered his wife and so now he is going to get even by inflicting them with the 10 plagues from the Bible. No stone will be left unturned in his quest so can the cops stop him in time or is this going to be game over for everyone?

Detective Trout is on the case but if the name itself wasn’t a giveaway then I can safely say that you’ll deduce within a few minutes that he is out of his league. Don’t get me wrong, Trout means well and he seems like a good guy but Phibes is always a million steps ahead of him. Trout can’t plan more than one step at a time and even gets punched out by the guy he is guarding near the end of the film. It’s like if you had Watson without Sherlock Holmes. Sure, he means well but he probably is not going to take the win in the more difficult cases.

He shares the main character slot with Vesalius who was the head surgeon and naturally the one that Phibes leaves for last. It’s certainly handy to be last because you have more time to prep. Personally I think escaping the country may have been the best bet with his son. It may not stop Phibes but it will certainly delay him right? The guy is also rather old so you just have to stay ahead of him for a few years until he is too old to pursue. It’s an expensive plan but I think Vesalius can pull it off.

Either way Vesalius is a decent main character. He does his best to apologize for Phibes’ wife but of course it really was an accident and that’s hard to really convince Phibes of. The challenge of having to do the same surgery again with his son in the balance is an interesting way to end the film. I thought that was a good way to give Vesalius a fighting chance even if Phibes was fully prepared to rig the game. I liked the parallel there.

This is really where my positives start to fade though. I liked Trout and Vesalius plus the writing was fairly good. It’s got that old film charm which is always nice. The movie also isn’t that long so it ends quickly but what gets the film down is just how grim the deaths can be as I mentioned before. You’ve got Phibes mainly murdering with insects and such as that’s how a lot of the plagues worked. You’ve got tubes with them filled in so the victim has no escape and other such mechanics. Nobody has a peaceful death at all here. It’s a shame since most of them did seem like ordinary folks who didn’t mean any harm and were just in the worst spot possible.

Phibes also doesn’t make for a great villain. He’s fairly generic as one of those mad scientist types but additionally he can’t even talk normally anymore so you don’t get the usual Price dialogue that would have been a lot of fun here. It definitely limits what the film can really do which is a shame. I think that would have added something to the dynamic. It probably wouldn’t have saved the film to be honest but every bit helps right?

His assistant Vulnavia doesn’t have a lot to do but in a way just the fact that she is assisting him with all of this tells you all that you need to know. She’s completely complicit with all of the murders and is even eager to help him the whole time. In the second film she would go on to have more development but as it stands she is just a nameless minion for the most part.

The movie’s ending is suitably dramatic. I thought that was fairly good at least and things don’t end on a sour note. Ultimately the movie just should have leaned into the humor part more. Even though this is part dark humor, I thought all of the deaths were too grisly to really be funny at all. I would not have even guessed that this was part comedy. The sequel leans into it more but this one you would almost think just played it straight as a horror film where everyone is bumped off one by one. It’s surprisingly intense considering how old the film is as well.

Overall, You definitely want to avoid Dr. Phibes. He really makes sure to take care of each of the doctors so you feel bad as you see how futile their situation is. At least he can’t catch everyone but the characters all have good reason to be upset with Trout as well. Naturally you should blame the actual murderer first but Trout wasn’t super helpful. Some of the victims were skeptical of the whole thing and have themselves to blame too so there’s a lot to go around. It’s really quite something how someone super old and broken down like Phibes is able to take everyone out. Shows what a good plan along with the element of surprise can do to even up the score. I’ll have a review up for the sequel pretty soon and we’ll see how that one fared against this one.

Overall 2/10

Jeepers Creepers 2 Review

This is a review of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Looks like the Creeper has returned! The first film was not exactly my kind of tea and I wouldn’t say that the sequel is much better. The setting of being trapped in a bus is better than being in the middle of nowhere but we don’t have the big police vs Creeper fight this time around. The Creeper also seems a little less durable with how easy it is to stab him here but I suppose he tends to resurrect quicker which maybe balances things out. Either way if you’re in the mood for a slasher title then this will fit the bill, but otherwise you may want to give it a timeout for now.

The movie starts with a family farming as they have some lighthearted bickering. This gets serious though when the Creeper shows up and kidnaps one of the kids, who ultimately ends up getting murdered. The father (Jack) decides to take vengeance and prepares himself for war. We then cut to the actual main characters with is comprised of a basketball team and some cheerleaders. Their standard trip home runs into trouble when the bus tires start giving way. The issue is that this doesn’t appear to be an accident as throwing stars pierced the two tires. Minxie gets thrown into the dream realm where she talks with the guy who died in the first film and the one from the intro. They explain that the Creeper is here to eat them all.

See, the Creeper vanishes for 23 years, then he comes back and has 23 days to murder as many people as possible before restarting the process. The good news is the heroes just have to make it to the next day and he’ll go away since this is the final day he has left, but the bad news is that they are only human while this guy has super strength, speed, regeneration, and flight. The team will have to try and band together to beat this guy, but they don’t have as much unity as they may have once thought.

Naturally with a film like this you can bet that the characters aren’t very smart or likable. They’re constantly bickering and fighting among themselves instead of actually focusing on the Creeper. This puts them in a really bad spot right from the jump. Also, there is one action they keep on doing which made me cringe because it is a textbook bad decision all around.

So the Creeper punches a hole through the top of the bus and he can now grab people through it. Sometimes he just pulls their head off or he’ll kidnap them entirely. So…don’t go under the hole right? I mean, he could probably punch more holes through but either way you should avoid the one that is already there. Well, that sounds logical but the characters don’t actually pull this off. One kid in particular constantly walks under the hole and gets caught twice as a result. The second time proves to be fatal, but what was he doing?

It’s pretty easy to make sure you’re not standing directly underneath the hole and yet that keeps on happening with various characters. The Creeper doesn’t always take them out, but regardless it’s not a good idea. It stands out the most because while the situation is pretty much unwinnable the whole time, that’s still got to be the absolute worst decision you could possibly make. Beyond that I don’t mind if you decide to stay in the bus or make a run for it. Both options have their weak points.

It’s more important about trying to stay with a partner as you make a decision so you can watch each other’s back. The Creeper seemingly can be overpowered to an extent if you have enough people but a lot of times the body being grabbed may not hold up anyway. Jack is the best character by far because he actually gives the Creeper a good run for his money. The guy came prepared with some really solid weapons and I thought the movie actually had some good effects here with how the shots played out. You see just how fast the hook fires and how it hits the Creeper before he has time to dodge. It may not have been fatal hits with the first two attacks, but it did show that Jack was able to catch him off guard and deal some serious damage.

The characters aren’t as opportunistic as in the first film though with kicking the Creeper while he was down. In the first film they kept running him over which I thought was a really good idea even if he ultimately regenerated but here when he seemingly dies on the roof they waste so much time bickering again. He just wakes up and by then it’s too late. This group really couldn’t get it together. While I didn’t like any of them all that much, I will give a special shoutout to the main jock for being the worst. I believe his name was Jake but basically he was jealous about not getting to play a lot and thinks he’s better than the other players around.

The reason he’s pretty bad is because he is the one to first suggest sacrificing some of the other kids. That’ always a really bad point to me because it escalates the tensions for no good reason. He’s basically turning the team against themselves. Jake puts a lot of stock into the dreams and prioritizing his own safety when they should just fight as a team. Look at how good Jack did against the Creeper. Surely the teens could do even better if they all paired up so betraying them all was an awful idea.

As for the Creeper, I still can’t say he’s a particularly interesting or good villain. The guy definitely goes for the creepy vibes as he even sticks his tongue out at the group but there’s nothing cool about him. Scenes like that just make you shake your head. In general this film wasn’t quite as out there and over the top gritty as the first one though. You don’t have as many body horror kind of scenes even if they are mentioned. The film still does get very violent for sure but it’s all a bit toned down from the first. It’s also not nearly as scary since the film is going more for thriller moments than horror ones at times so it balances out.

I was glad that we got very solid continuity nods to the first film. I always think a sequel needs to fully acknowledge the original because that’s how you build a strong continuity and I was satisfied with how that was handled here. I also thought the film really had a good ending here. It was really satisfying for one character at least. While the odds may not be in his favor going forward, you like to think that maybe he can secure the win at least for the next cycle. He’ll need a new plan for the one after that but fortunately there is plenty of time to do so.

Overall, Jeepers Creepers 2 is a step up from the first film but it’s in no way a good film or even approaching that level though. It still has a whole lot of weaknesses. The film deserves some credit for actually giving the Creeper some weaknesses so the heroes have a way to win. Even if you know a bunch of them are probably not going to make it, at least there is a path to victory so the whole adventure doesn’t feel pointless right from the jump. If anything it makes me think that the characters from the first film could have both survived if they kept running the Creeper over instead of the guy telling the main heroine to stop for some reason….he wasn’t very smart throughout the movie though so it lines up.

Overall 2/10

Nosferatu Review

It’s time for a silent movie and I have to say that those can definitely be tricky. Now what do I mean by that? Well, here’s the score. A silent movie has access to almost none of the things I really like about movies. Solid dialogue, great sound effects, etc. That’s all gone here and so the movie’s a bit of a chore to get through and ends up being dragged on for a whole lot. This is one of the few films that gets a lot score not because the film is awful but because it is dreadfully boring. Has to be one of the least entertaining films I’ve seen in a while.

The movie starts off with Thomas getting ready to head out because he has found someone to buy the house next to him. This will be the rich Count Orlok who is not very well liked by the locals. Thomas isn’t scared but weird things begin to happen at the castle like when Orlok tries to drink his blood. Is this guy just very quirky or is he an actual danger? Thomas isn’t sure and isn’t really the smartest character in the film. His wife Ellen may need to be the one to help out but even if she has visions, what can she actually do about them?

From the start the movie just couldn’t grab my attention. The music isn’t very interesting. It’s pretty much one main track that plays for the whole movie and just goes into different phases to shake things up. It’s not a theme that has particularly aged well in any respect and is just too low key. Perhaps it beats not having any music at all but it really could have been so much better. I won’t say much about the visuals because it’s all so old though.

Additionally, I thought Count Orlok’s design was actually not that bad. It’s aged pretty decently. What hasn’t aged decently is how all of the other characters also look sinister at times. I don’t think this was intentional but Ellen and even Thomas fall into that a bit. Thomas looks half crazy and doesn’t seem to understand the situation the whole time. He is extremely slow on the uptake. You’d think Orlok trying to suck up his blood when he cut his thumb would have been enough, but no not quite. It takes more than that to really get to Thomas and he should have tried to escape sooner. He put himself in the worst possible place and it shows. By the end things work out but I wouldn’t say due to any great contributions by Thomas. He was just along for the ride half the time.

If he was a more interesting main character that could have helped the film a great deal. Then you have Ellen as the heroine who is nice enough. Her strength of will may not have been amazing here but I’ll chalk that up as being more impressive for Orlok rather than being a shot against her. Something tells me that no character in this film would have done great in that moment. As for Orlok, he definitely needs to have a better handle on his strengths and weaknesses. If he did then he probably would have done a whole lot better in this film. As it is, I wouldn’t say he did awful but there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t defeat everyone. The weapons in this time were not super advanced nor were there security cameras so if he played things well he could keep winning for all of eternity.

The ending is definitely not a particularly happy one even with Orlok gone. Ultimately humanity lost this round big time. It was interesting how there was a whole plot about how the town thought a plague was going around initially. Now that’s an element that could be a little interesting so naturally the film doesn’t have too much time for it. Becoming a vampire is like a plague in a sense and getting bit by one can seem like that too. Now you start to go into zombie territory if this was to continue too much but it’s a different take for sure.

Ultimately Orlok never felt like a huge threat to me but it would be difficult for the film to pull that off without any talking out loud. I watch anime subbed sometimes so I can’t say that’s a big issue but the big issue here really comes down to you not being able to get in on the action. Reading is all well and good but without a soundtrack you don’t have a chance at an emotional appeal. Without true dialogue you don’t get a lot of depth. Without solid effects you are left wanting a whole lot more than what you got.

Part of why the film is scored so low is it’s hard for me to know where to even start to try and improve this one. Particularly if I try within the confines of a silent film and the limitations it would have had at the time. Similar to how I don’t think I would be nearly as big a video game fan as I am now if I grew up back in the day, I don’t think I would have been a big fan of the cinema in the silent era. It’s just hard to see how you can make these films all that interesting.

It’s probably early to judge a whole genre/style of film off of one installment but that’s how discouraging this one was. I suppose the first step is to either have no music if it was going to sound like this or to find a way to have some better tracks in there. Either one would help things a great deal. Throw in a better story with no vampires and that can help as well. I’ve never been a vampire fan and I wouldn’t say this did anything to change my mind.

Overall, Nosferatu is a movie that feels like it’s 3 hours long. It really drags and drags as you wait for something to happen but it never does. Even the climax is really low key if you think about it. There was no climactic fight or even a chance for the cops to throw in a bunch of guns and take this guy down. The ending is almost a bit sudden if you think about it and doesn’t make Orlok look great. I suppose that’s just the way it had to be but yeah that’s a thumbs down from me. Stay far away from this film. While it doesn’t have the long string of negatives you would expect a 2 star movie to have, it has one of the big ones which is just that it’s really boring the whole time.

Overall 2/10

Gaslight Review

Gaslight is one of those movies that would be over extremely early if the main character was stronger and could fight for herself. The whole premise only works if the main character is a complete pushover so right from the start I knew that this was going to be an annoying watch. As a result it ends up dragging quite a bit and you wish a different lead was around to shake things up. Ultimately this is a title that you will want to dodge but the title is fitting for the film.

The movie starts off with an old lady being murdered. The culprit was never found though so we jump forward into the future where two people have finally moved in. Bella and Paul. Right off the bat things don’t seem to be going well as Bella has to tip toe around the place while Paul enjoys humiliating her. He keeps telling her that she’s crazy and moving thing around to keep the act up. Bella slowly starts to believe that she really is losing her mind. Why is Paul doing this to her? Will Bella realize what is going on or will she really go mad?

As the film goes on you get a better idea of why Paul is doing this but you could probably guess for the most part. We know he is the villain from the start so there isn’t a mystery angle here, you’re just waiting for Bella to realize this and fast. Unfortunately she is too busy being tricked the whole time to do much of anything. My main problem with her is that she lets this happen so easily. Every time something goes missing or happens to pop up, she lets Paul throw on the accusations and doesn’t do anything about it. She doesn’t realize that it’s odd how she suddenly stopped getting mail or how her family has never visited.

It feels like misleading her was just way too easy. She’s too passive as a character and it’s why a modern remake of this film would likely play out very differently. Nowadays it’s hard to see this working for more than a few minutes. There’s just no way you would let someone trick you like this and not suspect something. She was also a bit annoying at the end as even once she found out he was a crook, she didn’t want to do anything to stop him because she thought it would be like a betrayal. Keep in mind that this is while he’s cheating on her with someone else.

You feel bad for Bella the whole time but the film didn’t do a good job of giving her any real agency here. If she could have ran out of the house to meet someone or try to do some detective work of her own then it could have worked out a little better. Instead that never happens. Meanwhile Paul is the main villain of course and definitely an annoying guy. The whole time he is messing around and just comes across as being rather insane. He’s also really greedy as he pulls off this plan while also cheating and searching quite loudly upstairs. He doesn’t do anything to be all that discreet and that’s what makes the whole thing even worse.

There’s definitely nothing remotely likable about this guy and even as a villain he just doesn’t work. Meanwhile you’ve got the two maids. Elizabeth was nice enough and at least tried to help Bella. Nancy was more antagonistic from the start and definitely didn’t mind making things tough on Bella as well. It’s clear from the start that Nancy was ambitious and hoping to move up in the world.

Finally you have Rough who is easily the most likable character here. I liked his absolute confidence at all times. The guy knew that he was onto something right from the jump and then never let go of his lead. Without him Bella would have definitely been doomed so it’s good that he made his move. He may not be the best fighter but in this case intelligence was what was mostly needed so that worked out well enough.

The film’s just not a very fun watch in the end which is what hurts it the whole time. It feels very mean spirited the whole time with how absolutely helpless Bella appears to be. If she was talking back or talking tough the whole time then that would have helped but instead she just bows to Paul’s every whim. I’d like to say that it’s completely unrealistic but I suppose there are some people like that. It’s just taken to the absolute extreme here.

Fortunately you can assume that she would be able to quickly rebuild her reputation once the film is over but she certainly went through a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to move back to the country permanently instead and just say goodbye to the city life. After an experience like this you certainly couldn’t blame her.

The only positive thing I would say about the film is that the script is good. I wouldn’t say that the writing is because again, I think Bella should have picked up on at least some of the clues or done more to try and talk to peo0ple and see what was up. Defending Paul even near the end was also unfortunate and weakens the moment where she finally turns the tables. The script has that very classic polite feel to it though and works well in the context of the film. I always liked that retro style of dialogue and that certainly doesn’t change here.

Overall, Gaslight is a film I would certainly recommend avoiding. Paul takes up too many scenes and he’s such a bad character that he weakens those moments as a result. Then the film could have used a better main character for sure. Mix all of this in and it makes for a rather painful watch. I do think you could probably execute this premise well but the villain has to be a lot more resourceful and more of a genius because otherwise you can’t convince me that the main character could be tricked into becoming insane so easily. That’s just not how any of this works, not by a longshot!

Overall 2/10

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Looks like Halloween is back once more with another installment in the series. It hasn’t had any good films yet and I wasn’t expecting this one to change things. Halloween 5 is a very by the books slasher where Myers is just taking down anyone who gets in his way. The characters just can’t get away from him anymore and should really go as far away from town as possible when it’s Halloween. Too bad the residents of this town aren’t nicer though as nobody seems to take Myers seriously until it’s too late. The movie plays out exactly as you would expect it too so don’t expect anything different here. The tagline may make you think that the town’s going to fight back or something but that was in Halloween 4, not 5.

So the film starts off by changing the last film’s ending a bit. Myers actually ended up surviving and falls into the river where he ends up in a coma for a year before waking up and murdering the guy who found him. I have to assume that this guy was insane for keeping Michael Myers at his place for a year and not doing anything about it. From the creepy set up though I assume the guy was probably another villain though so it all evened out. Well, now that it’s Halloween time again, Myers wants to destroy Jamie once and for all. Can he pull it off or will the cops manage to stop him?

Jamie’s not in a great place either though. After the events of the last film she was traumatized so hard that she can’t really talk anymore. Additionally, she has a psychic link where she can feel everything that the victims feel before Myers takes them out for good. It’s probably the worst kind of psychic link you could ever have since that means it’s like Jamie is murdered multiple times here. I don’t think there was much of a point to this plot because the psychic link randomly ends later on. That’s probably for the best for Jamie’s sanity. Her plot of not being able to talk also ends when the writers are done with it.

Jamie ends up being a very annoying character throughout thanks to this though. She never helps with the investigation and almost seems to protect Myers at some points. I don’t understand her in this film and if she’s conflicted then the movie should have given us a reason for this. Even near the end she tries to have an emotional moment with Myers before he just goes crazy again. It’s a terrible film for her that’s for sure.

It’s no better for Loomis though. He’s even crazier than usual here as he uses Jamie as bait more than once. He’s still yelling about Myers but since he has failed so many times I can see why nobody takes him seriously. There’s a man in a black cloak who even follows him into a house and could have murdered the guy but doesn’t for some reason. The absolute worst scene for Loomis though is when he breaks down and tries to hug Myers as if this unrepentant serial killer zombie would suddenly have a human moment.

The movie has a ton of crazy scenes like this throughout but this one really stood out to me because of how absurd the whole thing was. Nobody should know better than Loomis how crazy this guy is. A hug was never going to be in the cards. As for Myers himself, well the guy is about the same as always. He mindlessly goes around destroying everyone who gets in his way. He’s not completely mindless as he comes up with some plans like impersonating one of the teenagers he murdered. It’s not a super realistic disguise but it works so I guess it paid off. There just isn’t anything to know about Myers, he may as well be a robot with how automatically he tackles every task.

It almost goes without saying that the film is incredibly violent here. Someone is getting murdered at all times and usually in very intense ways. Jamie having the psychic link means that she also takes a ton of damage in the film even if it isn’t bloody since it’s in her mind. Then the film has the teenagers do their one night stand real quick just to force that into the movie as well. It’s a rather gritty movie all around and just feels less focused than some of the others. This one feels like they just needed another Halloween film and didn’t bother to come up with more of a plot.

If anything I was more interested in the shadowy figure the whole time. He only gets a few scenes but at least he adds the air of mystery to the film. He also has an impact on the ending which leaves the film on a nice cliffhanger. Horror films pretty much have to have a cliffhanger in each title and I can safely say that this one was on point. It’s not like it would make me be hyped for Halloween 6 but it’s a silver lining that I can grab onto.

The other human characters like Tina just don’t have a chance to do much. I would make the case that the heroines from the earlier films all had more character. For Tina you’re really just wondering if she will be able to make it to the end of the film or if she’ll be doomed. Either way at least she’s better than all the other randoms here. You have the guy who owns a car and is rude to everyone at all times. (Guy is ready to murder the others over his car) You have the best friend who doesn’t take anything seriously and then her guy who is just around for romance.

There are no human characters that are good here. You can barely even tell that one of the cops from the last film is still around. His daughter died in the last film so you figure he would have an axe to grind but the film really doesn’t pay him any mind at all. I think she is maybe referenced once at best. The other cops are even able to be tricked by Loomis and overpowered at gunpoint. Two others admit that they aren’t good cops and get clown music when they’re destroyed.

It’s such a random scene too. I don’t think this film is necessarily trying to go the comedic route but maybe they decided these characters would be an exception. There are also a ton of fake jump scares so get ready for those. Half the time the build up to these moments is all fake so after a while you will probably start tuning these moments out. Sometimes you’ll even have fake jump scares back to back which is certainly a bold approach.

Overall, This is a film I would definitely say to avoid. Halloween has never been a film series with any real quality but at least you usually felt like the stories had a real focus. This one just never seems to have any real point to it. One bright side is that the film really breezes by as a result but it’s definitely a sequel that adds nothing to the franchise. I would highly recommend avoiding this one as much as possible.

Overall 2/10

Birds of Prey Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

DC may have made some of the movies starring superheroes of all time like Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman but it’s certainly made some of the worst movies starring villains with Joker and Suicide Squad. While this one is better than Joker, it’s still at a really low level and feels like it is picking up where Suicide Squad left off in a lot of the worst ways. The more we get films like this, the more I’m convinced it is definitely best to stick to films based around the heroes. Not every film can pull off a Venom where you get the lead to be a rather fun anti-hero. The first step is probably to remove Harley Quinn from the starring role though. You also have to get the memo that any film with a villain as the main characters needs to make that character effectively turn good or be an anti-hero. You can’t have the villain…stay a villain.

The movie starts with Joker dumping Harley Quinn so she’s quite upset. She gets drunk and into trouble a whole lot but this catches up to her once she tells the world that Joker no longer protects her. She barely lasts a day before she is captured and Black Mask orders her to find a jewel that Cassandra Cain stole. If she doesn’t produce this jewel then she will be destroyed. Meanwhile Renee Montoya of the cops needs to find this jewel as well. She wants to make Gotham a better place but it’s been a tough road. Meanwhile Black Mask orders Black Canary to get the jewel as well and Huntress is making an appearance here as well.

So everyone wants the jewel that’s for sure. Don’t get hyped about Cassandra Cain though. Like just about everyone else in the film, she is the character in name only. This has to be one of the biggest ruined portrayals of a character. Forget Taskmaster, Lex Luthor, and the other big names. Cain has to take the cake here. Gone is the history of her being a lethal fighter trained from childhood who would go on to be one of the strongest hand to hand fighters in the DC verse. This version of Cain is a petty thief who isn’t very smart in choosing her targets. She is even caught by the cops almost immediately which speaks to her “skill” at being a thief. I did not like Cain here. I doubt I’d have liked her much even if she had a random name since she’s an annoying kid who gets everyone into trouble but this did not help matters.

Zsasz and Black Mask are your classic gritty villains here. Black Mask has a thing where he likes to cut off people’s faces. I don’t know if this is something he does in the comics as well but it’s certainly just here to remind you that he’s evil evil. The guy is incredibly unbalanced as he throws fits and cries and everything. You’re certainly not meant to find this guy all that interesting and his death scene is certainly something. Even the mask isn’t imposing because you already can’t take this guy seriously.

Zsasz is awful but I’ve never seen him in a continuity where he was good anyway so that’s to be expected. As always he’s a lunatic who just likes making scars and being a villain. He seems like a creep in all of his scenes and definitely someone you are hoping will get bumped off early so he won’t get much more screen time. With these two as the only big villains…that wasn’t setting things off on a good note.

The color scheme could have tipped you off to that right from the jump though. Everything is all gray scaled and grim throughout the movie. I saw a western film right after this one and the first scene has more color in it than this whole adventure. The gray scale can certainly work as with Man of Steel or Batman V Superman where you had a lot of compelling dialogue and great fights to balance it out. This film has none of that though so it just serves to continue to show Gotham as a super hopeless place that you should want to leave immediately.

As for the “Heroes” here, well firs toff is Harley Quinn who is decisively not a hero. She beats up people for no real reason like the guy at the club and abuses her power. She is quick to betray Cain when it benefits her and is really someone that you can’t trust at all. She talks tough but loses quite a lot of fights. If not for Black Canary saving her at the start she would have been in a lot of trouble. The problem is that Harley Quinn is not likable or entertaining. She’s just extremely annoying in all of her scenes and ends up being a liability most of the time. You absolutely do not want her in your corner if you’re going to be facing off against a tough opponent as she’ll fail more often than not.

The film will try to have you take her seriously again later on by having her beat a bunch of random thugs but she loses too many times in this film for that to actually work. Then you have Renee who is drunk half the time. That’s not doing her any favors and you don’t see how she will be much of an asset here. She isn’t a professional fighter or anything and the drinking will definitely hold her back. Of course like everyone else she is beating tons of experienced thugs at the end but you don’t see her career lasting long unless she gets some kind of big weapon.

Huntress should have easily been the best character here but she is used as borderline comic relief half the time. Nobody takes her name seriously and they interrupt her big speeches. She does get to use her crossbow to murder a lot of people of course but always blows up with her random anger issues that the other characters poke fun at. It’s a shame since she was so good in Justice League but she is severely lacking in this film. She doesn’t even get the classic costume or anything until the literal end of the film. She’s another character that might as well not be Huntress.

The worst part about all of these adaptions is that you’re likely stuck with them for the foreseeable future. Of course a good writer can improve these characters but otherwise you’re stuck. They really need to try and put some distance with the characters from Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad. Go for a soft reboot or something and then you can try to turn this around. I can’t say I have much hopes for any sequel or spinoff of this film though. It’s hard to picture it being a winner.

For Black Canary, well the film does remember that she has sonic abilities at the end. She is so incredibly nerfed though that a single hit is enough for her to faint. So I guess we can’t expect her to be going up against any tough fighters by the end of this. She does have a decent hand to hand fight against some of the random thugs though so at least there’s that.

This film could have really used an appearance by Batman at some point. Sure he would have stolen the show but it’d be worth it. This whole thing takes place in Gotham and Harley Quinn blew up a giant chemical plant. Surely Batman should be on the case right? Even just some references of Batman taking down minions would be nice since Black Mask is so openly sending his crooks around to bump people off and kidnap the characters off the street. I know this is Gotham but a lot of nights pass by without any sightings of the Batman. They can’t be everywhere but in this case it’s literally Gotham city, he should be popping up somewhere.

I would say Gotham itself is a big problem for the film. A lot of times films like to show how depraved Gotham is and that’s where they tend to fail. For example, of course we have a scene where the villain orders a girl to strip and dance. That’s completely unnecessary and we also have Harley Quinn shown to be someone who frequents these kinds of establishments as a villain. The movie has a lot of fanservice throughout and sketchy costumes.

Birds of Prey is unrelentingly depressing most of the time. This is a harsh city where the heroes lost years ago and villains rule all over the place. It’s not to the extreme of Joker but you will have a hard time finding any really happy/fun scenes. Harley and Cain have some bonding moments but mostly that’s just Harley being a terrible role model the whole time. Someone who will act nice and talk a good game but lose in one hit or just sell you out in the next scene. It was fun to see the owner of the restaurant accept the money and leave though. In this city that seems to be the quickest way out of here.

The writing’s not particularly good and the song choices are really bad. The final song’s probably the worst one by far and had to be aired out at several moments. Yeah this film was really going for grit. The action scenes could have been worse in that respect as it didn’t try going over the top most of the time. We did have some real choreography and fight scenes which is good. The film wasn’t trying to be gritty all of the time. Usually in the moments it wasn’t, it was the characters just being annoying all the time though.

Overall, Birds of Prey is a pretty bad film. At least I’m glad they ended up ditching the long sub title later on since nobody ever used the whole title anyway. I know that point’s been beaten to death but it’s not even all that accurate with Joker having dumped Harley Quinn as opposed to it being the other way around. You can of course say that the process helped her but when you consider the fact that she would probably run right back to him if he would have her….it doesn’t help her case. Regardless, the biggest issue here is that this is a film about the villains…that forgets to make the villains likable. Harley Quinn and her constant narration does not make for a good lead. The Birds of Prey group aren’t likable yet either. Black Canary is decent and Huntress has potential but for the moment give me a random lead from any big DC character and I would probably take him or her instead. The Birds of Prey will have to work hard to improve their characters in the next film but without Harley Quinn holding them back at least they have a chance.

Overall 2/10

Eye of the Tiger Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Eye of the Tiger is definitely one of those films that gives revenge titles a bad name. I mean, it’s probably not a genre you want to see a whole lot of anyway as it’s difficult to succeed in so many attempts would fail but this one just never stood a chance. It puts the main character in a rough environment where everyone is evil or mean and so by the time Buck gets his revenge, there isn’t a lot left to fight for. That’s usually the downfall with revenge films, at least this one has a good soundtrack though even if the timing is often pretty bad.

The movie starts with Buck finally getting out of jail. He made some friends in there but it’s time to head home. Unfortunately his small town is even worse off than usual. The place is run by a corrupt sheriff who is in league with gangs that go around assaulting everyone and forcing people to live in a life of fear. Nobody has ever risen up to do anything about this and they all just look the other way. Well, Buck isn’t going to do that and he foils one of the gang’s attacks. They retaliate and murder Buck’s wife while also putting his daughter in the hospital. Buck aims to take them all down now but to do so he will need a lot of weapons. Additionally he will also have to go up against the cops who are in the pocket of the gang.

In this movie it’s nearly everyone teaming up against Buck. The only person on Buck’s side is his old friend J.B. and even then that guy usually just warns Buck not to fight against the villains since he thinks the lead will lose. Buck doesn’t like backing down though so he plans to fight either way. He has some good equipment and plans like when he stretches a wire across the street to take one villain down. The problem is that he has to beat a lot of them and quickly or they just run to the police to have Buck arrested. As the film goes on Buck starts carrying his gun at all times which is a good idea. At least with that he always has a fighting chance.

Buck definitely should have left with the family as soon as he got back though. I don’t think your life can ever be all that easy if the cops have it out for you. We know that the Sheriff is willing to go quite far to mess with Buck right from the start given that he was put into jail on account of that guy. So just leave the place and start roots somewhere else. That’s absolutely the best thing to do and the only way to get out of this cycle. By the time Buck decides to go it’s unfortunately too late. So the rest of the film will be bitter sweet at best since his wife isn’t around anymore.

I’ll still give Buck props as a main character because he stands up to the gang and does what’s right. It would have been easy to have just walked away or ignored what they were doing but he didn’t do any of that. So definitely some credit there. He also does well in the fights even through to the end when he takes on the leader of the gang. Buck doesn’t go down easy and never loses a true 1 on 1 fight in the movie. The guy just keeps going forward and landing hits until he can’t anymore.

As mentioned, Buck’s friend J.B. takes a long while to actually step in and help though. It’s understandable why he doesn’t want to get mixed up in any of this but it does mean that I’m probably not going to be rooting for him a whole lot. If Buck had some help sooner the film could have potentially been over a lot quicker. The rest of the police officers all look terrible as they work for the corrupt sheriff. The whole town is complicit to an extent as they all look the other way and allow him to stay in control. It’s no wonder that the village is under such tough times. There’s nobody there who is willing to fight back against the villains.

One area that holds the film back big time is how gritty the whole thing is. It’s got Mad Max vibes from the start with the gang going around and attacking people. If they were just murdering people then that’d be one thing but of course they’re all going after the women and piling on the crimes. It’s always a bad way to build up tension in these films, having the villains just be murderers is good enough to show why they need to be stopped. No reason to go any further than that. The extra details are what puts the film in the red right away and it’s hard to get out from there.

Then as I mentioned the music timing is always very off. It is nice to hear the Eye of the Tiger song since that one’s always filled with energy. This film has some good heroic themes as well. The issue is that they will play right after a tragic scene or during one. It’s like the film’s trying to say this is a happy moment even while the heroes are still taking hits. The timing was never quite right and it’s hard to get into the music and experience the hype/fun that’s going on because you know that the moment just isn’t happy yet. The only time the song works is the very last time it plays because that’s after the big battle and so it makes sense to celebrate. The other attempts fell flat.

Overall, Eye of the Tiger is a film I would avoid. It’s a classic revenge film through and through where Buck is put through the wringer so you can get some satisfaction when he inevitably caches the villains. The reason why this genre is tough is because it’s easy to make things go too far in how much the villains are winning so it’s just hollow even when the lead gets his revenge. I don’t think the wife needed to die here and additionally the gang could have just been about getting rich and murdering people. It would be a lot less dark and would help the film as a whole. In the end, you should definitely watch Taken instead if you want a better revenge film.

Overall 2/10