Double Dragon IV Review


Double Dragon IV is a fun game and definitely does a good job of being a very retro experience. You’ve got all of the classic sprites here and the levels feel like something out of an SNES game. The gameplay is on point and you’ll enjoy blasting away at the enemies. The game is a bit on the short side but throwing in the survival mode and multiplayer aspects will help with the replay value. Now I’m ready for a Double Dragon V someday.

The game introduces a new villain group in the Renegades. They want to cause a lot of trouble but most importantly they want to defeat the Double Dragons. They have a whole army of minions and allies to help them accomplish this goal and even kidnap the main heroine. This forces the two heroes into action once more. They don’t care how many minions they will have to beat up, they’re going to put a stop to these guys and fast! Are the Renegades going to regret getting on the heroes’ bad side?

As you’d expect the gameplay is definitely on point here. The combat is very smooth and feels like it’s a little more diverse than your average 2D beat em up. You have a little more control and don’t feel like it’s pure rng when you get up close to an opponent to land some blows. I found the best thing to do in a lot of cases was to get right next to the opponent once they were down and just start throwing some punches. It should work most of the time. That’s the fastest way to do it if you’re trying to burst through the levels. There is a much safer way to go about this though even if it is a bit slower.

That’s to walk up and down a bit. The enemies can only strike out at you if you are directly in front of them and the same is true for you. So the trick is to be a bit above them so when they get to your point of view you can immediately strike. You can do this quicker than they can so it’s foolproof in a one on one battle. Of course it’ll be a little more difficult to gain position when there are a bunch of enemies running at you so you will want to keep that in mind.

In a way it’s pretty realistic because in the game if you get jumped by a bunch of minions there isn’t a lot that you can do. It’s like being jumped by a group of thugs, if you’re just a normal guy with a baseball bat then it’s going to be really tricky. Even if you know what to do in this game, you’ll have a hard time getting out of that situation. It’s cool though as it adds to the danger. Just make sure you’re never trapped in the middle of two groups and you should be fine. Always stay on the offensive and get the enemies in the corner if you can.

Aside from the combat you also have some platforming sections where you have to jump on or over some obstacles to get to the end. These can be some of the toughest spots in the game since falling once will take out a whole life. Make sure you go slowly in these levels or the computers will just keep pushing you off. Fortunately you do get a lot of lives. You have around 15 before you get a game over but keep in mind that the deaths carry over. So I got my full game over on level 11 out of 12 which was pretty good. For a minute there I thought I would have to start all over which would have been rough but fortunately the game does give you a checkpoint at the last level you completed. So if you got a game over on level 11 then you have to go back to level 10 which is a fair penalty for losing. The game is no walk in the park either so it’s good you get this many levels. As a challenge you can try to complete the game without needing a game over although I warn you that this will be a difficult challenge. I went 6 deaths over the limit if I was doing that challenge.

The graphics are nice and retro. As mentioned, it’s definitely going for a very old school look. Naturally as a result it isn’t touching games from the PS1 era or beyond but as a faithful SNES type look it works well. I think the game could have gone for a more modern aesthetic and it would have been a lot of fun like the newest Streets of Rage but the graphics are an intentional art decision so I can roll with that. The soundtrack is also fun, definitely has that very high tempo, upbeat kind of feel to it.

The only real strike against the game is that it’s super short. You’ll have the complete game beat in around an hour. After that your replay value will mostly be from survival mode and multiplayer. That will give you a good amount of activity to play with. You can test your skills to see just how high up you go and as long as you’re getting the game for a good price then this shouldn’t be any kind of issue either way.

Overall, Double Dragon IV is a fun game. It has a nice story and the cutscenes give the characters a lot of personality. You just know how everyone acts right from the jump. The level designs are all very distinct as well. The battle gameplay is on point and the platforming elements can actually be rather difficult. It’s a nice blast to the past and continues the saga well. I think there’s a ton of potential for a big AAA title in this franchise someday. You don’t see a whole lot of the Double Dragons nowadays but stopping gangs and saving your friends is always a good formula. I have quite a bit of confidence that the series can go places.

Overall 7/10

King Kong vs Godzilla Review


It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this film. Definitely a long time from the past and it’s interesting to see the scenes I remember and the ones that are more foreign. One big change for me is that the fight is a whole lot shorter than I remembered. They don’t really meet up until near the end although the fight is certainly worth the wait.

So the movie starts with a TV head wanting his crew to do something to make the channel more interesting. The idea he comes up with is to have the crew find some kind of monster to put on the air. There are rumors of a giant monster on a remote island that has come up with some special berries that are like alcohol. The crew heads there and manages to secure their safety by offering cigarettes to the natives. It’s a strategy that works well enough but not what should they do? Grabbing this Kaiju will be difficult. Then you have the sobering fact that Godzilla has risen from his icy grave and demands vengeance. With humanity in the balance, these two creatures will ultimately end up facing off against each other. The only question is…who will win?

Naturally even if it is a small part of the film, the actual battle is definitely the big topic here. King Kong and Godzilla are both big icons after all. So I’ve always been on Team Godzilla, he just seems more powerful to me and has more options. The Atomic Breath is hard to overlook after all. In a fair fight Godzilla should win 10 times out of 10 so the question is, how can King Kong put up a fight?

Well, the film went about it in an interesting way. First odd, Godzilla got a new weakness for this movie which is that he isn’t very good against electricity. Then you have the fact that King Kong is powered up by it and a lightning storm shows up out of nowhere and lands several direct hits on him. Prior to this happening, Godzilla did end up crushing Kong in the fight. Only after the power up took effect did King Kong start to take the edge which led us to the famous final scene. Godzilla can breath underwater and usually fight there rather well so you’ll definitely have some big questions but I think we have to take the ending at face value here so there was a true winner.

All told, I would still bet my money on Godzilla and it’s hard not to root for him when you see the inevitable comeback beginning from King Kong. That said, the fight itself is satisfying. Another good thing about this film is it wastes very little time in having Godzilla show himself. He appears pretty much right away in the film which is a bit rare for any G title. Usually you’d expect him in the second half or almost the climax depending on the film. Here it seemed like the opening 15 minutes or so.

The pacing is on point and the film really breezes by. While the human plot may always feel like filler until you get to the Kaiju action, you should have some good laughs with the characters. The main duo have a classic setup where one of the characters is a comic relief guy while the other is the no nonsense leader. Both of them get humbled by King Kong at least once during the movie though. They have a lot of fun banter the whole time. The humans can be a bit exaggerated to an extent but it works out well for fun moments.

This was the English dub version I saw and it’s fair to say that the movie is part comedy. It’s a very light hearted creature feature film from start to finish. There are also quite a lot of reporter scenes where people just talk to you from the TV station. You have to really enjoy the dialogue or those parts can definitely end up being a bit slow. Fortunately they were definitely really solid to me. The style of writing and dialogue is just fun.

The special effects are on point. The suits look good and the fight was also good as mentioned earlier. Godzilla lands a super speed kick at one point that was sped up in a way which seemed surreal but also worked to great effect. If the film has any weakness, it’s that you may have a hard time remembering the character names since you are waiting for the creatures the whole time. The humans are fun but still feel like filler since you just want the monster battles. I didn’t remember any of the names by the end although granted, the cast isn’t very large. You have the main duo and then a bunch of supporting characters.

There’s not as much of a soundtrack as you might expect from your typical Godzilla movie though. You do have the iconic Godzilla roar which will have to do though and King Kong’s island always has its unique beats. Of course, the soundtrack will differ greatly depending on which version you watch so keep that in mind. This review is specifically for the dub version which is important since a review of the subbed version could be quite different based on how many changes there are. Unless it’s basically a different film I don’t really go back and review separate versions so you’d have to check that out on your own. I would recommend the English dub though as it’s so much fun.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the film due in part to how short it is. It’s a movie that really breezes by and should keep you grinning at all the effective comedic moments. Close your eyes and the movie is over in a snap. You’ll have a hard time finding a better Godzilla movie from the classic era though. I’d consider this to be one of the strongest of the Showa films and I’ve always loved a good crossover. This one is no different. If you haven’t watched the movie yet then you definitely need to change that. You don’t want to miss out on the Kaiju battles.

Overall 7/10

Easy Living Review


When you’re a Football player, life isn’t always going to be easy. That’s true for just about any occupation to be honest but Pete is about to learn that the hard way in this film. It’s a fun drama with a lot of good dialogue and quality characters. It’d held back a little by Pete himself who continues to make the wrong choices throughout the movie. I’d also have liked to have seen some more Football scenes since the highlights were always fun, but in the end you will have a good time here.

The movie starts with Pete finishing up another game but one of his friends has to finally leave for good. Unfortunately he just isn’t able to compete with the other Football players anymore and as a result there was no way to stay in the game. Technically there is one team that may have considered him, but the guy decided to head out. Then Pete finds out that he has a dangerous heart condition and continuing to play in the league could destroy him.

The easy answer here would be to retire but the problem is that Pete is married to Liza, a lady who only likes him if he’s rich and strong. Unfortunately Pete doesn’t yet realize how toxic this relationship is and has to try and keep this a secret. It has the adverse effect of also impacting his performance on the field since he can’t exert himself the way that he used to. Will he be able to bluff his way through the rest of the season or will he have to break the news to her?

If you aren’t able to tell your wife something as serious as a medical condition then odds are that the relationship isn’t a good one. The dynamic between the two seems to already have been rather strained before the film started as she no longer went to his road games and they didn’t see each other a whole lot. This just served to make all of that a lot worse. The film certainly paints a very negative picture of Liza as she is shown to be petty and also not very smart with the deal she made to get her company bigger. It should have been clear from the start that she was being used but Liza didn’t realize that until it was too late. She mainly serves as an obstacle in this film.

I can’t say that Pete is blameless though. At one point he has a brief affair with Anne, one of the people working for the football team. While it doesn’t go too far, it went far enough where he did cheat on Liza. As bad as things were between them, he would have needed to get a divorce before doing that to keep things on the up and up. He was also quite rough at the end with Liza which just made him look unlikable. We’ve gone from one unhealthy relationship to another one and it just seems like Pete is not going to be a very happy guy.

Even if you ignore the scenes with ANne and Liza, I thought he was rather petty and rude to his best friend Tim. Apparently they’ve been close for a while and Pete even helped Tim get a job. Only now that Tim would be the boss and Pete the subordinate, Pete doesn’t like this whole setup. If he was only content being at the top then maybe they weren’t quite as good friends as it would seem.

Tim was solid though and a standup guy from start to finish. It was gracious of him to offer Pete a spot in the first place. He’s someone who repays his debts and there was nothing even remotely malicious in his offer. He was just trying to do his old pal a favor which was the right thing to do there. I enjoyed the coach as well who really could not figure out what was going on with Pete. He did his best to try and spur the guy on regardless but if you don’t know there’s a heart issue at play then it’s likely next to impossible to figure that out just from watching. Especially with Pete’s attitude you would just figure he was intentionally not playing so well.

So while a lot of the characters were not very likable, I would say this was a quality cast as the writing was just that sharp. The dialogue is often very snappy and the sarcastic comebacks/passive aggressive statements quickly let you know what kind of characters these were. Almost everyone here was ultimately looking out for themselves. Even someone like Anne was ultimately trying to get together with a married man so no matter how many grand speeches she gave, she wasn’t in the clear either.

As mentioned earlier, the main weakness here aside from it being hard to root for anybody was that we didn’t get enough Football. Now in a film like this it is true that Football was likely more of an instrument for the plot as opposed to actually being the focus but even so I would have liked to have seen more of the actual games. Football is a blast to watch after all and surely you could spare the time to include around 10 minutes scattered throughout the film right? It would help to also show us exactly how badly Pete was playing. We get the gist of it from the scoreboard but this would be more effective.

Overall, Easy Living may depict a cast of rather unlikable fellows but the film’s technicals are on point. The writing is sharp and the pacing is good so it never really drags on. It is the kind of film that would have been over a whole lot sooner if Pete was able to just talk to Liza since he could have even broken things off sooner. It was not to be though and while it may be annoying to see Pete push everyone away the whole time, the attempts show you how much of the team cared about him. Ultimately none of them were blaming him for his lackluster performances and potentially keeping them out of the playoffs. Maybe the other players were the real heroes after all.

Overall 6/10

RoboCop 3 Review


It’s time for the end of an era with RoboCop 3. The films have a strong continuity which I do like. We have seen OCP run the city of Detroit into the ground and by the 3rd film things are worse than ever. At this point the city seems beyond saving which leads into the current circumstances. We’ve now got another company in the running and the technology is finally catching up to RoboCop. It could be the end of the road for him.

The movie starts with OCP pretty much going out of business so they are forced to jump in with a Japanese company Kanemitsu who begins to take over really quickly. Together they create a more aggressive police unit that will strive to uphold the peace without robot members. Of course what they are really doing is pushing everyone out of their homes to try and earn more bucks by upgrading the places. Anyone who doesn’t want to move is taken away by force or destroyed. This leads to a little girl named Nikko losing her parents. Fortunately she is a computer genius so she is able to join the resistance and help them steals guns and other equipment.

One day, the army comes after her and the resistance so RoboCop defends them but of course he is easily dispatched and barely escapes with his life. He will need Lazarus to reprogram him so he can fight back against OCP agents but will even that be enough? He will have to get past Otomo, a Japanese android of unimaginable power who seems to be much faster than RoboCop. One thing’s for sure, he can’t afford to let his guard down.

Like with the last film we have a kid as a main focus here but this time it’s as one of the heroes. Nikko’s scenes are always rather cheesy though as she is somehow able to hack the greatest robots in the world with a few clicks of the button. She knows about Robocop’s specs and can even take out Otomo’s. There is nothing that she cannot do with her laptop which is supposed to be cool and all but it doesn’t seem likely. She really could have been cut out of the film entirely and that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

The rest of the resistance members are around but the only big one is Keiko who serves as the main leader. She does well in rallying the troops. Without RoboCop around you get the sense that they would have been wiped off the map but it is hard to oppose the OCP so that makes sense. As it is, she kept them around for quite a while which is impressive. RoboCop’s partner Anne is around as well but her role is even smaller than in the second film. I doubt fans will appreciate how she looks here. It’s not a great appearance to be honest and even if her limited screen time is rather important to the film this time.

Otomo was very impressive, I think it’s about time we had a true robotic opponent for RoboCop. This guy was easily the most powerful opponent that RoboCop had faced thus far but there was definitely a big issue here. RoboCop is just too weak. It hurts the battle because it’s so lopsided that you know the only way for RoboCop to win is with significant plot armor. Look, a little plot armor can be fine but when you see how RoboCop isn’t even in the same league, it just makes you worry for how the fight will go. Sure enough, the ending isn’t very satisfying. Otomo was a great concept but in the end the execution was not on point.

McDaggett is one of the new villains and he’s fun enough. Definitely a step up over the last film. he’s one of those guys who certainly relishes being a villain and likes to do whatever he can to make everyone else’s lives worse. It’s hard to even say if he believes in his cause or if he’s just having fun with it on a power trip. Either way the guy is quite straight forward in how he acts around his goals and I prefer that over pretending to have some kind of high ground.

As for Lazarus, she’s a good scientist and it’s nice that Robo has at least one person in his corner. Ultimately she puts her career on the line to help him out and it shows that she is a loyal person who can be trusted. The fact that she is familiar with how his suit operates is really helpful since he now has someone who can run repairs on him consistently outside of OCP. Finally with RoboCop himself, well I still find the guy way too weak for his own good. He still walks into every fight as if he’s Superman. RoboCop doesn’t even try to dodge enemy attacks so he sits there and takes it every time. I would much rather he fights more tactically considering that he isn’t even all that durable.

He’s a good character but one who is way too overconfident. If you take away his battle performance, at least his intent is correct. Like when he decided to protect the civilians in the church. Yes he got wrecked in that fight but it was absolutely the correct move to save the there. Then you have the scene at the end which is something straight out of the DBS Broly film where he says that his friends call him Murphy but the villains can call him RoboCop. I thought that was a very epic way to end the film because he’s saying once and for all that he will oppose the OCP. You could do a lot of interesting sequels and such with this so it’s a shame that the films had to end now. I’m not sure if I would trust the mayor of Detroit if he is put back into power but surely he has to be better than the OCP right?

Overall, RoboCop 3 got back some of the shine it had been lacking in the second film. Not all of it mind you but this is a good start. It can be the cheesiest film though with the kid and even the media scene where one of the reporters finally has enough of this. That said, we get some fun fights and RoboCop’s jet pack was fun. The police going back on strike feels almost like a running gag at this point but at least this time they all walked out to oppose the villains which is good. In the final fight it felt like there was quite a body count though so hopefully they all went in with no regrets. None of the sequels may have caught up to the original but it was fun seeing all of these adventures. I’m glad that RoboCop was able to achieve a full trilogy since that is not an easy feat.

Overall 6/10

RoboCop 2 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

RoboCop 2 is the weakest film in the series. It still has its fun moments and memorable scenes but starts to show a lot of weaknesses that the first film just didn’t have. A lot of this you can trace back to the new main villain but it’s really a group effort in the end. He was only part of the problem, but I will say the film has a very solid group of opening scenes here which start the film off on the right note.

With RoboCop as the hot new item, OCP is pretty happy with how things have gone. Now Detroit is nearly penniless and they are ready to own the entire city. Still, RoboCop has been acting a little too much like an individual as opposed to a machine so it’s time to brainwash him again. (This guy seriously cannot catch a break!) After RoboCop is encouraged to break off ties with his old family for good, he’s beat up by the new gang in town led by Cain and a kid named Hob. If even RoboCop can’t stop these villains…who can?

First off, having a kid be one of the main villains is not a good idea. I can’t take Hob seriously at all. The fact that he is able to talk tough to the traitorous cop Duffy and some of the other villains just makes you shake your head. He acts like a big shot but he’s young enough where anyone could just slap him to the side. Of course RoboCop can’t do much against him due to the system blocking him from messing with a kid but it’s just an annoying way to go about it. At least have RoboCop grab him or something.

Of course, in this film RoboCop can only move with the speed of molasses so good luck with that. He walks into every trap imaginable and just doesn’t look impressive. Nobody should be scared of him if this is the extent of his abilities. Not only is he slow but he can take serious damage from even basic attacks. The villains just pull out some fancy guns and they have RoboCop on the defensive. That’s not a good look for the crime fighter at all and just takes away any hype he had built up before now.

The scene where the villains quite literally rip RoboCop to pieces is just annoying. Sure, I can buy into how RoboCop wasn’t able to break away since the magnet makes sense, but the scenes leading up to that are really something. It’s depressing to see his parts just thrown onto the street where the officers are on strike again. You want RoboCop to be treated with far more dignity than he is awarded there. The villains end up doing something similar to the traitor cop which is definitely a more graphic scene although mainly off screen so you just hear the buzz saw getting closer.

Can’t say Duffy was very sympathetic though considering how awful he was. Even RoboCop wasn’t really showing him any mercy during their fight like when he kept throwing the guy through walls over and over again. I guess he can at least flex against normal human opponents since they can’t really fight back. Anne doesn’t get a big role in this one. She tries to remind RoboCop of his humanity a bit but that’s all.

Meanwhile corporate has a new villain in Juliette since the old ones were bumped off. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get higher in the company whether it means having affairs, hiring thugs, or doing anything like that. She’s an effective villain even if she isn’t nearly as entertaining as the first ones. The corporate angle also appears a little less than in the first film but you still have the fun commercials and OCP just generally showing that they will cross any line to achieve their objective. That’s the kind of dedication among the villains that you need to see.

Cain is the main gangster even if I would argue the kid has a bigger role. There isn’t a lot to him though beyond just being a mean gangster. He makes the guy from film 1 look like a mastermind. Therein lies the problem here, every single part of this film is a downgrade from the first around the board. It even reuses some ideas like having RoboCop brainwashed again. Lets just say it won’t be the last time either. It’s why I would never want to be a robot since there are so many ways things can go sideways. It’s also bad when the company that created you is an evil one.

The kid is annoying as the villain and I would have liked the film to have moved forward and tried something different instead of just having the same kind of plot and nerfing RoboCop to make it work. A normal gang should not pose any kind of threat to RoboCop but of course it does since he is so slow and has no battle experience. It seems like he lost a lot of intelligence between films as well given how he falls for every trap. I would expect him to be able to carry himself way better than he does here.

The worst thing you can say about the film is that some scenes can almost be boring by the end. RoboCop gets to finally look decent by the end which is all well and good but it’s more of a consolation prize by that point. He’s looked so bad throughout the film that it’s just too late. Even the fact that he gets traumatized by the villains is odd. I know he can still feel things but getting traumatized by the shocks is a bit much. OCP’s local representative (Now he’s a fun character) isn’t exactly very helpful with this but the heroes shouldn’t need OCP for this. The first thing the heroes need to do is deactivate RoboCop’s pain sensors for next time unless OCP stops them.

Overall, RoboCop 2 is a big downgrade from the first film. It can still be fun at times and have good action scenes but for the most part it’s all about showing you how annoying it would be to become RoboCop. You have no control over yourself and would get crushed in every fight. Having the kid as a villain was really the last straw for the film. It’s bad enough for RoboCop to keep losing but it feels like he learns nothing from each encounter. Needless to say, things continue to happen to him in the third film which just shows that there was no lesson learned here. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though, that review will be next. I’d say you can safely skip this film but if you liked the first one a whole lot then you may as well check it out.

Overall 5/10

RoboCop (1987) 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

Robocop is a very famous character to be sure. Even if you haven’t seen the film you have likely heard of it in some way or another. It’s a movie that has aged rather well and I do agree with many that it beats the reboot. I enjoyed both the serious scenes of the movie as well as the moments that parody the media to an extent. Now those were some pretty fun commercials in there. All in all, it’s not a title you are likely to forget.

The movie starts off with corporate trying to find a way to cut costs. In this world they own the police force in Detroit but naturally they don’t want to pay them a whole lot. The police have even started organizing a strike. Their chief doesn’t like this but there isn’t a whole lot that he can do about it now that the union is on board. Unfortunately for Jones, his project doesn’t work so well and his robot murders someone. This allows Bob to get in and suggest his RoboCop project.

RoboCop is the process of basically turning the remains of a dead cop into this robotic police officer who will enforce the law. The timing couldn’t be better as officer Murphy was just gunned down by a group of gang members. While his memory should be wiped, RoboCop seems to remember his days as Murphy and his police partner Anne recognizes him as well. Will RoboCop be able to get past his sense of confusion to take down the gang and make the world a better place or is this game over for him? Additionally, with the OCP owning him and the cops, will he really be able to enact true justice?

I would really call this an action comedy because of how well the film executes on both genres. For starters you have the opening scene where the robot murders one of the board members. It’s a rough fate for the guy but I would say it’s still played for laughs and it works. These dark comedic moments are perfect in RoboCop and show how merciless the corporate world is. This scene doesn’t deter any of the workers there which is saying something.

I rather liked Bob quite a bit as an antagonist. He saw an opening and immediately jumped right in. He wasn’t afraid of Jones and talked tough right to his face. That’s the kind of resolve I want to see out of the up and coming villain. Things don’t turn out very well for him in the end but there wasn’t a lot he could have done. While I thought Jones would be a rather forgettable villain by the end, he impressed me with how he got his revenge later on. I’m telling you, this company does not play around and you don’t want to make an enemy out of anyone there. They all play for keeps.

The Chairman is also really good. He was extremely quick on the take during the climax which is ultimately how he kept his life. Otherwise that would have gone sideways for him very quickly and he would only be a memory. The actual main villain Clarence wasn’t as memorable though. He’s a rather unhinged guy who deeply enjoys his job but there still isn’t much more to him other than being a mobster. He’s like a C grade Joker. The guy does well in fights but he’s just not super interesting.

As for RoboCop, well he’s a fun character. I liked him quite a lot as Murphy so it was rather sad to see him go. The way Murphy dies in the intro was really effective. In large part because this is how you picture a lot of these encounters ending without any plot armor for the main character. You can’t just attack a whole gang on your own and expect to win. Murphy was just too hot headed in this case and it really ended up backfiring on him. It just felt very realistic, but definitely a painful way to go out.

In his transformed state, Murphy isn’t quite as hot headed as he used to be. He does keep some parts of his personality like twirling the gun but for the most part he is quite different now. He also has the disadvantage of being a robot owned by OCP so they can brainwash him at any point. Still, RoboCop does his best to dish out some peace to the villains and he does well. From the 3 films this is easily his best portrayal. He takes out a lot of thugs and is quite durable without being way too slow. He also thinks of good ways to get around his programming weaknesses. As for his partner Anne, she’s a good cop. Ultimately she wasn’t quite fast enough to help Murphy out but I would say she is solid. She just doesn’t get quite as big a role as you might be expecting. She provides moral support but that’s about it.

The effects are on point here and the movie has definitely aged well in that respect. If you’ve seen Judge Dredd, you’ll probably be thinking of that film a lot during this movie because of how similar they are. RoboCop is just a fun film all around. As mentioned earlier, the media parts are great too. If you focus on the news headlines behind the reporters you see a lot of interesting items and of course they report on quite a few stories. It shows how hopeless the world is with constant bad things happening. The movie really depicts a rather bleak world where corporate is running the Earth into the ground. Then you have the parody commercials as well which will give you some laughs.

Overall, RoboCop succeeds not just because it’s a fun action film but also because the writing is incredibly clever. It can give you a very powerful moment and then immediately hit you with a really funny moment. I like seeing corporate as the villains since they can be entertaining and this film adapts them well. We even get the full board meetings and the rushed version of RoboCop that isn’t quite so effective. I felt bad for the clunky robot by the end because he meant well but just wasn’t built for success. It even throws a bit of a tantrum on the stairs when trying to follow RoboCop. This just wasn’t his day. If you haven’t seen this film yet then you should definitely change that.

Overall 7/10

Dune (2021) Review


I really did not like the first Dune film so I certainly went into this one with a lot of reservations. Fortunately it is an improvement in every area. When you watch this version you can see how people could have the franchise up to be the next Star Wars. While I don’t think anything will be the next Star Wars, this one has a solid story and builds up a good universe. Throw in the fact that we should be getting the sequel pretty soon and this title has a whole lot of momentum. Ultimately if you like Sci-Fi then you should like this film.

The movie starts by introducing us to the setup of the world. The Emperor rules just about all of the solar systems and there are houses that are under him. Each house has its own ruler, army, and population. The main character Paul is the prince of the Atreides house and they’ve done rather well for themselves. Unfortunately they are suddenly given a mission by the Emperor to go and take control of Arrakis as the Baron will be pulling his people out. The kingdom isn’t thrilled about this since Arrakis is a desert wasteland that is hard to survive in. Additionally their house has never gotten along with the Baron’s house so this seems to be a trap.

Meanwhile, Paul is not sure if he even wants to be king. Making this more complicated is the fact that he has been having a lot of dreams about Arrakis and a girl on that planet. The dreams range from her staring at him to seemingly stabbing him. He is also involved in some shady prophecy from his mother’s side of the family that he will be the chosen one. This will likely put him under an even greater spotlight which could make the emperor go against him. It’s going to be a difficult journey for Paul.

There’s a ton of world building here so that’s really just scratching the surface. I will say, the quicker you learn the names for each of the planets and houses, the quicker you will be able to not only understand the plot but really get into it. Memorizing the names is crucial here. The effects are pretty solid and definitely help for the fight scenes. It’s cool to see the barriers that the suit emits as they are quite unique. You can stop most projectiles but close range attacks get more dangerous.

The training fights Paul has to go through really show this effectively. Now I wouldn’t say the film is super action packed as I would call it more of an adventure but you do have the occasional battle. Duncan easily gets the best battle near the end of the film. He really shows off his skills and proves himself to be the best fighter in the army without a doubt. I wouldn’t say any of the musical themes stuck with me but as you go through the scenes there aren’t any distracting moments either.

As a main character Paul is decent. He can definitely panic a bit with the burden that he is given but for the most part he takes things well. He’s not as tough as he acts at times but his skills should keep on improving so that by the sequel he will be ready to engage anyone in combat. As it stands he is already powerful enough to beat many fighters in a 1 on 1 situation.

As for his mother Jessica, she was quite impressive here. She has mastered “the voice” which is an ability that lets you mind control someone just by talking. It’s very handy to have and she can also fight hand to hand as well. The scene where she and Paul take on some fighters near the end was a really good showing there. Her pact involving the prophecy could certainly end up being troublesome so we’ll see what choices she makes going forward.

Paul’s father Leto is also solid here. I thought he did well at leading his kingdom and it’s hard to blame him for how things turned out. I don’t feel like he had a realistic option of turning down the Emperor’s order. It was going to happen whether he made it easy or not. Then for the invasion, well every factor was against him and it’s hard to win like that. Leto seemed like a good man and at the end of the day that’s all you can really ask for.

Duncan’s the best character in the film by far though. He is a true adventurer through and through. He keeps up a fun attitude throughout the story and takes a lot of the risks. Duncan doesn’t back down from a fight and serves as a great role model for Paul. Gurney is another good character here. He’s tough like Duncan and is always willing to speak his mind. I’d have liked to have seen some more action from him since I bet this guy can fight at a high level as well.

If the film has a main weak point it’s that none of the villains are particularly interesting. We don’t really see the Emperor yet and the guy Arrakis really exists to get wrecked by Paul. The Baron is someone who will have a big role but he just isn’t my kind of character. The guy doesn’t participate in the action unless his opponent can’t move. Baron needs to have the absolute advantage in every encounter which doesn’t speak well to his confidence. His son Glossu could be a fun enforcer but he hasn’t gotten to do a whole lot yet.

As for the main heroine Chani, she doesn’t even get to appear outside of dreams until the end so there isn’t much to say about her yet. Based on the dreams Paul has been having, he should definitely be careful around her. I could do without the constant dreams though. That’s one area where I feel the film could have shown the dreams once and we’d be good. It’s not like you will forget the dreams over the course of the movie so there’s no reason to show it again.

Some aspects of surviving on this desert planet can also be a bit gross like the whole recycled water bit. It reminds me why I prefer to be in more city type environments. That said, even in the film none of the characters want to be here so that tracks. Since the emperor seemingly set them up to fail, you wish that the heroes would have fought back instead of simply complying. They were likely doomed either way but better to turn and fight while you can then to slowly die out right? Ultimately the villains had really good execution on their plan though so it was definitely going to be tough to thwart them.

Overall, Dune sets the stage pretty well. In a lot of ways it does feel like the whole movie was the opening act so all of the events were set up well. The characters are interesting and the plot moves at a good pace. Both things that you would have a hard time saying about the first film. I can safely say this was a lot better than I had been expecting and of course you will get to see the sand worms with the updated graphics here so they look quite impressive. Once Paul masters all of his abilities we should be in for some more fun fights coming up.

Overall 7/10

Hard-Boiled Cop and Dolphin Review


It’s hard to forget any of the promotional images for this series when it was first starting out. Who wouldn’t have fun with a manga about a tough dolphin right? It didn’t last super long but then again, 40+ chapters is fairly good for a modern Jump title that’s cancelled, feels like they usually don’t last quite so long nowadays. It allows the series to explore its premise fairly well at least.

The series starts off with Samejima taking down a crook but he took big risks in doing so and gets demoted. I have to agree with the demotion to be honest since pointing a gun at someone who has a hostage is going beyond just being a bit reckless. So Samejima is sent to a small island in the middle of nowhere that’s a bit off. One of their leutenants is a buff dolphin, there’s a kid here who was rescued from a cult but kept her super powers, and there are sea animal hybrids going around and causing trouble. Will Samejima’s police training be enough to keep him safe?

It is interesting how to the rest of the world, there are no such things as supernatural creatures and all that. Samejima knew about the cult kidnapping for example but like everyone else he just thought they were crazy. Since the island is so far away from everything (Not even a cell signal in sight) it also makes sense that people wouldn’t learn about these events. I thought the author did a good job of crafting this scenario carefully in such a way where nobody would suspect anything. This was good execution.

Initially you have intro type stories that aren’t really connected but let you get used to the cast. For example we have a one shot story with a few guys riding a car without a license and they basically antagonize the cops until they get shut down by Samejima and Orpheus (The Dolphin). Granted I’m not sure if the main character is right about it not being legal to film a cop on public property. I mean, it’s a made up island so you could say the rules are a bit different but I think it was still a part of Japan. Might be overthinking it though and either way these guys were crooks for speeding, driving without a license and then nearly running someone over.

Another intro case that would end up being important for later was the first confrontation with more of a supernatural fighter. Granted, it has a comedic end but you have a guy who is part octopus that is blowing a lot of buildings up in the town. Every part of him is explosive and so trying to hack him to bits isn’t a great way to try and take him down. Orpheus and Samejima have to reluctantly use some teamwork here.

The villain just wanted pollution to stop but blowing up towns isn’t quite the way to go about it. This was also the introduction to Chako’s (the kid) wish granting abilities which are quite powerful. Whenever a series introduces a power that activates just by thinking about it, well you can bet that this character will be a real powerhouse. She’s just young enough where it isn’t dangerous at this point but all you would need is one time skip for her to either be the world’s greatest hero or most dangerous villain.

The series is mostly good about not having much fanservice but it is definitely present which is unfortunate. There’s a whole chapter about everyone trying to take advantage of the main heroine Umi including even Samejima. What’s even the point of that chapter? It’s certainly a good way to lose momentum and her gimmick of having the shirt rip whenever she salutes will make you cringe. Again, the series isn’t too constant with this or anything but it really limits the overall potential of the title.

The first real arc starts with two powerful hybrid bounty hunters known as Kaji and Hanma showing up. They are here to kidnap Chako on behalf of the cult. As these two both have powers, Samejima will have to step up if he wants to protect her. It was a solid mini arc and had the first true fights of the series. There was some good back and forth here and if this was added sooner in the story I think the series could have launched with a really solid start right off the gate. By the end of the mini arc you have these bounty hunters turning good though which is a bit too quick if you ask me but I can give it a pass since it means they can show up as heroic rivals later on.

Next up was a more serious case where people keep dying near the local dolphin pool. The victims are always missing an arm as well. The cops are naturally called in and this arc taps into the mystery angle a bit as you have some a main suspect in the coach and have to decide if he is the murderer or if it’s someone else. With super powered animal fighters on the loose it’s hard to rule anything out. It’s a bit of a step down from the last arc but it isn’t bad. It introduces some pretty important characters and does further the cult plot by the end. The ending twists get a little too convoluted for its own good though to the point where it’s hard to buy the twists at one point. The coach looks bad no matter how you slice it.

There’s a quick mini arc about the characters moving into a mansion where a rich guy tries to throw them out. It’s a way to go back into the comedy realm a bit with some other short stories before the final arc of the series. So there are 7 legendary artifacts in the world apparently and the cult wants to secure these items at any cost to the point where they have called up all of their big members including the main villain himself. The girl who turned traitor in the last arc is there and so the main characters unite to enter the underwater cave. We also get introduced to a whole new group of fighters known as Squad 7 who are apparently the most skilled police officers around. They’re more like the FBI or CIA. Can the heroes stop this cult once and for all?

This arc felt like the biggest one and while I have a feeling it would have played out a lot differently if it wasn’t cancelled, I thought the author was able to wrap everything up really well. At most the giant dolphin made of water at the end may have felt a little out of the blue but all in all it was a fun way to end the series. While it had a rocky start, I did think the series quickly got better the more it went along. This is an example of a series that is better when it was focusing on action rather than comedy. The series just wasn’t very funny which isn’t a good thing for a comedic based title.

Before going into it further, lets take a look at the cast. As the main character Samejima is decent. He’s a hot head who always just dives into a problem and I like to see that kind of enthusiasm. He may not have any super powers but he can still fight with the best of them. The series is part comedy after all so it’s not all that unlikely to even see him trading blows with the more powerful villains. The fact that he doesn’t follow protocol comes in handy more than a few times. While the other cops are unable to move due to other departments showing up, he doesn’t care and just dives in. He does tend to suffer from some of the jokes like being too distracted by Umi though.

Umi is a nice enough main heroine but the series really just uses her as the token fanservice character most of the time. She really doesn’t have a lot of plot importance beyond that and ends up being the only main character who can’t fight at all. That’s a shame because it also leaves her out of all the big story arcs. I’d have liked for the series to have given her some kind of ability to fight with the others. Well, Umi means well at least, not like she’s a bad character or anything.

Chako is the main kid that all of the villains are after so she gets a big role. That said, she’s a very young kid so it’s not like she can really fight or anything like that. Her wishing abilities are really just a way for the plot to go on. Not much to say about her as a character due to this. I will say that her powers can seem a bit inconsistent at times but since it is used seriously at times and as a gag at others, I guess that is to be expected. By the end of the series we do learn the full story behind her kidnapping though.

Orpheus is a big character and really the selling point for a lot of people. That said, I thought Samejima was a lot more interesting. Orpheus’ main character is that he wants Chako to see him as the main parental figure but she’s taken to Samejima so he is always jealous. That is a large chunk of his scenes in the comedy stories. When it comes to the action parts he does have some good fights though and even a tragic backstory. Much like Korosensei from Assassination Classroom, I much prefer him before his transformation into a dolphin.

Still, he’s okay, just not a standout character to me. He does have super strength and a good fist technique so that’s handy in the battles. Next is Seira, a mermaid girl who appears in a few stories. Initially she seems like someone who’s just a little careless with how she comes close to marrying a normal human who would surely drown underwater. As the series goes on we learn more about her though and she even plays a bit of a critical role by the end. She was solid by that point.

Kaji is one of the early villains who turned good. There isn’t a ton to him beyond potential since he didn’t do a lot but he made for a good villain. At the end of the day he’s a villain with an honor code and it wasn’t hard to turn him. The guy has a distinct character design too. He has a partner in Hanma who is a solid fighter as well but he doesn’t do much in comparison.

Yukari is one of the main characters from the dolphin pool murder case and her character arc goes in a very unexpected direction. She ends up being one of the best villains for sure. She uses the arm artifact well and has one of the best feats in the series when she splits the ocean in two so everyone can walk to the cave. As a villain she has a lot of confidence and doesn’t even get intimidated by Poseidon himself. Now that’s some serious ability on her part.

Jura was her colleague but unfortunately as a hero she doesn’t get any power ups so there isn’t really anything she can do to help out here. It would have been nice if the series could have done something to allow them to have a proper fight. Jura’s a fun character though, she’s up beat and always ready to tackle the next obstacle. She stuck up for Yukari and was a really good friend throughout.

As the leader of the cult, Kamuro gets a big role by the end. I can’t say I’m a fan though. He’s one of those guys who is a comic relief perv as a “good guy” and while he gets serious when he is evil, it’s hard to know if his personality is still on the up and up as a result. Was it all an act? The guy is also a bit out of his depth with these relics as he is surprised at how the first one looks. His backstory is certainly very tragic but I don’t really understand how he went off the deep end.

The idea was that he would infiltrate the villains and then take down the organization from the inside. Instead he effectively just became the leader and kept it moving. His goal at the end is really not good and one of those classic “I’ll destroy almost everything but it’s for good reasons” Ultimately since he became evil because his willpower wasn’t strong enough, I was never going to be a big fan of Kamuro.

Okiura is effectively Kamuro’s right hand woman. She finds out a lot of intel and helps him that way but she isn’t much of a fighter so she doesn’t leave an impact. She’s helpful to the villain cause but there isn’t a whole lot to say about her. I think if the series had kept going we likely would have seen her play a bigger role or at least that’s the vibe I got.

Tome shows up really late in the series but she immediately becomes a fun character. As the leader of Squad 7 she is quite powerful in combat. She has an underwater martial art style that seems to be heavily based off of Attack on Titan. It’s how the whole squad fights too so it’s like the survey corps. They use water pressure to zip all over the place as they strike at their enemies. Tome is the most powerful of the group though and it shows. She gets a few fights in the arc and would have been a fun supporting character for future events.

We meet Chako’s Mom in the flashbacks to the origin of the dolphin cop and how this all happened. Her name’s Yae. Yae was a nice character thrown into a tough situation but I do feel like she kept on making the wrong calls. Getting involved in the cult, having a kid while at the cult only made the situation worse. Eventually it was too much for her and she split. Now there’s a bit more context to that but I’d say she got in over her head and this ended up costing her as well as Chako quite a lot. There was also starting to be a bit of a triangle between her, Kamuro, and the Dolphin which wasn’t really needed.

Finally we have Poseidon who would have almost certainly been the end game boss. He can possess Chako and it seems like each relic would have made him stronger. When he possesses Chako she can actually fight rather well so I can only imagine how strong he would be in his own body. The series has a bit of fun at his expense though like when he gets his powers zapped by the cave though. Not his best look and doesn’t exactly make him someone to be feared as the big villain. Always a tough part when trying to balance the serious action and more comedic elements for a series like this.

So, what would I have done differently to keep this from being cancelled? Well, as I mentioned, the series started off a bit slow and didn’t get really good until the action started to come in. That was over halfway through the series I would say. What I’d have done is have the villains attack a lot sooner. Maybe have them send in normal hitmen at first which would give Samejima a good reason to be able to keep up at first and as he learns more about the island we start to see those tough meta humans. It would be a slow ascent up the power levels.

Now, I guess the author wanted to make a comedy manga initially but the novelty of just having the cop be a dolphin isn’t enough. Throw in Chako and you’ve got a Yotsuba vibe going but it’s hard to keep all of those elements together. The initial stories that were stand alone just weren’t all that funny as I mentioned. If you tone down the fanservice or the characters acting iffy then you would have some potential but even the stories without any of that could be a bit dull. Like Chako breaking a vase and then the characters scramble to find the truth. The humor style seems to be the absurd type where something crazy happens and most characters take it in stride while Samejima panics. Not the most effective way to go about this.

So the short answer for me is to throw in the plot a lot earlier along with the fights. The author was able to easily transition this into a full action series which was a lot of fun. I can only imagine that going in that direction right from the jump would have done a whole lot to improve the series. At the end of the day I would still call this a pretty good title but of course I have the benefit of being able to marathon through it. I’m sure it feels a lot different going through it weekly. I would say to maybe remove Chako but that would change the whole core of the series and for my anti cancellation plans I try to not suggest anything that would make the series completely different.

The art is very solid as you would expect. I would go as far as to say it’s excellent. The action scenes have a lot of detail and the character designs are each distinctive. It just strengthens the case of why the series is at its strongest with the action. It allows you to read the series real easily without a doubt since it’s all so clear. Definitely a strong aspect for the series. While I didn’t find it funny most of the time, the writing for the series parts were good. The idea of having a cult as the villain organization is interesting. You don’t really see that a whole lot.

Overall, The Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin is a good title that will quickly be forgotten amidst a sea of titles that are just better. I would call it a fun series and one I would recommend to anyone but I’m not shocked that it was cancelled. Naturally I wish it could have just kept going and maybe been the next big thing though. As long as a series is good (6 or higher) then I’d like it to crack 50 volumes and continue to surpass its limits. There may not have been any witty banter/solid buddycop dynamics with the Dolphin (It sounds way more natural than using his real name) and Samejima but the action would cover for that no doubt.

Overall 7/10

Clash of the Titans (1981) Review


It’s time for the original Clash of the Titans film. I quite enjoyed the newer remake when I saw it but granted, that was many years ago. It’s been an extremely long time since I saw that film so I don’t know how well it’s aged but I would say it beats this adaption. I had some issues with this one. The old time era and feeling of it makes the movie a little more dated than needed and naturally all of the gods are unlikable. There are some cool action scenes here though and on the whole I would say the writing is good. So while I wouldn’t be giving this movie a ton of points or anything like that, it’s not a very bad old school epic, it could have been better though.

The movie starts out with a king deciding to banish the queen away to sea after Zeus has a kid with her. Zeus is furious to see this and strikes the whole country down with the Kraken. Fortunately for him, they end up living as they arrive on an isolated island. The child is given the name of Perseus. Not all of the gods are thrilled about Zeus playing favorites like this. The guy certainly messes around quite a lot and is as irresponsible as possible. Seems pretty accurate to the legends I must say as this seems to be a reoccurring theme in most of those. Well, Thetis has a child as well in Calibos but the guy disrespects Zeus which is a no go in this world so the guy is turned into a goat chimera monster of sorts.

Naturally Andromeda no longer wishes to marry the guy since he’s not very attractive anymore. Still, what can she do to stop him? Her astral self is kidnapped every night and it’s not like anyone can stop it. Well, Thetis decides to take revenge on Zeus by warping Perseus into this land. Perseus takes this in stride though and this is a mistake on Thetis’ part since he now wants to rule the whole land. Calibos is in the way of his marrying Andromeda and getting a lot of power so now things are going to get dangerous here.

That’s a bit of a smashed up version of the plot since the movie is quite long and the story shifts multiple times. Still, I think it’s a fair assessment of how things are going. It’s fun to see the names and locations here after watching so much Saint Seiya since it operates in the same kind of time frame with the gods and legends all around. What Clash of the Titans does well is establish the universe. It’s easy to see how the world works even with the gods running around every corner and all these monsters everywhere.

While the film is rather long, I would not say that it is boring. There’s always something happening although it is fair to say that the pacing can be a bit slow. It is trying to slowly build up the tension like an old school epic after all. The characters are rather on the weak side though so I think we can now transition into the weaker aspects of the film. For starters, I didn’t like anyone here.

Perseus is a decent main character at best. He does tend to take things in stride after all but almost to the point of effectively being emotionless. There’s not a whole lot you could even say about his general character. I guess he’s a nice guy but that’s about it. The robotic owl given to him in the second half really deserves a lot of points for making sure Perseus was in the right spot at the right time. As for Andromeda, well she got off to a bad start when she was being kidnapped in her dreams and trying to talk Calibos out of his plans. She never seemed to have a chance there.

As for dumping Calibos once he transformed, while it’s hard to blame her, I would have preferred she had just broken it off because she never liked him. It seems like one of those arrangements where it was for the kingdom anyway. Calibos is the kind of villain who just wants the girl and power is a side trip to that objective so he’s not one of my favorite villains at all. The guy is reasonably tough but at the same time you don’t feel a lot of fear towards him the way that you would for the Kraken.

Now the Kraken is a bright spot in the film. He’s got a great design, looks sort of like the Gill Man. I was pleasantly surprised since I’m used to him looking more like a monster. Like this you could see him going toe to toe with anybody. It’s just his bad luck that he had to go up against Perseus once the guy had the Medusa head. No way to win in that position but for the most part the Kraken did well and won whenever he could. That’s what you want to see out of your main villain.

As mentioned, the rest of the gods are mostly just there to bicker as they act all high and mighty. At least Thetis was actually going around and personally ruining people’s lives as opposed to staying on the sidelines. That makes her a more active participant who can actually be feared as opposed to the ones who would just talk. The lady not giving up her owl was a smart move though, he wasn’t Zeus’s to give away after all.

The journey itself takes Perseus to quite a few areas like his mini mission to steal the head of Medusa. I thought he was a little mean to the three blind sisters but they did seem rather suspect. I’m guessing that’s why he threw their eye away and was just making things harder on them. I did enjoy the journey aspect though. In part it felt like an RPG in that aspect. He had to go to an island to grab the head to then go back to the main island and stop the Kraken. Even the opening scene where he is given the three items from the gods is like something out of a game.

Overall, Clash of the Titans is an old school film that has some fun moments but for the most part it’s just dated in a bad way. The characters aren’t great and the old school warrior battles don’t stand up as well as your old gun fights or hand to hand battles would. There’s definitely a really random fanservice moment here as well which is not really intended to be one I suppose as the film is just trying to stay true to the legends but still isn’t needed. To sum it up, the film either needed to be more exciting or to have had better writing to get higher. As it stands, I would check out the newer version first, it just had a lot more energy to it.

Overall 4/10

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Review

This 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 no secret that I thought the first Mad Max was dreadfully awful. Well, unfortunately this one isn’t much of a step up. It’s still a film that is pointlessly bleak at all times with no corner of hope for any of the characters. You can survive in this future as best you can but you certainly can’t thrive here. The instant a dog showed up as one of the main characters I knew the film was doomed. It’s all downhill right from when the film starts so at least this isn’t a surprise. I will say that the poster is really good though, feels like a completely different movie!

The movie starts with a big flashback/narration explaining what happened in the first film. Considering that not a lot happened I think they could have sped this up but the film is really big on being as dramatic as possible. The opening and ending narrations are both very long and do well to lower your expectations. From there we see Max who is minding his own business with his beat up car when he’s attacked. He fends these guys off but then finds himself in the middle of a skirmish between two gangs.

One is a violent group that goes around terrorizing everyone. They’re all intent on causing as much terror and destruction as possible with no real goal beyond that. Their objective right now is to steal the fuel from the other group though so they can go back to committing mindless destruction against everyone else. The group on the defense seem nice enough but their group is split on fighting back or running off. Both options will lead to their ultimate destruction so they aren’t keen on either plan. Ma will end up being the deciding factor here. They manage to get his car and also have all of the fuel so if Max wants to go anywhere he will have to barter with them. Nobody can trust anybody around here so we’ll see how that goes.

It’s easy to see how so many people became crooks here though because there is absolutely nothing to do in this world. The entire planet is covered in sand and dust. It’s got to be one of the most depressing futures imaginable. Not only is there no sense of government or humanity so you’re surrounded by thugs everywhere you go, but there don’t even seem to be human essentials like stores and such. You’re stuck scavenging for your own things for the rest of your life which is as bleak as it gets. Seriously, it’s hard to have any fun in this place.

Max isn’t intending on having any fun though as he is still depressed from the events of the first film. I can’t say I blame him because the world has only gone south since then. At least in the first film it felt like there was still a civilization. Maybe it’s just the area that the second film takes place in but any civilization appears to be long gone at this point. There isn’t much to say about Max because he doesn’t say much and barely has any real character. He’s certainly not awful but he’s not that good either. The kind of character you forget even exists really.

None of the villains are any good. You’ve got Humungus as the leader of the group and the best thing I can say about the guy is that he is very strong. Nobody’s going to mess with him, that’s for sure and he chokes out the one villain who started to get out of line. Other than that, he’s just another thug trying to make a name for himself. Wez is much worse as the guy is one of those crazy types who only barely manages to get through his missions without going overboard.

The villains were just bad here because they had no real personality. The leader is the strong guy and Wez is the crazy guy. That’s the extent of their character here and I never got very interested in what was going to happen to them. This just isn’t that kind of film and that’s a shame. To make a good villain you’ve got to give them a solid goal or just make them generally charismatic. Some fun dialogue and a few good lines would have gone a really long way here.

As for the other group, well you have two main members. There’s Papagallo who could have been an action hero in a different movie. In this one the guy is still in the leadership role and makes the tough calls but he’s not all that likable. I’ll give him some points for being one of the most developed characters in the movie though, maybe even the most. You can at least see that he has some rationale behind his decisions and he certainly earned the unofficial title as leader. When the group needs a decision, then he comes through.

Then there’s the kid who can’t talk yet and acts like a wild animal. Well, he’s certainly savage enough and lands a lot of good blows so that’s impressive. His skills with a boomerang can’t be denied. Not really my kind of character but he proves helpful which is important. Then you have the gyro captain (I don’t think he ever got a name and this is what Wikipedia refers to him as so I’ll take their lead here) who goes from being Max’s fugitive for a while to actually helping out in the end. He definitely came in handy since aerial mobility is huge in a fight like this. In a car battle one wrong bump can take you out but in the air it’s hard to counter.
So those are the characters but I was less than impressed with them. As mentioned earlier, there is some animal violence here which really doomed the flick. You should not have a dog die in your film…ever. It’s just never going to end up being a good move and ends up backfiring horribly! Definitely a regrettable move. I mean, the film was going to get a low score regardless because I didn’t really like anything about it, but this ensured that it fell almost all the way down.

At the end of the day, the deck was really stacked against the film. I don’t care for the desert environment as it is. Then you’ve got a futuristic world with absolutely no high tech concepts which is missing the point of a future based film in the first place. I would also make the case that the film barely has a plot. Yes, we have to protect the fuel and Max just wants to get out of there but that’s a 20 minute plot, not a whole film’s worth.

Overall, I would give this film a hard thumbs down. Max Max is really not a film I would recommend. Even the newer films tend to not look very interesting but maybe it will eventually break out. The issue is that I feel the series would need a complete revamp in order to be good and that’s not likely happening anytime soon. If anything I’m sure that would be extremely controversial.

Overall 1/10