Alien Nine Review


Alien Nine has definitely got a handle on the strange atmosphere that only a few shows I’ve seen like Serial Experiments Lain have pulled off. There’s always a sense that something’s about to happen no matter how happy the scene is and so you’ve got a full sense of danger there right off the bat. That said, as a darker magical girl show, this one doesn’t quite reach the hype and levels of intrigue as Madoka. It ends up being rather twisted for the heroines but not always in a cool way.

The 4 part show introduces us to a world where alien invaders are common place. They crash on the school all the time and the local alien defense force takes them out. The defense force is made up of 3 girls from their respective classes. It’s a job that most of the girls don’t want but some don’t mind doing it. Basically each class holds a vote like for a student president and then they send their representative off to go and fight the alien monsters. This year the 3 girls selected are Otani, Kasumi, and Kuni. Otani is really not happy about this while Kasumi is thrilled and Kumi is more ambivalent. In order to fight off the aliens, the girls have to wear symbiotes which protect them as automatic defense weapons and shields. Now since these are symbiotes that at least hints that there is some give and take here. Is this really all above board and why do the aliens constantly attack this school?

I feel like the show drops the pretense of this being your classic magical girl adventure almost immediately. The symbiotes look creepy from the start and the OVA always has a lot of moody music and a dark color scheme. It’s all for that spooky atmosphere I mentioned earlier. Of course, it still does have its share of happy scenes, you’re just always waiting for the catch. Things continue to get more serious as we delve into the show and see more of what makes this school tick. As a short OVA, it does end on a big cliffhanger and doesn’t exactly cover the whole thing but that does make for a hype ending.

You could say the main plot is when the giant alien known as Yellow Knife appears. He claims to be Kasumi’s brother but this is likely mind games on his part. This was an easy way to get Kasumi on his side to fight against the other two. It’s a rather intense climax filled with dreams and inner visions that aren’t real as the teachers try to get control of the situation. You’ll want to stick around to the end as that’s when we get to some of the big cliffhangers. Lets just say that the body count is rising here, one character just can’t catch a break.

So lets talk about what didn’t work first and then get to the positives. Well, Otani is a really bad main character, there’s just no way around that. She is constantly crying and just doesn’t want to be an alien hunter. It is a dangerous job so that’s understandable but if she’s going to be forced to do this you’d like to see her really get tough. That said, she’s so young that it seems awfully mean of the parents to allow this to continue. We know the teachers will try to keep her in it as part of their nefarious schemes but unless the parents are in on the take, I’d like to see them try to help her get out of this a bit more. It’s really like Otani is being tortured by staying here. With one host getting eaten and another one murdered, you feel like Otani can only survive for so long.

With the main characters being so young, they’re effectively trapped in a lot of these decisions because they just aren’t old enough to get out of it. Having a character as reluctant as Otani is more tragic than funny the whole time. She really has to put up with a lot and will almost certainly be traumatized by the time she’s an adult at this rate. Otani has to see creatures get blown up right in front of her on multiple occasions after all.

The symbiotes themselves don’t really seem good or evil so much as they’re just there to help their owner. They’ll destroy any threats as they deem necessary although the teachers ask the heroines not to let that happen. Their having to lick the characters after the mission seems completely unnecessary though and just another creepy part of being an alien fighter in this world. It definitely gives Otani even more of a reason to want to quit right away. There are no noticeable upsides to being an alien fighter, especially when it seems like the group never actually makes any progress on this.

Kasumi is the only member of the 3 who actually enjoys the role and she is the most entertaining character as a result. All of the skills come naturally to her and she can even fight off opponents personally without having to rely on her symbiote. I like that at least someone came ready to fight here and so it’s a shame that she has to miss out on most of the climax.

She is rather obsessed with her brother who moved away though which starts to get to some almost disturbing territory with Yellow Knife manipulating her and some of the visuals that we get. It’s not cut and dry like Wixoss so you could make the case that it’s normal but it did feel like the OVA was getting there. Either way, the whole alien merging into her like a Chest Burster was one of those weird scenes that isn’t weird in a good way. The show even squeezes in a chest burster scene early on as the characters watch some kind of alien film.

The creatures get blown to smithereens during each of the fights. It’s monster blood so it isn’t quite as drastic as if they were normal creatures. It’s green and all although it can be a bit excessive, reminded me of Planet Hulk in a lot of ways. It’s less of an action context when Otani is going around slaughtering them all when she’s being mind controlled which may be why it feels more intense but it’s just another check on the list of reasons on why Otani would like to get away from this job as soon as possible. At least no real animals appear here which is always a good thing.

Now on the plus side, the main theme song here is catchy. It’s definitely got a more classic magical girl feel to it. From the theme song at least this appears to be your standard adventure. The rest of the themes within the show aren’t quite as memorable but it’s a decent soundtrack that works well enough in the moment. The animation’s definitely not as high budget but you do get some cool scenes like when the characters block attacks using the symbiote. Having an automatic defense which can also transform into anything is incredibly handy.

In a lot of ways it should remind you of the symbiote from Marvel. These guys can do pretty much everything that Venom can and can also talk. They allow you to resist illusions and generally seem helpful. Now, like Venom it may be hard to trust them at times but since the girls have to put their lives in the symbiote’s hands every day I guess you have to hope for the best. If it’s a true symbiotic relationship where the creature needs them too then it should balance out and they’ll keep you alive.

The final girl from the trio is Kumi and she’s nice enough. She’s always been helping students who couldn’t keep up or just helping everyone at large as student president. It’s why she wanted to join the group so she wouldn’t have that burden anymore but it ended up not working out perfectly well for her. She’s too nice for her own good and still tries to help Otani out. It makes her a well balanced character and definitely the natural leader of the squad. She may not be as powerful as Kasumi, but Kumi is definitely the person you would want to have at your back.

Hisakawa is the main teacher here and she’s as corrupt as they come. As one of the people in charge of the whole alien situation to trap these kids, she is really the main villain if you think about it. The disturbing part is how nonchalant she is about the whole thing. She doesn’t really seem to care for the girls’ safety at all so when she appears you always know she’s about to make some more unreasonable demands. She even wanted Kasumi and Kumi to leave Otani alone. Fortunately they realized this wasn’t quite right and stayed to back her up.

Naturally the Principal is another big villain here since she’s one of the head honchos. You certainly can’t trust her and will want to keep your distance as much as possible. Interestingly, the adults seem to have the symbiotes perfectly merged within them. We see that their hair can turn into drills which is how the symbiotes fight. So either they mastered the control as part of the symbiote bonding or the symbiote just took control. Either way it doesn’t spell a great picture for the kids who have to wear these symbiotes every day.

So lets talk a little more about the setup here. What seems to be the case is that the teachers raise a bunch of aliens in their labs and also create the symbiotes out of some kind of water substance. They then pick a few kids every year to wear these symbiotes. Aliens are strategically let loose within the school to be summarily captured by the kids although they sometimes end up being slaughtered. Rinse and repeat so of course this begs the question of why the teachers are doing this. It has to be for an evil reason or they would just let the kids know that the aliens are being manufactured to test their skills or something.

I think we can read into it based on the adults who have merged with their symbiotes. Most likely what this means is that they are feeding the Symbiotes. So I think the best explanation here is that the symbiotes did take over the principal and by extension they also took control of all the teachers. My only question would be why they don’t take over the whole school. Just have every kid wear the symbiote. With Otani it’s mentioned that some kids have better fusion rates than others so perhaps most people don’t mesh well with the symbiote. I suppose that would work and either way they’ll continue to spread even if it’s slower.

The whole Yellow Knife appearance is what threw a wrinkle into everyone’s plans since this wasn’t something the teachers predicted. They respond incredibly slow to the new threat though so it doesn’t seem to concern them a whole lot. I thought at least the teacher would be super concerned since she already failed once and can’t afford to lose the kids but you never see much of a sense of urgency. Not like the teacher is all that tough though as she was still overwhelmed by the alien’s illusions. Only Kumi really seemed to be able to break through the illusions quickly thanks to her symbiote.

The OVA has a twist ending at the very end so make sure you stay all the way through. It should raise a lot of questions while also leading you into the next act if you ever check out the manga. As mentioned earlier, the body count rises as someone dies but the problem is there are too many suspects to really figure out on who did it. It could be anyone who is being mind controlled, any of the symbiotes, teachers, principals, aliens, etc. Part of the danger in this school is how anybody can be an enemy. You can’t trust anyone, Otani probably can’t even trust her parents since they could be aliens.

In a way it’s like the Secret Invasion in Marvel. If fully realized symbiotes like the teachers don’t even appear anymore and just merge into your hair (Similar to what Otani did during her rage mode) then there’s no way to track them at this point. Any person can be part alien and you would never know it. I think this would have a lot of potential if you wanted to turn this into a mystery thriller or something as a group of humans try to stop the alien invasion. Thing is, it’s probably already too late to stop them. The feats that the symbiotes perform would make it a simple matter to destroy dozens of opponents in an instant. They can block any attacks including bullets and wouldn’t break a sweat. Not that the symbiotes can probably sweat but the point is that there are no threats to them. Humans wouldn’t stand a chance.

Overall, Alien Nine is not an OVA you are likely to forget. It’s got a very spooky aura right from the get go and the fact that the main girls are so young means there aren’t a whole lot of ways to escape. In effect that’s part of why the show can be so unnerving because most Shonen Leads can punch their way out of this but the girls can’t realistically do much. By the same token, that’s what holds the OVA back. The characters can only passively follow along with what is happening. They’re effectively all victims of a much grander scheme. It’s like they’re strapped into a rollercoaster that they can’t get out of. It can all be rather tragic at times and it’s sinister enough where you won’t have a great time here. Almost every scene is someone crying or yelling because of all the trauma. I’d like to see a sequel to this with older main characters trying to fight back against the aliens. Time to uproot the society they’ve built here and turn this into a Shonen. This is the kind of show where there is always a lot to talk about and theorize though. Still, if you’re looking for a very creepy alien invasion story, it would be hard to beat this one. I’d say it’s even spookier than Lain in some ways.

Overall 5/10

Engineer vs Alien



This is a tribute to Alien: Covenant. The Engineer is powerful to be sure and in a physical fight would do way better than a human. That said, it had trouble against an alien creature that was not fully realized. Imagine what an adult Xenomorph could do to the guy. As it is, the Alien’s acid is almost as dangerous as his actual claws. The Engineer would quickly be out of luck here and just wouldn’t be able to carve out a win. Alien wins.

Prometheus 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

Prometheus is a film that I saw the trailer for more times than I can count. It just kept playing for every film in theaters and it always had a very ominous vibe. Creating a prequel to the alien franchise in general is a very move since the series is so well known for how cryptic and mysterious it is. This was definitely a very bold move and while it is interesting to see how the aliens were first developed, I don’t think the attempt was ultimately successful as you need Aliens in an alien film.

The movie starts off with a crew aboard the Prometheus getting ready to land on a planet to ideally meet their creators. They have a theory that the creators are here using some symbols from cave paintings. The evidence may seem flimsy but it’s the future so why not right? Meredith is the daughter of the guy who funded this expedition and she reminds them not to engage with any aliens they might meet and this is just a mission about exploring. She doesn’t think they will find anything though. Little does she realize that the team is about to run into something extremely dangerous.

Watching films like this where the heroes are stuck in space reminds me why I would never want to go on such an expedition. I’m quite fine on Earth and you have to be able to trust everyone 100% while in space. That seems like a difficult task for me because everyone always seems this close to cracking in these things. It doesn’t take long for the pressure to get to the characters after all.

In this movie the standout character is an android named David. Almost everyone on the crew seems to despise him because he isn’t human which I have to say does make them seem like jerks. David shrugs off the insults though and usually has a counter blow of his own. He makes for a very interesting character as it is hard to get a read on him. It’s also this trait that makes the humans distrust him as well. As the film goes on he continues to get more and more sinister.

The guy’s very interesting though and helps bring that horror element into the equation. At the same time, his super strength would be a good asset for fighting off these creatures. The only character who is actually kind to him is Elizabeth. She treats him like a real person and he saves her life at one point so she is grateful for that. Elizabeth is the real main character of the film. She’s definitely no Ripley but does well enough. She wants to get off of the island early on which was the right move but unfortunately the group doesn’t have such plans.

A strong positive for the film is also the impressive soundtrack. Not only is it the best soundtrack in the alien franchise but it’s one of the most impressive horror soundtracks I’ve heard. Aside from Resident Evil I’m not sure if any would beat it. The music is really grand and hammers home the surreal feeling of being on an alien planet. At all times you have some great tracks going so at least you will be having fun on the journey.

The movie does make the usual mistakes when it comes to alien films like this though. The violence is quite over the top with everyone getting destroyed once the aliens come out. The deaths tend to be quite painful as well as you have the chest bursters showing up as always and the aliens like to destroy the humans from the inside out. Much like the Carnage scene in the recent Venom movie, they tend to go in through the mouth at times with their attacks. I’d definitely rather they go for more conventional kills like with a bite or something instead.

Aside from Elizabeth and David, the cast isn’t all that good either. Meredith is basically just on the mission to prove herself as a high ranking officer but she doesn’t do a whole lot. Ironically I would say she had one of the most painless deaths in the film though. Surely getting squashed by thousands of tons of steel in an instant is better than living with an alien incubation or being torn to shreds right?

There’s Peter who is the old man in charge of the mission but the guy really should have known better than to come to this planet. There was a flaw in the plan all along. So the characters believe that humanity was created by a race of aliens and then abandoned to fend for themselves. Given this…why would the aliens be happy to see us? It should come as no surprise to see that they would be quite aggressive and that didn’t go over very well.

These guys are called the Engineers and it’s an interesting concept. So they are basically like androids that are more powerful than humans and have a good amount of geniuses on their team. That said, I think the film is trying to point out that creatures will always surpass electronics and so these guys don’t last too long against a creature. It opens the door for interesting side stories and maybe some Engineers vs Predator battles. I would assume the Predators would win that but it would be a fun fight.

The Engineer doesn’t do a lot and basically refuses to talk but this does make them an interesting enemy. There are a few more members of the crew but you already know that most of them aren’t going to survive. You’ve got the gung ho guy who is all set to learn about humanity but he’s quite mean to David which doesn’t bode well for him. You have the loud complainer who doesn’t even want to be here and the timid guy who is in over his head. Naturally things don’t go well for them.

There is one more likable character in Janek though. He’s the captain of the ship and knows when not to take orders from corporate. He’s willing to take big risks to help the characters and readily puts himself into harm’s way. I liked his determination and without him the Earth would have been in a lot of trouble. He gets some good credit for that and additionally even when he gets a lot of bad news, he never breaks down or cracks. He just keeps on going.

Overall, I’d say that the idea behind the prequel wasn’t bad. Seeing the start of how the aliens form is interesting but it also means that we don’t get to see any real aliens until the very end of the film which is really a shame. Classic Xenomorphs easily have some of the best designs in all of sci-fi. It’s really hard to top them and these little amoeba creatures don’t have the same impact. If you throw away a lot of the usual violence and everything then this could have been better but as it stands, it just isn’t able to break out into its own.

Overall 2/10

Alien vs Predator Review


This is a movie I saw many years ago and I remember always being on team Aliens. I’ve always been partial to that group. Perhaps it’s because I’m more familiar with them, that they came first, or it’s just more fun to root for the monster. That hasn’t changed over the years either and after watching the movie I can really explain more why I prefer the aliens. See, while they are sentient, they are really just beasts at the core. They run on instinct and take everyone down. The Predators are actually an advanced alien race that really do whatever they please and tend to look rather corrupt. The whole film only exists because they like to hunt prey and use humans as sacrifices. Not exactly the group you would be rooting for.

Lets take a step back though. The movie starts with Charles locating a mysterious temple. It has details from various cultures and suggests that humanity actually united to create this a while back. He is older at this point and wants one last thing to be remembered by before he dies. So Charles assembles a group of the greatest scientific experts on the planet along with the ultimate guide in Alexa. She is skeptical at first but eventually decides to get on board. Little does this group realize that they won’t be the only sentient life in this area.

One thing that really separates this one from the average Alien and Predator titles is that the movie really leans into the cool sci-fi aesthetics. The scenes showing how the Predators are watching the temple, the alien ship, etc is all so much better than you would expect. This is a Sci-Fi film where you can see how advanced the technology is as opposed to us not seeing more of it. Usually it is fine to keep the Predators more secretive but in a vs film like this, I think this is the right approach.

So the visuals are unmatched and I thought the soundtrack was decent. I won’t say great since I don’t think you’ll even remember a bunch of the tunes by the end but they work well enough during the movie. The writing is good and the fights with the Aliens vs Predators will always raise your hype before they start just trying to get extra gritty.

Where the film falters is where most of these horror films falter. It tends to get excessively violent, particularly with the chest bursters that return from the Alien films. It seems like you can’t go through any alien film without having at least one of these scenes right? If you get rid of those entirely it would be a good move and just stick to the Xenmorphs. This is still a horror film at its core even with all of the in-fighting between groups but you don’t need the bursters for the scare scenes.

As the main character Alexa does well here. She points out that this is a very bad idea but ultimately ends up helping out because if she doesn’t then people will likely die. They may die anyway but at the very least if there weren’t any aliens she would have been able to keep everyone on the straight path. These guys also aren’t exactly the best at following orders so they need a tough commander.

I’m a bit iffy on her teaming up with the Predator so quickly after learning that they used humans as cattle but with the Aliens being mindless I suppose there wasn’t any chance of making peace with them either. Ultimately Alexa kept her wits about her and was fast to react. Alexa even manages to deal some real damage by the end so kudos there.

Charles is not nearly as likable. I get wanting to make a big discovery in the end but then once we find out that he’s sick, it’s a bit much. He’s putting everyone’s lives on the line just for the discovery? The guy’s rich, he could just wait until everyone has actually checked the rooms and made sure it’s safe before walking in. I’d say that would have been a whole lot better.

Maxwell’s his main right hand man and the guy can fight but I didn’t get why he was so antagonistic the whole time. It feels like that kind of comes out of nowhere and of course that never ends well for the humans in these things. It was good to have a gun at the ready though. We’ve got other characters here as well like the lady with a gun, the guy who just wants to go back home to his kids, etc. You’re mainly just wondering if any of these guys will survive aside from the main character or if it’s game over.

As for the battles, like I said I was rooting for the Aliens here. Effectively they are the underdogs as the Predators always plant them in positions where they should lose. When the Predators are on the losing side they just nuke the planet. Seems like they’re sore losers on that front eh? Fortunately for the Aliens they still have the advantage of berserker strength and their continued evolution. The Alien Queen looks really impressive in this movie to be sure.

Before the final battle we get a few skirmishes between the Aliens and Predators with each side taking some wins. Both sides also have a main fighter you could say. One alien in particular handles himself well as he gets up after being slashed and one of the predators takes a few of the aliens out as well. It helps build you up to the climax.

Then of course we do have a twist ending because those are absolutely necessary. Not just in horror but for any film, it’s just that horror tends to do them with the greatest effectiveness. Lets just say that it’s a really effective way to end the film as you understand the implications of this very well. Albeit it, you feel like it could potentially be a plot hole because the scanners should have sensed something. They would have to right? These scanners were shown to be extremely advanced throughout the movie and did notice an alien when it was inside of someone earlier. It should be the same concept but….maybe they got overconfident. I’ll chalk this up as a plot hole but a fairly small one at least.

Overall, Alien vs Predator definitely delivers on the kind of action that you would expect to see from two savage races fighting each other off. I’m also always a big fan of seeing crossovers come out. At the end of the day that makes for a lot of good fun when you get to the inevitable conclusion. It would be nice if it didn’t have to be so graphic though and of course the humans are stuck in the middle as well. If you can get past the violence then there’s definitely a solid film in here but it loses enough points where it ultimately isn’t able to sustain itself in the green. The best complement for the film though is that they really do nail the special effects. It’s the best that the franchise has ever looked.

Overall 3/10

Goke, The Body Snatcher from Hell Review


I actually had some reasonable expectations for this film but ultimately it fell flat. Goke just wasn’t able to really live up to my expectations because the film decided to go the vampire route instead. Things got a little gritty and instead of cool hand to hand action scenes the humans were just bickering a lot. You can’t win like that, that’s for sure.

The movie starts with a bunch of people on an airplane. They’ve all got big plans for the rest of their lives and are enjoying the pleasant cruise when there is a bomb scare. Sugisaka along with attendant Kuzumi try to find out who has the bomb but then the plane crashes. The heroes are now isolated in a desert region and have no way to salvage the ship. They also must deal with the fact that one of the passengers may have a bomb. Additionally, they know that nobody is coming to save them after turning on the news and hearing the reporters confirm this. One of the passengers quickly breaks the radio though since it was being too helpful.

So that’s a fairly interesting story dynamic you’ve got there. These passengers who each have their own story and values must put aside their own differences in order to band together. There is just one problem and unfortunately it is a big one. There is also a body snatcher from hell that is here to destroy them all. The creature arrived in some kind of meteorite and quickly takes control of a passenger. The only way to know who is the alien is to look for someone with a huge scar on their face and the characters are too busy fighting with each other to put up much of a fight.

Goke started off on the wrong foot as the movie opens with a bunch of birds dying. See, Goke’s influence is able to stir up the wildlife around him which forces the birds to take down the plane. It’s hard to say what the exact purpose of this is. Is it merely the birds growing afraid or Goke mind controlling them because he wanted a vessel? If you think about it, there isn’t even much value in having a vessel since their spaceships are already strong enough to really do whatever they need to do.

Once we’re on the island, the film makes sure to show us that none of the characters are likable which leads to a Lord of the Flies kind of scenario. Sugisaka is easily the character with the strongest moral compass. Ultimately he wants to make sure everyone is able to walk out of here in one piece. I’ll give the guy props for trying to keep everyone together. I just disagreed with one of his decisions when he said nobody should even think about leaving the ship. Hehe…lets just say I’ll talk more about that later.

Kuzumi was also good. She did her best to help out and make sure things were going well. These are the only two reasonable characters. Next up you have Neal who is the sole American in the film so that’s always fun. She is very dramatic the whole time and cries a lot which unfortunately makes things easy on Goke. I ended up losing respect for her when she was on board with the plan of sacrificing some of the crew for her own personal survival. Yeah that’s the kind of thing that is not going to go over well in the slightest.

Mano is a senator who is really unreasonable throughout the film. He’s always telling people to hurry up and get him out of here when it’s clear as crystal that there isn’t anything anyone can do at the moment. Why is this such a foreign concept to him? The guy is also having an affair with Tokiyasu’s wife. Mano is also very quick to betray the others and does this numerous times throughout the film.

Then you have Tokiyasu who willingly threw his wife at Mano in order to try and secure a deal for his company. That tells you the level of ethics that this guy follows. Noriko is also content to go along with this plan which is unfortunate as well. In horror films being unfaithful usually ends up being disastrous for all parties involved and this movie is no exception.

There’s Momotake but he doesn’t last long. The guy is actually happy about the plane crash because he has a theory that humans will always devolve into their base instincts and he wants a chance to prove this. Yes, great for him…but that’s naturally going to only lead to one conclusion right? Momotake talks a big game but he still seems a little surprised by what he had predicted.

Finally there is Sagai who seemed to be reasonable for most of the movie but then he also decided they needed to start sacrificing people. So he went down the drain. It’s a common theme in the film that at the end of the day you can’t trust anyone. Ultimately everyone will betray you and it’s just a very cynical way of looking at things. It would have been nice if they weren’t all so corrupt.

The idea of the cast slowly all going mad as they’re trapped in a small plane with no water or food can definitely be interesting but it has to be handled really carefully. I saw a film sort of like that (I forget the title) where the characters are locked in a house by an invisible force and all start to go crazy. That one was handled better to be sure even if it had some issues.

Now you would think the alien plot would automatically fix things right? Well, I wouldn’t say that the process is automatic because these aliens are basically vampires. Yes, that’s one of the last things this film needed. The movie isn’t afraid to get rather violent with these interactions as the humans are slowly drained into oblivion. Each of these scenes certainly drags and the movie ends up falling into the classic horror hole of being violent for shock value. Throw in all of the animal deaths from earlier and this movie did not know what it was doing.

Even the design for when the aliens inhabit the human hosts is not very fun to look at. They have to make a giant incision in the person’s face which looks like an obvious weak point. The vampires also aren’t very fast so you know that they can be outrun if the humans would stop tripping and looking back. Just keep on going full speed and you’ll be okay. Why turn back like that? All you’re doing is speeding up your own demise!

Okay, so a lot happens by the end of the film and I won’t spoil the twist since it’s like something out of an M Shyamalan film. Of course the heroes crashed somewhere so a few of them suggest running outside for a while to get to the next town. This idea is slammed down but what if they had actually gone? The ending gives you a look at what would have happened and it does make the characters look pretty bad. From the start I thought it was a terrible idea to stay put. Sure the outdoors are dangerous but you have no water or food so isn’t it better to leave now while you have energy than later?

The one thing I will say for the film is that the ending is pretty hype. Things start accelerating a lot quicker than I ever would have suspected and really changes the whole context of what’s going on. I would actually be reasonably hyped for a sequel. The issue with this film…or at least one of them is that we were just focused on the wrong people. I want to see the rest of the planet now which should make for a much more interesting narrative.

Overall, Goke, Body Snatcher was disappointing. Honestly I was expecting it to be significantly better than how it turned out. The aliens being vampires is such an awful idea and making the characters this unlikable was not a good decision. Whenever any film decides to make the whole cast villains for some reason I have to shake my head because that will never work. It’s just not a good idea because you need someone to sympathize with and this completely removes the chances of that happening. If you want to watch an interesting alien film then you have much better options that you can take a look at. This one is best left to the remnants of history.

Overall 2/10

Alien: Resurrection 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 to look at the next Alien installment. I think we all already knew what to expect from this one, but even so you can’t help but feel a little disappointed at how bad this one is. Why can’t the Alien series just adapt what should be an easy premise into a great film? This one makes about all the mistakes it can and you’re never left engaged in what’s going on. If you’re going to be a terrible film you should at least be interesting like Resident Evil or something. That one kept you guessing so you would at least have fun during all of the craziness. This one couldn’t manage that.

The film starts off 200 years after the last one. Ripley has been revived so that the scientists could get her alien. They decide to leave her alive though since she has super powers and they’re hoping that she somehow doesn’t use it to wreck their plans. This is all a pretty illegal operation of kidnapping humans to use as expendables in the Xenomorph project so you’d think they would want to silence everyone right away. Well, a group of mercenaries led by Frank show up and we immediately can’t accept these guys as characters to root for. They’re literally trafficking humans across the cosmos to be murdered. You can have a group of bandits as the lead like in the Guardians of the Galaxy so long as they aren’t pure evil. These guys are terrible and since the scientists are established as villains with Ripley being insane….we have to root for the Xenomorphs this time. Lets see if they can crush all the humans!

Resurrection really made a mistake in making everyone an antagonist. I like a good villain vs villain fight as much as the next guy, but it only works in the context that there do exist some heroes who can fight back. If it’s just a bunch of villains running around then there’s nobody to root for. None of them are all that interesting either. The best member of the rebels would be Frank almost by default. At least he tries to act like a real commander and resorts to blackmail really quickly just to let everyone know that he’s still corrupt. Unfortunately his role is incredibly minor here.

Then you’ve got Ron who is probably the worst member of the group. His first scene is him picking on Dom for not being able to walk and from there he tries to make some moves on Ripley. There’s no real point to his character and while they may be trying to have a gruff lead here, it doesn’t work. Then there’s Dom who exploits the fact that he is in a wheelchair here to load a bunch of guns here basically proving the security guards right for thinking twice about letting him in. I do have to quickly say that this was one of the biggest stretches in the movie. What’s the point of having a metal detector if you’re going to let everyone in anyway? It buzzes for someone’s water bottle which of course turns out to be a gun later on. It buzzes for the wheelchair and later on we find out it’s because there was a gun inside. If you’re not going to test the results then the whole thing is pointless. It can’t eve detect when a robot walks through it.

Then we have Annalee who is trying to be the detective here. She intentionally acts a little slow at times to get everyone to leave her alone. That being said, she is intimidated way too easily. The whole scene with Ripley was pretty awful for her and she never really became a likable character. There is Ripley too of course, but she is pretty much dead to the world throughout the film. She lets her emotions get the better of her whenever they do pop up and she rarely uses her powers in a useful way. She’s got super strength and speed, you’d think she would use that to do more than just intimidate the characters around her the whole time. She’s just an annoying lead with no real personality. There is a twist about her which makes sense almost from the jump but the film waits til near the end to actually confirm it.

I think the scene where you realize that Ripley isn’t going to get any better is during the basketball scene. The whole scene is stretched out quite a bit and somehow the film messed up what it’s going for. This is supposed to be a cool scene where Ripley beats up the guy trying to get too fresh with her and shows them why she is the main character. Instead she forgets how to talk again doesn’t really get to do anything beyond sinking the shot before they are interrupted by the scientists. That was not the way to do this.

I can’t think of any solid tunes here so you can forget about watching it for the soundtrack. The film’s incredibly violent as expected so that’s something to consider when watching the film. Everyone dies in various ways and in this case they don’t even seem to have a chance against the Aliens so it’s not as if it’s exciting. It’s just violent to tick off that box. The writing is also very weak. Aside from all of the characters being unlikable there is also quite a bit of language so the film fails on all technical levels.

At this point…what’s left? Resurrection has to go down as one of the weakest creature features out there. Even the Xenomorphs didn’t seem as cool because they were drooling even more than usual. It’s probably because they were in daylight more, but I don’t remember them looking quite so bad. I prefer the sleek Xenomorph look where it’s more of a hard shell. Maybe they were a little nervous here though. One of them did get jumped by a bunch of others after all.

Overall, Alien Resurrection is definitely a mess of a film. It tries to get in some interesting visuals and ideas with the people in stasis, the alien farm, and stuff like that, but it all falls flat. None of that made me think the film was about ot turn things around and a big part of that goes back to the writing being no good. You can’t properly execute any ideas if the writing isn’t on point. There is really no reason to watch this movie. It’s all about a bunch of unlikable characters getting murdered by aliens and the plot is just a backdrop to that.

Overall 1/10

Alien 3 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 far more negative.

It’s time to look at the next installment in the Alien franchise. I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the series. While it did spawn a lot of super memorable alien designs like the Xenomorph, it just can’t hold up under pressure. This film didn’t do any better I’m afraid since right away a dog appears. That’s the ultimate red flag for any film, especially one with aliens/monsters. The films just can’t seem to resist and neither could this one. The film was dead before it ever began and that doesn’t change as the film goes on.

The film starts off with everyone from the second film dying since one of the Xenomorphs managed to make it aboard the ship. Fortunately, Ripley survived as she is the main character. The ship crashed in a giant space planet, which is used as a place for convicted criminals who would get the death penalty otherwise. I admit that for a while I forgot that this was on another planet because it may as well be Earth to be honest. It’s not like it really makes much of a difference. Now Ripley needs to just wait until a ship arrives that will take her back to Earth, but the problem is that the Xenomorph is somewhere on the planet. She wants to destroy it before leaving or it’ll keep on spreading. Meanwhile the rest of the prisoners want to murder her because they’re still evil. Can she unite the team in time to stop the alien or are they all doomed?

It really doesn’t help that this film has terrible supporting characters. From the start we’re introduced to the fact that a lot of the prisoners are still evil and certainly aren’t ashamed of the fact. They’re just here to mess up the heroes and cause trouble. They even attack Ripley at one point until another guy comes in to corral them. When there aren’t any characters to like then that’s a problem. There are only two of these prisoners who are given any real development.

First off is Jonathan. He isn’t violent like the others, but he was drunk while operating a while back and caused a lot of people to die. As a result he was charged with being the doctor in this place. While he is more perceptive than most of the other characters I definitely wouldn’t call him a good one either. One big problem here is the fact that he was told not to get too close to Ripley and immediately goes past the friend zone. This is a good chance to point out that the romance definitely wasn’t particularly good here. It’s extremely rushed and doesn’t actually serve any kind of purpose in the story. It’s just here for shock value to be honest and if you take it away then everything would still play out the same. Jonathan ultimately doesn’t add much either as Ripley never gives him the courtesy of knowing how he’s gonna die.

Since there is a hostile alien on board that’s going to murder everyone shouldn’t Ripley have just told him to watch out? At least maybe he would have lived that way. By the end it seemed reasonable that she should have told him. The other main character is Leonard. He may be a big prisoner but he has bought into the religion preached there and is trying to turn over a new leaf. That being said, he’s still okay with murdering people. He definitely has a pretty grisly end, but at least he was helpful I suppose. The actual leader of the crew was certainly not interested in making this easy on the characters.

As expected the actual script is pretty terrible as well. There’s a lot of language throughout and the sad part is that it’s pretty much expected at this point. It goes back to the unlikable cast part. Then the film’s also super violent as expected. Everyone goes down as violently as possible and they’re all picked off one by one. None of them have any chance against the aliens. If that wasn’t bad enough, then you’ve got the animal violence as the dog goes down. The film was already pretty hard to get through and when you add all of these elements up you’ve got a stinker on your side.

Meanwhile you’d expect Ripley to at least be decent right? Unfortunately she certainly isn’t. Again, I think letting Jonathan know would have been fair since she forced him to spill the rest of the details. Then she also goes outside by herself in a hostile environment when everyone warned her that the prisoners would try attacking her. She just doesn’t actually listen to anyone and keeps getting herself in trouble.

It goes without saying that this is the weakest Alien film I’ve seen. Hopefully the next ones are stronger, but I can’t say that I have particularly high hopes of that. The series died a long time ago and you could argue that Aliens was its last chance to really make a difference. How do you top the “This time it’s War!” tagline for future titles? As it is we’re basically just retreading old ground at this point. There’s not much point to the films and without a new dynamic it’ll be stuck in place. If the films want to be good they need to at least cut out the animals, give us a better locale, and absolutely the film needs to have better writing. That’ll at least give the film a fighting chance even if I still don’t like its odds.

Overall, This is a pretty dreary film and there’s nothing around to spice things up. The actual locale isn’t as interesting as the first two films. There’s also a lot less alien action for the most part. Aliens had a bunch of them running around at least which was fun. I also prefer the dynamic of soldiers fighting off aliens as opposed to people just trying to run away from them. The former leads to good action scenes while the latter is just needlessly dark. I feel the same way for all genres. There’s no enjoyment to be had in a fierce villain murdering a bunch of non combatants. I want to at least pit him against people who can try to fight back even if they have no chance.

Overall 1/10

Invasion of the Body Snatchers Review


Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of those sentences that wouldn’t have much meaning without the iconic films. That being said, the idea is certainly an interesting one that has been used time and time again by several films. After all, what would you do if someone you knew was replaced by an alien and nobody else knew about it? It lends itself well to horror plots because of how frightening that can be. The film does a good job of keeping that tense atmosphere.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell. Elizabeth notices that Geoffrey has been acting strangely all of a sudden. It’s like he became a new person over night. The same thing starts to happen to a bunch of people outside and the few others who notice quickly change their tunes just as quickly. Elizabeth finally realizes that this is an alien invasion. She finds a few other people like Jack, Matthew, and Nancy who learn about this and have not been turned yet. The only issue is…what can they do about it? It’s not like they can defeat these aliens since they are just as strong as humans and all of the government and law detection forces have already been turned. Is it best to just submit and let themselves be taken?

From the start of the film there isn’t a lot of hope for the characters. What little bit there is gradually deteriorates as the film goes on. The worst part is that the characters can’t even sleep if they are next to any of the aliens. If they do, an alien copy is produced and sucks the life out of the person. The only way you can fall asleep is if you’re next to a friend, but what if that person has actually been turned? You can only trust your comrades so much in this kind of situation. The duplication is a long process but it might as well be instantaneous since it’s hard to awaken once you’ve been tagged.

Naturally, Matthew does just that. He walks to the backyard and decides to take a nap. I get that he’s sleep deprived, but did he have to make it so easy for the aliens? He even let his hand dangle to the ground so that the alien plants could grab him and start the transfer. Matthew had his moments, but I can’t say that he was a good character. He was a little slow on the uptake and not as resourceful as the others. His short romance with Elizabeth also hurt his chances of being likable.

Elizabeth is a reasonably good lead for the majority of the film. While it takes her a while to really do something about the situation, it isn’t a problem that can be solved easily. That being said, her rushed romance with Matthew was pretty bad. Her man may have been snatched, but moving on so quickly isn’t really in good taste. You can say that it was the stress of the situation or a moment of passion but I just see those as excuses. Both characters suffered from this moment. I’m inclined to say that Elizabeth is still the better character over Matthew, but it’s close.

The side characters range from being average horror characters to actual thinkers. Nancy in particular was surprisingly good as she got behind the idea of the plant being the problem right away. There wasn’t any doubt or a plan to go visit the alien head quarters for kicks. She was the first to figure out that the aliens could be fooled and just brought her A game the whole time. Jack was a lot slower as he would fall asleep or get tired every now and again. He did his best once he got serious, but Jack just wasn’t quite as prepared for this. There’s also the suspicious doctor, but he’s so obviously suspicious that I wouldn’t trust the guy with a 10 foot pole. Remember though, this invasion isn’t happening. He claims that it’s all in our heads.

Back to the “Surprisingly intelligent plans” section, the heroes even decide to board a boat to another country. Sure, it may not get them away from the problem entirely but it’ll buy them some time. Unfortunately, it’s too late by the time they get there, but it was a good plan. At that point, the only other thing to do would be to just try and live normally while feigning no emotion. It’s not too clear on how the aliens know if you’re sleeping. It’s possible that you’ll be okay if you sleep so long as there are no aliens around. The problem is that they are microbe sized and have infected just about everything. Your house would have to be germ free to escape their influence.

I have to give the film a lot of credit for the ending. It’s handled quite well and is pretty unexpected when it occurs. The moments building up to it are just as solid and the execution as a whole is what makes it work. Depending on how you look at it, this could make for a fun sequel. It would be a last stand kind of film with one character trying to take out an army. That being said, not having a sequel let’s you play out the various scenarios in your head.

I want to say that the film had a good soundtrack, but it’s been a while and I can’t remember the tunes. I’m sure they were reasonably good tracks that worked well with the visuals though. Speaking of which, the film definitely had some disturbing visuals. The plant monster/alien bodies looked real weird before they turned into human duplicates. The dog with the interesting face was also something else. At least the transition of being turned into an alien is painless so that’s nice on the humans. It’s a sad fate, but at least it could be worse.

Overall, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a horror film done right. The human characters don’t all talk like bad cliches. The plot was well thought out as well. While the film doesn’t have a bunch of “jump scares” the overall atmosphere is more effective anyway. The place is usually cloudy and even when the characters are in a sunny environment, it never really feels like they’re safe. It’s simply a break from the dangers that are all around. I’d recommend checking this movie out. It’s pretty fun and good survival stories are hard to come across so you want to pounce on the ones that turn out well.

Overall 6/10

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Review


Well, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally time for the sequel to the original Guardians to see if it can live up to the reputation of the first one. Unfortunately, it definitely could not. The film’s own premise hurts it quite a lot as the main characters succeed at all being very unlikable jerks for the most part. That seems to be the point so to the film…You’re welcome! Unfortunately, this just isn’t an angle that they should have pursued. Still, thanks to a key scene and some nice action scenes along the way, the film was able to avoid an unfortunate fate.

Peter and the Guardians start the film out by getting into trouble as per usual. They decide to steal from their employers and are quickly found out. Fortunately, they have the help of Star Lord’s Dad who destroys most of the attacking ships and helps the heroes escape. He wants Peter to come to his planet to hang out so Gamora and Drax go along with him. Rocket and Groot stay behind to watch Nebula, the villain that the heroes picked up so they could get the bounty on her head. Unfortunately, they have a run in with Yondu. Meanwhile, Peter’s Dad may not be what he seems!

This is a pretty big movie so there’s certainly a lot to talk about. Lets start with the worst character in the film, Groot. I don’t know how this guy got to be such a fan favorite character. He was bad in the first film and he’s extraordinarily terrible in this film. He’s nothing but a big bully and he gives the film an extremely rocky start from which I don’t think it ever truly recovered. It can’t really be totally blamed on the opening since the film never really tried to get away from this, but it was a sign of things to come. Groot picks on a pair of creatures for no reason and then tries to eat a poor butterfly. It’s supposed to be a funny scene which shows just how twisted the humor is nowadays.

Now, Groot’s appeal is supposed to be that he’s cute because of how dumb and mean he is. Groot only cares about himself and never moves an inch to help his friends. Any scene with him is incredibly hard to sit through. One scene in particular which drags on a lot has him try to find something during a prison escape scene. He keeps on bringing the wrong things including a severed toe which was just gross and completely unnecessary. We get it, Groot is brainless. We knew that during the first film…why did the film have to shove it in our face the whole time? Groot was just terrible and I agree with critics that he was a scene stealer…just in the absolute worst possible way.

Next is Drax…who somehow found a way to be even worse and more unlikable than in the first film. One running gag as per usual is that he takes everything literally. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also grown even more grotesque and barbaric with his mannerisms. He talks about how his people are proud of talking about rather vile stuff and calls Mantis ugly multiple times. It’s fortunate that she is extremely naive so the insults went over her head. He’s just a very mean person which is why he fits in with the gang quite well. It’s just a shame that he’s such a terrible character. When you have Drax and Groot on the same team…you know that something’s wrong.

Next up is Rocket. Finally, we’ve got a step up from the other two. He’s the same Rocket that you’ll remember from the first film only he’s a lot meaner. Gee…what a surprise Rocket gets the gang into a lot of trouble but the team wouldn’t last long without his gadgets anyway so I suppose it’s a fair tradeoff. He’s surprisingly not very smart at times as Rocket can’t pick up on sarcasm or recognize insults when he hears them. I feel like he’s less intelligent than he was in the first film. Still, that’s fine since he still has his personality fully in tact. Rocket knows how to use his guns and does a good job of annoying Peter. We fortunately don’t dive too far into his origin story either as I got worried for a minute when Yondu started talking. Crisis averted. The winking subplot probably has Rocket’s best moments.

Gamora is my favorite character in this film. She’s still the only member who really knows what she’s doing. Gamora is actually trying to make the world a better place and she also knows all of the members well enough to know when something is wrong. She gives Peter a pep talk, helps Groot most of the time even when he doesn’t deserve it and she comes close to figuring out the sinister planet’s secret. She also does a good job of handling the situation with Nebula. It was a little hard to take Nebula seriously the whole time as a villain since she wasn’t very powerful but the film helps to fix that as well.

Finally, there’s Peter. After watching the TV show for so long, it took a little bit to get used to this version of the character again. At least he is trying to get away from his old flirting tendencies. If he can keep this up, this will really help him as a character. Peter is certainly a much better character than he used to be now that he is just focusing on one person. He does get a little unsympathetic though when he is tricked so easily. Thinking that Gamora is just jealous was pretty silly and I don’t think he was being mentally influenced at the time so it was all him. His reaction after learning a certain plot twist was also on point as well. Instantly blasting away and hitting all of the vitals was the optimal response. No questions like “But why!”, stuttering, going into shock, or any of the other terrible responses. Peter should never have been sucked in so easily prior to this, but at least he rectified the mistake.

There were also a few supporting characters. Yondu gets a fairly large role along with a lot of character development. I’m still not a fan of the character, but I do like his arrow. It’s certainly a potent weapon. Similar to Quicksilver getting a larger version of his scene in Apocalypse compared to Days of Future Past, Yondu gets a larger scale scene to use his arrow in this time. It’s a very good trick and if he was going all out he could likely do well against the cinematic Avengers. I highly doubt it would have an effect on the Hulk and Thor/Vision would be able to endure it as well. The others would be in a pickle and I’d include Iron-Man in that since his suit hasn’t been the most durable as of late. Now, why wasn’t Yondu the character convincing for me? Well, he did just kind of sit there when all of his men were being executed. He was also taken in pretty easily considering he had the really cool arrow and should have done something the instant a mutiny was starting. Take no chances when you’re the Captain! The transporting kids part didn’t do him any wonders either.

The Sovereign people weren’t bad either. I liked their video games and the idea of a virtual army is like something out of World Trigger. You actually feel bad for them to an extent since they held up their end of the bargain while the Guardians broke theirs. Still, we’re supposed to side with the Guardians since they’re the protagonists. I just couldn’t blame the Sovereign for wanting revenge. They just gotta work on their 3D Galaga skills and they’ll be all right for the re match. Their new secret weapon should help as well.

Nebula has probably improved the most since the first film. Her transition into being more of a rival went pretty smoothly. I think there was a little forced emotion when she was reminding the audience of her backstory since I don’t think Nebula cries easy. The whole film was maybe trying a little too hard in that end, but I guess as long as we get the “almost” death of the main character each time than it’s a good tradeoff. They always come so close, but don’t end up kicking the bucket because someone else is there to save them.

Mantis is an alien being who doesn’t know much about anything. She was raised by Ego in exchange for her assistance in getting him to rest every day. Unfortunately, the Guardians are the ones who help her expand her horizons so the lessons that she learns aren’t the greatest ones. She’s a decent character. Mantis’ character tropes aren’t really my style but I guess you can say that she did all that she could with them.

Finally, we have Ego. There’s nothing really likable about him and I can definitely say that the character fell flat. He didn’t do anything for me even if he did have cool abilities. The problem is that he’s way too overpowered. You know ahead of time that the heroes will need some plot hax if they want to come out on top. It delivers as it always comes through in the clutch, but they should have made him a little weaker. At least what wasn’t plot hax was the brief Man of Steel homage fight scene. That was pretty neat as you can instantly see where it took notes on the Zod vs Superman battle. If strength correlated with likability than Ego would be at the top, but it’s just not the case. He works well enough as a villain, but don’t expect to root for him.

As far as the soundtrack goes, the tunes are pretty good again. Most of them aren’t all that memorable, but it’s always nice to hear songs from the 80s. They’re just very catchy and it will remind you of the good ole days. The themes stand out and the best part is that you know the film had a soundtrack. There are a bunch of films that you’ll finish and wonder if they actually had any music to begin with. This film just didn’t have that problem.

The visuals are also pretty sharp for this film. Marvel is still a few years behind DC when it comes to the effects, but they’re getting closer. The brief fight with Peter and Ego was a lot of fun and I liked the Mass Effect Ego design. Peter’s element gun looked a little weaker this time as the blasts were quite small, but as long as it’s a blast I’ll take it anyway. You’ll go into the film expecting the graphics to be good since this is a space film and all so it’s good that you will not be disappointed.

One thing that the film definitely did right was its references. It was fun to be reminded of what we all loved about the 80’s. There’s a certain reference/guest star appearance in particular that worked really well. This iconic figure reminded me that I definitely couldn’t give the film a negative score. It had its issues, but the film reminded me that it could be classy. Moreover, you’ll probably gain some respect for the character who uses this guest star. It was a really exciting moment and the only thing that could have made it even better would have been an extended fight scene where Ego fights the Sm4sh version of this icon.

That was an example of humor done right. Unfortunately, as a whole the film did have an issue with the humor. The problem is that Guardians just isn’t a very funny film. Airplane probably had more laughs in 10 minutes than this film had in its whole generation. I blame it partially on the terrible writing, but it’s also because the film really televises all of its jokes ahead of time. For example, when a guy with a scarred face calls the gold villains. You instantly know what the joke will be and how it will be handled. That’s a bit of a problem because it’s not going to be as funny if you see it coming right? That’s how the film handled most of its jokes. It could have learned a thing or two from the Plane film.

One thing that made that film so funny was how sudden the jokes would occur. When the main character was asked if he wants a smoking or no smoking ticket you didn’t expect a good joke, but then they pull out a ticket that has smoke coming out of it. That was an excellently handled joke. Granted, the film had some bad jokes as well, but the ratio was in its favor and the good jokes wee really good. The best joke in Guardians would have trouble breaking even in Airplane. In this case, I don’t even think we can blame it on the characters all that much since they should still be good at humor.

Also, I’m not saying that the humor is terrible or anything like that. The film still did have a few moments here and there and you can definitely tell that it tried. It’s probably just a writing limitation. Unfortunately, the writing is fairly weak. There’s a lot of language throughout and edgy lines that serve no purpose being here. Some of the dialogues between the characters will make you wince or try to tune them out. Rocket threatening to place something vile on Peter’s bed was just sad and Ego talking about how he built his body was unnecessary. It’s little scenes like that coupled with everything else that begin to add up through the long haul.

Despite all of this, you should be satisfied with the action and explosions here. The film gives you everything you could want in a summer blockbuster. There’s a lot of banter and excitement around most corners. There are points in the film where not much happens, but I still wouldn’t really call these parts boring as the setting and characters are interesting enough. There are two kinds of films. Those that are fun to watch regardless of their quality and those that are not. I can safely say that this one is still enjoyable enough where you can try to overlook the negatives until the film ends. Your opinion of it will then start to deteriorate, but that’s an after effect. I’d also see this any day of the week over many other films.

One thing I’ll hope for in the third film is a longer fight. We had a brief fight with Peter and Quill, but that was the only real fight in the movie. The rest of the action scenes were just general action scenes against giant monsters or massacre fight scenes with the heroes wrecking a lot of flunkies. I’m hoping for more actual fights since the first film had quite a few of those. The Nebula vs Gamora fights here would be a highlight in that regard although again…they were pretty short. I always place fights above action scenes, but naturally having both of them is always a good thing.

There are quite a few post credit scenes 80’s style. They’re filmed like bloopers in a sense, but take place after the film. Some are important and others aren’t. One of them teases a new character who may show up in the 3rd film. Honestly, I wish he had shown up here since a fight with Ego probably would have been a lot of fun. Also, this guy is a personal favorite of mine so I have no doubt that he would have elevated the film. Another scene showed a group of classic characters. I can’t say that I’m super hyped for the group, but I did think that the rocky actor stole the show so it’d be pretty fun to see him return. A certain teenager who appears in one of the scenes is someone that I hope to never see show up. Luckily this wish will likely be granted. It was fun to see various cameos during the film as well. Referencing the rest of the Marvel cosmic mythos is always a good idea. Sadly Thanos didn’t show up this time, but Infinity War is finally getting closer so that’s good.

Overall, Volume 2 had quite a lot of problems. It started out really rough, had a bumpy ride during the middle, and then had a reasonably good climax. It’s still a fairly engaging film, but it tries way too hard to be funny. It’s an unsuccessful attempt. The characters are unlikable which takes you out of the film at times especially in Groot’s case. This is one of those films that I wouldn’t want to watch again at least not for a very, very long while, but for a one time viewing it wasn’t bad. At the very least you can’t say that the film isn’t engaging. There’s a good amount of action and excitement all around with witty dialogue in between all of the “witty” dialogue. I’d make a parallel to films like Suicide Squad, Lucy, Batman vs Robin, and other such films. They’re pretty entertaining while you watch them, but afterwards you still can’t give them a positive It’ll be fun to see the team show up in Infinity War, but beyond that, the Guardians don’t need another film. That or we just need a fresh new take on the Guardians. Get some new writers and we’ll see what they can do. In the meantime, I’m cautiously optimistic about Thor: Ragnarok (Gladiator scenarios don’t have the greatest track record and I can totally imagine some animal violence there, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt) and Spider-Man. (Worst Peter Parker…ever!) With the summer just starting, we’ll see how the rest of the films stack up. King Kong and Guardians may not have led it off to the strongest of starts, but the year is young.

Overall 5/10