Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Review

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It’s time for the next installment in the Star Wars series. It’s still the most popular Sci-Fi franchise out there and it’s pretty surreal that the series finally got to keep going after the long gap since episode III. This one’s been getting fairly mixed reception and it’s easy to see why. I have a lot of mixed thoughts on it as well. There’s a fairly large laundry list of pros and cons that I have with the film that all get thrown together which is why this review will be fairly long. Long story short, it’s a good movie, but one that feels like it’s considerably longer than it should be with not much actually happening for most of it.

The film starts with the Republic getting wrecked on all sides by the First Order as per usual. They’re outgunned and outnumbered but they have spirit. Against orders Poe decides to take down one of the enemy flagships and single handily saves a good chunk of the fleet. For his bravery he is demoted. Unfortunately the First Order is still gaining on the heroes and their only chance is that Rey will return with Luke Skywalker to save the day. In case she fails at this task, Finn is charged with a backup plan to find someone who can help them disable the tracker that is preventing them from escaping. With two plans in the works surely one of them will succeed right? Or is all hope lost already?

It’s great to see the opening credits roll and the classic Star Wars previously segment play. It’s always been a nice staple in the franchise and it works well. It also allows the film to go forward without having to show everything by giving us a little info from the start. As a result, the actual movie starts out with the big fight in space and that’s exactly how you should start a Star Wars fight. While the Lightsabers may be the most popular aspect of the series, the title would suggest big galactic battles like this one. It’s handled really well and you feel bad for the Republic since their ships are always so outnumbered. I’m a little skeptical on Poe’s ship massacring the big Star Destroyer but I always did say that I’ll take speed over power any day so I guess this proves my point. He did a lot of damage there. It’s a very strong start to the film and it hits all of the beats that it should. Unfortunately things start to slow down here. Lets stick to one chunk of the film at a time though. There are 3 main plots so in those plots I’ll discuss the relevant characters as well as positives and negatives.

The first plot is the Poe plot. The heroes are on the run and they need a plan. Leia gets knocked out because she made the mistake of being in the command room with all of the other generals. However, it is the only unguarded part of the ship and this is such a big design flaw that the people who built the Death Star can now breathe a little easier. This leads to a rather random scene. I won’t go into detail, but I didn’t care for the scene simply because it leads into absolutely nothing. It doesn’t help that I really don’t like Leia. She’s become such a bad character ever since she went into power. It’s like all good characters are corrupted by their bureaucratic status. Just look at how Naruto fell once he turned into Boruto’s father. Now, I can’t blast this scene too much though since obviously the plans had to change when the actress passed away. This plot point could have very well led on to something if she had stayed alive or perhaps she was supposed to die but to let the actress go out on a happier note they spared her.

Leia’s replacement is even worse though. While Leia makes consistent bad choices and shows no leadership qualities, at least she tries. Her replacement refuses to share her plans with anyone and is constantly aggressive for no reason. She seems to be very self conscious about what a bad leader she is so she takes it on everyone else. I don’t remember her name and I don’t even care enough to look it up. She has purple hair and you’ll know her when you see her. She has some of the worst plans that I’ve ever seen a “competent” general come up with. By “competent” I mean that the film wants you to think she is a brilliant strategist and that she knows what she is doing. It’s one thing for a comic relief character to come up with a bad plan or for someone that the film is trying to make look bad to come up with a bad plan. This is something altogether different because it is portrayed as a good plan. Without going into specifics, the new commander wants to sacrifice 100% of the fleet and get everyone to escape in small escape pods that have no barriers or weapons. Except for massive plot armor this is a complete suicide strategy with no hope of success. How would the villains not notice these pods on their scanners? This is the future right? In the present you are able to see small objects on a scanner, I refuse to believe that they simply wouldn’t notice them. Even once the plan starts tanking nothing is done for a very long time and then the lady remembers that she has one last option. By then almost everyone is dead, but still she is supposed to be remembered as a hero. Forget that!

The true MVP of this plot was definitely Poe. So much so that I can safely say that he is easily the best character in the whole film. He is always the one making the right decisions. It may have been risky to take down the Destroyer, but he saved a lot of lives in the process as it would have meant trouble for the other planets. It’s the other pilots who should have done a better job of steering and not dying so easily. Poe’s plan is much sturdier than the commander’s as it is at least a plan that has a chance of saving everyone else. Just giving up is the worst possible call to make in any situation. I’m also glad that Poe has a lot of loyal allies by his side since it shows that the crew can think for themselves. Getting sucker blasted by Leia was annoying, but not something I would blame on Poe. It’s just another reason not to like Leia. Hopefully Poe gets another big role in the next film since his character is really going strong now.

This plot was probably in the middle of the 3 for me. It wasn’t as slow paced as the other two, but at the same time it did stall the most. When you think about it, that whole plot is basically just the main ship running and the enemies blasting at it. It’s stuck for so long that it almost feels like they’re using stock footage at times. There’s one moment in particular where the camera keeps cycling between the 3 plots and it lands on this one twice where I saw 2 ships getting blown up each time. They were probably different ships, but it really looked like the same scene.

Next up is the weakest plot in the film. It belongs to Finn and his new partner, a fan of the pros. You can tell that she’s going to be annoying from her first scene as she gives Finn a sob story and is way too in awe of him. I’ve never liked the hero worship trope in fiction or the fact that it’s a real thing in life. (Shoutout to the Smash community) While her backstory is tragic and all, you have to wonder why she is in the film. Her romance with Finn is awful at best and while she makes the right call in stopping him during a critical moment, it’s also just super annoying. I was annoyed with her the entire time and that probably hurt the plot as a whole. Finn wasn’t much better though. He was seriously going to just run away. I was waiting for the twist or for him to explain that he wasn’t actually doing that…but he was seriously going to just up and run away. You can immediately see the contrast between him and Poe. Both agreed that the commander couldn’t lead her way out of a barn, but Poe decided to stay and do something about it while Finn decided to run away. Case Closed.

Finn’s just not a fun guy. Even when they go to the casino and hundreds of lives are hanging in the balance..he stops to enjoy the atmosphere and the games? You’ve got to be kidding me! It’s hard to even root for him against Captain Phasma since she always gets the shaft in these films. Why is she not able to beat Finn in a one on one fight? She’s also not experienced enough to know that turning your back to the enemy and having slower reflexes than a turtle is a bad combination. I can’t say I’m really a fan of Phasma either, but I’m convinced that the writers just don’t like her. She is intentionally treated as a joke. Finn is unintentionally treated as a joke and there’s a big difference between those two. The former can be good writing while the latter is tragic. Finn is maybe slightly better here than in the first film…maybe. In some ways you can say that he has regressed as a character.

If it’s not obvious why this plot is the weakest, it’s because there are no good character here. They break out a quirky locksmith guy, but as he’s drunk the whole time it’s not like he’s going to be much of an improvement to the cast right? He doesn’t appear for very long anyway and I have to question just how weak the imperial defenses are if some guy in jail can pick them. Shouldn’t they keep upgrading their tech at this point? The plot is easily the least relevant to the film as well and probably could have been cut with nothing actually changing. As it’s the backup plan it could have easily been wrapped up a lot sooner or just been left to the way side and the Rey plot could have changed a bit to accomodate it.

Of course, that’s the big plot. We’re finally up to Rey and her adventures with one of the worst developed characters in history the biggest traitor since Benedict Arnold the mass murderer through negligence Luke Skywalker. I can’t begin to tell you how much I can’t stand this character. It’s hard to hear the guy talk since Luke is so obnoxious. Luke is not only a traitor and mass murderer, but in general a very egotistical, arrogant guy who can’t back up any of his tough talk. He went from being a standard main character for 3 films to someone who has turned his back on the heroes and doesn’t mind if they’re all slaughtered. I’m still puzzled as to who on Earth thought it would be a good idea for him to be such a heel here. The trailer set off all of my warning bells back in the day and the film solidified them. They may as well have turned him into a Sith Lord considering what happened here. When he first rebukes Rey and tells her that what she said was wrong you want to slap him since it was a valid answer. Luke’s answer is the one that’s hogwash as he tries to tell her that the Force is just energy everywhere and all that. It’s his catchphrase as well so you’ll hear him say it again, but he’s annoying (and wrong I’d say) both times. Rey didn’t say anything that really contradicted him and lifting things is basically the Force’s greatest strength. The Force wouldn’t be nearly as good without telekinesis since you could be shot from behind without it or lose in a fight. Controlling weak minds is okay and all but it only works on the weak. You need to keep your barriers up at all times or you’re through.

What they did to Luke is just plain insulting to the original trilogy. His character has been completely warped and I can see why fans would want to pretend that this film just never happened. I still say it’s depressing that after Episode VI where we finally beat the Dark Order and the Republic got to be in control, that everything was thrown back into the status quo off screen. It’s just hard to picture and also makes the first three films entirely pointless. Take them away and now nothing has changed. I went into that a lot with Episode VII so no need to tread old ground.

Rey is still a solid main character. I liked her a lot in the last episode as she was a pretty selfless hero who wrecked Kylo Ren and used the Force pretty well. She’s a slightly weaker character here as she lets Luke and Kylo take control quite a lot. I’d like to see her ordering them around or at least holding her own a little more. Perhaps in the next film though as she is steadily growing stronger. She is still a great character regardless and I’d put her as the second best named character. She may believe in Kylo Ren’s chance at turning over a new leaf too much but that’s not something I can fault her for.

I still can’t take Kylo Ren seriously. When your first scene is getting mocked by the main villain and throwing a temper tantrum in an elevator, you’re just not the kind of villain who is ever going to command respect. His conversations with Rey also don’t help the mystique angle as he just seems like someone who is being led around by forces he cannot comprehend. Kylo Ren can fight of course, but I’d still say that Rey should be able to beat him and so he shouldn’t be much of a threat to any of the higher fighters. The Red Agents should have obliterated him.

I’ve always liked the Red Guards. Those guys have awesome designs and have been a big part of the Star Wars background for a long time. How they didn’t defeat Rey and Kylo I’ll never know. I can understand Rey beating them, but Kylo? He should have gotten wrecked the instant the fight started and yet they acted as if he may be a little stronger than Rey now. I dunno about that, but I was really satisfied wit the fight scene. It’s easily the highlight of the movie. I’ve been waiting for a modern day Lightsaber fight for so long. It’s not quite as solid as the fights from the prequels yet, but we’re getting there. I imagine it’ll take time to get the choreography quite up to that level, but by the next film they should have it down. While Star Wars may not revolve around the Lightsabers, I think it should. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of the franchise and that’s why I like the prequel era so much. The Jedi vs Sith wars were a blast and nowadays you only really get to see that in the video games. If this is any indication of what will happen in Episode IX, then I’m all set for that.

Emperor Snook is pretty disappointing though. He doesn’t get to fight and is heavily nerfed so Kylo won’t look too bad. The character had a lot of potential so it was rather disappointing to see him go out this way. He has to lose at some point so I wouldn’t mind a Rey and Kylo team up against him, but at least some kind of fight. He’s a Sith Lord! The guy should be crazy strong. At least he has some hype though. The only other villain left is Hux and he’s effectively comic relief. The film did a good job of making him look part monkey to an extent though, bravo!

This plot was the best thanks to the fight scene. The Luke and Rey scenes were fairly dull though and the characters didn’t really do anything for a while. She’d ask him some questions, he’d ignore her. Rinse and repeat for roughly an hour. Rey did go into a cave, but nothing actually happened there so it was basically filler. Luke spent the whole subplot embarrassing himself as well so the longer it went on the worse it got for him. Even the flashback with Kylo makes him look terrible. He looks painfully weak and I’ll never be able to take him seriously again since this was allegedly Luke at his prime. Luke should blame himself for what happened since it really was his fault, at least when you look at the scene that’s the impression I got. He should have done a much better job of leading. Luke gets so bad that even the Sith complement him on making their job easier. I almost thought his final scenes had some plot hax, but the film handled it well so I have no complaints there.

The plots all merge by the end so for Episode IX we should finally have the full cast assembled. It’ll be nice to see the characters think up a battle plan as a team for a change. That being said, the war seems like it’s pretty much over. There basically aren’t enough people still alive to form a resistance since everyone was murdered so they’re going to need to just rely on Rey. She can take on an army on her own so the others should just sit tight and try to learn how to be Jedi in the meantime. Otherwise, it’s hard to see how they will really be able to contribute, but with the timeskip maybe the rest of the planets will send more cannon fodder to the heroes to beef up their ranks. You can’t help but feel bad for those guys, but they knew what they were signing up for.

So where does this rank in the Star Wars films? Well, I’d consider Episode IV, VII, III, and Rogue One to be the 4 strongest by far and in that order. Next up I’d place this one followed up Episode V, VI, and I. Episode II is all the way below and I doubt/hope a Star Wars film never reaches that low again. So at 5th place out of 9 that’s not bad at all. I fully expect the next Star Wars film to beat this one, but I guess we’ll see what effect bringing back the old writer will have. I do wonder just how much the writers like to mess with the script and what the last writer did to their benefit. After all, only the writers and executives are likely going to know how the film was “supposed” to go so we can only speculate. Whatever happens, I just want a lot of action so deliver that without falling into any landmines and I should be good. Pull another Luke Skywalker twist and that will just be sad.

I think it’s safe to say that big Star Wars fans will appreciate this title a lot more than a typical action fan. There are likely a ton of cameos and references thrown for these guys. I picked up on some, but for others I have no idea. As the plot doesn’t move too much, you’re supposed to get hyped over each character and what they’re doing. Since I didn’t like half of the characters I was supposed to like it didn’t work as well on me as it was supposed to. That shouldn’t be a big problem if you’re super into the franchise. After all, it’s not like I gave most of the films positive scores. That being said, if you’re especially a big fan of the original trilogy then there’s the chance that the opposite will be true and you’ll see this one as insulting its legacy. The only way to find out is to watch the film.

While the camera work is good for scenes like the Red Room where it’s very atmospheric, I’m not sure about the directing for the characters. It may not be the director, but I’m not sure who’s in charge of this. All of the characters seem to be out of breath all the time. It’s borderline distracting and this was an issue in Episode VII as well. Just think back to the first trailer for that one where the cliffhanger every time was Finn really out of breath trying to get up. (Always thought that was a weak scene btw) That happens here to basically everyone. It’s like the director tells them to all go for a job right before filming each scene. I just don’t get it and it’s a problem that I only really notice for Star Wars. The film also really overdoes the close ups on each character. We don’t need to see their faces in such intense detail to understand that the scene is intense. A standard far shot will suffice.

The movie uses a lot of the classic themes from the old films. They still sound as good as they ever did, but the movie still seems to be relying on nostalgia here as opposed to coming up with new tracks. I can’t recall any new tracks that were memorable or epic during the scenes. I only remember the iconic themes that play during the movie. Still, they’re enough for me to consider the film to have a pretty solid soundtrack. The visuals are pretty nice as well. The space fights are epic and the lightsabers are solid as well. Now all we need is a city like New York and we’ll really be all set!

The writing is quite solid. Ignoring the talking animals and robots who use grunts to say nothing while sounding deep, the humans all seem pretty good. There’s not a lot of random language at all and in general I don’t remember characters swearing. It probably happens, but certainly not all that frequently if so and it makes the film a lot more peaceful to watch. It definitely helps the characters as well. There’s no real animal violence here either although Chewy was a pretty bad character in this film for actually cooking an animal off screen. Considering what planet he is on, it came off as really insensitive. He’s not as bad as Groot, but he definitely had no real role in this story. Yoda’s cameo is a lot more satisfying with his fans and I’d say he looked good. Anyone who zaps something Luke’s a fan of is okay in my book and it was just a really great thing of him to do in general. If Yoda can look like this in the future, he may become more tolerable.

One pattern you’ll quickly notice in this film is that the rebellious characters are the best ones. Poe defies orders to quickly take command and it’s a great scene. Rey impulsively decides to head for the main villain’s base against Luke’s command (ha!) and while the plan doesn’t go well at first, I can agree with the notion. She’s confident in her abilities and certainly wasted no time in arriving there. It’s amazing how quickly she got there honestly and I was glad to see someone was taking charge. It’s similar to when Luke defied Yoda to go save his friends. It’s always the right option and always a blast to see even if it rarely goes too well for the hero.

I think the real issue that hurts this film a lot is the fact that it has virtually no replay value. It’s the kind of film that you really wouldn’t want to see twice because there isn’t really a reason to. There are a couple of big scenes where a character almost dies but doesn’t. I suppose it’s dramatic if you think they are going to die but since you would know better the 2nd time around it loses the impact. You could say the same for many films, but this one in particular really builds up the scene to the death as it drags on for a while to get maximum effect. Since you know these scenes are red herrings the next time, you’ll just want them to get on with it. It’s a really long film that feels like a long film. In the same way that some mysteries are hurt by watching them twice while others keep the replay value, this is just one of those action films that works best as a 1 time experience. It’s a natural consequence of upping the drama but maybe you can make an argument that the enhancement to the film the first time around is worth it. Not sure I’d argue that, but it’s there.

Overall, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a good film. It’s hampered by its long run time and fairly weak cast, but still has enough strengths to carry it over the hill. Poe and Rey are two solid heroes and that’s enough to help keep the film going. The fight scene we get with Rey vs the Red Guards is pretty fun and hopefully we’ll get more action in the next film. Now that certain characters shouldn’t be appearing anymore, the cast should get a lot stronger for the next film. Since it is also the end of the trilogy I’m expecting a lot more action. We got 1 Lightsaber fight and maybe 2 space fights. I’d like to see us double that number in the sequel, especially the lightsaber fight. I want an extended Force battle where Rey has to use her full arsenal. Anyway, I’d recommend the film to any action fan but if you’re a Star Wars fan then it goes without saying that you need to watch this one.

Overall 6/10

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Independence Day 2 Resurgence Review

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It certainly took a while for this sequel to come out. In preparation I recently rewatched the first title and a review for that one will be coming fairly soon. Unfortunately, Resurgence isn’t quite as epic as the original and has more wince-worthy scenes….not to mention a lot more plot hax. This is always going to be the result when you make the villains absurdly powerful though. It’s good to keep them within reasonable striking distance. Still, Resurgence is still a good film, but it certainly can’t be called a great one. I think that the third film could reasonably beat this film if it gets made, but the series is certainly not going to feel like Independence Day anymore. The first film really captured the heart and depth of what this franchise was all about.

It has been 20 years since America defeated the Mothership and the rest of the countries allied together to stop the aliens. Now, they have finally returned and everyone who was connected to the aliens at one point in time can hear their telepathic presence. This wakes up one of the scientists from his 20 year coma and gets the old President back into action. The only problem is that nobody believes the former President until it’s too late and the aliens have returned. They quickly destroy a city and cause some massive damage. The heroes will have to do what they did last time and destroy the Alien Queen. If they can do that, then order will be restored to the universe. It’ll be significantly more difficult this time though since humanity has realized that sending a virus through a Mac is very tricky and won’t work a second time. We’ll need a more physical approach.

As you would expect, the special effects are quite good. As it is, the first film looked great for its time and this film shows how much our graphics have improved. The aliens can actually be seen without the smoke covering them all the time. We don’t get any visuals that are quite as powerful as seeing the White House get obliterated by a giant laser, but there are some homages to that moment. There are a lot of homages in general although they don’t work too well for the most part. The new version of “There will be no peace” comes off rather badly as the character who is saying this doesn’t say it in a commanding voice. Not to mention the fact that it probably wasn’t a great situation in which to say the line.

There are some retcons here as well. The scientist character was definitely dead in the first film. In this film they retconned the neck choke a little to say that it is purely just to talk to humans through the vessel rather than destroying someone and creepily saying stuff. The film pushes this point by having the alien do this against another opponent as well. It’s too bad because the scientist is a pretty bad character. In the first film his role was rather small so he didn’t get to grate on your nerves quite as much, but his role is definitely bigger this time around. He’s also completely used for comedy this time and results in most of the unfortunate humor moments that I had hoped to avoid.

Another weakness in this film is naturally the romance. The film justifies a “classic” love at first fight plot which is really terrible. On one hand we have the typical flirt who tries to go with everyone, but they all reject him. This time will be different he thinks as he likes an ace pilot who also loses someone rather close to her so he quickly takes this opportunity to show off and win her over. It’s sadly very successful as everyone in the theater probably predicted the instant that she first appeared. It really undermines her character to go with him so easily. We also have the romance with the main lead, which has no real point to being here.

Resurgence also takes itself a little too seriously at times with quite a few tearful goodbyes and characters barely holding it together as they give out a speech. Given that the film is constantly throwing comedy moments at you, these scenes don’t work well. Not to mention that so many characters die during the film in very sudden scenes that there is no real time to feel sad. The heroes just go back to joking right away anyway so the film doesn’t even take its own serious moments all that seriously.

My final complaint lies with the writing. The previous complaint is more or less related to this as well. Most of the characters are just written very badly. The main character is a good example of this. He’s supposed to be the tough and charismatic leader that everyone loves during the film. He breaks the rules and always ends up saving the day. Being grounded for saving dozens of lives after a tech malfunction was laughable so I don’t blame him there. Still, his “big” moment where he insulted the aliens was very bad. There are a lot of ways to have a cool moment without just being vulgar. Unfortunately, the crowd did laugh and cheer a bit during this moment. I got a very active crowd, but they help to remind me why these bad moments won’t end. Everyone always cheers at the moments where they are supposed too. Directors and Producers love this kind of crowd because they go along with just about everything. Crowd mentality is strong so a lot of people naturally just get taken in by it, but it also means that these kind of scenes will be sticking around for the long haul. It’s regrettable.

Back to the writing though. Towards the end of the film, a big point of emphasis is that all of the dozens/hundreds of alien ships are protecting the Alien Queen. That’s their whole purpose and yet, they sit by and just watch as the heroes attack her for minutes upon minutes. That was just terrible writing. The writers put themselves into a hole that they couldn’t get out of so they had to just throw logic out the window. It’s a shame. Still, the Alien Queen was cool and the armor that the aliens used was pretty neat. I’m not sure about them losing to a guy with two swords and a comic relief assistant with a blaster though. That seemed like a bit of a stretch.

All right, let’s look at the positives. The soundtrack was pretty solid. We had some pretty nice themes and it helped to carry across the film’s epic vibe. It was mitigated by the futuristic Earth that no longer looked like ours and the fact that you can never top the original Alien incursion. Still, it was cool to see the alien fleet arrive. I also think that it was good to finally see Earth shoot first when the aliens appeared. It was rigged this time, but I’d say that we made the right move. The film started out quite rapidly even if it slowed down quite a lot after that.

David was one of the big characters from the first film and he’s still really solid here. His romance with another scientist is terribly written, but beyond that he is a good character. A lot of his scenes are humorous, but in a good way as opposed to the majority of the other characters. I do disagree with some of his decisions like the “wait and see” approach, but on the whole he was smart and came up with his own ideas. He wasn’t a yes man the way that some of the scientists and government workers were. His dad was also a pretty fun character like in the last film. He gets less screen time here since his plot gets the shaft much like the driving plot in the first film. That’s probably a good thing if you ask me although it was fun seeing the dog stand up to the aliens. This puppy meant business and thanks to the Dad, the kids who were along for the ride will never forget this day as they got to meet some really important figures.

Thomas, the former president, was another solid character. It’s a little unfortunate that he is seen as a crazy guy on meds now instead of the world remembering him as an awesome guy. Although, the general public may not be aware of this and only select members since he does still get a lot of attention. People should be taking him seriously considering how well he did in the first film. Also, is it just me or did he look different in the flashback to the first film? I highly doubt they would have re filmed the speech for such a short clip so it must have just been my imagination. Thomas stepped up to the plate when the chips were down and turned out to be someone that the rest of the world could count on to fight the aliens. Being attacked telepathically may have weakened him, but he’s still the same likable character that he always was and is easily the best character in the film.

Even though I recently saw the first film (5 days before watching this one) it was a little hard to keep track of all the characters. I wouldn’t call it confusing as you know who everyone is in the context of this film, but as far as the homages and wink-wink moments at the audience go, I probably missed a few. The army guy sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place him. The character who was with David as a rival also felt like she came out of nowhere, but maybe she was actually one of the characters from the first film. Ah well, I suppose that a film like this one is supposed to have a huge cast. Perhaps it should have thought about getting rid of a few excess ones though.

Two characters who didn’t go over well were Jake and Dylan. It goes without saying that I didn’t like the comic relief, flirting sidekick, the two scientists who crossed the bridge of being quirky to over the top so those are already in the pile. The “tough” heroine who was the grand daughter of the army general was also destroyed the instant that she didn’t shut down the comic relief guy. Jake could have been cool since I like the tough rebel type of main character, but he goes a little too far as well. His plot of nearly destroying Dylan a while back wasn’t really handled well either. Dylan doesn’t come across as likable either for the fact that he held a grudge against Jake for so long and got a sucker punch in and then cracking when the chips were down. Sure, the two of them get along very well after a few minutes and it’s back to normal, but it was hard to recover from that so easily. I don’t blame Jake for saving lives after a mechanical malfunction since I didn’t think it was his fault in the first place, but that’s about all the credit I can give him.

As mentioned before, the action scenes are great though. The film also never drags on even though it’s around 2 hours. The pacing is good and I never thought that any of the plots were particularly boring. Some were fillerish, but at least things were still happening. The drunk fellows blackmailing the world for 100 million was one of those “interesting” plots that actually worked out pretty well though. They were certainly bold even if they didn’t do much. Seriously, that was probably the easiest 100 mil that they ever earned. All they had to do was keep drinking while keeping an eye on the equipment.

I won’t talk about the plot for the next film much, but the film does take a big turn. It’s hilarious for the wrong reasons though as someone talks really tough, but if you actually think about what she’s saying…then you’ll realize that they made all of the wrong decisions. I can’t say much more than that, but it’s intriguing. We could very well be going to Star Trek/Star Wars a lot sooner than we thought and I can picture other alien languages being spoken soon and intergalactic bars. Nothing is out of the question now and whether that is a good thing or not…we will find out soon enough!

Overall, Resurgence is a fun film, but one that does have quite a few problems bogging it down. For every good character there was a bad one and for every epic scene there was a wince worthy one. The topsy turvyness of the film is what keeps it from getting a really good score. Hopefully the sequel will be able to improve on this. At the very least, the action scenes and effects are quite good. I expect them to get even better with the next film. It’s definitely an ambitious plot line going forward and I can definitely see a lot of Star Trek comparisons coming out soon. The third film has the potential to be a completely different experience so I hope that the writers are ready for the challenge ahead. I’m not sure how much confidence I have in them after this though.

Overall 6/10

Jurassic Park Review


Jurassic World is almost upon us and I shall certainly be checking it out. That being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jurassic Park. Come at me! Now, I do like the concept behind it and who doesn’t like to see a good T Rex? The main problem is that a film like this one tends to have quite a few animal violence scenes and this film was no exception. I have a bad feeling that Jurassic World will be using this as well so it may go the route of most animal films. That being said, let’s see just how it fared.

John is rich and decides that he wants to open a theme park where people can meet dinosaurs. That would be pretty epic for the whole world, but an accident happens and a member of the staff dies. The only way that he can open the park now is if he can get a pair of signatures from top line professionals to agree that the park is a good idea. That’s where Alan, along with his partner Allie, and Ian step in. These guys are skeptical about the operation and then the power goes out. The dinosaurs are free and they are ready to eat everyone all around the world. Still, they shall have to start with Jurassic Park!

Have you ever been face to face with a T Rex? I haven’t, but I’ve been face to face with my pet dog, Sonic, and I’m sure that it is a similar experience of terror and wonder. Ignoring that this is a film for a second, I don’t think that this park would ever be able to exist. People simply wouldn’t allow it too with all of the various protest groups that are around. Even if Jurassic Park was created, it would “leak” all over the world way before it actually opened. It would be hard to hide them even with an elaborate helicopter ride.

I’m not an outdoors guy so I wouldn’t check out the park, but I’m sure that it would certainly earn quite a bit of money. That was a bit of a detour so let’s go back to talking about the film. Many comparisons can be made to Attack on Titan. Jurassic Park really feels professional. The soundtrack is solid and makes the film feel theatrical. The characters quickly gain a lot of personality and it is a fairly exciting experience. Pretending that the animal violence was not present, I’d say that the film was a blast and a half all the way until the car scene where Alan goes to help the kids. That’s where the film quickly started to go downhill.

It may not come as a surprise to you if you’ve read a lot of my reviews, but I don’t tend to care for “kid” characters. If a character is around 13 or younger, then they’re probably going to be very unlikable. That doesn’t change here as I don’t like either of the two kids who join the adventure. They just slow the main character down and result in a subplot that is fairly boring the whole time. The guy risks all of their lives by clinging to an electrified net and the girl breaks down during their stressful adventure. The sneezing scene with the dinosaur was also very gross and one of the kids threw up at one point.

The film is very messy to the point where I would call it crude humor. You could also just say that the film is being way too realistic. The heroes get muddied and we are very far away from civilization. That doesn’t make for a good mix and it’s the primary reason why I want all films to take place in New York. Now, that’s the kind of backdrop that can make a film more exciting. In the jungle, it’s just not the same. It’s why the film lost a lot of its excitement and replayability once the heroes were all stranded among the trees.

Given the nature of the film, I’m not even going to talk about the plot hax. Just know that there is a lot of it, but you were likely expecting that when you walked into the film. Back to the positives for the film. The dinosaurs certainly look life like and I like the Raptor’s design. They remind me of Yoshi and I’ve always liked the Raptors. Those guys knew when it was time to win and when it was time to hunt. The T Rex is also a classic and it’s hard to picture him losing to a Spinosaurus. This guy was just invincible in this film.

Alan made for a likable main character even if he was a little overly rude to the kids at some points. I’m not a kid guy myself, but you have to at least put on a bluff face or whip out a Nintendo 3DS to save face. Alan knew his stuff though and didn’t change his mind about the park being safe towards the middle like I was expecting. Ellie is his partner and she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty as she gets to the bottom of the dinosaurs being ill situation. She is also prepared to go into the battlefield when necessary as she proves to be critical in turning the power back on. She’s a strong heroine and made for a good supporting character.

Ian is a solid rival for Alan aside from the flirting at the beginning of the film. He sees the big picture that the other characters do not and he is the first guy to realize that Jurassic Park is not going to work. He’s certainly the cleverest character of the bunch and someone that you can root for. Things don’t end too well for him during his big fight with the T Rex, but it’s hard to picture anyone lasting long against that monster. He’s certainly an improvement over the average “rival” in this kind of film.

John is the rich guy in charge of Jurassic Park and he seems like a likable fellow. He uses his old age to his advantage to try to get the others to not want to vote against him, but the main characters are professionals so they make the tough calls. He got some good ice cream and he really did a good job on the park. While he made the wrong decision in continuing on with his adventure, he did mean well and was a nice person. The only guy that he didn’t get along with was the tech man who ended up betraying the team. It’s too bad that the guy was a villain since he had been one of the more humorous characters. He’s the kind of guy in real life who has nerves of steel. You can imagine him snapping at the President or insulting a would be kidnapper. This guy was always ready to make his case and nothing could make him back off. His end isn’t pleasant and will remind you of how tough the dinosaurs can be.

That being said, the film isn’t overly violent although still more than you would expect from a 90’s blockbuster. The main thing that cripples the film is the large amounts of animal violence. It gets so bad that I couldn’t even come close to saying that this is a good film. We see an animal part get thrown onto the car and several animals are eaten alive. It’s barbaric and reminds me why John is more cruel than he appears to be on the surface. Condoning such behavior is simply not right. Other dinosaurs are also eaten and the film really broke down when it counted. If it was just one or two scenes it may have been okay, but by the end, I knew that the film had been defeated.

You can have the best soundtrack, the most likable characters, and the best graphics that money can buy, but if you step into a big enough hole, the film is going to lose regardless of all the precautions that you could have taken. That’s what happened here and I fear that it will happen in the other three films as well. Hopefully it will be safe, but you shouldn’t count on it. I do fully expect at least one of the other three films to beat this one though, maybe all of them. We’ll see I suppose.

Overall, I’ve seen this film at least twice by now and other clips of it I’ve seen on numerous occasions. The kids really throw you out of the film along with the animal violence. It’s a classic that really has not aged well and the movie just isn’t my type. It certainly wouldn’t pique my interest aside from the fact that I do technically like creature films a lot. It’s like me and alien films, I like aliens even though their films tend to get really low scores. The holes are regrettable and stop me from giving it a good score, but the films are still fairly fun while in the moment. You are just thrown a curve ball every 10-15 minutes. If you are okay with the animal violence and kids getting in the main character’s way, you should enjoy this film. Otherwise, I recommend watching a classic film like the Bee movie if you want a film that is more about animals than humans. Now, I’m ready for the T Rex to continue to conquer all of the foes who stand in his way!

Overall 3/10