Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review


All right, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of checking out a new comic book movie. You can expect a whole lot of excitement, action, and teasing for future films. This one even has a scene after the credits start so make sure you stay in your seats. It’s definitely one that you won’t want to miss and I’m glad that we’re starting to get such important post credit scenes again.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Kasady and Frances as they are locked up in a jail for being psychotic monsters. They bonded there though and quickly became each other’s only friend. Unfortunately for Kasady, Frances is taken away to Ravencroft. We then jump 20+ years to the present where he asks Eddie to see him one last time before Kasady is put to death. Eddie doesn’t know why he’s picked but Kasady basically wants him to print out a message. Eddie agrees but he really has bigger issues at the moment.

While Venom & Eddie mostly know how to get along with each other now but things still aren’t going great for the main character. Eddie’s ex girlfriend has gotten engaged to the rebound guy from the first film, Venom’s been getting more impatient and nearly messing up their secret identity over and over, the cops don’t like Eddie, etc. The last thing he needs is the attention of a serial killer, but he’s in too deep to escape now. Can he survive amidst all the carnage?

So right off the bat I like the banter with Venom and Eddie a lot. A positive of being a sequel is that they are already merged from the start of the film so the movie is able to lean into that dynamic right away. It’s always fun to have Venom throwing his little remarks in throughout the conversation. He gets a lot of good burns in on the opponents and certainly isn’t shy about using his abilities. Surprisingly he even gets some scenes where he looks really intelligent like when he does Eddie’s job for him by inspecting Kasady’s room.

Venom can move quickly, use the computer well, cook, etc. Granted, he is a symbiote that has existed for thousands of years but even so it’s always impressive to see him be able to do all of this. He comes across as a very fun guy and is the standout character in the movie. He likes to think of himself as a lethal protector and it’s a very apt title. He’s certainly no hero as he doesn’t mind murdering just about anyone but he does seem to have good intentions and does obey Eddie’s no murder rules.

Venom acts like a kid half the time but he is always up for a good conversation. When the going gets tough you can definitely expect him to step up even though there is one scene where he really gets scared by Carnage immediately. That’s probably the only moment in the film where it seems like he has 0 resolve. It’s a scene mainly played for laughs but I would argue he was a bit out of character there.

As for Eddie, well he’s a lot of fun as well even if he’s not as good as Venom. Eddie’s humor really comes from him being a punching bag. In any scene he is in, Eddie looks out of his depth, incredibly nervous, unsure of what to do, etc. It’s hard to even see how this guy’s a reporter as he doesn’t seem to have any skill for it. Any detective work he does has to be pointed out by Venom first or he has to have been given the clues already. Venom seems to think he should get most of the credit for Eddie’s current position and I don’t doubt it.

This is a little hard to believe but Eddie may seem even more incompetent at just about everything than in the first film. He gets sad easily and gets wrecked in every possible fight. I do like when he tries to fight Venom mano a mano though. The whole fight is crazy because how can you beat someone who is fused to yourself and can do anything? The short answer is that you can’t but Eddie puts up a good try anyway.

So, I like Eddie because of how bad he looks. I’d say the best way to think about it is that he’s the ultimate underdog and it’s easy to root for someone like that. It’s clear that Eddie isn’t a bad person, he’s just not great at making decisions or anything like that. Both Eddie and Venom ultimately are trying to do their best here and are basically two average joes just trying to survive. (Well, Venom’s not normal but you get my drift)

The rest of the characters are mainly solid. Anne’s role as the main heroine isn’t very big but she makes the most of her moments. She comes in handy with helping Eddie at a crucial moment in the story. I’m not really sure if the whole dinner idea was a good one because it almost feels like the worst possible way to break the news of taking another step in her relationship but the intent was positive. Anne also talks very tough to the villains so she isn’t really afraid of anything. I’d definitely be up her getting a symbiote at some point so she can fight more.

Meanwhile Dan is still there as the rebound guy and he seems nice enough. He even manages to help out a bit. He doesn’t like Eddie all that much but you can’t blame him since Eddie seems really unhinged whenever the guy is around. From Dan’s point of view Eddie really does not seem like a good influence to anyone. The film doesn’t have much romance in it but I will say that at this point any chance of Anne and Eddie being together should be over. You can’t rebound twice and Dan’s a nice guy even if he’s a total pushover. Seriously you have Anne openly flirting in front of him even if it’s for a plan and the guy half heartedly protests.

I’ll give Dan props for being a good person but everyone’s always dunking on him. Anne even having a lot of fun near the end and remembering the good ole days. I just think the film would be going too far in putting him down if they were to break up so hopefully they stay together. Anne and Eddie can just be good friends who have a solid dynamic. It seems like a foreign concept in most Hollywood films but they can and absolutely should be friends without having to go past that.

Then you’ve got the cop Mulligan who can’t stand Eddie either. He seems to feel like Eddie is responsible for everything but he has no proof of anything so all he can do is antagonize Eddie as much as possible. Thing is, I feel like Mulligan could have played things so much better and then he could have been working well with Eddie. Instead he decides to become his enemy which really doesn’t work very well at all. Makes for a good obstacle I suppose, but more from Eddie’s point of view since I like how he just ticks everyone off.

Then we have the villains. First up is Frances who has the sonic powers. It’s cool to see some traditional super powers here, really makes it feel like a comic book movie. I was glad that when she meets up with Kasady she took the powers in stride. It’s always annoying to see a character suddenly turn on the hero because the powers look scary. Kasady’s no hero but from her point of view he suddenly returned to save her so I was glad that she actually seemed happy and grateful. It feels like the natural reaction here and the two trust each other a lot.

I did find it odd how she seems so ready to use her sonic powers even once she realizes that it actually hurts Kasady’s symbiote though. Maybe it’s just a habit so she doesn’t think about it much? Then you have Kasady who is about as insane as you would expect. He’s one of those guys who was seemingly always twisted. He tries to give a half hearted origin story later on but Venom isn’t really buying his excuses and I can’t say that I am either. Once you become a mass murderer that’s pretty much it.

Carnage is definitely the more interesting villain though. We don’t see quite as much of his personality in the film but whenever he shows himself you know that things are about to get wild. His sheer power is quite up there and all of his stats across the board are impressive. Carnage is also very confident and a symbiote of his word. These are all traits that make him a very solid villain.

Outside of the characters I also liked how the whole intro scene pre title card was handled. First off, the soundtrack really stands out. The logo is colorful and this all feels like something that could have been the intro to an animated film. It quickly sets up the motivation for the main villain as well as gives us some foreshadowing for what is to come. I’m not always on board with starting the film with a non action scene but this one works out well enough.

Even outside the intro scene I would say the film’s soundtrack is very good. There’s even a brief rock theme that plays while Kasady is in the car. The action scenes are also really good. I was even on board with Carnage tearing through the asylum and taking everyone down. Massacre scenes can often go with grit over style which ends up wrecking them or get drawn out too much to where it can get boring since the humans have no chance. This one handles the scenes really well. With the exception of the tongue scene which is more grotesque than stylized, I would give the scene a solid win.

Then of course you have the big Venom vs Carnage battles and those are just as good as you would expect. They really show off the power both fighters have and also how versatile their movesets are. I admit that I would like to see Venom use his tendrils more creatively in combat the way that Carnage does but even in the comics that has always been Carnage’s specialty. Perhaps if Venom finally gets to fight a non symbiote then we’ll see some more of that. Either way, the fights are considerably improved from the first film and I liked those, but these are just better.

Venom’s power is so impressive I’d even say he could beat most of the Avengers right now. If we consider the current Avengers roster to just be Spider-Man, Captain America (Wilson), Ant Man (Scott), Winter Soldier, and Hulk then Venom could actually give them a fairly good fight. Basically Venom could potentially solo but it all depends on how Spider-Man and the Hulk do. Spider-Man’s spider sense should theoretically make him very tough to beat but it depends on if he uses it well which is always tough. For the Hulk he would win if it’s close quarters combat but if Venom could stay at mid range and try stabbing then it’s tough. I feel like I have to give it to the Avengers if it’s the whole team but it’s closer than you might think.

The film’s short length also works out well enough as everything goes by quickly. I always say that a good film can always be longer and a bad film should be shorter so in this case I’d rather it was a full two hours. It’s a very entertaining film so I’d have been on board with a longer time frame. More scenes means more banter and more fun. This part of the universe is just fleshed out so well like even with the shop keeper sort of being like a pal to Eddie. I’m really glad that the end scene to the first Venom film is acknowledged here.

So there’s a lot to like here but of course the film isn’t perfect so it stands to reason that there are some negatives too right? Well, first up, we do have some animal violence. Yeah it’s basically off screen but it’s still unnecessary when we find out that Eddie has Venom eat chickens. See, Venom feeds off of a certain chemical that is only found in sentient brains and chocolate. It makes sense why he always wants to eat people but finding out that he is eating chickens in the meantime is just sad. They should have just had a scene where Venom refuses so Eddie has to buy him more chocolate. A film is always going to lose some brownie points from me for having a scene like this.

Otherwise it’s close to an 8 but I have a few more issues. In terms of plot holes/logic issues I really only have 2 that stood out to me. Everything else seemed fine including the power levels and such. The first thing that didn’t make any sense to me was actually from the opening scene. So the shady group is here to take Frances away because her powers are way too dangerous. So they take her into a car…and don’t do anything to restrain her mouth when she has sonic abilities?

This either means that this group was not told of her sonic powers from the bosses who ordered them to find her or they just thought it would work out. If it’s the first option than how did they expect the group to take Frances down? There are so many ways she could have escaped if not for a lucky gunshot. If it’s the second option than that’s just as bad. If she’s so dangerous that she has to be brought to the worst prison in the world then she’s dangerous enough to overpower a few guards. So the first scene felt like a stretch and it was only there so we could get the bullet wound scene.

The second is more of a spoiler scene so I can’t go into detail but someone gets powers at one point and it doesn’t make sense how it actually happened. The way the scene played out just doesn’t leave any room for this to be possible. I think there has to be a scene that was cut out from the film at some point but how this made it past the editing room is beyond me. This would raise way too many questions if this were possible because I would argue it could and should have happened to more people.

While the film is short and I wouldn’t say it really dragged on much, I didn’t find the solo Venom adventure to be too entertaining. If anything it’s rather grim how he seemingly murders people semi accidentally while on his adventure. Certainly losing more and more hero status right? See, the film’s at its best when Eddie and Venom are together to banter so splitting them up isn’t the right move. In real movie time I’m guessing it wasn’t a very long time but if it had been any longer it may have hurt. I don’t think that’ll happen again since they had their big fight now though so we’re good on that front.

Eddie also lost some points for me when he is constantly suggesting to Venom to eat the chickens that they adopted. Not a very nice move. In terms of violence the film is rather tame as I mentioned. Only the tongue scene is a bit grotesque and the scene with Mulligan’s eye being pushed in seems super painful but it’s a quick moment. Beyond that especially since the symbiotes can keep on regenerating, it’s super stylized as I mentioned earlier. Both characters can really take a lot of punishment and keep on ticking.

Now this is an action/comedy hybrid so both aspects have to be good and this one really was. As a final note, the humor in this film is better than in the first film. I thought that it grabbed what the first film did and then improved upon it quite a bit. The first act alone has a whole lot of humorous moments because the script is really on point. There’s one obligatory scene where Venom has to say the edgy word once because it’s expected at this point but otherwise it’s witty from start to finish.

Also, I really like how Eddie just seems crazy to people on the outside. Seemingly he has to talk out loud for Venom to hear him even though Venom can speak telepathically. So Eddie’s just bantering with him out loud but everyone can only hear his voice so everyone’s always giving him weird looks. This starts almost immediately with Venom arguing with him in the rest room and on the prison grounds and just never stops. Actually, forget that, Venom can probably hear Eddie telepathically since he finishes the guy’s sentences sometimes but probably pretends that he can’t just to make Eddie look foolish. That’s definitely the kind of trick Venom would play on him.

This might be a hot take but you could cut out all of Kasady’s scenes and the film might be even better. Now granted, I would still want the Carnage fights but if he just showed up out of nowhere at the end that’d be fine with me. The Eddie scenes are really where all the fun is at while Kasady’s just insane the whole time. It’s not that the Kasady and Frances scenes are bad or anything either, but the Eddie and Venom scenes are just that much better.

I will say this, it was smart of the film to show Kasady’s backstory in a children’s drawing kind of way because fully showing it probably would have hurt quite a bit considering what is implied with the dog at the end. If this was on screen I’d be a lot harsher since everything he does in that montage is intense but as a children’s drawing it doesn’t hit in the same way.

All right, final thoughts before closing this review out. The final scene after the credits is really solid. It opens up a lot of possibilities and you can interpret how future events will go in a lot of ways. No matter what happens, I do think we absolutely need a Venom 3 though. This series should be a trilogy at the minimum because there is so much more that can be done here. Venom has a lot of iconic villains that you can grab. I wouldn’t mind if they stick to symbiotes but you can also grab other kinds of villains as well.

Overall, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is definitely very good. It really embraces being a comic book movie from the cool 90s type logos to the solid soundtrack and how casual everything is. Venom creating a giant arm just to flick Eddie off in the middle of the street? Nobody notices or cares and that’s the kind of small detail that’s just fun. I’m not going to say the movie’s great as I still had my share of issues with it but the positives absolutely outweigh the negatives. The overall atmosphere of the film is just really good, particularly when it’s the Venom scenes. I like how several characters know about his secret identity but it all feels rather grounded. You feel like Eddie’s a big fish in a small pond and right now he can do just about anything but he always limits himself. Of course crossovers are the best and inevitably when he gets to fight some big names that’ll be fun too but in the meantime if you were to recommend a modern Superhero saga to someone who just wants an origin story with no real connections to anything then this would probably be the top film to recommend. The film also has an incredible amount of replay value. I could watch it a second time shortly and still have fun. That’s probably due in part to the short length but you also have to give the film credit for just being a lot of fun. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d definitely say you should change that.

Overall 7/10

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review


It’s time to finally take a look at the latest Marvel installment, Shang Chi. This one’s been getting a lot of hype for the hand to hand fights and it delivers on this. It’s got a great balance of action and humor so in the end this movie has a ton of replay value. You’ll have a blast from start to finish as you go through the journey.

The movie starts by introducing us to Shang Chi’s father Wenwu as he wipes out army after army. The opening scene is like something out of Dynasty Warriors as he can use his rings with such speed that it appears to be a forcefield which blocks incoming arrows. That was definitely implemented really well. After that he ends up meeting Wenwu and they get married. Shang Chi and Xu Xialing are born and we then cut to the present.

Shang Chi and his best friend Katy work for a hotel as they drive cars around and enjoy their job. They have a good bond of friendship going for them but Katy’s family want more for her. One day the two of them are attacked by a group of assassins. Shang Chi fights them off but not before they steal his pendant. This means that Xu may be the next target so the two head off to go and help protect her. Can they protect her from this group led by Shang Chi’s father or is she already doomed?

Right off the bat the opening fight scene in the modern day sets the tone well. It’s really good with minimal use of cutaways so you can follow the choreography. Even as someone who did think that the Black Widow fights were really good, it’s night and day compared to this one. The hand to hand is very high energy and the train fight is probably my favorite fight in the film. Likewise, Widow’s first big action scene was my favorite so I guess I just really like the way these films tend to open. they’re doing it right, that’s for sure.

The battles continue to be solid throughout the movie though. Whether it’s the fight on the roof top or the climactic showdown, you can always expect a lot of hype. While this is usually more of an anime movie trend, the movie even decides to go for a little Godzilla type action at the end. It’s not quite as solid as the rest of the fights but it’s always good to see the creatures getting some hype. I’d consider the battle before that to be the true final battle for the combat while this is more of a general climax.

The effects are definitely on point as well. The creatures have really epic designs and lighting for their attacks. I also like the way the rings are used in combat. It’s very much in the style of what you would see in the Tron films. It’s a very versatile weapon and if Shang Chi keeps those to use in combat for future films he is going to be very tough to beat. Certainly none of the street level fighters can handle him.

As for Shang Chi himself, he’s definitely a great lead. I did see some talk about him being too merciless and going for the kill, but I definitely didn’t see that. For the most part each fight is always from a self defense angle. Yeah you’ve got enemies being thrown out of buildings and moving buses but there’s no easy alternative there since he’s in the middle of a huge fight. So just putting my two cents into the ring to say that Shang Chi was definitely a full hero here and I didn’t find him to be going too far in any of the fights.

He does have a moment where he nearly does cross the line and the film’s clear in showing that he was about to, but ultimately he doesn’t. That would be the only true example you can use. His upbringing and origin do explain this fairly well though and he certainly had to deal with a lot. All in all, I thought he handled his past and present really well. Shang Chi’s the kind of guy you definitely want to have in your corner at all times. The movie also did a great job of showing just how good he is at hand to hand combat. Throughout the whole film it’s fair to say that he didn’t lose any fights straight up from the present and beyond. He always had the upper hand.

In the comics he was known as the greatest hand to hand fighter for a long time. I don’t know about currently, but at least in the days when I was reading comics. I imagine the films will be going that route too so this was a great way to show it. I look forward to seeing him interact with the other characters because he has a lot of good banter with Katy in this movie as well. Shang Chi’s very charismatic and that’s why I would put him as the best character in the film. Ultimately he really excels in all of his roles.

Katy is also a solid heroine. She has a lot of fun lines as well and knows not to take things too seriously. In general the film had a really fun script for all of the characters but in particular Katy is one of the characters that stands out. She even gets to contribute towards the end of the movie in an action setting which is nice.

Shang and Katy also have two friends in the film who only appear for two scenes but both are worth mentioning. It’s nice seeing the characters openly talk about their heroic exploits and everything rather than trying to hide them like you would expect. It’s a nice turn of events and it’s such a big contrast to how Peter Parker is handling the whole situation. Yeah the situations are a wee bit different I’ll grant you, Shang has less people he needs to worry about. Still, it’s a very Iron-Man type move which is always fun.

As for Wenwu, he’s definitely a very solid main villain. The movie’s going for more of a sympathetic vibe for him sort of like Thanos. Ultimately he did try to put his weapons away at one point and suffered the consequences for it so you can see why he never takes the rings off anymore. Honestly he probably never should have taken them off but that’s more of a hindsight thing and he was trying to do his best. So in the present you can definitely root for him because if there was even the slightest chance that he was correct then he had to check for himself.

So I don’t blame him for going as far as he did and that’s what makes him a high quality villain. He can also fight really well which is also nice to see. Old age hasn’t really hurt him in a lot of ways, he’s thousands of years old and still kicking. His wife Ying may only appear in flashbacks but she definitely looks really good as well. I liked her fighting style and the powers she used were quite impressive. It’s a shame that the powers can’t follow you out of the village because with them she would have been extremely hard to defeat. Her meeting/battle with Wenwu was a great way to introduce her.

Then you have Xu who is also solid. She did well to build her own empire for underground fights. I question how she is able to get in some heavyweights like Wong and Abomination but maybe there are a lot of benefits to being in the tournament. As a slight power levels issue, I do think the Abomination looked way too weak here. I’d like to say it’s a different Abomination to be honest. That’s my little head canon in case he never appears again because otherwise that scene did make me shake my head a bit. There are a lot of ways the fight could have had the same outcome but I wanted to tell the film to check it’s route at that moment.

It’s the only scene I questioned in that case though. All of the fights were presented well and everyone got their time to shine. Back to Xu, she definitely proved herself very well in a fight. Her skills may be a touch below Shang’s but they’re still quite formidable. She’s definitely not an opponent you want to underestimate.

In general the film had a fairly stacked cast and that’s definitely a big part of why the film is so solid. Even the side characters are fairly memorable like one of Wenwu’s main subordinates who is missing a hand. He’s definitely a solid minion. There’s also Trevor who does have an effective opening scene but I will say that he’s best in small doses. I don’t think you really needed him in the film after a little while.

All right, now these next 3 paragraphs will quickly be for spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film yet or the recent MCU shows then definitely skip these three paragraphs. It’s going to be time to do a little speculating here. All right, so I’ve noticed a bit of a trend here. In Wandavision we saw Scarlet Witch as the main villain as she knowingly tortured a whole town of civilians and by the end of the show she’s getting sucked into the DarkHold. In the Cap & Winter Soldier show, we found out at the very end that Sharon is actually compromising the U.S. intelligence for money and is a fairly reputable information broker in the under world. Finally in the Loki show we see Sylvie turn to the darkness at the very end and set course for a new timeline. (At best you could say she just made a dubious call and isn’t as downright evil as the first two but it’s a tough case to make) Here, we end the film with Xu taking over the 10 Rings instead of disbanding them for presumably shady reasons.

You can cut Xu some slack but if this trend is anything to go by, she will be a villain soon. So, what is going on here? Are these all isolated incidents or is something going on here? Personally, I think it’s going to be something like the MCU version of the Sinister Six. It’s going to be a group of 6 female villains who band together to take over the world or something. Wanda brings the power, Sharon has the intel, Xu has the manpower, and Sylvie has more magic which is never a bad thing. For the trend to continue, we’ll need to see if some other players are introduced in Eternals, She Hulk, Spider-Man, or Dr. Strange. Still, it does seem like something’s going on.

Also, while Nick Fury was the main figure head for the first few phases as he connected everything, it seems more and more like that will now be the role for Dr. Strange. He’s going to have a role in the Spider-Man film, Wong is here in Shang Chi setting up some future elements, and you’ve also got the Dr. Strange film coming up. Seems like the Sorcerer Supreme is going to have to start earning his paycheck as the ultimate sorcerer with everyone messing around in the universe. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how that unfolds. End spoilers

I can’t close out the review without also mentioning that the soundtrack was really solid. There were a lot of great tunes here and so I thought the music selection was absolutely on point. The scene of the guy stepping out of the car only for us to see that it wasn’t Shang Chi was also a good fake out. Again, the film’s humor was always on point so even when there weren’t big fight scenes you were having a lot of fun.

Overall, Shang Chi definitely lives up to the hype here and is a great film in this phase of the MCU. I really didn’t have any issues with it and I’m certainly ready to see him start appearing in more of the films going forward. Shang Chi could easily work as one of the central figures going forward since I can see him having good banter with just about anyone. There’s still a whole lot you can do with the Ten Rings as well and we’ll see which film is the first to connect to this one. It’s the MCU so you can bet that there are a lot of plans in the works. If you haven’t seen this film yet then you’ll definitely want to change that.

Overall 8/10

The Spirit Review


The Spirit is definitely a very unique movie that’s for sure. It really does walk a fine line between being a total comedy with how over the top everything is and a serious action film. In the end the film actually does blend this combo over very well for nearly all of its screen time but ends up faltering near the end. I knew things were about to get dicey when the cat showed up….

The movie starts with the Spirit being called in since there was a sighting of his arch nemesis, the Octopus. The Octopus manages to murder someone real quick and steal a suitcase first but Sand escapes with the other Suitcase. Octopus crushes the Spirit and now the hero must figure out a way to catch the guy. What is the Octopus doing and how can he be stopped? The Octopus hinted that he knows something about the Spirit’s immortality and Spirit’s old flame Sand is involves so he really has to see this through to the end.

Spirit is definitely a movie that is bonkers and isn’t afraid to really get out there. The first moment I knew something was up was when the Spirit and Octopus have their confrontation mere minutes after the film began. Usually the hero can’t meet the villain that quickly. Then as their fight escalates you can tell that neither one is a normal human because they are taking some really crazy attacks. They seem to murder each other several times during the fight.

Well, Spirit and Octopus both appear to be immortal. Not in an eternal life kind of way but in a “We can’t be killed way”. That actually ties into Octopus’ plans which is to use a serum which will actually give him eternal life. Sand has the vase though so she’s in danger now. It’s quite a lot of plot here and that’s not even accounting for Spirit’s origin story. It’s a fun dynamic though as apparently the hero and villain will often spend a whole night beating each other up only to walk away when it’s all over.

It’s not like they’re pals or anything but they do seem to joke around a bit. They both know that they can’t destroy the other so I can see how the futile nature of their fights would become humorous to them. Octopus definitely seems to have better fighting abilities than the Spirit though. I’d argue he had the edge for the majority of their fight with ease.

Where the Spirit really shines is with the color palette. The movie uses a lot of very interesting visual styles and I would consider it a total hit. This was extremely unique and actually worked out. It’s not one of those gimmicks that you’ll shake your head at but one you will give the thumbs up right away. Not only does it make the Spirit look mysterious but it gives the whole film a pretty epic air. When characters talk to each other the backgrounds will often disappear.

You have characters fading into the light or into the darkness. Even Sand showing up from the water is a very ominous scene. The most every day normal scenes will look different like this and it really does work quite well. It captures that Noir feeling as well. Mix in the Spirit’s numerous monologues and you’ve really got something going here. It helps with the film’s dramatic atmosphere.

As mentioned though, it gets so dramatic that I have to see a lot of these moments as comedic ones. Spirit loves talking about the city and his past. While that is a staple of the Noir genre, you just can’t help but feel like the movie is parodying it. Something about the way the Spirit is having his conversations just gives you that feeling. Then of course for the comedic moments you have most of the Octopus scenes. He’s dressed up as a different culture each tie he appears and the guy is always messing around. He never seems to take anything seriously and murders his henchmen on the regular.

This is definitely some dark humor but the henchmen aren’t smart enough to do anything except what they’re told. So for example one of them even murders himself because the villain told him to do so. It’s certainly tragic to be one of those henchmen that’s for sure. Another gets blended which was a really intense scene to be sure. So the film has its dark moments thrown in as well, mainly as dark humor.

Now, where does the film go wrong? Well, as you can guess with the cat, we get some animal violence as the Octopus shows off his latest conquest to the Spirit. He can melt anything by using the special blood/serum that he wanted although it would simply power the Spirit up so that guy needs to try and grab it. He should have used it on the henchmen instead of on the cat though. That would have been a lot better.

So the film instantly lost a pair of stars for that. Meanwhile the film is trying to make the Spirit a parody of James Bond to an extent. I definitely don’t remember this trait in the comics but he seems to fall in love with every girl out there. Spirit seems to believe that every lady in the city is fair game so he openly has affairs with all of them. Fortunately for him every girl loves him as well so it’s quite easy to make this happen. We do have two main heroines here who both like him as well and he’s not shy about still making moves in front of him.

So the Spirit isn’t exactly the most heroic guy. Even ignoring that, he doesn’t have the best relationship with the cops. He’s always on edge and even threatens to punch out the chief without any good reason. The cops have a point that the Spirit is really running a one man show and the cops who accompany him all get murdered so naturally there would be some bad blood here. It’s hard to get a read on the Spirit. He’s a fun guy to be sure but I definitely wouldn’t call him very heroic. He seems extremely unhinged.

The Octopus is certainly a fun character. He is definitely a villain as seen with the cat but at least the guy has concrete goals. I’m not sure if having eternal life is the automatic win card that he thinks it is, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to live longer since he is already fairly tough to beat. He reminds me a bit of the Joker with how crazy he is the whole time.

His right hand woman Floss also does a good job of keeping him on track. If he starts to go off the deep end then she reminds him of what was going on. To an extent she doesn’t always seem to be thrilled to have him as leader though so he should probably watch his back. That said, I guess by the end she still seems loyal enough.

As for Sand, I wasn’t a fan. In the flashbacks she already seemed quite obsessed with jewels and this didn’t change when she got older. In a way she’s like Catwoman only much more violent as she actively murders a lot of people in order to get what she wants. I was surprised at just how brutal she can be. I figured the movie was going to play her out as more of a misunderstood character but it actually went all the way as a villain.

We’ve also got Ellen who liked the Spirit but still gets jealous when he has other affairs. That’s why I don’t see the relationship ever working out. Either she is okay with being cheated on the whole time or she is going to need to find someone else. The Spirit doesn’t seem like the loyal sort after all.

In fact, there’s a pretty intense scene where the villains use that against him. He can’t resist any girl and one of the villains is a lady so you can picture how that goes. He just goes down like such a chump that you can’t help but laugh. This is the hero who is supposed to protect us? Okay….yeah that’s not going to end very well. The Spirit definitely has his priorities…too bad they aren’t the right ones.

Overall, The Spirit is a very different kind of action film. It’s really all over the place and in a lot of ways this works out. It’s really unpredictable and I loved what they did with the visual directing. The whole thing has a comic book/noir approach that nobody else has really used before. It’s a shame that the Spirit himself wasn’t a little better at being a hero but his inner monologues are a blast. If you can get around the cat melting scene then this is definitely a film you’ll have a lot of fun with. I’d definitely be up for a sequel coming out at some point since there’s a lot of potential here. That said, I think it would be difficult to capture the same energy twice so maybe it’s best to not even try.

Overall 5/10

The Shadow Review


The Shadow isn’t exactly a household name so if you have no idea who this guy is, that’s fine. All you need to know is that he is basically Batman and lives in a city like Gotham. I liked how close this whole movie felt to being an unofficial Batman movie and it made the most of this. The writing is strong and the action is good. It’s just a pretty solid all around title with a lot of replay value.

Lamont started out as a bit of a villain himself. He used his wealth to really become a villainous leader the likes of which his city had never seen. This would likely disrupt the status quo so some ninjas kidnap Lamont and give him a choice. He can become a crime fighting superhero or they’ll murder him. Lamont very reluctantly agrees to these terms after he’s roughed up. Many years later he returns to the city under his new superhero name..The Shadow.

By day Lamont just enjoys his money and keeps a low profile, but by night he terrorized villains. Unlike most heroes he also starts up a network of allies using the people he saves. Effectively they owe their lives to him now so he says he will collect on favors from time to time. He’ll call up one of these guys to ask for intel or even sometimes just for a ride. It’s in your best interests to stays on this guy’s good side so people don’t really complain.

Unfortunately the world is about to be shaken up because Genghis Khan’s descendent Shiwan has returned. Honestly I thought that was Genghis the whole time but apparently he’s a descendent according to Wikipedia. I suppose he may have mentioned that like once in the whole movie but there’s not much difference in how you would imagine their characters to be. Shiwan is creating a bomb so he can take out the pesky humans. He has been trained by the League of Assassins (Close enough at least) just like Lamont so this won’t be an easy fight. It may be time to call in for some backup.

Right from the jump, The Shadow looks like a solid hero. I like how he is always laughing hysterically when he chases the villains. That’s definitely a good way to put the fear into them. After all, when you’re one of the villains then it sounds like you’re being hounded by someone who’s truly insane. It was rather dark and foggy during the opening action scene as well so it’s hard to know what’s going on.

Then you have Lamont’s super powers. First, he can use telepathy to mess with your mind. It’s like the Jedi Mind Trick, if he tells you to believe something then you’re going to believe it. There’s really no discussion or debate here, what the Shadow says goes. Then he can effectively turn invisible. Now this is likely related to the mind tricks as well. He causes you to see what he wants you to see.

He calls it “Clouding their minds” whenever he talks about his abilities. It’s like having nonstop illusions so there’s no way any human can even come close to taking him on. He’s quite impressive and it’s nice to see a superhero who really can hold his own. Back in these days you’d usually expect the hero to take a lot of L’s.

Another reason why the Shadow is good is because he talks a good game. The guy isn’t afraid of anyone and even talks tough to Shiwan. The Shadow just doesn’t back down. He doesn’t have a perfect record here as he does nearly go to a watery grave against someone who wasn’t all that powerful but for the most part he looks rather good here.

Then you have the main heroine Margo. She has telepathic abilities as well which is a solid counter to The Shadow. Unlike his mental clouding abilities where he has to proactively activate it to trick people, she can see directly into other people’s thoughts. It’s a passive ability so effectively it’s always on. For a man with a secret identity that’s a very risky proposition. Margo was a solid heroine though. She does her best to help out and the fact that she has powers allows her to do this a lot easier than a normal person would have been able to.

Shiwan is not very impressive as the main villain though. I was seriously not impressed. We know that he can fight given how much training he has, but surprisingly we don’t really get to see this. I was surprised by that at the very least because usually we would get a big fight in the climax. So he talked tough but I felt like he couldn’t quite live up to it which hurts him as a character tremendously.

The music throughout the film is also great. Get ready for a lot of tunes that sound like something out of the Batman 90’s show. It’s all really authentic and adds to the mystery surrounding the Shadow. Seriously if you just change the name to Batman, I think a lot of people wouldn’t even notice and this could be treated as a What If for Batman. The effects have also aged pretty well. I like how they handled all of the shadow fight scenes. The hand to hand in general is good as always.

Overall, The Shadow was better than I thought it would be. It’s a very solid all around title and does a lot of things in a rather unique way which separates it from the pack. Seeing Lamont constantly laughing the whole time for example was a genius decision. I don’t know if he does that in the comics as well, but it’s a good way to differentiate himself from the other heroes. Additionally, it just seems like it would be really effective. If you haven’t seen this title yet then I definitely recommend changing that. Any comic book movie or action fan won’t want to miss this.

Overall 7/10

Black Widow Review


Black Widow is a film that feels like it’s been in the works for ages. After the Avengers 2012 film there was already talk about a potential solo film. I know a lot of people wanted a whole film about Budapest, others wanted a prequel even further back in the red room. Ultimately we would finally get the solo film now, which takes place after Civil War. It’s a pretty good place to put this film in, I would say the only other area that would have worked would have been the multi-year gap between Infinity War and End Game.

The movie starts off with showing Natasha as a child where she grew up with her parents and younger sister. Their life was pleasant for a while but one day they had to suddenly sneak out and head back to base. Her life was thrown upside down and then she went to work as a Soviet agent until eventually she was able to break away into the Avengers. I would say this was the best way to handle her early childhood.

Personally I would say the film starts off slow. It doesn’t really pick up until we go to the present which is precisely why I never wanted a full prequel film about her childhood. It could be interesting to see her as an assassin and you could pull off a film like Salt but in general I’m always a lot more interested in seeing the present. Yes, this isn’t the exact present but it’s not too long ago. This way you still see scenes of her past without having a 2 hour experience about it which seems like a fair balance.

So the movie truly picks up with Widow on the run from the government after Civil War. Aside from Captain America, the rest of her team was already captured. Widow has had enough of this and intends to vanish forever into another life but suddenly gets thrown back into the fray when she is attacked by the Taskmaster. After suffering a complete defeat, she heads over to her sister Yelena for some answers. Turns out that the Red Room is still in operation so Widow is going to have to confront her old ghosts one more time.

The opening action scene with Taskmaster is definitely solid. Taskmaster gets to show off his good hand to hand skills and copy abilities from the comics and Natasha fights well as always although she is definitely out of her league in this battle and goes down quickly. It’s a good way of getting her back into the fold and effectively forcing her into the action. It also showed how she would still make the heroic call in the end such as when she went for the vials even though she had been looking forward to some down time.

Lets start with the film’s strong points. The action and effects are top notch as always. The hand to hand fights are on point and I like how the objects as used in combat. Taskmaster has his shield while Natasha uses whatever items she has on hand. The different locations all look really good and there are a lot of different environments here to be sure.

The soundtrack is also pretty good. We get some Russian opera styled music here during one of the opening montages and some classic action tunes. While I wouldn’t say any might be a complete standout, they work out well for the scenes that they’re in and help to enhance the moment.

Yelena is a great new addition to the universe. Historically I’ve always liked her a lot more than Natasha as the Black Widow. She tends to be more of an antagonist but I’m nowhere near close to being caught up with her character so maybe she is usually a good guy now. Either way she brings in a lot of the witty lines in the film. While it’s clear that Natasha is more skilled, she is also older than Yelena and got a lot of great experience with the Avengers. Give Yelena some time and she can catch up at some point.

Yelena loves poking fun at the other characters and it works really well for the dynamic here. She was definitely the standout character here. I also liked Natasha’s mother Melina. As a strategist she also has a lot of good plans and is integral when helping the other characters out. That said, she did have a really suspect scene involving a pig as well as the implications that this has. While they play the sympathy card a lot, I can’t see her as anything other than a complete villain.

There’s some good setup to the rest of the universe as well although this is squarely a Black Widow film. The after credits scene is pretty low key for the most part but the final part has a lot of solid implications for fights coming up. Lets just say that the person who is about to be hunted should be in a lot of trouble since I think he’s outmatched here. Maybe he’ll surprise me though. I’m not really feeling the new Nick Fury type character yet since I prefer his mysterious approach to the “fake friend” tactic this one likes to try. Still, should make for an interesting confrontation down the road.

Finally, I’ve always liked the concept of the rogue agent who goes back to their roots. It could be someone who used to be evil or just someone who needs to do an impossible task. It’s the very concept of Mission Impossible, but I’m thinking of more solo operations like Salt, Resident Evil, John Wick, and other titles like that. They can get rather intense but the story itself is always very compelling. The same goes for Black Widow as Natasha has to tap into her old skills which may be rusty at this point.

After all, as a kid even before growing up in the Red Room she was a tough fighter and even more so after completing her missions. As an Avenger she had to learn how to fight as a hero which means no lethal moves and as a result she couldn’t go all out anymore. Hawkeye even gave her a straight fight in the first Avengers film which likely wouldn’t happen in her prime. That said, with how easily she handled Yelena, it’s clear that growing rusty is not a problem in her case.

Black Widow is definitely in the top half of the Marvel Cinematic films. There are enough films now where it’s tough to rank them all but it’s squarely under the top tiers like the Avenger films but above all the Phase 1 titles (Not counting Avengers) and others scattered across the phases. It’s a great film and only the 6th 8 star film I’ve seen in 2021. There’s a lot to like here.

Now for the film’s weak points. I thought it went way too far in making the Red Guardian as useless and comedic as possible. Sure, his personality can be fun and some of his humor moments do land, but couldn’t he have looked good at least once? Strength is his whole thing but he fails in his break out scene, gets humiliated by Taskmaster, and ultimately doesn’t win a single battle. I’m not familiar with him in the comics so maybe he always gets wrecked but it felt a little overdone. He deserved at least one quality moment without the rest of the team constantly dunking on him.

I was also underwhelmed by Taskmaster. I wouldn’t say he was a bad villain, but…he’s just not Taskmaster. We’ve seen Marvel do this with several big villains like Mandarin and Ultron where they just don’t feel like their normal selves and this would have to be put into that category. The first red flag is when he doesn’t talk at all during his opening fight. Seems like a robot with no personality. I can get behind the costume being the weakest Taskmaster design yet since it’s passable but this guy just doesn’t feel like Taskmaster. Where’s the bragging, witty dialogue? I’m used to a fairly talkative Taskmaster.

His role is also a lot smaller than you’d expect so he doesn’t the time needed to look particularly impressive. You have 0 doubt that Captain America, Black Panther, Bucky, and a bunch of other hand to hand fighters would crush this version of him with ease. So he was on the disappointing side, good in a vacuum but I think they just should have called him something else and kept the Taskmaster title open for the future. Who knows, maybe there will be a twist and we’ll get another Taskmaster soon.

Now lets talk about Natasha, I was a little quiet about her in this review so far if you’ve noticed. Retroactively this movie really makes her character look shaky at times and downright bad at others. Now, you know a big part of the plot is that the red room is still around, but Natasha was super sure it was gone. So the film goes into why she thinks this is the case…and it makes her look a bit naïve.

She really didn’t do much inspecting to see if this was really the case. She went to extreme lengths in her quest for vengeance as well. Now you can put some blame on Shield and her partner for believing someone who just turned to their side without having someone else watching the situation but at its core this is Natasha’s issue. Characters make mistakes in their past and this was a long time ago…but it’s a rather huge mistake. The film will explain what I’m talking about here with her plan to destroy the red room but I’m keeping any specifics out for spoilers.

Even more egregious is the fact that afterwards she never actually tried to find Yelena or any of the others. This feels a little convenient since that would have also told her that something was going on. A lot of the film is about Natasha trying to correct her past and trying to be a better person now. It’s what she was talking about with her ledger being red a while back in the early Avenger films so we see exactly what she was talking about. I’ve never been a Black Widow fan and this film doesn’t help matters.

It’s part of why I was glad to see Yelena showing up since she’s always been more fun and this film keeps that up. Still, Natasha does do well in the fight scenes and still proves to be the critical character needed to stop the villains. Without her here there’s no way the others would have been okay. She’s started her first step on the redemption journey by finally thanking the guy who gets her all her equipment and tech. I felt bad for him the whole film so at least it’s a start because that guy deserves a lot of gratitude for always coming through.

That’s it for weaknesses. I mean, the main villain is pretty bad but he’s really a non factor here. The guy is just around since we need a head of the red room but that’s the extent of his room. He can’t fight and can only rely on Purple Man type powers to keep himself in the fight. It’s also another chance to make Black Widow look bad since you’d think she could resist this but I guess the powers of science cannot be defeated.

Costume-wise, I preferred Natasha’s outfit here to the usual Black Widow one. Granted, the old version is a lot more fitting to the title but I do like to have a change of pace once in a while so this was a really good way to flip things. Also, it worked well for the snow scenes. I missed the sky fall gunfight scene from the trailer though. I wonder if it was made only for the trailer or if it got so much bad press about the bullet dodging physics that they just scrapped it. I hope it’s the former because it’s still a great concept for a scene and would have worked really well at the end. Maybe just tweak the scene a bit to show her dodging but then we’re good.

Ultimately my favorite action scene in the film was the opening battle with Taskmaster. Part of why it’s so effective is because of how sudden it is. Taskmaster just appears out of nowhere and starts the fight right away. If not for the fact that he can only focus on his objective, Natasha would have been completely finished off there. The match has a lot of tension and the night time background works well since it feels like there is absolutely no backup. If Natasha were to die here, it would be easy to cover up and even the Avengers may be at a loss.

Widow was also caught off guard so it’s not like she had her gear. You really see how tough a hero is when they just have to fight as they are. You think of moments like Steve being attacked at his home by Winter Soldier, Tony’s house being attacked in Iron Man 3, or Catwoman breaking into Bruce Wayne’s house in Dark Knight Rising. Usually the hero is caught flat footed and gets wrecked but when they’re able to put up a good fight you gain a lot of respect for their survival instincts. I’ll give Natasha credit here, she did put up a good fight even with no prep time despite the combat disadvantage.

The writing is really on point as well. While the Red Guardian may be the comic relief character of the film, I thought Yelena had all the best jokes and funny one liners. The conversation about how Natasha is always posing before and during her fights was fun. Yelena even gives it a shot on her own at one point and the fact that the pose is immediately recognizable does support her point there. Whenever she is around you can expect a lot of fun dialogue. You do get a very genuine feeling from the Guardian in his lines too but I don’t believe his talk about Captain America. He would get folded like an old lawn chair if he tried to defeat Steve. The other characters could have probably cut him some slack since he’s been trapped in jail all this time though.

Overall, Black Widow’s definitely a great film. It’s may have the slowest start to an MCU film but really turns up once we get to the present when she’s trying to evade Ross. That’s when the film gets great and then it keeps up that momentum the rest of the way. The action is on point and as always Marvel has a ton of great backgrounds and environments to fight in. The film may be 2 hours long but it really ends in a flash. You won’t even notice the time and it’s a title you can safely recommend even to people who have not seen the other Marvel titles since her story is fairly stand alone.

Overall 8/10

Wonder Woman 1984 Review


It’s certainly been a while but time to take a look at the latest comic book movie to come out. It’s the first in the new streaming age although it has a simultaneous release in theaters so it’s pretty unique. Personally I’m all for it, you get to have your custom theater meal all set, good lounge chair and at least if it’s provided on HBO Max, totally free. It’s a pretty slamming deal but we’ll see if this actually continues past COVID or if it’s a very temporary deal. This review goes fairly in depth so while I wouldn’t say there are any true spoilers, the less you know about a film the better if you want the complete experience. If you haven’t seen the film yet then you may want to before continuing.

The movie starts by showing us some more of Diana’s home in Themyscira. She participates in an event and does really well but ultimately grows overconfident and ends up throwing away her victory. It’s a fun opening and Diana showed that at a young age she was already surpassing all of the warriors there. It definitely pays to be part god. We then go to the present where Diana stops a crime and we get introduced to the main plot here. An interesting wishing stone has turned up and the FBI want her co-worker Barbara to look at it. Meanwhile a rich man by the name of Maxwell Lord needs the wishing stone to turn his life around so he’ll need to quickly manipulate her in order to get to it. Can Diana get this stone out of here before damage is done and does this explain why Steve has seemingly returned?

There’s definitely quite a bit going on here. First I’ll just say that Maxwell makes for a pretty fun villain. The idea of a wishing stone is certainly tempting to all and naturally it’s what he would need to turn his empire around. The fact that he can control the consequences of the wish is also pretty handy. He’s definitely trying to prove to himself and everyone else that he’s a great man which puts him in a lot of tough situations. The guy has a lot of charisma though and always stands out.

Barbara is one of the main focuses here though. She gets a big character arc as she starts off as the awkward scientist who gets a taste of true power and wants to keep it. I’d definitely have to say that she’s a pretty poor character for most of it but once she gets some abilities then she’s more of an interesting villain. Barbara’s able to fight now and while the power/adoration goes to her head almost immediately she finally gains some confidence. I don’t think there’s a question of who would win between her and Wonder Woman at peak strength but she is strong enough where we can get some fun action scenes there.

For a good chunk of the film Diana is in a depowered state so we don’t get a whole lot of fight scenes. Aside from humans and such the first fight we get is in the White House and that probably is the most interesting one. It’s just a shame that the fight couldn’t have been longer due to the circumstances but I like seeing super powers used in a location like that. It’s just a lot of fun to watch. I don’t think there would have been a way to stop Barbara there but at least Diana gave it a good try and Steve had a pretty good fight with the guards.

At times the physics in the film felt a bit odd though. For example in most of Wonder Woman’s fights she is sliding across the ground like it’s made of ice. I’m thinking maybe the film was trying to just use a unique way of showing super speed here. Maybe in a way where her super strength allows her to defy gravity to an extent which is how she moves so fast. I wouldn’t say the execution is great as it just doesn’t feel as natural but it’s still fun to see her beating up on the crooks as expected. We also know she would have been able to handle the guns and such a lot better if she was at full power.

Her armor also gets to appear a bit as it was used frequently in the promotional materials. You may be surprised that it really doesn’t look very good at all but I was actually a big fan of this. I’ve always maintained that heroes or villains of Wonder Woman’s caliber have no need of such armaments. If anything they slow you down. It would have to be some kind of super haxes equipment to justify its use. Whenever she takes out a sword in the animated movies for example I just wonder why do it? (Doomsday breaking the sword with a single punch in Death of Superman just reinforces that point as she did better without the sword) You can see how her fighting style gets very sloppy when she puts on the armor maybe because it limits her agility so as soon as she gets rid of it then she does well again. I don’t expect she would try using it again.

Wonder Woman’s character is always a pretty complex one. She’s definitely a hero through and through but mixes tactics from Batman and Superman while adding her own spin in. I see her as being more willing to be a vigilante like Batman which she utilizes in this film as she spies through cameras and keeps a secret identity. However, as Wonder Woman she also tries to be a symbol for humanity like Superman although interestingly between this film and the first it seems that she is trying to keep her identity hidden now. Maybe she doesn’t want people to know that she’s immortal? Honestly if I were her I’d really want to stand out then because figuring out her secret identity would be tougher. She probably needs a wig though because most characters would connect the dots pretty quickly especially with how she stands out at parties.

I don’t think she would have qualms about murdering people the way the other two would though with her more warrior like backstory. That said, I was glad the film didn’t go down a certain way here with two different scenarios as it would have certainly raised a lot of intriguing points. It would be a lot easier to defend her though than with the infamous snap or random people getting shot down during the BVS rampage with the second instance since there isn’t much of a clean out. The first one involving a water battle though would have had no real defense. Particularly as she consistently had the upper hand here. Would have reminded me of Phoenix’s big moment in Dark Phoenix where I wondered what was going on since she had the upper hand by far. This wasn’t quite that drastic with the power gap but it was there.

That said, with the film’s ending you just know that it didn’t wrap up quite so neatly. Not everyone will make a selfless move here and some may not have had a drawback big enough to actually make the move. I expect a lot of people ended up in different circumstances than they were in. It also doesn’t seem like this rolls back time in any way to things that happened as a result of your new circumstance are probably still there. It raises a lot of interesting potential plots for other films since you can introduce almost anything as a result of that.

Now for some issues with the film. As with the first one I wasn’t very impressed with the dialogue. We no longer have all of the romance dialogue with Steve and Diana as he corrupts her with the views of the world and their forced dialogue on the boat. That said, we’re shown a world that is pretty desperate here. Any scene with Diana in public has everyone throwing themselves at her. You have Barbara getting harassed by everyone outside and it’s like people can’t help but constantly make comments about her and Diana. You could get it if it was just the one drunk guy showing up twice so they could make an example out of him but almost every guy in the film? It starts to get a little overboard. It also just has a hard time making conversations interesting like any Barbara conversation pre change.

Outside of Steve (Who is with Diana anyway) and the guy whose identity is currently gone it’s hard to think of any guy who looked all that sensible here. Maxwell wasn’t authentic in his adoration as it was all part of his plan to sucker Barbara but of course he took advantage of this as well. The scenes just felt pretty forced. Then you’ve also got the whole plot of Steve returning. Lets just say there is quite the cost for this but Diana seems perfectly content with this price. Now down the road we can assume that maybe, perhaps she would try to correct this but I’m not so sure. Particularly given the amount of resistance she had to ending things at all, if there were no super villain on the loose it seems like she would have been okay with this which is morally dubious at best.

I suppose all heroes have something they can be selfish about at times but this would have been a pretty huge skeleton in her hero closet so to speak. As for Steve, he’s pretty solid. I’d say he’s better than in the first film. He does what he can to help out in the movie. He may just be a normal guy in a world that’s getting crazier and crazier but he actually contributes quite a bit like when he ended up taking down some guards and even piloting a plane. It’s definitely really handy to have a pilot on your side.

As mentioned, the film is a bit of a slow burner so you shouldn’t expect things to turn up for a while. At first we mainly get a lot of introductions with the characters and slowly exploring the world as we see Diana is perfectly content while Maxwell and Barbara are having a terrible time. This eventually leads us to their flipping things around and then we eventually get to the hype White House battle. While there are some action scenes earlier, since it’s Wonder Woman beating up on normal humans it’s not going to be particularly exciting. It’d be like seeing Superman flying in to beat up some bank robbers. That said, I’ll never say no to an action scene of course. It would have been great if we could have gotten a longer climax battle with Barbara though.

The after credits scene for the film is pretty fun. Now, I’m thinking it’s just a fun little cameo for the fans as well as closure for one character so I wouldn’t expect anything to come of it, but if something did there’s a lot of possibilities for this character. Is this character actually going down a villainous path? A future ally to help out the heroes? I think adding this character into a future movie would be an excellent move particularly if for Wonder Woman 3 we get a plot like the planet enders from Supergirl only this time it’s a few people from Themyscira coming over to cause trouble. This character could be quite valuable assistance and I’m assuming the Themyscira fighters would get buffed by some aliens or a deal with the gods to balance things out.

Naturally the soundtrack is solid here. We’ve got the classic Wonder Woman theme from BVS as well as a remixed version at the ready. It’s always a pretty grand theme that starts you off on the right track. The other themes are also pretty solid and get you ready for a good time. Music is always a pretty important factor and this film definitely didn’t disappoint. I also already spoke about the graphics but in particular I like the lasso’s glow. It always looks very strong and the fact that it can latch onto anything and extend/retract at will makes it a very versatile weapon.

Low key I’d say Wonder Woman’s best feat here is when she is able to lasso a bullet after it has already whizzed past her. Keep in mind that she noticed the bullet after it was already past her and close to hitting Steve. So in that time she threw her lasso and tossed the bullet away while it was already close to his face. Definitely a pretty great speed feat for sure and so the movies can definitely give her a big opponent for film 3. At the moment I would say from her portrayal she seems to be the 4th most powerful DC hero in the universe. I would still take Superman, Flash, and Shazam over her. Superman is obvious. For Shazam it’s close but I do think the movie showed him to have better speed and strength. For Flash it’s really just the speed difference as it would be hard to hit him. Of course I expect her abilities will keep on improving the way that Thor’s has over the years. Once she masters her god abilities it may be time for a rematch with Superman or maybe have her fight with Black Adam in one of the upcoming titles.

Of course after the first Wonder Woman film we were all wondering what happened to cause her to go from being a symbol of justice to vanishing entirely since in BVS she hadn’t been seen in years and didn’t even want to get involved. Well, this film closes the gap a bit since she does seem to want to defeat opponents without them knowing she was even there. It explains her disappearance but I think we need a little more to show why she has abandoned helping people entirely. If that’s never explained it’s not a big deal since you can maybe assume she just grew tired of it but I do think there’s still a lot you could do with that premise. Maybe have Steve return a third time but this time it’s a shape shifter or something which disillusions her with everything.

Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 is pretty good. I do consider it to be a considerable improvement over the first film. Wonder Woman is a solid lead as always and the soundtrack is pretty good. The visuals are all on point and while the fights can be a little slippery against the human fighters, I feel like the film was intentionally testing out a new style here so I’ll give them points for the experimentation. Ideally in the third film we’ll be able to see Wonder Woman be able to fight more super villains with her full abilities on display and a current setting certainly wouldn’t hurt matters either. It’s a bit of a slow burner and so there wouldn’t be a lot of replay value here but if you haven’t seen this film yet you should definitely do so. Also worth knowing that if you have Verizon Fios you may be eligible for HBO Max for free so keep that in mind. I’m ready to see what DC has in store for us next.

Overall 7/10

Creepshow 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

Uh oh, this time around we’ve got an anthology film. While it’s possible to have a good movie using this format it’s definitely not very likely. Creepshow proves this to be true as it ultimately flounders. The first story was easily the best one and then things began to dip from there. Most of these stories definitely end up being quite mean spirited and by the end of it you can see why parents wouldn’t have wanted their kids reading this stuff. It could certainly get intense that’s for sure.

First the film starts with a kid trying to read a copy of Creepshow but his father shows up and snatches the comic book away. He’s quite adamant about this comic being terrible and throws it in the trash outside. The kid resents this and prepares a method of revenge. This plot shows up here and there around the rest of the stories that are from the book until it returns as the closing piece of the movie. They definitely portray the Dad to be over the top mean towards the kid so he serves as the antagonist. Still, the kid’s quick method of revenge basically proves his theory correct about the comics being a bad influence as the kid heads straight to violence. It’s basically a negative cycle there with both characters making things worse.

Now as for the actual stories, the first one is about Father’s Day. There was this rich guy who was quite mean to the rest of his family so nobody liked him. Still, he was rich though so they’re all happy to at least get some money. Legends say that Bedelia murdered him but aside from the newest member of the family none of the others are too concerned. After all, it benefited them. Their immediate problem will be the fact that the father seems to have returned from the grave as a ghost to finish them all off. Personally I found this to be the most engaging story. The zombie father made for a solid antagonist. It could be a little hard to make out what he was saying at times with all of the audio mixing but he was definitely a figure to be feared. It also plays out a lot like a typical horror film as he goes around bumping off the cast one by one. It just felt like the most well developed segment in the film and also had a pretty sizable cast of memorable characters. You couldn’t really forget them even if they would meet violent ends.

Next up is more of a lowkey story. Jordy was wandering around outside when a meteor hits the area. He figures maybe he can get rich off of it but touching the meteor causes him to be infected with the plague. He is now slowly turning into a plant and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Should he go to the doctor or will they try drastic measures on him now? This story’s a lot weaker than the first. Jordy doesn’t make for the most interesting of leads. He’s quite overdramatized in terms of being shocked at everything and not too bright. He really messed up in not going to the doctor right away. It may not have done anything but it would have been better than just staying at home and slowly dying out. It’s a pretty gruesome way to die too when you think about it as turning into a plant seems pretty tough. The story may have been pretty light and cartoony compared to the rest but the ending is still pretty dark.

The third story is about a guy named Harry who is cheating with Becky on her husband Richard. Richard definitely isn’t going to have any of this so he heads over to Harry’s place and threatens him by saying that he has Becky. Harry follows Richard and promptly buries himself in the sand. Now Harry can only watch as the tide rolls in. Richard intends to watch the two of them drown from his hotel suite thanks to a lot of cameras he has set up in the area. It should be impossible for them to escape their fates right? Well, the film definitely isn’t trying to have us like Harry or Becky much here since they were cheating on Richard from the start. Of course two wrongs don’t make a right and Richard is far more sinister than either of those two.

Harry played the situation terribly though. Even if someone’s got you at gunpoint you can’t just bury yourself in what will be a slow death. I’ve said it many times but your best bet is to make a run for the gun. If you fail then you’ll likely be shot dead but that’s far better than continuing to live in whatever torment the villain has prepared for you right? Death by drowning for example is a pretty terrible way to go. Once you’ve buried yourself there aren’t any escape options yet. You’re just doomed at that point. The story of course has a twist including more zombies. As with the first one they use some audio effects so it’s a little trickier to hear what they’re saying but the movie’s going for a watery sound as if they still are in a drowned state. It’s a pretty intense climax with an ending that has a bit of a humor feel to it.

After that we have a story about a mysterious crate that shows up. A janitor discovers this and calls the local professor Dexter to check into this. Unfortunately while Dexter suspected something normal like rocks or something would be in the crate it turns out that a monster is and it starts slaying people in the school. Dexter runs back to Henry’s to try and explain this but Henry figures he can use this to trick his wife into being murdered. He heads back into the school and prepares this trap. Will he be able to stay one step ahead of the monster or will he ultimately be ensnared as well?

This is probably the most violent story. The monster definitely doesn’t take prisoners and chomps all who oppose him. Some of the characters at least try to play it safe but others are just crazy. There’s a college student for example who shows up and handles the situation rather terribly. What did he think was going to happen here? The monster itself certainly gives the main characters a lot of space though. The whole time Henry is cleaning up around the lab the monster doesn’t make a move. Perhaps he was already full by that time and didn’t see a need to really do anything. It’s certainly convenient for Henry that this was the case. His wife Wilma was definitely something as she constantly complained about everything. Even to the end she nearly made a comeback.

Finally we had a rich guy named Mr. Pratt who takes delight in getting richer and richer. He doesn’t care how many people he has to take down so long as he can continue to rise up the ranks of society. He makes it a point to make fun of the others beneath him even if they just died. Naturally that means something’s about to happen and sure enough it does as some roaches start to appear. Their numbers begin to quickly escalate and Pratt doesn’t seem to have a way to stop them. Will the exterminators make it in time or he is doomed to be overwhelmed? You hopefully won’t mind roaches here or you’re going to be in for a very tough time. If not for the roaches basically being supernatural I have to say that Pratt was definitely well prepared. He had every anti roach item that you could think of at his disposal. He even had a lot of people on speed dial but at the end of the day they couldn’t save him. There was also the custodian who was acting pretty shady at times. I suppose the film was hinting he had something to do with this or just through Pratt’s paranoid vision that’s how it appeared to be. The ending shot was surprisingly violent with the roaches going straight for the win.

The movie has some pretty interesting scenes where it turns things into a comic book. I’d say that this was handled pretty well. The visuals were on point and the soundtrack was solid as well. Ultimately what holds this film back is what you would expect. The film can be pretty violent and also fairly mean spirited. Most of the stories are really about revenge here as the victim fulfills his fantasy of getting revenge on those who oppressed him. Most of the stories fall into that revenge fantasy category. None of the stories have happy endings although you could make the case that while they’re sad endings for the main characters most of them will have a lot of people who benefited from it.

Overall, Creepshow is about what you’d expect from an anthology. I’ll give the movie props for keeping all of the stories pretty different. You’ve definitely got horror in a lot of different ways here from zombies to supernatural insects. That said, it definitely still doesn’t work for me. It’s hard to root for some of these main characters because they become as evil as the villains they’re trying to fight. The kid from the intro/ending as well as Henry from the monster story both ultimately become villains in their quest to get revenge. At the end of the day they traded their moral high ground for a quick win. If you want to watch a classic horror title then this isn’t the one you’ll want to check out.

Overall 2/10

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Review


It’s time to look at a comic book movie. It didn’t exactly get the same amount of fanfare as something like Spiderman or Superman, but then again..why would it? This film is based on a comic that isn’t super well known or anything. The poster’s pretty cool though and the concept is interesting. I wonder how many people would have really noticed its arrival though. The whole thing felt rather low key to me. It’s a fun film, one that certainly could have been better but it should hold your interest. It looks like a sequel is doubtful but if we ever do get something more in this series there’s a lot they could do with it.

The movie starts with the government approaching Quartermain and asking for his help. Someone is trying to start a World War by bombing different countries and blaming each other for it. Quartermain doesn’t want to get involved as he’s tired of fighting for the country but a group of gunmen show up and murder his friends so now it’s personal. He heads back to base where they have rounded up a group of the toughest fighters on the planet. This exclusive group is made up of Quartermain, the man who cannot die while in Africa; Captain Nemo, the greatest sailor who ever lived and who has access to boats that should not exist yet; Mina Harker, a vampire who possesses the ability to transform and also has regenerative abilities; Skinner, The legendary Invisible Man; Dorian Grey, A man cursed with complete immortality as long as he doesn’t look at his picture; Dr. Jekyll, A Man who can transform into the beast known as Hyde.

Together this group must team up to stop the villainous group led by Fantom. The tough part will be getting along with everyone as they aren’t exactly used to working as a team. Most of these guys are loners and have done a good job of saving the planet on their own. Why should they want to play second fiddle to someone now? It’s part of what I always love about crossovers. When you crossover characters who are from stand alone adventures it offers a lot of promise for various team dynamics because by nature they shouldn’t want to be on a team. This film doesn’t really go into that much though apart from some opening banter with Quartermain and Nemo. The rest of the group seem to just ignore each other for the most part and focus on the mission. That’s nice and all, but I would have liked some more banter. I think the film could have gone really far with that.

From the lore I’m familiar with most of the characters but not really with Mina Harker. We definitely needed someone from Dracula’s camp to fill in the ranks though so she made sense. Adding in a Mummy would have been nice too but as it is I suppose the team was pretty large. Let’s start with the positives here first. The action scenes are definitely pretty solid. The opening gunfight was pretty good as Quatermain had to deal with several enemies all at once. It’s a simple fight next to most of the others in the movie but did a good job of showcasing his skill with a gun. He’s definitely well ahead of Tom in that regard.

The effects are also pretty nice in general. The film uses a lot of darker environments like something out of Man of Steel or BVS. The solemn atmosphere works pretty well with this group as none of them are known for being particularly cheerful. At most maybe the Invisible Man and even then I wouldn’t say the guy is always laughing or anything like that. Everything is rather grayscale so there’s not much time for vibrant colors but none of the characters really have a moveset like that so the film’s not missing out on a whole lot this time. I also appreciated the city landscape.

One of the weaker parts of the film is Skinner though. Naturally he uses his invisibility to be a little cheap at times and I’m surprised Harker didn’t just rip him to shreds after his whole scene. He allows himself to be manipulated rather easily and vanishes for large parts of the film. Given how he was handled I think the character could have easily been cut out. Realistically he just should have been given a much better role though. As always, I wasn’t a huge fan of the vampire stuff though. The drinking blood scenes are always rather gruesome and not really my thing. The battle of regenerations with Dorian and Harker was also intense but not nearly as interesting as it could have been. I also feel like the last person you should ever turn your back to is someone who keeps on saying that they have the ability to regenerate wounds. You know….it just doesn’t make sense to do that.

At least Quatermain makes for a solid main character though. He’s got experience and seems like the perfect guy to lead this group into the fray. He may be rather normal next to the others but he’s a crack shot which is what counts. The film could have maybe picked people with different abilities though. Quatermain, Harker, and Dorian all have immortality. The only difference is that Quatermain’s only works in Africa, Harker can also transform, and Dorian’s regeneration is close to instant. In a fight Dorian would definitely demolish the other two to be honest. The weakest member of the group is Tom though. He’s an American Agent here to watch over everyone and help to stop the war. He crushes on Harker (Like almost everybody in the film) and that’s really the extent of his character. He was never all that interesting.

Nemo’s a good character. It is interesting to see him as a hero since apparently he was a villain for a while. He certainly doesn’t do anything villainous here though so I guess he has completely turned over the new leaf and is not looking back. Harker’s motivations in this mission seem a little smaller than some of the others to the point where you really have to assume that she is doing this out of the goodness of her heart. If that is true, well that’s definitely really nice of her. I can certainly say that not everyone would do that. That being said, she doesn’t seem super nice like that so it would have been interesting to have given her more of a plot.

I already talked about Skinner so lets move on to Dorian. He’s a pretty interesting character to be sure. He has a history with some of the other characters and never really looks all that concerned compared to the rest of the cast. Why should he be right? Dorian is effectively invincible. Nothing can harm him for very long. He has quite a large role in the film and it’s a pretty pivotal one. Finally, Dr. Jekyll rounds out the group. I’m not typically a fan of his character and this film didn’t really do anything to change that for me. He’s still the same ole scientist as always and his Hyde form is all brute strength. I guess I wouldn’t say he’s that bad, he’s far better than his film appearance at least. Still not my kind of character though.

Fantom is the big villain here and he looks good. He has a big twist at the end that I thought was brilliant and makes him more memorable You have to give the guy credit for always being at the right place at the right time. I was not expecting him to corner the heroes 20 minutes into the film. it feels like they barely leave the base before he’s already there and ready to mock them all. I suppose he expected things to play out a certain way based on scenes later on but otherwise it’s definitely an interesting moment to be sure. The plan is one of those convoluted ones where you feel like he could have done things in a much easier way but I suppose he got greedy and that is definitely a trademark for any villain.

Overall, A lot is definitely going on in this film. It can get pretty convoluted and messy but that will keep you engaged. It’s also a good way to mask the fact that the characters aren’t always very interested. By having everyone run around you can help disguise that. In the end this turned out to be a pretty good film. As I said it could and should have been a whole lot better than it was but I was still satisfied with the end product. At the very least it still delivered on giving us quality action scenes and that good crossover appeal. I like seeing various characters interact with each other and a crossover of iconic public domain characters is a good way to go about it. (At least I’d assume most are public domain at this point and Skinner was a good loophole on the Invisible Man) If you like action films and know these characters from your childhood it should at least be a nostalgic watch.

Overall 7/10

Blade: Trinity Review


It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10

Blade II Review

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

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Blade film. This time we’ve got him in an actual group so you can expect some of the other characters to get big fight scenes as well. I’d definitely say that this one improves upon the original for me. It’s not by a whole lot as there’s only so much you can do with a gritty vampire film. Still, I’ll take any improvement I can get and we got more special effects with the fight scenes so get ready for some sped up superhero action!

The movie starts off by slightly retconning the ending to the first one. Despite being in a near death state and then shooting himself, The Whistler managed to survive somehow and the vampires have kept him alive for kicks. Blade finds out and frees him. Shortly afterwards Blade is attacked by a pair of vampire ninjas who reveal that they have come to ask for his help. There are a few super vampires running around that are immune to silver and garlic. Defeating them will be nearly impossible without Blade. To this end, they will make him leader of the Bloodhounds which is an elite fighting force that was originally meant to destroy Blade. This is a fragile alliance at best, but Blade figures he should take down the super vampires so they team up. Are the vampires hiding something from him?

There’s definitely a lot of action in this film and the choreography is on point. Blade has definitely nailed the whole “slow walk towards the villains” routine as this point since he does it so often. I do have to give the films a lot of credit for how smooth his outfit looks. It’s very accurate to the comics and honestly it looks pretty crisp. Whenever Blade shows up you know he’s about to take down a lot of monsters. Those fights are always a lot of fun and accompanied by solid rock songs. The Blade series has had a pretty dynamite list of songs and this one is no different. I miss the early 2000s rock that we used to get for the various fight scenes. It still happens sometimes but it is certainly a lot more rare.

The special effects have also improved since the first film. I already spoke about the fight scenes but even the vampires getting blasted away. It’s all pretty neat. My favorite fight in the film was Blade against the two Ninjas. It’s an example of solid choreography with some back and forth action compared to Blade just absolutely dominating the random minions who can’t fight back. Those fights tend to be pretty fun as well but you really can’t compare the two. An even match like this ends up being quite satisfying even if surprisingly Blade may have lost. It depends on how fast he regenerates since his hit would presumably be fatal since it was silver and the ninja attack wouldn’t be, but it would have been a clean shot that could be fatal anyway.

The plot of having to team up with the villains is also pretty interesting. It’s always a very tricky dynamic trying to work with someone who could back stab you at any point. I also like that Blade keeps the upper hand for most of these interactions. He humiliates one of the vampires when they start getting smart and throughout calls all of the shots. Whenever they point a gun at Blade he does the same to them. The early banter are some of the best parts of the film. I consider the plot to be a little more interesting than the first film’s as well. It does have the benefit of being a sequel so we already know the characters.

Now to the negatives which are effectively the same as the first film. For starters the film is incredibly violent. We see a lot of characters get drained and murdered by the vampires. Characters are stabbed and tortured as well. The violence never really ends in these films which can be a drag. It takes away from the moments of the film that actually are good. I have to say that the opening of the film makes everyone look bad no matter how you look at it. It feels like the guy is a bit of a sucker when he’s being led down a series of halls into a locked room with suspect characters. I don’t remember the place looking so shady when donating blood. I get that this is a special place but even so it was obvious that it was a trap. Then it makes the trappers look bad since this is way too obvious. Anyone who is “caught” in the trap is suspect themselves so it was never going to end well for someone.

The writing is okay. There’s quite a bit of language that this version fortunately skips which does help to a degree. It still seems to be a bit of a crutch for the writers. I also have to dock some logic points for how they don’t even bother trying to explain why Whistler survived. There’s just no way he would have lived through what happened and as hard as the film tries to do so, there’s no way they can explain it. I suspect that’s why they don’t even bother. I don’t even see why the plot needed to be brought back since Whistler doesn’t even do a whole lot during the film. Him leaving his post at one point was also an odd red herring. Why not bring your communicator for when your partners are being bumped off?

Overall, Blade II brings in a more interesting plot as well as better fight scenes than the first film. This does result in a better experience for me. That being said, it still can’t shed the vampire roots of the film. I don’t see how the films can get much higher without toning that aspect down a bit. The violence can be quite excessive. Even though none of the vampire members were particularly likable it was still pretty neat to have a whole group structure. It’s probably the closest we’ll see of Blade on a team for quite a while. Ultimately I could see him getting a new movie or show at some point though. If you really like vampire films then you should check this one out I guess since it delivers on what you’d expect with everyone getting bumped off in gruesome ways left and right. On the other hand you can definitely do better.

Overall 2/10