A Quiet Place Review

A Quiet Place is a film that got a reasonable amount of hype before coming out. After all, it’s premise was fairly original as most of the film is completely silent. The trailers hinted at the monsters but made sure not to show them. Well, I can’t say that it was a good film, but it was a pretty interesting one so I’ll give it that.

The film starts off by putting us at month 3 of the alien invasion. The humans have mainly been wiped out by this point but there are still pockets of survivors in the various cities. The humans have learned that the only way to resist destruction at the hands of these incredibly powerful creatures is not to make a sound. The aliens can’t really see so they only rely on sounds. It’s a good defensive strategy at least but the kids will make this a little tricky. Can the main characters survive until the end?

While you aren’t supposed to overthink these kinds of films because the background can be a bit of a stretch, I have to question multiple things about the setting. A prequel could hopefully address this but in the meantime it seems like a stretch. For starters, the newspapers say that these monsters are basically indestructible and cannot be stopped. This is theoretically what explains how the human race lose to these guys. That’s fine but we learn at the end that a single shotgun blast can take one down, albeit it that the monster opened its mouth because of its terribly impractical design. I don’t see how the humans could have lost to them. Granted, the shotgun is one of the best weapons in Fortnite, but even so I imagine that some other main guns would work as well. Sound aside, the creatures love roaring so getting the shot in wouldn’t be hard.

Meanwhile the main characters also come off as being very selfish. Near the beginning for maximum shock value one of the kids is murdered. This leads to the main characters deciding to have a kid. Naturally the process isn’t always the same amount of time so you could make the case that it was right before this happened rather than after, but either way it’s not a good idea. Why would you want to have a kid who is going to grow up in such a dangerous environment. How are they going to keep him from crying or making a ton of noise? It would be impossible, particularly with how sensitive the monsters are. Having a kid is basically inviting the end for them all. Let’s face it, this plot was just added to give this film a random birth scene to add to the tension but the writers didn’t stop to think if it made any sense or not. It’s definitely one of the more unbelievable moments.

The film does also love reminding you that it’s a horror film with random moments of violence. The scene where the heroine steps on a nail is already a terrible scene in the surface but it gets even worse when you think about how crazy it all is. Put it this way, the main guy crosses these steps all the time. I don’t see how he could not have noticed it. He would definitely have covered it up since stepping on it just once could tip off the monsters. Even if he didn’t expect anyone else to go down there for a while, it just makes sense. Then we also get the obligatory animal death as part of horror film tradition. All I can say is that as soon as I saw the raccoons I had a bad feeling about all of this. It’s definitely not something to help the film.

As a positive, the script isn’t half bad. Since there is very little dialogue throughout the movie this helps it avoid that land mine. It does come at the expense of a good soundtrack as well though since the film is so silent all the time. This film also avoids having any fanservice which is great and in general comes off as a little classier than other horror titles.

Back to the bad though, the kids were quite annoying. They are constantly making noise and getting the main characters in trouble. Whether it be through knocking down lanterns or playing with electronics it is easy to see why the main lead wouldn’t let them into the basement. The main lead did totally give up at the end though which is unfortunate. Leading the monster away from the family is good and all but at least don’t go down without a fight. Why make this even easier for the creature? If he ran then in theory it would also buy some time for the others.

The kids also make everything too dramatic at times. One of them thinks she is to blame for the kid dying so she decides to discourage the main character from trying to contact the rest of the world. I guess giving up is fun and all, but then what will they be doing for the rest of their days? Without a goal to strive towards they would probably just lose their will to live after a while. Even if it’s futile, working on some kind of plan is better than not having a goal. This is why kids don’t do well in survival stories.

At least the ending is pretty solid though. It’s a pretty nice cliffhanger type ending that doesn’t have to lead to a sequel. In your head canon you already know how this could end. It either succeeds or it doesn’t. Either way it makes for a nice visual. I do also have to say that considering she just gave birth, the heroine had quite a lot of energy left. She was certainly ready for this fight.

Overall, A Quiet Place is basically just the same ole horror film but in a new package. While it is slightly better than the average one, (Which is around a 2) it still doesn’t cross the border into becoming a good film. To accelerate to the next level it would need a better cast of characters. The silence gimmick is also unique but not one that really works after a while so that’s better for just part of the film. The monster designs prioritized being spooky over practicality and I can’t say that I liked them. They looked more demented than dangerous instead of it bring the other way around. On a final note, the main character roaring into a waterfall is another move that isn’t very smart as there is no guarantee that the monsters would not hear him and that would have put everyone at risk.

Overall 3/10

Edge of Tomorrow Review

This film is definitely way more recent than some of the others that I’ve reviewed as of late. (With the exception of Assault on Arkham) It’s time for a good ole 2014 film and this one looked pretty good when I saw the trailer in theaters. I’m always up for an alien invasion film and it looked to have the exciting explosions from Battleship while being a few pegs ahead in terms of writing and character development. It was about as good as I expected although it was also a little lighter on the action than I had anticipated as well.

William Cage is the protagonist of this story and he didn’t really want to get involved in the big battle against the alien invaders. He was happy to report on what was happening, but getting on the frontlines was for the soldiers. Unfortunately, he upsets an army general who forces him to go to the frontlines and things can pretty tough for him from there. He dies. Luckily, Mr. Cage managed to take out a Mimic first, which has allowed him to enter the timestream.

To provide some more background on this, the alien leader has a complete mastery over time. It’s why the aliens are crushing the heroes so easily. Whenever one of the alien Mimics is destroyed, it can go back in time to relive the day and to inform the other aliens of what is going to happen. So, by destroying one of them, Mr. Cage now acts as a Mimic and he gets to relive the day whenever he is destroyed. It’s really not a bad deal, but dying all of the time can be pretty sad as well. I have some issues with this part of the plot, but I’ll get to that later. Mr. Cage realizes that his only way out is to end the invasion once and for all so he will have to locate the war hero (Vrataski) in order to vanquish the aliens once and for all.

Okay, let’s talk about the parts of the plot that I find a little hard to believe. One is that nobody has ever destroyed a Mimic at close range before. I find that really hard to believe considering how long the war has been going on. From the start of the film, they act as if the war has been going on for years and years. America didn’t even join in at first, but we hit pretty hard when we did go in. So, there should be other humans that have obtained this ability. By “more” I’d say at least 10-100. The odds of finding a Mimic are apparently 1/1000 or something like that, but that’s not a terrible odd when you’re involved in a war.

Another dicey part is the hiding place of the master alien. Let’s just say that it picked a very iconic and legendary position to set up shop. How could nobody go to this area during the entire war? It’s not very feasible to think that the alien can easily escape and its travel speed is likely very slow. The heroes were definitely slacking off here and the governments should have been on top of this.

William Cage is a pretty good main character. Unfortunately, he still does suffer from the negatives that plague most mainstream leads. No matter how serious the situation is, he quickly thinks of romance and comes up with some terrible reasons to try and jumpstart this. It’s played for laughs of course, but it certainly doesn’t help his case. I do like how he immediately resorted to blackmail though since that felt pretty “American.” No offense intended of course, but he just did what seems natural to many people at his level. Why risk his life for our planet? He eventually learns how to fight though and he does a pretty good job of taking on the enemies. He’s a little slow on the draw at first, but he becomes a pretty capable warrior by the end. The film takes place over a span of around 1 year based on the amount of days that he had to relive. That’s a lot of time and it’s a wonder that he kept it together. Cage is a pretty decent lead, but I guess he’s pretty interchangeable. I’ll take him over James Bond or Jack Sparrow though and that’s already a pretty solid step up. For the most part, he really he is a solid character, but he’ll strike you as just being very generic.

Ms. Vrataski is the hero who has slain many aliens and she is supposed to be virtually unstoppable. There is a plot twist about this that really eliminates most of her reputation though. I suppose that a figure head is always necessary to win the big battles, but she’s only pretty good at fighting. I wouldn’t call her legendary or exceptional. Especially at one point towards the middle of the film where the aliens continue to best her. I have to say that she was pretty underwhelming although you may have already surmised that from this paragraph. She tries really hard to be the next fan favorite character who’s as emotionless as Mikasa or Sai, but it just doesn’t work here. I assume that she has some kind of tragic past, but the film (thankfully) doesn’t explore this and you just wonder why she’s so mean to the main character. I would be too if I was in her position, but then she needs to back it up a little more while on the field. We also can’t forget how she left Cage to die in one of the first scenes. She’s just not hero material.

It’s time to mention another part that I found hard to believe. A lot of those in this film, but keep in mind that it’s an alien invasion film that deals with time travel and both of those genres already tend to have this “weaknesses”. Mr. Cage knows way more than he should. I don’t see how he would ever learn about someone’s true name through their origin. Most of the other pieces of intel that he acquires off screen are pretty believable, but at the same time it is still hard to picture for others. Even knowing so much about the Secretary was a little dicey at this point. Reliving a day an infinite amount of times is great, but there’s still so much that you can do in a day. Would someone really trust you with their ultimate secret after a single day? I don’t think so.

Aside from that, the film does a good job of avoiding the mainstream film holes. No animal violence, and the slight bits with romance are purely through dialogue and nothing is shown. That’s always a good thing and the action is pretty fun without being over the top in a negative way like we’ve been seeing recently with blockbusters.

The fight scenes aren’t a huge focus of the film, but they were very well done. The aliens are actually some of the fastest creatures that we’ve seen in this kind of a film. I’d actually take one of these against a Xenomorph, Predator, Chitauri, or a number of others. They don’t typically use projectiles, but they’re incredibly fast. If anyone’s seen Attack on Titan, they use a similar spin move to Levi’s. If you haven’t seen it, just picture a top once you spin it. Then imagine that the aliens can keep up this speed as they slice and dice throughout the war. I really liked these guys! The aliens are strategic and very deadly. It’s hard to imagine the army winning a single battle, but the film actually does provide us with an acceptable answer to that question.

Overall, Edge of Tomorrow is a pretty good alien invasion film. I would have liked to have seen the actual battle against the aliens some more or maybe our government leaders and how they plan out their next strikes. I think Cage’s plot was actually less interesting than those would have been, but it’s still good for what it was. We learned that you never trifle with the government as seen in one of the early scenes. I do applaud Mr. Cage for attempting to run though since at least he didn’t go down without a fight. I recommend Edge of Tomorrow as a solid alien invasion film, but don’t go in expecting this to be as thought proboking as other titles in its two genres.It’s a fun summer blockbuster and that’s good enough for me.

Overall 7/10