Pinocchio (2022) Review

Pinocchio is the kind of character who is so well known and respected that he has gotten countless films over the years. They really just keep coming in all sorts of different animation styles and alternate retellings. This one is definitely going for a bit of a creepier feel to it although by no means would I call it downright dark. It’s just not going to be quite as whimsical as some of the other versions and all in all it follows the main story beats that you know. It’s a fresh take which should keep fans entertained.

The movie starts off on a rather somber note as we see Gepetto and his son enjoying a normal day and are setting up decorations in the local church when a bomb hits and the kid dies in the explosion. Geppetto is really shocked into silence and eventually decides to rebuild his son using his skill in puppets. The experiment succeeds and Pinocchio is born. Pinocchio isn’t quite Geppetto’s old son but he’s a nice enough kid. The main problem of course is that he’s made out of wood and so the people in the village don’t really think of him as a real boy. The government wants to use him in warfare and a circus owner wants to use him for money. Whichever side wins, Pinocchio is the one who will lose out here. He needs to find a way to resist all of these plans for his life and just do things his way. Is that even an option though?

The intro is definitely a powerful way to start the film off with because you can definitely see how sad it was for Geppetto to lose his son like that. In mot stories the kid is already dead so we start with Pinocchio being built. Going back just a bit further the way this film did certainly makes the moment hit a lot harder. In general the movie wasn’t afraid to go all out like in showing the war and how a lot of people kept dying in the bombings. The film was certainly ready to have a bit of a deeper look at what was going on during this time period that’s for sure.

Then with the creepy designs as I mentioned, Pinocchio looks like someone that you don’t want to bump into in a dark alley. The opening scenes of him smashing everything as he learns new words would have been absolutely terrifying to see in person. Then you have the fairy which brought him to life and the one in charge of bringing him back every time he dies. Both of them look like rather surreal creatures and ones that you would not want to cross. It’s a fun vibe all around and while the core plot is still the same so this isn’t suddenly turning into a horror film, you could absolutely have seen the film going that way.

While the townsfolk and government are still rather judgmental in seeing him as a potential soldier and threat, at least having him look dangerous does add a little to that rather than everyone just being super unreasonable the whole time. We don’t get the iconic moment of Pinocchio getting drunk and smoking when the bad influences get to him which is probably for the best since it makes him look a bit stronger morally. Pinocchio certainly still makes his mistakes here and gets manipulated but these errors are more about him being naïve than weak willed this time.

Pinocchio’s never going to be my favorite character in the film because of how easily he’s used but ultimately I would say that he’s still a decent character here. He is certainly trying his best the whole time and his nose even gets to be really handy by the end. The end of his character arc here is also a bit different because of the introduction of the immortality clause. Everything couldn’t be quite so smooth this time. So Pinocchio is brought back to life every time after he dies as I mentioned before and a big catch to this is the fact that he has to wait in the realm of the dead longer and longer after each death.

Now granted the ending changes things a bit but you have to wonder what this would do to his psyche over time. Just waiting there like that is intense and especially since there isn’t much to do. At least the death fairy seems really chill so that helps but it’s yet another reason why I wouldn’t want to be immortal. There are just so many catches and outliving everyone seems rather grimm to say the least.

Geppetto was a nice character as always. He went through a lot and never ended up cracking. The guy journeyed quite far to find Pinocchio after the guy was tricked by the circus and never gave up. Meanwhile the head of the circus made for an imposing villain as always. The guy loses a bit of his bite in this version only because you know he can immediately be overruled by the government general at any time. This guy wasn’t te head honcho villain this time around but seeing the government is always fun. It absolutely makes sense that Pinocchio would be seen as a powerful soldier at the ready because of his immortality and robotic parts. In a way he could help ensure that there are no human casualties in any other battle if they could reproduce him. Of course then you run into a lot of moral issues but this army didn’t care about those things.

Now while the animation style may have helped to set up the grimm tone of the movie, ultimately I still would have preferred hand drawn style. Stop motion to me just can never really compete with the more traditional styles no matter how polished it gets eventually. There’s just something about it that is less fluid and as a result you can’t get the same high speed movements. I would say the famous animated version that came out a long time ago still looks better than this one and it all comes down to style. Still it does work well enough.

Overall, Pinocchio is a story that you may have seen many times by now but I do think this adaption approached the story in its own way and as a result it was more memorable than usual. The film has a lot of replay value and it’s one I would enjoy checking out again. It does tackle some of the more serious aspects of what would happen if a doll could come back to life after all and the themes are handled well. It’s also a movie that you could easily recommend to anyone as it’s very accessible.

Overall 7/10

Double Dragon Review

Double Dragon is a film that opens with its best fight scene right off the bat. That means you start off strong which is good but the huge downside to doing that is it means the rest of the experience is going downhill. Now granted, I did enjoy the film. It’s not great but I thought it was decently good. You are just surprised that the rest of the films aren’t as good as the opening because that showed you exactly what kind of potential this film had.

The movie starts off with Billy and Jimmy fighting against another pair of fighters in a martial arts tournament. They are doing well but unfortunately Billy makes a huge mistake and gets cocky which costs them the match. So they head home in disgrace and are then attacked by an enemy gang. See, this film takes place in the “future” which is the past at this point but the world’s not doing so hot. This is basically a dystopia as there is smog everywhere and a lot of acid all over the place. It’s really not safe after dark but Billy and Jimmy are rebels like that. They barely make it home where Satori lets them know about the dragon medallions. It’s rather sudden but they have to keep their half safe before the villain Shuko can get it or the whole world will be in trouble. Can these two teenagers man up and save the day or are they about to get absolutely rocked?

So like I said the opening fight is the best part of the movie. The fight scene actually has a lot of choreography to it and you can appreciate the stakes here. Nobody wants to lose in a tournament setting and Jimmy was actually doing really well until Billy ruined it for him. The fight had good music as well and with the film being based on a beat em up type game this is what you would expect. Unfortunately there are very few actual hand to hand battles after this and none of them are quite able to measure up.

Instead we have a lot of chase scenes and humor subplots but they don’t hit as hard. On the car chase I can at least appreciate the high tech gizmos that come into play with it but it doesn’t really stand out much. Then for the humor it’s often hit or miss. I like a lot of the puns and dialogue that the film is going for but some parts are just too outlandish and dragged out. For example one of the villains is named Bo and after he is defeated the villains decide to turn him into a huge Hulk type monster.

Now he’s nearly braindead and it seems like a rough fate for the guy but based on the music and scenes this is supposed to be funny to an extent. I’d say that the film definitely got lost in the sauce on this one. Any scene with Bo quickly became painful after this. You just did not want to see that guy at all and it’s not like he was a great villain before that but he definitely got even worse afterwards.

Then there is this whole subplot about Marian trying to unite the gangs and having what I guess you could equate to a nicer gang. They’re still vigilantes but they’re not so bad. With the police being extremely ineffective in this film as her own father the chief was nervous the whole time you do want this group out on the streets but it was a bit of a boring subplot. You were just waiting for the main characters to take the stage again.

The film does pick up again in the climax for the battle against Shuko though. We actually get to see the power of the Medallions in action and that also means that we have some more hand to hand fights at last. This does bring up some power level issues though because the medallion is supposed to be a big deal. It can even end the entire planet after all so what are two teenagers and their fists going to do about it? Well, at it turns out they can apparently do a whole lot about it. Kind of an odd way to dehype the object right?

Basically it can split you into shadows and has some other vague abilities including the ability to control someone else’s body but Shuko looks way too unimpressive. I just don’t buy him losing to the characters like that. Now I will say one hype thing about the climax is that we do get the iconic costumes at last. The costumes look really good too so the effects team held nothing back here. They should have given the heroes those costumes from the start but this was still a good way to end things. It showed you a bit of promise on how things could have been.

The movie tries to really nail the bantering dynamic between Billy and Jimmy but you just don’t feel like it works. There aren’t enough scenes of them actually being pals so it feels like they low key just don’t like each other. Even by the very end of the film one of the brothers tries to run away with the girl and ditch the other one only to be outsmarted by the guy already being in the car. It’s of course played up as a funny ending but yeah they spend most of the film being at odds with one another. The sequel probably could have fixed this but that’s not really in the cards.

Overall, At the end of the day Double Dragon isn’t a great film but it’s a pretty fun one. It’s a very old school title with a lot of campy action and witty banter. While not all of the film’s humor lands, I’d say that enough of it does. The villain has a classic base and the effects hold up well so you will appreciate the scenery behind him. The world isn’t very well thought out and it’s not super memorable but the film did try being grand here. There’s just enough unique elements about the film to make you want to keep coming back. I dare say there is a good amount of replay value to be found here although a modern remake could likely execute on the game’s premise way better. This could and should be an elite film just based on the game so I need the next one to focus on the fights a whole lot more.

Overall 6/10

Blue Thunder Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as a review of the unedited version would likely be more negative

Blue Thunder is one of those films that has a fairly interesting plot but also unlikable main characters. There is one particularly egregious scene which realllllllly ends up hurting the movie as well. Ultimately if you are looking for those rare helicopter fight scenes then this one should be the ticket for you but otherwise it’s definitely time for a good skip. Watch Top Gun 2 instead for a solid film involving aerial combat.

The film starts off by introducing us to Frank and Richard who are two helicopter pilots who basically do frequent patrols around the neighborhood to make sure everything is going well. Well one day they come across a crime that seems like a potential mugging but the victim was a councilwoman and she ends up dying. It was a very odd neighborhood for this kind of attack and Frank notices things that don’t make sense around the area which all get missed in the police report. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on as he’s already known to not be the best at just following orders and his boss thinks he is sort of going off the ravine again. Can Frank get to the bottom of this mystery?

See, this is normally where you’re supposed to get annoyed at the boss because he’s slowing Frank down and not letting him do his job. Usually that’s the case at least but here’s the problem, Frank actually is a very bad employee. It’s not even one of those things where it’s close. He abuses his power in order to spy on people. The worst scene in the whole film is Frank and Richard invading a lady’s privacy and staring at her through the window from long range so she can’t see them. It’s really an awful scene all around and well past the boundaries of being even remotely funny. It’s just inappropriate and that alone should cost them their badge.

So when Frank is getting upset about the bosses zeroing in on him…well he definitely earned it. That scene also has nothing to do with the film and seemed to only have been added as fanservice. Cut that out and the film is immediately a lot better. The worst part is that the characters don’t really pay for that. Sure Richard has a painful time during the film to be sure but it’s not directly related to this scene. Then Frank gets to play the hero as he runs around blasting at everyone.

The film is at its best when it’s focused on the actual mystery. For example Frank’s friend Kate helps him out by going to the reporters and we get a fun little side plot near the end. One of the villains even sends a goon after her but fortunately she didn’t fall for the trap and then the reporter came through in time with the security guard. That was definitely fairly tense and the reporter was impressive. He felt like he could have been the lead in a different film.

As for the main villain Cochrane, the guy is definitely not very subtle about being a villain but when there is so much corruption in the ranks why would you bother hiding right? The guy can basically do whatever he wants to a large extent and it’s not like anybody is going to be able to stop him. He’s just going to do whatever he wants and will keep on doing it until someone can stop him. He plays the villain role well and is the most entertaining character in the film to be sure. The guy’s just so sarcastic the whole time.

The effects for the helicopter scenes definitely hold up really well too. I’ve always preferred planes in most areas since I feel like they are faster, more agile, better equipped, etc. But you still don’t want to underestimate the Helicopters because there is a lot that they can do. Part of the focus in the film is that they are testing an experimental one which will have so much firepower that it is basically a mini army in its own right. The dilemma here is obviously that having so much firepower within the city is a huge risk, especially if it’s in the hands of someone like Frank.

I’d say he proves that he’s not trustworthy for using it throughout the film. It also has a lot of invasive hardware in it like a super long range scanner to hear anything anyone says from any range. Not exactly the kind of tech that you just want anyone to have right? It was even funny in a way how in the army demo the company gave we saw a ton of innocent people being destroyed in the simulations. There just isn’t a way to get this kind of weaponry to ever be super safe without some collateral damage. Not without some kind of big technological breakthrough at least. The action scenes are good though and the film’s pacing is on point.

Overall, This film had potential but that one scene just dragged on way too long and was way too detailed. It also destroyed both main characters in an instant to the point where they were impossible to root for. The conspiracy angle was done well although most films have done it better. We get some minor hand to hand kind of action here but mainly it’s about the vehicles and that is handled well. I still wouldn’t recommend this film but it’s fairly close to the border of being a solid pic. If you can get behind that one moment of Frank being the villain then you should have a good time here.

Overall 4/10

One Missed Call Review

It’s time for a retro horror film and One Missed Call definitely lives up to what you would expect there. It’s a horror film that plays it very by the numbers without a whole lot going for it beyond being…well a classic horror film. This one involves phones and a villain so powerful that it’s like you’re fighting against destiny itself. The film doesn’t have a particularly strong cast or memorable visuals to keep it afloat but at the same time it’s certainly not the worth horror film I’ve seen. I doubt I’ll even remember it too vividly several years from now.

The movie starts with the most intense scene in the film to be honest as a lady walks towards a pond when a giant hand emerges and drags her under. It also grabs the cat so the film decided to start off with an animal death for some bizarre reason. Leaving that aside for a moment though, the scene gave the villain a pretty intense design right off the gate and it was memorable. It reminded me of the Redead hands from the Legend of Zelda games. Unfortunately after this you will not see any memorable designs like that at all. In fact once we see the actual mastermind at the end of the film, the villain looks super unimpressive. Basically normal if you will and that’s no fun.

All right so back to the plot. Everyone is worried about the way the girl died and then another girl gets a voicemail from her number but it’s from a future date and has another girl’s voice. This girl promptly dies at the exact time of the voicemail and this “Phone curse” continues to spread. Each victim receives a call from the last victim with a voicemail dated at the exact time that the next victim will die. In essence the instant you receive this voicemail you are already dead which is a sobering thought unless you can escape destiny. Beth is the main heroine of the movie and she has a little time while all of her friends are bumped off. Once they are gone though then she will be next in the firing line. Oh I should also mention every victim gets a candy that they spit out after they die. Pretty random detail but its so random that it’s actually kind of interesting so I’ll give the film credit there. Of course it is explained later on but even if it wasn’t that’s the kind of randomness that can make the situation even scarier.

Fortunately she has the help of Officer Jack who believes there is something to this. Unfortunately the rest of the police don’t buy this so he’s on his own. Now it’s great that he believes since there is some evidence to support it at least but the guy is super sloppy. So the biggest potential evidence here are the phone calls right? Tangible calls that you could trace to see what is going on. Well…over halfway into the film he remembers that you can do this and looks them up but it was such a basic thing he could have tried from the start that it really stands out. You just think “Cmon man” because it would have been easier if the film just said all records mysteriously weren’t there. Really make this as supernatural as possible.

After all this is supernatural so why would it need to follow conventional rules anyway? Jack mainly does good here but I do have to say that one mistake so many characters make is putting their eye right next to the keyhole. Seriously even in real life you don’t want to do that because the door isn’t very well secured at all. Just being near it is a dangerously bad idea. Trust me on this, you do not want to do that! Just stay away from the door and he was probably doomed anyway but it didn’t help matters.

We do get the tragic backstory leading up to the origin of the curse later on and the film gets fairly dark with the lore as you’d expect. Again all fairly common for this kind of film but it also just feels rather forced. I think the movie should have actually not had a backstory for what was going on here. It’s way spookier for this to be happening for no real reason. Just give us a way to actually fight back and then you’re set. For example, that giant undead creature from the opening was super spooky so that’s all you need on the scares front. Have the team try to figure out a way to defeat it.

I knew the film would be cheating as soon as the Star Wars “Force Choke” scene happened. So one girl named Taylor had a really good idea. She allowed herself to be recruited by a supernatural TV show where they record people being possessed and try to save them. These guys may be crazy or scammers but now she’s surrounded at least right? Well the ghost/demon/mysterious villain shows up anyway and just chokes her using invisible intangible powers. There was nothing Taylor or anyone could do and that’s when I realized how futile this was going to be. The villain was too powerful.

In any horror film you have to try and balance out the villain being really powerful and imposing while also giving the heroes some kind of chance to fight back. There always has to be some hope or else why are you even watching right? If the only option is to wait around for your death then that’s inevitably going to get boring and so the film needed to introduce more of a weakness. Taylor’s death just felt unfair the whole time because unlike the other characters I actually thought her plan was as close to full proof as possible.

I haven’t talked much about Beth and in large part that’s because there isn’t a whole lot to say about her. She really stands for being your average everyday person just trying to get out of this situation but she doesn’t have much character beyond that. You’re hoping that she will get out of this in one piece but that’s definitely not a guarantee in a film like this.

Overall, I can see why One Missed Call wasn’t really a hit. The film wasn’t super balanced and didn’t always seem to know what it wanted to do. It’s a fairly serious film with an intense threat but the world wasn’t very fleshed out and there’s nothing to write home about here. While the film isn’t super violent, you definitely do have some intense deaths here. The dark backstory is also intense of course. I did like some of the spooky visuals like the Centipede and the hand in the opening scene but that was about it. The rest of the film just didn’t land and you should give this one a hard skip.

Overall 3/10

Konga Review

Konga is one of those films that ended up failing because it forgot the very premise it was supposed to execute. Why are you watching a film called Konga? Well…odds are that it’s because based on the title you want to see a really good giant creature film right? that makes the most sense but a super large chunk of this is about a super annoying scientist trying to have an affair with his student and this plot drags the whole film down. We don’t actually get the large Konga until the final minutes and it’s way too late by then.

The movie starts with the legendary researcher Charles finally getting back to the country after being presumed dead for a while. He has been living in the wilderness with a tribe learning more about animals and manipulating DNA. He figures that he finally has a way to turn Gorillas into giant monsters and this has a lot of possibilities for human evolution. His assistant Margaret was hoping he would finally be ready to settle down with her and they could start a family but it looks like that isn’t in the cards anymore. No, instead he is completely obsessed with only two things, his experiments and his student Sandra. Can Margaret put a stop to this guy?

I’ve got so many problems with this film but lets start off with Charles. He’s the main character but he’s such an unlikable villain that you are hoping he will be taken out soon. The guy wants to revolutionize science and yet he sets it back by murdering everyone else who were coming up with similar ideas. He claims to be completely focused on the job but then he tries to get with Sandra and makes that a priority. This guy doesn’t actually seem super serious/focused on his work so he becomes all talk by that point and it’s why you can’t respect him as a character. Even if he was a jerk you could at least understand what was going on if he was serious about his scientific advancements.

The instant he lost sight of that the guy was too far gone. Meanwhile I didn’t care for Margaret as the heroine either. For starters she didn’t jump in to protect Sandra when she was being attacked. Additionally Margaret allows herself to just be verbally attacked and ignored all the time. She likes Charles for some reason but you still have to stand up for yourself. She kept all of his affairs in order while he was gone and the guy never shows any gratitude. Instead he keeps making empty promises about how they will still get married some day and she believes them. She seems very naïve here throughout the movie.

Additionally Sandra is also rather oblivious the whole time. Charles isn’t very subtle about his flirting here and how he keeps trying to get her by herself. At first I figured she noticed and just didn’t mind but by the end we see that she hadn’t really considered this. Instead she thought her friend Bob was just being jealous when he tried to warn her multiple times. I don’t get how nobody sees the red flags on this character.

Bob at least decides to fight Charles and even has the upper hand during their skirmish. You can’t blame him as much for sparing Charles’ life because murdering someone is an absolute last resort and Bob wasn’t trying to go down that dark path. He was just put in a really dicey spot the whole time. He gets props for at least roughing the guy up a bit though. The other students were being too busy making fun of the guy to do anything productive.

All right, so what about Konga then? Well he’s stuck in the cage for over 90% of the film as Charles runs experiments on him and keeps saying how expendable the creature is. Naturally once Konga does break free he quickly makes sure to murder as many people as possible before being shot down but of course the issue here is that at the end of the day he’s an innocent animal being gunned down due to being put in the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes for a very somber ending right there and you really wonder what the point of the film really was. It fails as a creature feature film and the character cast was really weak.

The writing can be okay at times. I do still enjoy the old writing style and everyone sounds very polite and proper but you still can’t help but be annoyed. The film’s pacing is solid so it goes by quickly either way. There is definitely no reason to actually go ahead and watch this movie though. There are way better ones out there and there just isn’t anything in particular that would make this movie a must watch compared to others.

Overall, Konga may be a cool name for a film but this is not going to be the next Godzilla. Konga is a film that will likely be lost to the mysteries of time and that’s for the best. Definitely stay away from this film and remember that the main takeaway is to always be wary of announcing your secret research until it is ready. Otherwise you may get bumped off by a rival like what happened in this film and then that definitely would be a tragic way to go out.

Overall 3/10

Fast X Review

It’s time to take a look at the latest Fast and the Furious film. As you can expect this one is going to be a ton of nonstop action and at this point in the series the cast is rather huge. I’d say the movie does a great job of giving everyone something to do. There are so many cutaways to different locations and it’s pretty much the Infinity War of the racing series. It’s easily one of the stronger films in the series and it really shows how this series has become consistently great ever since the 5th movie. It can now be compared with heavy hitters like Mission Impossible. Throw in the fact that this film is “Part 1” and you’re also guaranteed a fun cliffhanger.

The movie starts with a flashback to the 5th film introducing us to the new villain, Dante. He’s the son of the guy who got bumped off in the 5th movie and now he wants revenge. He has been biding his time for years now and is finally ready to make his move and take Dominic down. Specifically he wants to destroy his family first and then take Dominic down for the count. He will have to go up against an army of heroes though so does he really have what it takes? Well, time to find out.

So one of the benefits of a movie series is that you have a lot of time to introduce all of the characters and develop them over time. When handled correctly, an ambitious film 10 will always beat the oneshot adventure because you are able to make this as grand as possible. This movie brings in characters from so many films and so many plotlines that it automatically gives the film a big boost. It almost feels like a crossover to an extent even though it’s just one film. Particularly characters like Shaw and Jakob because they almost feel like they’re from different series.

The action scenes here are really on point as you would expect. The films have so many hand to hand fights now in addition to the car scenes and they all work well. The choreography is on point and it’s also nice seeing the different fighting styles. Jakob fights more like a special ops guy with precision shotgun blasts to the head, Shaw fights like an assassin using every trick in the book, Cipher fights with deadly short stabs, etc. At this point they’re all so powerful and some of these characters have to fight other established fighters which makes for a wild ride.

The pacing is also excellent. The chases and action scenes start off almost right away and from there it tends to be nonstop. The movie is long and it feels long, but in that time it still manages to cover more than you would expect. I like how the characters keep hopping across the globe into different countries. The constant change in scenery is nice and the film keeps up with the different song styles all throughout as well. The movies have always had a really solid soundtrack and I’d say this one fits right in. The songs always get your blood pumping as you get ready for more high intensity races.

At this point of course there aren’t a lot of actual races though. There are a ton of car chases and action scenes but there’s only one real race and it’s very short. It was still nice to see it for an instant though and I thought the movie did a great job of setting it up. We meet a hype character who has been winning a lot of races lately. She believes that beating Dominic will be easy, then you have Dante in his villainous car and one of Dominic’s local supporters. It had all the setup and stakes of a true race.

With this much nonstop action you may worry about it being too much but that’s not a problem. The action scenes are all different so that’s never really a concern. All of the best scenes involve some kind of action but the title never loses its heart either. My favorite moment was definitely when Letty decided to take down Cipher. Sure Cipher may be helpful in the current predicament but you can’t forget what she’s already done to the heroes so there’s no time to work as buddies. She just had to be taken out of the equation real quick.

Even with a film this great of course there will always be some issues. No movie is perfect after all. The weakest part in this one would be the main villain Dante. The film’s definitely playing him up as a super quirky villain. He has a lot of comedic moments in a dark humor kind of way like talking with dead bodies and generally acting insane. He probably laughs about as much as the Joker and Dante tries not to take himself too seriously. He’s always squealing and trying to play mind games on the heroes. So far we have not been able to really see him fight though as he folds like an omelet the instant the heroes finally get to him.

His planning is good of course and the guy is one step ahead of the heroes the whole time so you do have to give him a lot of credit. The guy is good at what he does and a true threat but I can’t say that I found him all that engaging or exciting as a villain. Personally I just was not impressed and he would be one of the weaker villains for me. His scenes tended to be the weakest part and you were just waiting for the heroes to step in. His intro scene of appearing before Cipher also had a whole ton of plot armor for him to get so far.

There’s also the one obligatory scene of Dominic driving towards a racing area where we get some random dancing and fanservice. I feel like they squeeze one scene like this into every film just for tradition even though it doesn’t actually add anything to the story. You’ll be rolling your eyes at that scene and just waiting for the next one but beyond that the rest of the film is definitely legit.

Meanwhile Cipher continues to be a great villain through and through. She really managed to overcome the odds by taking on such a large group of fighters. She was one of the big masterminds in previous films and I’m glad that she’s still got it. I did mix up her and Tess at one point because they look so similar but both are quality characters so that wasn’t much of a problem. Hopefully Cipher continues to get some more fights in the next one. Eventually they do need to take her down though, I hope all of the heroes hold a grudge like Letty and don’t just forget how evil she was.

Little Nobody doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. The guy continues to look incredibly unimpressive which is why we need the real Nobody back. I feel like this guy only exists to get styled on every single time. Tess was a fun addition to the cast though. I look forward to seeing her get to fight a little more next time but already she’s done a lot to prove that she is someone who shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Then there is Isabel who has a smaller role than most of the other characters but I liked her confidence in the race. She definitely knows how to race but at the same time if you’re Dominic you’re probably not worried. Shaw’s role is also pretty small here but I’d say in large part it’s because he would really steal the show if he was here longer. What are the villain’s really going to do against a fighter who is this skilled and prepared? Shaw is really in a different league from pretty much all the main characters here, even Dominic would likely go down against this guy. Always satisfying to see how he fights.

Roman and Tej have a lot of fun banter throughout the film as always. I tend to prefer Roman as a character because no matter how things turn out the guy always has something witty to say while Tej tries to bring the mood down. Their fight definitely felt like the most random part of the whole film though. I kept waiting for there to be a twist about how this was going to lure the villains’ out or something but I guess they actually did just need to mix it up a bit. Ultimately this subplot served its role well as the more comedic B plot.

Ramsey and Han also tagged along for the ride. Ramsey did her usual solid hacking and Han gave us a way to bring Shaw back into the mix so that was fun. In a way the characters didn’t get to do much other than just hanging out nd being themselves but that’s all you really need. Another benefit of this being a sequel, you already know the characters so it’s not like they have to be introduced again.

Then there is Mia whose appearance is small but she does well in it. She definitely still knows how to fight and gives the villains a really tough time all the way through. Hopefully they can incorporate her more into the plot again at some point. Then once Jakob shows up he really begins to steal the show in his subplot. The guy does a great job of looking after the kid for the most part and it felt like he kept a lot of the strength that he had as a villain. This guy isn’t going to go down easily and has a lot of his own contacts. Fans of the character should definitely be real satisfied here.

Letty does well as the main heroine. She is always quick to fight and did keep up with Dante for quite a while which was impressive. Whenever Dominic tries to leave on a solo mission she does not let him and that’s the right way to go. At this point they need to be a team so no running off solo like in the old days. At this point Dominic needs to be able to trust the team and she makes sure to press that point. Letty also more than justifies her own involvement since she can take care of herself.

Then we have the new government head Aimes who really doesn’t want to hear any stories and just wants to take Dominic down for the count. The guy is definitely as unreasonable as possible and doesn’t like the whole family approach. It is fun how he basically acknowledges that everyone always turns good and joins the barbeque by the end of the film. It’s the right level of awareness without actually breaking the 4th wall. In general I liked all of the callbacks here and references to different parts of the franchise. It worked really well.

Finally we have Dominic who is a great main character as always. He gives more lessons about just how important family is and never lets up on this. He goes through a lot here but always comes up with a plan and thinks things through. I really have no problems with Dominic because he’s just a stand up guy who always does the right thing and doesn’t waver. There aren’t any real flaws to point to here and that’s why he’s a character that everyone else can rally behind. As long as he has a car then he has a chance and that will always be the case here.

The film has a great cliffhanger to end things off. It takes full advantage of the fact that this is a multi parter and a two part film should never end with things appearing to be resolved. (Slight shots to the RWBY/Justice League film) This is definitely how you do it. Then you have an after credits scene which was excellent. One of the stand out scenes in the film. Now this isn’t how the film would play out but imagine for a minute if the second film only focused on the character who appeared at the end? Sort of like a redo but seeing if the strategy would work on this character. Trust me, I don’t think it will. This character does have some family weaknesses as well but he’s ready for action. The first thing I said when leaving the theatre is that the villain’s going to be in for a surprise because this guy won’t be going down the way a certain other character did.

New main character, new rules. This guy also isn’t hiding and the sheer top level confidence here was great. A super bold move would be not to bring back just about any of the characters from this film so the sequel is just the characters who were all right by the end of this one. Realistically though this is the kind of film where you’re expecting more of a full teamwork, celebration mood by the end. Nothing wrong with that either, but the possibilities for the sequel are just so good. X already set a high bar but the sequel could manage to top it and I’m eager to see how this plays out.

Overall, Fast X is a great film. It’s really got everything that you could want in an action thriller. A lot of action and a lot of thrills. Yeah that may just sound like more of the same but why fix what isn’t broken right? I would say there is probably still more action here than even in previous films though. It feels like the most nonstop out of all the films at least after watching it. It’s a perfect film for theaters in that respect as well because hearing all of the sounds and watching this on the big screen was a real treat. It may be tougher to watch if you haven’t seen the previous 9 but either way you want to catch this film before it leaves theaters because it is definitely on point!

Overall 8/10

Police Story Review

Now it’s time for a film that I hadn’t heard of before but is apparently very big. The Police Story is a comedic thriller that works really well and I can see why people like it. I definitely had a lot of fun with it and it shows just how much you can do with a fairly small main cast and a plot that’s rather direct. There aren’t a lot of twists and turns here but the film’s fundamentals are on point so there is never an issue on that front.

The movie starts off with police officer Ka-Kui and the rest of the department getting ready to take some villains down. They have an elaborate scheme set up near the beach but unfortunately it doesn’t go too well. After a lot of destruction and mayhem they eventually manage to take down the villains and get them ready for court. It will be difficult though because the villains are as corrupt as they come and without a ton of evidence they may win the trial. So Ka-Kui is told to act as Salina’s bodyguard. She was the main villain’s secretary and so she should know a lot of secrets but of course she won’t want to sell him out. Time to trick the truth out of her but it won’t be easy since she is rather crafty too.

Right off the bat you do need to be prepare for this to be played in a very comedic angle as this is not a serious police drama. That said, I thought it worked really well because the humor is on point. You should be laughing quite a bit during the experience. At times the humor can be rather dark but for the most part it’s more on the slapstick side. Characters get beaten up in funny ways and there are a lot of fun lines as well. It’s mainly a very upbeat film which is why when characters do get really injured you can tell that things are getting serious indeed.

Unfortunately this does mean that Ka-Kui does look pretty bad at times because I do have to count some of the comedic stuff against him. For example Salina decides to prank Ka-Kui in order to make sure he loses the case by acting in a suggestive way while the recorder is on. This plan only works if Ka-Kui fumbles the ball at every corner and of course he does. For example when she offered to go to bed with him he flat out accepted which showed his true colors.

His girlfriend May has a rough time of it throughout the movie because of how thoughtless he can be but this is why she should have left by this point. If Salina wasn’t kidding then he was really ready to betray May at the drop of a hat. That’s not the kind of loyal man that you want by your side. Not by a longshot. Even if it’s played for laughs I would argue that his true colors shown through there and it was a low moment for the guy.

He is a great fighter though and of course the climax does live up to the hype. The fight is so very long and there are a lot of good moves being thrown out. I also appreciated that Salina actually tried to help at several points. She wasn’t just watching as you often see the heroines do in these films. She went out on a limb to help out and it was a great moment. She did this several times during the movie as well.

Salina made for a decent anti hero. You can absolutely see why she doesn’t trust Ka-Kui and why she set him up later on because deception was everywhere. She’s certainly no hero but Salina was caught up in a tricky place from the jump. If she crosses the villains then they’ll probably bump her off but if she crosses the heroes then they might put her in jail for any number of reasons. She really has to be careful here.

I really liked the police’s way of handling this in at least one scene to sow distrust among the villains. They kept her in the interrogation room for an extra minute but didn’t actually say anything. So when the villains confronted her later on and she said that nothing happened, it obviously makes her look very suspicious.

As I said it’s a fairly small main cast. Salina, May, and Ka-Kui are really the only main characters. Sure you have the main gangster, the lawyer, and Ka-Kui’s two bosses but they don’t actually do a whole lot beyond that. It’s part of what helps the film’s pacing flow so well as a lot of the film is just about Ka-Kui trying to be a big bodyguard and then a ton of fight scenes. The writing is good here and we even got a court case which was a lot of fun.

In fact, outside of the climax that would be the biggest highlight of the movie. I liked just how desperate the prosecutor kept getting as he tried to discredit Ka-Kui. Fortunately Ka-Kui always had a good comeback until the audio tape did him in but he was holding his own up until that point. I always like a court scene, whether it is serious or sometimes played for laughs. It’s still a court scene either way.

One thing that seals the deal here is the ending of the film. For a little while you’re getting worried that things will end on a bit of a whimper after an incredible climax. Instead that wasn’t to be and Ka-Kui comes up with one last initiative. The combo is great and the film was really good with the sound effects the whole time so this wasn’t a surprise when you felt the blows.

Finally, the film had an excellent soundtrack. The music choices were bold and popped out at you for every scene. This is how I would want more films to sound like because a lot of films tend to be more generic without many big tunes in them. This one sounded like an anime almost with how colorful the themes were and they really set the mood. It was a brilliant choice by the composer to make this film stand out even more.

Overall, Police Story is one of the funnier films that I’ve seen in a minute. It probably would have ended up being really solid even if there wasn’t action although obviously every film is better with some fighting in it. The action scenes are top notch just like the comedic ones so you’ve got a full mix here. I have a hard time picturing any of the sequels or remake matching up to this one in any way but I’d be curious to see how those turn out. This one really tackles everything, even the classic themes of betrayal and having to go against the agency. You don’t always get the complete package like that.

Overall 8/10

Knights of the Zodiac Review

Saint Seiya has had many films and series over the years but we hadn’t really gotten the live action version before now. Well, that was all to change with this one. Interestingly it decided to go with the American name for the franchise but that one’s always worked well so it’s a reasonable move. Unfortunately the movie isn’t doing so great at the box office so the chances of a sequel are beginning to dim. It’s definitely a shame since this one sets the seeds very well but I guess it’s going to be back to the drawing board for the franchise.

The film kicks off with two fighters battling it out in the night sky. The hero manages to protect the baby Athena before he is ultimately destroyed in the process. We then cut to the present where Seiya is a street fighter who takes on all challengers although he does a lot more dodging than actual fighting. After a particularly tricky fight Seiya is attacked by mysterious warriors and so a mysterious old guy tells him that they have to hurry out of there. Next thing Seiya knows he’s in a castle where a girl named Sienna is said to be the reincarnation of Athena and Seiya has to protect her since Seiya is the Pegasus incarnation from the knights. Does he have the power to pull this off…and why should he?

A lot of the story here is about following your destiny or trying to break past it if need be. Fortunately Seiya is a hero through and through so while it may not make a whole lot of sense at first, he does get with the program and help out as needed. He doesn’t get along with Sienna very well at first but in large part this is due to her being rude the whole time so you don’t really blame him. I’d say that Seiya is a likable main character who is told to believe a whole lot of things at face value right off the bat so it makes sense that he would be skeptical.

He went from being an ordinary fighter to having to fight world ending threats over night so I cut him a lot of slack. I’d say the movie also did a good job of including a little humor to his character as well. The original show may not have had too much time for it but Seiya did have a sense of humor that would show up once in a while. Here he gets some clever one liners and insults spread throughout the film and they help to make him feel much more like a complete character.

He still has his confidence and willingness to jump into battle as well. Definitely a solid lead all around. Now as you may have heard, the rest of the bronze saints don’t appear here which is definitely an odd choice. Instead we jump right to Phoenix Ikki…who has been renamed Nero for the movie and this time he’s working for a human named Guraad. This part is more inspired by the TV show and it’s an interesting angle. Basically she believes that Athena has to die in order to save the world from a dark prophecy and Nero is helping out. You have to be careful who you trust as a villain though.

Nero easily steals the show here with his constant sarcastic wit. The guy has an answer for everything and of course he has the power to back it up. If not for all the trailers showing that Nero would get in on the action you may start to get a little nervous halfway through the film though as you hope he will get to fight here. I can tell you that skipping his fight would have really hurt the film. As it stands we get to see exactly why he is so confident. His abilities really speak for themselves.

I also thought the movie went all out with making the effects for his costume and attacks good. One of the movie’s few weaknesses is that Seiya’s suit looks really bad. It’s nothing like his classic attire and looks like something out of Mortal Kombat instead. I like Mortal Kombat as much as the next guy but it doesn’t make sense to change this when Seiya is so popular and world renown for the outfit. His Pegasus Fist was also ruined here unfortunately. It just looks like smoke to an extent and not a rapid blow of fists. So the effects could have been a lot better but Nero’s looked good.

The fight scenes were all really solid though. I knew I was in for a treat right away when I saw the shockwaves behind every hit during the Seiya vs Cassios fight. Super satisfying all the way. I dare say it may have been the best fight in the film with the only competition being Nero vs Seiya. Both very good fights but in general all the hand to hand and beam battles were good. If you’re looking for action then this film delivered.

Guraad also made for a good villain. She wants to save the world even if it means destroying all of her bonds. She even knows how to fight with her technology and aura in a pinch. She doesn’t finish very well though as this kind of villain only really works when she is determined and ready to see her goals through to the end. When you’re a super evil villain like this then that’s what you really need to do but the instant you waver then that’s no good. It’s way too late for the victims at that point and so I much rather see a villain who sees the plan through than one who has doubts.

That’s why I wasn’t thrilled about parts of her character arc here but ultimatelys he is still good. I actually prefer her by a large margin to Alman who feels more wishy washy and the guy went too far. He caused just about as much damage as Guraad and while he ultimately did stop, he certainly took his time in the past. Princess Sienna is a good character though. She’s your classic “I’m really tough” character who comes in strong with the insults and doesn’t want to let anyone get too close.

She can’t control her powers yet though so don’t expect a lot of actual wins but at least she can talk tough which is always appreciated. Seiya knows that he can’t let his guard down around her or she’ll insult him again. By the end of the film I’d say that she has finally balanced her attitude along with being a little nicer though. If the films end up turning her into a real fighter that would be great.

I also have to give the film credit for how it handled Cassios. He’s considerably better here than in any other Saint Seiya media that I’ve seen. The guy was a full character and a strong fighter even before getting powers. The guy actually dealt damage to the automatic cosmo soldiers at one point and he also has a lot of confidence. Ultimately he might let himself get manipulated a little too easily and don’t expect him to actually come out on top but he’s a villain who is very entertaining to see. I was glad that he wasn’t just a one shot joke character.

The movie does have a good fakeout involving this with Alman’s bodyguard. When the first guy shows up to get one shotted by the villains you figure that the film did him dirty but then we see the true bodyguard after that and he looks good. It’s a bit cheesy that anyone could beat a bunch of these dark knights with a sword and gun combo. I’m not really sure that I buy it at all but it did make for a fun action scene.

The story, characters, and fights were definitely good all around. The only other issue is the pacing did get a little slow during the training by Marin. I felt like the desert didn’t make for the most interesting backdrop and the training itself was a little more on the plain side. There wasn’t much to it so it wasn’t super interesting. You were just waiting for Seiya to get back already to help out Sienna and stop the villains. Eventually Marin saw reason there but she definitely delayed him. It would be nice to see Marin more in the sequel because she can fight so she should be really useful there.

Overall, It was probably a mistake to change so many things from the manga. Having the rest of the Saints show up here would have been the better decision rather than saving them for a sequel that may or may not happen. I don’t think it would have been a whole lot to juggle. Either way I am looking forward to the sequel for this film if it arrives. As far as live action adaptions of a manga go I thought this was a fairly strong one. I was entertained the whole time and while it was a different adventure, I thought it captured the spirit of the adventure. Next time lets get more of the classic music tracks in here though instead of remixes playing very silently in the background.

Overall 8/10

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Review

Crouching Tiger is one of those movies where I know the name well but I really couldn’t tell you what it was about. So it’s nice to finally be able to have checked this one out and it holds up. The fight scenes are on point and the story is good. My only issue is that the film does lose a lot of steam during the desert scenes. That side trip lasted way too long and reminded me of how John Wick 3 destroyed its momentum with a desert adventure as well. Maybe the moral here is if your story is going well then you don’t need to go to the desert. Sometimes that’s the way to go.

The movie starts with Mu Bai retiring from the way of the sword and asking Yu Shu to give away his prized sword to the governor. Unfortunately it is stolen right away by a mysterious warrior. This warrior even manages to escape Yu Shu after a lengthy battle. Suspiciously the governor has a daughter who really claims not to know anything about martial arts but Yu Shu is convinced that this is the culprit. Still she doesn’t want to ruin the young lady’s life by exposing this and tries to get her to return the sword. Meanwhile a hardened killer known as the Jade Fox has reappeared and this fight is personal for Mu Bai because his master was murdered by her.

There’s definitely a lot going on here but one of the real strengths of the film is how it actually spares the time for long fight scenes. We’re not talking a quick 2 minute fight but prolonged action scenes with a good amount of back and forth. For example the fight with Yu Shu and the intruder at the start is surprisingly very long with a ton of good choreography. We really get to see how good Yu Shu’s skills are here as well as the intruder’s. They’re fighting while the intruder is trying to escape so you get to see these shifts in combat. If Yu Shu isn’t careful the intruder will leave and so the situation does favor the villain here because you never know when the situation will be a fight or flee moment.

This movie definitely does use the flying techniques quite a lot. The characters fly over buildings and jump with the power of the Hulk. It may not be realistic but it makes this feel more like an anime adventure so I was 100% on board with this. It makes for a lot of very satisfying battles. It also really shows the gap in ability between the trained ninjas and the average fighters. If you can’t move with tremendous speed and jump over leagues then you’re not going to win the fight. You’ll have no shot at all.

Yu Shu is a really solid heroine. She gets less to do in the first half but the opening was such a great way to introduce her character. You also see her compassionate side in trying to drop hints to make the fighting stop with everyone coming out on top. There is also a sub plot where she likes Mu Bai but the two have a hard time connecting because she had a fiancé who died. So she doesn’t want this to be a rebound which is very honorable and same for him. It’s a nice way to look at things and I think you just have to be satisfied staying as just friends there. You made your choice and it just didn’t turn out well. Ultimately she still looks out for the guy and they have a good dynamic.

Meanwhile Mu Bai may have retired from fighting but he still retains his skills at a really high level. It was impressive seeing him take on all challengers in this film. It’s clear that he was easily the most powerful fighter here and if we discount any cheap shots, nobody was really able to land a hit on him. The closest was the intruder to be sure but even she was no match. This guy absolutely lived up to his rep of being a martial arts master.

For the villains Jade Fox was a bit underwhelming. She is strong when faced against the lower ranking fighters to be sure but can’t hold a candle to Yu Shu, the intruder, or Mu Bai. Regardless she is older so I suppose in her prime things may have been different. She’s a villain through and through to be sure and doesn’t have some kind of sympathetic backstory set up. Her reason for murdering the master made sense and that guy definitely didn’t sound very good but of course any non-villain would have just left. When you go into murder that’s when you step over the line.

The intruder (So I don’t spoil who this is I’ll just keep using this phrase for the mysterious fighter) is a great character. She is a prodigy when it comes to fighting as she didn’t have the best teacher and yet she became one of the strongest in the verse. Her style of fighting is very smooth and it was always impressive to just see her get in on the action and face off against anyone. Not backing down is impressive. I would also say that she’s a big reason as to why I enjoyed the film. In live action you don’t get to see the “I want to fight strong opponents!” character adapted all that often. She felt like she was out of an anime film as someone who just wanted to test her limits and I like that kind of fighting spirit in any character. She also lived up to the hype and didn’t hide behind any characters.

Meanwhile Jen is a nice enough character. She doesn’t really seem thrilled about her arranged marriage and I don’t blame her. That always seemed like a custom that would really lead to disaster. Unfortunately everyone in her circles are used to this so the advice tends to be that she won’t mind eventually. Not great advice if you ask me but Jen had an affair with someone in the desert and now she misses those days. She really beat up Lo (The guy she met) quite a lot but eventually they liked each other. They’re in different stations though and so it was a romance that could never be. Truly tragic…but completely out of place here.

The movie basically pauses the plot for a really long trip down memory lane in the desert. You definitely understand what they are doing here but I felt like this detour was just not needed. Seriously we could have understood the story in a few minutes, this didn’t need to be so long. It’s to build up the romance of course but at the same time I would say it’s still hard to buy because the whole thing is still very quick. She also tried to murder him several times and it’s a bit hard to let that go. I’ll say that the film tried harder to make the romance work than most others but no I wanted to go back to the real action.

Overall, That was really my only issue with the film though. So while the pacing isn’t as great as it could have been, the film still has a whole lot of great things going for it. The action is on point and the characters are good. The fight scenes are really given a lot of focus here and the martial arts can hold their own with any title. There are a variety of different settings for the fights and the visuals at the ending are also really good. This movie was definitely the complete package through and through and I can definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to see an action film with good writing or someone who wants to check out a well thought out drama since the dramatic moments are here as well.

Overall 7/10

Identity Review

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

Identity is a movie with a pretty interesting premise. I’d actually say there was a whole lot of potential here and I do tend to like the premise of getting a bunch of people together and as they all start getting bumped off you have to wonder who the big villain is. There’s a whole lot that you can do with this but unfortunately the film didn’t really take advantage of this. Mainly because it was going really well but there was one twist which really didn’t work out and ended up weakening the experience.

The movie starts out with the viewer seeing a lot of violent crime photos as there was some kind of serial killer but he’s now being put to death. The Judge and some other people have to quickly talk things over though but then we cut away to the actual plot of a bunch of people getting stranded at a motel. You have the owner who is really shady and being super aggressive the whole time. A former cop who works as a chauffer for a famous movie actress. The actress in question is here as well. A family of 3 where the wife got his by the chauffer’s car so she’s in critical condition and the young boy is definitely traumatized. The father is also cracking the whole time as well. There was a girl who tried leaving the area but the road got blocked so she is stuck with them as well. Finally you have a cop who was transporting a murderer over to jail so he stops in as well along with the handcuffed prisoner. All of these people have to try and survive the night at the motel while they wait for the flood to end but slowly they start getting picked off. Who could possibly be doing this!?

So that’s the story premise that I really do enjoy. It’s very much a Clue kind of mystery and most of the characters don’t seem to have much of a motive at first but then all of their stories start falling apart the more the movie goes on. So after that then everyone starts feeling really suspicious which makes it just as hard to find the guilty party, just for different reasons than earlier. As the film goes on you get to really start coming to your own conclusions as well so it’s just a really good match. It’s just hard to get into this without spoilers but the final twist just defeats the entire purpose of everything. I don’t think it was a good idea and I would have played this one straight. It would immediately be way better. Now in part the final twist helps to establish how some of these events could have possibly happened.

It helps in a power scaling sense but I don’t want power scaling right now. I just wanted a really satisfying story with a lot of tension all around. You still get that for most of the film but this takes away that replay value once you know what’s going on from the start here. It changes the whole dynamic of the film retroactively and the payoff for this isn’t great as well. The film does have a horror film type ending as well which can be fun. I mean you do always want to see that but there’s a whole lot of plot convenience going on here. There’s a car scene near the end that makes no sense because nobody in their fight mind is taking such a chance with a dangerous person. The closest analogy I can use is you hear someone knocking on the door so you open it and get one shotted. That’s basically what happens here.

I did enjoy the meanwhile scenes with the judge and other people talking though. It was so random that it was just a bit funny and that actually leads into a very satisfying twist. The first twist in this plot was actually good and that’s why they always say to quit while you’re ahead. If there was ever a time to follow that advice, this was it. For another positive on the film I thought they did a good job with the atmosphere and effects. Everything did look really ominous and dreary the whole time. You felt that motel vibe all the way. Also the film didn’t overdo it with the violence. It could be violent at times to be sure but some of the visuals would be more creepy than over the top. I’d say the photos at the beginning were mainly more violent than the actual murders at times.

So if we ignore the final twist then I still did enjoy all the cat and mouse games. Aside from the motel owner and the prisoner who were both awful characters from the jump, at least the rest seemed decent. The father was going a bit crazy but considering what just happened to his wife I feel like that’s fair. The kid doesn’t do much but he’s a kid so that’s just how it goes. The Chauffer is one of the more mysterious characters but he’s very proactive and always trying to find some clues so you have to give him props there. He’s definitely taking some extra risks there assuming he isn’t the culprit.

Then you have the actress but she’s a bit on the spoiled side and doesn’t really help out a whole lot. Right from the start you figure things won’t go well for her. The lady who was trying to leave earlier is nice enough. She probably tries the hardest to keep everyone together but with the manager always being rather aggressive it can be hard on her. She keeps it together pretty well though so she was one of the stronger characters. Then you have the cop who adds a lot of the excitement to the film. After all he has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it. The guy’s a bit of a loose cannon and so you feel like he could dish out a lot of damage if he finds out who the culprit is.

With so many characters here there are a lot of dynamics to play into. The film is at its best when the characters are all trying to act normal but you can see how they’re starting to get suspicious. Now in defense of the final twist, you do see exactly what they’re going for here. I think it is possible to execute the twist and have a good movie but ironically it works better if you were not enjoying the movie. Or in fact if we knew about the twist from the start. It manages expectations and you can still have a lot of fun there. It just felt really out of place here and seriously hurt the movie’s momentum.

Overall, Identity is a really solid movie for over 80% of its run. It’s not perfect but it was doing well and then things really came to a halt. Ultimately once you know the twist you can try and recover from it, but it just completely changes the dynamic of the title so it’s never quite the same. I’d like to see a remake/reboot of this film but ignoring the last twist and just playing things straight. As the film gradually got weirder and weirder with so many things happening you just get really excited to see how the writers will tie it all together. That’s what I still need and is what would really make the ending a lot more satisfying.

Overall 4/10