4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Dragonslayer Review


It’s time to look at a fairly old Disney film. You’re probably familiar with the name whether you’ve seen the film or not. It’s definitely a very catchy title, although it paints a few warning bells right away. For starters, films with dragons usually take place in the really olden days where so the film won’t really be visually pleasing. Dragon films just don’t tend to have the best track record and unfortunately this one doesn’t really change that melody.

The plot starts off with a group of people heading to the lair of a sorcerer. They have come to ask for his help in slaying a dragon. This is the last dragon haunting the kingdom, but currently it is basically impossible to stop him. The sorcerer agrees to help, but he is quickly murdered by some of the king’s men. They don’t want anyone to try and attack the dragon because if that person were to fail then the dragon would just get even more upset. This band of men also murder the sorcerer’s right hand man so now all that’s left is the apprentice. Galen tells the group he’ll slay the dragon and sets off to do so. Still, he is just a boy…can he really stop this mighty beast?

Galen won’t really leave a positive impression with you. First off, he’s incredibly overconfident. From how he talks and swaggers about you would expect him to have a considerable amount of magical talent at his disposal and yet we see that he can barely even lift a table. That’s certainly not an image that will inspire confidence into your heart. On the contrary, it’ll just let you know that you really can’t trust this guy. Then when the group is just trying to get by the dragon territory so they can make a plan he decides that he absolutely has to see the lair. Galen puts all of their lives in jeapordy just for that. Then he doesn’t even see the job through. He’s just a pretty bad main character and I don’t blame some of the characters for being upset with him.

Of course, the King and his men are portrayed as unreasonable. While they may have some valid complaints, they are completely overshadowed by the fact that they’re petty and corrupt. They just want to keep sacrificing everyone so the dragon will stay quiet. Since the rich are exempt from the sacrifice, it’s of no concern to the King. It only becomes a concern once his daughter is in trouble. Of course, he is a villain, but at least he’s consistent about it. It makes him a fun antagonist since he has no moral compass and only does what is best for him and his family. The leader of his guard who fights with the heroes probably gets the more screen time from the antagonists though. He does put up a good fight each time and in terms of swordplay might be the toughest fighter in the film.

The main heroine gets a big role as well. The twist likely won’t work too well for most since it seemed pretty clear that Valerian was a girl from the start. I suppose as long as the trick worked on the other characters then that’s what counts though. She was definitely helpful throughout and without her the main guy would have definitely gone down for the count several times. The rest of the supporting characters don’t really do much. To go back to the sorcerer though, I can’t say that I liked the guy. Of course towards the end it turns out that he did have some kind of master plan and all, but at the end of the day he still allowed himself to be destroyed and the rest of the group could have easily fallen right after that. He’s just lucky that the villains decided to leave.

For the most part if you take away the fact that this isn’t really my kind of film then it’s not that bad. It’s still a lot more engaging and fun than something like LOTR. The cast may not be particularly strong, but it’s still a reasonable adventure. Unfortunately the film begins to falter towards the second half. It actually gets pretty violent once Galen goes in the cave and starts slaying the dragons. We even see one of the characters get ripped to shreds. It is definitely unfortunate for her since the only reason she was in that spot in the first place was because she tried doing something noble. I was really expecting her to get saved. Still, while offering herself up as a sacrifice was a heroic move, she should have just let the main character save her the second time around. Running into the cave like that just wasn’t good.

So, the climax hurt the film because with all the stabs and the violence it was basically animal violence. Dragons differ from monsters in that respect. The visuals age pretty well though. The fire blasts from the dragon are surprisingly lifelike and I like the shield that the hero used. So if you just take away the dragon part and make it some kind of inanimate object instead then maybe the climax would have been really awesome and overall the film would have been a big success. After all if not for the climax then this film would earn a few extra stars at least. A shame that it had to go down right at the very end.

Overall, Dragonslayer does live up to the title. It’s a pretty long film, but the pacing is pretty decent. Even if the intro is slow, it does set up the characters and does so without a lot of exposition. Then when we get to the action part we get multiple fight scenes. Even the old sorcerer gets to fling a few lightning bolts. I will say that the Dragon was definitely very persistent. He just kept getting up no matter how many people kept trying to strike him down. The film even makes him sympathetic at one point when he sees that Galen is murdering all of his kids. That’s when I remembered that I was rooting for him all along. He should have ended the village ages ago though instead of taking his time. So, I don’t recommend this film, but if you really love old school adventures then you may like this one. Just be prepared for an annoying main character. He doesn’t do the film any favors.

Overall 4/10

8 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Mission Impossible: Fallout Review


After re watching all of the Mission Impossible films I was definitely ready for the latest one. Seeing it in theaters is always a rush and it’s the perfect way to end the summer. It was always going to be a tough sell trying to top films 4 and 5 but if anyone could do it Mission Impossible could. Fallout is definitely a great film although ultimately I would probably go with the last 2.

The movie starts out with Ethan assembling a team to try and recover the three plutonium balls that the Apostles are planning to use to blow up chunks of the world. The plan goes pretty well but the villains do escape with 2 out of 3. Ethan now has one last chance to catch them before a catastrophe occurs but this won’t be easy since the CIA has decided to pull rank. They are adding Agent Walker to accompany Ethan and he will be around to complete the mission at any cost.

A pretty impressive part of the movie is how misleading the trailer was without making stuff up. Sure the Truck scene in the forest didn’t happen but beyond that everything else was on point, the scenes were just shuffled around quite a lot. Most of the scenes in the trailer happened early on in the film so the second half was basically brand new. Walker is a far different character than I imagined him to be. While he may not be quite as good as his trailer version he is still a solid character brought and through. More on him in a bit.

As expected the best fight scene is the bathroom one. The fact that this guy is able to put up such a good fight against both Ethan and Walker at the same time is incredibly impressive. Especially when you consider that he was easily beating both of them. This guy is easily the best fighter we’ve seen in the series and his fighting style was quite lethal as he kept hitting them in the neck. Walker is definitely luck that Ethan was around to protect him. Even besides the fight the scene was just pretty epic as the two leads walk in and start surrounding the villain.

As always the film has exceptional pacing as well. The film is very action packed and something is always happening. Ethan really gets a workout as he runs a marathon, gets in a car crash, helicopter crash, gets hit by a building, etc. He sustains quite a few injuries over the course of the movie so it’s good for him that he usually gets 2 years to recover before the next one. It is unfortunate that Ethan is always injured for the final fight so we can’t see him at his peak but I suppose that’s the point of the early fights anyway. Additionally the visuals are also really good here as we get a lot of great backdrops. Whether the heroes are in a building or outside everything just looks so colorful.
We also get the classic MI theme a few more times which is always hype. It’s just such a great theme and it works for pretty much any epic scene. As always I will give the film’s soundtrack a thumbs up. It definitely does not disappoint.

While the film was excellent it still had 2-3 things it could have done better. For starters, it does gonthe cliche route of squeezing in one f word just because the film can. It’s really forced and unnecessary. The other installments didn’t have to add in such a thing and neither did this one. It’s a relatively minor issue and hopefully they don’t bring it back for next time. The rest of the writing was quite sound as you would expect though with a lot of good planning everywhere.

The other area where I’d say the film dropped the ball is with Ethan’s wife from film 3. The films have been pretty vague with her character from that point, but we know that Ethan faked her death so she could finally be safe. This film goes further into that and basically the two can’t even see each other anymore. Sure, Ethan could easily put on a mask and meet with her like everyone else, but they’ve decided that this life was way too intense. So they split up and Julia quickly went on the rebound. I don’t have anything against the replacement husband. The guy seems nice enough and is a good sport, it’s just that this plot absolutely shouldn’t have happened.

It’s such a tragic twist for Ethan. He gets to keep putting himself in harm’s way to save the world and now he’s also lost the person he cared about forever. Sure, the film hints that he will go on the rebound as well, but I wouldn’t even call that a consolation since I’ve never been able to agree with the rebound train. I have to stress that the film doesn’t paint this in a tragic light. Both people moved on although Ethan still gets dreams where he regrets marrying her in the first place. I’d say that it’s still tragic though and it would have been best if Julia had simply not appeared to be honest.

I can’t say that I have any other negatives for the film, it was just a blast. It’s difficult to even say where the halfway point is because there are so many action scenes and moments that feel like the climax. Still, I dare say that the first half probably beats the second as it just had the most memorable scenes. Any scene with Hunt and Walker being forced to team up was pretty fun. Walker was always lagging behind Hunt but he made up for it with bravado. I also liked the scene where Ethan has to escort the broker out of the gala. It showed how talented Ethan is against the average crook as you may have had some second thoughts about that when he was getting wrecked in the bathroom. Don’t worry, he’s still one of the best agents in the business.

Ethan Hunt is as great as always so there isn’t much to say about him. He always makes the right choice like moving in to save Luther instead of worrying about the plutonium. He’s the kind of hero that you want on your side. I also really liked his boss in this film as well. The heroes should be glad that he moved to the IMF since he understands their cause and does his best to back them up. Even if he doesn’t totally understand what is going on he always defends the team. He also looked really good in the brief fight scene that he was in.

Walker is the big rival figure in the film and as mentioned he was a little different than I expected. He got a lot of hype for being Ethan’s equal and everything based on the trailer, but he spends the whole movie getting one upped at every corner. The film makes sure to let you know that Ethan’s still the best, but Walker is a tough fighter. It’d be fun to see him go up against Agent Brandt. Walker’s a fun character though and definitely one of the better ones in the series. His CIA boss was also decent, but she could get a little annoying. She never actually helped the heroes out and instead got in their way at every turn.

Luther and Benji are solid characters as always. Their roles are very similar throughout all of the films, but they are consistently solid. You can count on those two to back Ethan up. Ilsa also returns and she looks pretty good. Her motive is pure revenge and she acts as a wild card to both sides. At times she is shooting left and right at everyone so it’s hard to know if she can be trusted. She’s also a fairly good fighter as well. Assuming that she will now be a main character I think Ilsa will fit right in with the gang.

Solomon returns from the last film, but I can’t say that I am able to take him all that seriously. He can fight so don’t get me wrong there. It’s not as if he’s powerless or anything. It’s just that his voice isn’t so menacing and he does spend most of the film being tied up so there is that as well. He gets out shined by one of the other villains here, but the fact that he is Ethan’s smartest villain has not changed. He is usually one step ahead.

Overall, Fallout is a great Mission Impossible film and continues the series on the path of greatness. It was close to getting a 9 and just barely fell short. It has a ton of replay value and the fight scenes are top notch. They are easily some of the best in Hollywood right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as you can expect a film to get. Aside from Infinity War it’s probably film of the year. Hopefully we do get a 7th film at some point since as long as the film continues to deliver we should keep it going. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then you should fix that ASAP!

Overall 8/10