Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Barakamon Review


It’s time to look at a slice of life manga that I started a super long time ago. I wrapped it up around 2 months back and it was definitely a solid ride. It’s the kind of manga that is fun to go through even if it’s not filled with big fight scenes. I haven’t read a whole lot of slice of life adventures, but this one does beat the other two I’ve read. (Baby & me, Yotsuba) I think the premise is a little stronger and the idea of spending your life in a small community like this doesn’t even sound all that bad. It’s not really my thing, but I at least get the appeal.

The manga starts off by introducing us to professional calligrapher Handa. He has a lot of talent, but also a bit of a temper which gets him into trouble. He punched a big judge/critic which forces the issue of banishing him to a little island. This is a bit of a dramatic way to phrase that, but it’s really what happens here. He must now reconnect with his inner self to find out why he really enjoys calligraphy. Once he has learned his lesson he is free to return but by then he may find that the friendships he has made on the island are more important to him.

While Handa’s first appearance shows him being a bit of a hot head, I’d never say that he’s all that rebellious. Even from the start of the series he is pretty patient with the townsfolk and does his best not to be impolite. As the series goes on you can see how he learns to settle down and relax more though. He has less outbursts and panic moments as he realizes that everyone here is just trying to look out for him. Handa’s a solid main character even if I would have preferred he try for more calligraphy titles.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with deciding not to go pro, but it would have made for some fun arcs. His short lived rivalry with some of the other pros was pretty fun and it was some of the best parts of the series. Barakamon was typically at its peak when Hiroshi was on his adventures of when Handa was trying to compete with everyone else. The competition added a little spice to the daily routines of the village. Handa still did prove himself as a talented artist either way though. Judging calligraphy seems like it would be really difficult though since the process seems to be quite subjective. I like it when things are purely objective so you know right away whether you’re right or wrong. I wouldn’t be able to handle competing in a sport where that was not the case.

Naru is the main kid in the village. There are quite a few others like Hina and the gang, but Naru is really the focus. She is the one who really helps Handa get used to life in the village and also is the one who picks up on Handa’s subtler emotions. If he’s feeling down she’ll try to throw him a party or something to get his spirits back up. I’m still not a big fan of the kids in these adventures because they tend to slow down the pacing and hold the main cast back, but in a slice of life adventure like this that isn’t really a main concern. Naru’s not bad. The best scenes don’t typically involve her, but she’s not as annoying as she could be.

Miwa is one of the older kids. She’s a bit more aggressive than the other characters and likes having fun doing all kinds of sports and other activities. From all of the kids she is certainly the best one. Miwa doesn’t really care about calligraphy and such even compared to the rest of the kids, but does it to have some fun and keep the others company. In a small village like this there really isn’t anything to do so all of the kids head to Handa’s place every day to waste some time. Usually she is hanging out with Tomako who isn’t quite as interesting. Tomako is an aspiring manga artist, but her titles are always too dark and violent which has been holding her back. Her artwork is pretty good, she just needs to work on getting better plots to support this. Once she has a good story she should be able to go pretty far.

Hiroshi is one of the only guys who is Handa’s age on the island so he gets a big role as well. His character arc has him wanting to go out into the world to see what it’s like. He believes he is a little too ordinary and so he wants to experience things to help him grow up. A lot of the running gags involving him are how everything he does seems to be uninspiring. No matter what he is never good or bad at anything, he’s always average. Hiroshi is a fun character and he was definitely one of my favorites in the series. I was sad to see him go when the guy moved away, but he did get a few meanwhile stories from time to time so at least it wasn’t as if he had completely left. He still got to show up from time to time.

Then you have Handa’s parents. His father is known as one of the best calligraphy users in the entire world so that always put a lot of pressure on Handa. Handa isn’t very good at communicating with his parents so this pressure began to crush him quite a lot. Eventually they show up and Handa begins to realize that he doesn’t have to be on the same level or compete in the same way. The parents were quite reasonable here and they looked good whenever they would show up. It may be tough for them to get on the same page, but they are all very professional about it which is a nice change of pace.

There are quite a few other side characters like the various villagers. They’ve all got different roles in the series and help to round out the cast. The village is small enough where everyone knows each other, but still large enough where you’ve got at least 15 characters running around. One of the more enjoyable ones is Handa’s rival who is always doing some sabotaging on the side. Handa doesn’t even notice when the guy is throwing around insults half of the time, but ultimately they still come to a bit of an understanding. I doubt they’ll ever be great friends of anything like that, but they get along well enough.

Barakamon’s humor is also pretty well done. The style of humor usually revolves around Handa being oblivious or something crazy happening and everyone having a very calm reaction to it. Usually the jokes centered around Handa are the best ones. You just have to admire his confidence to the point where the insults don’t even seem to register with him. It’s like he can’t even comprehend the concept of someone trying to take a shot at him so he dismisses the possibility.

The art for the series is very clear and relaxed. It is really suitable for the series too. Part of the theme in the series is learning to relax so having chaotic art would have definitely defeated the purpose. It’s always very easy to see what’s happening at all times and it also makes it easy to read through each volume. The volumes are bigger than the average one but with the big pictures/clear text they still feel like normal volumes. The writing throughout the series is on point which is especially important for a series like this. Since there is less happening than in other series you have to be fully invested in the characters and what’s going on. I’d say that the series succeeds with this. At the very least I wouldn’t say that the series ever got me bored.

I do think the series slowed down a bit once Handa started the school though. It felt like the series pretty much ended its main story by this point so the last volume or two were just stalling for time. That’s not really a bad thing per say, but the series made the right call in ending shortly afterwards. I’m sure we could have been introduced to some new plotlines or something, but part of the point of the series was seeing if Handa would go pro or help out the village. He made his decision and so that was the end of that.

It’s a fairly long manga, but not one that you need to talk about for too long due to the slice of life nature of the series. There are various arcs and such but the character cast never gets a whole lot bigger than how it starts out. It’s also pretty easy to understand the general premise and to go from there. This may not be the kind of title you want to marathon the whole way through, but it’s a pretty good change of pace title when you’re reading a bunch of other more action packed titles.

Overall, Barakamon is definitely a very fun manga. The characters are cool and the laid back vibe will really remind you of how people made it without technology back in the day. I personally prefer to be surrounded by tech at all times, but the country route isn’t so bad as long as you have good neighbors. If you haven’t checked this manga out yet and want to take a nice look at what it’s like to live outside the city then this is definitely a good one to check out. I don’t believe you will be disappointed.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 Doomed Review


Time for some more team ups with the good ole Mystery Inc and some more DC heroes. The series has done a good job of grabbing so many DC characters. We’re 7 volumes in and still seeing new fighters. While you may be skeptical as to how the Mystery Inc will actually be of help, typically they are really here as distractions. Think of them as extra shields to buy the heroes an extra second. Usually that’s all the extra time that the hero needs.

One of the stories has the heroes head to the swamp where they meet up with another one of Shaggy’s relatives. They’re here to look into the Voodoo Woman so they can put the swamp at ease. They have to stop her meddling, but unfortunately she already has a whole bunch of zombies at her beck and call. The only being who can really help them out of this dilemma is the legendary Swamp Thing, but will he really be able to defend against such a powerful villain? Interestingly this comic also squeezes in Solomon Grundy towards the end although he is definitely way out of his league this time. Typically I would actually pick him to win, but in this comic Swamp Thing had the edge from start to finish. There was never any doubt as to how this would end.

It’s a pretty nice comic. It’s always good to see Swamp Thing getting some time to shine after all. The comic also poked fun as how the heroes have also defeated Swampthing in another issue. The space in between the words is the key to really knowing who you are dealing with. This is an example of an issue where the Scooby gang doesn’t really get to do much though. Mostly they just run away from the Voodoo Woman a lot or they’re in awe of how strong Swamp Thing is.

Another comic features the Doom Patrol and this was actually my favorite issue of the bunch. The team is bickering as usual, but the strange part is there enemy seems to keep changing form. At one point a whole group of enemies show up, but they all seem to be ghosts. This is a case for the Scooby Doo gang. There’s definitely a trick involved and they’ll have to figure it out fast. The Doom Patrol was always a fun X-Men sort of group but with a lot more in-fighting. I also like how their leader has a lot of weapons ready inside of his wheelchair. Honestly it’s just the smart thing to do when you’re the leader of a super hero team. This way at least you can defend yourself right? This story has so much action it feels like a real Doom Patrol story with the Scooby Doo gang just guest starring in it. It’s handled really well.

Another story featured Supergirl as she called the gang in to help her deal with the ghosts of her parents. She was quite serious too as she even told them her secret identity which was a bold move. The heroes know something is wrong because the parents keep calling her Supergirl rather than Kara or her kryptonian name. That seems like a scam and of course the heroes are right. I would have liked a more powerful Supergirl villain to have been the main villain here, but it does help reinforce the mystery element of the issue. Supergirl could have looked better here as she spends most of the issue getting outsmarted, but she did call in the crew to handle the mysteries so in a way she won the fight before it even started.

There’s a subplot with her cat and Scooby not getting along, but it doesn’t hold up as well as the main one. The cat is just annoying and Scooby really isn’t much better so they both end up being guilty in this one. The whole temporary superpowers for a few minutes thing is pretty fun even if the time range isn’t nearly long enough to be all that useful. By the time you are really getting into a rhythm you would be taken down for the count.

In our next adventure we’ve got the return of the Blue Falcon. The issue here is that he has been acting awfully shady the last few days. His dog sidekick asks the Mystery Inc for help on figuring out just what is going wrong. Unfortunately they all fall for one of those classic net traps and find out that the real Blue Falcon was actually taken down by one of his old cronies who is now impersonating him. Can the heroes stop this guy or is it already too late? It goes without saying that Blue Falcon doesn’t look good here. He went down off screen and apparently he is so nondescript that someone can easily change places with him and nobody can tell the difference. He’s clearly got a ways to go before he is known as one of the big leaguers. It’s a good comic, but a little less eventful than some of the others. It was nice to see the characters constantly taking shots at him by saying that he was copying Batman though.

My least favorite issue was the one with all of the apes. Basically it’s an ensemble cast with a bunch of DC monkey themed characters. It’s a pretty impressive bunch as they even got some I didn’t recognize like the guy in a cage who can switch minds with an ape. What hurts this one is that I don’t even like a lot of them. Gorilla Grodd and Detective Chimp just aren’t my cup of tea. I also have to question why the Mystery Inc was really called in. They try explaining that it’s because one of the gorillas is a vampire Nazi so that’s like a ghost, but is it really? If I were the mystery inc I would still be questioning that. This is way out of their power levels. Still a good issue, but it wasn’t quite as strong as the others. Also the ending doesn’t really make sense.

So as I mentioned the main guy can switch minds with a gorilla and it is through his amulet/ring of sorts. He somehow manages to switch places with Titano at one point, but how? Unless his powers work differently than how I had interpreted them he would have needed to get the ring on the other ape and I just don’t see how he could have had time to do that. It would have been too difficult and he was out of range. That part just stuck out at me and I read it twice, but still couldn’t put that chain of events together.

In the next story the heroes are confronted with a bunch of powerful spirits. Dr. Fate sends them to the past so the heroes can find a way to deal with them, but it means that they will have to survive some world war II adventures as they try to find the answers. This means that the old school version of the Justice League shows up. Green Lantern’s weakness to wood is still a huge liability to deal with but the others manage to pick up the slack. The solution to stopping the demons ends up being incredibly simple, but I suppose that’s why it was hard to note it. This was definitely one of the strongest stories. It was nice seeing all of the heroes and everyone got to contribute in some way or form.

Finally we have a team up with Penelope Pitstop. I’m not familiar with her character but her gimmick seems to be that she gets kidnapped a lot. As a result there are a bunch of mini mobsters who look after her as well as a real estate agent of sorts. The Mystery Inc are called in to help her as well but with this many bodyguards nobody is sure who should take point so there is a lot of in-fighting. The Mystery Inc needs to figure out who is planning to kidnap Penelope before it is too late. The clock is ticking.

This is definitely the most mystery focused out of all the stories and I dare say that the Mystery Inc is at their best here. They get to do some old fashioned detective work here and they aren’t out shadowed by the other heroes. This time they can actually hold their own since they are in their own element and it ends up working out quite well for them. Penelope is definitely the most obscure of the characters we’ve seen, but in some ways that helps with the mystery since I wasn’t as familiar with her supporting cast. I definitely won’t be forgetting this adventure anytime soon though so it’ll be fun to see if she appears somewhere else in the near future.

As always the artwork here is pretty solid. The characters all look like themselves and the fights can take themselves seriously when necessary. The colors pop out and it’s clear that the artist was putting a lot of effort into the drawings. It just looks really good and it manages to be colorful/vibrant while keeping the serious tone for the heroes’ side of things. I’ve definitely got to give the comic a thumbs up here.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 is yet another strong installment in the series. By this point you should definitely know if you’ll like it or not. It’s a steady formula that the series has going on in these adventures and it’s one that works quite well. The Mystery Inc are here for the humor as they get chased and one upped by all of the villains while the DC Heroes come in with a lot of confidence and save the day. That’s exactly how it should be and this works out quite well. The art is good as always so these volumes just go by in a flash. I look forward to seeing who the heroes get to team up with next.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Symbiote Spider Man Review


It’s time to look at a Spider Man trade. This one has him in the symbiote suit even though he denies it the whole time and claims that it’s just a robotic replacement. I think it’s fair to say that it’s the real deal based on everything it does in this volume, but I suppose I can’t say that with 100% confidence. It’s a fun adventure that should feel nostalgic to long time fans of this neighborhood hero.

Mysterio is sick and tired of being treated like a D rank villain. He’s B rank at the absolute worst. Unfortunately even his friends make fun of him so he decides that he’ll have to stop Spider-Man if he really wants to be taken seriously again. He has a friend who works for Kingpin and together they decide that taking Spidey’s new suit away is the first step. To do that Mysterio blackmails Black Cat into helping out. Will she really help him claim part of Spidey’s suit or will she realize that betrayal is never the right option and make the heroic choice?

This isn’t Peter’s best appearance, but before I lay into him I should give you guys some context. It’s been a really rough time period for him in general. Aunt May is no longer on speaking terms with Peter due to a lot of events that have happened recently which has taken a toll on him. He’s currently together with Black Cat but she only liked him when he’s wearing the costume which isn’t all that helpful. Right now the only thing that is really going well is his life as Spider-Man. Even so he does let his guard down quite a bit and doesn’t trust his Spider Sense the way he should.

There are two big times it would have helped him here. One of those times is with Mysterio. The guy wasn’t actually there at one point so the spider sense didn’t act up, but Peter ignored it anyway and jumped in which ultimately just led to a losing battle. The other instance which was a bigger issue is when Black Cat decides to trick him. This time his spider sense does flare up, but Peter doesn’t question it as he just wants to have a good time. Naturally this leads to Cat getting the last laugh. Peter may just think it was worth it, but without the suit looking after him things could have gone pretty badly. Peter does have an idea of what happened afterwards, but it was a little late for that. If Black Cat actually meant to hurt him that would have been it for the hero.

So he doesn’t look great when he’s around Black Cat. That’s really the bottom line here. Even after she talks to Aunt May she appears to be more reasonable than Peter in that discussion. He doesn’t even want to stay back to talk with her and just dashes off instead. While these scenes do hurt him, at least it is nice to see Peter as more of an adult. It’s an era of him you don’t see all that often anymore as in the Dan Slott comics he always acts like a teen anyway. At least in this trade this is peak Peter who’s got a lot of experience and knows how to fight with any of his enemies. It’s always good to see him getting that level of respect.

Meanwhile Mysterio looks good. He actually has some good plans and did know enough to blackmail Black Cat. The comic takes him seriously and the guy does a good job of getting some clout back. It’s not like he’s going to immediately rocket up the ranks as one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies but it’s still a nice appearance. I liked him in the recent film too so maybe things are looking up for the villain. His suit does allow for a lot of fun fights with all the holograms running around. Then we have Black Cat who doesn’t look quite as good. I think she did allow herself to get manipulated a little too easily. Honestly I think if she got to Spider-Man right away and explained her origins he would take it well. If he didn’t then she would be better off without him anyway.

Bad luck is a terrible power as it is so she doesn’t need to worry about someone else not liking it. Plus Peter already knows about the ability, he just doesn’t know the origins. It’s not as if the whole thing would be great news, but most of it wasn’t her fault. The parts that were aren’t downright terrible. By allowing herself to be blackmailed Black Cat just put herself in a tougher spot with Peter and also opened the door to letting others use the same intel on her. Until she confesses to someone it’ll always be live ammo and that’s really dangerous for anyone who’s not a total villain.

The art is definitely really good here. Spider-Man’s symbiote suit is really sharp and all of the colors are on point. This comic can hold its own with any of the others and this also makes for a lot of great fight scenes. You’ll be blasting right through the volume. Then you’ve got the solid writing backing it up as well. It seamlessly works in with the era where these stories take place.

Overall, Symbiote Spider Man is definitely a really solid trade. I always like seeing the symbiote suit in action and the fact that it can fight on its own is also really good. Even when Peter is knocked out it can think and fight which happens once here. The only odd scene was when one part of the suit didn’t want to join with the rest. It just struck me as odd that it wouldn’t readily join with the collective especially since Peter is usually its favorite host. I feel like it only left to force a big fight for the climax which was fun, but they could have written around that. Nonetheless, this suit is an improvement over the classic one, especially since it can turn into any other costume it wants to be. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should change that. It’s not every day that you get to see Mysterio get a super form right?

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 17 Review


It’s time to look at another MLP volume. This one surprisingly has a large story arc with only one stand alone adventure contained within. As a result I’d definitely say that this is one of the strongest MLP comics I’ve read in a while. The new villain is pretty epic and it’s nice to have some real action scenes in here. The only missed opportunity is that Starlight Glimmer didn’t show up even though she was mentioned a few times. Now that’s just a tease.

The first issue is about Zephyr being a little nervous about his mane styling skills. He goes to a whole event for it, but he just can’t find the confidence to get up on the stage. Fluttershy has to remind him that it’s always tough going up in a crowd, but you’ve got to do it if you really want to improve. Eventually he gets the memo and goes through with it. It’s a nice enough comic, but Zephyr was never one of the better characters. I also think adding in another pony who seems brave but actually gets terrified was a little cheesy. I get why she was included as it helps with the moral, but I would have been okay with Zephyr being the only one who was nervous and he learns that sometimes you just have to face your fears straight up.

The real story is about Cosmos though. A long time ago there was a being named Cosmos who was incredibly powerful. Together with Discord she nearly brought the planet to its knees. Unfortunately for her Discord was not quite on board with her violent tendencies. He likes causing chaos and at times that will hurt ponies, but Discord doesn’t like destroying them outright. As a result he betrayed her to Celestia and Luna who sealed her into a bunch of rocks. Discord hid the one that he found and then allowed himself to be turned to stone since he felt guilty. Well, thousands of years have passed and Cosmos has returned. She is currently possessing the body of Twilight Sparkle and commands Ponyville to find the rest of the crystal shards. Can Discord stop her plan before it’s too late?

This is the kind of story that would have really worked out quite nicely as an MLP special or even as a movie. Cosmos is a villain so powerful that all of the original pony powerhouses had to team up to stop her. That just makes for a great threat and her design is also quite fierce. She reminds me a bit of Tirek from when he first showed up before getting nerfed in the final season. Unlike the other villains she isn’t coming close to being redeemed either. All she wants is to absolutely crush the heroes beneath her heel. She will not be granting them any mercy and that’s really what you want to see in a villain.

This story also has quite a few parts so there is plenty of time to introduce all of the characters and get them set on their side quests. Some characters like Pinkie Pie can’t stay serious long enough to actually contribute but for the rest of the characters it’s just really great to see them up and about. Some characters like Zecora are suitably cautious while others like Rainbow Dash just run in without thinking. They all bring something to the table and this is just a great arc. The fights hold up and there is little to say against it.

I guess as a slight iffy moment Big Mac loses in the most embarrassing way possible. I’ve never liked the character anyway, but this really doesn’t help his case. Meanwhile Twilight doesn’t look her best here since she can’t break the hypnosis, but once she’s freed she looks reasonable. The comics just show that Cosmos is far too powerful to be stopped by the average pony. Discord is still as powerful as ever, but as always he loses to the new threat. With his reality warping abilities I feel like he should be able to defeat just about anyone, but I suppose in his defense he does have a history with Cosmos so that causes him to hesitate a bit. The real question is whether or not he would be able to claim victory if they were both going all out. I like to think Cosmos would win, but in theory it’s hard to see why Discord wouldn’t.

Of course the comic couldn’t resist taking one shot at Celestia. We find out that she tossed one of Applejack’s gifts into her forgotten lair with all other kinds of dangerous objects and junk. That implies she was making fun of the object by either calling it super dangerous or saying she didn’t like it. Applejack took this pretty hard and I can see why. If you don’t like a gift then you at least need to hide it really well. Putting it in a spot where it is seen as “bad” just makes the issue worse, but it’s the kind of power play you’d expect to see from Celestia.

The artwork is definitely fun here. It’s very expressive so you can see the looks of shock and horror on the ponies as they deal with a threat that seems to get worse and worse by the minute. It’s easy to read through and you can still get a good feel of the scope. Some of the imagery here almost looks like something out of the 90’s X-Men adventures like the Inferno arc. Cosmos’ ability to turn things crazy makes for a lot of great visuals and the artists took full advantage of this.

Overall, This is definitely a volume I would recommend checking out. It’s the perfect volume to look at if you believe the My Little Pony is just about happy ponies having a lot of fun. This one shows that there is also that element of danger always around the corner and I’ll be interested to see how the comics intend to top this arc. In theory this is already around the power level ceiling of the series, but maybe next time we can get a serious villain group. The series hasn’t really done that yet and a group vs group fight would be a blast.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Wonder Woman Forgotten Legends Review


It’s time to look at a Wonder Woman comic. It’s been quite a while since I read one of her trade paperbacks. This one seems to take place right after one of the big DC crisis events. I think it may have been Crisis on Infinite Earths which would work out pretty well since the CW is about to air their version. It was a pretty big deal having the universe merge together and such. In a way this trade is to allow the Amazons to remember some of the good times before they vanish.

It starts off with Wonder Woman’s mom looking into the Crystal Ball at one of Wonder Woman’s biggest adventures. The Amazons are getting ready to all be vaporized as the universe ceases to exist, but they are all feeling rather down at the moment since Wonder Woman is no more. Perhaps looking at her greatest exploits will help them return to the afterlife in a smoother fashion. The Queen is also determined to keep her memories of Wonder Woman and would prefer to have them and be a star than to live on with her memories wiped. I don’t really blame her since having your memories wiped is never any fun. It’s always better to remember each and every detail for as long as you possibly can.

The main story is about Wonder Woman helping to protect a parade from any possible attackers. The attack turns out to be a lot more dangerous than the heroes could have imagined. A powerful lady named Atomia has conquered her world as well as many others and now Earth is next. She manages to enslave Steve Trevor and also kidnaps Etta Candy’s daughter. This little girl has now been transformed into a full fledged villain as well. She’s a little kid so while you can’t take her too seriously, she is definitely well aware of what she is doing so it’s hard to like the kid at all. Wonder Woman will have to save everyone and stop this threat to the planet but it won’t be easy.

Atomia makes for an interesting villain. She may be more of a typical conqueror than some of WW’s other enemies, but what helps her case is that she’s succeeded. She’s actually conquered many planets already so she was on a bit of a winning streak before Earth. Naturally this was one location that was a little too much for her, but she put up a good fight. Her decision to get the kid on her side was also pretty smart since it can result in having a good hostage. Atomia did let her guard down a bit quickly here though.

Then you have the two princesses of one of the other worlds she was targeting. I wasn’t a big fan of them for different reasons. One of them wasn’t great because she was a traitor. Even if she saw the light by the end of the issue it was way too late to even begin to trust her and it was too soon to forget the betrayal. The other one was a little too oblivious and got suckered too easily. It’s all well and good to give the villain a second chance, but maybe making her one of the rulers was a little too much.

Steve Trevor looked pretty good here and I dare say that it was one of his best appearances. He manages to hold out for a super long time even while poisoned and organized a whole resistance. This is one issue where he really did assist Wonder Woman quite a lot and wasn’t just around as a hostage or anything like that. Meanwhile Wonder Woman looks good as always. She has a pretty good grip on the situation and manages to basically foil an entire planet ending threat. She even pretends to be captured for a bit to try and talk sense into the villains, but that didn’t really work since they were totally on the evil side.

The comics are written and drawn in a way that really resembles Wonder Woman’s original adventures from many decades ago. It’s an interesting approach. The artwork looks good, but I do have to admit that the modern era stuff always looks better than this super retro style. The action scenes and such naturally don’t pop out quite as much as they would, but I do have to give the comic full credit for fully re-creating the look. You really would not be able to tell that this is a modern comic because even the writing is old school.

There are two bonus stories at the end though. One of them involves Wonder Woman returning to help the Amazons when they are rendered powerless by an invasion of men. It’s still pretty unfortunate for them that they lose all of their powers as soon as a guy steps ashore. It’s a pretty big weakness and it does give a little credit to the queen’s argument on why the island needs to keep its protection. The main problem here was that they only opened the borders for a split second, but I don’t see how much better it would be if they had opened it permanently. It would just be even more people and they all have guns so that’s game over. Wonder Woman still does a great job in saving them all and getting them their powers back, but this time I’m not really sure I agreed with her assessment.

The other story is about a kid whose wish for a monster causes it to be real. Wonder Woman helps him learn that monsters are cool and all, but at the end of the day what he really needs it the ability to protect instead. This helps the kid protect his sister and he learns that you have to be really careful as to what you wish for. The story is less exciting than the last one, but it’s still got a pretty good message there. Wonder Woman’s stories usually tend to have good morals like that.

Overall, Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends is definitely a fun comic. It’s got a good story and solid writing to back it up. I don’t think you’ll be remembering it as one of WW’s greatest adventures, but it does serve its purpose as a lost story. It’s nice to have one last adventure from this era before jumping into the new timeline. Any fan of Wonder Woman or long-time DC comic reader should find lots to appreciate with this adventure. It’s less about Wonder Woman being a big time superhero who is saving planets and more about how she was always a role model and inspiration to the people she saved. She continues to save the day while setting a great example.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Miracle Mile Review

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

Time to look at a panic movie about the end of the world. It’s always been an interesting question on how you would spend your last hours if you knew you were about to die. A lot of people would prefer not to know if they’re about to die, but honestly I’d be all for it if I actually believed there was a way this could be done. Lets say I only have 10 days to live right? I would spend that time getting all of my favorite foods and playing my favorite games because the end is nigh so I may as well forget about the cholesterol for a few days. Of course in real life there would always be some doubt on if things were actually going to end so I wouldn’t be able to do that. This would only be if destruction was a guarantee. Regardless this is part of the basis for the film’s plot.

It starts out with a few scenes to introduce us to Harry and Julie. After hanging around each other for a while without really getting to talk they finally hit it off. Harry is looking forward to being with Julie forever and ever. Unfortunately thanks to his alarm not working he sleeps past the time they were supposed to meet. By the time he gets to the cafe she is long gone so he leaves her a voice message and prepares to have breakfast alone. That’s when the phone rings and he eagerly picks it up only to find himself talking to someone named Chip. Chip explains that someone launched a bunch of nukes at us so we fired back and now everybody’s going to die in a few hours. Harry quickly believes Chip and makes a scene in the restaurant causing everyone else to believe that it’s finally happening. As the other guys get in a truck to head to Antarctica, Harry decides to find Julie first. Can he make it to her before they are all destroyed?

This is one of those films that’s a little tragic because the setup is excellent. I really couldn’t care much about the opening minutes with the two characters meeting. It really has nothing to do with anything, but I suppose it was the quickest way to show us how Harry and Julie met. Honestly we could have just started the film with them together and nothing would change. The setup I’m talking about is once Harry gets the phone call. He panics a lot as you would expect and then panics in the store, but it’s nice to see how some people start to believe him after a bit.

The shop owner certainly seemed like he was expecting the news at some point because he takes out a big shotgun and immediately heads for his evacuation plan. It’s cool to see so much unity with all of the characters as they get ready to leave. It’s such an emergency that nobody even stays back to try and get their things or anything. They just hop in and get out of there. There’s a lot of tension here with a pretty interesting cast of quirky characters. It was the start of a great thriller in the makings with all of the characters having to deal with the fate of the world on their shoulders. Who should they bring and who has to get left behind? Time is not on their side either so they have to move very quickly. Then you’ve got Harry who is the only one who heard the call so in the back of everyone’s minds they have to wonder if he was right or not. Yes, this film was going to be an amazing look at the end of the world…..and then Harry got out of the truck.

That was the biggest mistake the film could have made. It’s an interesting subversion here as the characters were all developed enough where you figure they are going to be important. At this point they never appear again and the film loses some balance. Harry heads over to find Julie and in the process he has to get a cab driver to help him out at gun point. This leads to them accidentally murdering some cops and the body count continues to rise from this point. Everyone begins acting in their self interests which seems to be one of the film’s themes. At the end of the day the film is trying to say that people will act in a way that suits them so everyone begins stealing and attacking people left and right.

The climax particularly puts some emphasis on this as a lot and I mean a lot of crimes are happening in the background. Fortunately the film doesn’t linger for long as if things got any iffier that would have hurt the film’s overall score. Even so, the film just goes into more random territory at this point like when we get the drunk guy on the roof. Harry and Julie also split up too often. After finally finding each other after a good chunk of the film you’d think they would have stayed together right? Nah, Harry wants to find a pilot so they split again and then Julie splits to find one too. The scenes make no sense and Harry should be a little upset at Julie here because it really messes up all of the plans.

Getting to the helicopter was their best chance so making everyone wait the whole time was pretty bad. It was interesting to see everyone else get ready for the apocalypse, but ironically Harry was the one holding everyone back. He also should have just told Julie what was going on right away so she didn’t have to hear it from a total stranger. It’s always better to hear things from someone you know at the very least. Think about it, it just makes so much more sense.

So in the end I didn’t like Harry or Julie. Julie was really slow on the uptake and went along with all of Harry’s bad ideas. I would have liked to have seen her just tell Harry that they should do something else at times. Harry didn’t seem to think things through a lot which would get him into more trouble. There was a fun few scenes where a random driver with a gun chased him in the sewers though. You’d think with the world about to end the guy would have better things to do, but danger does tend to make people act rather crazy. It’s probably why quite a few characters in the film continue to talk tough even after being held at gunpoint.

Then one plot that had a random ending was the cab driver. He went to get his sister which makes sense, but then somehow he messed up and they crashed? I suppose there are thousands of ways that could have happened, but it felt like this was just put in to add some shock value for the main character. It’s not like it furthered the plot at all and the odds of running into each other again in these packed streets with everyone running around was pretty slim. Fortunately for Harry the police had to try and escape the city so he didn’t have to explain much. The ending of the film is pretty decent though. The drunk guy took away from it a bit, but it plays out like you would expect.

Overall, Miracle Mile got off to a really good start, but I feel like it took the wrong route to the ending. It would have been a very interesting movie if it stayed with the original cast in the truck. That plot had a ton of potential and along the way we would have learned a bit about the incoming threat and possibly faced some opposition. A lot of the film would be based around the dialogue on the truck so it still wouldn’t need a whole lot of budget. I’m cool with all the mystery surrounding the characters as we don’t really know anything going on, but it’s not important anyway. The world’s about to end and that’s what counts. It’s just that having a bigger cast to bounce ideas off of is better than just having Harry run around. Still, if you want to look at a pretty unique look at the end of the world then this is a good one to check out for sure.

Overall 5/10

2 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

47 Meters Down Review


Time to look at a shark film! These are usually doomed right out of the gate because it’s going to be hard for them to dodge the animal violence issue. Put it this way, if the humans win and beat the shark then the shark’s probably going to die. If the shark wins then it’ll just be normal violence as he eats all of the humans and that won’t do the film any favors. There is a pretty clever twist in the movie, but aside from that there wasn’t really anything to note here that would have the potential to save the film.

The film starts with Lisa’s boyfriend breaking up with her. This pretty much ruins Lisa’s vacation in part because of how sudden it was. This wasn’t news that she expected to hear right at this moment. Kate tries to cheer Lisa up for a while and when they are given an offer to swim with the sharks she jumps at the opportunity. The way this is supposed to work is some guys will lower the heroines in a cage and then lure sharks with fresh meat. The two sisters will get to see the sharks through the cage and then after a few minutes they’ll bring them back up. Lisa feels like this is a bad idea, but Kate convinces her that this is the only way to make her ex super jealous. Lisa ends up going through with this, but she may end up regretting such a decision.

With a movie like this you are probably expecting the premise to revolve around the leads making bad decisions so you probably won’t be very surprised at how this plays out. That’s exactly the case. The two guys make it pretty clear through their actions that this is super shady and not at all legal. The skipper even asks if they can dive and Lisa lies by saying she has experience. Then we see the guys dumping the bait into the ocean which is also illegal. There are a ton of safety reasons as to why this is a bad idea, but none of the two leads really stop to think about this for more than a moment. They were really just looking for a thrill even if it came at a super high price and that’s definitely no good.

Lisa’s also not a good main character with how fast she’s rebounding. It’s fine to take the guy dumping her fairly hard as everyone deals with it differently. Immediately moving in on a new guy is a terrible way by any stretch of the imagination though. It was partially due to peer pressure and partially to forget the other guy, but no matter how you slice it, it weakens her character. During the course of the film she does her best to overcome her fears of being underwater, but she never should have gone on the boat.

Then you have Kate who does her best to be supportive of Lisa. She wants the heroine to get back in good spirits and figures that having her do something extreme like this is the way to do it. She heavily pressures Lisa into doing this so she is partially responsible for what happens here. (Of course, ultimately it was still Lisa’s decision) Kate is very pro-active and does her best to keep on trying new plans to escape while in the cage. It’s a super tough situation, but she stays calm and always has a plan so from the two leads I definitely preferred her.

It’s a pretty small cast because the other characters are just the random guys and the captain of the ship. None of them get to do much or even appear all that often after the girls get in the cage. There really isn’t much they can do from above water, but they do their best by calling the coast guard and one of them goes under to help. With all the sharks around you can probably imagine that things get pretty dicey. The opening segments aren’t particularly strong, but for the movie the really dangerous part naturally comes from when the sharks actually start to appear.

This leads us to some classic animal violence. The film actually managed to reasonably avoid it for the most part, but there is a particularly gruesome scene involving a shark eye near the end of the film. It was definitely one that hurt and especially with the film so close to being over. Beyond that the film just also gets hurt on account of most of it taking place underwater. Mobility is limited down there so it doesn’t really make for very engaging scenes. The heroines trying to escape the cage and swimming around isn’t really that exciting. We get some nice visuals like the sharks all around them, but all in all I’d prefer to be on land for more of the movie.

Parts of the climax feel pretty cheesy with characters surviving attacks you wouldn’t expect them to. Due to how the film handles this I wouldn’t call it bad writing though. It actually makes sense the way the film explains this, but without that I would have had a very tough time buying into it. The film’s ending isn’t really my style so it doesn’t help the movie either. I wouldn’t say it hurts too much or anything, but the film really needed more positives to get it back up and this didn’t help.

More characters would have helped the movie’s dynamic. Part of the issue here is that Lisa and Kate aren’t professionals so a good chunk of the time they’re panicking a bit or just sad at what’s happening. Part of the fun with having a lead who’s a professional or just arrogant is at least they’re talking tough or making one liners the whole time. It’s more fun to watch a character who seems to have everything under control compared to more of a civilian type character who is written to act as you would expect someone to be. That means a lot of panicking and crying as opposed to just punching everything out.

While this was a minor scene, I was also annoyed at how the heroines just dropped the camera into the ocean. It happens almost immediately which is iffy because the other guys made such a big deal about not dropping it. It came off as rather clumsy and they should have used the strap around the wrist so that eliminates the risk of it plunging like that. You gotta be more careful with equipment like that, especially when underwater where sharks are a constant threat.

Overall, 47 Meters Down plays out pretty much like you would expect it to. The characters are lowered into the ocean in a cage and must find a way up. The premise speaks for itself and you can reasonably predict the entire movie right away. Aside from the twist which was pretty original, the film doesn’t really do anything else to try and make a name for itself. I’d give it a thumbs down for the animal violence and in general it’s just not all that fun. I think you need at least an underwater base and a few characters who can fight to make this one better. If you want a film about the ocean, check out Aquaman instead.

Overall 2/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid Review


It’s time to look at the big Power Rangers crossover game for the PS4. This one seems to have a similar plot to the Shattered Grid comics so I wonder if it’s an adaption of sorts. Either way as someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about Power Rangers except the fact that it’s an awesome franchise, it was a blast getting to play this title. The gameplay is top notch and the story is exciting. The series manages to capture a lot of energy in every scene and really ends up being a total success.

The game starts with Drakken showing up and murdering Rita. He then decides to wipe out all of the Power Rangers from the various timelines so he can steal their Morphers and take the power for himself. With all of these abilities he will be the strongest ranger of all time and that will put him in a good position to rule the universe. The original Power Rangers are going to have to put a stop to this but they can’t do it on their own. As such they call in the other Rangers and now a battle for the multiverse has begun.

It’s been a long time since I got to play a classic Arcade story like this and it feels good. The last time was probably Street Fighter V. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to just jump into the next fight rather than running around a hub world. This game takes you from fight to cutscene back to more fights. It does make for a rather short story, but a satisfying one nonetheless. The crucial parts you need to have with a story like this is a solid group of characters and exciting music to amp you up for each fight. Power Rangers delivers here.

The soundtrack is top notch. It’s a rather small array of themes, but each one will boost your adrenaline and get you ready for action. Then you’ve got the graphics which are nice and very flashy. Everything looks good both in the actual gameplay and for the illustration cutscenes. I feel like there was a pretty good budget behind this game and the developers effort paid off.

As for the actual gameplay, it’s basically a 3 on 3 Capcom vs style. You can utilize combos with all 3 characters or you can focus with one at a time. Sometimes it is handy to just do the 1 at a time approach because if you summon another character to help at the wrong time your opponent may end up blasting both of you at once. That’ll never happen if you stick to just one character, but typically the positives outweigh the negatives in using the full team. I also recommend going through the tutorial mode because button mashing may not cut it here.

The story mode is actually a little more difficult than the average fighting game as the computers show some actual intelligence. They won’t just walk into all of your hits, you’ll have to try to actually outmaneuver them. I actually did lose once against the final boss and that’s considering that I studied the combos in the tutorial mode and practiced a bunch of them. You’ll also want to do this so you can summon the Megazord. Fighting games in general are more fun when you know what you’re doing so you should just do it. Trust me, you won’t regret it! The tutorial only takes a few minutes so it’s worth doing.

Each character has a unique set of moves so you’ll want to play them all to see who your favorite character is. I got to play as most of the characters through the story and by far my favorite character was Jason. He can be a bit cheesy since he has some of the strongest moves as well as a lot of projectiles. Using him I was able to quickly get to Gold III rank online which felt pretty impressive. It’s just hard to beat those combos and then other characters have some pseudo infinite combos. If your opponent doesn’t know how to stop you from grabbing you can keep on doing that over and over until they lose. Once they’re in a corner there aren’t many options to escape the grab. It’s the kind of game where you can get very good very quickly, but watch out as there is always someone even better out there.

As I mentioned the story is short, but there is still a good amount of replay value here. This is a fighting game after all so you can go online and try out a bunch of matches. There are seasons that shuffle every few weeks/months so it never really has to end. The game is quite new so I don’t imagine that the players would leave too soon. That means you’ll have a lot of time to really practice your skills. You can also work on unlocking all of the titles by playing a lot of Arcade modes and trying each character out a bunch. I guess the bottom line here is that there is enough content to satisfy you as long as you play online. If you only do offline then you’d probably want to wait until the game is 20-30.

Overall, Battle For The Grid is a really fun game. It’s a nostalgic title in some ways as it’ll remind you of the old school fighting games. This one isn’t trying to re-invent the genre, it’s just got very strong fundamentals. When you pick the game up you instantly know what all of the modes are and where you want to go next. The main menu is very straight forward and the interface is super clean. It’s just a very well made game and one that serves as a great introduction to the Power Rangers series. I know it definitely helped remind me what a great franchise it can be. If you don’t have this game yet then you need to check it out. It’s one of the sleeper hits of 2019.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Roman Holiday Review


Time to look at a pretty classic rom-com. It’s certainly a movie that just about everyone should be familiar with at this point. That being said, I didn’t know much about it beyond the title so it was a new experience. I would consider this to be one of the best films in its genre. It does a good job of capturing the positives of both genres without dragging itself out or taking things too seriously. The ending is also well done.

The movie starts with Ann going through yet another boring event of having to shake everyone’s hands. Given how many people there are in attendance she has to stand for hours just doing this. Ann does a good job of putting up with all of it, but she wants a day to herself in the town. After trying to ask politely she escapes on her own and has a merry time. Unfortunately the sleeping drugs end up knocking her out. This leads to the other main character in the film, Joe. Joe sees that Ann isn’t in her right state of mind on the bench so he hails a cab and tries to get her home. Unfortunately she is unable to really explain where her home is and he doesn’t believe that it would be the castle so he takes her with him. The next day he wakes up too late and misses his official meeting with the Princess, but realizes that she is actually Ann. Now he is determined to write a big undercover scoop to give to the press so he’ll pretend to be her friend for a day. Can he really go through with such an underhanded plot?

When the movie starts Joe isn’t portrayed as the nicest of guys. It’s not that he’s antagonistic or anything, but the guy just wants to get a good night’s sleep and doesn’t really want to bother with a super tired/possibly drunk person right away. He doesn’t even offer Ann the bed and has her take the couch. After he learns she is a princess he is a lot nicer of course, but eventually it goes from playing a role to actually being a nice person since he likes her. They hit it off as good friends, but with their social circles it won’t really work to stay together. It depends on the kingdom of course, she could possibly pull it off depending on how much pull she has, but it would be a lot for Joe to hope for.

Joe’s plan to expose Ann by pretending to be her friend may be rather standard fare for someone in his line of work to get such scoops, but it’s still good that he abandoned that idea before it was too late. I think that’s the kind of plot that would have made the film a little too mean spirited. Even if he apologized afterwards it would be too late since the damage was already done. By not actually going through with this it makes the film a whole lot more enjoyable to watch. It still brings tension into the film, but without overdoing it.

Meanwhile Ann is a fun character. The sleeping drug may have been a little too effective for the sake of the humor scenes at the beginning, but when she’s in her right mind Ann is a very reasonable character. Really her goal isn’t so bad. She just wants to be normal for a day and that’s something her kingdom should have let her accomplish as it would have saved them a whole film of worry. As long as you have bodyguards undercover it shouldn’t really be much of a problem. Ann isn’t overly oblivious to normal customs so she’s handled realistically.

It’s also a fun dynamic of lying as she and Joe are lying to each other throughout the entire film. Even if it’s not direct, all the time they both have to live out the lie once they started it. Neither one of them wants to spill the beans or the day could be over in a flash. Of course it’s difficult to keep a lie up forever so little chinks in the stories eventually start to appear. Since Joe knows the truth from the start it’s a lot more obvious from his point of view though.

Then there’s the friend Irving who is definitely given a tough time here. Joe ruins quite a few of his outfits and the guy even takes some hits. Irving can be a little oblivious to why he is being attacked though and especially the second time it happens. Both of these scenes are definitely a lot of fun though and easily some of the best moments in the film. He was a good supporting character and ultimately a good guy as well. He didn’t get to hang out with Ann quite as much as Joe but was still able to toss aside his financial dreams to do the right thing.

As for the romance, it’s considerably better than the average ones you see in a film. It’s still on the rushed side when you take into account that they’ve only known each other for about a day though. So I won’t give it a pass, but it doesn’t take away from the film all that much and isn’t a huge focus. Most of the time it’s really just the two characters hanging out as friends and checking out all of the sites in Rome. We even get a nice action scene with the guards where Ann gets to land some hits as well. They were considerably outnumbered, but still took down a lot of the enemies and it was a pretty nicely handled action scene.

The writing is part of what makes this movie shine. The dialogue is quite strong with a lot of fun little jokes hidden in the conversations. All of the characters are realistic and even ones who only appear for a few minutes get to be quite likable. One example is Joe’s boss who sees through the lead’s bold lie and strings him along for a while. I was impressed that the boss was portrayed to be so smart here as half the time they tend to be oblivious.

Overall, Roman Holiday is a film I would recommend. Certainly if you’re looking for a nice romantic comedy this is a movie that fits the bill. The plot of a member of royalty deciding to see how the citizens live is always a premise with a lot of potential. This one really did a good job of handling it and the movie is really over in a flash. I don’t really have any complaints with the movie. The character cast is strong and the blend of humor/serious moments is just right. The ending is also good since it’s pretty happy without being unrealistic or too cheesy.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Gator Review


It’s time to look at the film known as Gator. You may be thinking of a monster film or something based on the title, but this one’s actually a pretty down to earth story about the government blackmailing someone growing drugs into helping them nab some others. It’s a reasonable movie, but one that doesn’t really have much to it. It goes through the thriller motions, but doesn’t really go out of its way to do anything else. It’s also hard to get behind the main character. How could he possibly get caught up in this drug stuff again after his first adventure??

The movie starts off with Gator and his family enjoying a peaceful morning at the cabin. Their day is thrown for a loop though when a bunch of helicopters show up to try and arrest them. We get a chase scene with Gator beating them up while on a boat before eventually succumbing to their blackmail. Since he has started growing Moonshine again they want Gator to head to a shady town where a lot of drug dealing is going on. The government had their eyes on Gator from the start though given how they were also going to blackmail him through his father. It was a lose-lose situation for the hero. So Gator heads to town and sees that the leader is an old friend of his. Maybe he can talk some sense into the guy…

I think we can’t really talk about this film without talking about why Gator isn’t ready for this line of work. He slips up constantly with one instance of this being particularly bad. He already knows that Bama is a bad guy, but is holding out some hope that he’s not so bad. Maybe he’s one of those nice gangsters who only murders people sometimes right? Well, he quickly finds out that this isn’t the case so he walks up to Bama and says that he’s leaving. Not a smart play, but if he’s got a plan then maybe it’ll work out right? Well, that’s not really the case. Bama agrees to this but offers Gator one last drink first. He makes an obvious motion to his henchman who spikes the drink and then Gator downs the whole thing. At first you figure he has a plan, but this isn’t the case.

Gator slowly succumbs to the drink while insulting the villains the whole time. Even that could have been a plan like he was hoping he’d get punched to block the effects of the drink but that didn’t happen either. So ultimately all this leaves Gator looking absolutely terrible. By the time he is able to make a comeback at the very end of the film as he runs over some people you are still left doubting his abilities. Even leaving Irving by himself so he can mess around with Aggie wasn’t a good idea.

The romance with Gator and Aggie definitely wasn’t good. It’s one of those really rushed affairs where they just get together to check off a few boxes, but ultimately it doesn’t really add to the film and comes across as pretty pointless. I preferred Aggie’s character to Gator’s though. At least she was actively looking into the criminal situation and trying to do something about it. Gator only ended up doing something after he was blackmailed into it. Aggie’s profession is also super dangerous since she is a reporter in a city that has been completely conquered by crime. That’s never an easy task.

Meanwhile we do have one more rookie in the film. His name is Irving and he is the main American agent. Here’s my problem with the guy. He talks a good game about being from NY and all, but then he walks into a bar and gets drunk. Naturally he gets beat up by the villains pretty badly, but why would he go in there like that? He also let the villains steal his gun which was terrible. Pretty much any scene with the guy was one where you knew he would mess up. Then there is Emmeline who is here as the quirky character with her cats and all. She thinks of this as a game and does her best to slow everyone down. It’s fair to say that things would have gone smoother if she had just given them the keys or been willing to leave her cats, but naturally that wasn’t going to happen. Bringing the cats is just putting them in harm’s way.

Also, this is another scene where the government looks suspect. If the proof that Bama is a villain is in the courthouse, why can’t they just grab it? That seems like something that would be really easy to do. Also, why didn’t Bama realize that they had the records? There’s a lot of parts in this film where you wonder why the government can’t do anything. Sure the town is bought out, but apparently not the rest of the country since they’re gunning for Bama. It should have been so much easier to take the guy down.

As for Bama, he’s a pretty generic villain. The guy likes selling drugs and going on power trips all the time. He’s got a shotgun and can fight a bit, but there’s nothing more to him. He’s certainly not my kind of villain. His minions have more character if anything. The big one is like the Jaws villain from James Bond. He’s pretty big and has a lot of strength, but ultimately that doesn’t mean much in a gun fight. Then you’ve got the other guy who is surprisingly durable since he survives a ton of things in this film. As a trio they were hard to stop.

Overall, While I do consider this film to be an upgrade over the first one, it really doesn’t hold up on close inspection. You’ve got a weak character cast in a rather bland backdrop. Everyone makes the wrong choices at all times and the film has to rely on quirky characters and a rushed romance to pad out the time. There just isn’t much here so the film has to drag it all out. It can be fun at times, but not really fun enough to get the film above the break even point.

Overall 5/10