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

Ghost Review


It’s time to look at a film dealing with the supernatural. It’s always interesting when the hero becomes a ghost as opposed to the villain for a change. Usually you see the villains messing with everyone like in the Grudge or something and the heroes are all bumped off. On the other hand, when a hero uses the power usually they aren’t quite as strong for some random reason so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Ultimately I was glad Sam got some powers and it’s a reasonable movie, but there are things that hold it back a bit.

The movie starts with things going pretty well for Sam and Molly. Sam’s crunching the numbers at the bank and Molly’s doing pretty well with her pottery and sculpting. Sam’s noticed that some numbers aren’t adding up at his company, but he’ll figure out the issue soon. Time is on his side…or that’s what he thought until one day he is mugged in a dark alley and murdered. It all happened so suddenly that Sam’s soul is unable to move on and now he can only watch without interacting with anybody. That’s when he learns that the whole thing is a conspiracy. His murder wasn’t accidental and if he doesn’t do something quick then his wife Molly will be in trouble. Sam is forced to enlist the aid of a supernatural medium scammer named Oda. Can he convince her to work with him on this?

The concept here is pretty sound and a classic. The main character gets murdered so now he has to solve the case from beyond the grave and see to it that the villain doesn’t get away. It’s certainly frustrating for Sam at first since he can’t interact with anything, but gradually he gets used to his abilities which makes him more of a formidable threat to everyone involved. Sam’s power does go to his head a bit as he has a tendency to play with his food rather than finishing the job and goes for a quick hug even though it puts everyone in danger thanks to the side effects. He’s not perfect, but he’s still a pretty solid main character.

Unfortunately the heroine Molly ends up faltering here. She’s good at first and seems like a supportive character. Where she really ends up failing is when Sam’s friend Carl shows up and she rebounds with him even though Sam only died a few days ago. That’s so incredibly soon that it’s crazy. Even if you ignore the fact that she thought he may still be around as a ghost or that he was grisly murdered…it’s only been a few days since he was gone. No matter how sad she was there’s really no excuse for going with this guy. I thought that whole scene was pretty terrible and I have to say that it did end up hurting the score.

We had gotten quite a few romantic scenes with Sam and Molly earlier so it just made those feel hollow. In general the romance just wasn’t written well as a result and we could have just cut those scenes entirely and replaced with more supernatural hi-jinx. Maybe have Sam troll a bunch of people from beyond the grave by moving things around. It is entertaining to see him messing with Willie and Carl. He also annoys Oda quite a lot until she eventually agrees to help him. When you’ve got ghost abilities you may as well use them right?

Carl’s a pretty terrible character right away. The instant he starts going after Molly you know there’s no hope for him. It’s also fairly obvious where his character is going even before Sam dies with his line about how the numbers aren’t adding up after he gives away his account numbers. It’s definitely a good lesson on why you shouldn’t trust people too much. There are certain things you should never give someone else like your social security number or password to your office computer. Those are things that just always ring true and nobody ever needs to know those things either. The deadlines were quickly approaching but you’ve still got to not budge on this.

Oda is a pretty fun character. She’s definitely reluctant to help and has to be convinced quite a lot and at different points in the film. Oda also tends to mess up on things like writing out a check and pretending to be someone else, but at the end of the day at least she is an ally who is here to help Sam. Those were in short supply. Also, she’s just a lot of fun. All of her scenes are pretty entertaining and in part it’s because all of her reactions are pretty well justified and realistic. It’s incredibly hard for anyone to part with 4 million, especially when you’ve been taking life or death risks all day. You feel like you should at least get 1% of that which would still be a pretty good sum. Not everyone can get rich though and at least she kept the moral high ground.

One of the best scenes is when Sam goes into a train and is confronted by another ghost. It was cool because we hadn’t seen anyone else until then and it was also the first moment where Sam experienced real danger as a ghost because this guy could actually interact with him as if Sam was still alive. It was a shocking moment for the lead and he did his best to adjust. My issue with Sam here was just that he went down awfully quick without even landing a counter blow. I like to think that he would at least have done something.

Overall, Ghost is a decent movie. It’ll keep you entertained as you watch it even if you’ll question the characters at different points. Sam really should have been able to end things with the villains a lot sooner than he did. If anything the instant that one of them threatened to murder his wife at the end if Sam didn’t meet his demands, Sam should have taken him down. Waving a knife doesn’t do anything to someone who’s intangible and at the time Molly was still upstairs. Sam could have just reached over and ended the guy in many different ways. There are even hundreds of non lethal ways to take him down. My point here is really that Sam didn’t use his abilities nearly as well as he could have and was probably having too much fun with the villains when everyone could have already been safe by then. That was my main issue along with Molly not staying strong at least for a longer period of time, but even then if you go with anyone it should never be the best friend. If you want to see a movie with this interesting concept then I’d recommend checking it out. Otherwise I don’t think you’ll be missing a whole lot.

Overall 5/10

9 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Knight and Day Review


It’s time to look at a thriller film that I hadn’t heard of before now. It’s definitely the definition of a cinematic hidden gem as this is a movie that can hold its own with top notch titles like Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher. It’s a blast and a half from start to finish with a good blend of action and humor. The characters are written well and I didn’t really have any problems with the movie. It was firing on all cylinders.

The movie starts with June getting ready to go on a plane as she is heading to her sister’s wedding. She bumps into a mysterious man named Roy twice at the airport and nearly doesn’t get to go onto the flight due to technical difficulties, but ultimately ends up on it. While she uses the rest room this mysterious man beats up everyone on the plane and shoots both of the pilots. He tells her to forget about him and then June wakes up at home. Unfortunately her life will never be the same as now there are a lot of people out to murder her and she may have just gotten in a little over her head.

Knight and Day really doesn’t waste any time. The opening fight scene on the plane is fantastic and the best action scene in the whole movie. Now that’s a good way to get my attention right from the jump. It was really like a Mission Impossible moment and Roy is a secret agent so it all makes a lot of sense. I think at this early stage you can feel the part parody elements kicking in a bit just with how crazy it is that June doesn’t hear any of the commotion right outside the bathroom. It makes for a very entertaining sequence though and that’s really just foreshadowing for how much action we would be getting later on. There’s always some kind of fight scene going on.

One gag that the movie uses several times is how Roy keeps using a drug to knock June out. She’ll then wake up and fall back into slumber as the drug wears off where you see bits and pieces of other crazy adventures like Roy pushing her out of a plane, beating up someone after being tied up while upside down, etc. There’s a good chunk of action scenes that we don’t even get to see because she is knocked out. June can be a bit slow on the uptake for a good portion of the film which is partially why Roy has to always be knocking her out. The gag only goes a little too far with the beach one when June finds out that she has changed attire somehow. Fortunately the movie saves itself a bit here by having June turn the tables on him later on. I think having that final scene was absolutely necessary because she did need some kind of “revenge”on him. It’s also just a good scene establishing her as a partner rather than a liability. Interestingly the film had a similarity to Coma in that respect, but completely reversed.

While June did panic a lot as I mentioned, she’s a decent character. She improves a little too late in the game for me to call her a very good character or anything like that, but contributing a bit is better than not at all. June’s reservations to a good extent are pretty valid though because Roy does seem crazy quite a lot of the time. If not for the other groups seeming even shadier then she would definitely be right to just get away from him the whole time. You really can’t trust a guy who in your first encounter just murdered a whole plane filled with people.

Meanwhile Roy is definitely a terrific character. Yeah he can be a bit dicey with all the drugging at times, but aside from the resort occasion every other time at least made some kind of sense. The villains probably would have murdered June if she was awake in one moment and in the other scenarios she would have gotten them both murdered. Roy enjoys a good fight quite a lot to the point where he does tend to go a little gun happy. The guy always appears to be a bit paranoid, but when you’re in the espionage business that’s just how it is. Roy is always one step ahead of everyone else and his boundless confidence is excellent. He’s one of the best main characters I’ve seen in quite a long time.

Then you have the supporting characters like the genius Simon. He’s definitely the weakest character here because he’s just a little too loopy. Genius characters in film are always portrayed to be rather quirky, but I’d say that this guy is just a little too far gone. He never seems to know what is happening and walks into every trap. I’d have liked him to have had a little more agency. The villains are pretty fun though. The main one is nice and charismatic, always having an answer for everything. He may be a little on the obvious side as far as villains go, but some villains just can’t hide their malice.

Another cool scene in the film is when an assassin shows up and does battle with Roy. It was a nice battle scene as well since the room is so small, making both of them really have to bring their A game. Roy is a top notch agent, but assassins are also at the top of their craft so it makes sense that this one would be able to keep up with Roy pretty well. I could go on and on with the various fights in this film, but basically what you need to know is that every action scene is top notch. There are also quite a lot of action scenes which is quite excellent and you’ll be having a blast here.

As I mentioned there is also a lot of good humor here as well. Pretty much any scene in the first half with Roy and June will have some humor as he does something crazy and she does her best to take it well. He’s pretty nonchalant about taking down guys by the dozens while June just wants to have a normal life. Then you’ve also got the scene at the diner where he makes some small talk with a fireman before having to take the shot. Even then Roy does it in such a way where the guy isn’t really all that injured and will become a hero now.

One of the more impressive scenes for Roy is at the end where it turns out that he planned out quite a few things. Almost the entire movie played into his plans in one way or another which is crazy. It’s something you’d expect from the mastermind villain of a trilogy, not the main character of a quick action film. I suppose if the film has any weak points it is that the romance is rather weak. June falls for Roy a little too quickly and appears to be a bit desperate. In her defense, I suppose Roy seems like the perfect guy, but even then 15 minutes or so is wayyyyyy too quick to be making a move.

Overall, Knight and Day is definitely a great film. I’d even call it elite. There is a lot of replay value to be found here so you can easily watch this movie at any time. Even the smaller subplots end up being quite great. There’s one involving an elderly couple that is a lot of fun as they keep winning things that they didn’t even enter. It’s just a nice plot that serves to give more development to a certain character while also letting two innocent characters get a happy ending. You rarely see a film look out for the minor characters like this so it was definitely good. The ending is great and I’d be up for a sequel someday.

Overall 9/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Attack on Titan: Before The Fall Review


It’s time to look at one of the Attack on Titan spinoffs. The manga really lasted for an incredibly long amount of time considering how short the novels were. Even then the first novel is skipped for the most part as we cut right to the Kuklo stuff although the manga eventually adapts the older material. It’s a little better than the main series, but significantly less engaging which may sound like a contradiction. Put it this way, the main title is a lot more interesting and will keep you at the edge of your seat. It has more hype scenes and a better cast of characters, but the guys in Before the Fall are less morally bankrupt. The series is also shorter so there are less opportunities to mess up, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t give this series a particularly high score.

So Kuklo is a kid who grew up in a tough situation because he is known as the Titan’s son. This isn’t actually true, but people say that because his mother was eaten by a titan but he survived since he wasn’t totally born yet. As a result he grew up in a cage where Xavi would beat him up daily for many years. Eventually Kuklo was able to escape and thanks to Sharle was able to learn what it means to be human. He has now dedicated his life to ending the Titans. He wants to shed his title as the Titan’s son and this will be one of the best ways to do it.

As this title takes place in the past the goal of beating a Titan is significantly more outlandish than it would be otherwise in the eyes of the masses. It’s almost scary how back in these days beating one titan was crazy while in the main title you have guys like Levi taking them down by the dozens. It shows how equipment and technology has improved so much since those days. I suppose one of the interesting parts of the manga is seeing the heroes develop the 3D gear that would later be used to strike down all of the Titans. It is definitely a really handy piece of technology that is a must have.

Part of what hurts the manga is the whole plot with Kuklo. Attack on Titan has always been a series that thrives on being gritty and grim throughout. Even for this title it was rather dark though as it’s basically a kid being tortured every day. It also makes Xavi too far gone for him to ever be sympathetic. The series tries to make him a bit of a redeemed character by the end, but it’s a hard pill to swallow. As it is, maybe you could have tried to pull this off if this was the only thing he did. The guy was a kid so he didn’t know any better or something like that. Well, even in the present he tries to murder Kuklo repeatedly. Even when they’re in the middle of a mission to end the Titans which has huge stakes for the whole world his only priority is to murder Kuklo. Xavi really has a one track mind. It’s a shame because otherwise he is probably the most engaging character in the series. Why couldn’t he have at least had an honor code or been more of a reasonable character? That’s all I wanted to know.

Meanwhile Kuklo is a good character. He can be a bit naive, but you have to give him credit for not holding a grudge with Xavi. That can’t have been easy, but Kuklo consistently proves to be the bigger man and doesn’t let these things bring him down. While he isn’t as intelligent as Eren, Kuklo also has some pretty good ideas and plans that come in handy. He’s resourceful and knows how to survive even in Titan infested areas. His super senses come in handy for that and physically he seems a little stronger than the average human. Maybe there is something to the whole titan child thing in that the fluids at least gave him abilities or something. Either way he works as a solid lead.

His best friend is Cardina and that guy has a big role for the majority of the series as well. While he isn’t quite heading to the front lines as much as Kuklo, his expertise with the machinery comes in handy. He has a wealthy upbringing, but that ultimately just got him into trouble which is how he ended up heading outside with Kuklo. Cardina was a good ally and it was nice for Kuklo to have someone else who could help give him support since Sharle wasn’t always around to help with that.

Sharle is a pretty solid heroine meanwhile. The manga gives her a lot more screen time in which she is able to contribute. It works out well as she gets Angel out of his shell and back into action from retirement. She learns a lot about the inner workings of the 3D gear and also stands up to Xavi in defense of Kuklo. A lot of the time she is kept in the dark on what’s going on, but is always looking for Kuklo and doing her best to help out. Sharle tries really hard to always be ready for action so I definitely have to give her some good credit there.

Then we have Gloria whose character arc is definitely a bit more tragic than some of the other characters. I think she should have played the ending a little better. She falls for the whole posturing trap where she talks a really good game throughout but still puts herself in some bad situations. I think she underestimated just how corrupt the city is, but at least had some contingency plans so she was able to take a lot of people down as well. It would have been nice if she could have kept on appearing. Then you have Jorge who is effectively the Erwin of this era. He’s a good planner and a solid general. He tends to make the right decisions throughout, but doesn’t really leave much of a mark on the series. You really just know him for being a good general and that’s about it.

As I mentioned Angel doesn’t get as big a role in the manga as in the light novel and it ends up hurting him. Most of the time when we see Angel he has already fallen into depression from retirement and has no more hope that the humans can win. It doesn’t really paint him in a god light as by the time Sharle has gotten him to think otherwise we are basically done with the series. I liked him in the original novel and he still looks good in the flashbacks, but I think having his worst scenes first ends up hurting the experience.

Finally we’ve got the Ogre who is responsible for Kuklo’s mother perishing at the start of the series. As a result there is a vendetta between the two of them. Ogre seems to be more intelligent than the average titan and is fairly powerful. He’s not an easy target and made for a pretty good end arc boss. A normal Titan just wouldn’t have been nearly as thrilling to fight. I suppose we couldn’t have a talking titan since that would have been too soon, but I admit that it would have made Before the Fall’s climax a little more exciting.

One of the themes in the main AOT series is whether the humans are the real monsters or not. This series doesn’t go quite so far, but the humans do look pretty terrible most of the time. Even when Titans are outside the gates they’re busy murdering each other for political position and power. The Titans wouldn’t be doing nearly as good without the humans constantly destroying each other and constantly getting in the way. Even by the end we find out there is a traitor in the Survey corps and this person came awfully close to murdering a member. I feel like the person got off rather easy although it could have been worse. There still was a punishment at least which is good, but every time you see a traitor like this you can’t help but shake your head.

The humans will never beat the Titans if they’re constantly fighting like this. You’ve got characters getting jealous of each other and all that. I’m fine with the fact that the survey members didn’t appear much here because whenever we see them most of the members are pretty bad. It was good character development to have Kuklo and Cardina become squad leaders though. They really did grow a lot as the series progressed and that’s one aspect where the longer run time ended up helping them out. By the end it’s hard to imagine that Kuklo was ever not the strategic captain that people look up to.

In regard to the art, I’d say that Before the Fall is pretty good. There’s a solid amount of detail here and the characters don’t look too similar or anything like that. The titans have the creepy designs you would expect. The human vs human fights are really where the title excels with a lot of good speed lines and dynamic angels. The series can get pretty violent as you would expect though. It’s got the usual Titans munching on poor humans who really don’t stand any kind of chance. People aren’t begging for their lives as much as in the original title but the Titan scenes still end up being some of the weaker parts of the manga. Give me the Kuklo vs Xavi fights anytime.

Overall, Before The Fall does a good job of maintaining the tone of the original series. That being said, the main series is one of the weaker manga that I have read so it didn’t bode well for this one. The character cast isn’t all that strong and it falls into most of the usual Titan negatives like excessive violence and everything being too grim the whole time. It’s hard to root for the humans when half of them are evil and when their whole mission seems futile. They are having a hard time dealing with 1 titan and there are hundreds of them beyond the borders. It just feels like the humans would never get past this and since we know this takes place way before the main series where things are pretty much the same…it all feels a little futile. You can’t help but think that nothing these guys does will matter in the end. It has no real effect on the main series. It’s a complaint you can have with any prequel, but most of them do a good job of at least making you feel like the characters are making a difference.

Overall 3/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Coma Review


It’s time for an old school thriller dealing with a massive conspiracy. Conspiracy films like this are always pretty interesting because even though you know the heroes are most likely doomed you want to judge how realistic it is. Conspiracies have and continue to happen in real life. Not everything is a conspiracy though as much as it may seem like that if you stay online long enough. Conspiracy films have to feel at least a little believable and I have to say that this one passes the bill here. You could see this happening to an extent, the fact that it came out in the 70s helps a lot since there would be less cameras and such back then to actually be double checking everything.

The film starts with Dr. Susan working in the surgical wing of a big hospital. She is one of the place’s best workers and always gives each task her 100% effort. It has paid off quite well for her, but one day her best friend dies during what was supposed to be a normal operation. Everything in the chart looks perfectly normal so Susan is disturbed, but the doctors tell her that it was just a freak accident. This doesn’t calm her down and her boyfriend Mark, who is also a surgeon at the hospital, does not seem to believe her. As Susan tries to dip deeper into this she notices a lot of other identical cases and now there is an assassin trying to hunt her down. Who knows the truth about it and who can Susan trust? She’ll have to think about all of this very carefully.

This film is definitely a thriller and does a good job of it. You’ve got a nice heavy atmosphere from the jump with danger seemingly around every corner. You never really feel like Susan is all that safe because the people in the hospital know where she lives thanks to employment records and she still does have to show up to work or she’ll lose her job. She could move out of town, but running away isn’t in Susan’s playbook. She wants to solve this case no matter the danger. Fortunately Susan is a lot smarter and more resourceful than a lot of main characters. She’s always careful not to trust people too much.

Susan also doesn’t let her emotions get the better of her when her friend dies. She keeps a level head throughout and the only times she goes down is when she literally faints of exhaustion. By and large she is careful not to fall for any traps. You do have to wonder how Susan and Mark are together though because they don’t seem to get along at all throughout the whole movie. Even before the conspiracy they were having a lot of issues.

Mark doesn’t seem to believe Susan for most of the film. In his defense her story does seem far fetched and he still does help her out a lot of the time. Eventually he just starts to get in a little out of his depth and he also wants the big manager position so he has to try and keep her out of trouble in the meantime. Ultimately in the end he does make the right decision so that was good. The film’s ending is a lot better than I expected it to be. It still has that dark vibe where you don’t know who is safe, but it’s a lot less futile than others I’ve seen in this genre. The film lets you interpret everything however you’d like in the end. The two cops who were hanging around at the end? Maybe they’re legitimate cops or they could be silencers from “the company.” Both scenarios can be supported so you just have to decide what you think. Personally I definitely think it’s the latter.

So this sounds like a pretty great movie right? Well, it’s certainly very engaging, but it’s ultimately a film that wasn’t really going to get a very high score. The main reason for this is the various hospital scenes we get. We do get a lot of surgical operation moments which can be pretty grimacing. I’ve never been a fan of these kinds of things and while it may be a little unavoidable in a film that takes place in a hospital, it’s still hard to get around. There are a ton of these scenes and so they’re pretty violent even if it’s not in a combat scenario. It’s also pretty grim how they’re murdering all of these patients who are sedated.

We get to see one location with a lot of bodies in the middle of the film. It’s definitely a suspicious place with how it’s totally abandoned and nobody finds out about all the bodies there until Susan strolls through. It’s all a bit disturbing since everyone is naked of course and are being kept stable by some sci-fi robotic contraption. By this point in the film we’re definitely all the way inside the conspiracy. Money was always going to be at the root of something like this. Why do a conspiracy unless it’s going to make you rich right?

The romance in the film is a bit on the weak side. As I mentioned the pairing of Susan and Mark doesn’t really give itself time to make sense. We only have a quick beach adventure with them for the most part though. Usually the film is too busy with the thriller aspects to worry about the drama and I think that’s definitely a smart move. The action scenes are pretty solid here. You have the assassin going around bumping everyone off and he’s always one step behind Susan. When they’re playing cat and mouse it’s pretty tense as you wonder which room to pick. I always thought it’s an interesting backdrop to be in a big building because you could potentially pick the right door and the guy would never find you. On the other hand if you pick the wrong one then you’ve just boxed yourself in. There are pros and cons to switching rooms around.

Due to the nature of the film I can’t talk about the film’s story much further because a lot of the intrigue comes from going in blind. You want to start connecting the dots yourself while examining everything closely. Everyone and everything deserves a second look in this kind of movie because you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. It also reminds me why I’m glad I don’t work the midnight shift because I would probably start seeing ghosts everywhere. Give me the afternoon sun anytime!

Overall, Coma is a very interesting film. Films about conspiracies like this are almost guaranteed to be engaging and you should be at the edge of your seat throughout. You will need to have a high tolerance for looking at medical situations though as surgeries are being performed while the movie is on. If you can get past that then you should enjoy this film. While the film’s apparently PG please keep in mind that you’ll want to see a TV version which censors the naked bodies that show up in the second half of the film. Otherwise that could get a little dicey for viewers. So based on all of this you should be ready to make the decision on if you’re seeing the film or not.

Overall 3/10

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

Getaway Review


It’s time to look at a thriller film from not too long ago. It seems like the kind of film that wouldn’t have really gotten all that well known but I’m sure people would take a second look at the posters and promotions. It’s got that Need For Speed kind of vibe right from the get go which is always fun. The plot of someone being kidnapped and the hero being forced to do everything the villain is admittedly not the best. I never liked the idea of the hostage situation much in part because there is really no winning in that situation. Once you’ve done everything they want there is no reason for them not to murder the hostage and the hero as well. Typically the climax involves a lot of plot hax to compensate for this as the heroes defy the villain but for some reason they don’t murder the hostage. That’s just how it is sometimes.

The film starts off with Brent driving away from some cops and after an extended race scene they crash and he escapes. We then find out through a bunch of quick cuts and time jumps from past to present that his wife was kidnapped and he is now following a bunch of demands from someone who has bugged the car. If he doesn’t follow the orders then the wife will be destroyed. Meanwhile a kid shows up to try and take Brent hostage but he stops her and now she must also stay in the car or the wife will be destroyed. This means that Brent is effectively forced to square off with two villains and that won’t be an easy thing to do. Ah well, looks like it’s crunch time for him!

Getaway does seem to underestimate the audience a bit though with how many times we see the flashback to show us that the wife was kidnapped. I thought it was pretty obvious early on but we get the flashback 10-15 times for good measure. Once the film actually gets started then the plot is able to move. At this point the movie does get pretty fun. Yeah the demands can be annoying as Brent keeps talking tough but ultimately has to follow the orders because there really isn’t anything else he can do. That bit can be a bit repetitive but for the most part the film’s about the chase scenes so you don’t have to worry about this too much.

Brent is first introduced as a mysterious character. Despite being the one forced to do the villain’s dirty work, he’s got the cool shades and doesn’t really talk much. He’s a total wild card and as the film progresses we learn more about him. He may not be a professional or something like the guy from Taken, but he’s a gruff individual who is a great racer so he adapts to the situation well. He’s a solid lead who is willing to do just about anything to get his wife back, but does draw the line at being told to destroy a kid or doing anything like that. He’s not going to turn into a villain. Part of what makes his character work is that we don’t know a lot about him. He’s portrayed as an average joe who’s stuck in this situation.

Then we’ve got the kid who probably got a name at some point but I can’t remember what it was. She starts out as a pretty tough character who has a gun and seems to be a bit of a hoodlum. This ultimately doesn’t seem to stick, but she is definitely a girl of many talents as she is also a genius. This character is probably the most “convenient” one to show up during the movie because what are the odds right? She really makes the difference in solving this film to a great extent. Well, convenient or not she looks good here and is a fun character. She does complain a lot at first and seems slow on the uptake for the given situation, but to an extent you can see why she is upset. The kid just wants her car back. (More like a teenager really but on Wikipedia they just refer to her as the kid so that’s what I figured I’d go with.

There are really no other big characters in this film aside from the villain. The villain has no character beyond the fact that he is always goading the heroes on and is one step ahead of any plans that they may have. He’s not bad, but I can’t really say that I thought about him all that much as a character. He’s more of a plot device and this does lead to a rather unsatisfying ending. This kind of ending can work out well sometimes in the right context, but here it’s more annoying than anything. I’d be down with a sequel to wrap things up though.

The make or break point here will be how much you like car fights/chase scenes. Do you like them or do you love them? Almost the whole film is a series of long car chase scenes. Some will go on for over 10 minutes at a time and you have to be ready for them. Personally I enjoy car fights a lot. They are better than underwater fights, airplane battles, or pretty much any other fights outside of human interactions. If it’s got to be a vehicle then I’ll take a car. I also thought that the car scenes in this film were particularly good. They were better than the ones we saw in Need For Speed or even the original Fast and the Furious film. In part this is because you could really feel the impacts here. When a car got crushed it got completely totaled. There was no coming back from that.

The scenes with the cop cars following Brent also felt more like the Need For Speed chases than the actual movie’s version did. So personally these scenes are what amplified the film for me. They were just a lot of fun and I didn’t get tired of them. I could totally understand how they could get repetitive though so it really does depend on how much you enjoy the chases. It’s really the whole point of the film and you could argue that the rest of the plot is really just a backdrop for it. The focus was and is clearly on the car scenes. As for the technical elements like the writing, it was okay. I wouldn’t really say it was that impressive, but it could have been worse. The special effects were great and so it all balances out into a pretty good film. There’s a lot of replay value here since the film isn’t all that long and the car scenes hold up to the tests of time.

Overall, Getaway is one of those films that is surprisingly solid. I wasn’t expecting anything amazing earlier, but as of now I would probably have this as my definitive car based film. It’s a simple, but effective movie that hits the right notes and keeps the momentum going strong. If you haven’t seen it yet and love a good car based thriller then you really need to check it out. See what you think on if the hostage situation is resolved through plot hax or not. Personally I would have expected the villain to take out the hostage as soon as the heroes begin to enact their plan, but maybe you’ll see why he didn’t do that.

Overall 7/10

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Alien: Resurrection 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.

It’s time to look at the next Alien installment. I think we all already knew what to expect from this one, but even so you can’t help but feel a little disappointed at how bad this one is. Why can’t the Alien series just adapt what should be an easy premise into a great film? This one makes about all the mistakes it can and you’re never left engaged in what’s going on. If you’re going to be a terrible film you should at least be interesting like Resident Evil or something. That one kept you guessing so you would at least have fun during all of the craziness. This one couldn’t manage that.

The film starts off 200 years after the last one. Ripley has been revived so that the scientists could get her alien. They decide to leave her alive though since she has super powers and they’re hoping that she somehow doesn’t use it to wreck their plans. This is all a pretty illegal operation of kidnapping humans to use as expendables in the Xenomorph project so you’d think they would want to silence everyone right away. Well, a group of mercenaries led by Frank show up and we immediately can’t accept these guys as characters to root for. They’re literally trafficking humans across the cosmos to be murdered. You can have a group of bandits as the lead like in the Guardians of the Galaxy so long as they aren’t pure evil. These guys are terrible and since the scientists are established as villains with Ripley being insane….we have to root for the Xenomorphs this time. Lets see if they can crush all the humans!

Resurrection really made a mistake in making everyone an antagonist. I like a good villain vs villain fight as much as the next guy, but it only works in the context that there do exist some heroes who can fight back. If it’s just a bunch of villains running around then there’s nobody to root for. None of them are all that interesting either. The best member of the rebels would be Frank almost by default. At least he tries to act like a real commander and resorts to blackmail really quickly just to let everyone know that he’s still corrupt. Unfortunately his role is incredibly minor here.

Then you’ve got Ron who is probably the worst member of the group. His first scene is him picking on Dom for not being able to walk and from there he tries to make some moves on Ripley. There’s no real point to his character and while they may be trying to have a gruff lead here, it doesn’t work. Then there’s Dom who exploits the fact that he is in a wheelchair here to load a bunch of guns here basically proving the security guards right for thinking twice about letting him in. I do have to quickly say that this was one of the biggest stretches in the movie. What’s the point of having a metal detector if you’re going to let everyone in anyway? It buzzes for someone’s water bottle which of course turns out to be a gun later on. It buzzes for the wheelchair and later on we find out it’s because there was a gun inside. If you’re not going to test the results then the whole thing is pointless. It can’t eve detect when a robot walks through it.

Then we have Annalee who is trying to be the detective here. She intentionally acts a little slow at times to get everyone to leave her alone. That being said, she is intimidated way too easily. The whole scene with Ripley was pretty awful for her and she never really became a likable character. There is Ripley too of course, but she is pretty much dead to the world throughout the film. She lets her emotions get the better of her whenever they do pop up and she rarely uses her powers in a useful way. She’s got super strength and speed, you’d think she would use that to do more than just intimidate the characters around her the whole time. She’s just an annoying lead with no real personality. There is a twist about her which makes sense almost from the jump but the film waits til near the end to actually confirm it.

I think the scene where you realize that Ripley isn’t going to get any better is during the basketball scene. The whole scene is stretched out quite a bit and somehow the film messed up what it’s going for. This is supposed to be a cool scene where Ripley beats up the guy trying to get too fresh with her and shows them why she is the main character. Instead she forgets how to talk again doesn’t really get to do anything beyond sinking the shot before they are interrupted by the scientists. That was not the way to do this.

I can’t think of any solid tunes here so you can forget about watching it for the soundtrack. The film’s incredibly violent as expected so that’s something to consider when watching the film. Everyone dies in various ways and in this case they don’t even seem to have a chance against the Aliens so it’s not as if it’s exciting. It’s just violent to tick off that box. The writing is also very weak. Aside from all of the characters being unlikable there is also quite a bit of language so the film fails on all technical levels.

At this point…what’s left? Resurrection has to go down as one of the weakest creature features out there. Even the Xenomorphs didn’t seem as cool because they were drooling even more than usual. It’s probably because they were in daylight more, but I don’t remember them looking quite so bad. I prefer the sleek Xenomorph look where it’s more of a hard shell. Maybe they were a little nervous here though. One of them did get jumped by a bunch of others after all.

Overall, Alien Resurrection is definitely a mess of a film. It tries to get in some interesting visuals and ideas with the people in stasis, the alien farm, and stuff like that, but it all falls flat. None of that made me think the film was about ot turn things around and a big part of that goes back to the writing being no good. You can’t properly execute any ideas if the writing isn’t on point. There is really no reason to watch this movie. It’s all about a bunch of unlikable characters getting murdered by aliens and the plot is just a backdrop to that.

Overall 1/10

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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

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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

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The Children’s Hour Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old film about how a single deception can cause a lot of damage. Lies definitely do have far reaching consequences and particularly here as the film is quite old and takes place in an era where this kind of lie can end lives. It’s a pretty mean spirited film though and one that ultimately falls into the pile of films that you’re better off not checking out. The town really believed a kid?

The film starts off by introducing us to a local school. Karen and Martha have been running this school all on their own for quite a while. The school is finally going to be profitable for the first time, but then Martha learns that Karen and Joe are finally going to be married. While Karen says she will stick around to the end of the school year Martha has her doubts. She is also saddened by the fact that without a second teacher the school is basically doomed. This becomes the least of her problems though as one disgruntled kid spreads a rumor that Martha and Karen are together. Immediately the town pulls out their kids from the school and now the whole town is against them. Can these two teachers reclaim their lives or is everything all over now?

It’s definitely annoying to see the whole town get thrown into chaos by the words of one little girl. Her grandmother appears to be influential so tricking her first was crucial to the plan. That being said, the teachers should have been more upfront about how this story wasn’t real. Look, the kid’s got a history of lying to everyone about everything. Why didn’t Martha and Karen mention this to the grandmother? For some reason none of the adults were mentioning the fact that this kid had a habit of lying and that was fairly critical info to know.

Now, the film does skip the entire trial so it is reasonable to say that they probably mentioned this in the courtroom. It would have been nice to see it though. Also the court case would have been awesome so it’s really unfortunate that it was skipped. That was going to be one of the more powerful parts of the film because to actually lose that case with nothing more than gossip as evidence is definitely crazy. Given how unreasonable most of the characters in the film are it’s probably not too much of a stretch. Most of them refuse to even acknowledge Martha and Karen.

There aren’t a lot of characters here, but the supporting characters definitely fail the two as well. Lily was part of the problem here by supporting the claims against her niece Martha and then quickly ran off before the trial. Even by the end of the film she hints that she believed it to be true anyway so I think the main characters really didn’t need to be so civil to her. She is putting their lives at jeopardy so I wouldn’t have let her stay in the house with a free dinner. It’s great to be nice, but there’s got to be a limit somewhere.

Then you’ve got Joe. To his credit, the guy stuck by Karen for quite a while. He did his best to always stick up for her and was even willing to leave his house, job, and everything to be with her. It’s why their ending isn’t satisfying in the slightest as he ultimately falls for Karen’s trap. Why is Karen setting traps for her future husband? I suppose she wanted him to 100% have no doubts and I don’t think he really did. He did fail the test so I suppose that shows there was some doubt there, but he was pressured into saying it. He shouldn’t have failed the test, but Karen didn’t need to do that. Just the fact that he was willing to leave with them and destroy his reputation should have been good enough.

As for the main two characters, Karen is definitely my favorite. She’s very considerate and did what she could to stand by Martha when she could have been married a long time ago. She knew that the school was really important to Martha and tried to stick around, but it’s not like she could put her life on hold forever right? Karen did everything she could and as the situation was far worse for Martha since Karen at least had a fiance, Karen was also there for emotional support. Aside from the trap that I’ve already talked about at length, I don’t think Karen made any wrong moves here. She was just a solid character.

Then you’ve got Martha whose argument with Lily is partially what got the ball rolling here. The kid would have still made up the story, but there would have been less ammo to use. Martha was a bit unreasonable with how she wanted Karen to stay forever but I do think she would have ultimately come to terms with Karen’s departure though and would have given her a genuine congratulations. Then you’ve got Martha’s ending which is certainly tragic. It’s the easy way out for a person but never the right call. Ignoring the holes it leaves for everyone else affected it also eliminates your own future path.

The film’s definitely pretty somber with nothing good really happening to the characters for almost the whole film. It starts off happy for a few scenes, but quickly gets dark and never quite goes back up. Even the subplot with the kid gets pretty intense as she starts blackmailing another one of the kids for stealing. Too bad none of the adults noticed the obvious witness intimidation while they were asking questions. They could have spared themselves a whole lot of grief at that point. The what if game ultimately goes on forever, but it’s yet another plot that’s pretty mean. It also did make the school look bad when one kid is literally getting painfully grasped by the other in a police hold. With only two teachers it makes sense that they can’t be everywhere of course, but it does show that they were understaffed.

Overall, The Children’s Hour isn’t my kind of film. It’s pretty dark and dreary with no good characters to help the leads out. The town people are all just looking out for themselves and there isn’t a single reasonable person around. You have threatening individuals circling the school on their pickup truck and even someone who breaks in from time to time to threaten the teachers. There’s no safety and the cops never show up. Joe leaving didn’t help matters even if he was pushed away. The two heroines probably should have just left the town even sooner but leaving everything you’ve ever known isn’t easy. I’d recommend watching something like Christmas With The Kranks instead for a more enjoyable film.

Overall 1/10

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Charlie’s Angels Review


It’s time to look at the recent sequel/practically reboot of the Charlie’s Angels series. The first two titles didn’t exactly get glowing reviews from me so it wasn’t going to be hard for this one to win. Sure enough, I’d say that this is the strongest film in the series. It definitely does still have its flaws though which ultimately stop the film from reaching its full potential.

The film starts off by introducing us to the Angels as they take down a group of villains. It’s become more and more common for films to start off with an action scene and it’s always a smart move. We then meet Elena who finds out that her company is going to move forward with introducing some dangerous tech into the world. She alerts the Angels to this, but now some powerful people want her dead. This situation could be a whole lot bigger than it appears and the group will have to pull out all of the stops to win.

On the positive side Charlie’s Angels does bring the high level action scenes you would expect from the series. Pretty much any fight with Jane is top notch. Sabina also has her share of action and once the film’s climax begins there are a lot of nonstop action scenes. There is also a very large array of songs in the soundtrack. Not all of them are hits, but it does give the film some extra energy. Music’s a pretty important aspect in a film even if it’s been dying out lately.

Jane’s definitely my favorite character in the film. She’s certainly the most serious of the Angels and the best fighter. Jane gets one of the main subplots here as she goes up against the assassin Hodak. They have a lot of fights back and forth and this was the most interesting plot. Sabina’s the rebellious member of the group who always puts on a tough act. Her bark tends to be worse than her bite, but she can fight fairly well. Her overconfidence costs her quite a few fights though and while she treats Elena like a newbie, I don’t feel like she is very experienced either.

As for Elena, she’s not bad, but certainly a step behind the other two. The whole “rookie” personality is a little played out and just not quite as entertaining as the other two characters. Her fight with the guard is a little on the cheesy side as well since she has absolutely no fighting experience. Sabina and Jane should certainly be taking these guys down, but not Elena at the present moment. Then you’ve got the various Bosleys running around. They aren’t fighters on the ground like the Angels so don’t expect a lot of action from them, but they are pretty important to the plot.

Hodak also makes for a great villain. He’s definitely the silent, but deadly sort of guy. His skills are the real deal with how good he looks throughout the movie. He’s the best fighter here and always comes prepared with a lot of guns and armaments. Right through the end he never really loses his cool and just keeps on fighting. You can tell when his role is about to be up, but regardless he served his purpose as a really solid villain. Perhaps not quite as great as the ex angel from the original films, but very solid nonetheless. Peter is also a fun villain even if it’s more in a campy way. The guy’s about as obviously evil as you can get and the film doesn’t bother to hide it. The only question the viewer has to ask is whether he is competent or not and as the film leaves you guessing on that I will as well. At the very least you have to admire his confidence.

The film is around 2 hours, but it doesn’t drag on. There’s always something happening around the corner. It’s an enjoyable ride, but I think it’s time we take a look at the negatives. While I said that an action scene is the right way to start on principal, this film’s opening segment started off on the wrong foot. Right away it’s about one of the Angels using her feminine wiles to get the enemy to let his guard down. It’s a sad trope that always seems to happen to the female agents. While this is surprisingly not used much later on unlike the first two films, it was definitely a scene that was not needed. I’d go as far as to say that the first scene is the worst one in the film.

Beyond that, the film actively goes out of its way to make the Angels look bad at times. They mess up on the missions very frequently even if they act as if they had won. The first scene is an example of this as Sabina manages to tie up the villain…only to dramatically free him so she can get a good punch in. Naturally this leads to him overpowering her and getting his second wind. At another point Sabina has someone at gun point and tells him not to move. The guy naturally reaches in his pocket and takes out a bomb which knows Sabina back and he escapes. She loses consistently throughout the film and one villain ends up defeating her twice. Even in her final big fight of the film she doesn’t seem to have the edge.

I’ll cut Elena a break since she’s new. Jane mostly takes care of business although her speech in the final fight wasn’t really deserved. She goes into depth about how she’s so much better a fighter than the villain, but he had been winning the entire time and she had help. The only person she’s fooling there is herself as in a 1 on 1 the film made it clear that she would have lost. Finally even one of the bosses looks bad. I know the higher ups can’t fight, but this character was talking a big game throughout the whole movie so to lose like that wasn’t a great moment.

There are a few twists and turns in the movie and it does a good job of masking them. At the very least there was one big twist which was handled well and the ending of the film is pretty satisfying. While not everyone gets a happy ending it works out pretty well even if a sequel doesn’t end up coming out. The ending scenes during the credits even finish up someone’s character arc so you’ll want to make sure you stick around there.

As far as the writing goes, the film’s not great. While the scene of the heroes running through the villain base trolling the police officers (I doubt they were all corrupt so you’ll probably feel bad for a bunch of the ones that get knocked around) could be entertaining, it’s not all that realistic. Why didn’t the guards just lock down the facility? That would have instantly been game over for the heroes. They also acted as if the cameras weren’t on at times as they would just forget to use them. The Angels are also partially to blame here because they should have made sure that the guys with the IDs they were using wouldn’t try to get back into the building. I would have figured they’d tie them up or something.

There is also a bit of a romance here which isn’t handled all that well. It’s rather cheesy and considering that the heroes were in a hurry it does feel like a waste of their time. The guy didn’t seem terrible (Even if he couldn’t open a simple package of condiments. Yeah, most of the guys here don’t look great) but he didn’t really have any point being in the film. That’s why the writing is a mixed bag. For every fun scene or likable character there’s going to be a heavy handed moment without much thought to how this situation would occur to counter it. It can be fun to think of the various plot holes or just moments of heroes messing up as you’re watching though.

I wouldn’t consider this next part a positive or a negative, but it’s interesting to note. While the Angels are always portrayed as heroes in the first two films, it’s a little more gray here. They really don’t seem to mind murdering people and even find it amusing at times with all the jokes they crack about it. You’ll get a pun after someone is impaled or characters sarcastically scoffing at murders in the background. One guy gets the honor of being murdered fairly early on and while the film goes out of its way to establish him as a sketchy character you’ll still be a little surprised at how readily the Angel just let him perish. She could not be bothered to try and save him. Realistically it would have been difficult but it’s a bit of a running theme usually used for humor so you’re not supposed to take it seriously though….

Time for a quick comparison to the original two films. As mentioned earlier this one did win overall, but the original films did win in two areas. I thought they still had the better soundtrack (listening to their battle themes while writing this review) and the fights were better. The battle scenes in those films still hold up quite well to this day. This film’s just got a stronger character cast and way less fanservice which ultimately won it the deciding blow.

Overall, Charlie’s Angels is a fun popcorn type film, but not one that really excels in any areas. There’s a lot of replay value and it would be easy to re-watch even after just a short while. That’s because the film’s just very high energy with some decent banter. The questionable writing does hold it back though. Some parts are just not too believable and I think the Angels should have looked a lot more competent. The film seemed like it was aiming to make them look good and I think it just messed up a bit there. If you’re looking for a fun action film to check out then this could be the one for you. If you want an action title with a bit more substance then check out Mission Impossible.

Overall 5/10