The Fate of the Furious Review


The series rocks on with another big installment. Of course this time there would be no Brian which is a shame since he was a solid member of the crew. That may even be what makes the film a bit weaker because otherwise he would have had a massive role here based on the plot. This is still a really solid film to be sure but does trail behind the last two. Ultimately that’s not saying much since those were so great though and this series continues to be consistently great.

The movie starts with Dom taking down a street racer and redeeming the guy in the process. Now he runs a clean ship and Dom is proud of how things have turned out. He’s out of the biz now and just wants a normal life. Unfortunately that is not in the cards at the moment. A lady named Cipher appears and shows him something on her phone before confirming that he will now betray his family and work for her. Surprisingly Dom agrees to the terms so whatever she has on him must be massive. When he starts stealing nukes and EMPs, the crew is forced to assemble once more but can they really take out their former leader? Their only shot is to team up with Nobody, Hobbs, and Shaw. With every hype character in one room surely they can beat him!

That alone shows how much cache Dom has though. If you need the entire cast to even stand a chance against him then there was no doubt on who the big boss was. Personally, Hobbs and Shaw have both proven themselves to be a match so you’d figure that this would be easy but I suppose it’s more difficult in a race than a fight. Dom does have the best driving skills of the cast, I think that’s fair to say so it’s hard to actually catch him at that point. Still, the gang will give it their all.

One of the early scenes that really stood out was when Shaw breaks out of jail so he and Hobbs have a big chase throughout the compound. It was a really good action sequence where we got a lot of different combos and attacks. You feel bad for the guards who are ultimately at the wrong place at the wrong time. They really didn’t stand much of a chance here and particularly Shaw was making sure to destroy his opponents. You get the feeling that a few may have died against Dom too with how hard he was hitting.

This is something that you can’t help but remember when we start to go through the redemption arc for Shaw. I mean it’s pretty cool to see him fighting with the team and he’s a great character either way but I feel like the characters themselves would be super mixed about the whole thing. Ultimately it feels like there is a ton that he will have to atone for even if he is directly helping the heroes.

Then for Hobbs, he gets a lot more to do in this film which is good. The banter between him and Shaw is hype as always and Hobbs always knows how to pick the strongest looking car in the lot. He also did give Dom a few chances to surrender before going all in so I thought he handled the situation as well as he could have.

The rest of the crew is always around for their moments to shine as well even if they can’t keep up quite as well. You have Roman who is still the comic relief here but he actually does get a pretty big moment to help balance that for once like when he shoots a bunch of villains who were approaching him. Perhaps the only reason he hasn’t been dominating is because there haven’t been enough gun fights? Tej and Ramsey have a good dynamic as they each think of plans to help out. I did find it funny how the God’s Eye was already surpassed though, that definitely didn’t take long considering how much hype it got. That was the ultimate global hacking machine after all and it was taken down so quickly.

As an aside, the scene where they bust in and take out the entire cast was great though. Here you have all these big heavyweight fighters who can theoretically take down an entire army and they all get served up by a concussion grenade. I guess you really don’t want to mess with those things. It was a great way to give the villains some hype though and also felt like a scene out of a comic book movie. Even the layout of the area reminded me of Agents of Shield.

Letty doesn’t get as much to do as I would have expected here with the whole Dom going rogue angle. She does have her big moment where she grabs the briefcase and buys a bit of time but we don’t get the whole “Now it’s personal!” dynamic that you might have expected. Usually that would probably have been some kind of big fight and a lot of back and forth. Still, Letty and the crew never started doubting Dom which was important.

Nobody returns and he looks great here again. The guy is still just a lot of fun at all times and he gets results. He’s someone that even the main characters won’t want to cross. Then we’re introduced to his junior coworker in this film who tries hard but can’t get that same level of respect. And it’s not even close, that guy gets insulted throughout the movie. I thought he was rather decent myself but he does go in a little too hard on playing by the rules which doesn’t work out too well when you’re surrounded by this unit.

As for the main villain Cipher, she is quite a bit weaker than the last few villains. Her plans are wide scale but ultimately there’s not a ton to her. Cipher is really lucky that she is in possession of something to keep Dom off of her because otherwise she just wouldn’t last here. Anyone can be tough with a bit of blackmail, it’s the really strong villains who don’t need it.

Her right hand man Connor felt doomed from the start. He tries to talk tough to Dom but right from their opening scene you knew that he wouldn’t be able to back it up. These two are just in different tiers of power and Dom was absolutely not going to go down with family on the line. Once fighting was an option that was going to always be game over for the guy.

One older character appears here for a big role but I won’t say who since you could probably guess a lot from that. It was nice to see her return but unfortunately her role didn’t allow for any big moments. So she didn’t look bad because there wasn’t much that she could have possibly done but I wouldn’t say that she looked very good either. She was just fighting a losing battle here.

Finally we have Dom and of course the big question would be, was the blackmail enough to justify him going rogue and nearly murdering everybody? I mean just by working with the villain he nearly took everyone out. I always tend to be very skeptical of the hero in a scenario like this and I wouldn’t say Dom is exempt from that. His options were limited but I feel like he could have clued the team in somehow, especially since he had a lot of time. As long as he could trust them not to say anything then it would be easier to plan something out. Unfortunately it didn’t go that way so I think for once he was the one who didn’t believe in family hard enough.

Ultimately he still gets to take names and look hardcore as always though. At one point he basically has to go up against the entire team which was a lot of fun. I always like seeing a group vs 1 fight like that and it’s not like these are scrubs. Technically they’re very skilled too…just not skilled enough in this instance. Better luck next time and all of that.

Overall, Fate of the Furious is another great installment. It may not beat the others but it still has a lot of epic moments all throughout the film. It may even be the darkest one since some of the originals. I still say that loosely of course since I wouldn’t consider this film dark by any stretch but it has its moments and is certainly going for more of an emotional feel to it. We’ll see if 9 is able to top this one but ultimately I think that will be difficult. In a way it’s always tough for a sequel to beat a film that’s an 8 or up because that’s a lot to live up to.

Overall 8/10

Furious 7 Review


The Fast & The Furious is back! The series may have had a shaky start with the first 4 films but since then it’s really been firing on all cylinders! I can see why it became such a global hit and this title keeps up that same energy. It follows up on the cliffhanger ending from the last film and really sets things up to be a high tier bout of excitement from start to finish. This is one title that you don’t want to miss!

The movie starts off with a bang as Hobbs breaks into a hospital and murders just about everyone as he vows to avenge his brother who is in serious condition after being taken out by the heroes in the last film. He then breaks into Hobbs’ base in order to get info on Dom and the crew. He’s now determined to take them all out one at a time. Dom isn’t hiding and has no intention of waiting though. He’s just as eager to take Shaw down to avenge his friend Han and so the battle is set. Tracking Shaw won’t be easy though so they are going to need the power of the God’s Eye, a super hacking device that can track anyone in moments. The only way to get this is to save Ramsey, the creator of the program who is being held by Jakande and a bunch of terrorists. This won’t be easy.

You always want to start a film off with a dynamic beginning and that’s exactly what this film does. It was also nice to see it all tie in together with Tokyo Drift and the previous films. You could see how this was meant to be the really big film. Of course I’m glad that the series kept on going but it will be difficult for them to match 7. I don’t think any future film will be able to defeat it but we’ll see. There’s always a chance.

Really the only issue with the film is that it can still be a bit indulgent with the fanservice. You always have the characters heading to a beach or an area like that with a lot of slow-mo and zoom ins that don’t add anything to the plot and just make you shake your head. That may be a staple in the franchise at this point but it’s one that we can definitely just ditch and the films are better off for it. Fortunately it’s usually just a scene or two to check that box off and then we’re back to the action.

Now the fight scenes are a big part of why the films are so big. Hobbs vs Shaw is one of the big match-ups here and that was a good way to start the film off. The battle is very evenly matched so the whole time you’re interested in seeing how it’s going to end out. Later on we also have Dom vs Shaw in another really solid fight. The choreography is always really good and you can feel the blows. It’s a bit ironic that all of the best scenes don’t involve the cars but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

The car scenes are still a lot of fun as always though. Who doesn’t like a big car chase right? Then you’ve also got the heroes fighting off planes as well and a lot of great jumps and falling stunts. You may not buy that all of this can happen but the important thing is that they do happen. So it makes for a lot of fun scenes and with Shaw constantly on Dom’s tail, there is always a sense of danger going on here.

I’d also say the soundtrack is really good. The movie always picks a solid song that fits the location they’re at. It makes for a lot of variety and that’s something you always remember from the films. Tokyo Drift in particular had a really strong soundtrack since it took place in Japan but all of them have been really solid so far.

As for the characters, Dom is a great main character as always. He fights for his family and never gives up. You can always count on him to have your back no matter how tough things get. Dom’s also a great fighter and likes to battle with honor so he’s not going to go for the cheap shots or anything like that. He has a lot of great dialogue throughout the film. One thing the films always take advantage of is making sure to give everyone their hype so each character feels like they’re some kind of champion. Eventually you have several characters in the same room who are all talking tough and it’s extremely entertaining.

Hobbs is still the strong rival here but unfortunately he is gone for most of the movie. It’s a shame that he had to be written out early but at least he got his big fight scene first. He also gets some good moments near the climax. So his role is a bit on the smaller side but it’s impactful and you’ll enjoy all of the moments. Of course Dom’s crew is around as always for some backup. Roman is still yelling constantly and gets in a little over his head but still helps out as best he can. You feel bad for the guy with how everybody keeps on throwing shade at him but he never lets it get to him.

Tej mainly likes to be the one ribbing Roman but ultimately they’re good friends. Letty is still struggling with her memory loss but fights alongside Dom in the meantime and hopes to eventually get them back. She’s still got her skills from the old days. There’s a new character in Ramsey which now means that the team has two geniuses. She’s a fun character who gets the hang of things quick so I was glad about that. When characters are slow on the uptake it usually means that the pacing has to slow down so people can explain things.

Brian gets a fun role here as you would expect. He has a rivalry going with one of the villains so they fight two times and next to Dom he’s definitely the most capable fighter on the crew. He also isn’t tricked as easily as the others and made sure that Dom didn’t leave him behind. He’s a character who will definitely be missed in the future installments because he really did add a whole lot to the dynamic. This movie gave him a solid final role at least.

Then we have the mysterious Mr. Nobody. I liked his inclusion as well as the group that’s basically SHIELD. With the films getting crazier and more out there it makes sense to eventually add in a group like this. Nobody also doesn’t feel like your average government lackey and instead has a lot of charisma. He has a lot of confidence in himself and you need that when talking to these guys. Nobody never backs down and always has a plan so it’s hard to go against that. I look forward to seeing more of the guy.

Naturally Shaw is a great villain as well. He gets a lot of hype and really gets down to business. No matter who he’s fighting, the guy goes in hard. He has to be the most powerful villain in the series and I don’t see that changing. Of course if we count Hobbs then that’s a different story but even in the first film he was still an officer trying to bring in wanted criminals so he was more of an antagonist. Shaw is a lot of fun here and really enhances the film.

We’ve also got another villain in Jakande and that helped to keep the crew busy in the B plot. He’s a solid leader. We don’t really get to see him fight in hand to hand but with his guns he does keep everyone busy. His group was an interesting third party that showed up to mess with everyone. The more factions the better I always say so that worked out.

There isn’t much of an update to the standings of the franchise as a whole with this one because it’s pretty easily divided. The first 4 films were below average and not very good while films 5 and up are a blast. You can really see how the films started to focus more on the action which was a really good idea. There is never a dull moment in these films, you can absolutely be sure of that. They’re long but because of that you can cram a lot of battles into that. Typically each film has 1 race too but that’s usually not the focus here. The heroes have bigger things to do.

Overall, Fast 7 is a great film that I would absolutely recommend. It’s got a lot of nonstop action and excitement all the way through. The soundtrack and visuals are really good and most importantly, the character cast is excellent. The series has really built a ton of super memorable characters by this point who all bring a lot to the table. The continuity here is also taking advantage of the previous films to throw in a lot of callbacks and easter eggs. If you’re an action fan then this is a movie that you don’t want to miss out on.

Overall 8/10

Bloodshot Review


Bloodshot is one of those origin stories where not a lot of people know about him. At the very least I wouldn’t call him mainstream just yet and since the film didn’t knock it out of the park, it’ll probably stay that way. It might have done better if the trailer had not revealed the big twist early on but it’s always tough deciding what should and should not be in the trailer so I won’t blame them too hard there. I thought it was an enjoyable film, one that probably should have been longer but it was fun.

The movie starts with Ray completing another government mission. He’s proven to be one of their best warriors at this point and afterwards he goes on another mission. Unfortunately this one doesn’t go well and his wife is kidnapped and murdered. Ray is murdered shortly afterwards but is revived by a mysterious group led by Dr. Emil. Emil tells Ray that he now has superhuman abilities since his blood has been replaced by nanites. He can heal extremely fast now and can hack just about anything. Ray decides to use these abilities to locate his wife’s killer at any cost. Can he pull this off?

One annoying thing right off the bat is how Ray’s fighting style gets super sloppy after he has his powers. Remember how he was an expert government agent who would go into dangerous situations and always left with his life intact? Not anymore. Now he jumps into every single bullet and trap possible. The reason isn’t just that he’s lazy but also because he wants to strike fear into the villains. Fine, that’s fair enough but it’s still no excuse to put his abilities to their limits. He nearly does push himself too far as he gets blasted a lot. Imagine if he had actually died against the random thugs in the beginning? That would have been extremely embarrassing.

Ray’s a good character beyond that but it did make every fight annoying. Ray is a very determined guy who will stop at nothing to avenge his wife. The scene where he immediately hacks all of the tech around was very impressive and he didn’t waste any time in using his abilities. He had his priorities set from the start and nobody was going to stop him. So that’s the best quality in him and that makes for a good lead. Where he falters is in the romance angle.

The film’s romance is quite weak from start to finish. So Ray’s just lost his wife and he’s already rebounding with KT? That’s pretty bad tbh. I give characters a lot of grief even after it’s been a few weeks but we’re talking 1 day. That’s insane. It then makes the romance scenes with his wife in the beginning look worse since you realize how easy it is for that bond to be broken. All of this adds up to hurting Ray for sure.

I respect him as a great fighter and it’s always fun to see him take names but off the battlefield he struggles quite a lot. Then there’s the main heroine KT who is not on the right side for most of the film but at least there is a decent reason here. When you can’t even breath without tech support and you know that someone has direct access to it, that will always make things a little slippery. You want to be careful not to rock the boat all that much. At least she speaks up more than the others and she can fight when needed. So in the end I thought KT was solid.

Emil is your classic scientist type so there isn’t a whole lot to him. I did think his acting was funny when he has to go through a script. Emil has a lot of fun with it and so I’ll also give him credit for his determination. The guy has a goal and will do anything to achieve it, even if it means reading the same lines a lot of times. Not just anyone would be able to pull that off.

The other villains were really on the weaker side though. None of them were particularly impressive either with their designs of personalities. You had the one insane guy who likes to gloat when the opponent can’t fight back. He seems to really enjoy his part in resetting someone to a rather disturbing extent. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to be friends with this guy. Then you have another villain who’s heart isn’t really in it but he helps the villains out anyway so I’m giving him 0 credit for that. I don’t care if you’re half hearted about it, if you’re a villain then you’re a villain. Don’t now what else to tell you on that. Voicing some doubts doesn’t help as some kind of consolation victory.

Wigans is the resident genius in the film. He does have a counterpart in the base but you could tell that guy was out of his league from the start. It’s too bad they couldn’t interact though as that would have been fun. Wigans is the kind of guy who is always talking fast to try and stay on top of the conversation and keep everyone confused. It’s fortunate that he knows how to code so well since otherwise I could see someone bumping him off. The humor works well enough here although I’d say his rival was better in that department. So what the rival lacked in skills he made up for here.

While I give the action scenes a thumbs down, the effects are solid. I always like seeing what regeneration looks like in a film and this one definitely got that down to a fine art. The regeneration looks really sharp and most importantly, practical. The nano limits are also established well and visually you can tell when the main hero is starting to weaken. You like to think he’ll be stronger for the sequel if he has to fight other powered fighters and the ending pretty much confirms that so you don’t have to worry about it too much.

Now my main issue is that one part of the film doesn’t get enough time so it’s time for the spoiler paragraphs. Skip the next two if you haven’t seen the film yet and then come back to them later on. It’s a really interesting plot dynamic so if you don’t know it yet you may want to keep it that way. Remember, skip the next two paragraphs and then you’re all set.

So we find out that Bloodshot’s whole origin here is a lie. His wife wasn’t murdered but the group have been putting fake memories into his head. They then change the identity of the person who “murdered” the wife and in doing so they have turned Bloodshot into a murder machine. It’s sort of like the Weapon X program. So the first batch of scenes with Bloodshot escaping the group and enacting his revenge was staged every time as they wanted him to escape. We see that they have been doing this for a very long time. The villains just read their scripts in the same way each time to ensure we get the same results.

It’s all quite brilliant if you ask me but my issue is that we only see the last one that works without a hitch. I think this should have been the second or third attempt. We could then get a montage of this happening more and more. The reason for that is it would help really sink in the fact that they have been manipulating him from day 1 and how traumatic that is when he wakes up. Actually seeing this more than once would have been very helpful for that reason. Not saying we need to see the whole sequence but at least good chunks of it each time.

Overall, Bloodshot may not have been a great movie but I did think it was good. It handled the origin story effectively and gets you hyped up for what could be in the universe. I think the series should stay away from the romance although that’s probably a little too late at this point. That’s one of the angles that holds it back a bit and one part of the origin should have definitely been longer. I also think you could do a lot more with the fight scenes. Don’t have Bloodshot act as a complete sponge the whole time. Yes, he can take damage but he shouldn’t be pushing it like that or he could end up losing to someone weak.

Overall 6/10

Fast & Furious 6 Review


The ride must go on. Fast Five ended up being my favorite title in the series but little did I suspect that it would get surpassed so quickly. 6 takes everything I liked in the 5th film and then adds on to it. We get a lot of great fight scenes and character moments here. The series holds onto its strong family values and makes it across the finish line in record time.

The movie starts out with Hobbs realizing that he’s up against a villain group that can’t be taken down easily. Usually he doesn’t need any help but this time is an exception. He grabs some intel from one of the villains pretty easily and then sets about recruiting Dom and the old gang for one last ride.

Dom and friends are all millionaires who are having fun around the globe so it may seem hard to recruit them right? Well, not when you have the right ace up your sleeve and Hobbs has a doozy. See, there’s a photo of Dom’s old wife Letty around and it seems like she’s riding with the villains. That should be impossible since she is dead but if there’s even the slightest chance that she is still alive, Dom can’t waste it. He quickly agrees to help. Still, can these heroes stop this new villain group or are they simply outmatched here?

One thing I really liked here was how quickly everyone dropped what they were doing to help Dom. It shows that the money didn’t change them. They’re still a very close knit group and show up when the call goes out. Dom doesn’t have to talk to them for more than an instant to get them on his side. There’s no complaining, whining, or any of that. They’re just ready for action no matter what it takes.

It keeps on reinforcing the family aspect of the series. Dom always explains that these guys are his family and you don’t give up on family. You help out whenever you can with no second doubts. It’s hard to think of any series where the main characters have such a close bond. It’s just nice to see and immediately puts the film in a good spot so far as knowing who to root for and getting you personally engaged in the fight.

As always Dom is a great character here. He really doesn’t waver and hasn’t gotten sloppy in his driving skills. It’s safe to say that the film still portrays him as the best racer in the series. You could maybe make a case for Brian matching him but under pressure you want Dom on your side at all times. When the chips are down he won’t fail. The guy is also the better hand to hand fighter. Dom is a natural leader and just doesn’t back down. One of the more impressive scenes is when he’s face to face with Shaw and doesn’t even flinch when a gun is pointed at him.

Brian has his own subplot here where he breaks into a jail to try and find out what happened to Letty. Ultimately he doesn’t learn a whole lot to the point where he comes back and Dom doesn’t even want to hear what he learned. That said, it was a huge risk and Brian proved that he was willing to do whatever it took to find her again. He also proved himself in a fight as he took on several opponents at once.

Brian’s always been a fun character. He gets overshadowed by Dom but I like the guy and it’ll be sad once he’s gone. His wife Mia doesn’t get to appear much this time around but she encourages Brian to help the team out. She’s still a team player for sure. Elena also doesn’t do much here but you can pretty much see why. With Letty back on the table you can basically confirm that her romance with Dom can’t last.

It’s why I was never on board with that romance either way. It seemed like a rebound no matter how you slice it. Letty would certainly have good reason to be upset about this as well although everyone takes it in stride. Hopefully Elena returns and we can see her in more of an action setting next time.

Of course Hobbs has a big role as you’d expect. He sets the tone right away with how he beat up one of the minions in the interrogation room. That was pretty impressive and it showed that he is just as obsessed as ever with bringing crooks down. He may be a lot more by the book compared to Dom’s crew but he’s willing to be flexible. He has a pretty fun scene with Tej when they have to round up some cars. Most importantly, Hobbs can still fight and comes in clutch during the climax of the film with the 2 vs 2. As a driver he’s slightly below Dom’s crew but holds his own surprisingly well considering that isn’t really his thing.

His new teammate in this film is Riley. She’s pretty solid and gave us the first big fight scene of the film against Letty. I would have to say that was one of the better fights in the movie, there was a ton of back and forth there. It’s definitely not The best fight of course since the climax threw in some big ones but it was a blast. Riley’s also no nonsense and can fight really well. She also knows how to take a hit and keep on going. She left an excellent first impression and always leaves the opponents guessing.

Tej is pretty good at getting the cars set up and planning things out as always. He may not get quite as much to do as some of the other characters but always has good banter with Roman. Likewise, Roman is a pretty charismatic guy. Not all of his jokes land but he does have a lot of fun moments. His lack of fighting skills do get exposed at one point but he does keep getting up so you can’t doubt his determination.

Han may not get a big role during the film but it’s certainly a memorable one. He’s always got a lot of confidence in Gisele and lets her do her own thing. When she moves in on a villain he just moves onto the next one because he knows she has this covered. Gisele does well with her gun and consistently makes accurate shots from long range. She has to be the best shooter on the team by far.

Then of course you have Letty. She isn’t quite herself during the film due to some memory loss. Of course you’ll be wondering how she survived. The film explains how this happened which will answer any questions on that. It doesn’t really make sense why someone did something which allowed her to live though. She makes for a good antagonist and definitely has a lot of fighting skills. I can see a lot of potential for battles in future films as a result. She has a solid character arc.

As for Shaw, he’s a solid main villain. After watching the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw the whole time though I was waiting for a certain twist that never happened. It makes the experience pretty unique to be sure but he still stands up well as a villain in his own right. He can’t fight but is a smart villain who plans for every contingency. The heroes never make a move without him being ready for it. His futuristic cars were also impressive both in how fast they were and also for their raw strength.

The rest of his villain group wasn’t too memorable though. The one who gave Roman and Han a good fight was impressive but good luck remembering his name. The rest of the group doesn’t get a whole lot of dialogue or anything beyond their initial scene though. It is cool that the film set them up as a dark version of the main characters though. They may not have had a proper team fight but it was still cool.

The battle scenes are the best that they’ve been. My favorite fight out of all the films is probably Hobbs vs Dom from Fast Five but this one just has many fights on that level back to back. There is a lot of nonstop action here so something is always going on. You’ve got different climaxes and high tension moments with both sides making move after move. It’s all extremely entertaining and also high quality. This is definitely what you would expect from the series.

The only weakness I would say the series has is the never ending fanservice. As always whenever the heroes go for a rare drive you’ve got everyone dancing on the cars or walking right into the camera. It’d be nice if the films could tone down this aspect and just focus on the fights. It’s not as heavy as in other titles though and the positives still outweigh this negative to a pretty high degree so it shouldn’t hurt your enjoyment of the title.

The writing is on point and has a lot of good humor moments throughout. The film is fairly long and since it has a fast pace that means you can expect a whole lot of adventures here. Fast & Furious 6 just keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s sort of like the non comic book version of the Avengers (2012) in terms of tone and action. Things even get pretty serious by the end as the film actually does have a body count. While the movies always end on a high note, the gang certainly goes through their share of trials. The soundtrack is also on point. The series always has a lot of different tunes that bring a lot of energy to each scene.

Finally, we can’t miss talking about the end credits scene. This was pretty hype and I always believe you should end your film with a cliffhanger like this one. It’s probably the most hype end scene since Tokyo Drift. We see an event from that film in a new light. Turns out that what happened to Han was a lot more personal than expected. It may be a retroactive change but it’s a solid way to make Tokyo Drift even more important all of a sudden. The new villain is also immediately going to be one of the better FF villains. You can tell from this scene that he means business.

Overall, Fast & Furious 6 was very impressive. This one is going to be extremely tough to defeat but I look forward to seeing how good 7 is. We’ve still got the full cast here so I am expecting it to be pretty good. I wonder if Brian will get a bit of a power up to keep up with Dom and Hobbs or if he will still mostly be more of a support fighter. With that stinger at the end you definitely know that 7 is about to get personal. Dom’s family will need to be ready to meet this challenge.

Overall 8/10

Fast Five Review


Time for some more Fast and Furious action. This film really dials up the action and turns the series into more of an epic thriller. It’s a transition that works well for the series as it is easily the best film I’ve seen yet. The first 4 can’t touch this one. You’ll be at the edge of your seat for the whole movie and the fight between Vin and Dwayne that is hyped up for the whole film really ends up matching that suspense. It’s going to be tough to top this one going forward.

The movie starts off with showing us how Brian and Mia broke Dom out of prison. More specifically, they break him out of the truck driving him to prison. The gang then end up trying one more robbery to get some money but it turns out to be a trick to bump them off. Dom and friends escape but not before a few agents end up getting murdered by the villains. Naturally this turns into a frame up with the government calling in Hobbs, the greatest agent of them all.

Dom and Brian have big plans though and they don’t have time to flee. They want to take revenge on the mobster who framed them and what better way than stealing all of his money right? They’re going to pull off a heist but to do this they will need the best of the best. So they call in various characters from the first 3 films and prepare to race the clock. Can they get the money or will they be caught by Hobbs?

Right away this film is just so much more interesting than the others. I like when you’ve got multiple parties running around all aiming for different things and this film pulls that off really well here. You’ve got the mobsters, the heroes, and Hobbs’ group. Technically speaking while Hobbs is rather extreme, his group are the only heroes here. Dom and Brian are repeat criminals and if they weren’t betrayed in the first scene they would have gone through with the mission. This time they’re stealing from other criminals which is more of a gray area (Personally I’m cool with it. The criminals are basically officially sanctioned at this point so the only one who can stop them is Dom and the gang) but Hobbs and his group are official government agents who do their best to uphold the peace.

They may not look too much into the situation but then again that’s not necessarily bad. In this case of course Dom was framed but Hobbs is right that it’s not really their job to look into that. Odds are that being framed is rather rare and that’s something you wait for the courts to decide. Not everyone can be a vigilante or things would really start to go off the rails right away.

I also liked Hobbs group. For one thing they are shown to be highly competent. They have several fights with the mobsters and they manage to come out on top each time. Until the climax of the film they don’t even take any injuries and win quite cleanly. After seeing so many films where the agents lose to untrained thugs it was a nice change of pace. Meanwhile Hobbs has a lot of the best lines throughout the film.

One hype moment is when the translator Hobbs hired starts looking through the files and saying that it doesn’t make sense. Hobbs throws the papers away and says that this makes sense (The action of throwing it away) and it was just such an out of the box answer that I found it hilarious. Hands down it was my favorite line in the film. In general I also really liked the banter between him and Dom. Both of these guys are the definition of the “tough guy” character so they don’t tend to back off.

The fight between them was also the best fight in the series without question. They were throwing each other through walls and even leaving dents in the car with each hit. You can see how the characters were starting to get superhuman here. Throughout the movie there’s a lot of good action. You can’t really expect to see any big races here this time but the brief racing that we do get looks pretty solid. I liked the scene where all of the main characters have a big race although you won’t be surprised at how things turn out.

The effects are good as always and the character cast is also at its best. Hobbs aside, Dom is a great character as always too. He looks after his family first and foremost. The guy has a lot of drive and can fight with the best of them. He has a good conversation with Brian about his father. The two may not always see eye to eye but at the end of the day Dom always has his back.

As for Brian, he’s also a pretty solid character as always. He’s not quite as smart or capable as Dom but he doesn’t let this hold him back. He’s still the second toughest member of the team and comes in clutch when needed. Then you have Mia who also helps out a lot in the fights. It’s pretty tough for her since she’s expecting a kid soon but doesn’t let this hold her back.

Now for the rest of the heist crew, I wouldn’t say they’re the most memorable guys around but they’re okay. Roman and Tej get their moments as each person uses their specialty skill to help out. Gisele has a lot of confidence and keeps the others at bay although the way she manages to help out could have been handled a bit differently. You sort of know exactly how things are going to go down early on. Meanwhile that pretty much got rid of Han’s big moment so he didn’t have one here. It was nice to see him…but he ultimately didn’t really contribute. Elena was a solid newcomer to the series. She’s a cop who couldn’t be bought off the way that all the others were. That alone already makes her a pretty solid character and she also has a great motivation which helps make her such a tough character. Elena jumped into danger on multiple occasions and really ended up contributing.

So there’s a lot to like in this film. On the weaknesses side the film still jumps whole heartedly into the fanservice angle. The writing isn’t always great with the side characters making a lot of comments that make you want the villains to bump them off already. In a way maybe it’s for the best that we cut out the racing from these films since that’s all that really happens when the heroes get to the track. I found it pretty ironic that the actual race was cut out so we only got the atmosphere instead. If the writing could be tightened up a bit and we get past the unnecessary moments then the film will really make it into the great territory. Now, there are a lot of funny lines as well so don’t get me wrong but the film isn’t super consistent is what I would say. Tokyo Drift still has the best ending in the series but this one is very solid. It wraps everything up quite nicely.

Overall, This is the best installment in the series yet so it feels like things are moving up now. This is more like what I expect from the series just based on what I knew about it before actually entering the franchise. We get to see a lot of cool looking cars, rock songs, and an intense main cast. The fact that we’ve finally gotten into a lot of big hand to hand fights only helps. I would go as far as to say you could basically start with this film and you’re set since the first scene recaps the important part of the last film anyway.

Overall 7/10

Fast & Furious Review


It’s time to continue to the Fast and the Furious series. This time we’re going away from Tokyo and back to the main plot with Dom. You’ll get your share of explosive race scenes here and a pretty good story. The film still holds itself back a bit with its reliance on fanservice but you will get some hype rock songs to keep you in the mix. I don’t think it quite tops Tokyo Drift’s soundtrack but that one still has one of the more iconic film end songs.

The movie starts out with Dom and the gang stealing some more gold as they take down a truck. He feels like it’s all getting a little too dangerous though and decides to put some distance between himself and the rest of the family. Things are quiet for a while but then his friend Letty is murdered by a gang lord. Everyone warns Dom that he shouldn’t pursue this since the guy is an incredibly infamous villain but that’s not going to stop him. You don’t mess with family after all.

Then you have the other main character Brian who has been put back on the task force. He has not had the best track record as of late so this might be his last shot. He barely captures someone after an extended chase scene but he gets some clues. At the same time as Dom, Brian finds out about a big race that is about to happen. The winner gets to transport some of the goods which means that it is the perfect time to find the gang lord. Only one person can win the race though so this is going to get close.

The movie does a good job of contrasting each of the characters’ theme music. In Tokyo Drift the main character had an electronic theme that fit in with the neon atmosphere of Tokyo. Here Dom always gets a fast paced Spanish song and Brian gets an intense rock tune. They’ve all got different ways of handling their business after all even if there are a good amount of similarities. The soundtrack is definitely on point and reaches the intense levels you would expect here.

Fast & Furious doesn’t hold back with the special effects either. It looks good throughout with a lot of fun cars involved. The action scenes are good and the pacing is on point so the film doesn’t drag out. If anything you just wish it could be longer at times since it’s all over in the blink of an eye. The first race doesn’t even happen til almost halfway into the film. It’s cool for setting up the action that is about to happen but it also means that you can’t expect too many different races. The climax has a lot of action though. There’s a lot you can do with cars and that’s really the appeal of these films. Whenever Dom uses the nitro I’m reminded of the various racing games for Gamecube.

On the flip side, as always the movie does tend to dwell on its own fanservice issues a little too much. The characters inevitably go to night clubs and such where everyone is acting really sketchy. One of the villains certainly has a pretty cringe worthy setup going for him before Brian brings in the cops. I could do without those scenes so we could focus more on the action. None of the romances are particularly impressive here either and could really be cut out without any issues.

As for the main characters, I still prefer Dom to Brian. Dom really gets the job done and feels like an experienced veteran when it comes to racing. While Brian did appear to have the edge in the race, Dom always makes up for this with his own creativity on the track. As he is in revenge mode a lot here, you can expect a lot of intense scenes with him breaking into places and taking people down. He’s certainly a strong fighter.

Brian is still a good character too though. He is pretty torn at the moment with his friends and also with upholding the law. His agency looks a lot less reasonable here though as they jump in before he gives the signal and one guy in particular was trying to give him a hard time. Brian didn’t let that slide though and I liked how he landed a pretty good combo right away. He’s no pushover.

Then you have some of the supporting characters like Mia who is still pretty upset at Brian for his choices when they first met. The guy did lead off with a lot of lies and deception so you can see why there would be some sore feelings there. She seems like a good character and will hopefully get to do more soon. Letty doesn’t get to appear for very long before things get dicey for her but she was not someone who would back down from a tough mission. She did her best to the end.

None of the villains are particularly memorable though. You have the guy who took out Letty and he acts as evil and petty as possible. There’s just nothing really making him stand out from any other gangster. You know that he is doomed the moment he messed with Dom’s family. There’s Gisele who seems rather high up in the villain ranks but she doesn’t really get to race here. Hopefully that’ll change soon.

Overall, Fast & Furious is a fun way to bring the cast back. I’d like the films to really start focusing more on the races and less on the nightclub kind of scenes. Once it does that I think we’ll be off to the races so to speak. I do think it beats the first two films in the series though. Does it beat Tokyo Drift? That’s a pretty close one but ultimately I would give it the narrow edge. Due in part to the end stinger but I also liked how much influence it took from the Need for Speed series. Dom is definitely a better main character than the last guy though. We’ll see how the series continues from here because I’m really looking forward to seeing when the series goes really off the rails with the stunts and everything.

Overall 4/10

The Last Witch Hunter Review

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It’s time for a Witch film! Witches aren’t explored quite as much as vampires and werewolves so a film about them always has the potential to be promising. Magic can be interesting after all, but can it really be handled right? I thought that the trailer really didn’t look that good and I wasn’t surprised by the fact that this film didn’t exactly break the box office. It’s not Jupiter Ascending levels of cringe, but I still wouldn’t call it a good film either.

A lot of films like to go with the tried and failed approach of opening in the olden days where everyone was still banging rocks together and attacking with spears. I’ve never liked this approach since the olden days are no fun to watch and may as well be forgotten at this point. We get to watch the final battle between the humans and the witches as Kaulder destroys the queen, but not before becoming immortal. Now he is forced to live on and destroy witches through the years. Gee…was this a good move Witch Queen? It actually is thanks to a plot twist at the end so the move was quite impressive. Still, the witches as a whole are probably disappointed with this development.

Skip to the present, Kaulder is now a man who has lost his morals and likes to have one time flings for the lolz. It’s quite disappointing as he could have been a likable character, but we’re quickly reminded not to get attached to any of the players here. His old partner decides to retire so that Kaulder can work with a new cadet. Kaulder is saddened, but he’ll move on as he always does. Unfortunately, his partner is attacked and roughed up as well as cursed. Kaulder will have to find the person who placed the spell on his partner in order to free him, but finding the main villain will be tough.

Realizing that he needs to find a secret in his past, Kaulder seeks the help of a young witch (Who can’t fight) named Chloe. Chloe can walk in dreams and help you relive the past so she is helpful, but as per the curse of being next to the main character, her bar is destroyed and her best friend as well. Now she really has no choice, but to help Kaulder so that she can avenge her pal. The two of them may be outnumbered and these villains may be too powerful, but Kaulder’s immortal so what’s the worst that can happen?

As you can tell, I don’t care for Kaulder. Chloe’s the main heroine and gets a rather large role. She definitely seems like an unlikable character at first, but thankfully gets better as the film goes on and even gets away from the trope of falling for the main lead. The film did good there and I’ll give it some props, but now we need Chloe to get some offensive abilities. Let’s face it, she only won her main battle because her opponent was asleep. Had he been awake, she still has no spells to fight the other witches with. Walking in dreams is cool, but it’ll rarely be useful in a fight.

The ending of the film leaves room for the sequel since the Witch Queen is not altogether vanquished. Spoiler for the ending folks so tread carefully. The Witch Queen essentially tied her life force to Kaulder’s so if Kaulder were to die, then she would as well. As long as Kaulder lives, the Witch Queen cannot be destroyed either. For years they simply had her locked away and that’s what they plan to do again, but the threat of her return will always be around. Of course, it’s not as if Kaulder can just destroy himself in good conscience. For starters, destroying yourself is a no no and secondly, he’s the only Witch Hunter left on he planet. If he were to be gone, the war between witches and humans would commence once again. Especially considering the fact that the council of humans was wrecked so easily. There is no real human defense against the witches at the moment.

It’s an interesting world that Kaulder lives on though as magic is used very regularly by the witches in all forms of occupations, but the humans don’t suspect a thing. We even learn that they are eating worms instead of ice cream as magical powers simply shapeshift them. The whole situation is really bad for the mere mortals and I’d like to see them rise up to stop this. They just have to stay civilized about the whole thing.

Going back to the climax for a sec, sadly there is a lot of plot hax involved. During the fight, Kaulder had no immortality and was very weakened thanks to a last second betrayal while the Witch Queen was at her peak. She’s fast and has many abilities so this should be easy right? Well, she was so busy powering up that she didn’t notice Kaulder pick up the glowing sword and hurl it straight at her. She was also too busy to think of dodging and it made for a very anticlimactic finish. That’s why you should always be careful about making the villains so much stronger than the heroes.

Even when Kaulder was strong, the villains would keep messing with his mind since he is very weak against telepathic blasts. It was embarrassing when he lost the second time since it was pretty personal by that point. They never explain why the guy that he was fighting looked very similar to how Kaulder was back in the Pre Historic days. Perhaps it was just coincidence I suppose.

The action scenes were mainly 50/50. I didn’t care for the intro battles as the old people fought with flame swords and realized how futile the whole attempt was as they got taken down one by one. They eventually won thanks to some convenient plot hax, but it was a rather dull fight scene and was mostly just about how weak they all were. In the present, the fights were more entertaining when they actually occurred. A lot of the “fights” ended up being one hit KOs like Kaulder against the big Witch Guardian. The Witch Queen had a good fight with him until that last moment so that would be a highlight.

Part of the problem is that grass powers are never that entertaining and another part is simply that the Witch Queen and her minions are so ugly that it takes away from the battle scenes. The Queen looks like an undead zombie or like a vampire rather than a witch. I want my classic witch design with the crooked hat back! The film’s soundtrack is fairly unmemorable although I remember is being fairly decent. It’s just that the tunes won’t stick with you once they’re over and done with.

Overall, The Last Witch Hunter is a fairly dreary film that showed some promise, but couldn’t quite live up to it. The Airplane scene where Kaulder disabled the magical entanglement for example was a good scene. I wouldn’t mind seeing him stop similar threats as he went around the world. The daytime rarely appears or even has time for it since night always falls, but the action scenes don’t take advantage of the night. Above all, it’s just not a very fun film and I would have liked to have had a better villain. Better heroes would help too and considering that this is an action film with a lot of magical elements, the witches didn’t use any real impressive spells the whole time. I wanted some neat elemental spells and some great visuals. Looks like I’ll have to wait for Dr. Strange to get those. If you’re not very particular about your fights and just want a run of the mill action film then this one’s for you. If you want an action film with a purpose, watch Tron Legacy! That film has great visuals and great action scenes!

Overall 4/10

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

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Well, Guardians of The Galaxy is definitely a film that everyone has been looking forward to for a very long time. The MCU could finally continue and this installment was going to give us a lot of data for the series. Of course, all of the characters are essentially new to the franchise so it was still a little risky. Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being another solid entry into the MCU and I’m ready for a sequel, but let’s take a more in depth look at it. I aim to keep spoilers to a minimum and will do my best to avoid them entirely, but I recommend watching the film before you read my review…just in case.

The film starts off with a scene on Earth as Star Lord is abducted by aliens when his mother passes away. Years pass and he is now a wanted man by many individuals. He finds a mysterious artifact in a tomb and now he is in a lot of danger. Ronan sends Gamora out to go take the orb from Star Lord while Rocket and Groot want to get the main character for his large bounty. After they bond and fight, the heroes realize that they’re going to have to team up if they want to have any hope of stopping Ronan. Can these individuals team up to face the enemies that no single hero could face alone? Let’s hope so!

Star Lord is the main character of our tale. His character seems to be based off of Captain Kirk’s to an extent. He shares traits with many of the classic heroes, which is likely intentional. He was definitely one of the more interesting characters, but every time he would have a really cool scene that would almost make you a fan, he would do something to negate it. As I mentioned earlier, he shares some traits with Kirk. One of these traits is unfortunately the fact that he flirts a whole lot. His first scene has a rather anticlimatic moment where we realize that he isn’t the only person aboard his ship. The scene really didn’t have a point and it was just so we could see how far Star Lord had fallen.

When he’s not flirting, Star Lord can be a pretty cool character. His mask is pretty epic and he’s a surprisingly good fighter. His plans aren’t bad and he was able to hold his own against Gamora and the others. The fact that he went after his MP3 player at one point was also a pretty cool scene. He typically made sure to do the right thing and he was a solid character for the most part. I just couldn’t like him by the end because the flirting was a little overdone, but he’s still a charismatic lead.

Gamora is an interesting case as well. Her character personality was all right, but I felt that her reputation was undeserved. Everyone seems to know her because of how skilled she is. The problem is that she never looks that tough on screen. Sure, she beats up a few prison guards at one point, but she typically loses the big battles. While she had the upper hand against Drax the first time they met, she never really had any other impressive moments. Her battle against Nebula was good of course, but I don’t see how she fell for the classic thunder rope trick. She also seemed pretty worried the whole time she was in prison. Those were some pretty tough odds, but they mentioned how she had been genetically altered so I figured that the extra power and speed would serve her well.

Personality wise, she’s definitely more heroic than I had figured. I definitely didn’t mind that since it was unexpected in a good way, but it did seem rather sudden. I guess Ronan has never tried to do something this large before or she may have defected sooner. As long as she doesn’t let Star Lord get to her in the sequel, she should stay as a decently good character. I do expect her to look more impressive combat wise in the sequel though. For “the world’s deadliest woman” she only appeared to be slightly stronger than Black Widow. We can expect her DC counterpart (Wonder Woman) to be a little more impressive so Gamora’s going to have to play catch up.

Rocket is a character that Marvel has worked hard to promote. He has a pretty solid fanbase so his portrayal in this film was definitely going to be looked at in detail by his fans. I like Rocket, although I wouldn’t call myself one of his bigger fans. I can see the appeal of the character and I’m always up for another Sgt. Rock. Rocket is shown to be the smartest member of the group and he has a lot of experience. He has broken out of many prisons before and he knows how to take them over from the inside by using Groot.

His drunk scene seemed pretty out of place though and it was a way of expanding his backstory a bit. I could have taken a pass on that part. His backstory is definitely pretty grim, but it should hopefully not appear on screen as the reference is probably all that we need to know about it. It’s definitely hard not to like Rocket from the start. His thunder zap against Star Lord was pretty good and he’s always confident. He’s a little weak physically compared to the others, but he’s always got Groot at his side so he does well in fights. It’s no stretch to say that he’s definitely the best member on the team.
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Drax is probably my least favorite member of the group. It’s close, but I just never cared for this depiction of Drax. Remember the good ole days where he had a cape and his abilities were more on the level of the Hulk or Vision? I don’t know exactly when he changed, but ever since the reboot of his character began…they never looked back. This Drax is more of a generic warrior who likes to fight. You can say that he’s the power member of the group.

The problem is that he’s pretty weak. You can’t compare him to other fighters like Thor or the Hulk. He’s probably around Captain America level in physical power and I would easily take the Avenger to win a fight between them. Drax spends the entire film getting crushed by the opponents. Gamora nearly ends him, Ronan is on a different level, and Korath also throws him around for a while. This is because Drax doesn’t really have any technique to his fighting and he just relies on brute strength. He seems a little out of place in a comic book film.

Power aside, I also don’t really care for his personality. He doesn’t really know a lot about Earth and traditional customs, but we already have Gamora for that angle. (At least music wise) He’s not very smart, but Groot already serves that purpose. Drax really doesn’t add anything to the team and that’s probably another reason why I don’t care for him. I would have preferred Adam Warlock or Captain Marvel to replace this fighter. It helps that he cheered (Rocket is guilty of this too) when the animal got eaten. He could get better in the sequel..but we shall see.

Groot is the final member of the Guardians of The Galaxy and I’m likely not as much of a fan as most of the viewers. Personality-wise, he’s pretty decent. He seems to only partially understand the others or he just doesn’t think about it all that much. At the very least, he has no problem with disrupting the plan and doing things his way. He is pretty heroic for the most part though and he makes the tough calls. I can’t say that I was a big fan of his scene in the prison though. There were other ways in which he could have taken out the tough guy. I just never liked the branches through the nose technique before as I find it rather gruesome.

The main reason why I didn’t care all that much for Groot is the whole “I am Groot” part. It’s essentially like Chewie’s roar in Star Wars. Characters can just understand it somehow and then they put the pieces together. It may be okay once in a while, but the more that it occurs, the more that I don’t really enjoy it. I’d prefer to at least have some subs in this case. Groot is definitely a lot more durable than the other Guardians though and he would likely win in a fist fight.

Thanos finally gets to show himself in this film. Viewers of the Avengers series who prefer not to watch any of the other installments will likely be upset since they are expecting him to get a big role in Avengers II. This wasn’t to be and we can only hope that Thanos does join us for Avengers III. All signs point to it at the moment at least, but you could almost think that Thanos would be the big villain for Guardians 2.

His design seems to be a little different from the Avengers film, but it’s a little hard to tell since the lighting is pretty dark. His outfit is modeled after the comics, but all of the color has been drained from it. It reminds me of Wonder Woman’s new costume in the Batman vs Superman film coming out. (Color scheme wise) The outfit is bronze/gold and there isn’t any color to it. It definitely looks menacing though and Thanos essentially looks like a purple Hulk with armor. I don’t really have any complaints about the armor’s design. I definitely would have preferred the classic gold and blue, but this works.

Character wise, Thanos and Ronan have some banter as threats are implied and spoken outright. Nebula tells Ronan that Thanos is stronger than him, which is a solid continuation of the hype train for Thanos. I’m all aboard of course, but making Thanos stronger than Ronan isn’t very impressive. It’s a start of course, but this is why we’re waiting for his first actual fight. He reminds me of Darkseid and his throne is pretty good. Whether he has his first fight in a Guardians or Avengers film, it should be pretty epic.

Ronan is the main villain of the Guardians film. He’s a decent villain, although I would say that he’s not quite as tough as he could have been thanks to the film’s main characters. Since none of the heroes are very strong, they had to be careful about him. I would say that Ronan’s strength could be comparable to Iron Man’s armor if not a little stronger than that. Due to some circumstances in the film, his abilities do get better at one point and his weapon becomes truly devastating. It reminded me of Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Once amped up, he could probably give Thor or the Hulk a pretty good run for their money.
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Character wise, I found him to be very similar to Malekith. Ronan’s main goal is to destroy various civilizations and one in particular because he doesn’t believe in the peace treaty. He’s not with the Kree in this continuity as he commands a rebel force and he works with Thanos. He could be a little generic and executing defenseless civilians is a little petty. I’d say that he didn’t leave much of a lasting impression and he was a decent villain by the end. That’s still an improvement over most of the MCU villains though. I would have liked to see him go up against Thanos, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Nebula doesn’t get much of a role in this film, but she is regarded as a tough fighter. She has a brief fight with Gamora and we don’t really know much else about her. Her design is good and I’m always open to cyborgs. She seems to comprehend Thanos’ power more than the others and she naturally resents him. What she will do next will likely impact the plot of the sequel a lot. She makes for a good rival to Gamora and I don’t have much else to say about her just yet.

Yondu is pretty different from the comics, but it works for the film. He’s a lot older than you may have guessed and unlike Hawkeye, he only uses one arrow. It’s the whole quantity vs quality debate and his arrow is definitely well built. It’s like a laser and it’s sound based, which is pretty good. Yondu is definitely a threat and he could likely take out the Guardians of The Galaxy with decent ease. He would likely have some trouble against opponents with sound abilities or quick reflexes, but his arrow is quite fast so the reflexes would have to be on a high level. He’s not a very interesting villain though and his power is his saving grace. I don’t mind all that much if he appears in the sequel, but they have to be careful about how he fights. This ability leaves a lot of room for plot convenience and we don’t want that. Having someone give him an accurate fight will be a challenge, but a fun one to see on screen.

Korath gets a minor role in this film as well and he only gets one real fight scene against Drax. He looks a little stronger than you may have guessed, but the film did hint at it when he recovered from Star Lord’s thunder blast so quickly. He’s really just a nameless minion in the end in terms of plot importance. His design isn’t very interesting and he’s basically a throwaway character. I can’t say that I mind him all that much, but he’s definitely not going to be the next big threat.

I can’t say that I like the Collector anymore here than I did in Thor: The Dark World. He’s still a complete villain and I don’t understand why the Asgardians trust him. He’s useful for information, but the heroes should have shut down his base of operations a long time ago. You feel bad for his minions and things definitely get a little dicey for them. Hopefully this will be his last appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s really no need for him to appear any further anyway.

The Other makes his glorious return into the Marvel universe with this film. I have to say that I had only been mildly been expecting him to get a decent role here so that was pretty cool. Once again, he talks pretty tough to Ronan and I like how he’s always on top of things. The Other fears no being! (Not even Thanos…..) Apparently, he knew about some plans and schemes, but neglected to tell Ronan because The Other is a Boss. We don’t get to see any of his super speed in this film though so I have to wonder if it was forgotten or if the Other just couldn’t be bothered to use it. I’m hoping that he gets another solid role in the future where he can show off his abilities to their fullest.

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely a very important film for the MCU. We learn a lot of things about the cosmic order in this continuity and Thanos appearing is certainly important as well. Everything is a lot more casual in the film to the point where you feel bad for S.H.I.E.L.D. Nobody on Earth even knows about Thanos, but it’s casual knowledge in this film. We get to see his domain and many planets fear him. It’s hard to describe, but it definitely makes the Guardians appear to be on a different level from the Avengers knowledge wise even if they can’t compete in power.

We even learned about the Celestials and we get a really cool action scene involving a planet blowing up. I’ve always wanted to see a planet blow up on screen and this film got to show us this. That’s a visual that I expect to see in future DBZ films and I guess this film beat it to the punch. Skipping this film isn’t a wise move if you want to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.

The fight scenes in the film are definitely some of the better ones in the MCU. We’re not looking at anything like Thor vs Kurse or Captain America vs Winter Soldier yet, but the space fights are really fun. Star Lord’s blaster is pretty effective and we haven’t gotten a lot of gun fights in the series prior to this film. Definitely no space blasters and I was glad to see them appear. I wouldn’t have minded if everyone used guns in the film since the effects made the blaster fights really stand out.

A welcome positive for this film is the light tone that is similar to the Avengers. The film typically has a scene intended to make you laugh every few minutes and the humor is pretty well done. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s a good thing. It helped to minimize the damage in a negative that is coming up and it also gives the film a lot more replay value than other films that came out this year. (TMNT, Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of The Apes, Xmen, etc.) It would certainly be a lot easier to watch this film again than any of those.

The light tone is really what helped the film not get hurt too badly by the animal violence. The animal violence guaranteed that I wouldn’t give this film an 8 like Captain America. It wasn’t very bad, but there was one pretty sad scene at the bar. We see an animal eating another one and it’s done for sport. The characters actually don’t mind this and they encourage the barbaric game. There’s also the scene at the very beginning of the film where Star Lord is beating up on a lot of small lizards. That was pretty sad to see since it was completely unnecessary to the plot. We definitely don’t need animal violence in our films and hopefully this doesn’t become more of a trend with Marvel. (I still won’t forget the dog scene in The Incredible Hulk)

I will say that the film did have a little more language than the average MCU film. Mostly, it tended to come from Rocket, but they all chipped in a little. Luckily, we don’t get the line that offers the big word. It’s mostly just a lot of s and a worlds, but they do add up a little more than usual. It was likely to show that these guys were definitely not as heroic as the Avengers, but we already knew that from Star Lord.

Finally, I think the film tried a little too hard to be emotional at some points. “You’re asking us to die” quickly comes to mind as everyone gets serious and it’s a solemn moment. It’s almost inevitable for a film and especially one that is as happy as this one. After all, the heroes have to finally realize the gravity of the situation at some point, which will make things serious. It’s a cost of being a light series, but it’s a light one. The opening scene at the hospital was also pretty sad, but it really didn’t do the film any favors. Why not give the hero a happy origin story instead? What makes the origin a little sadder than usual is the fact that they made sure it was a realistic origin that could happen to anyone before the UFO came. Taking away that scene and one or two others would have allowed the film to keep it’s happy stride and to never look back. I think that would have made the film even better.
The soundtrack for the film is definitely solid. I’ve always been a fan of the classic songs from the 1980’s and beyond. It was a good time to be a listener and they just don’t make songs like they used too. We got a whole bunch of classic songs in the film and I was glad to see that I recognized two of them. The main theme that was seen in all of the trailers and on Star Lord’s MP3 player is easily the best song. Most of the others are pretty solid as well, but that one definitely had what it takes. The tune that Star Lord listens to in the very beginning was pretty good as well.

Naturally, we get an after credits scene in the film. There is a small sort of bonus scene early on, but I barely count it since nothing really happens. The actual after credits scene is another comedy clip so it’s not there to advance the plot, but it is a pretty good one. The novelty of the scene is the best part and while I would have preferred a Thanos vs Ultron fight to set up Avengers 2, this will have to do for now. You should hopefully recognize what the after credits scene means…hopefully.

Now, this film is Disney like Star Wars and it’s the first big space epic in a while. After the similar poster came out, I’m sure that we all quickly thought of Star Wars. It’s definitely worth mentioning that they do have a lot of similarities. We get adaptions/homages/similar circumstances to the Dark Vader and Lord Palpatine plot through Thanos and Ronan. We get a space fight scene where a lot of small ships go for the large one like in Star Wars. Groot is pretty similar to Chewbacca and Star Lord’s relationship to Yondu is identical to Han Solo’s time with Jabba The Hut. Gamora and the main heroine of Star Wars also have some mild similarities as they already had a mission and then the other heroes jump in and wreck her plans while attempting to help. There are other similarities and some of these are naturally coincidences since it’s hard not to adapt them when doing a sci-fi film. It definitely had a Star Wars feel to it though and that’s pretty nice. Star Wars definitely had a lot of good things going for it even if it started to make some mistakes down the road.
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Overall, I definitely recommend checking out Guardians of The Galaxy. I love superhero team films because watching the team form is always great. The opening fight scene with the members is pretty great and I definitely place that as my favorite scene. The film is pretty fun to watch and the action scenes are great as well. The film did have some negatives for me, but there aren’t any scenes where you’ll seriously grimace except for the animal violence. This installment can definitely hold its own against the other titles and I’m looking forward to the sequel. We’ll see if Thanos really is one of the major players to face them. Either way, expect a lot of action and excitement along with some more great tunes.

Overall 7/10