But in the pursuit of setting up a new world, as well as planting the seeds for future sequels, the filmmakers fail to construct a self-contained story worthy of an audience’s attentions let alone their emotional investment. It’s a robotic descent into Hollywood financed, corporate-driven stupidity, diluting a once powerful franchise to a place it had yet to travel to until now: irrelevance.
Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t anything more than what it initially appears to be, and for most viewers I imagine that’s going to be, not just fine, but positively super.
Furious 7 in almost all the ways that matter is every bit as entertaining as the three features that have preceded it.
Wyrmwood doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t shake up the zombie genre so much that it will never be the same afterwards. Yet it’s filled to the brim with indelible moments that joyfully take up space in the memory, showcases sequences of ingenuity and wit that had me rocking back and forth in my seat in total, unrestrained euphoria.
For the most part Kingsman: The Secret Service is made with gleeful anarchic relish, and at no point during its 129-minute running time did I feel bored or offended. Featuring crackerjack action sequences, laugh-out-loud moments of humor and emotional beats that caught me off-guard, in a lot of ways Vaughn’s latest is right up there with his best work as a director, the end product showcasing a confident maturity that’s sometimes been absent from a few of his previous endeavors.
And it’s beautiful. Beautiful because the Wachowski’s are reaching for the skies. Beautiful because the brother-sister directorial tandem doesn’t know when to quit and don’t have a clue as to how to keep their voluminous ambitions in check. Beautiful because the parts are so gorgeous and spellbinding I not-really-all-that-embarrassingly loved them more than I did what it was they ultimately added up to in the end.
Better, the director stages a climactic siege on a mysterious alien stronghold beautifully, and while there are plot holes to spare and clichés up the wazoo that somehow doesn’t make the finale any less suspenseful and exciting. It’s terrific, energizing stuff, and as silly as it all proves to be I can’t say I wasn’t happily smiling all the same by the time things finally came to their conclusion.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I is still skillfully made and Jennifer Lawrence is as good as ever as the young woman who must transform herself into a hero whether she wants to or not. Unlike the first two, though, this one feels far more engineered by a corporate committee than either of its predecessors did, diluting the emotional impact of all that’s transpiring for Katniss and her followers in the process.
You know what you’re going to be getting when it comes to The Expendables 3, so anyone buying a ticket shouldn’t be particularly shocked by the lo-fi ambiance of the visual esthetics or the third-rate nature of the script.