Morgan has its moments, just not enough of them to make up for its ample shortcomings, all of which results in a thriller that doesn’t thrill and a mystery few are going to care to learn the resolution of.
As a movie, there’s plenty here to respect. As entertainment, however, this is tough one to enjoy, all of which makes Criminal (2016) a vexing spectacle that’s hard to watch all the way through to its end.
Snyder’s Batman v Superman is loud, obnoxious, lacking in substance and barely lucid enough to make even the slightest modicum of sense. While not the worst superhero comic book adventure ever to grace the multiplex, it’s likely the most frustratingly disappointing, it’s failure unquestionably putting Warner and DC’s future plans in jeopardy.
What is learned, who is who and what is what, all of it matters, not just so much in regards to the greater picture as far as the new trilogy is concerned but also as it pertains to the narrative here. The filmmakers maintain remarkable focus, a singularity of purpose, doing yeoman’s work fleshing out Rey and Finn while also giving Solo an astonishing arc no fan of the series will ever be able to forget.
Filled with stellar visuals courtesy of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Walk), production designer Arthur Max (The Counselor) and a passel of exceedingly talented special effects technicians, centered around a funny, personable and altogether human performance from Damon ranking as one of his all-time best, [The Martian’s] 141 minutes breeze by in the blink of an eye, building to a confidently rousing finale that’s simply out of this world.
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.
An astonishing science fiction opus, Ex Machina is a smartly constructed three-character drama that deftly asks complex questions with marvelous, disquieting intimacy.
Monsters: Dark Continent is in many ways an attempt to transpose Full Metal Jacket or Black Hawk Down levels of realism into what initially appears to be nothing more than a B-grade riff on elements drawn from science fiction stalwarts as diverse as Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and “The Twilight Zone,” and for my part at least I found this particular meshing of genres and ideas continually fascinating.