John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Blade, Jester, Tunneler, Pinhead, Six Shooter, and Leech Woman are back! Okay, maybe that doesn't really warrant an exclamation mark, but this is the tentpole franchise of Full Moon Features, now reaching ten films in all (eleven if you count "Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys"). Writer/director/producer Charles Band is also back, but I was kind of disappointed by this sequel. Our WWII era heroes from the previous films, Danny and Beth, are back as well, though played by new actors, and find a post-WWII Nazi plot to create an army of their own evil puppets to do their bidding, using a Re-Animatior like green serum extracted from our puppet protagonists. Not that any of the films in this franchise are exactly brilliant, but this one felt too jokey. I did like it when the franchise introduced the Nazi storyline and had our homicidal puppet heroes fighting the Axis Powers, but this entry was just silly and also continued the unfortunate recent trend of Full Moon Features including casual racism, seen in this film with in addition of an evil Japanese puppet named Kamikaze. However, I do still enjoy watching little things fighting big things (i.e. "Attack of the Puppet People" "Dollman" "Child's Play" etc.) when it's not CGI, so even though this entry wasn't all that good, it did still entertain.
I generally enjoy the Puppet Master franchise, but this film was just, not as fun to watch as the others...
The final final chapter. So instead of another prequel, this picks up right where 9 left off with wannabe soldier Danny (Kip Canyon) being the new puppet master, and forming an impromptu plan to take down the Nazis who are camping out in Chinatown. The first thing that you notice if you've been keeping up with the series (like I know you have been) is that they've completely recast this thing; what, were big names like Levi Fiehler and Jenna Gallaher busy? Not that it really matters, as the acting in this one is on par with the rest of the series. I will give this tenth installment credit in that it does feel different from the other 9 movies. For one thing, this is the first movie that's shot in widescreen (16:9), not in full screen (4:3). It only took them 23 years to get on that bandwagon. Also, this is the first movie not to take itself too seriously. There's more of an attempt at humor, and you get stuff like puppets named Bombshell, who is essentially a puppet version of the fembot from Austin Powers with pop-out machine guns in the brassiere. It's also back to being racially unsound like 9 was, which brings us to the puppet Kamikaze. Puppets have never been able to talk in these movies (because THAT would be the step that takes it too far), but when called for, people can inexplicably understand their grunts as you would Lassie, or Chewbacca. Kamikaze, however, does manage to speak fluently in Japanese for no reason... I'm probably reading too deeply in to this. Once again, I stupidly got my hopes up when I saw that they actually have a puppet kill in the opening scene; maybe they've listened to their audience and decided to give them what they want... foiled again. It follows the same exact formula of saving everything you want to see for the last 10 - 15 minutes. To try and keep things spicy, this introduces 4 new Nazi puppets: In addition to Bombshell and Kamikaze, you also have Blitzkrieg and Weremacht. Of course, they aren't really given much to do, but at least a small effort was placed. This series has devolved into sexy Nazis and Army sergeants that speak in nothing but military clichés, which does work for the occasional laugh, but not much more than that. This ends up falling around the middle of the pack quality wise as far as Puppet Master standards go... which is still not very good. If you would like to gain perspective, this was released the same year Sinister came out; it is possible to do horror right on a low budget, all it takes is creativity.
There are 2 things the world and this film NEEDS more of...
More Puppet Action!
"I'm the boy who cried nazi."-Danny Coogan (Kip Carryon)
After Legacy almost killed off the PM franchise, Axis brings it back to good form. The best one since part 3.
"Hitler nazi, loving scum!"-Danny Coogan
I liked the movie. It was a great sequel to Axis Rising. The downfall of the latest installment is it's acting. The acting was poor but, story was a good finish.
Puppet Master X!!!!! Youd think that a series would be unwatchable by the 10th one but Axis Rising is awesome. the fx were good and the acting wasnt bad. you dont need to see the other movies either, you can just start with this one. it stands on its own. Puppet Master has always been the king of cheesy movies and they just keep gettin better
screams made for cable.
The puppets are back in a story that actually adds to the overall storyline created by the Puppet Master series. Unfortunately, while all our old faves are here... they don't do much. Thankfully Charles Band has introduced some new kick ass enemy puppets to fill that void and they do so with a bang!
Great addition to the franchise that fans are sure to love.
You can read my review here - http://geektasticfilmreviews.blogspot.com/2012/11/puppet-master-x-axis-rising.html