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Wow. Christpher Nolan, ladies and gentlemen. A round of applause please. At this point, everyone should know who this guy is and his reputation. With movies like Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy under his belt, he's made his mark on hollywood. But with greatness, comes great criticism and expectations. And as such, every endeavor that he embarks upon becomes more and more difficult as expectations become sky rocketed. Once again however, Nolan manages to blow away with his movie Interstellar, showcasing once again that movies are evolving and that thinking outisde the box and not being limited by a sense of realism and embracing imagination can make a great movie.
The thing about it is, as with most of his movies, the plot is so intricately woven into the movie, to discuss, at any point or in any way, can lead to spoilers and it would be a disservice to you to do that. So while this may make this review a bit difficult, I'll try my best to be as vague as possible, and as objective. In a nutshell, Interstellar's about a guy travelling into outer space for a reason as mankind is suffering from extinction. That is literally all I can tell you without spoiling anything. Before going to this movie, it's important that you need to be able to open your mind; and use your imagination. The plot is science heavy and involves a lot of 'what ifs' with themes like space travel and gravity. It's obvious that Nolan did his homework, but make no mistake; this is a science fiction movie and as such, there'll reach a point in the movie where you'll either say 'I don't think this makes sense' or 'this is ridiculous'. The important thing is to let your imagination loose and sit down and enjoy the ride.
There are a lot of plot twists and revevlations as the movie goes along, because its not like any of his movies are ever simple. Some are predictable but most will genuinely surprise you. The plot is in no way predictable however, even if you've seen the trailers. I, myself, had not seen any trailers and as such walked into the movie not knowing what to expect and am so glad I did. It goes in one direction and is linear in a way but as the movie progresses it starts to open up. Granted that when it starts to open up a bit too much is when the problems start happening but I'll get to that later. The movie is tense for most of its run time of 3 hours and 10 minutes, with an initial slow start, but that's required to set up the story. Its never boring nor does it distract you at all; it's like he knew what audiences expected with regards to the plot and decided to give it to them.
As there are a lot of expectations of Nolan, there are also a lot of expectations for Matthew McConaughey as this is his first movie after the award winning Dallas buyers Dallas. And as usual, Nolan picks wisely. Matthew is THE actor meant to play the role of the character Cooper. Not just Matthew, but almost every single character in this movie is played inccredibly well by their respective actor with a special shout out, as always, to Michael Caine, who just shatters hearts every time he's on screen, just like he did as Alfred in the Dark Knight trilogy. The performances are great and they're coupled with a great script, while though cheesy at times, have some humour as well.
The special effects were gorgeous, but that comes with the territory of a "Nolan" movie. Gorgeous shots of earth, other galaxies, solar systems, black holes. The directing and the cinematography are one of a kind. It's similar to gravity but while gravity had actual shots of real time space, which in itself is impressive, its also the reason why it took 10-12 years to make. Nolan uses CGI but does it so well that he makes your imagination a reality. How do you think a black hole really looks? He shows you in this movie. I'm still sitting here remembering how gorgeous it is and I'm still in awe. This is definitely a movie you NEED to see in Cinema. It would be an injustice for you to watch this (legally *cough*) on your laptop or on DVD or blu-ray whenever it comes out. Christopher Nolan has been known to redefine the cinematic experience and once again, he has.
I can't finish this review without mentioning the soundtrack; once again, Hans Zimmer just demolishes all other movie soundtracks. He manages to capture every rise, every fall, every tense scene, every emotional scene with just the right music which swells and dims with perfect timing. By now, the man's practically perfected movie soundtracks and should be listing his services out to hollywood on a whole.
Now the movie's plot is great, not to mention ambitious; and its a clear reflecction of not only christopher nolan's vision but his imagination. It's grounded on realism till a point where they really go out there. When it starts to branch out at this point, plot holes start forming. Not only that, but some of the characters go through some drastic changes that aren't really highlighted, probably due to time skips, which in their defense, is not entirely their fault. It tends to fall apart a bit but manages to keep standing till the end. The ending is a bit hollywood-y but still manages to have the christopher nolan flare. That last 45 minutes? Best you bring a condom because its going to eff your brain up good. The only other complaints I have are that sometimes the music was a bit too loud but that may have been due to the theatre I was in and that some of the secondary characters felt like they were just thrown in there because we needed to have 'this' role and 'that' role.
So in conclusion; should you see this movie? Yes. Yes you should. It's heavily sci-fi based so I imagine that it may not be for everyone. But give it a chance; you may never know if you like it. Nolan and sci-fi fans? Stop reading this review right now and go see it. You owe it to yourself. A great plot coupled with some of the most gorgeous cinematography I've ever seen and music that'll make you feel like things like you never have, well, if you've never seen a Nolan movie before, Interstellar delivers on everything Nolan promised. though it may fall apart slightly in the final act, this can be looked past as the movie just gets so much done right. Astonishing, Nolan. Look forward to your next masterpiece. 9.5/10
Garden state was one of the best movies I've ever had the joy of watching, minus the ending. It was Zach Braff's directional debut and that was almost 10 years ago. Now he got a kickstarter for his new movie 'Wish I was here'. Is it any good and was it worth the wait? Yes and no.
The thing about Braff is that he has a tendency to make movies about life while involving his own original splicing of script. The movie's about a dad who's trying to get closer to his kids going through problems in his family coupled with the diagnosis of cancer to his father. There are a lot of familial and relatable issues surrounding the movie, and this is where Braff shines. He's got a way of bringing out the most tear-jerking of scenes in movies and he does this expertly in this one. The movie's got a lot of heart, too much at times.
The plot is all over the place and to be honest, the movie just felt like a stringing together of heartfelt scenes for the 2 hour run time. I mean, sure you get the feels, but you don't really know why you are. There are some people who can be okay with this and just love the movie for what it is, but there are others like me, who see the potential of what could have been, and become disappointed that he decided to play it safe. Braff has covered all of these themes already in his previous movies; he never really steps out and tries to do anything different. I am of course, comparing this to his previous movies. With respect to movies in general, its got some unique qualities; from his vivid imagination, to the random amount of Jewish jokes. Go figure.
The movie's pace is slow and by the time you reach the halfway point, there are so many heartfelt scenes that you become exhausted. There's only so much emotion you can put in a movie; you need to balance it out with other factors like action or plot. The cast is solid though; with Hudson playing an amazing wife and Thudium as an amaing father. I've never seen him in anything actually. The kids also were well portrayed and they brought a sense of innocence to an already dark movie. Something as simple and him teaching his daughter to swim; there's just something so enjoyable in that. Other characters were of convenience; they needed a prodigal son for the climax return and they needed to create a work scenario for Hudson to have some kind of impact on the story.
I cannot review this movie without mentioning the soundtrack. Like all his movies or movies of this genre, I was just blown away by the originality and appropriateness of the music. I especially loved that Coldplay created an original song called 'Wish I was here'. The thing I loved is that they played that song at the most random of times; they didn't play it when something big happened or at the end; the played it when he was talking to his kids and spending time with his family. It helped to reinforce Braff's type of themes; all of which involves having feels.
Truth is, while disappointing that he played it safe and that the plot was all over the place at times and its a slow paced movie, it was still a good one. Fans of this type of movie will love it; fans of Zach Braff probably helped the kickstarter by donating cash. All in all, a good movie. 7/10
There are many movies, especially comedy movies, that sacrifice a good plot in order to create a scenario. Sometimes the plot is so ridiculous that it becomes part of the humour; for example, in 'This is the end.' I thought that was the strangest movie I have ever seen but World's end is, by a long shot, the weirdest movie I have ever seen. This is good and bad; good in the sense that it's got some original material which I can praise; bad in the sense that sometimes there are scenes and jokes that are completely irrelevant or out of timing with what's going on screen, which can break the comedic buildup.
If I tried to explain this plot to you, I'd sound ridiculous. Although granted you can see it from the trailer, so you can just go watch it there. All I can say is that its a bunch of friends who go on a journey full of drinking around england. It's been done before and in that sense, there's no real new things brought to the table by the movie; but the script is good at times and this is helped by the chemistry of the actors as well as the characters.
A lot of the jokes are fast, which is to be expected of english humour. Some may like this, others may not. This also causes jokes to fall flat a lot of times because its a frequently used device in the comedic routine. The plot may not be predictable, but the characters are in a sense, which leads to some level of disappointment as I feel they kept very stereotypical characters and as such, couldn't allow them to branch out. There's the married guy that can't do anything; the single guy who wants to sleep with everything with a pulse, the guy who's got a romantic crush on someone in the group; you get the picture. Thing about it is, if you love Simon Pegg movies, you're going to love this one.
There are a lot of times its actually funny and will have you saying 'wtf' out loud. It's also recommended that you watch it with a group of friends who have similar comedic taste as you'll enjoy it more, especially if its a guys' lime movie. Still, recommended as a rental. As the finale in the Pegg trilogy, it's a good sendoff. 6.5/10
Let's be cops is a generic comedy that is saved by the chemistry of its two main actors; Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson. They've had chemistry as friends since they're already on the New Girl, which is a show I enjoy and it was nice to see their chemistry come out on the big screen. Interestingly enough, they played almost the exact same characters; this could be construed to some as playing it safe but it can also be viewed as playing to their strengths. They type of comedy is immature combined with talking really fast coupled with wit. It's not for everyone but for people who are accustomed to their type of humour, will enjoy this movie.
It tells the tale of two guys who are at points in their life where they don't know where they are going; so to spice things up, they decide to become cops for halloween which goes awry when they end up getting involved in a drug bust. It's not the most riveting or sensible of plots but its just barely enough to push the movie forward. I saw this because you wouldn't watch this type of movie for plot but for the comedy, and on that, it delivers, a good amount of times.
Sometimes the jokes really hit home and its backed up and made so much better by their chemistry but there are other times they fall flat. It'll bring out the kid in you though, especially if you ever wondered what being a cop is like as the movie covers all the parts of being one. Characters were not very interesting and they randomly manage to have andy garcia make a cameo. He was too serious for the film and to be honest, his parts weren't very good. Nina Dobrev, I'm convinced, can never not look hot; Christ.
The thing about it is that you'll either like it a lot or you won't be interested. It's generic in the sense that all the types of jokes have been done before and that the plot is terrible and predictable and in movies like this, sometimes they confuse themes of comedy and darkness which tends to dampen the humour; this unfortunately happened. Still, worth a rental. I had a good few laughs, but that's because maybe i'm slightly biased to Damon and Jake's type of humour. 6/10
We all worry about sequels to good movies. Sometimes franchises should be left at the first entry; and a lot of times, sequels capitalize on the success of the first movie and ride the coat tails of said success. However, once in a while, sequels can actually be great; evevn better than the original. In this case, luckily, How to train your dragon 2 is in a lot of ways, better than the original.
Before even getting into the plot, let me just start off by saying this movie is incredibly gorgeous and I regret not seeing it in cinema. The animations are some of the best and most realistic I've ever seen and the vast world that is to be discovered is beautiful. It's so good that there's a scene where Toothless imitates Hiccup and it looks so real that you can't help but laugh. Despite the imaginitive aspect of the movie, they ground it in realism to a point with expressions and the plot
Now getting into the plot, it starts off mundane and its predictable, but there are a plot twist here and there to keep it interesting and push the movie forward but the plot's enriched by some stellar voice performances by the main cast. With an incredibly well written and witty script along with some great humour, it's an all round good movie. The intended audience is a bit vague as some of the scenes are very dark and speak of death and killing so i'm not sure if they were trying to only aim for children. There's something for everyone though; with mature themes of responsibility, family, and finding one's purprose. This of course is helped by the fact that the movie has got a lot of heart.
Toothless, once again, makes the movie. He's funny, original, and carries the movie in terms of both main and supporting cast. As such, it is recommended that you see this movie. It was enjoyable, gorgeous, with a lot of great themes. 9/10
Locke is movie about a man who's life falls apart while on a car ride across state. The plot may be mundane with no real twists or turns, but it's Tom Hardy's spectacular performance that makes this movie a must see, even for those who aren't fans of the genre.
Without revealing too much, Locke, played by Tom Hardy, is a construction worker who is well respected, honest and a good man who happens to make a mistake. Rather than run from it, he decides to own up to it, which manages to give the character some level of redemption. As the journey progresses, we're given bits and pieces of information about what's going on and who are the people in his life. The contrast, change and pace of the movie is handled so well from start to finish that the movie never runs out of steam, which is something that tends to happen in movies of this genre.
Hardy completely devotes himself to the character; showcasing a range of emotions, from happiness, sadness, depression, and even moments of psychosis. To be honest, if it were in the hands of another actor who couldn't deliver the source material so well, the movie may have flopped, but Hardy is amazing. The way he sighs when he receives bad news; the way he tries to smile but tears are falling down his face when he speaks to his son; the way he, despite everything that is happening, tries to keep it all together; it's very believable and Hardy tugs at your heart strings for sympathy. Initially, you just know what happened, but by the end of the journey when you see what he's been through and what he's lost, you sympathize with him and want him to have a happy ending. It's just a testament to his acting as this is Hardy's show. The other characters are just voices, not on screen. He even manages to show great chemistry with them despite the fact that you can't see them, which again, is just because Hardy's such a damn good actor. His Welsh accent too, is thick and sold.
But while it's got strengths, it's also got weakness. Firstly, I feel like they really tried too hard to centre the plot around concrete. I get that that was his job and it was a sort of plot device to push the movie forward and keep it interesting but they devoted a bit too much screen time in my opinion to it. Also, randomly during the movie, he displays transient bouts of psychosis, which, by all means, is done incredibly well by Hardy, but these scenes seem out of place as they have no real impact or connection to the issues which were being dealt with. There may be a stretchable connection, but that sort of ruined the moments for me. A final complaint is the ending; which felt a bit pre-mature and rushed for me. I felt like the movie still had another 10 minutes or should have had it since there were plot holes and questions which won't be answered.
However, despite these flaws, Locke is a good movie showing once again, not only is Tom Hardy a great actor, but movies like this CAN actually work if you've got a good script and a capable actor. Lock this one down. 8/10
As the first animated movie based on Rocksteady's Arkham universe, Assault on Arkham has a lot to live up to; and satisfyingly, it does. It manages to defy expectations and is worthy of the Arkham title.
Interestingly enough, the movie's not all about Batman; it's actually about the Suicide squad. The movie's a sequel to the Arkham Origins game and picks up right where they left off, well, despite no Deathstroke. Instead, we get a list of C villains who, voiced by some great voice actors, manage to entertain and surprise largely due to the well written script and humour that is evoked through various character interactions. Deadshot's the 'main character' if you will, and he makes a great one; managing to sort of replace Batman in terms of lead role. The movie's pretty dark though; with extreme violence and times and gore, but nothing too sadistic to be worried about, especially after the likes of "Flash point paradox" .
It's a gorgeous movie that's well animated and its packed with action. In fact, I'd have to say there are no slow portions of the movie; it's incredibly well paced and when the action is happening, it's fantastic. Batman kicks ass as usual, despite some of the usual 'he can't actually do all that because he's human but meh; He's Batman'. There are easter eggs all over for fans of the franchise; Two Face, Ivy, and of course, how could I forget the Joker. About half way in he's introduced and as always, he completely steals the show. Troy Baker just owns the character and I should mention that it's so great to have Kevin Conroy as Batman again, despite that he had minimal activity in this one.
It's not all great though; with some plot holes and an awkward time line based on the universe I'm well versed in; on top of that, because they're C list villains, though I don't recall seeing some of them in the comics, some of them were killed off and I thought that was a little excessive. Black Spider being the most disappointing as he had such a great introduction and was sacrificed for a plot twist; granted I saw it coming, it was still a good one. It's unfortunately also got that hollywood blockbuster movie ending which sets up, possibly, either another movie or to continue in the game, which is not necessarily a bad thing; just felt cheesy.
All in all, Assault on Arkham is a good movie and just goes to show that even movies based on games can actually be good, given that they stick to the source material and that they have a good script. All DC animated fans will love it; and all fans of Rocksteady's Batman franchise, probably already own it as I speak. Nicely done, DC. Another one in the vault. 8.0/10
22 Jump street is the sequel to 21 JS, one of the surprise comedic gems back in 2012. It manages to be consistently funny but with a re-hashing of the same plot which was already not that interesting to begin with and re-used jokes, it doesn't have quite the same effect as its predecessor. What the plot does do however, is open up the movie for ridiculous scenarios for comedy.
So Tatum and Hill are back and the humour is abundant. It's not for everyone though as its mostly homo-erotic jokes mixed with over-dramatic relationship moments between their characters. If you're a fan of this type of comedy, I think you'll love this movie. However, this was already done in the 1st movie which is what made it funny. To have repeats of the same types of jokes in a sequel, you can't exxpect to have the same outcome. Tatum is a bit stiff too, but he's hilarious when he's being an idiot or a jock. Hill, on the other hand, disappoints. He's more of a depressed-type funny tihs time around but it doesn't really work. As with the previous movie, the comedy works best when they're on screen together; showcasing their difference in opinions and insecurities and neediness.
The script on the other hand is interesting, in that, with respect to the plot? It's ridiculous. But there are a lot of inside jokes about sequels and prequels and on the nose puns which are hilarious. While the movie can be consistently funny, there are some stand out moments with the Captain/ daughter joke and Jenko's late reaction being the highlight. Also, the movie has one of the best credit sequences I have ever seen. Putting that in there, even though they didn't need to, just helped to make the movie more likeable.
So while the plot's the same, a lot of the jokes are the same and there are times its not that funny, 22 Jump Street has a consistent level of humour that delivers that's complimented by a tailored script. If you're a fan of the 1st, you'll love this one. 6.5/10
Sex tape has its moments but ultimately fails to deliver on a whole because its bogged down by a terrible script. As always, Jason Siegel has incredible comedic potential; he has this natural charisma that just makes anything funny if he puts enough effort into it. However, he was a bit stiff in a lot of scenes in this movie; i'm not sure why. Diaz on the other hand, plays the same role in almost every movie she's in; neurotic, talks really fast and doesn't really have the comedic stature that Jason has; she does deliver in some scenes though but its largely due to the fact that they both have good chemistry which makes the movie watchable. While 'Bad Teacher' was a decent movie, it served to highlight that Jason and Diaz do in fact have chemistry and can be funny together on screen as a leading duo.
Sadly, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the movie. I hate when that happens. The plot's nothing at all and barely pushes the movie forward but then again, you don't expect a plot in this type of movie. It does however give the movie chances to go hilarious places, and for all the unfunny moments there are, there are some pretty good ones as well. From Jason asking Siri how to resuscitate a dog and siri responding with Starbucks locations; to the various positions that they do on the tape and Jason Siegel's face is just golden. Forgettable secondary characters, and no real heart just serve to highlight some of the flaws of the movie. The sad thing is that it's a funny premise and I feel they could have done so much more with this movie but it just manages to fall flat, whether because of them trying too hard or the comedic scene being too over the top; or just being completely unfunny.
A serviceable comedy that just manages to show that even with a terrible script and plot, Siegel can still make you laugh. My gosh though; talk about blowing smoke up Apple's ass. The product placement and mentions were ridiculous. Passable movie. 4.5/10
Under the skin starring Scarlett Johanson is a loose movie adaptation of the famous novel that manages to capture so much with such little said. It's movies like this that win the awards at Sundance festival; directors with a vision and who manage to really bring out on screen what movies were destined to be; art.
Before starting this review really, the backdrop must be established. This movie is entirely up to the perspective of the audience; it's either you walk into the movie and leave understanding something or understanding nothing at all. The beauty of it is that two very similar people can walk into the movie and come out with completely different interpretations of what happened. Scarlett Johanson's character is an alien of sorts and the majority of the movie is spent showcasing her luring her victims, mostly weak willed and easily manipulated men to have intercourse with her. At some point though, something changes in her, without spoiling too much, and thus begins a journey of self-discovery. In all honesty, the plot is incredibly mundane and unimpressive; but it's the packaging that manages to surprise. Director blah blah finds a way to show humanity from an outsider's perspective, managing to both alienate and capture the audience.
He does this by showcasing humanities most obvious qualities; our perceptions, our values, our flaws and our strengths. Showing how selfish humans can be; how oblivious to things we are; how we're lonely and want companionship and sometimes ignore the shape and form it comes in due to depression; but at the same time, shows us kindness; not only of family but of strangers; of being a good samaritan; he shows that it's not right to judge a book by its cover. Finally, to bring it full cycle, he shows humanity's vanity; their capability for being evil and disgusting; resenting. It's amazing that this is all open to interpretation as the dialogue is minimal and all this must be inferred from the scenes. I imagine that this can be very frustrating for people who aren't able to see or who flat out aren't interested in delving that deep into the plot of the movie.
Scarlett Johanson impresses once again (after her performance in Her) with her complete commitment to the character. She has looks of complete and utter wonder while observing humanity; she manages to portray a sexy, erotic and desirable woman which is bound to make most men mentally retarded for her, and she helps to encapsulate that by complete frontal nudity for the first time; I imagine the director needed this to be an important part of the character and Johanson did well; when she stands and looks at her body in front of the mirror, she manages to evoke a sense of bewilderment as to how attractive she really is perceived to be by men. She delivers many emotions from curiosity to fear to warmth and kindness to genuine care. It's developed really well by the character and Johanson just serves to really sell the audience. Other characters are minimal; there's this guy on a motorcycle but no one knows what the hell was the point of him; I don't even think the writer knew.
The directing done is fabulous and its complimented incredibly well by the music. From shots of humans living their lives trying to infer that we're mundane but then transfer to shots of her character being interested was great; this is contrasted to disturbing scenes scattered throughout the movie. From the get-go, the first scene lets you know what you're in for; an odd movie. The music is creepy and the atmosphere that the movie goes for is one of solitude which is very remnant of Gravity. It's done so well that you genuinely feel uncomfortable during scenes because you don't know what's going to happen. That's another positive of the movie, but may be considered a negative by others; if you didn't read the book, you have no idea what's going to happen. It's one of those movies where you simply cannot predict the next scene and in a world where movies have become incredibly predictable, that's a breath of fresh air.
In terms of negatives, I was a bit mentally exhausted by the end as there was a lot of things I had to infer and as such, I imagine that this type of movie will be a huge turn off for the majority of audiences. It's simply not a normal movie; and as such, will not be interpreted as anything else other than that. It also left a lot to be desired in terms of plot as not even in the source material were some of the things explained, supposedly leaving it up to the reader and viewer's imagination. This kind of mechanic can be both a pro and a con. Also, as much as I enjoyed the movie, the ending was very unsatisfying; and after reading how the book ended, I really don't understand why they never went that way as it would have made not only more sense, but have a greater impact.
Overall, a unique and eerie movie that was well deserving of the title 'artsy fartsy', given by a friend of mine. It manages to disgust, to shock and to make you feel uncomfortable; which would be representative of how an actual alien would feel if they were on earth. Directors need to adopt more methods like this as it really helps to not only make a movie great, but they would get to showcase their vision and imagination instead of submitting to hollywood's tropes. I also understand that not everyone can due to contracts and visions of the people who fund the movies; but that doesn't mean appreciation can't be give to someone who tries something different. Watch it with the lights off and a good audio system and let the uncomfortable feelings commence. 8/10
Yet another Marvel blockbuster movie for the summer. Marvel has had enough practice and by now there are certain expectations to be had. GOTG manages to meet most of them and as such, is a entertaining, fun ride that audiences will enjoy.
In essence, GOTG is like an Avenger's movie of unorthodox and unexpected heroes. It sets up the plot as a backdrop, introduces the characters, forms a relationship between them, gives them a reason to fight and they save the galaxy. Granted that this kind of movie has been done tons of times and Avengers on a whole has done this multiple times, it's how well the movie does it that manages to surprise. While Avengers had multiple movies as a set up for their film, GOTG has none; this is their first installment and director James Gunn somehow manages to jam pack story, character development, action and some great special effects in just under two hours. Before even commenting further, this must be pointed out because it's an impressive accomplishment. However, it's because all these were jam packed into 120 minutes that the movie suffers but I'll get to that later on.
As previously said, the plot's been done before. And as always, it's not a plot in solitude; it's a plot meant to intertwine with the cohesive marvel universe that they're currently creating. The story sort of falls into the background and isn't all that interesting, minus the Avenger's reference here and there. What's interesting is the characters and their dynamic. These aren't the most original characters, mind you, with the main character being immediately similar to that of Captain Kirk from Star Trek, but that isn't to say that Pratt doesn't do his role well. He does it incredibly well, in fact. From his charisma, arrogance to his comedic timing and even his dance moves, Pratt owns Peter's character and also manages to convey a variation of emotions for the movie. Zoe Saldana, as Grimora, is both sexy and badass and manages to counter Peter's asinine personality as well as compliment it. Cooper as rocket and Batista and Drax (who kind of looks like Kratos from God of War) were also likeable characters and of course, let's not forget the fan favourite that is sure to be loved by kids and adults who are children at heart, Groot, who is voiced by Vin Diesel, surprisingly.
Don't get me wrong; these characters are all very likeable and their interactions are great, which is helped by a well written script that is hilarious, witty and even dark at times. But there was an interesting mechanic that was implemented that I haven't seen done in a long time; Gunn decided to give all the characters equal screen time. Usually in a movie with multiple characters like this, even if its subconsciously, directors tend to give some characters more screen times than others and as such, they are more fleshed out and better developed, as well as enjoyable. But Gunn went in a different direction that is both risky and admirable. By giving everyone equal screen time, there's no 'best' character. All the characters are equally good and it's up to the audience to pick and choose their favourite, if they so desire. However, it's because the screen time was split so evenly, none of the characters are too deep and end up remaining superficial for the majority of the movie. Peter had a rough childhood but they never comment on how besides his mother passing; Grimora mentions she has father issues and doesn't like Ronan but they never really get into their relationship; Rocket and Groot, while eagerly try to be the most emotional, especially Groot, has no real backstory for the audience to feel too shifted when they experience hardships; and finally, Drax was the most disappointing as they just mention his wife and child's death but never dwell on it for more than 2 minutes. His anger is transient, and sadly, unbelievable.
What they do different from Avengers that I really enjoyed was their reasoning for wanting to save the galaxy. The Avengers were just a group of superheroes that were put together and decided 'Okay, we're going to save the world.'. In the context of GOTG, it made sense. Peter wanted to save the galaxy because he wanted to live in it; Grimora, in order to stop her father, Groot and Rocket initially for bounty then because of the team and Drax, again while disappointing, for vengeance for his wife and child. Their camaraderie is centered around the idea of friendship and rather dying around friends than enemies and while a bit cheesy, manages to be packed with enough heart to be felt. Sadly, the same can't be said for other characters. Ronan and Thanos (finally), were more like cameos as they had no real motive other than just being evil and unfortunately, the ending fight was very anti-climactic. I suppose however that they were cool enough as villains for this to be overlooked by most.
The special effects were incredible and complimented the action well, and boy, was there action. Fights were well choreographed and to tell you the truth, the action for the movie was so well done that it just served to highlight how disappointing the final confrontation was. The special effects coupled with the fantastic cinematography showcasing nebulae, stars and various planets and solar systems was jaw-dropping. Certainly made the 3D worth it, in my opinion. Another strength of the movie was that it was never dull or boring; something interesting was always happening on screen. The movie also didn't waste any time going into the lore of GOTG comic that much as they just dropped information on the audience and expected you to pay attention, like who was the Nova Core and the bounty hunters, etc. I appreciated this as it was nice not to be treated like an invalid, and you were rewarded for paying attention with enjoying the movie even more. The soundtrack must also be praised as its filled from songs from the 80's as Peter is a child of the 80's. They manage to fit in music so appropriately at times that I found myself humming the song even after the scene was finished.
All in all, GOTG was a good movie and an addition to the Marvel vault. While it was certainly not the best, which in my opinion still belongs to Captain America; The Winter Soldier, it did what it was supposed to do; it was an enjoyable, fun and entertaining ride with loveable characters and yet another fragment of set up for the next avengers movie and addition to the marvel universe. Marvel took a big risk with this, introducing a new franchise with just one installment and so much to tell, but the risk paid off. 8/10
Rio 2 manages to bring back the great cast from the first one, but like most sequels, plays it safe with a mundane plot and corny jokes with a colour asthetic that could give someone seizures.
The plot this time around is extremely forgettable and predicatble; it's been done so many times before and it doesn't even try to venture out of its safe zone. The cast returns but is incredibly boring, with a script that induces sleep. It's awkwardly coupled with a lot of active dancing sequences and a random cameo from Bruno Mars who tries his best to liven up the movie but fails as the strategy is defeated by the fact that the audience will have no interest in the movie or its characters.
Sadly, it doesn't stop there. The hearty moments don't feel genuine; they feel forced and predictable, which makes an already less than average movie less enjoyable. I will praise the attempts to involve culture and the treasure of music and dancing on a whole, but its just bogged down by things and characters you care nothing about. This is severely disappointing as I loved the first movie with its interesting characters and deep moments about finding out who you are and being yourself. The movie tries to show that Blu has become to human-oriented in that he doesn't do things like a normal bird; he uses human tools in order to achieve his everyday tasks but there's no real battle here as the counter arguments that the movie presents for this is nil. Why would I care about a character who is being forced to change for no good reason?
Overall, an extreme disappointment and to be honest, I even imagine the children who this movie is aimed at, becoming bored as well. Not even worth a rental. 3/10
In the summer of 2014, there have been blockbuster action movies, movies about pain and loss and other genres, but I find that the comedy genre for the summer hasn't been abundant at all. Here comes Chef, a movie written and directed by Jon Favreau that manages to deliver with its witty script and charming cast along with an immense amount of heart.
The plot's not the most demanding or difficult to follow; El Jefe (Favreau) is a chef that's very talented and been stuck in a job where he's unhappy and can't cook to his heart's content and as a result, ends up getting a bad review from a praised critic and ends up getting fired. While this serves as the plot introducer, the backbone of the story is really the relationship with his son, or lack there of. He's been so focused on his passion for cooking that his family life has suffered and as such, doesn't have a relationship with his son prior to the events of the movie. This is the movie's greatest strength; as they completely sell the audience on the relationship and it's incredibly rewarding to see the relationship develop and grow such that by the end of the movie, it's a believable change. It is of course helped by the fact that Favreau and Anthony (the son) have great chemistry together on screen.
What also compliments the strengths of this movie is the pacing; it doesn't overdo the drama between them; it manages to give you small doses of tender, emotional moments between him and his son as he tries to get to know him, teach him what he's learnt and they grow to really love each other. I cannot stress how incredibly well paced the relationship was handled; it never became tiresome, boring or unbelievable. The various themes also helped to sell the movie's message of having a passion but not forgetting the important things in life such as family. One of these themes was inter-generational methods of communication. Social media such as facebook and twitter were integrated into the movie and his son was able to use that to help not only boost the popularity of El Jefe's food, but also show his father that there was something he could bring to the table, so to speak. Seeing him teach his dad what a vine video was, how to have a twitter account as well as posting the pictures on facebook was very sweet and helped to bridge the gap between them.
In terms of secondary characters, there were some good cameos but some of them were forgettable. One that wasn't though was Leguizamo's character who brought a charm to the cast that was complimented very well by not only other actors but the script as well. It's witty, smart and genuinely funny at times, granted they fell back on some cliche lines here and there. The other thing to mention was the music; it was a cross between mexican and latin along with remixes of some songs that managed to suit each situation they were played. I found myself humming the themes to the songs even after they were finished, which was a sign that it had be interested.
Overall, a good movie with a ton of heart that manages to deliver on the comedy and family drama aspect coupled with some good character growth; that's always a good recipe for a good movie. I warn you though; watch this on a full stomach otherwise you'll be miserable for most of it. The food was amazing. 8/10
This is a coming of age movie following the life of Sutter, played by Miles Tellar, as he encounters what almost every teenager faces around graduation; the prospect of the future. He's into living in the 'now' and loving life and as such, hasn't taken life seriously. He suffers a break up and then meets Amiee, played by Shailene Woodley; a nice, innocent girl who has big plans for the future. The movie's mainly about these two characters but it's not just about a love story; it's about teenage life and facing the challenges that come with it. This is a popular genre of late and although they don't bring anything particularly new to the table, the performances and script are still great are more than enough reason to warrant a viewing.
The two characters contrast each other very well; with him being the party boy who's just into drinking beer and having a good time while she's the stay at home hard worker who studies and follows her parent's wishes. They highlight each other's strengths and flaws and it makes for some great character interactions. This is helped by the amazing chemistry that Tellar and Woodley have; they're electrifying on screen, their romance is believable and very sweet.
Sutter has familial problems and while it looks like he tries to help Aimee with hers, she ultimately ends up helping him with his. Again, this has been done before but there's just something about Woodley; she's incredibly gorgeous, stunning, funny and charming; she's innocent and sweet and you just buy into her character completely. Sutter is another story; as a character, there are times he's very inconsistent, but maybe this was meant to portray the spectrum of teenagers and how they are. Initially it's frustrating but as Sutter develops, you feel a sense of reward for investment in his character. The only problem is that, just like typical romantic movies, his development comes right at the end so you're stuck being upset with him until then.
It's a simple movie; it doesn't try for an over-arching plot with plot twists nor does it try to over-complicate itself. This is both a pro and a con as by the time the curtains fall, you realize that the movie played it safe and the story has some loopholes with an incredibly abrupt ending. There are a few scenes that don't really fit the general tone of the movie, but I can't really talk about them as that'd be spoilerific. It was sadly predictable due to its simplicity and attempted cliche pulls on the heart strings.
Overall, a good movie that you can't help but feel could have been better. The primary reason would be to watch for the amazing chemistry that Tellar and Woodley have; I reiterate that she's just so sweet and one of the most likeable characters I've seen in a long time. While it doesn't bring anything new to this genre, it should still be viewed by fans of this type of a movie; be forewarned that it's a slow movie and takes time to develop, so it's not for everyone. Woodley, you've won my heart. 7/10
Not many actors can carry a ridiculous plot that goes nowhere yet manage to keep the genre of movie they're in entertaining, or in this case, funny. Luckily, Jason Bateman is one of those actors that can. Bad words is a story about a 40 year old man who enters spelling bees to win the prize money. Yes. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. But somehow, Bateman manages to find his niche in comedy with the style being dry and incredibly sarcastic with profanities everywhere.
He manages to befriend a little indian kid and makes so many racist comments that it'll sure to offend most people; but here's the thing, he's actually funny. Bateman's delivery is top notch and his facial expressions as he denotes his 'not caring' sentiment is always sure to make you laugh. His lifelessness as he curses profanities is just well done and it just goes to show how funny he really is as an actor. There are no memorable secondary characters but you won't really care as Bateman is the real reason you watch this movie.
There isn't much to say about the movie other than that because there's not much else to the movie. Bateman and the kid have a surprisingly great chemistry and they play off each other very well. The problem is that the plot is ridiculous until near the end when they reveal to you the true intentions, but by the time this happens, the viewer has already, if not consciously, subconsciously, decided what type of movie this is; a funny movie with no plot so just enjoy the ride. They try to put in a little bit of heart, which is sweet, when using their relationship, but with everything else, it falls flat as so much work is put into making Bateman's character such a douche.
The movie's not for everyone as there are so much profanities I know it's bound to turn off a large audience. However, fans of Bateman and this type of comedy will enjoy. 6.5/10
Explosions. That's pretty much the only thing that can summarize this movie. TAOE is a sequel to the most recent movie only by name; it fails utterly in terms of substance, story and well paced action and overall is a subpar movie.
Transformers is an aging franchise; this is the 4th movie in the iteration and as such, it's starting to show by producing an incredibly repetitive plotline; bad guys threaten earth, transformers are lost and suddenly make a comeback, with an upgrade preferably, and in the end defeat the bad guys with no real loss minus a character here and there, who never even had enough screen time for the loss to really impact the audience. Bay has been known to show style over substance in his movies, but at least in the previous ones, he had a sort of balance between the two. From the get-go, it's just non-stop action and by the half hour mark, you get tired of it.
One of the things that made the Transformers good was the fact that between the action sequences, the character moments were enjoyable; whether it be hilarious or tender and sweet. This was helped by the fact that Shia LeBouf's character was actually likeable and a good lead. (Never thought i'd say that either.) Mark Walberg; not so much. He's got no real depth and i'm not completely sure if it's his fault because the script is terrible as well. Uninspiring, unoriginal, one liners, terrible comebacks, no wit, on the nose 'humour' and incredibly out of timing lines from certain characters, especially the daughter's boyfriend. There's no real enjoyment to be had here and it makes teh movie difficult to watch as not even Optimus Prime has good lines, which is usually the saving grace of these movies. With no enjoyable script, this leads to a certain attitude towards the movie; you just keep waiting for the characters to shut up until the next action scene, which is already grown repetitive, and with the movie's long run length, the movie becomes more of a chore to watch than an experience.
This leads me into its biggest flaw; you just don't care about what happens in the movie. It's amazing that in every movie they introduce new Autobots and Decepticons but they never talk that much for you to get a feel for their character so if they are killed, losses fall flat. Fan favourites like Optimus and Bumblebee return, but they have no real development or good script. In the entire 2 hour and 45 minute run time, I don't I even remember seeing any conversation between Prime and Bumblebee, yet as the audience, we had to sit there and listen to the samurai autobot talk about his peaceful mantra only to end up killing something within the next 30 seconds; or the thick autobot talk about how he enjoys killing, and introduce the very cliche 'middle man' autobot who you aren't sure who's side he's on.
These secondary characters would have been okay if they had not given them so much screen time and actually given Prime and Bumblebee more screen time, or even introduce a likeable autobot. An enjoyable part of the movie was the dinobots, and I have to admit that it looked incredibly kickass to see Optimus ride Grimlock into battle. It was a moment that was hinted at in the trailer and it managed to live up to the hype. But again, they never really get into the Dinobots origin which is a shame because based on the original franchise source material, its a really interesting story and they wasted so much screen time on other unimportant things that I have no idea why they didn't give like 5-10 minutes to show this. The humans were worse; with the daughter and her boyfriend being nothing but annoying on screen.
That's the autobots; don't even get me started on the decepticons. An over-compensated villian who has no real background and they never get into his motives; and...his face is a gun. I honestly thought that was ridiculous, even in the transformers world. He has no real part in the over-arching 'plot' other than to be someone that Prime can fight in the end. Again, nothing's wrong with a one dimensional villain; there are movies that have played to this type of villain's strengths, but again, Bay just decides to pick explosions over substance and ergo, the finale is anti-climactic. Other characters were also annoying; now that I think about it, I don't think there were any likeable characters in this movie. And Stanley Tucci is just not meant to play a role like this, in my opinion. Granted he got a couple laughs out of me, the just forced his humour with the character and most times he was just unfunny because of it.
With all the wrong it does, there are one or two saving graces. There's just something awesome about seeing Optimus transform for the first time and when he's in battle; Bumblebee's malfunctioning voicebox is still funny as always; a fan favourite is resurrected but unfortunately, he's used as sequel bait, which was disappointing but it was still good to see that they brought him back; a few chase sequences with the main characters being caught while falling by the autobots, even after its been done 3 times, still looks cool; and finally, Optimus + Boosters-however ridiculous, still looks cool.
Overall, the movie is a huge disappointment but I imagine it'll be liked by Bay fans and people who enjoy superficial action movies. Maybe my expectations shouldn't have been so high, but the 3rd movie was actually really good and enjoyable, probably considering that we all thought it was the last one and as such, it seemed like the pulled out all the stops with a great storyline and Leonard Nimoy doing a voice cameo for a villain; that's golden. But this is such a huge step in the wrong direction and they need to change the main lead and strike a balance between story and action. For action fans, sure; you may enjoy it; but to everyone else, avoid if you can or rent on DVD when it comes out. 4/10
This retelling of the 1939 story is directed and acted by Ben Stiller, who manages to give an earnest performance, but with a mundane and clunky plot with forgettable characters and a one dimensional love interest, the movie sadly falls short despite its ambition.
The movie's about the life of Walter Mitty, a normal, meek, everyday guy who is initially presented as being someone without any special qualities; he's in his late thirties and he feels like he hasn't accomplished anything yet, or will accomplish anything. What he does have is an active imagination. This sets up some of the best sequences of the movie; where he imagines himself being capable of things that someone usually wouldn't be; this also gives some insight into his psyche, in that, the more out there his imaginitive composition is, you realize it's the lower that he thinks of himself. He's a very relatable character and Ben Stiller just brings this modesty and humility to the character, giving a great performance overall with convincing reactions and body language.
The plot's pretty mundane and involves him wanting to get the attention of a co-worker that he's liked for a long time, played by Kristin Wiig. Sadly she's given no real backstory and her character is flat; she's basically just there in order to be something for Walter to fight for. The plot has nothing to do with winning her though, strangely, as its about getting a negative from a missing film back which sets up Walter going around the world to find it. Throughout the journey, there's change in Walter. When he imagines things, he drifts off and you can tell that they are so ridiculous that you expect to come back to the present eventually, then halfway through the movie, he begins to actually experience crazy things. The switch is very well done and its complimented by skilful directing.
The story's about life, change and appreciating people who aren't seen; it's got some deep source material but sadly, it's never really followed through upon, minus a deep moment here and there. Walter does get some development, but it's not enough to justify his entire journey, unfortunately. Other characters are forgettable, worst of all being the 'villainous boss' that taunts Walter for his normalcy.
The movie's got a romance base but it never really gives the audience enough to appreciate the ending, which is incredibly anticlimactic, nor the sum of its parts. This is disappointing, as Stiller and Wiig actually have some good chemistry and she serves as his inspiration to start taking risks and living the life that he wants. There are also some really random product placements, with Papa John's in Ireland being the prime example.
However mundane and clunky the plot may be, the cinematography, directing and music is definitely a plus. Greenland and Iceland are absolutely gorgeous and the various shots coupled with the performance of "Space Oddity" by Kristen Wiig is fantastic. The special effects are also pretty good; with the various fight scenes and imaginations bringing out a certain art-style that's not seen in a lot of movies. Stiller's directing is a bit on the nose, but can be appreciated for its ambition to try to make the movie original.
Although the plot may not be all that great, the performance of Stiller, chemistry between him and Wiig along with the cinematography, music, and take home message about appreciating those who work hard are enough to warrant this a viewing. 7/10
This movie wasn't watched by choice, and for good reason. I was forced to look at it on a bus ride up and well, I figured I should review it in order to ensure that you stay away from it.
This movie is terrible; extremely terrible. The plot; Lord. Basically, it's a boy and a girl who make a promise when they're about to leave college that if in 10 years they aren't seeing someone, they'd get married. It's a 'been there, done that' plot, but it's executed so terribly that it was unbearable. The journey of the main character is really superficial and his narrating voice is flat and non-sensical. To be honest I don't even want to get into this review that much because of all the flaws I can list. Let me just say that the plot is terrible, the actors cannot act and the resolution was ridiculous. Do not watch. 1/10 The movie only gets 1 because Hayley Duff is pretty. That is all.
Escape plan has a good idea but executes it poorly coupled with a terrible script, plot and C performances by its constituent actors.
As nice as it is to see Arnold and Stallone on screen, and that's because i'm a huge fan of both of these actors' old movies, their characters are generic and predictable. The premise is a good one; that Stallone's character is hired to break out of the most secure jails in order to reveal their flaws. I was honestly intruiged with the plot at first; then, came the rest of the movie. The script firstly, is down-right terrible. With over the top cheesy lines, one liners and sometimes, really out of timing statements that make no sense. This isn't helped by the fact that the delivery of these lines are completely monotonic by Arnold and Stallone.
In terms of character development? There is none. Like, at all. What I will give them though, is that they try to give Arnold and Stallone's characters some backstory; but it's so two dimensional and superficial that I found it hard to care about it at all. That plus, even when they reveal the motivations for each character, its so ridiculous that I saw no reason to support either of them. Don't even get me started on the one dimensional villain, who had no real purpose except to just be 'villainy'. No backstory; no real threat, and somehow, his acting was actually worse than his counterparts; and this guy's in Person of Interest, which is one of the biggest hit TV shows currently on air.
One positive is that I did find it interesting the one or two times Stallone's character worked out how to break out of the various prisons; and I feel like this was the movie's strength and they should have played on that; give me more sequences like that to hold my interest, not give me 'conversations' between two characters to try to make me believe that they've become friends when there's no real development and belief for any for them; more than half the movie is Stallone and Arnold talking about how they're going to break out them trying to know each other better. If they wanted to do that, go be in a romance movie, not an action one.
As an action movie; incredibly sub-par; as a overall movie, even worse. Not recommended at all. 2/10
It's a known fact that Tom Cruise is an action movie star; anything he touches turns to gold and his niche is action movies. Once again, he proves this by providing a thrilling and exciting ride that you may want to take over and over again. However, while it's a great action movie, it ends up coming up a bit short in some departments, especially the cop-out, hollywood ending (in my opinion) which makes it a high-concept movie which is less than the sum of its parts.
So in a nutshell, the earth has been at war between humans and aliens, which is not exactly the most original plot line. What is original is Cruise's character, Cage. He's a media representative. That's initially what got me; Cruise is usually introduced as the action movie's hero who saves the day, and granted he does this, it's the journey and transformation of Cage that really sunk its hooks into me. He's never seen a day of combat but on his first day, manages to kill one of the aliens, called 'mimics' as they can predict our every move as humans, but in the process dies. It's a bit daunting to see Cruise die so early in the movie and it really shakes things up. When he dies, he manages to inherit a power from the alien in which he can reset the day every time he dies.
Now the resetting of the day plot device could have gotten annoying or repetitive, but the director manages to carry it out expertly. I don't want to spoil too much about the movie's plot but let's just say that the plot, though predictable, was still entertaining. He meets up with Rita (Emily Blunt. Lord.) and together they plan to save the world. Like I said, the plot has been done before, but it's how its carried out. Cage basically through trial and error tries to see how far he can make it via memorizing the various positions of the enemies and obstacles. This is one of the first few things that made me think of the movie as a video game adaptation, which only got more interesting as the movie progressed but i'll get to that later.
The thing about it is, while the plot device is good, it removes a lot of tension from the first 3/4 of the movie as you just figure he's going to come back so he can rectify his mistakes and go even further. This, rather than provide tension, provided hilarity as there were a lot of funny ways that Cruise dies in the movie, and a lot of times Rita kills him just so they can reset. But throughout, the movie never becomes boring. It's an action spectacle; with the 3D really helping to pull the audience into the experience. The action scenes are tense and very well choreographed. To be honest, when I saw the first poster of Cruise in the "Exosuit", I almost laughed out loud. But he really pulled it off, Blunt too of course. They must have been at the gym for weeks to have worked with that thing on them for the majority of the movie.
What was also amazing was Cage's character development; although he was a bit 2D because he had no real story or motivation, which was disappointing as Cruise has been known to play a man with loss very well, his evolution from scared, trepid media person to action hero by the 3/4 mark is very satisfying. Cruise nails everything once again, with emotions ranging from hopelessness to strength and weakness. He's just got this charm that sways the audience in whatever he's doing. Something of note that is that this is very unlike Cruise's normal character and it's almost as if he was poking fun at the audience's usual expectation of him when he says almost anything to get out of the combat situation. It's a nice reversal and its come to help me appreciate more of Cruise's versatility as an actor.
It wasn't all rainbows and sunshine though, as in a remarkable turn of events, Cage manages to get tired and upset that absolutely nothing he does can change the future after a while. It's an interesting emotion to insert into the character and added a dose of realism despite it's sci-fi background. Again, remnant of a video-gamer when you can't beat a boss or a dungeon no matter how hard you try and you reset from a save point and continuously try to change your fate. I don't know if the movie intended to do this, but even if it didn't, this was a very well placed and appreciated idea.
Blunt's character however, suffers in terms of development, as this is mainly Cruise's movie. There's no real depth to her and thus, each time she dies, you feel no real remorse. I will give them this though; it was obvious that some sort of romance had to be sparked between the two good looking leads of the film, but they managed to put it on the back burner with only a few googly eyed looks here and there, and that was appreciated. I really would have hated to see them fall in love and all that with the fate of the planet at stake. Despite no development for her character, by the end of the movie you do feel for her though, even if a little bit, but that's because of Cruise's and Blunt's great chemistry. Other characters; meh. They were all forgettable as they had no room for them in the plot, except the occasional 'proving that i've relived this day' segment or in terms of humour, which is sad because the sacrifice would have been okay if they had developed Blunt's character because I really did want to like her, at least more than what they presented.
Flaws are a few; plot for example; they never really explained how the aliens got the power, which in a way, I can't blame the movie for as I can't sit and think of a good explanation for an audience where they can understand and believe a realistic reason for how you can reset a day. I feel as if they did not give the Mimics enough backstory and just made them into a one dimensional villain; something for Cruise to aim to destroy. This is disappointing as it would have been interesting to find out more about their motives and why they wanted to take over earth in the first place. The plot device is also a bit flawed as I know that they were trying to show various different places at which were happening at the same time, but the time felt a bit lagged in that he was alive for longer than a day in some resets, and as such, had the chance to do more. Some of the physics was also not right and a bit unrealistic, especially at a crash scene near the end but I don't want to spoil. Let's just say that it was 'main character syndrome' that saved Cruise as no one else could have survived that.
All in all, Edge of Tomorrow does what it sets out to do; provide an entertaining action movie with tension (well for the final quarter) and impressive sequences. As an overall movie, I feel disappointed, but as an action movie, it's really great, showcasing yet another example of why Cruise is just so good at what he does. People may hate on him, but at the end of the day, you can't say that he isn't good at it. Interesting story and plot device, albeit with some loop holes, but enjoyable nonetheless. 8/10