Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Not particularly deep, but it's more about trying to put you in the shoes of a destroyer captain on convoy duty during the Atlantic Campaign of WW2. As such it really succeeds. The film is set over a two day period and we never see outside it apart from a brief (and entirely superfluous) scene in the beginning. It's just keep vigilant and survive as more and more U-boats home in on your convoy. I did feel a few of the sub kills were a little over the top, which I guess they felt was a needed release after playing the mechanics of a sub hunt pretty true to life. The first one was marked by nothing more than an oil stain on the water, and I felt that or some uncertainty was better than the giant explosions that we get later on. Ah well. The film is well worth seeing. Go see it.
A pretty good film. I've always liked Harley Quinn. She's fun. And she narrates the story in a very amateurish and amusing way. Vaguely Deadpool-like in the way she breaks the fourth wall, or at least flirts with it. At a minimum she's high energy and never dull.
The plot itself is pretty simple. If it has a problem it's that it takes too long for the gang to meet up and too long for the plot to kick into gear. You spend a lot of time wondering where the story's going. Action scenes are pretty good, although I found the last one (where they all team up) a little dull. The film's better at the small scale action scenes.
I really liked the villain too. The idea of a badguy wearing a false face of cheerfulness is nothing new. But Roman's something else. He's trying soooo hard to keep up that mask. When he forgets (and he often does) you can watch him struggle to bring the false smile back. He struggles with it. And when the mask slips as often as not it isn't rage but weakness and humiliation underneath.
It was okay I guess. Some things I liked very much. For example, the recreation of the Monitor and Merrimack were spot on and about as good as they could be given the technology and budgets of the day. And the focus on espionage was a different angle than we're used to seeing in the Civil War era. On the other hand, none of the characters really stuck with you or honestly even seemed that important to the naval plot. A tighter focus on the naval officers in charge would probably have been better. It would also have helped if people seemed to actually get excited about things. When told an indestructible ship is bearing down on them, the crew of the Cumberland take the news remarkably well. I guess this is a problem with all historical miniseries from the '90s, but unfortunately, unlike Gettysburg, the other elements of the film aren't enough to make up for the low energy pacing and acting.
If you liked the last one you'll almost certainly enjoy this. It's basically the same movie except with the gang playing new characters. While Johnson was clearly enjoying playing a cranky old man, the emotional heart of the film remains with the kids and as such he is less central. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you. I found the character mix this time a bit less fun than last time, apart from Kevin Hart whose very slow and easily sidetracked digressions fit so poorly with the role his character is supposed to play as to be hilarious.
So here's the thing about the books. There were two things that made them scare: the messed up pictures and the weird-ass stories. This film manages to capture the first element perfectly. Every monster is just as weird and creepy as they were in the book. But the stories... They opt to turn the whole thing into a 'haunted book writes horror stories using the heroes' tale. And what that means is that we get no time to see these monsters nor do we get any of the natural buildup and plot to go with them. And once a monster has appeared once we never see them again. It's a waste of some very good monsters on some very throwaway scenes.
Oh, and the whole biased cop routine was tiresome and illogical. Why was this film even set in the '60s? Is the real monster Nixon? I don't understand. It serves no purpose.