To quote the director, "this movie is about a man who agrees to make art for no credit, then changes his mind later on."
People who think this movie is about "Citizen Kane" are just plain wrong. (I haven't even seen that movie. And I still loved Mank!) This is the story about a Writer, one who has been within arms reach of several major socio-political movements of Southern California and tries to process them in his own way. He is surrounded by people of all sorts of convictions and differing moralities. One who, at first indecisive and agnostic, becomes decisive and a believer in doing better.
This movie follows an incredibly multi-sided story of a "successful failure" whose last gift to the earth is the contribution to what has been called by others to be the greatest movie of all time.
The absolute best part of this movie is that almost no time is wasted. Dialogue is fast, witty, and said with conviction. Every character puts their heart and soul on the table, and with every line comes an opinion or shade that further deepens the color of this amazing cast of characters. Fluff and filler is nearly non-existent in this movie. If you don't have the attention span to keep up, you might get lost in the dialogue!
The film's dedication to period correct visuals, scenes, and sound only serves to immerse you further into the scene. It helps focus your attention on the words being said, the camera angles and lighting being chosen... every shot and sound in this movie is planned out with meaning and all you need to do is pay attention.
4.5 / 5!
Pros: This movie tugs at your heartstrings and shows you an empathetic look at a broken family with honest to goodness origins. If you love your grandmother and your mother, this movie will make and break your heart. This movie is about good endings as well as bad ones, good role models and bad ones. It reminded me of "Boyz n the hood," which also had flawed characters whose tragedies tugged at your heartstrings.
Cons: The "current day" plot-line of J.D. Vance becoming a lawyer felt in the way, rushed, and needlessly frantic. It removed me from the gravity of the "flashback" scenes.
Side Note: The disparity between real audience and critic scores here shows how out-of-touch and un-relatable some critics are. This is a biographical pic about a strong person with a colorful family overcoming great hurdles. When did that go out of style?!?
This is exactly what you want out of a videogame action movie.
1) Boring parts completely skipped by editing (this is GOOD), minimal time was wasted on plot transition scenes that no self-respecting viewer cares about.
2) Action scenes were fun to watch, the special effects were great. The jump cuts were well pieced together in my opinion.
3) Kano was hands down the funniest character
4) I was disappointed that they didn't actually compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament, but I suppose they're setting that up for a sequel.
This movie is hard to understand unless you dedicate 100% of your attention.
If you do, then you'll be rewarded with a very "pure" sci-fi plot, world class action sequences and special effects, and references to ancient Latin palindromes.