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Escape Room feels like watching part 3 or 4 of a franchise where everyone starts noting the formula and idea has lost its edge. The idea is interesting and there's some clever twists and turns. This is really a more PG version of Saw with no moral compass. Ultimately, the movie went too big out of the gate. The story was way too elbaorte and far too much was revealed about the orchestrators of this torture world. Saw was brilliant because of what it pulled off in a single room. Escape Room fast forwards past the opening introductions to a good premise into the overblown attempts to keep it relevant. A pity, because it will very much limit future sequels, perhaps they could go with prequels to a simpler time and less intricate traps.
The actors did a reasonable job in their setting, rising above mere fodder for the machine. The sound track added to the film and the visuals were enjoyable rather than distracting. Overall a neat premise but really held back by missteps in scope and over explanation. Audiences do not need much why with this type of premise, it's all in the how.
A whimsical slice of sci-fi adventure. Reasonable acting and the polished visuals we all expect from Spielberg. I suspect I would have given it less stars if I wasn't fond of the 80s and 90s childhood experience. For better or worse the film draws extensively on childhood tropes and memories of that era. I think it would be a solid film without that notstalgia, but if that is your flavour of childhood wonder, you'll really enjoy Ready Player One.
The acting overall was okay. The villain was vanilla and I am not sure the script gives the emotional range needed for the protagonists to shine. What the film does do right though is that it is emmersive and fun. Oasis is believable and the rules of this not so far away future internally work, well enough at least.
The visuals are pretty and can go way over the top without being disruptive to the flow and tempo of the movie. It spoils little to say the movie is basically watching an 80s video game unfold. This combined with a thorough PG tone maybe limits the film's emotional pay off but I think it just made it more fun. This is movie that did fun well. A worthwhile watch and highly recommended for anyone whose inner child craves a flash back to their favourite 80s and 90s nostalgia.
This film sparked a bit of a civil war between critics and the fan base. I think a big part of what side you end up on will come down to whether you are a Star Wars fan or not.
I suspect fans had a negative reaction to this film for the simple reason that it is scarcely a Star Wars movie anymore. It is something else now. I am not really against that idea, the themes of this universe can change and grow. It worked for some franchises. The new Star Trek movies are hardly in the spirit of the originals anymore, but it is good sci-fi. I am not so convinced this is good sci-fi. It is not bad, but there are some glaring low points.
The good. It is visual eye candy. The grandeur of the universe is alive and well. The story arch with Luke was, in my view, a satisfying return of this pinnacle character from the original. I liked Rey and her development. There were a few bold twists that worked... I will not spoil here. Poe is growing as a worthy attempt to replace Leia, and he will live on in her image. There is a theme here, some of the characters are really working.
The bad. Overly long. There's a long sequence involving a Casino world, and a drawn out final chapter that could easily have been cut to almost nothing, nothing would be better. The plot holes. It is sci-fi, tight believable plot is not required. What is required is some semblance of internal consistency in the universe. The potholes are not convenient timing or luck, but internal inconsistency that fails to work in the rules of the story. Why not jump in front of the ship? Why did Kylo stop the attacks? Are questions you will be left asking. Some of this became overwhelming. I also feel like they forgot about Finn, or cannot decide if they want to keep the character.
The movie sort of falls down under its own weight. I've always maintained that Star Wars was a brilliant space opera. I am not sure they got there here. It is grand and big, but it takes itself too seriously. When you fondly recall the light-saber fights of the original, I do not remember the bold action (it was not that bold) I remember that sound. That unmistakable ridiculous sound and blaring music. I think this movie lost that wonder.
Overall, still a fairly strong blockbuster film.
This film predictably recycles all the tropes of a buddy action comedy. I think it was decidedly average on the strength of Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter alone. There are certainly some high points in that exchange, but not as much as I hoped. I think Reynolds character was a little limp when set against Samuel L Jackson.
The movie really comes apart outside of the buddy focal point. Let's be honest, expectations were not terribly high. The movie is delivering on a "oh that's a neat pairing" setup. This went a long way, but it was not nearly enough to salvage this into a good movie.
The plot is painful, the action sequences are too gimmicky and it is way too long. The final 20-30 minutes is unnecessary. The action sequences are also somehow both too edgy and too dated. The movie falls into a painful trap of out-doing their own twists for, what feels like, three hours. The result is a painful mess you stop wanting to watch.
I am not sure I can remember the name of even one of the supporting characters, I remember nothing of the sound track or much beyond the opening action sequence. In other words, the movie is bereft of anything other than some funny banter between two actors that are at home in this genre. A pity, really.
I found this movie decidedly average. However, it was not average in a sense of mediocre throughout, but more by virtue of a strange averaging of some highs and lows. I am not sure if that is better or worse than consistent mediocrity. I suspect it might be a matter of your own priorities.
This is a standard western plot-line with rather standard characters. Ethan Hawke and John Travolta give the best performances. They both take up the mantle of their stock characters well. The supporting cast is a real let down. I usually do not expect much from the female cast in a by the numbers western, but it was disappointing, even with reduced expectations. The aimless band of body count goons were barely passable in that limited role. The wandering priest was a bit of a highlight. On a high note, there are some surprisingly good action sequences littered throughout the film. The banter between Hawke and Travolta is also rather entertaining.
I found myself compelled to be intentionally serial in my review. Overall, the problem I found with this movie is the flow. There really is no unified feel or consistency in the movie. It is a sort of patchwork of some strong individual sequences, but the overall structure never fits. The movie swings a bit between classic spaghetti western, odd comedy and overplayed drama. The moments of drama are a little too serious maybe, or maybe the comedy is a little too light. In the end, it does not work for me. It is too jarring and uncomfortable. It is not a bad movie, on the balance. There are some strong scenes, when you remember them in isolation, but it never really "fits".