Quick Reviews, Summer 2017: Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last KNightRead Now
Baywatch (2017): Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.
If there is such a thing as "So bad it's good," Baywatch would get top consideration. A shamelessly bad film, Baywatch owns its premise and appeals to its target audience about as well as you'd expect. And, believe it or not, I actually had a pretty good time watching this. Pretty good. When the film was just being straight up ridiculous, I was into it. HOWEVER, whenever the film tried to have any semblance of a, oh....what do you call it? "Plot?" It was terrible. That said, the acting was pretty good, with the undeniable chemistry between The Rock and Zac Efron being at the forefront of it all. The raunchy, R-rated comedy seems to be a sweet spot for The Rock, and whenever he was able to just do his thing, I was having a blast. The females of this cast are definitely placed in the background, though Alexandra Daddario does a great job in her role as one of the female lifeguards, as does Illfenesh Hadera. However, outside of the acting and the improv, there isn't much going on here. This is yet another American comedy that is lazily made, but I don't think its target audience will care about that too much. But you know what? I found myself laughing a good deal, so the movie did succeed in this regard. (Even though several times I was laughing at the movie instead of with it) Ultimately, if you have a few drinks before and go see this with a group of friends, it's not the worst way to spend a Friday night. Just don't expect any semblance of a plot. Or editing. Or pretty much anything other than some pretty raunchy and crude humor.
My Number: 4/10 Below Average
Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017): Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea captain and his crew.
YES. IT'S ANOTHER PIRATES MOVIE. THAT LOOKS LIKE EVERY OTHER PIRATES MOVIE. Seriously. I haven't liked this franchise since the original film came out all the way back in 2003. Yet here we are, 14 years later, looking at the FIFTH Pirates movie. This movie is hyped up to be "Javier Bardem vs. Johnny Depp" and that's about all this movie had going for it. And by that I mean all this movie had going for it was Javier Bardem, because Johnny Depp is just Johnny Depp. All my problems with Depp and how he's Hollywood's single-most overrated actor in the business can be traced back to this franchise, and he's once again just.....there. The newcommers don't bring much to the table, either. Though the cameos were ok, I guess. Pretty much the only person you could like in this movie, (as Bardem too was mostly sleepwalking through his role) was Paul McCartney. And yes, he was legit. But that's about all this film has going for it-it's a snooze-fest from the technical departments, and Bardem's hair, which I'm sure a lot of money went to, just looked soooooo silly. Basically, this is a film that no one asked for but we got nonetheless, and it can be added to the pile of crap films we've gotten recently that can be labeled as good ol' fashion corporate directed filmmaking. But hey. At least Paul McCartney is in it.
My Number: 3/10 just for Paul
Wonder Woman (2017): Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
I know I had the awesome Peter Kosanovich review this film already, I just wanted to add my two cents on what is undoubtedly the best DC film to date. While it certainly is a decent film, with Gal Gadot stealing the show in the film's title role, there are many problems with this film as well. First off, it's WAY too long. I don't know why DC films feel the need to flirt with the 2.5 hour mark, but can you please STOP? The entire opening section of this film felt unnecessary, and the pacing is just all over the place from start to finish. Also, the action sequences were pretty terrible. They just looked so corny! This is another trend of DC films that Marvel has (mostly) avoided. CGI porn is exactly that-CGI porn. We're getting plenty of it in the new Transformers film.... we don't need it here. That said, there is plenty going on in Wonder Woman that I liked. Gal Gadot carries this film, as DC has undoubtedly found its Iron Man/Captain America with her. Not to be outdone by Gadot is Chris Pine, who is excellent as Steve Trevor. Outside of them this movie is mostly bare, as pretty much everyone else is forgettable. That's about all this film has going for it, but it's all it really needs. Gal Gadot plays the character so well, and having a female-led superhero film is refreshing and wonderful. See it just for that, and just ignore its faults.
My Number: 6/10 Above Average
The Mummy (2017): An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
The Dark Universe is here and lands with a loud thud with yet another re-incarnation of The Mummy. Gotta love corporate-directed filmmaking. The biggest problem of The Mummy is the fact that there's not enough Mummy in it. Wait, what? Can someone please tell me why we have to focus on Tom Cruise so much when Sofia Boutella as, you know, The Mummy, is EASILY the best part of this film? Even after what happens at the end (which is total BS, by the way) I still think the film made a mistake focusing on Cruise so much. He's pretty forgettable as Nick Morton, and were it not for Jake Johnson providing some much-needed comedic relief by helping Cruise out throughout the film it would've been a whole lot worse. But man. It's still pretty darn bad. The writing here is an absolute travesty. Everything is focus-group tested and none of it feels organic. What happens at the end is TOTAL, frustrating BS, and isn't earned at all, and, well, come to think of it, pretty much none of the Cruise's actions feel earned. Outside of Boutella's stellar performance as The Mummy, the only other thing this film really had going for it was Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll. Crowe is signed on to play the role in several more Dark Universe films, and that's about the only positive takeaway from this whole movie. And those who know me know I am not the biggest fan of Russell Crowe, so that is actually a pretty decent compliment.. Despite the lackluster reception and mediocre box office numbers, Universal has already invested massive amounts of money into their Dark Universe, so like it or not these movies are here to stay. But if this first film is any indication, it's that it takes a lot more than a single idea to make a film enjoyable. Hard pass.
My Number: 3/10
Transformers: The Last Knight
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): Autobots and Decepticons are at war, with humans on the sidelines. Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.
Hey, look! It's another TERRIBLE Transformers movie! I know most of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "Obviously." but my job is to see the films that are going to bring in big box office numbers, and yes, Transformers is one of them. But this film is AWFUL, even by Transformers standards! The pacing is atrocious, the dialogue is hilariously bad, Michael Bay is still a misogynist, and the film is SO. FREAKING. LONG. Seriously, guys? 2.5 hours? Really? Oh ya, let's hit the misogyny for a second, because it's STILL here. Why does every female character in a Michael Bay movie need to be uncomfortably objectified? There are two women in this film, played by child-actor Isabela Moner, and Laura Haddock, and both have to constantly answer the unnecessary question of "Why don't you have a boyfriend?" Poor Laura Haddock is forced into a very unnecessary and uncomfortable love story with Mark Wahlberg that was actually unwatchable at points. Of course she's supposed to be the smartest person in the room at all times, with multiple degrees from Cambridge and Oxford, but of COURSE the only thing that matters is, "Where's your boyfriend?" SMH, Michael Bay. SMH. Also, what the heck was going on with the editing and aspect ratios? There are THREE different aspect ratios in this film, and they are all interspersed throughout the film. Sometimes these aspect ratios would change for a SINGLE shot. It was very distracting. And, of course, the CGI was terrible. In short, this is the worst film of the franchise to date and the worst film I have seen in 2017 so far. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.
My Number: 2/10 just because when she wasn't uncomfortably objectified (and actually in the movie because Bay forgets about her for around 90 minutes) Isabela Moner was pretty bad-ass. And the 2 minute fight scene between Bee and Prime was cool.
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