Review: When their mother died, two brothers – a divorcee Toby (Chris Pine) and an ex-con Tanner (Ben Foster) – get involved in a series of bank-robbing quests, specifically against Texas Midlands Bank – the bank which threats to foreclosure the family’s ranch. Toby, the younger one, is a more motivated mastermind; meanwhile, Tanner, the self-claimed Comanche, is a man with violent tendency. What the brothers bring in Hell or High Water is poetic justice.
To minimize risks, the brothers only rob small banks and small bills to get laundered; although Tanner’s explosive behavior always gets his brother frustrated. However, bank robberies have never been a small-time crime not to attract attention. Two Texas Rangers are assigned for the case – Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) and Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), an almost retired powerhouse. If anyone should be in the brothers’ way, the dodgy ol’ man is the perfect show-stopper. Continue reading Hell or High Water (2016) – Review
Review: After hitchhiking and helping to save the day in The LEGO Movie (2014), Will Arnett’s self-obsessed Batman finally gets promoted to his own spotlight as the lead role. In his solo, brick-world spin-off, The LEGO Batman Movie, Batman is the feeling-less, insensitive, heavy metal and beat box loving, lone vigilante of more-vibrant-and-frenetic-than-Tim-Burton’s Gotham. However, he’s not some taciturn, shy Dark Knight; Batman has embraced Bruce Wayne’s narcissism personality disorder and turned into a superstar of the crime-lair city.
Things go south when Jim Gordon retires and his daughter, a Harvard for Police alumnus, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) steps in. She insists that the city doesn’t need Batman for the Caped Crusader, although succeeds in quelling city’s most notorious villains, cannot really wipe them off completely. At the same moment, Batman’s rejected arch-nemesis – the Joker (Zach Galifianakis, in a more sensitive role than Jared Leto’s swagger version) surrenders himself and his band of criminals. Fearing that it’s Joker’s mere villainous agenda, Batman aided by his cute adopted son Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) determines to stop Joker at whatever cost. Continue reading The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) – Review
Review: You might remember John Wick (2014) for the over-the-top gun-fu bravura and feasts of headshots; or, better, for a revenge actioner triggered by a mob son stole a hitman’s ’69 Mustang and killed his dog. Yet, you must agree that, with John Wick, you’ve witnessed taciturn Keanu Reeves makes an instant, original iconic role that bitch-slaps a band of remake/reboot/adaptation goons.
John Wick: Chapter 2 immediately follows up the frenzy in the first film with a high-octane car-nage sequence which pumps up the adrenaline; and, since then, those ballads of bone-crunching and brain-scattering actions never stop. Shortly, an Italian mobster, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to which John is indebted, pulls the hitman out of retirement with a mission to assassinate Santino’s own Camorra sister, Gianna. Forget the ridiculously exhilarating premise from the first film because what John faces in this second film is the real deal. Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – Review
Review: The sixth installment of Resident Evil franchise opens with a recaps of ‘the story so far’ narrated by the protagonist, Umbrella’s prodigal daughter, Alice (Milla Jovovich). Going further to several years prior to the first film, the prologue jumps to the event in the first film, and abruptly shifts to several minutes before this Final Chapter.
At one point it’s a courtesy to help audiences refresh and brush up some worn-off memories about the plot of the whole franchise. At the same time, it confirms that, except for the first installment, Resident Evil is rather prolonged, characterless, and forgettable. The Final Chapter has the potentials to wipe that gripe off, to make a lasting final impression; but, the same thing that weighed down its predecessors weighs it down, too. Continue reading Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) – Review
Review: There was once a stunt-and-steroid-heavy actioner – a Point Break-esque spectacle – called xXx in 2002. Vin Diesel, straight outta Pitch Black and The Fast and the Furious, was the center of it as Xander Cage, an adrenaline junkie and extreme sport enthusiast-turned-agent for NSA. But, the franchise seemed to be short-lived, following the disastrous second installment that crossed out Diesel’s name from the cast, substituting him with Ice Cube.
Xander Cage was pronounced dead in the 2005 sequel, but Vin Diesel has an agenda. Stepping in the producer seat, Diesel orchestrates his character’s own comeback like nothing happened in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. He turns a dormant franchise into a so-called Vin Diesel film – which draws lots of influence from his tenure in Fast and Furious series. Meaning to say: it’s going to be muscular, over-the-top, and eye-pleasing; but do not expect a story. Continue reading xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) – Review
Review: Crafted from a game of the same title with movie-material gameplay and interesting pseudo-sci-fi premise; then helmed by Justin Kurzel, the man who successfully adapted the cursed play, Macbeth, along with the stars, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard; Technically, Assassin’s Creed would have made ‘the first’ beautifully compelling video-game adaptation. Yet, it simply doesn’t.
Apparently, the culprit is the script, written by Michael Lesslie (Macbeth) and retouched by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (Exodus, Allegiant), which cannot accommodate the sense of excitement the game offers, and instead overplots it. Instead of moving the story forward, this Assassin’s Creed is slowing it steps down with uneffective faux complexities. Continue reading Assassin’s Creed (2016) – Review