Movie Review – The Equaliser 2

TL;DR – While not in any way revolutionary, it takes the familiar pieces and presents them in a really captivating way, anchored by a powerful performance by Denzel Washington.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

 

Review

So I am going to begin this review with a confession, I have never seen the first Equaliser film, nor the TV series it is based off. Indeed I didn’t even know there was a TV series until I saw it in the credits. To add to this I was not even planning to go see The Equaliser 2 today so I didn’t have the presence to watch the first film before going in, so as I was going in I thought I should at least read through the synopsis. Just reading what happened made me truly wonder how I missed it? However, film history is full of sequels that don’t live up to the original, so let’s take a look at a world power does not protect you.

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Movie Review – Deadpool 2

 

TL;DR – Takes everything that worked in the first film turns it up to 11 and then gives it real emotional stakes.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – there are two mid-credit scenes

Deadpool 2

 

Review
Back in 2016, there was this little film that could that exploded out into the zeitgeist of the film world. The first Deadpool (see review) was a passion project for all involved because it took years to get it greenlit, indeed, it took test footage being leaked to finally convince the studio to start it, and even then they cut the budget drastically before shooting because they had fears about what an American R-rated film would make at the box office. Well as we know it make bank at the box office and now we get to see the fruits of that decision with Deadpool 2, well also it probably helped convince 20th Century Fox to finally let them do Logan (see review) as they really wanted, so thanks for that too. So today we are going to look at the follow up to the merc with the mouth, can they capture that same feeling that exploded out on screen both literally and metaphorically, well let’s dive in and see.

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Movie Review – John Wick: Chapter 2

TL;DR – John Wick was the gold standard for action films and John Wick Chapter 2 continues this with brutal action, and a deeper insight into this fascinating world.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

John Wick Chapter 2 Banner

Review

Now it should come as no surprise that I love the first John Wick film, from the action, to the world building, to the sheer commitment of Keanu Reeves put into preparing for the role. Indeed I wrote a whole article on how it sets the gold standard for Worldbuilding and Visual Storytelling. The issue is that when you love the first film it is always a bit difficult to look at a sequel with an objective lens, on the one hand, you may be blinded by rose tinted glasses, or you may judge it harshly because nothing can live up to the expectations the first film made. With this in mind, I approached John Wick 2 cautiously but I am still happy to say while it did not quite live up to the first film it is still an amazing film in its own right. Its action is still as good as the first, we delve deeper into this world they are creating, and we get to see what happens when a movie is perfectly cast.

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Analysis – John Wick is a Masterclass in Visual Storytelling and Worldbuilding

TL;DR – John Wick is a masterpiece of balancing storytelling and worldbuilding without resorting to multiple exposition dumps or clunky dialogue exchanges.

John Wick

When you are making or adapting some form of narrative medium, whether it is a book, video game, TV show, online video series, or a movie, two of the most important narrative facets are storytelling and worldbuilding, however, they can often find themselves in conflict with each other. I think we have all played that video game that is crammed full of lore, around every corner is another audio log sitting there for you to digest and thus the story gets lost in at that worldbuilding. Conversely, people fall in love with the worlds you can create, as much as people love Harry Potter, they are also enraptured with the whole Wizarding World, #HufflepuffForLife, so if you focus just on your story and don’t build the world around you, you’re going to have a shallow narrative and a missed opportunity. So how do you rectify this issue, well you could do what Snowpiercer and others have done in the past and gone with an opening newscast, or narration, or like the grandmaster of it all Star Wars, and have it all in your opening crawl. Or you could go with the Game of Thrones route and hide your exposition in sex scenes hoping that nudity will keep people engaged, and indeed you may even coin a phrase with ‘sexposition’ in the process. Or you could follow John Wick’s lead by crafting a strong narrative while also building a fascinating world. Now as we will be dissecting John Wick for this analysis, and since we will be focusing on the story, there is no way we could do that and not have any spoilers, so if you have not seen it yet, firstly go watch John Wick, but also you may not want to proceed any further, or do, I’m not your boss.

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Movie Review – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

TL;DR – Somewhere in here is a good movie, unfortunately, it is smothered in poor action, the need to jump cut eight times every second, and an entirely predictable story.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Review

So Hollywood has been on a bit of a bender recently bringing back franchises from the 2000s to give them another try. First, it was Underworld, then XXX, and now the granddaddy of them all (by a couple of months) Resident Evil. Now, of course, Resident Evil does have a bit more stability in its releases compared to the other two, but when in Rome, lump a bunch of stuff together to make it easier to analysis, so who am I to disagree. Honestly, I do have to say I did quite like the first two films in the series, the first Resident Evil had some iconic scenes, and the second really made the most out of its unfolding zombie apocalypse setting, you know before we got sick of that particular setting, thanks, Hollywood. However, since then the Resident Evil films have felt more like rehashes of each other, different movie, same themes, so I was actually quite excited when they named this next film ‘The Final Chapter’. I wanted to see them really go for it, take that final chapter mantra to heart, and knock it out of the park, but alas once again my optimistic nature has been dealt a blow.

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Analysis – Rogue One is a Case Study on the notion of Death

Before we start I need to make it clear that this blog will be full of spoilers for the recent Rogue One and Suicide Squad, as well as last year’s The Force Awakens, and all of Star Wars in general, so proceed cautiously if things like this concern you.

So when I was watching Rogue One yesterday for the third time, at which point instead of watching the broad strokes of the story you instead focus on more of the details, it occurred to me that not only is Rogue One interesting in the fact that it kills off its entire leading cast (yes I said there were spoilers don’t complain that I didn’t warn you) but also how it kills them. Now of course, as most people know, there were extensive reshoots with Rogue One which may have drastically changed the outcome of how characters died, but that is a discussion for another day, today we will just be focusing on the movie as it is in cinemas.

I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me.

I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me.

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Movie Review – John Wick

TL;DR – A really good action flick and an example of world building done right.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Review

John Wick has been out on DVD/Digital Download for some time and with a sequel now on the cards, I thought I would have a look back at one of the better action films in recent times.
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