There is this common misconception that animated films are somehow an inferior form of cinema, especially those slated for a younger demographic. However, this is simply just not the case, and several animated films over the last few years have proved that point. This week we get to see another movie enter that frame with the follow up to The Croods.
So to set the scene, we begin with a tragedy as Guy’s (Ryan Reynolds) parents get caught in a tar pit and force Guy to move on without him hoping to return to a mystical place known as tomorrow. Fast forward and a lot of time marching he runs into the Crood Family, father Grug (Nicolas Cage), mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke), baby Sandy (Kailey Crawford), and grandma Gran (Cloris Leachman). They live a simple life of foraging for food and trying not to get eaten, but romance blossoms between Guy and Eep, much to Grug’s consignation. But everything changes when they find a big wall in the middle of the wilderness hiding mountains of food behind.
TL;DR – An incredibly stylish and well-produced film that just didn’t quite nail the substance portion.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Sometimes in life, you want to shut your brain off for a bit, sit down, and watch some explosions flare to life on your screen. The action flick is the king of this, especially if you pivot it in the direction of an action/comedy. However, today we are looking at a film that should be all this and more, but I walked away feeling that something was missing.
So to set the scene, we open in on a special ops team, which is having a very bad day, because everything is going very wrong, very, very, wrong. This is not your usual black ops team because while black ops teams are sometimes called ghosts, this team is for all intents and purposes are actually ghosts because the world thinks they are all dead. We have One (Ryan Reynolds) The Billionaire, Two (Mélanie Laurent) The CIA Spook, Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) The Hit Man, Four (Ben Hardy) The Skywalker, Five (Adria Arjona) The Doctor, and Six (Dave Franco) The Driver. Their aim was to find information out about Rovach Alimov (Lior Raz) a dictator with the predilection for using chemical weapons against civilians.
TL;DR – I had a smile on my face for the whole film, filled with joy and heart.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Before we start I should mention that I am probably the easiest sell when it
comes to a live action Pokémon movie.
I grew up with the show and the video games, so this is honestly the perfect
setting for me if you want to hit that rose-tinted nostalgia that people in the
industry crave. With this in mind, I walked into the cinemas with a sceptical
mind, but I have to say it got caught up in the world almost instantly.
So to set the scene, we open in on Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), there was a
time long ago when he wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, but that time has passed
and now he is happy being an insurance claims adjuster (which I think they
chose because it sounds like the most boring job in the world if you were a
child … or adult). His best friend Jack (Karan Soni) is about to leave town to
be a Pokémon trainer and he fears for his friend being left all alone, so they
try and catch a Cubone, this way he will have a companion. After that all falls
apart they walk back into town only to discover Tim has several missed messages
from Detective Hideo Yoshida (Ken Watanabe) from Ryme City where his dad works.
There has been an accident and his father has been killed in the line of duty
and Tim needs to come to the city to settle his affairs. However, when he
arrives he finds someone lurking in his dad’s apartment, a Pikachu (Ryan
Reynolds) that only he can understand.
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
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.
TL;DR – A good case study on why it is so important to get your casting right
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is an end credit thingy
Making a film is a very difficult process, at every point, there are decisions that you need to make, some of which can make or break your film, and you might not even know what the outcome is until the film is released. Should you rewrite your dark realistic film to be a comedy week’s out from shooting, it’s a big risk, but it is one that I think made The Hitman’s Bodyguard a better film, or at least a film that suited its cast much better. Though before we go on, while I kind of liked it, you need to know it is a type of film that I’m pretty sure the f@#$ counter is in triple digits, and you probably know just from that if this is a movie for you.
TL;DR – Is it as good as its marketing campaign, no, that was pure genius, but it is still pretty darn good and a fun film to watch, though so so so so so not for kids.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. yes there is something after the credits
This is a really interesting film for a number of reasons, firstly most (if not all) comic book movies stick hard and fast to the American PG-13 rating, it’s safe and opens it up to a wider audience, instead, Deadpool went for its American R rating with gusto. It’s also a film that has to fit in the X-Men universe, but then it also has to stay true to the source which has a unique style that destroys the 4th wall at times. It has Ryan Reynolds as its lead, and unfortunately he doesn’t have many more chances left to be a headliner (after The Green Lantern, which to be fair was not his fault), it is also a film that has been in development hell since the early 2000s, taking a ‘leaked’ proof of concept trailer for people to greenlight the film. So here we are after a simply brilliant advertising campaign, what kind of film do we have? A pretty good one, but also a very adult film, I mean a very adult film, like seriously the whole 9 yards, like how did they get away with that, adult film.
TL;DR – An interesting premise that is completely wasted in its execution.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
This is a bad film but what is worse is that there is actually an interesting idea here that could have been a great film, so this week we’re are going look at more a dissection of where this film went wrong. I should say that we will be getting into spoilery territory but since you should give this one a pass I don’t think it should be much worry.