John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – Movie Review

Prepare for War.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is an action-packed crime thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski, stunt-director turned director. The film is the third installment in the John Wick film series, following John Wick (2014) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). And it is the third directorial film by Chad Stahelski, after its two prequels, which means he totally owns this film franchise. The film is written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad.

The film starts exactly where it left off in Chapter 2. After killing a member of The High Table on continental grounds, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself on the run from the guild of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head. Now John must find a way out of this deadly madness before he gets hunted.

The film is everything which John Wick fans are expecting it to be. This is the third time Keanu Reeves is reprising his role as an unstoppable killing machine, John Wick. And I must say, Keanu has got the perfect grab on this character, and he flawlessly does what this character is best at, hunt. His body posture, movements, and of course his performance truly makes this larger than life character alive on screen. And when the first time he made his entrance on screen, it just put a smile on my face, which just got bigger and bigger at that moment.

John Wick films are getting better and better at every installment. The film is trying to expand the franchise by exploring this fictional world of assassins. The film also goes ahead and gives some more character development, for some existing, and some new characters. It is a purely high-octane action-packed film with a really high entertainment value. The direction and the action choreography is just mind-blowing. We can clearly see where every punch, kick, bullet, and knife lands, and all the credit goes to Chad Stahelski. What made it even more enjoyable is its long-shot fight scenes, there is hardly any moment when it feels choppy. When the action is going down, one just cannot take his eyes off the screen. The film franchise has truly become the definition of best action films.

The film finishes on an open end, which clearly indicates the possibility of Chapter 4. Prior to the release of this film, Chad Stahelski confirmed that there has been a discussion for another film and that he would develop. Even Keanu Reeves stated that he will continue making sequels until the audience stops going.

Verdict: Parabellum makes it a perfect trilogy. A must watch for action film lovers out there. Just Go and feel the rage of Baba Yaga (The Boogeyman).

Rating: 4.2/5

Check the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU8-7BX9uxs

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) – Movie Review

Gotta catch’em all!

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Letterman. The film is based on the Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and the 2016 video game Detective Pikachu. The film is the first live-action entry in the franchise.

The film sets in the fantasy world of Pokémons and follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a 21-year-old insurance salesman. Tim has given up Pokémon training due to the death of his mother and the absence of his father, Harry. Not so long into the film, Tim learns that Harry has died in a car accident while investigating a case. To collect Harry’s belongings, Tim travels to Ryme City, a metropolis that outlaws Pokémon fighting and pushes the bonds of humans and Pokémon alike. While searching Harry’s apartment, Tim encounters a Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) that can speak and only he can somehow understand. Soon, Pikachu reveals that he is an amnesiac detective who was Harry’s police partner and that they were investigating a case together when Harry disappeared. Now Tim and Pikachu must team up together to find out the clues about what actually happened to Harry and the conspiracy behind.

As it is the first film of its kind, it is more about the nostalgia about these Pokémon characters and the world they live in. The film nicely sets the world where humans and Pokémons live together. The film centers around Pikachu, so except him no other Pokémon gets that polished look (CGI). The makers of the film have tried to make the Pokémons look as real as possible to the real world. In which the challenging part was bringing the rawness and the realism to these characters without compromising their colorfulness and cuteness. And they did it better and believable.

The story of the film is gripping and intriguing enough to keep the audience engaged. One of the best parts of the film is voice performance given to Pikachu by Ryan Reynolds, in which he carries most of the film. The humorous effect of Ryan’s Deadpool character can be seen in Pikachu. His funny one-liners and the way of dialogue delivery makes it even more enjoyable. Rest of the other performances are just fine. Even there are some little flaws with the story of the film. But as I said earlier, the film is about Pokémons and their world, so it can only be judged on the basis of how much fan service it does. Whenever any Pokémon appears on the screen, it makes the fans happy, and it’s all about nostalgia behind it.

Verdict: The film is a nostalgic fun ride for the fans of Pokémon.

Rating: 3.5/5

Check the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bILE5BEyhdo

Avengers: Endgame (2019) – Movie Review

Avenge the Fallen

Avengers: Endgame is an action-adventure fantasy superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers and the characters created by Stan Lee. The film is a direct sequel to the Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and a 22nd film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The film is directed by a very talented director duo Anthony and Joe Russ, who has previously directed three Marvel films – Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

The follows the terrific events of Infinity War, where Thanos (Josh Brolin) had accomplished his aim of balancing the universe by wiping out half of its population by acquiring all of the Infinity Stones. Along with the world, half of the superheroes had also become dust with Thanos’ snap. Now, the remaining superheroes must find a way to set all the things right and avenge the fallen by defeating the Thanos.

In this film, the difficult task was to bring together all these different storylines and characters, and that too without tampering with their appearances in previous films. But the Russo brothers have made it possible by finding the perfect balance between comic and intense moments in their films. They have brought the needed realism, gravity, and intensity to MCUs superhero films. Infinity War has a comparatively darker tone than any other Marvel films. Avengers: Endgame is the 4th film by Russo brothers as a director. And that is why it is going to be Epic, for sure.

Avengers: Endgame is a film with a really grand and epic conclusion to its third phase. There will surely be more phases to come, but this one is surely the greatest culmination of all time to date. I’m really happy that the makers were able to keep everything under wraps till the release date and gave just little things through trailers to boost up the hype amongst the fans worldwide. The film is full of overwhelmingly surprising moments, the moments which will make you laugh and cry, all at once. Seeing all our beloved characters once again and maybe the last time on screen really touches our hearts. And witnessing the fate of all these characters is another best thing about this film.

The film has really high entertainment value, there are a lot of fan service moments, but there are undeniably some plot holes and flaws in the storyline. The film is three hours long, but throughout its runtime, it never feels like three hours, It just keeps the audience engaged with its amazing storyline and character buildup. Towards the second half, the whole movie theatre turns into a cricket world cup match stadium, where everyone is just cheering, whistling, applauding like never before. Like its prequel, the action sequences are very well choreographed, and the interactions between different characters are just sheer fun to watch. The climax of the film is just beyond comparison which literally gives goosebumps to the audience. The Infinity War was the film about Thanos but Endgame is about Avengers, and how they assemble once again to defeat the menacing and all-powerful Thanos.

Verdict : A greatest culmination of all time, which no one should miss at any cost. Just go for it before spoilers come for you. 🙂

Rating : 4.4/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcMBFSGVi1c&t=29s

The Tashkent Files (2019) – Movie Review

Who Killed Shastri?

The Tashkent Files is a drama mystery-thriller film written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. The film depicts the conspiracies surrounding the death of India’s 2nd prime minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The film sets in the present time, when a low time journalist Raagini Phule (Shweta Prasad) publishes the article regarding the conspiracies surrounding the death of former Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. This article raises the questions amongst masses and forces the government to form a committee to investigate the truth behind this alleged event; is it really a natural death, or a well planned assassination.

The trailer of the film has given the exact idea about what to expect from this one. And this film delivers the same in a really compelling and grounded way. I was desperately avoiding watching this film as it is widely deemed to be politically motivated in light of the concurrent 2019 general elections. But I finally went to watch this film without having much idea about its content, it made me feel how ignorant (I am/we are) about our own political history. The film goes deep into the darkest chapter of our political history. In 1966, when India’s 2nd prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to sign a peace pact between India and Pakistan. And just after 8 days, Prime Minister Shastri dies of a heart attack in Tashkent.

Even if the film is politically motivated and biased against a certain political party, it does educate the people about that event, which is the most appreciated thing about this film. The film is good at delivering the content but loses the balance between the documentary and the political thriller. Even the screenplay of the film seems dull in some places. If we ignore some of the technical issues and its political motivation the film shines like anything.

The film stars Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty in lead roles. Besides leads, the film also stars Mandira Bedi, Pallavi Joshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Prakash Belawadi, and Pankaj Tripathi. The film has got a totally talented caste, and hence we get to see some really powerful performances. Some of the monologues in the film just steals the show.

Verdict : It is a must watch for its hard-hitting content and some really powerful performances.

Rating : 4/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgWylHdfIdo

Romeo Akbar Walter (2019)

Our Hero. Their Spy.

Romeo Akbar Walter is an espionage action thriller film written and directed by Robbie Grewal.

The film sets in 1971, when India was on the verge of a war with Pakistan. The film centers around Romeo Ali (John Abraham), an Indian banker, with patriotic family background, get recruited as an undercover agent by RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) for a top-secret operation inside Pakistan.

The story of the film is pretty straight-forward and predictable. This film sets at the same time in which the events of the film Raazi (2018) took place. Even this film has a similar story, characters, and situations as that of Raazi, but unfortunately not that intriguing. All the character performances in the film are worth appreciating. The film is all about John’s character and he justifies it by giving an intense performance. Besides John, the character played by Jackie Shroff as Shrikant Rai, the head of RAW, is also excellent.

The first half of the film feels a very slow burning and lazy, in the second half, the things start moving with some pace and maintains the same towards the end, but even climax doesn’t make an impact which it should have actually made. The film is an interesting attempt to make a drama-driven espionage film by breaking the stereotypes of action-packed film, but it lacks the grip it needed the most. The film has its own moments and patriotic feel to keep the audience engaged, but dull storytelling, an unnecessary romantic aspect & music tracks make it an average film.

Verdict : A patriotic film should make us feel proud and it surely does the same, but only when you endure its slow pace. A one time watch film.

Rating : 3.3/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSHjC8VdzCM

Kesari (2019) – Movie Review

The story of Valor and Sacrifice.

Kesari (a saffron color representing bravery and sacrifice) is a period action-drama film written and directed by Anurag Singh.

The film depicts the events leading to the Battle of Saragarhi, a battle between 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army against 10000 to 12,000 Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen. The film stars Akshay Kumar in a lead role of Havildar Ishar Singh, who led the battle at Saragarhi.

The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of history’s longest hold against the enemy and one of the greatest last stands. If we read history, we can actually see the valor and renunciation of those 21 Sikh soldiers. But this film hardly captures that. In the process of dramatizing and making it an entertaining one, the makers have totally ignored the crux of this historical event. The film lacks the authenticity and the rawness, which needed the most for a film like this. Everything in the film was just polished, for instance, the uniforms of the soldiers were looked like brought straight from the designer shop.

The film is a two and a half hours long, and out of which less than an hour was actually about the battle. In the remaining time, it focuses on some unnecessary subplots, the deceased wife of Ishar Singh played by Parineeti Chopra (the most irritating part of the film), and too many slow-motion shots. Some of the moments in the film will definitely make you remember the superhit war film Border (1997).

The film feels really slow and boring in the first half and comes to life only in the second half. The performance of Akshay Kumar is worth appreciating in a film. The film also has some interesting and compelling characters with apt comic timing, which makes the film watchable.

Verdict : Kesari is definitely not the best patriotic film of Bollywood but it surely worth a watch.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFP24D15_XM

Us (2019) – Movie Review

They are Coming!

Us is a horror thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele, the director who is known for his excellent work in Get Out (2017).

The film follows the family of four, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), her husband Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke) and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), where they head to her family’s beach house in Santa Cruz. Soon their peaceful vacation turns into a nightmare when they are confronted by their doppelgängers (double of a living person).

There are some things in a storyline which are never explained or are just illogical, which may get you out of the film or may feel boring. The film also has a really nice screenplay and direction, along with a spooky musical score. The performance-wise, all the actors have done a good job. The concept of encountering doppelgängers is really fresh and interesting topic. Like his previous film, Peele once again addresses the theme of the oppressed and the oppressors in the society. The film also has some American cultural references and nuances which may not be understandable for the outsiders while watching it.

This is not an ordinary horror film which nowadays heavily relies on the jump scares; it is an unconventional horror film like The Witch (2015), Hereditary (2018), and The Babadook (2014). I liked the way, the director chose not to spoonfeed everything to the audience, rather he had given the little details and hints throughout the film. Although there are some reveals towards the end of the film, still it makes the audience keep on guessing all the time.

Verdict : An unconventional horror film, maybe not everybody’s cup of tea.

Rating : 3.5/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCmb-4oXJA

Captain Marvel (2019) – Movie Review

Higher Further Faster

Captain Marvel is an action adventure superhero film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. The film is based on the Marvel Comics character. The film is the twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it is Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film.

The film centers around the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). The film sets in 1995, where Danvers aka Vers is working as a Starforce member on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala. During one Starforce rescue mission against a group of Skrulls, an alien shapeshifting species, Vers gets captured by Skrulls. But somehow she manages to escape from captivity and crashes on Earth. The series of events on Earth, make her doubt her reality and her mission. Now Danvers must discover her origin by accepting her past and save the Earth from Kree–Skrull War by becoming one of the universe’s most powerful heroes.

The Marvel Studio has chosen a really good day (Women’s Day) to release its first female-led film. The film has been released just before Avengers: Endgame, so obviously the film has created too much hype amongst fans regarding little clues it can have which may lead to the Endgame. But it cannot be denied that the film is going to set in 1995, so it is going to have a very little impact or relation to the current timeline. But even though considering it as a standalone film, it has its own drawbacks.

The film is the last piece of the grand puzzle, so everybody expected to be a bit more surprising and intriguing than previous films, but unfortunately, it is not. The film has little connections to the other films, but those are not enough to keep the audience invested. Some moments in the film seem so obvious that just shows how lazy the writing of the film is.

As a lead character, Brie Larson does not fully justify the character, she has a very limited range of expressions. The story of the film is interesting to some extent, but as an origin story of a superhero, the film lacks the character arc and emotional drive. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as young Nick Fury and Jude Law as Yon-Rogg. And both of these characters are a sheer waste as they have a very little to do storywise.

The only thing that made me feel good about this film is its visual effects. Being the 21st film of the Marvel Studio, the visuals are top notch. The young Nick Fury feels as real as the other living characters in the film. Two more surprising things fans are going to get, one is a great tribute to Excelsior Stan Lee before the film starts, and other is a clip from Avengers: Endgame as a mid-credit after the film ends.

Verdict : The film is there just for the sake of having an origin story for Captain Marvel. Don’t expect much from it.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BCujX3pw8&t=1s

Glass (2019) – Movie Review

First Name Mr, Last Name Glass.

Glass is a drama thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a third and final installment to M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero film trilogy after Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016).

The film picks after the terrifying events of Split (2016), where a deadly supervillain Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) with multiple personality disorder is on the loose. And following the narrative of Unbreakable (2000), David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a vigilante superhero, is trying to track down Kevin with the help of his supernatural abilities. Not so long into the film, both get captured by the Philadelphia Police Department and kept as a captive in the mental institution for the criminally insane where Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is also being held as a captive, who is also known as “Mr. Glass”.

The film has got really great characters and equally interesting backstory. Undoubtedly, the performances of all three lead characters are top notch. The director M. Night Shyamalan had planted everything brilliantly to have an epic conclusion to this trilogy, and in the first half, the film maintains a similarly thrilling tone. But towards the end, the film gets so messed up that it loses the track, and ends-up on unexpectedly disappointing point. The film can be quoted as 2019’s first disappointment, where people had so many expectations, but it had failed miserably.

Verdict : If you liked the first two film, then you’re just gonna hate it. Watch it just for the sake of completing the trilogy.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7ztHi9ejp4

Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) – Movie Review

How’s the Josh?

Uri: The Surgical Strike is an action drama film written and directed by Aditya Dhar in his debut. The film is based on a true story of India striking back as the retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack.

The film follows Major Vihaan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) of the Indian Army, who has successfully lead many field missions and now has taken a desk job at New Delhi to take care of his mother who is suffering from Stage VI Alzheimer’s disease. On 18 September 2016, four well-armed militants attack the army headquarters at Uri, Jammu & Kashmir, killing 19 Indian soldiers in their sleep. Vihaan’s brother in law Major Karan Kashyap (Mohit Raina) also dies in a grenade explosion in this unfortunate attack. The Indian government decides to take strict action against this attack, and National Security Advisor Govind Bhardwaj (Paresh Rawal) comes up with the idea of a surgical strike. Eventually, Vihaan leaves his desk job and once again lead a team of elite commandos to carry out a covert operation to avenge the Uri attack.

The film’s story is nicely divided into five chapters. At the end of every chapter, there is a sense of fulfillment. And with this chapter-wise narration, the story gets more and more gripping, and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. The soul of the film is its compelling story; the enthralling characters and engaging background score makes it even more enjoyable. Besides Vicky Kaushal and Paresh Rawal’s powerful performances, Yami Gautam as RAW field agent Pallavi Sharma and Kirti Kulhari as Captain Seerat Kaur are worth mentioning. The film has its own moments, the patriotic ones, the thrilling ones, the grieving ones, and cheering ones, all full of JOSH.

Verdict : If we ignore the political propaganda, this film is an official first hit film of 2019 of Bollywood in all aspects.

Rating : 4.4/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVY3do673Zc