Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – Movie Review

Her Time is Now.

Alita: Battle Angel is an action-adventure sci-fi film based on the 1990s Japanese manga series Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro. The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez, & written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis.

The film sets in 2563, where a catastrophic war known as “The Fall” aka “The Great War” has left the Earth in ruin. As a result, a group of wealthy people forms a floating city of Zalem in the sky, where the upper-class wealthy people stay, and all the others stay on the devastated Earth known as Iron City. One day, while scouting the junkyard of Iron City, cyborg scientist Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers a disembodied female cyborg with a fully intact human brain. Ido attaches a cyborg body to her and names her “Alita” (Rosa Salazar) after his deceased daughter, for whom he originally built the body. Alita, with no memory from her past, starts to know the world around her, and in the process, she also starts rediscovering her past life, and her true destiny.

The main reason to watch this film can be the top-notch visual effects which they’ve used in this film to grab the audiences’ attention. Specifically, the detailed on-screen appearance of Alita is mesmerizing to watch. Her every move, facial expressions are just felt too real that one can easily forget that its a computer-generated imagery. The action sequences are also pretty impressive. The film has the vibe of any futuristic film like Ready Player One (2018), Mortal Engines (2018), or Elysium (2013) which we get from the trailers. The film has the flavor of futuristic films elements like the devastated earth, the overtaken life of humans by machines.

The main issue I had while watching this film was that the storytelling was not focused on one thing. There’s definitely the compelling father-daughter story, and secondly, it should’ve had focused only on the part where she finds herself. But too many subplots makes it difficult for the audience to connect with her story. The things look good only during the action sequences otherwise it just feels boring and over-complicated.

Verdict : The film is enjoyable for sci-fi action movie lovers.

Rating : 3.6/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cislZ9S0ocA

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Venom (2018) – Movie Review

Embrace your inner anti-hero.

Venom is a superhero sci-fi action film based on the Marvel Comics character Venom. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel. The character ‘Venom’ was in talks of getting a solo film after it made his first cinematic debut in Spider-Man 3 (2007).

The film starts with the space mission of bioengineering organization Life Foundation, whose spacecraft carrying four samples of symbiotes (alien lifeforms) is heading towards the Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers remaining three samples and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) learns that these lifeforms cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts (human body). Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a famous investigative journalist learns about illegal human trials happening at Life foundation. But when Eddie tries to confront Drake, Eddie loses his job, which ultimately ruins his life. After six months, Eddie is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists at Research facility, and helps him break into the research facility to search for evidence. At the research facility, Eddie gets attacked by one of Drake’s test subjects, and the symbiote gets transferred to Eddie’s body. After that, Eddie starts showing strange symptoms, along with some superhuman abilities, caused by symbiote introducing itself as Venom.

The film depicts the character Venom in a very different way, In comics, the character is chaotic, villainous, and has a desperate attachment to Spider-Man. In this film, at first, the character feels uncontrolled and dangerous but suddenly turns out to be like a planet-saving superhero. The tagline of the film says “The world has enough Superheroes.”, but the actual film contradicts it as well to some extent. The tone of the film is also very inconsistent. The visual effects are stunning, which makes action and chase sequences more fun. The performance by Tom Hardy as a dual character Eddie Brock and Venom is remarkable. The villain character is very much underdeveloped and feels shallow.

Verdict : Overall the film is just a little more than a popcorn film. A good franchise kickoff film for comics based superhero movie lovers.

Rating : 3.4/5

Click here for trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCn88bfW1o

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – Movie Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp is an action adventure superhero film based on the Marvel Comics. The film is the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed, who has also directed its prequel, and it is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The film features team-up of Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang/Ant-Man(Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne/Wasp(Evangeline Lilly). The film picks exactly where Scott Lang had last appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, where he has placed under house arrest, for helping Captain America as the violation of the Sokovia Accords. And because of the same accords, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope go into hiding, while continuing their efforts to bring Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) back from quantum realm. In this installation, the film explores more on the quantum realm front, as these events will directly lead to the next installment of the Avengers film, the conclusion of the epic Saga.

Along with the main plot of bringing Hope’s mother Janet back in the real world, the film also comprises of some more subplots. Ava/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a quantumly unstable masked woman, who can phase through matter, is trying to steal PymTech from Pym and Hope to fulfill her own plans. Then there is a guy named Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), a black market dealer, who is also trying to get his hands on PymTech. Both of them are actually playing the villain characters, but they aren’t real ‘villain’ villains, means they are no match for our superheroes. And many of the Marvel films also suffered the same problem of not having a strong villain character (there are exceptions), and this film is no exception to that.

The film is a fun ride at its core but it’s just momentary. The film persists the charm & humor part of its prequel, but it fails to deliver the solid story because of the inclusion of weaker and unnecessary subplots. The film relies so much on the moments of laughter and the cast’s performances to overcome its plotholes. The film has a very straightforward story and fits nicely in the MCU’s timeline. The visual effects are improved in this film, and some of the action sequences are really well shot and are truly surprising. And yes, there are two after credit scenes, just don’t miss it.

Verdict : A nice sequel and a decent addition to MCU’s filmography, it has some drawbacks but surely can be neglected.

Rating : 3.7/5

Check out trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUkn-enk2RU

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) – Movie Review

Life finds a way.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a sci-fi action adventure film directed by J. A. Bayona. The film is the sequel to Jurassic World (2015) and is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series.

The film follows some years after the catastrophic events of dinosaur theme park, which happened in Jurassic World (2015). Set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, Costa Rica, the plot follows Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a raptor trainer, and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), a dinosaur right activist, as they must rescue the remaining dinosaurs on the island before a volcanic eruption destroys it. During a U.S. Senate hearing on whether dinosaurs should be saved, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) argues that the dinosaurs should be left to die. One day, Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), John Hammond’s former partner, contacts Claire, and plans plan a secret rescue mission to send the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary where they will live without human interference.

It is the fifth installment in the Jurassic Park film series, and even if plotwise it’s a dino rescue mission, but overall it just feels like old wine in a new bottle. The story of the film goes in many directions and sticks to nothing. The film has some of the really amazing action sequences including the opening scene, the T-Rex entry scene, the introduction of some new killing machine dinosaurs, chase scenes, all are pretty exciting, and keeps the audience at the edge of their seat. The characters are also not that compelling as compared to its previous installments, just sit back, eat popcorn, and enjoy the dino haunted house destruction show.

Verdict : Been there, done that. A one time watch adventure film.

Rating : 3.5/5

Check out trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn9mMeWcgoM

Deadpool 2 (2018) – Movie Review

Prepare for the second coming.

Deadpool 2 is the action-comedy superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Deadpool. It is the eleventh installment in the X-Men film series and a sequel to the film Deadpool (2016). The film is directed by David Leitch, who is well known for his stunts and has also directed the action film Atomic Blonde (2017).

The film follows the mercenary Deadpool/Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who is taking the jobs to kill people (bad people :p) and living happily with love of his life Venessa(Morena Baccarin). But not so long in the film, a devastating event in Wilson’s life changes him from his core and makes him care for others. Now, Wilson must protect an unstable young mutant Russell Collins/Firefist (Julian Dennison) from Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable is a cybernetic soldier, who after a similarly devastating event in his life, travels back in time to kill this kid.

The genre of the film gives the exact hint about what it is going to deliver, yes right, a lot of action, and a lot of comedy. The film is filled with really great action sequences and a lot of jokes which actually lands perfectly in those particular moments. At the core, the film very funny as it has to be. Along with the mutant characters from the previous film, the addition of new characters to the X force is extremely hilarious to watch, in particular, Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Peter (Rob Delaney).

The plot of the film almost made me remember Terminator 2 where a villain arrives from the future, to kill a boy. Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool) is funnier than ever. The character arc given to Deadpool’s character is the crux of the film. Josh Brolin as Cable, a brutal, time-traveling mutant is incredible to watch, undoubtedly this is his year, well done Thanos. One last thing, the film has the best mid-credit scene, just stick around for it.

Verdict : The film is a hilarious action-comedy ride to take. The film is bigger and louder but not as good as the first one.

Rating : 4/5

Rampage (2018) – Movie Review

Big Meets Bigger

Rampage is a sci-fi action adventure film directed by Brad Peyton and based on the video game of the same name. The film stars Dwayne Johnson in a lead role, and this is the 3rd time, Dwayne Johnson is working in collaboration with Brad Peyton as a lead actor after Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015).

The film opens up with a really promising sequence in a space, where the space station is completely demolished after a rogue experiment, and one of the last crew members is trying to escape with the pathogen samples. The escape pod gets crumbled upon re-entry, which eventually results in the death of a crew member, but the canisters containing extremely dangerous pathogen get spread across different areas in a forest in Wyoming and contaminate a gray wolf and a crocodile. The consumption of that pathogen results in the increased level of aggression, lethal mutation, and above all, the growing monstrous size. The pathogen also affects a rare albino gorilla named George, who was saved from poachers by Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), which bound them in a special relation of friendship. Now, Davis must uncover the conspiracies behind these deadly experiments and must find the cure for his friend George, so that he can stop the havoc caused in the city by two other giant monsters.

The trailers had given a pretty much good idea about what we need to expect from this film, and it succeeded to deliver the same with the fair amount of action. The plot of the film is a video game based and not so convoluted, but it can’t be denied that films with monsters and destructions are not so new to the industry, but there are some really cool action sequences which pay off. The film has received mixed reviews from critics and audience, with praise for Johnson’s performance and the visual effects. The writing of the film seems weaker at some points which doubts to the source material.

Verdict : The film does not serve anything new but for cool action sequences and Johnson’s performance it can be a good time.

Rating : 3.2/5

Ready Player One (2018) – Movie Review

Get Set Go..!

Ready Player One is the sci-fi action adventure film produced and directed by a very brilliant and visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg, a winner of three Academy Awards in directing. “One more adventure film by Steven Spielberg is releasing soon.” what can be more exciting than this for a movie lover? And the film is actually receiving praises from overall audience and critics.

In the year 2045, the devastation of the real-world has made Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and all of humanity to engage themselves in the virtual reality game/software OASIS, which they use to escape the reality and find more comfort, to be and to do more than what they’re in the real world. But when James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the creator of the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, and the deserving finder will be the true successor to his legacy and fortune. Along with all the other users, Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), the CEO of Innovative Online Industries (IOI), also seeks the prize to gain the full control of OASIS, and eventually the whole world. What comes next is the amazing adventure ride Wade must take to find the Halliday’s Easter Egg.

Undoubtedly, Ready Player One is like one more gem of adventure story been added to the Steven Spielberg’s epic filmography. The film is the brilliant mixture of futuristic imagination and spectacular visual effects. The direction of the film is just flawless, especially the breathtaking chase sequences. The plot of the film is not so convoluted as it is already heavy on visuals. The performances of all the leads are justifiable. The film has so many pop culture references made throughout it’s running time, and that’s the real treat for fans. It just exciting and nostalgic for fans, to witness over 100s of pop culture references in the overall film. The film’s true magic can be experienced in the IMAX. Just Go for it.

Verdict : It is a spectacular treat for a movie and pop culture fans by Steven Spielberg. Get Set Go.

Rating : 4.1/5

Black Panther (2018) – Movie Review

All Hail the King..

Black Panther is the 18th film in the sensational franchise of Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 1st standalone film for the superhero character Black Panther who made his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War (2016). The film is co-written and directed by very young and talented Ryan Coogler.

The film follows the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who was on the path to avenge the death of his father T’Chaka (John Kani), now returns home to the technologically advanced African nation Wakanda, and be the rightful king of the throne of Wakanda after his father’s death. The film explores the brave & kind-hearted man behind the Black Panther’s mask, and how the hardships change him as a person. As he steps into the kingship, not so far in the film, he faces catastrophe and challenged for the throne by Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) with the help of Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis).

The film is vibrant and colorful, it is a beautifully shot film, with breathtaking imagery. The film is receiving praises for the direction, costume design, cool action sequences, amazing soundtrack, and performances of the cast. The film tries to set up and explore the whole new world of Wakanda, and it is fantastic to watch. The soundtracks are very well utilized and elevate the cinematic experience. Unlike latest Thor film, the humor is very well utilized here, which does not let the drama dissolve right away, and let the film breath the moment. The villainous portrayal of Killmonger by Michael B. Jordan is striking and compelling, his motivation for his evil acts is justifiable, which makes him well-developed villain character in MCU after Loki from Avengers (2012). It is not a perfect film, it has some flaws here and there, but definitely, it is MCU’s one of the best superhero film.

Verdict : MCU’s one of the best superhero film. Go for it, and have a good time.

Rating : 3.8/5

Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Movie Review

Every Maze has an End

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the science fiction action film which is the third and most probably the last installment in the Maze Runner film saga. The film is directed by Wes Ball and written by T.S. Nowlin, based on the novel written by James Dashner.

The film picks up right where it left in the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015); Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and Fry (Dexter Darden) are the last remaining “Gladers” who are immune to the Flare virus that infected the whole world. The three goes on a mission to rescue their immune Glader friend Minho who was captured earlier by the menacing organization WCKD for running tests against the virus. Now to save their friend they must break into WCKD’s fully armored operation base named “Last City”.

The film is the honest conclusion to the Maze Runner franchise with the gripping storyline. It is not the best film in the franchise but not the bad as well. The film tries to expand its universe and gives more depth and arc to its characters. The screenplay and the direction are pretty impressive and decent visuals effects on top of it makes it more delicious. The film is entertaining and keeps the audience invested with some really cool action sequences. Performances are apt. Despite being the concluding chapter, the film doesn’t feel that epic and grand. The over-powered WCKD organization from last two installments feels useless and stands no chance against invincible protagonists.

Verdict : The film is entertaining and can be a good time this weekend.

Rating : 3.6/5

Justice League (2017)

You Can’t Save The World Alone.

Justice League is the action-adventure superhero film based on the DC Comics and the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It is one of the most awaited and highly anticipated movies of the year 2017. The film is directed by a very talented Zack Snyder, but the production of the film went through a crisis when Zack Snyder’s daughter tragically committed suicide, making him step away from the production. Then Joss Whedon came in, did some extensive reshoots and rewrites, and did some fine-tuning in his own style which he did in past for MCU’s Avengers(2012). The differences can be seen in the two different trailers of the film, the latest trailers and the one which came early last year.

The film follows the aftermath of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), where Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is dead while fighting Doomsday and Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) with his total transformation towards Superman and the world in which where he stands and what he should do to inspire and protect the people of Earth from the upcoming threats. Batman, with this determination in mind along with Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), set out on a quest for putting together a team of individuals with special abilities. On this journey, Flash/ Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) join forces with Batman and Wonder Woman to battle against the Steppenwolf (CiarĂ¡n Hinds) and his army of Parademons.

The plot of the film is not so convoluted, it is all about bringing the superheroes together to fight against the common enemy from another world who is threatening to destroy the planet Earth. The chemistry between all the lead characters established through the little conversations they have is just sheer fun to watch and convincing at the same time. The film is fast burning as it is just two hours long and they had a lot to show, which does not let the audience digest so many events which are happening in parallel, even there are some sequences which feel choppy and totally separate from the film. The villain was just the big CGI monster, with no heart, felt shallow all the time, and was no match for Justice League.

Actually the film is nostalgic to see the superhero characters coming together on the big screen from the animated series we had seen and the comic books we had read, altogether is a huge spectacle with really good action sequences, especially in IMAX 3D.

Verdict : Justice League is not a perfect film but cannot afford to miss this highly entertaining and spectacular film. Comic book fans will anyhow go to watch this.

Rating : 3.5/5