Summary: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.
I have worked on this review for a while now. It was hard to really write it without spoiling it. I haven’t decided if I’ll do a spoiler talk or not, but this review is going to be for me to get out my initial thoughts and feelings.
Cast and Characters.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man. We know who Tony is. We’ve known him for ten years now and he has become such a staple in the MCU. He is the benefactor of the Avengers and he creates his suits of armor to become Iron Man. In this film, Tony is in a dark place, he’s with Nebula in space after the Snap in the last film. He feels broken because he failed to stop Thanos, plus with the fact that Peter faded away in his arms, he’s lost all hope. Obviously, he does make it back home though and he has found hope in the dark times, but he just cannot help himself but to help the rest of his team in trying to reverse what Thanos did. Tony has always been willing to do what he thinks needs to be done, and in this movie, he has his reasons for everything he does. I love that we have seen Tony evolve over the last 10 years. It’s been amazing, and no one can play him the way Robert Downey Jr. has. He has managed to make, at least for me, Tony likable in situations that I would not find him likable. He’s made him emotional when he needs to be, cool, suave but someone who has a vision for himself, someone who has hope for what things could be. He has been a great character. Love him or hate him.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America. He is the leader of the Avengers and of course a WWII vet and a super soldier. We start off with him wanting to find where Thanos disappeared too because of what he has done. It’s important to Steve that they at least find him and take him down. As the film goes on, we see him continue to be a beacon of hope for some people as he runs a group in a church of people who are still affected by the Snap. I mean, people lost their loved ones, so it makes sense that he would try to help others move forward with their lives and fight for hope. I love that he’s doing that because that’s what he stood for as Captain America and that’s just who Steve is. I like that this is where we find him in this film. Not to mention, he’s battling with that himself. Someone who’s been optimistic and believes in saving people without risking lives, someone who has gone to bat for everyone all the time, he knows they must do it again because it just can’t be the end. Steve is such a strong and good man and I have always loved that his values have never been shaken. His belief system is part of who he is and that’s what makes him so compelling. He’s not just a boy scout but a man who searches for the best and fights for it too. Chris Evans has been great as Steve and I have always liked Evans, and I love that he plays Steve as someone who has always been a good man, but as the movies continue, he continues to fight for that every day. You can see it in the quiet moments he has. Ugh I just love him. Cap is my favorite and Evans is my favorite Chris lol. PLUS, IN THIS MOVIE HE ALMOST MADE ME COME OUT OF MY SEAT TWICE! Good reasons but I had to collect myself lol.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor. He is the King of Asgard, per his third movie. He now wields Stormbreaker, a mystical axe after his hammer was destroyed. The Snap seems to have affected Thor the most as he feels like he failed in not going for the head, or even cutting Thanos’ arm off. He had the axe created because he knew he needed something to help in the fight, but he believes people died because of him and it clearly still affects him. Without giving away where he stands in this film because it’s a great reveal, Thor must learn along the way that he is still worthy, he is still a hero and he still can do what needs to be done because he is needed. Hemsworth is extremely likable as Thor, especially in these last three movies. His character development, physically and everything else has been a great move for him. Makes him much more compelling and interesting as I never really cared for him as much as I do now. I really like Thor’s journey in the film, and I’m very interested to see what happens going forward.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk. Without giving too much away of what he’s doing since he’s not in any of the trailers lol, Bruce has managed to find a balance in his life that works for him. He basically does conclude his character arc that was started in Thor: Ragnarök and it’s been nice to see him have more to do than just be a brain and a Hulk. He gets to do another nuanced performance like what he could do in the Thor film. Mark Ruffalo is so likable in this role.
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow. I think overall, she’s underutilized in the film, but she makes some choices in the film that brings her character full circle. I’m still not happy about them but she does make the choices that make sense in the end, I guess. I’ve never really liked Johansson as an actress, but I like her enough as Natasha. I like the friendly chemistry she has with both Evans and Renner and I think her character has become extremely instrumental in what we have seen. She’s been such a key component that her choices really seem to spur some moments later. I really like the scene after she checks in with other characters and she has this silent moment to herself. That’s probably some of her best character moments and acting.
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye. Another underutilized character even with the moments he’s had where he’s been great. He is a master archer and a former Avenger after the events of Captain America: Civil War. He lost his family in The Snap, so he has taken on the mantle of “Ronin”, someone who is basically wandering around lost because he wants to avenge his family but can’t, so he takes it out on thugs and what not. I like that this is where he is because he’s always been a cool-headed kind of guy, so it’s nice to see him in a dark place that he must fight against. Jeremy Renner is great in the role and I really like the chemistry he has with ScarJo in particular. They have many great scenes together.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket. He is the only surviving member of the Guardians. I love Rocket, he’s my favorite Guardian and he’s really sad because he’s lost the only family he’s ever known, especially Groot. Even though he’s a CGI character, he is very expressive. Between Sean Gunn posing for him and Bradley Cooper doing his voice, he’s such a great character. He works with the Avengers because he was with them on Wakanda obviously and he wants to get his family back just as much as the others want their loved ones back as well. He gets teamed up with Thor again on their mission and I really like them working together, they have great banter and Rocket gets a lot of nuggets of wisdom while speaking with Thor as well.
Karen Gillan as Nebula. Surprisingly enough, Nebula is a character who has grown on me a lot in the films she’s been in and she has a nice juicy role in this film. Obviously with Thanos being her adopted father and then the whole thing with Gamora, she knows a lot and is very helpful to the Avengers. She has a lot that she gets to do in this film, she’s working with them to avenge her sister, she’s working with them because I also believe she and Tony made a friendship connection while stuck in the ship in Space. Nebula has had the chance to make certain choices that allow for her character to really mature. Karen Gillan is great, I love the voice she has for the character and some of the emotional moments she gets throughout the film are handled well.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man. Following the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott comes back from the Quantum Realm and he’s missed everything that happened, so he’s coming into it brand new. He’s almost the audience members who might have forgotten what happened in Infinity War (if that’s you, what’s wrong with you?) as he gets to learn everything and be affected by it after the fact. I really like Scott, he’s just a cool guy and he’s very funny. I love how he reacts to things. Paul Rudd is a likable dude and Scott is endearing because of it. Also, their mission they go on in this film is Scott’s idea, so he gets to be super involved because he works it out himself before he takes it to Steve and Natasha.
Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine. He is a former Officer in the Air Force and he gets to do more in this film as well. Rhodey gets teamed up with Nebula during their mission and while we don’t spend a ton of time with them during their mission, they worked well together, surprisingly lol. Rhodey is always fine, he’s likable but he’s always just felt like Tony’s best friend who is the token black guy and he ways, he still feels that way, but I like that he gets to be more incorporated and he always manages to find humor in the situation even if he’s not trying to funny on purpose. Don Cheadle is always a win and he’s still good as Rhodey.
Supporting Characters. So, I really needed to separate the two brackets because we have the ones who are directly involved, and you have others who are sprinkled throughout the film.
Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel. They really made it seem like she was going to be heavily involved and spoiler alert, she’s not. I’m sure some people will be happy about that apparently a lot of people don’t like her. But whatever. Anyways, Carol shows up after receiving the distress call from Fury during the end credit scene of Infinity War. If you watch her movie, you’ll see why she came when he called. She helps them in the beginning but then must return to space because there are other planets who are suffering as Earth is and she is someone who can help with that lol. I like Carol and I like Brie Larson as Carol and I like that she pops in when she’s needed and that she just gets integrated into the team.
Danai Gurira as Okoye. I was a little miffed that she is also not in the film much even though she’s on the poster and was in the trailers, but anyway, after the disappearance of T’Challa and whoever else in Wakanda, it seems that she has taken on the role of “leader” in their disappearance. She has a great entrance later in the film.
Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts. She is Tony’s boo and, in this film, she’s with the Avengers while they’re trying to find Tony and then she and Tony manage to find a little slice of heaven in their corner of the world. I like Pepper and Tony’s relationship. She never takes any of his crap and always calls him out on his. I like her involvement as well.
Josh Brolin as Thanos. He is an intergalactic despot from Titan who collected the six Infinity Stones to inflict his will on all of reality. He’s retired because he did it. We get to see Thanos a bit more in the film than I expected and he’s still an interesting villain but he’s much more compelling in Infinity War lol. Josh Brolin still does a great job for him though.
Emotional Moments and Overall. Ya’ll I cried both times I saw this film. I cried harder the second time, but listen, it almost took me out and in a different way than Infinity War did. There is a lot of silent moments in the film that really allow us to sit with the characters in the aftermath of the Snap and how they have.
A Beautiful Ending. One of the biggest praises I think this film can receive is the fact that it manages to wrap up so many story lines and character arcs we have followed for ten years over a span of 22 films. I think that is a giant feat for this film. The characters we have come to love and admire, especially our original lineup of Avengers, really get to have great character moments, that allow us to see that while we’re coming to an end of their stories and journeys, they are still the people we have come to love and they deserve to have the world as they have given up so many things to save ours. I cried. I think mostly with the two characters who have spear-headed this universe. I think it’s beautiful, emotional, and while I still have my issues with some choices, I think for what was created, it was beautiful.
Character Arcs. Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Thor, Natasha Romanov, Nebula and Scott Lang really get some nice moments for their characters in this film. A lot of these characters have arcs that spanned over many movies, which makes sense as people are always changing, always evolving, always learning and I love that we have seen this progress and they all progress even further in this film. We get to see Tony and Steve come face to face again after the events of Civil War. They must rebuild that trust and friendship again and I think it’s easy to see that Steve really wants to do that as soon as he sees Tony. Plus, Tony finally found something he’s been looking for all his life and he must make decisions on how best to keep that while also helping to save the world. Then there’s Thor with feeling unworthy because he thinks he failed. I mean there is so much good stuff and they still manage to juggle all of this. Some gets more than others, which I get but it still works!
It’s funny. I don’t think it’s like hilarious funny, but it has a lot of funny moments. I think with this new direction for Thor, he’s been funny as Chris Hemsworth has great comedic timing and the direction Thor takes in this movie is funny but also a little sad and I think it makes sense for where he ends up. Tony is funny when he needs to be as always, we know that Paul Rudd is in this one as Scott Lang and he’s great and even Chris Evans has some great moments. Everyone at least gets two or three humorous lines.
The Big Battle. Ya’ll, listen. This is the fight we’ve always wanted in terms of everyone who is involved. I can’t say it’s the best choreographed because that honor still goes to the Elevator Scene and the Highway Scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Honestly all the fights in that movie lol. But just the grand scale of it all, it’s so beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye. We really get to see Steve, Tony and Thor all shine in this fight as they are our “big three” from the first group of Avengers. We also get some other nice moments during this fight that I won’t spoil but listen, I almost jumped out of my seat the first go around when something happens with a character because IT IS GLORIOUS, AND IT WAS EVERYTHING TO ME AND I AM SO HAPPY.
Pacing Issues. This movie is long, and they have said that many times. It’s over three hours long and that’s not a problem for me, even though my body didn’t care, and I had to leave one the first time and TWICE the second time. So, upset. Anyways, there are times when the movie really slows down, and I get it, there’s a lot of introspection and what not, but it also feels like it’s long for the sake of being long. I don’t think that’s always a good thing. There are middle portions where it just feels like it could have been condensed or there could have been some more meat added to it. For example, Rhodey and Nebula’s scene was a set up for another plot point, but it didn’t have nearly as much meat as what Tony, Steve, Scott and Hulk had to do, or even what Natasha and Clint had to do. Plus, Scott must learn everything that happened and of course we already know that so it’s like, it’s necessary for the character but not really for the audience.
Some Character Choices. I obviously don’t want to spoil anything, but I didn’t really like how some characters ended up in the movie. I don’t know if I can charge that against the movie or not, but I know I didn’t really like it. I get it, I really do. I’m thinking of two specific things, but I was not happy with what happened and for the sake of the movie, I guess it works, for the sake of those characters, it works but I just did not like it! lol
Overall, I love Avengers: Endgame for what it was able to accomplish and basically for being the ending to a beautiful story. The biggest thing for me was the characters and the acting. Sure, the action is great, but the real selling point is the characters and their connections to each other, their arcs and their desperation to fix what’s been done. That’s the true selling point. Everyone is top notch in this film, particularly Downey Jr., Evans, Hemsworth, Gillan, Johansson (which is high praise for me lol). The emotional points are extremely important for the film and the characters. I think it’s funny with a lot of character reactions and great dialogue pieces. Also, the last battle sequence is fun! I think we get to see a lot of characters shine and of course, I jumped out of my seat and had to catch myself during that scene lol. And of course, the ending is beautiful and bittersweet. I have a few issues with the film but a lot of them get into spoiler territory, but I think the pacing was off, it probably didn’t need to be three hours long and I didn’t like some character choices. But I think Avengers: Endgame was worth the lead up for the 22 films if just for the characters. Watch this film to get the finality of this ten-year story we have experienced!
Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
Have you seen Avengers: Endgame? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more Movie Reviews.
What is your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film?
Spoilers below this LINE!
I read this article that said the creators were really pushing Avengers: Endgame for Oscar nominations. I don’t think this is ridiculous to be honest, however, not for Best Picture. While I loved Endgame, what it represents and what it did, I don’t think compared to other MCU films that it’s the best one. For me, Captain America: Winter Soldier is still the best film and that one should have been nominated back in 2014. I would have even given Sebastian Stan a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his extremely tragic and nuanced performance as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. Endgame could be a contender for a lot of technical awards and I would even say Robert Downey Jr. or even Chris Evans for Best Actor, would they win? Probably not but I think they both could get those awards.
Now, for the REAL spoilers. I have seen people talk about the “GIRL POWER” moment in Endgame where Captain Marvel shows up and Peter has the gauntlet and she’s going to try and take it back into the quantum thingy in Scott’s brown van. So, Carol has it and Peter’s like “I don’t know how you’ll get through that”, then Wanda shows up and says, “Don’t worry” and Okoye comes into the picture “she has help” or something like that and literally all the women from the movies come into the scene. Pepper in her iron armor, Valkyrie, Shuri, Okoye, Wanda, Mantis, Gamora, Nebula and the Wasp and they start clearing the way for Carol to make it through. I cheered as it was awesome. So, I’ve seen that people are saying it’s not an earned moment and that it was forced and what not, but I don’t think I agree. I get that, especially since Natasha wasn’t included as she sacrificed herself, so Clint could get the Soul stone. I know people are upset because they killed Natasha and there wasn’t a funeral for her like there was for Tony, not to mention, she’s the first female Avenger and HOW DARE THEY NOT HAVE IN THAT KIND OF MOMENT and I think the biggest thing is here is that Natasha gave her life to not only save her family, but to save Clint who was going down a dark path and he has a wife and children. She felt like she had to do it to save him, especially after he saved her way back when. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset about her death, but I see why they did it. She also paved the way for all these women to be in this fight and kick some ass. It could have happened sooner, but I think it’s fine that it happened in that moment. It was also a call back to when Natasha herself appeared with Okoye to help Wanda when fighting Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War. It was a legit callback to Natasha’s line “Don’t worry…” they even had Wanda say it.
Summary: Six strangers find themselves in a maze of deadly mystery rooms and must use their wits to survive.
I’m just mad at that fact that I am not going to be doing any escape rooms now lol. Unless I clearly see the group, who goes before us all come out unscathed, then I’ll go lol. Normally, I wouldn’t care and would spoil the mess out of this movie in this review, but full disclosure, I did enjoy it overall.
This is a short review.
The Escape Rooms. The biggest thing going for this movie is the format of the rooms. The first room is set up like a waiting room and when Ben tries to leave, the handle pops up and an oven dial pops up. The room is like a giant oven. We then have a Cabin room, then an Ice Room. My favorite room and the best one visually and dynamically was the Billiard/Bar room. That one was inverted so when the characters went inside, the pool table, bar, all that kind of stuff was on the ceiling and the characters were on the ground which looked like a ceiling. It was pretty dope and it allowed for some interesting stunts and it was tension filled. This is probably the best part in the movie. After this room is this Triage room filled with hospital beds, a Trippy Fingerprint weird room and then a library? These rooms are quite creative in how they’re handled and presented to the characters and the audience.
Some of the acting. I think Deborah Ann Woll as Amanda was the best actress in the group. Her character is also among the most likable. When we first met her, I was a little unsure about her, but she ended up growing on me. Logan Miller as Ben is also good. His character is meant to be unlikable but he also grew on me as the movie went on, which attests to the fact that Logan Miller is likable, (like I said in my Love, Simon review). Tyler Labine as Mike was fine, he seemed like a nice guy and Nik Dodani as Danny was also fine. He wasn’t terrible.
First Two Acts. Everything leading up to the conclusion worked enough. While you may not like or care about any of these people, you might find yourself invested in their backstories and why they were chosen for this experience. I think the movie is genuinely fun and enjoyable up until the Triage room. Its tension filled, it’s not scary but you do have to wonder what is going to happen in this room that might cause someone to get hurt or die lol. It’s kind of fascinating as well at how people work together and against each other for a common goal.
The Characters. So, we get to meet Jason, Zoey and Ben first in their respective lives before they all come together for the escape room. Once that happens, we meet three other people who have also been invited to the escape room and there’s just this negative feeling in the air. Danny says it perfectly “I’m playing the funnest game with the world’s meanest people” which was true. As the movie goes on, some of these people end up a bit more likable but I don’t think I have ever had a movie start where I have literally disliked every character in their introduction.
Cliché/Predictable. So, this movie is pretty cliché and predictable. I called everything. The film in ways reminds me of the Saw movies, in terms of the set up and execution, not that I have firsthand experience as I will not watch those movies. But as it went on I was like “oh, so this is basically Saw” just without the gore. I called the ending. I called the connections of the rooms with the character’s backstories. I mean, it’s not hard to get once things get going. I think the movie wanted to be clever, but it just felt like “meh”.
Stupid, Stupid Decisions. First, if someone I know sends me some mysterious puzzle box thing, I’m going to call them to thank them, or even verify that they sent it to me. Plus, they have these cryptic little notes, I mean COME ON! I also check everything for reviews, but I go beyond the company website because those are usually fake anyway. But outside of that, they just touch stuff without thinking about it, like at the beginning when Ben is in the library room, he sees that the door has this four-number lock and he goes “okay, there’s four numbers” and he proceeds to move the number one which causes the walls to start closing in on him. I’m like… bruh, you just said you needed four numbers, WHY WOULD YOU MOVE ONE OF THEM WITHOUT KNOWING THE CODE! Dumb. Then later in the Billiard room when three people are hanging on to the bookshelf… do y’all think it’s going to hold all three of y’all? There are other things to grab on to. In the waiting/oven room, when Zoey figures out the first official clue, everyone kind of freaks out at her about it and I’m like “but this is what you’re supposed to do and she’s the one who pretty much makes quick work of that first room” sooo chiiiiill.
The Last Act. After the Triage room, it just gets ridiculous and stupid and it no longer takes the time it was taking in the beginning. It just begins to speed towards the big finish that you’re like “whoa wait… stop!” The acting particularly from Jay Ellis and Taylor Russell gets worse as Jason continues to make decision after decision that is even proof of his horrible writing and Zoey… it was like a 180. Albeit, you could say for a reason, but ugh it was cringey. Then the way it ends! I mean are you KIDDING ME? That entire scene and the very last line completely pushed me away. I was kind of into it, it’s not that great but I was into it and that just ruined it completely. I think I even laughed and said “wow”. So, I watched the alternate ending and that would have been a much better ending than what we got. *sighs* Fail you guys. Major fail.
Overall, I think Escape Room is fun enough and passable enough in the first half to be enjoyable fun, especially with a group of people. Some of the acting is good and watching the characters explore and navigate these rooms, which is clearly where all the attention went too because surely, it’s not character development. The leading up to the final act and climax is kind of okay in terms of build-up, tension and entertainment. The rooms are the best part of the movie and Deborah Ann Woll stands out as the best actress in the film with probably the best character… with that said, I don’t think movie works the way it wants to by the end. The ending completely undercuts what it spent its time trying to build up, especially with the acting becoming over the top, particularly from Taylor Russell. Not to mention, the last five minutes…gosh. Don’t end your movie on a BAD NOTE otherwise that’s ALL THE AUDIENCE WILL REMEMBER! Anyways, check this one out if you like your January “horror films” or you’re just curious, it’s mostly harmless.
Rating: 2 out 5 stars.
Have you seen Escape Room? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know down below! If you haven’t, are you even interested in seeing it?
Will you go to an actual Escape Room after this? I probably won’t lol.
Summary: A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.
Cast and Characters.
Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Alexander “Alex” Elliot. He is our 12-year-old hero. He tries to stand up for his friend whenever he gets bullied, but he doesn’t always feel like he can make any difference in this world. He’s just a cog in a machine. However, one night things change for him when he manages to pull a sword from stone on a building yard. He begins to believe in this journey that is inspired from his storybook. He picks up on the myth quickly, it isn’t something he has to be introduced too. Of course like all Chosen Ones, he’s against it at first, he’s just a kid but he soon realizes that he can’t run from this and he’s all in. A bit too over his head but he’s ready for the challenge. He never backs down and even in his weakest moments, people still believe and root for him. Alex is a great character to add to the Chosen One list. He’s noble, wise and determined and I really liked him. First of all, Louis Serkis looks JUST LIKE HIS DADDY Andy Serkis. But this kid was great. His emotional moments were so pure and I really believed that he was a descendant of King Arthur. He’s a really dynamic lead actor.
Dean Chaumoo as Bedders. This kid was the cutest. He’s the sidekick who is often bullied more than the main character, and they may not feel as important or strong as the main character but Bedders never says any of this until he has to confront Alex himself. Bedders spends a lot of the movie following Alex, but he has his own interests, his own reasons for joining. It’s fun at first, but when stuff hits the fan, he’s ride or die and that’s really great. Plus, his interest in magic also allows him to gain even more experience that he may not have gotten otherwise. Dean Chaumoo seems like a really sweet and genuine kid and the way he plays Bedders, it comes through.
Tom Taylor as Lance. So he is the main bully of the film along with Kaye, which is funny since Lancelot is like Arthur’s right hand man for a time ya know before the whole love triangle thing lol. But, he’s mean and he only thinks about himself and what he wants, what he is supposed to be and have, and his journey is probably one of the bigger ones in the film. He’s one of those characters that you probably won’t like in the beginning but you grow to like him as he seems to grow up. This young actor is likable though, which I think is a good thing for this character. He also have some great line deliveries and facial expressions.
Rhianna Dorris as Kaye. I quite liked her, especially as she went on throughout the film. She starts out as this hard character, someone who is following the leader but not the right leader. She may be able to think quick on her feet but her word is “Callow” throughout the film, meaning she is inexperienced or naive and she is when it comes to dealing with people. However, as the movie goes on, I think she’s way more willing to on Alex’s side than Lance is but she doesn’t stand up for them to Lance the way she should. That’s her journey for the film. I believe this young actress is a newbie but I thought she did really well. She’s cute, I liked her style and I very much enjoyed watching her. Very dynamic.
Rebecca Ferguson as Morgana. An evil sorceress and old enemy of Merlin, her half-brother King Arthur, and all of Camelot. She’s not in the movie a lot, and I actually wish she was. Her design was pretty cool and I liked the look of when she was stuck in her banished place. She had this earthy thing going on, her dress looked like it was made of roots, and she had dominion over roots and branches and stuff and it was really nice aesthetically. The few times she was on screen, she did this weird voice when she talked but that was really all. I thought Rebecca Ferguson was wasted even though she was a good choice.
Angus Imrie as Merlin. He is a wizard who was an ally of King Arthur. Because Merlin ages backwards, he has the appearance of a teenager after centuries have passed. This kid was great! He’s probably my favorite in the entire movie because he’s zany and weird and he just exists. When he comes to find and protect Alex, he always manages to show up whenever he needs to. I wonder just how many times Angus did those hand motions before he got them all right and the speed and everything lol.
Patrick Stewart as Merlin. He is in his physically older form. We see him a few times throughout the film and the first time he shows up, it almost reminded me of when Gandalf snapped on Bilbo lol. He is great at giving great advice and he was so dishelved it was great lol.
Magic Use. I loved how Merlin did his spells. The amount of hand motions, snapping, clapping, fist pounding stuff he would do was just great. When he first did it to spell a few policemen, I was like “what in the world is he doing?” but it’s charming and funny each time he does it. Not to mention, when he sneezes to turn into a bird or to turn into his older self. It’s really great.
Character Arcs. Each of our main characters have character arcs they must go through in order to fulfill their destiny. Kaye and Lance have to learn how to work with other people who they might not have otherwise. Kaye has to learn to stand up for what she believes in and stop just following Lance because that’s how it’s always been. Lance has to learn how to not think it’s all about him and that he’s the one whose supposed to do all this stuff when he’s a right hand man. Bedders has to learn to be brave and to even at times, stand up to Alex and remind him that he has a voice too. Alex has to learn to let go of his fantasies and remember and love what is right in front of him. Plus, be able to stand up and lead others. Each character, even if their arc is small, they all manage to make it to the end of their arc and it’s great to see.
Friendly Chemistry. Alex and Bedders are best friends at the start and they have a great relationship. Mostly. There is always one friend who is “meeker” than the other and that’s Bedders. Alex tries to come to his rescue when he can but Alex also doesn’t want to put himself in anymore bullies way. Bedders believes in Alex, he might be scared, but he wants to be involved, and have something to believe in. Then you have Lance and Kaye, who are roll dogs and it’s clear that Lance is in charge which is why Kaye’s word is callow, she’s clever but she goes along with him. They trust each other but their friendship isn’t the healthiest but as the movie goes along, and they are knighted by Alex and have to learn to work with the kids they bullied, and also for Alex and Bedders to work with their bullies, it’s a lot to take in but it’s a learning experience and they do learn. They all work really well together when they are able to fall into it. It’s not easy but it’s great to watch. Plus, the young actors also work really well together.
Strong Story.This is inspired by Arthurian legends but it’s placed into the hands of a child and in modern times. This is something I haven’t seen before, at least not done well. Avalon High could have been that but the movie version completely butchered the charm of the novel. Anyways, lol I like that you have these kids who are the embodiments of the legendary heroes, tough start or not, and they all have to realize who they are in themselves, while also doing their part to fulfill the prophecy put forth by Morgana and Arthur in the past. Lance is greedy, Kaye is callow, Bedders is meek and Alex is lost in the myths. It’s something that is said throughout the film, it’s who they start out as and they have to allow this journey, this quest, to help them change into the heroes, the good people they are supposed to be. I like that while there is an overarching quest, they each had their own quest to go on.
Great Music. This films has a great soundtrack. It is full of whimsical music, triumphant sounds, cascading melodies, intensity. Lol. I think it all works to elevate what is going on in this film.
Main Climax. So obviously our people have to fight our main villain and in the trailers, we see that Alex has to get his schoolmates to fight with him. Listen, it’s great and Alex gets to be a true king, a true leader, and his friends trust themselves enough, they believe in themselves enough to lead their own battalions. It was great. It was like Home Alone but with actual war. It was such great fun to watch.
Use of the Villain. Rebecca Ferguson plays Morgana which I thought was an interesting choice and I was really interested in seeing what she would do. The problem I have is that I think she is pretty wasted. She spends a lot of time banished in the underworld and she does a lot of whispered talking to her minions and when things happen later, she turns into this big CGI creature that I was like meh and I never really got the impending doom from her that they were building up. It was a letdown.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. When I saw the trailers, I thought “That looks cute” but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. It’s really good and the kids are great. Every single one of them are great in their roles. Their characters are interesting and we get to see a genuine arc from each other them that makes sense for their characters. Merlin was of course my favorite. The music is great and really fits the film. I thought the friendship built between the four main characters and even building on the two separate ones was handled really well. I really like how the magic was used, it was weird and different but very charming. I also really liked the story. It’s something we are familiar with but it’s told in a completely different way then we’re used to seeing and I think that’s what helps it stand apart and always makes it such a strong film. Also, without giving anything away, the main climax of the film is so much fun that I think I smiled throughout the entire film and I wish I could be part of it as a kid. My one main gripe is that the villain is underwhelming. I guess in the end she was just a catalyst as the real story is about the kids overcoming their own demons, but it sucks that Rebecca Ferguson was wasted and even when she was a true foe, she was an ugly CGI creature. Otherwise, check this one out. It’s a really charming and pure film.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Kid Who Would Be King? If so, what did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for more reviews coming up! I have lots in the queue.
Summary: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM. – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.
Full disclosure. This is the only “DCEU” movie I have whole heartedly enjoyed. This is the only one I have to say I enjoyed from start to finish.
Cast and Characters.
Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as William “Billy” Batson / Shazam. So, this character is played by two people obviously. Billy is a troubled orphaned boy who is searching for his mother. As a child, he was lost at a fair and has searched for his mother ever since. He has a hard time fitting in with his foster families (even if they do want him) because he’s so hell bent on finding his birth mother that this current family really wants to make things work with him. When he meets the new family, he still has a hard time connecting to the kids because he’s so ready to leave. However, Billy isn’t mean though. I mean, he’s hard to connect to and he does do some mean things, but he isn’t like spiteful. He’s sad and really wants to find where he belongs. I quite liked Asher Angel. I’ve never seen him in anything, but he handles that one particular emotional moment really well, I really felt for him. I also think he has good comedic timing when he needed to have it and I wish we got to see more of him, but I guess people go for Shazam! As for Levi who is Shazam, he is basically Billy just physically an adult. He has the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles and the Speed of Mercury. He learns these powers along the way but also, he’s a 14-year-old so he’s having fun. I like Zachary Levi, he has a nice charm to him that makes him fun to watch. He isn’t who I would have pictured when I thought of Shazam but he’s clearly having fun and he does a good job. My only problem is I think Asher Angel kind of has this coolness to him and Zachary Levi, as his adult version, didn’t have that same coolness. Otherwise, I believed they were the same person.
Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. He is a physicist who is pretty much the black sheep of his family. His dad is played by Lionel Luther from Smallville! lol, Thad was a kid, he was summoned by the Wizard Shazam but was not chosen so he has dedicated his life to finding out a way to get back there. He’s obsessive and clearly won’t stop at anything to get what he wants. When he does get the powers he gets, he uses them for his goals, which was mostly to get back at his family. Later, he decides he also wants the Champion’s powers, so he goes after Shazam. I mean, Mark Strong is a good actor and Sivana is an interesting character, but I didn’t really care that much about him to see what kind of trouble he might cause. I mostly just loved him physically fighting Shazam. Mark Strong is always imposing though.
Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman. Freddy is the first person in the new foster family that Billy connects to. He is disabled but he does his own thing because he doesn’t care. He’s a superhero enthusiast and of course becomes the only person who knows about Shazam. It’s his idea to test out what his powers are, among other things. Freddy is likable, but I think that has a lot to do with Jack Dylan Grazer who is very likable himself. He just truly enjoys life and it’s great to have a character, with his circumstances who is like that without feeling forced or annoying.
The Foster Family. So, the foster family that Billy is “adopted” into has a lot of people floating around. They’re all likable and I won’t go through them all, but I think it’s important to mention them.
Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley. Billy’s youngest foster sibling at his new home, an energetic and effusive little girl. She’s very sweet and just pure innocence. I’m so impressed at how much Faithe was close both physically and characteristically to the comic version of her.
Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield. Billy’s foster sister at his new home, the “den mother” who helps take care of the other kids and is debating attending college in California. Mary is the oldest, so she takes on the role of making sure everyone does what they’re supposed to and making sure they’re okay at school. She’s also very smart, so she’s thinking about what she might do for college. She’s likable and though her role isn’t large, she seems to be a protector and a kind of ‘go get ’em’ kind of girl.
Ian Chen as Eugene Choi. Billy’s foster brother at his new home, an obsessive gaming enthusiast and budding techie. He’s a smarty-pants, as there always needs to be one. We really don’t see a ton from him but he’s cute and likable and you get to know him enough.
Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña. Billy’s foster brother at his new home, a shy, sensitive kid who has trouble opening up. We don’t see a lot from him, but I like his willingness to help at the end.
Marta Milans as Rosa Vasquez and Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez. The foster mother and father of the group home where Billy and his friends live. He is a beautiful man lol. But anyways, they’re fine, they do what they’re supposed to, and they have great chemistry. They’re cute.
Superhero Aspect. I like that the powers of Shazam had to be given to someone who was worthy and while Billy may not be the perfect kid, he is a good kid and he has potential to be great. I liked that that was something that didn’t just happen to him, he was chosen, even if he wasn’t the first choice. That was pretty cool. Plus, he’s a kid who is magically aged up to an adult (I used to think that Shazam inhabited Billy Batson’s body and whenever he said his name, they like switched places, not that Shazam is the aged-up version of whoever has his power) but he’s still a kid. That’s a neat idea. Plus, going on the journey to find out what his powers are, it’s always fun to see a person discover their new abilities along the way. Plus, Billy learns a lot of lessons in there as well.
Awesome Action. The action, especially in the latter half of the film is handled so well. I like the choreography of the fights between Shazam and his villain. I also really liked how Billy was quick enough on his feet to understand how he could use his powers to an even bigger use. Like when he gets smart and “SHAZAM” to evade the fight for a moment, or to make the villain lose him in the crowd. I thought that was handled well. Also, the big battle at the end, was fun. Good job movie.
Fun, Energetic and Hilarious. I didn’t expect much but I laughed quite a bit throughout the movie. It has a light nature to it even with its darker elements. It doesn’t try too hard, it just is. Jack Dylan Grazer and Zachary Levi, and by extension Asher Angel have good chemistry and whenever they’re on screen together, it really builds like a friendship into perhaps a brotherhood. There are some pop culture references, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with the jokes nor does it feel forced. It’s also just a lighthearted movie so it doesn’t feel like a long slog.
Nice Story. In the end, this movie is about family and being true to who you are. Billy’s entire journey is him discovering himself and just how important family is but it’s not always going to be the family you expect. It’s a sweet message and it also makes Billy relatable because sometimes you find family in the places you expected the least. Not to mention, it’s all about who you are on the inside. That is what allows Billy to be chosen and become Shazam and realize his fully powers.
Pacing Issues. I think the pacing of the movie is inconsistent. There are some slow moments, or moments where the movie slows down to the point where it begins to feel too long. I think the climax at the end, while cool, took too long to happen.
The Designs of the Deadly Sins. In the comics, these characters have a look that makes them stand out from each other. In the film, they’re all rock creatures and while they seem to have their own design, we never know which sin they are. I guessed throughout the film who might be. Gluttony at least had an obvious design. He looked like Gluttony from Fullmetal Alchemist. I also know Envy because he was the smallest, other than that, no idea. I just wish they had more of a unique look to them. Plus, they reminded me of the rock generals from TMNT.
Freddy and Billy’s Argument. So, they have an argument about midpoint through the movie, while Billy is full Shazam. People record it, but I thought it was a little left field. I mean, Freddy knows the secret and they’ve been training for a good amount of the movie to test his powers, but then Freddy says something at school that Billy does not agree too but I guess he decided he would do it anyway but Billy forgets about it and Freddy is all upset because Billy didn’t do the thing that Billy never said he would do anyway. So, Freddy calls him out on the things THEY WERE DOING TOGETHER! If anything, I believe what Freddy was accusing Billy of doing was Freddy’s idea first and Billy just went along with it and furthered it. So, I thought, while this argument served its purpose, it came out of nowhere to me. Like Freddy, you aren’t a victim here.
One Dimensional Villain. So, spoiler alert but Mark Strong plays the villain in this movie. I mean, he always does lol, I was surprised when his character in Kingsman was a good guy and remained so lol. Anyways, while I think Mark Strong is a good actor and he looks like his comic book counterpart (from the New 52 anyway), his character left a lot to be desired. I did not care about what he wanted to do at all. I didn’t think he was that much of a threat. After he did what he’s wanted to do for years, his story was really kind of over. They combined his plot in the comics with Black Adam from the first Shazam! (New 52). I don’t mind that, but I just think he was very cookie cutter and I feel like he could have been more sinister than he was. He looked cool but that was about it for me.
Overall, I really liked this movie A LOT. Like I said, this is the only DCEU (is that still a thing these days?) film that I have liked from beginning to end. The main characters are all interesting and I really liked the chemistry between Billy (Both versions) and Freddy. I thought Asher Angel had a coolness about him while also maintaining a kind of tragic feeling considering his background. Zachary Levi, I felt was a little different than Asher Angel, like he had way more childlike glee than Asher did. The superhero aspect was fun in how it was handled and how Billy and Freddy worked it out together. It was fun and energetic, and quite funny. The action is also handled well. I was into it. The story is also nice and has a sweet and relatable message. Now, for a few of the cons, I think the villain was one dimensional even though he was imposing physically, I don’t think he was that interesting once he completes one of his ultimate goals. The is a bit of a pacing issue and I didn’t care for the Seven Sins’ design nor did I think the argument between Freddy and Billy that prompts a lot of the third act was founded. BUT Shazam! is a great movie and I think everyone should give it a chance.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Shazam! What did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts down below!
Summary: A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgangers appear and begin to terrorize them.
There will be spoilers at the very end of this review. The initial review is spoiler free. Also, I don’t like horror films and while this one will probably be classified as “horror”, I did not find it scary.
I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED THIS REVIEW!! I’ve been trying to finish this thing forever!
Cast and Characters. We pretty much stick with the family in this one. As they play two characters I’m going to try not to go overboard with talking about each character.
Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson/Red. So, Adelaide is a quiet woman, she says she has a hard time talking and that’s evident a little early in the film. She had a traumatic experience as a child and returning to her childhood home has her on edge as she sees coincidences that remind her of what happened before. When the day ends she tells her husband that she’s just worried that something will happen, and she finally tells him what happened when she was a little girl. Then of course, things happen. So, she goes on the journey in this movie trying to run from the horrors of her past while also trying to protect her family. She doesn’t particularly care about the world because it’s not her problem but she’s hellbent on protecting her family. Now, Red is Adelaide’s “shadow” and she has returned with her shadow family for her reasons I won’t spoil here. She’s terrifying in how she moves, her expressions, how she talks, and you can’t help but be transfixed by her. Lupita is amazing in this movie. Even if this movie wasn’t good in my eyes, I would still think Lupita is amazing in it. She’s so good. I think as Adelaide she plays the strength she needs, the fear, the anger, all of it so well. For Red, it’s such a different performance and it’s so haunting. It’s so good.
Madison Curry as Young Adelaide/Young Red. We see this young actress in the flashback portions of the movie and we spend enough time with her to see how she differentiates between the two characters as well. I thought she did very well, especially since most of her acting is physical and, in her face, as she doesn’t say much.
Winston Duke as Gabe Wilson/Abraham. It’s M’BAKU! lol But Gabe is that type to want to keep up with the Joneses because he does things in this movie, at the beginning to try and match up with their friends who seem to be rich. He buys a boat, he wants to go to the beach and talk about the things they have and are getting. He also doesn’t seem to take a lot of things as serious as he should. When Adelaide tells him of her fears, he’s joking about it and almost dismissive of her worry and fear. When the Shadow family first appears, he’s like “Um okay, y’all need to leave” but it doesn’t get serious for him in terms of the stakes until Abraham snatches his glasses from him lol. Even when they’re talking in the living room, he keeps talking and it’s like, bruh shut up lol. Now as Abraham, he’s big and imposing and he doesn’t talk so you’re not sure what he’s going to do at all. Winston Duke plays the two characters who are also so different and it’s like night and day. I thought he did a great job at being kind of goofy as Gabe and then imposing as Abraham.
Shahadi Wright Joseph as Zora Wilson/Umbrae. Zora is their teenage daughter, she ran track prior to their summer and has decides she doesn’t want to run anymore. She’s always on her phone and she does get into it with Jason but it’s not like how they usually show brother/sister relationships where it’s antagonistic. Zora seems to think quickly on her toes as the film gets going, and she’s probably like 13 so she wants to drive but her parents are like “nah”. But she manages to handle the situation like a pro. Now Umbrae doesn’t talk either, but she just smirks and giggles the entire time. It’s great and I found her the most unsettling. Being that she’s Zora’s shadow, she’s a runner and she also seems to be the most brutal as well. Shahadi did such a great job as both characters. For her to just keep that smirk on her face and giggle and be so unsettling is a win.
Evan Alex as Jason Wilson/Pluto. He is the youngest child and he’s a little strange. He seems to keep to himself and loves magic tricks. Jason seems to know different hiding spots in the house and he utilizes them when he needs to. He’s very observant and a lot of times it’s worth watching his expression for clues and realizations because he’s clearly figured it out before you. He’s a sweet boy though and I like his and Zora’s relationship gets stronger as the movie goes on and that he’s also willing to do what he needs to. As Pluto, he’s little monster who wears a skin-tight mask over his face and who likes fire. He’s a scary little monster lol. Evan Alex does a good job as both characters. He of course cannot talk as Pluto, but he makes little grunting noise and sounds like an animal. I think that was in line with what he was in Red’s eyes lol.
The Story. The story is interesting and fully in spoiler territory, so I’ll be brief about this. So, basically Adelaide experienced something traumatic as a child and she has now returned to her childhood home where she begins to see all kinds of coincidences that make her think of what happened before. Just as she finally expresses what happened to her husband, a family shows up and begins to terrorize them. We learn this family is a shadow of our current family and the ride never stops from there. I think this story is a dig at a lot of things. What you take from it I think will be different from person to person. It’s a commentary on identity in ways but also on the government. Not to mention, on how people deal with their choices and the implications of that. That is all I will say here.
The Horror/Thriller Aspect. While I don’t think the movie is scary overall, it does have horror elements. Jordan Peele sets up scenes that are meant to leave you tense and trying to prepare for what’s about to happen. Not to mention, this movie doesn’t seem completely far-fetched. You can’t help but to wonder. Not to mention, what would you do in this situation? How would you react? It’s thoughts like that that linger that makes this scary. Also, the performances are unsettling and the whole idea of what the doppelgangers are trying to do… it’s a lot for the senses but it’s not scary! At least not in the traditional sense!
Musical Score. The music is beautiful in this movie. Particularly the scene during the opening credits with the rabbits. It was so haunting! The music really helps elevate parts of the film.
All the Signs. I watched this movie twice and on the second viewing, it really helped put things into perspective now that I knew what I could expect at the end. I really liked how they were used to foreshadow what was coming, what we were going to learn about the characters and the story. I thought it was clever. I think it’s easy to notice on the first go around, but there’s nothing like watching and experiencing it again once you’ve already seen it and now know the truth.
Not Enough Answered Questions. I talked with my brother-in-law and older sister about this movie briefly and we had a nice discussion. However, I still think there were a lot of questions that were raised in the movie and not enough were answered. I know movies can be left up to interpretation but when the movie itself poses questions or poses situations and doesn’t answer them or give clarity to what it’s presenting us. For example, we get a ton of information when we first meet Red, which poses some questions and gives a bit of answers. Then later, we get more information that gives us even more questions, but nothing is truly answered. It’s just frustrating because when those questions arise, it’s hard to ignore them.
Weak Last Act. I think the story remains interesting but compared to the set up, I think the last act is weak in how it’s portrayed to the audience. So, we get a lot of information in the last act which raises a ton of questions, but it’s delivered to us in a “villain’s monologue” and the information is not only a lot to take in, but it leaves a bit of head scratching. Sure, sure, you can argue that it was meant to be taken how the audience takes it but you’re clearly setting up a narrative and while it’s crazy, like don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the reveal, it doesn’t hold a clear weight.
The Other Family. I know why they were there, I know why they were included in the movie, but I would have rather just spent the entire movie with the Wilsons without spending the 10 minutes we do with that other family. Other than to show us Gabe’s whole thing of “keeping up with the Joneses” they could have been left out. It wasn’t a necessity personally.
Overall, I really liked Us. I don’t think it’s as good or tight as Get Out is but Us manages to find its way through some of its weaker and confusing aspects and still provide a thrilling experience. The acting is good all around, the Wilson family are all interesting people and I would love to just spend a day with them that doesn’t revolve around their doppelgangers coming to visit. The story is interesting and provides a lot of metaphors and allegory that can be interpreted in different ways by different people. The music is fantastic and adds to the creep factor. The horror aspect, while it’s not a scary film, works as it provides tension. Plus, all the signs that foreshadow what’s to come are handled so well that on the second watch, you find yourself taking note of them all. Now, I did have a few minor problems. I think the film has a weak last act compared to the first two. It also raises too many questions and not answering enough of them. It doesn’t come off smart but confusing and irritating. I also think the other family could have been cut from the film or at least not given an entire sequence by themselves later, who really cared about them? ANYWAYS, great movie, I really liked it and I think it’s worth the watch, especially to see what Jordan Peele thought up.
Rating: 4.0 out 5 stars.
Spoilers Below This Warning.
So, I knew I wasn’t going to do a spoiler review for this film. I could but I don’t think I want too. So, at the end, we find out that Adelaide who we’ve been hanging out with the entire movie is actually one of the Tethered. At the end, once they “win”, she has a flashback where she remembers what happened the night she got lost. As a little girl, she went into the hall of mirrors and found her shadow. So, Adelaide choked the real Adelaide and switched places with her. So Red in the movie, is the REAL Adelaide.
I hope that’s understandable lol. But I was like damn that’s a good twist because it was. I didn’t see it coming, at least not till the end when I wondered if they switched places as children after Adelaide killed Red. So, Adelaide went back to the beach after Red took Jason. She went into the hall of mirrors and went back to the place where she first saw her shadow as a child. She goes down into the tunnels (which I wondered just how she knew the door was there, she didn’t act to me like she was trying to see if there was a secret but like she knew it was there even if it was subconsciously), anyway, she goes down and again, I wonder just how she knew where to go. But she finds Red. They have a confrontation and a fight and Red slashes and stabs her a lot. Finally, they go into one of the bedrooms and Adelaide ends up stabbing Red with the poker. She was dying but then started to whistle “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and Adelaide uses the handcuff chains to break her neck.
During this entire sequence, Adelaide does a lot of screaming, frustrated noises, grunts etc. When she drops Adelaide down to the ground, she makes some other weird carnal/animal noises. My friend said, “Did they just fuse together or something?” and I was like “Nooooo” because then I started to think they must have switched places at some point because what she just did was very animal like and we never saw Red make any of those noises outside of telling her family how to go after Adelaide’s family. It was just so interesting to me so how that all worked out in the end.
She finds Jason and he looks at her all weird and she tells him “it’s her, he’ll be safe, and things will be like they were before” and he is just giving her this weird look. When they’re in the car driving away, Adelaide is remembering that she is not the real Adelaide and Jason gives her this look and then she smiles at him and he puts his mask on.
So, with the ending, I know there are a lot of theories floating around about it and I wanted to add in my two cents. One is that Jason and Pluto got switched at some point. I don’t buy that because when would they have been able to switch him? It doesn’t seem like the visit their summer house all the time and how would they not notice that suddenly Jason is different? Was he different? I mean there’s too many holes with that. Young Adelaide couldn’t even speak when she first switched, her parents thought her trauma affected her speech. Plus, the tethered can’t speak, at least not human language, so why can Jason (who may still be odd) speak clearly but Pluto, cannot, plus he moves like an animal most times and his face is badly burned. So, I just wanted to put my two cents in that theory.
The other theory that Jason and Chris from Get Out, are the same people is also ridiculous. Just because Chris doesn’t like talking about his mom doesn’t mean he wouldn’t talk about his sister and dad? Plus, why would Jason change his name to Chris? AND even more so, why would he forget the trauma that he witnessed as a kid with the tethered and then go off to some backwoods house with his girlfriend? I would be so cautious if that happened to me, I would never go anywhere with anyone. NOT to mention, didn’t we learn that his mother died in a car accident or something? Something where he felt like he killed her? Idk.
The other theory that Get Out and Us exist in the same universe. Meh, maybe but how far apart do they exist?
So, I have a few questions. These are some of the questions that were raised, that I can remember right now that I don’t think the movie did anything to answer, or at least do it well enough.
Where did Red get all those red jumpsuits, gloves and scissors? Obviously, she was inspired by Michael Jackson, as his t-shirt was the last thing she wore before the switch.
It’s implied that her dancing is the reason why the tethered looked at her like she was different. I did seem like at the end with the confrontation with Red and Adelaide that Red had better control of her body, even though Adelaide was hurt… it got wilder whereas Red remained tight in her movements. Sooo, during that dance scene, who was really controlling who in that scene?
How did Red get all the tethered to meet and understand her plan? How far do those tunnels go? Was it just California or was its other places?
What was her plan after the tethered took over? Were they just going to stay with their hand in hand? She said to Jason and Pluto when she sent them to play “Don’t damage our house” so I would assume they were just going to live out their lives up top but how long was the holding hands last?
What about the tethered finding their husbands and wives like the ones up top? Because they were revealed to be clones of the surface people instead of actual “shadows”, how does that work?
These are just some things I thought of while writing this review and when watching the movie.
Summary: Arthur Curry, the human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land.
This is a short review.
Cast and Characters.
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry. For all the Aquaman purists (*coughs*Jonathan*coughs*) he is not a full blond lol but he makes his Ombre work. Arthur grew up with his father after his mother left when he was a toddler. He pretty much does his own thing but he does seem to take it upon himself to help people out in the water, especially since he just showed up where the submarine was at the beginning. However, he is reluctant to be King of Atlantis. He just doesn’t want that responsibility; besides, he’s been told that his mother was killed and so he’s definitely not into ruling a kingdom who murdered his mother. Arthur has the ability to communicate with other aquatic life. He can swim at supersonic speeds and possesses superhuman strength. He doesn’t get involved in things that he feels aren’t his problem and he won’t do things he’s not interested in which is part of his arc in the film. He has to figure out just how involved he wants to be and see how far he’s willing to go. I like Jason Momoa, I think he’s a fine Arthur/Aquaman, I don’t know how true he is to the comic character or anything but I think he’s likable, probably the most likable version I have seen on screen. He’s also funny and he does well with the physical stuff. I don’t think Arthur really got to have many emotional moments but overall, I think he’s cool.
Amber Heard as Y’Mera Xebella “Mera” Challa. She is the Princess of Xebel, and a warrior. She was raised by Queen Atlanna and groomed to become queen. She possesses hydrokinetic and telepathic powers. She can control the aquatic environment around her. I was unsure how I would feel about her in this film, but she’s really cool. She shows up on the docks and tells Arthur that he has a mission he has to do and she’s adamant that he comes back to Atlantis because she believes in his mother and she believes he’s the only one who can do what needs to be done. She has her beliefs and she sticks to it. The only problem she sees, is that he’s lazy and just doesn’t want to put in the effort. She’s pretty intense when she wants to be and very observant of their situation. She’s a warrior so she’s always ready to be on the move. I like Mera, she’s a “go get em” kind of girl. Amber Heard was fine in the role, I can’t say that no one else could play the part but she’s fine. My biggest problem, but it’s not her fault I guess, is her wig didn’t look good when it wasn’t wet or moving in the water. On land it looked pretty bad.
Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko. He is Atlantis’ counselor, he mentored and trained Arthur when he was younger. There’s not a ton to say about him but Willem Dafoe is always a win.
Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius. He is Arthur Curry’s Atlantean half-brother and ruler of Atlantis. He wants to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war on the surface world out of the belief that humanity polluted the seas. He does a ton of talking in this movie about what he wants to do and how he’s going to do it. I mean, I think he has a point about some of the things he says, but he definitely spends this movie glaring and talking. I like Patrick Wilson so I thought his character could have used a bit more nuance overall otherwise he’s pretty interesting.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta. He is a ruthless pirate and a high-seas mercenary who seems to like creating deadly technological innovations. He already has a grudge against Arthur at the beginning because I guess he’s thwarted his plans before but he really ends up hating him and spends the entire movie trying to get revenge. I haven’t seen Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in a ton of things where he’s the lead but I like him, I think he’s charismatic and interesting to watch overall. I’m curious to see what happens with his character in the future.
Nicole Kidman as Atlanna. She’s not in this movie a ton, but in the beginning, she has this badass fight scene and I thought that was the best part of the film with her. Nicole Kidman is generally always a win and she was.
Cool Action. There are some really cool actions sequences in this movie. Particularly in that little Italian village, that entire sequence while Arthur is fighting Black Manta and Mera is running across the roofs, that was really nice. It made up for the random explosion that happened right before. I also thought the fight between Arthur and Orm at the end was pretty nice as well. Oh! I can’t forget about Nicole Kidman’s awesome fight sequence when the Atlantean soldiers burst into her home, it was sooo dope. I was like look at you Nicole!
Character Chemistry. I thought Jason Momoa and Amber Heard had nice chemistry. Whether or not it was romantic remains to be seen in further films but I thought they at least worked well together as colleagues. They had really nice banter when they went back and forth and it just seemed natural.
Visual Effects… Some.I will get into this more later. But some of the visual effects in this movie are dope. The one that comes to mind immediately is Mera’s jellyfish looking dress during the Ring of Fire. Y’all, that thing was amazing. I also think the swimming and talking underwater for the most part is pretty nice as well.
Opening Narration!I NEED MOVIES TO STOP USING OPENING NARRATION WHEN WE CAN CLEARLY SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE SCREEN! I don’t need Arthur to tell him his dad met the love of his life when I can clearly see it. Gosh it’s so annoying. You talking just ruins the moment! SHUT UP!
WHAT IS WITH ALL THE EXPLOSIONS!Y’all, I swear we get like five explosions in this movie that signal a shocking moment. I’m sure there’s probably less lol but every time someone was having a serious moment, it was undercut by the enemy finding them with an explosion! It happens so much. Like so much it’s ridiculous. Once okay, twice is pushing it but three times… that’s too much.
Inconsistent. This movie has a lot of confusing inconsistencies. I won’t even get into the stuff that connects this movie to Justice League, which is where we first saw Arthur because boy… but anyways, one thing I noticed is how Arthur reacts to things. It’s almost like the movie doesn’t know what they want him to be. Is he dumb? Is he smart? Is he just supposed to be commenting on things? I mean… you have him in one scene not being able to remember parts of the prophecy, but then later you have him talking about history stuff AND he does actually remember parts of the prophecy… was it just a joke? But why? It’s a serious moment? Not to mention, how dangerous the whole quest thing is but what about Atlanna? How did she know about the Karathan? Did she try and get the trident and failed but she managed to live? There’s a lot of this that goes on. Oram seemed to not trust Vulko but he waits till the end to say something? Meh.
Visual Effects. I saw a lot of talk about the visual effects in this movie and how it should have been nominated for an Oscar, so I was expecting like amazing effects but meh. I didn’t think they were that great most of the time. All of the Atlantis stuff looked really fake and it looked too much like a video game. It’s cool when a video game looks like a movie but not vice versa because things get into the uncanny valley and it’s too weird.
Villains Use and Storylines. So, we technically have two villains in this movie. Black Manta is one of them and I think he’s really wasted in the film. Don’t get me wrong, he’s interesting and the actor does a really good job. I really think he would be intimidating but he’s really wasted. We see him pretty early and we solidify his reasons to dislike Arthur, which I get but at the same time, y’all did that to yourselves… anyway, that could have been the last time we saw him until the end credit scene and then we know he’s the next villain. Instead they kept trying to pepper him throughout the film and I was like meh, it’s so unnecessary to have him be in this. The other villain is his half-brother… spoiler alert, I guess? I mean it’s kind of obvious right? Anyways, he thinks he’s doing the right thing, so that’s already set up for a good villain because the ones who think they’re right make sense, but he talks way too much, it doesn’t aid in me thinking he’s a good villain.
Too Long. This movie is 2 hours and about 38 minutes long. It’s just too long because there were things in this movie that could have been shaved down or even cut out because it wasn’t really necessary for this film. One of those things was the inclusion of Black Manta. Don’t get me wrong, he’s kind of interesting and I think the actor was great with what we saw of him, but the problem is he seemed like an afterthought. Cut him out in general and that’s a good probably 20 minutes from the film and they could have introduced him in the sequel.
Overall, I enjoyed Aquaman a bit more than I thought I would. I liked all the characters enough and the acting was fine across the board. This is a usual hero story where he needs to complete the prophecy in order to do the thing that needs to be done, even though he doesn’t want to. Ya know, that story. There is some cool action in this film, especially Nicole’s scene at the beginning and the little Italy scene. Some of the effects are really cool and the characters have chemistry. Now, on the other hand, I did not think the visual effects were as good as people were saying, it looked too much like a video game and there were times where I could barely see what was going on because the effects weren’t that great and it was murky looking. The villains weren’t that great as villain overall. I felt like they were wasted, particularly Black Manta. I also think the movie is ultimately inconsistent as well. Too many times Arthur’s personality just wouldn’t seem to PICK ONE! But ya know, the movie is fine.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Aquaman? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Summary: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.
This will be a short review.
Dumbo. Dumbo is a newborn elephant who has oversized ears and HE’S SO CUTE! He is the newest addition to the Medici’s circus. At first, some of the people at the circus think he’s a freak and he is used to attract huge audiences. Once he learns how to fly, after prompting from the kids, Medici uses Dumbo as a flying attraction. However, his mother is taken away because she gets uber protective of her baby (which is understandable!). Dumbo then begins to feel lost because she’s gone and the kids become close to him to help him regain his confidence. Once he gets put into Dreamland, he’s really out of his element. Dumbo doesn’t talk at all, but his facials are super expressive. I think that and his endearing personality is what makes him an interesting hero albeit an unconventional one.
Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo’s Relationship. We don’t get to see a ton of them together as they get separated pretty early on but a lot of what drives Dumbo is the fact of getting back to his mother. He even seems to go along with the plans delivered at the end because he was promised to get back to his mom. I thought that was sweet and the part of the movie I wanted to see the most.
The Idea of Family. A big part of this film is the idea of family. The whole thing with Dumbo and his mother, and then Colin Farrell’s family and then the circus as a whole being a family. I did like how there were three different layers of family going on and that it was such an important part of the film that each plot point was directly related to “family” in some form or fashion.
Animal CGI. I think this movie has really nice CGI. I think Dumbo is precious and I want a baby elephant. I think all of the animals we get to see look really good to be fully computer generated. There is also a bit of the pink elephants part and it’s different from what we remember but it works for the tone of the movie but it’s also quite cool. I think the way they handle all the effects, there aren’t a ton, but the ones there are, it’s really good. Dumbo’s face, all of his expressions, especially in his eyes are so sweet.
Really Cute… Most Times. I feel like I’m mostly praising Dumbo but he is the most charming thing about this movie. There’s a part where Eva Green’s character goes into a room and she says “Bonsoir!” and Dumbo comes in behind her and repeats her in his way lol. It was super cute and got a lot of laughs in my theater. This happened a lot but mostly because of Dumbo!
The Acting. I don’t really care about any of the characters but I think all of the acting from the adults is good. They’re all well-known actors and I think they all do well with what they are working with and their fine in their roles.
The Entire Human Aspect. I didn’t want to compare it to the animated film because I am able to look at the two separately but the thing that makes the animated film charming is the fact that it focuses mostly on Dumbo and the mouse, THE ANIMALS! The humans are inconsequential and this movie shows WHY!! I did not care a bit about any of these humans in this movie. They force Colin Farrell’s family on us and I definitely did not care. I guess I could care about the circus people but the made Dumbo be a clown and made fun of his ears! I don’t care! Then there was this whole thing with Michael Keaton… jeez, literally cared about none of these people!
No Emotional Weight. I cry every time I watch the animated movie… and while this movie tries to hit the emotional parts that we know from the animated film, it doesn’t hit quite the same. The Baby Mine in the trailer made me tear up when I first saw, but I just went “aww” and then kept it moving. There’s a lot of aww’s but mostly because it’s cute not emotional the way I think the movie wants it to be. The whole thing with the dad and his kids, all of that stuff, it just doesn’t hit.
Unbalanced Story. This story is all over the place! We have this whole thing about Dumbo being weird because that’s the whole point of the movie. Then there’s thing with Colin Farrell where he’s come back from the war and lost his arm, which means he’s lost his act in the circus and his wife died… I mean there’s a lot going on that the movie wants us to care about. Farrell’s daughter is a boring scientist, the son has no personality other than to look wide-eyed at everything and then even more. I literally only care about Dumbo. There’s so much going on in this movie that I think it loses what is supposed to make it charming and that’s focusing on Dumbo and what he’s going through and what he feels.
The Little Girl. I don’t know the actress’s name and while she’s a kid, I want to give her a pass, but wow she was really bad. She was the one we spent a lot of time with because she is the one who figures a lot of things out because she’s super smart. I’m glad that she was smart and into science. However, she had one facial expression the entire time. Her tone was monotone and every time she spoke, I was like wow. It was really bad. Even when she was trying to be emotional it didn’t work. I don’t know if it was a choice or if Tim Burton told her to do that. Either way, it was really bad. Her little brother was better than her and he didn’t get much to do.
Overall, I wanted to like Dumbo more than I did. I thought it was cute overall and I wanted to love it about as much as I loved the animated film because I have been optimistic about these live action remakes, and I don’t mind them but this one left a lot left to be desired. IT was kind of a shame really because it could have been handled better. I don’t know if they thought we would relate more because of the humans but they don’t help the story at all. Dumbo is the selling point and he is the best part of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is good through all of the adult actors but you don’t care about any of them because it’s just added storylines we don’t need. The CGI is good and while I didn’t mention this separately, the soundtrack is lovely. Now, there isn’t any emotional weight, at least not to the point where the movie wanted it to land and the little girl’s acting was not good and she’s almost a main lead because of how much she’s featured. Also, the story is all over the place. *sighs* I think it could have been better otherwise, this one could have been left to its original place as an animated film.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Dumbo? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts down below!