Summary: Life in the city of Defiance, in a near future after the arrival of different alien lifeforms to Earth.
Not gonna lie, I only came across this show and watched it because of Jesse Rath who is AMAZING in Supergirl as Querl Dox or Brainiac 5. He quickly became my favorite character in the entire Arrowverse, and I need him to be on the show forever lol.
Cast and Characters. I didn’t particularly have a favorite character in the show. I think everyone is likable in ways but also very annoying a lot of the times too. I think a lot of it mostly has to do with the actors.
- Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan. Nolan is known for his role in some previous wars. He even has this name, I think “the butcher” or something like that. Nolan is that devil may care kind of guy, who is very rough around the edges and doesn’t like to follow rules. He’s obviously the hero because his world is very much a grey area, more than it it black or white. He saved Irisa when she was a child and basically raised her. His relationship with her is nice but also very complicated and at other times really annoying. Throughout the show, Nolan does grow a lot in how he treats people and especially Irisa. Most of the choices he makes he does with good intentions for him and Irisa but as the show goes on, he begins to make choices that would benefit Defiance as he comes to care for the town and most of the people in it. He’s still a bit of a wildcard but he does try to do what’s right most times. I’ve never seen Grant Bowler in anything and he can be very endearing sometimes, particularly in the emotional moments with Irisa and Amanda. There are also times when he’s really annoying instead of “cool” the way he’s supposed to be. I think there is a fine line for characters who are “cool” and kind of a “bad boy type” and then being a smug jerk. He doesn’t quite find that balance for me consistently.
- Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater. Amanda starts out as the new mayor of Defiance after her mentor and boss steps down and retires. She is becomes the interim Mayor and Amanda handles herself and the things that happen in this town pretty well. She’s very strong-willed and she can stand up to many people, even those she might be a bit afraid of. In the second season, we probably see her at her lowest because so much has happened, and she’s fallen off a bit in terms of how she handles herself. She manages to get herself together more in the third season, so it was a journey to see how well Amanda handles being a leader and how she shows how she cares and loves the people of Defiance. I’ve seen Julie Benz in a few things but her character was pretty passive in both, she was a bit sassy but nowhere near as sassy as she is in this show. I quite enjoyed how she never backed down from anything as Nolan was so straight-forward, it was nice that she was as well.
- Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa Nyira. Irisa is a young Irathient who Nolan saved as a child and has been raised as his daughter. They have a nice relationship as father/daughter but it’s also antagonistic in ways because she has a bit of an identity crisis because he’s human and she’s an alien and she says he raised her as a human which she isn’t. We see her struggles with her identity and then later with who she was raised as and who she is, especially with all that happened in season 2. She had a lot to do in season 2 but I think I liked her the most in season 3 just because she wasn’t so angry and she seemed to be coming into herself more. Stephanie Leonidas was really good as Irisa, she was relatable in a lot of ways. I’m not quite sure how old she was but I would assume, late teenager, young adult type and her battles with herself made sense and she acted it all very well. I think her emotional moments are quite powerful.
- Tony Curran as Datak Tarr. He’s like a mafia type of guy. His family is probably one of the most feared in Defiance, mostly because of Datak. He collects his debts from people who owe him and he does whatever he wants for the most part. He’s an intimidating guy, even how he talks to his wife and son even though he clearly loves them. In season one, he’s really trying to not only take down Rafe but he has it out for Amanda and then Nolan because Nolan seems to have it out for him. Datak takes no prisoners and he’s smart, in a ruthless way. In season 2, he’s in prison for what he did at the end of season and he spends most of that season trying to get back home, especially once he finds out his wife has taken over his role in the family business and in their Casti ways, that’s not appropriate. I think I liked him best in season 3 because, I really liked when he and Stahma worked together and they were doing it for their son. He still remains ruthless but he does have his great moments of sympathy and I love the moments when he thinks his family is in danger or when they are in danger and he becomes a different animal. I saw Tony Curran in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and he was one of my favorites in that film and he’s great in this too, like he’s really good. He’s intimidating, and even when he’s being nice, I never quite know if I should trust him or not. That’s great stuff.
- Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr. I’m not sure if I think she’s my favorite overall or not but I really enjoyed her because in the first season, she plays this timid and conservative wife role and she’s really good at it. She threatens people by whispering in their ear with a smile on her face and it’s so great. She makes me laugh so much because of how she handles situations and people. Stahma loves her son and will do anything for him and it’s clear she loves Datak but she wants to be treated as an equal as they are now living on earth and humans have their ways of men and women. She really gets to shine in season 2 and 3 because she has come into her own of being more independent and more in the forefront. I like how she talks and how she’s always smiling a little whenever she’s speaking and then when she doesn’t get her way, her smile slightly falters. I think a lot of this though, has to do with Jamie Murray who is fantastic as Stahma and how she plays the character. She has a lot more at stake in season 3 which I enjoy because it allows us to see her come undone and be less put together as she usually seems.
- Graham Greene as Rafe McCawley. Rafe is the richest man in Defiance. He’s very much a pro-human type person and he also owns the mines. He’s usually always on Amanda’s side and ready to back her and Nolan if he needs to. However, he gets angry really fast, especially if his family is involved. He’s very against his daughter Christy being with Alak Tarr but he really learns to be accepting and even though he threatens Alak on the regular. Rafe is a strong father figure and though he’s really like… harsh at times, like really harsh, I think he’s easy to understand. He isn’t complicated like like Datak is. Graham Greene plays Rafe like a stoic father and man which is what he is so it works. He’s also a likable yet unlikable guy lol but I also think that’s the point.
- Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr. Alak is a young man, I would assume he’s like 18 in the first season because he comes off very teenager like. He’s into music, especially old-world music. He seems to want to be a Deejay in particular. He’s in love with a human girl which goes against his culture as he is an alien, but he was born on Earth, so he has a bit of an identity crisis in ways. He clearly loves his parents, but I think he also fears them and the things they can do to him and others. In season two, he takes on the role left by his father as the “mob boss” but it turns out his mother pretty much takes over and he is a bit relieved by this. But he gets into some trouble and has some marriage spats with Christie but a lot of it helps with his character growth. In season 3, we really get to see him come into his own. He starts off the season a prisoner but he manages to get back home and then he really takes a stand against his parents. I like Jesse Rath a lot and I think he does a really good job of being an earnest and likable character because I think that’s what Alak is even though he can come off as a dick at times. He’s a young man, it’s inevitable lol. But I like Alak because he’s not corrupted the way all the adults in this show is but he gets involved or chooses to get involved because he feels its what he needs to do BUT he also has traits of his parents which they underestimate quite a bit. I just think they should have allowed him to fight or something more because he got his ass kicked a lot lol and it seemed like he should have some kind of fighting spirit like his father and even his mother. He gets to fight sometimes but it seems like he’s not the best at it lol which I guess comes from him not having to ever with because his parents work for a better life but in the first episode it really seemed like he was going to kick some butt. But anyways, I really like Jesse Rath and I’m so into watching him play all the sci-fi characters lol.
- Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll. She has some of the best lines in the show. She is an Indogene which I gather is a race that was created to be in subservient roles, sure. It seems that in the war, she did things that really were bad, she’s a scientist so she’s done a lot of weird stuff. However, she’s come to care about the people in Defiance and so she often ends up making decisions that would put her at risk but save others. She was probably one of the most interesting characters. I don’t particularly like the design of these aliens but the actress did her thing with working around those prosthetics and her line delivery was great.
- Dewshane Williams as Tommy LaSalle. I liked Tommy, he was like an earnest kid who looked up to Nolan in the first season, because Nolan’s ways got results. He also really liked Irisa and I thought it was cute. In the second season, he was angry at both Nolan and Irisa because they left. He was now the lawkeeper and then suddenly they both returned and Nolan took over and Tommy was like “bruh, I’ve been handling stuff because you left, don’t come back here and take over” and I understood him for that. It was annoying after a while but I understood it. He ended up dating Berlin but I didn’t really like them together. He had way more chemistry with Irisa. I thought the actor was okay for the most part, he didn’t do a lot with his facial expressions but he’s cute and likable.
- Nicole Muñoz as Christie McCawley Tarr. I thought this actress was super miscast, she looked nothing like her family and thought her acting was really weak and it made me dislike her often. Whenever she talks I’m like mehhhh. I ended up liking her a bit more in season two and way more in season three buttt… I mean yeah lol. She did have nice chemistry with Jesse Rath and their storyline was interesting, we just didn’t see enough of it honestly.
Interesting Overall Story. So, season 1 is probably the weakest of the three seasons but it does start us off. We have Nolan and Irisa who come to Defiance and they get involved in all the shenanigans of this town. We spend the first season really establishing the town and the characters. To be honest, I don’t really remember the plot of the first season, but I remember character moments more than an overarching plot. The biggest things I remember was the whole thing with Alak and Christie since their dads hate each other and he’s an alien and she’s human. Oh! I remember now lol, the previous Mayor and some other people from the town were trying to find something in the mines and they let the Volge in with the hopes they were gonna destroy the town so they could get into the mines. lol Season 2 is absolutely fantastic the Earth Republic has taken over Defiance after Datak kills a Colonel
Really Nice Makeup. One of the best things about the show is how the aliens look. They’re so different from what I’ve seen in the past, but they are very different from other alien families in the show itself. The aliens are called “Votans”. But we have about seven races we see in the show in general.
- Castithans. They are one of the main aliens we see in the show. The Tarr family being a prominent family are part of this race. On the left is Datak and Stahma and Alak is on the right. I don’t like the family picture where Alak has the blue hair, I think his facial expression is weird, so I chose this one which I prefer lol. But they are these beautiful creatures, with pale white skin, white or silver hair, either straight or curly. They have either pale blue, orange or sometimes lavender eyes. They are like aristocrats and other races see them as arrogant because of their views.
Indogenes. They have bright white skin covered in scales and no hair. They are probably the smartest race and have many numerous genetic and technological implants. Their brains can be downloaded by copying their genetic code and their store memories can be replicated.
Irathients. They have broad and flat nasal bridges, reddish skin and usually have red hair, they can be perceived as attractive. They are naturally athletic and have intense combat skills. They are a proud, tribal people with a deep love of the natural world and aggressive demeanor. They are often perceived as feral by others.
Omec. They have purple skin, white or grey hair and long eyebrow hairs. They have a second skin, or zekbatsin, which is a vestige from their past where they open their mouths wide and produce a second set of teeth in order to feed. They are very strong and resilient, capable of receiving injuries that would be fatal to other races such as damage to their brains. Omec are immune to most poisons and with age they develop a greater immunity to lethal substances.
- Liberata. They’re the shortest alien race and everyone, including females, can grow tons of hair.
- Gulanee. We don’t really see them, I think we saw one of them one time but sure.
- Sensoth. They’re basically like wookies and we see maybe two that are actual characters and not extras.
- Volge. They look like robots, but I guess that’s part of the alien skin.
Sci-Fi Things. I am not a huge sci-fi person, there are some shows I can get into, but I’m more into the fantasy part when the two genres are combined. But I do know a lot of the “isms” of the genre and this show has a lot of classic sci-fi ‘isms. You have aliens, updated but also outdated technology, space lol but it is grounded in humanity. I liked that.
Season 2 and 3. These two are the best of the show, particularly season 2 though I did really like 3 as well. Two just had a lot of emotional and human aspects of it and I was so into it compared to show it was a bit fleeting in season one. Season two hits you hard with the punches, especially with what was happening with Irisa and Nolan and particularly the Tarrs with Datak being in jail and Alak having to deal with what’s happening, what’s expected of him, with Stahma trying to have a more forward role and then of course the stuff with Alak and Christie. Oh also, Amanda’s entire plot with that weird dude who was the mayor, I never trusted that guy lol. Season 2 is so good. I won’t get into season 3 again but also great, especially with the high stakes and tension they maintained from season 2. I prefer the first half more than the second half of season 3 and I wish they kept that as a through line but sure.
Character Complexity. One of the best aspects of this show is how complex these characters are because through each season, each one has grown in ways that gives them a nice ending in season three. Irisa, Amanda and Nolan have this most notably. We get it with Datak, Stahma and Alak respectively and it’s handled well for them as well. I think that helps with finding these characters interesting and likable. It would be annoying if no one changed in this show
Character Chemistry/Relationships. I really love how the relationships is handled in the show. I was going to pull out some of the most notable ones but I changed my mind lol. But Nolan & Irisa is one of the main relationship in the show and they have a lot of ups and downs, a lot to the point where it’s annoying but it’s relatable and understandable. It’s like Irisa loves and hates Nolan and he’s always so shocked whenever she disagrees with him but I think she’s very clear about her feelings. The Tarr family is a very interesting, probably the most interesting relationship in the show because they’re just too interesting! Datak and Stahma are married and they clearly follow the traditions of their people, but as the show goes on, Stahma starts to go against that and Datak is against it at first, he even tries to kill her, but he eventually gets on board with it and she’s able to do her thing. Then both of them with their son, Alak gets way more interesting as it goes on because at first, he’s just their young son who they both love but also kind of dismiss, to where it becomes, they’ll do anything for him but he has his own family he’s creating and that’s more important to him then whatever they’re trying to do. He still loves them but still. Nolan and Amanda started out with a little romantic energy but he ends up having a thing with her sister Kenya, which I didn’t like lol, but they get a lot of interactions. She believes and trusts him and vice versa and in season 3 they really get to lean on each other.
Later in season 3, there are very few moments, but they were there that I noticed some chemistry between Irisa and Alak. I don’t know if there was ever going to be a friendship that bloomed between them in the show or not, but I was like “oooo what’s this?” and I was really hoping for something.
Annoying Characters Sometimes. Jeez these people can be stupid sometimes. I was super mad at how flaky Kenya was in how she reacted to people. I’m sure a lot of people in this show were fluid in who they were attracted to and in love with, which I guess makes sense since there are aliens, but Kenya thinking she was going to OUTSMART Stahma… girl lol sit down. Or Amanda falling into whatever thing she fell into with the Mayor. I mean what? GIRL! He is clearly weird, and HE IS CLEARLY the guy who attacked you those years ago! The man was WILLINGLY giving you DRUGS! GIRL! Then literally EVERY TIME Nolan and Irisa got into an argument. Listen, Irisa is legit in how she feels about things, but I want to slap both her and Nolan many many times. STOP ARGUING! SHUT UP! Why can’t y’all just talk and understand each other? I know y’all love each other BUT DAMN! Man, I want to punch them lol. Christie also had plenty of times where I wanted to punch her in the face, a lot that might have been because the actress was just okay. Oh, and QUENTIN! Disliked him so much! Stupid head.
Not Enough Plot for Characters. This is an ensemble show, so everyone should generally have some time to shine but I think the show doesn’t quite manage to make that happen for everyone. Nolan, Irisa and Amanda are clearly the leads of the show so we spend a TON of time with them and that’s fine, but I wanted to go back to things that were happening with the Tarrs or even at times the McCawleys and I think Alak and Christie should have gotten more time to have their relationship develop. It almost reminds me of a soap opera where you have your leads stories but the storyline you might be more interested in, is very not in the forefront lol. I was really into the beginning storyline with the Tarrs, in how Favi Tank kidnapped Alak to make Datak and Stahma do what he wants, I loved that Alak escaped on his own, but I wish we got to see him more in the camp with Favi Tak because that guy was funny and I liked the banter between them. Also, the opening storyline for Alak and Christie where Pilar (Christie’s mother) KIDNAPPED a pregnant Christie and Alak because she wanted to be with them… I mean WHAT!? Then six months later and Christie had her baby and Pilar keeps Christie and Alak CHAINED TO THE TABLE! I MEAN WHAT!? I don’t care about this other stuff! I want to see the craziness with PILAR, ALAK AND CHRISTIE! I mean, what happened when she had the baby!? I NEED TO KNOW! GAH!
The Omec Storyline. They are clearly the “black people” of the Votans lol but Kindzi and T’evgin show up early and they have some importance throughout the season, but their real story doesn’t really start until later. It could have been waaaaay interesting overall and it wasn’t horrible, but it was rushed. I know the show got cancelled after season 3 and I don’t know if they knew that beforehand and wanted to throw everything they could in before it ended, but I really think having the Omec storyline brought the quality of season 3 down compared to how it was in the beginning. Kindzi and T’evgin were interesting but I didn’t find myself interested in watching anything with them because it was just thrown in there.
Super Cheesy and Cringe. This show is super cheesy and really cringe at times. Some of the dialogue and delivery is just bad. Sometimes the interactions or even the stories don’t always hit the way they should. The first season and part of the third season has this issue. Season one is super boring. It gets interesting towards the end but super boring. Then in season 3, the entire Omec plot was just blah and I didn’t particularly like Kindzi and T’evgin enough to care for that at all. It felt tacked on and they were made out to be this terrifying presence but the effects for when they eat was bad and I just was like meh whatever.
Overall, I started watching this show for an actor and I ended up really enjoying the show overall. I think all the acting is good for the most part, some are better than others. Same with the characters. There’s no one I out right dislike, but there also isn’t anyone I outright really like either, maybe Stahma lol. Seasons 2 and 3 were good and I think they’re the most interesting overall. The look of the aliens is so cool and unique that I was really into being introduced to each species. The character complexity is handled well, and I really enjoyed the character relationships explored in the show. Now, I think the show is really cringe and cheesy at times, most of that is dialogue and acting but still, this is also playing into the characters being annoying a lot of the time. Very frustrating when you want to smack everyone in the face. I think there was a disservice to some characters by not giving them proper or enough plot to take on, especially when they had the potential to be interesting. Also, I did not quite care for the Omec story line. It had potential and it was a tad interesting but I’d rather an entire season dedicated to the rogue group of the Votanis Collective and then if we got a season four, do the Omec thing. But ya know whatever, the show got cancelled which is sad lol but also good for me because I prefer Jesse Rath as Brainiac 5 on Supergirl.
Rating: 4 out 5 stars. I’m basing this rating on my enjoyment of the last two seasons and the stories that were going on, otherwise it might have been a tad lower.
Have you seen Defiance? Who is your favorite character? What do you think of the show? Best season?
What is your favorite sci-fi television show? I also really enjoyed Stargate: Universe.
Summary: Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extraterrestrial force, ‘Captive State’ explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.
The Cast. I don’t want to quite say the characters were interesting because I didn’t really find anyone interesting but I thought the acting was good. John Goodman plays William Mulligan, a police commander who is going after this resistance group he doesn’t think is gone and he seems to have a singular focus and is doing everything he can do to accomplish his goals. I wasn’t quite sure his endgame until about halfway through but John Goodman is a great actor and it was really hard to get a read on him. I knew something was up but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Ashton Sanders plays Gabriel Drummond, is the younger son of the family we saw in the beginning and his role is interesting because it seems like he has an important part to play and I’ll get more into this later but I wanted to watch this for him because I thought he was fantastic in Moonlightand his section was my favorite part of the movie. He has this great ability to pull attention when he’s on screen and I wanted way more of him. Jonathan Majors plays Rafe Drummond, Gabe’s older brother and I won’t get more into his role but he was rather dynamic as well. Once he was introduced, I was like “oh yeah, this is some good stuff”. There are a lot of people we come into contact with as well and honestly, this movie might have worked better as a miniseries or a television show because I wanted to care more about these people because they had potential to be interesting.
The aliens. We don’t get to see a ton of them in the film but when we do, they’re really have interesting designs. They look like tall men with spider legs and then like tons of nails all over their body that can move into different forms. It’s quite cool actually. Like I said, you don’t see them a ton in the film but when you do it’s like “eww gross” or “oooo cool!” for me, it was both reactions lol.
Human Drama. This movie really goes into what humans would do after the bad guys win and how it’s handled. I think it was smart to not dive into the whole invasion aspect or to have it be mass chaos because OMG aliens. But to have humans collectively rise up and fight back, rise up and do it in sneaky ways, that’s pretty cool. Humans show how smart they are here and while it’s reckless, you understand it because their world changed and ya know, humans are fickle.
Suspense and Tension. Even if you don’t think the story is that great, the suspense and tension is handled really well in this movie. I was really on the edge of my seat at times. Like the entire Soldier’s Field scene, man that was good, and then the sequence after that with the buses. Even the very end was pretty great. The story is a bit off kilter but man it would keep you into it because you just want to know how it’s all going to turn out.
Slow Burn/Feels Jumbled. Generally, I like slow burn stories because it allows the viewer or the reader to really get invested in the characters and the story, and while I was curious as to what was going on, I just wanted all the twists and turns to end. I found myself getting…bored with whatever was actually happening because it didn’t feel like anything was truly happening. There’s so much yet so little happening in this film that it just feels like a jumbled mess.
The Story. Listen, I see what they’re trying to do. I even understand that once a character meets another character, we then follow that character for a little while and so on and so forth, and that’s fine but it’s a little hard to really get invested in this story. I guess I also just keep coming back to characters because the movie is very character driven more than it is story driven.
Character Potential. As I said before, I watched this movie because of Ashton Sanders and I thought he was going to be a leading character. I had no idea what the movie was about but I thought he was going to be the character we followed. But it’s more of an ensemble cast but most characters we don’t really get to know so when things happen, it’s impossible to care about them. I really think this might have done better as a television show. It could work since it’s not so focused on the alien aspect but on the human aspect, and it doesn’t feel too Battlestar Galactica, it feels more relatable and I think it would have worked. When the ending comes about it’s just like “DANG!” because it happens but not because I care about the characters it’s happening to. Ya know?
Dark/Murky Visually. This is a bit tooo dark in terms of the visuals. It’s hard to see what is going on at times. Whenever the aliens are on screen, it’s hard to see them. I’m sure part of it is to keep their look to a minimum which is cool and all but I think it would have been nice to see them just a few times more, or at least clearly. Also, whenever their space ships showed up, or any flying thing it was hard to tell what it looked like. They looked like giant flying rocks and I’m like meh, it’s hard to see and when I can see, it’s underwhelming.
Overall, Captive Stateis an interesting movie. I’m having a hard time deciding if I would recommend it. If you like science-fiction movies that may fall into the same vein as I, Robot, or I Am Legendand things like that then you might enjoy this, but it’s hard to really say otherwise. I think the acting is good, I really watched this for Ashton Sanders and I think he’s great, his character also had great potential to be way more interesting than what he is. John Goodman is also good as is Jonathan Majors. I think the aliens are pretty interesting and in how they’re designed when we’re able to see them and their looming threat is also interesting. I like the human drama in that when the characters interact there is a lot of history there, or a lot of interesting dialogue and of course it handles the tension quite well! I find myself interested. However, the movie is a bit of a jumbled mess when it comes to the story, the character potential is just a shame because it’s there but isn’t followed through. The movie is also visually too dark at times. But ya know, it had great potential and I REALLY think it should have been a mini-series. *sighs* A lot of movies I have found lately, should be shows instead of films. Let’s change our tactics people, viewers want to watch things in the comfort of their homes and if they can binge it, even better.
Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Captive State? Was it even on your radar? If you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
So I just watched Marvel’s Runaways and I have to say I quite enjoyed myself. I wanted to watch it initially but hadn’t gotten around to it. I also just read the 2003 comics which I very much enjoyed. I’m hoping to keep reading soon.
**There are spoilers ahead. Be warned. Do NOT read this if you don’t want to know details about the show or even the comics.
Cast and Characters. So the main characters are the six Runaways and then their parents are also important. It’s gonna be a lot, but I am going to make mention of each kid and the parents involved.
Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder. He is my favorite character in the show. He is a solitary person in the beginning. He’s considered a nerd due to him being into computers and gaming. Alex has a high intellect and he becomes the leader of sorts of the Runaways. It’s clear to see that Alex wants to reunite with his childhood friends but he recognizes that they’re all into their own worlds but he leaves the invitation open and he’s hopeful. As things are discovered, he gets very upset and feels betrayed by his parents. I feel like he takes it the hardest and he’s also the first one who wants to find proof. He’s always on the move, wanting to do something, find something, understand something. He makes tough decisions and while he doesn’t like it, he does it because it’s the smart thing to do. That type of personality does help him be a good leader, though I can understand why he may not be likable to everyone. He also has a thing for Nico, it’s clear in how he speaks with her, acts around her and in how he looks at her. He’s a bit awkward about it but everyone else pretty much knows it. He’s usually really calm in situations, he’s terrified (Rhenzy does a great job of showing Alex’s fear in his eyes but maintaining a calm facade otherwise) but he can think clearly. I like that about him. He’s not irrational… unless you smash his computer lol. I think things are hard on him because he doesn’t want to see his parents like this (he actually seemed to be the closest to his parents, even if he was distant at the beginning of the show) but the facts say otherwise… especially after what they did in the finale, I cannot imagine him being able to handle that… but he’d be silent about it. I mean if they were the ones to do it, they were the ones who did it in the comics. He’s a suffer in silence type. He shows that he’s very compassionate because he cares about his friends, he does make some questionable decisions but in the end, he’s always down. I also love his clothes, he always dresses so nice and he got swag lol.
I think Rhenzy Feliz is fantastic in this role and I think a lot of me liking him has to do with this actor. I liked him in the comics but I think Rhenzy manages to do a little bit more that keeps him likable to me. He’s so cute with his earnest face lol, but I think it’s a disservice that he doesn’t get to smile much since his character can be very melancholy. I think he manages to hold himself together and while it’s clear he’s not the oldest, he feels that way and while Rhenzy is one of the younger cast members, he holds himself very well in this role. I see bright things for him and this character and I hope the writers do right by him. I refuse to have another Wes Gibbons on my hands.
Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru. Nico isolates herself from others with her appearance and quiet personality. She is this way after her sister’s suicide. She used to be a bit more open but the death caused her to withdraw. Nico comes off odd in the beginning, she’s into Wicca and what not, but she obviously misses her friends as well. She shows up at Alex’s house for the “hang out night” after failing to I guess bring her sister back through a Wiccan ritual. Nico is a quiet person, very observant but if she has an opinion she makes it known. Quiet yet outspoken when need be. She also has a thing for Alex and that shows in that they have a lot of quiet moments together, or he’s the first person she calls whenever she needs help or needs to talk. It’s cute. Nico feels out-of-place in her family. Her mother is closed off and her father is distant but she obviously wishes for things to be different. As the show goes on, we see her grow a bit in her confidence of wanting to learn more. I do think she can be a bit over-dramatic, I mean I get it, Alex could have told her what he knew about her sister, but it’s a hard situation because he thought he was protecting her and honoring the last wish of her older sister, I’ll get into that another time. But Nico in ways, feels like the right hand man in the group.
Lyrica Okano is very good. The emotions she can go through in a moment is always evident on her face even though Nico tries to hide it. I like that. I like the fact that she feels human and not closed off like she was in the beginning or could be. I think she has great chemistry with her costars, especially Rhenzy, and I think season 2 could allow for her to really get into the magic or “science” as her mother says, from the Staff of One.
Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein. He is the jock of the group. A lacrosse player who most people dismiss as a dumb jock but he is very smart in engineering and science. Chase is the most different from his comic counterpart I think, which is a good thing personally. He needed to be more than that loud… whatever he is in the comics. I like the quietness in the show. It’s actually his idea to build the Fistigons. Chase does have some moments when he does come off dumb, naive or just very blind to what’s going on around him. He is also the most hopeful for his parents, especially his dad since he wants to believe that his dad actually wants to connect with him, though they do for a while. Chase is likable, though he could also be a character that people might not like due to his kind of wishy-washy nature.
Gregg Sulkin is very likable though which I think helps, otherwise I might not like Chase. His cute smile, big eyes and dimples make him have this innocence about him that just makes my heart melt for Chase whenever he’s sad about his dad. He wants to believe his dad is good. It’s kind of sad really. He’s also British, which I remember him on Wizards of Waverly Place and I think he does an American accent very well.
Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean. Karolina is a church girl, she is one of the faces of the Church of Gibborim. People often tease her, call her a slut among other things (this is why I defended Chloe Grace Moretz’s casting as Carrie) and it bothers her but she takes it in strides due to her religious upbringing. She wants to be free, to pursue her own desires. She first experiences freedom when she goes to a party and that’s also when she discovers an inkling of her powers. Karolina’s character probably gains the most confidence as the show continues. She has the ability of flight, to glow with rainbow-colored light, and shoot beams of light. In the comics, she and her parents are aliens but I don’t think they’re gonna go that route here, at least not with both of her parents being aliens. She comes off naive as well sometimes, but she’s very compassionate and tries to connect with Molly and gets closer in friendship to Chase and she and Gert understand each other, though they probably fight the most too.
I kept wondering who Virginia Gardner reminded me of and I still haven’t figured it out, but I like her. She’s likable. She does remind me a little bit in some of her delivery of lines of Kristen Stewart (I actually like her as Twilight did nothing for me in making me dislike her). I like some of her little quirks when Karolina discovered things at the beginning, being free and discovering her powers etc. Also the episode when she learns she could fly, when she had her little attitude, I also thought she did a good job for considering she spends most of the show being the smiley one.
Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes. Gert is a social activist, a loud personality, opinionated and the source for a lot of funny moments. She can come off too strong sometimes and I can definitely see why people would dislike her but she’s one of the characters that says what she’s thinking or feeling at all times. They need that as most of them don’t, at least not right away. A lot of her loudness is a facade as she is insecure in ways, especially when it comes to her feelings about Chase. I think Gert’s relationship with Molly is really sweet; there is a part in particular where she sings Molly to sleep. Really cute. She learns of the dinosaur her parents created that she has a telepathic link to. Gert quickly creates a bond with Old Lace and it’s like having a giant dog. I actually thought she was adopted as well as she looks hispanic and her parents are white… but ya know it’s fine lol.
I think Ariela Barer is really funny. She really plays Gert well, I actually kind of like her way more in the show than I did in the comics. I love the purple hair on her and whoever does the costume design does a great job with her. I love that she has anxiety and that she deals with that, I’m sure a lot of viewers can identify with that and I think Ariela handles that well. She has great chemistry with Gregg Sulkin and while she can be in your face with her personality, her emotional moments are really beautiful.
Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez. Definitely a favorite character. She is the youngest, I would say 12 or 13 and she always has a positive attitude. Molly learns that she has superhuman strength and invulnerability that tires her out after using it. She is feisty, a bit naive obviously but very wise for her age as well. She is a kid so sometimes her dumb moments I want to give a pass, but I have to remind myself that she’s really young since Allegra Acosta is 15 and looks like it. But she’s really likable and I love it when she enjoys using her powers because I enjoying watching her use them. I also love the faces she makes when she’s upset because with the eyes and her expressions… kills me. She’s great! I love Molly’s energy and she’s way more likable than her annoying counterpart in the comic.
The Wilders (Catherine and Geoffrey). Katherine is a successful lawyer and Geoffrey is a self-made business man. They are one of the two couples that are on equal footing. It does feel like Catherine is a bit more ruthless than Geoffrey is, but he’s just really protective of his kid and feels the most remorse for what they do. I like them and I think they have great chemistry and understanding of each other. They are a strong power couple who seems to keep it all out in the open with other, for the most part. I think both actors are great in their role. I think Ryan Sands (Geoffrey) is a large and intimidating teddy bear. Angel Parker (Catherine) is a caring mom who will kick your butt if you mess with her son.
The Deans (Leslie and Frank). Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) is the leader of the religious group “The Church of Gibborim” which is pretty much a cult. She seems like the leader of Pride and one of the more ruthless of the group. Leslie is the one who finds and brings the sacrifices. Annie Wersching is great at eye acting and I think if it wasn’t her, then Leslie would just be this crazy person, but Wersching manages to have this… way about her that makes you see she has a plan but doesn’t know how to keep it together. It’s pretty interesting. Frank Dean (Kip Pardue) is a former movie star who I struggling in his acting career. He is not on equal footing with his wife, though he is closer to Karolina, but he wants to be more involved. He’s a bit of a curious cat, and gets involved when he probably shouldn’t.
The Steins (Janet and Victor). Reminds me of Frankenstein lol, maybe an inspiration? But Janet is the “perfect PTA mom” though she has a brilliant mind as well, but we definitely don’t get see that as she takes more of a passive role compared to Victor’s active one. Ever Carradine has the soft, sweet voice that keeps her from being imposing compared to the other moms, and she’s the most motherly as well. I love her facial expressions though, she has some sick burns going on in the show lol. James Marsters as Victor is quite scary. I think he’s scary anyway. Victor is extreme in that he wants Chase to live up to his potential but in the past, he didn’t feel he was, which made him frightening and abusive. Victor is the one that Pride needs the most as he’s the only one who can create and understand the little devices they use in their sacrifices. I like all of his scenes because you never know what he might do.
The Yorkes (Stacey and Dale). They are bioengineers and the most quirky and eccentric of the group. They’re probably my favorite adults as they’re the ones who care the most, at least in what’s going on and trying to understand. Dale is awkward and says whatever he wants (It’s where Gert gets it from) but he can also be very scary himself when he needs to be. I can see my bother in law playing this part. Stacey is the best! Her expressions and comments are gold! They get a bit more to do in the latter half of the season. When they have to send Molly away to protect, that entire scene was beautiful. Brigid Brannagh and Kevin Weisman have great chemistry with each other, and their girls and they’re the most likable in the group.
The Minorus (Tina and Robert). Tina is a brilliant innovator, ruthless CEO and perfectionist. A “Dragon lady” if you will. She is cold, and closed off and probably the most scary next to Leslie. She never seems like she cares, or she’s the one in Pride who makes the hard choices. She has the Staff of One that she created with science, I guess they didn’t want to deal with magic that much, but she knows how to wield that thing. She does things that’s best for her family mostly and her endgame will always be her family. I think Brittany Ishibashi is great in this role, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything before but she’s very intimidating but when she has to let emotions through, I felt really bad for her. James Yaegashi is Robert, and he is fine in his role. He doesn’t get much to do as not much is known about him other than the fact that he’s closer to Nico and nicer than Tina. He is very distant and has his own thing going on but he manages to get a moment in episode 8 I think that really allows him to be a character.
Julian McMahon as Jonah. A mysterious character, but it can be determined that he is the defacto leader of Pride. Jonah knows what he wants and he does whatever he wants to get it, no matter who he is hurting in the process. Julian McMahon is a scary dude period so when he showed his face, I knew he wasn’t up to any good in the show. I’m interested to know more about his character and I hope we get to see him really let some of the other characters have it.
The Story. Six teenagers from different backgrounds unite against a common enemy — their criminal parents, collectively known as the Pride. They congregated at Alex’s house after each of their evenings didn’t turn out the way they wanted and they try to have a good night. They discover a secret hiding place in Mr. Wilder’s study and discover their parents doing a ritual together where they killed someone. The kids freak out not knowing what to do and what their parents are up too. It really goes into allowing the viewer to spend time with the parents, to understand them, to spend some time with the kids and understand their dynamics in ways. It was really smart to wait until the season finally to actually let the kids become Runaways. I think the show allows the story to progress, but it does it very slowly that really stretches out the plot… maybe a bit too much but I’ll talk about that later. It gives a lot of questions but it does answer those questions. The story is interesting and really allows for some interesting character moments. I can’t wait to see what they do in the second season with the fact that now they are all accused of murder and of kidnapping Molly. Should be good.
The Friendship. The strongest aspect of this show is definitely the friendship between the Runaways. They start off apart from each other, they’ve drifted apart and are into their own worlds (outside of Gert and Molly since they live together), but they come back together and stumble across something that unites them. It’s great to see them grow with each other, together and apart. I think as a group they’re strong but of course there are some that connect more each other than the others.
Alex and Nico. They have one of the strongest connections I think. They also have a bit of a romantic chemistry and relationship going on that I fully support. He cares about her and doesn’t really know how to go about it, but I think it shows that she knows and she feels something for him. I do think he feels more for her than she does for him, but with the right kind of growth and writing it could grow organically. Whenever they’re together, a lot of the talking is done by Nico and he’s listening or offering advice, or he’s trying to be just be there. Like the great scene during the Pride gala when they’re hiding out in Tina’s office. I thought that was a great moment between them. I also love the scene in the limo when he puts his arm around her, she leans into him and he kind of plays with her purse, it was so cute. He also tries to be supportive. He went with her to the police station and he even helped her clean up the mess she made in her mother’s office. She called him because she knew he would understand and help her. It’s not perfect, they do have arguments, but I think they feel the closest and the pair that doesn’t feel random or out of left field.
Gert and Molly. They are so cute! I love their sisterhood, it’s definitely something special. Molly is the adopted one but she doesn’t feel like she is, Gert is protective of her, though she does treat her like a little kid when Molly just wants to be involved lol. I think one of the best part is when Gert sings to her to help her sleep, or later on when Stacey and Dean have to send Molly away and she and Gert have a beautiful scene. The actresses work together so well.
Chase and Gert. Now they don’t really have a strong friendship but they definitely have a romantic one growing which is also cute. In the beginning Gert obviously likes Chase but he’s blinded by Karolina’s prettiness and aloofness, that she doesn’t stand a chance. Towards the end they get closer and it’s cute, both actors have really good chemistry with each other and while I don’t think there was really much indication in the beginning that Chase liked her, they did work well together and it clear that there might be something in the future.
The Kids and their Parents. Another strong aspect of this show is that it’s human, which helps because the comics are like that as well. The show explores the relationship with the parents a bit more which for a show, I think is a strong choice. Each kid deals with their family differently. It’s very interesting to see the dynamics in the family.
The Wilder(s) seem to be closest to an extent. Alex has been distant but it seems that he at least used to be a bit more conversational with his parents which shows in how his father and mother speak with him and interact with him. I would say their entire family is one of the stronger ones. It was great watching both of them get riled up when Julian threatened to hurt their kids.
The Yorkes are probably the family that is the closest group, with both parents and Gert and Molly. Even with Molly being adopted she feels like she’s part of the family, and Gert and Molly seem so close that I actually thought they both were adopted by Dale and Stacy. The emotions that happen towards the end with them and Molly, was extremely heart-wrenching and you could tell that it was killing all of them. As a family, they were probably my favorite.
The Dean(s) are definitely one of the broken ones, which is interesting because what they have is a front anyway. Leslie is in charge of the church and I thought there were times when it seemed that she and Karolina were close but as the show went on, it was easier to tell that Karolina was much closer to Frank than her mother. She even trusted him with secrets towards the end of the show. Their dynamic felt like a power struggle a lot of the time. A power struggle that wanted to be on equal footing… quite interesting.
The Minoru(s) are interesting and it’s hard to really say. They have tragedy in the family as Amy, the oldest daughter committed suicide which prompted Nico’s change into her gothic persona. Robert is definitely closer to Nico than Tina but I think Nico felt out-of-place anyway in her family. Tina is closed off and a bit of a hard ass but as the show goes on, it’s definitely obvious she loves her family, and Robert has his own thing going on that he doesn’t feel part anyway.
The Stein(s) are also a broken family. First of all, Victor is a workaholic and violent. He’s beaten both Janet and Chase in the past and while we don’t really see any of that in show, we see moments where they’re both obviously terrified of him, even Chase, who is taller and bigger. There are moments where his eyes are just huge in fear and anticipation. They’re a smart family, that’s easy to tell, but there is definitely a feeling of “who’s the boss” in there. Definitely Victor. But Chase and Janet are close, that’s easy to see, but he also loves his father.
Relatable. I think when you have an ensemble cast like this, it’s important that the teenagers feel relatable and like real teenagers. Sure, their circumstances are extreme and it is set in the Marvel universe, but these kids are just kids. They still have to deal with their emotions, romance, school, bullying, puberty and the problems with their parents. I think all six of the teenagers are relatable and even if you don’t see yourself in all of them, you’ll see parts of yourself in one of them definitely.
Potential. I think this show has a lot of potential. Being that it’s based on comics, there are a lot of places it could go, I mean, I hope it doesn’t completely follow the comics as I am still upset at how the 2003 run ended but I hope they do manage to stick to some plot points. SOME. The way the season ended with them actually running this time, (great shot by the way) due to something the Wilders did (if they actually did it), follows what they do in the comics, which is pretty ruthless lol. I love it though. I hope they stick with it. Perhaps they’ll even have a chance to crossover with some of the other Marvel shows like Agents of Shield or the new Cloak and Dagger show that’s supposed to be on Freeform.
The Pacing. There are times when the show is reeeally slow. Certain moments that should be quick take forever to get there. It’s a show so things must take it’s time to an extent to make more seasons, but I don’t think it should feel like a glacial pace that I could lose interest for even a minute. Plus, some characters make really stupid decisions that affect a lot and could easily be avoided if they just, oh I don’t know, don’t charge the phone in the room you’re not supposed to go in, why not take it back to your room or something?
Missed Opportunities. Maybe this will happen in the second season but there are some things I noticed that they don’t really touch on. When I come back to review season 2, we shall see.
Alex and Chase. It seems that Alex and Chase used to be really close friends at one point, but Chase took the jock route and Alex is the nerd which pushed them apart. They have a lot of moments where they feel very antagonistic and I wonder what exactly happened if anything. I want to see more interactions between them. They’re the only guys in the group (which is cool since its always the girls who are outnumbered) and I think we should see some type of interaction that explains. I mean after the fight they had… I need to know what the deal is between them.
The Steins. We never really spent a lot of time with them, at least not with them together. We did see a flashback to show how Chase’s father was, but I kind of wish we got to see more of them as a whole. I don’t know, I like detail (though I know when too much is too much) and I wish we could have seen more of the monster that Victor was. James Marsters is a great actor and I think he would have had fun with that.
Not Enough Action. I expected a bit more action. There is some good realistic action going on. There is even a nice subplot where Alex gets kidnapped because of some bad blood with his dad and an old friend… I kind of wish that lasted longer than it did but ya know, cool. Then there is some stuff in the second to last episode mostly. Considering that Chase has the Fistigons, Gert has Old Lace, Karolina is a rainbow lightbulb, Molly has the strength, and Nico has the staff, there should be more going on. We don’t really get to see them use what they can do. Hopefully we get more of it in the second season. I’m not expecting like fights every episode, but I think outside of Molly who we’ve seen grow into her powers, the others should get the chance to show what they’ve learned with their abilities.
Alex’s Involvement/Character Growth. So he’s my favorite character. I think I have a thing for the characters that get less, because I see the potential and sometimes it’s the actor that helps. I think Alex is a really cool and interesting character, he’s a very strong one that honestly could turn out good or bad depending on what happens. So far, a lot of things have happened and it seems to just get worse and worse for him. The others have things and moments that allow them to grow into themselves and receive clarity and strength. For Alex, it goes the opposite way. I recognize that THAT IS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT however, I feel like things could turn sour really quickly if he’s not allowed to show what he can do. In the first few episodes he naturally took on the leader role, I don’t know if he’s the oldest of the group or not, definitely seems like Chase or Karolina are older (but that may because the actors are 22 and 25 respectively) but he just oozes maturity and cleverness. If anything, he should be like the Professor Charles Xavier of the group, but more involved. He doesn’t have any abilities or weapons but he’s supposed to be really smart, we’ve seen that but not as much as I think we should have. It feels sometimes like they don’t make him feel necessary because Chase has genius potential and Alex is SUPPOSED to be a genius. He’s put pieces together, he’s made the hard choices (which everyone dumps on him for) and he spent an episode or two or three decrypting a hard drive. I feel like we still don’t really know him the way we were getting to know the other characters. I think he should get that chance in the second season. Plus, I think Rhenzy Feliz is very charismatic onscreen and I want him to really get his chance on the show.
The Romances. So, I feel like I have a problem with romances generally in tv shows but that’s because they sometimes either take waaaaay to long and do that whole “Will they, won’t they?” thing that gets really annoying OR they make it happen WAY to fast which I think is worse because if I’m not invested in their relationship then why would I root for them just because you smushed them together? I think the 2003 comics do this as well. Plus, the lead characters are teenagers and I’m not interested in seeing a good show ruined because of romance drama. That sucks.
Chase and Gert. Now I know I talked about them earlier, I think they’re cute, I do but I also think Chase decided he liked her out of nowhere. There was hardly indication that he felt for her the way she felt for him. I think he recognized the fact that he didn’t dislike her but romantic? Meh, I didn’t really see that until he called her first after his father got hurt which is about episode 8. He spent most of the time pining after Karolina, so it felt really random. I like it but I wish they would have allowed Chase to realize it and think on it more or something.
Karolina/Nico/Alex. No they’re not a thrupple, but as I stated before, I like Alex and Nico, I think they’re really cute. I also know what happens in the comics that pushes them apart and that Karolina likes Nico. I think they’re together at times in the comics… I don’t know, haven’t gotten that far but apparently there’s something there. I think the Karolina/Nico part is the rushed and forced part of this triangle. I have no problem with the fact that Karolina likes Nico or that Nico might be bisexual, it will be something she has to obviously think about… if they allow it. But we had no indication that Karolina was into Nico. I remember thinking that she obviously wasn’t into Chase, at least not the way he was into her. When she walked in on a moment between Alex and Nico, she was awkward and I was like “why is she looking like that? Is it because they were really making out… or is she into Nico or Alex?” However, she hardly had any scenes with either of them outside of being with the group that I didn’t really think about it again until they were getting ready for the school dance. She started to tell Nico something and she leaned towards her and Nico was like “ummm?” Then when she kissed her, it was a moment that was great for Karolina because she finally gained the confidence to come to grips with her feelings, but then Nico kissed back and I was like “What?” Did she kiss back because she likes her? Did she kiss back because she was just kissed? I have a lot of questions that I hope they answer later on. Then later, when Karolina goes up against Julian, they all run to safety at her request after some over dramatic refusals by Nico. After the explosion, Nico wants to go back for her but Alex says first that they should keep going, and the others agreed with him, plus they all look so haggard that I understand them wanting to take a moment. I would want to too. But Nico is all like “WHAT?” ya know dramatic and stuff and I was like “Okay, so it is weird that everyone isn’t up for rescuing her, especially after Karolina was willing to help save Alex and go see Chase previously, but Nico is being a bit much”. I get that she was mad at Alex for keeping a secret about her sister from her, and she has every right to be upset but I thought everything just happened and unraveled so quickly that it felt wrong. It just happened without preparation. Yes, I know they’re teenagers but I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes because it was so quick. I can’t even enjoy or even want to root for Nico and Karolina because I’m not over the fact that Nico and Alex never got to really hash things out. She just yelled at him. I don’t know… I don’t like love triangles, they’re annoying and I hope this doesn’t turn into anything serious at least that causes good characters to look bad. Especially Alex since he already is a character that people have mixed feelings on. I hope they don’t go the comic route for him because of love. I will be very upset if that happens. I hope they hash this out and if Nico and Karolina are the next step, that they allow it grow the way it should… realistically and organically.
The Battle. So in episode 9, the Runaways face off against Pride and more importantly Julian. They try to go and foil their plans at a construction site and the parents show up trying to get them to stop. Julian then shows up and hurts them, they all get back up and stand against him, even Alex who doesn’t have a dinosaur, weapons or powers. I was like that’s my dude! But anyway, Karolina uses her powers, tells the others to run away and she faces off against Julian and it was boring. I guess we’ll see them face off again seriously in season 2 but meh. I think it could have been better, especially if they were gonna have Karolina use her powers against Julian. I expected more to be honest. Though I do like the part when the parents show up and they’re all yelling at each other lol and Molly goes “and we’ll FIGHT you if we have too” and her eyes light up and the adults back away in shock! lol BAWSE but when Julian shows up it’s a yawn.
Potential Storylines. This isn’t really a hit against the show but I have to talk about it because I just DON’T WANT IT! So, I’m gonna spoil the comic here, I kind of have too to explain my thoughts on this… So in the comics, when they all escape, after some minor fights between the kids and the parents (in the comics the Wilders are mob bosses, which isn’t too far off I guess lol. The Steins are mad scientists, on equal footing. The Yorkes are time travelers. The Minorus are dark wizards. The Deans are aliens and the Hayes, Molly’s parents who are alive, are evil mutants), they actually run to a secret hiding place that Chase knows about. The parents find a note from one of the kids stating that they are still loyal to their parents. They don’t know which child said this but they have hope that they’ll be able to catch up with their kids because of the mole. The mole also alerts the police to their location. Later, they go to the secret location their parents meet to offer up the soul of their sacrifice to these gods called “The Gibborim” who want to destroy the people on earth and then recreate it into a Utopia. After Janet Stein reveals she’s pregnant (which puts Chase as the oldest), the others decide they would have children as well because the Gibborim told them that they would only allow six of them to live in the new utopia, so they decide that it should be their kids that get to have the Utopia. So, Chase almost dies, but he’s weak so he gives Alex his x-ray goggles and the Fistigons, and they go to fight their parents. Nico gets frozen by her parents, Gert gets knocked out, so does Molly and Alex uses Nico’s staff to knock Karolina out. He releases Nico and reveals that he was the mole the entire time. I was PISSED lol but damn that was some good writing and a good twist, I wouldn’t have thought it was him. But it makes sense. Anyway, he explains the whole thing to Nico, he reveals that he knew about Pride for at least a year, and he knew that the Hayes and the Deans plotted together to kill the others and their kids so they and their children (Molly and Karolina) could live in the Utopia since neither family are human. So he had a plan to save his family and Nico’s family since he loves her. Bruh… it’s a lot. In the end, the Gibborim show up, Molly crushes the box that holds the soul, and Alex tries to protect everyone by telling the Gibborim it was all his fault and they incinerate him… I mean, there is literally nothing left of him. UPSET. Then its assumed the parents all died when the kids escaped because their underwater temple exploded.
Alex’s future. So anyway, I don’t want them to go this route. While I enjoyed the twist, though it killed my soul since I love Alex, I don’t want that to happen in the show. So far, Alex is the character who has shown a ton of compassion for everyone. He does make the hard decisions and he does get a lot of flack because of it but I think that it shows that he cares about his group. Everything he’s done has been for the Runaways (he even tries to name them lol it was cute) or for the good of someone else. When he shot that Andre kid, he did it to save his father, but then he tried to go and save Andre because he knew what they were going to do to him. He didn’t have to do that since the kid helped kidnap him. I just don’t want him to turn against his group because at this point, it would be OUT OF CHARACTER. If it happens, they better have little moments here and there where it shows that he’s drifting away… he’s already mostly an outsider since he’s the only one without a weapon/ability. I also don’t think they’ve already been building up this “mole storyline” either. Yeah, he’s smart and he does make hard decisions, and in the finale, he does make a call to someone, we assume it was to Darius who gave him money and a gun (he is the only one without anything directly protect him and he had good aim when he shot Andre), but I don’t think those things point to him betraying anyone. I just want him to have his chance and though this is an interesting storyline, I feel like this would make things much worse and if he dies… I just can’t. I think it would actually be interesting… if they DO go this way for either Karolina or Chase to be the mole since they were the ones who wanted to believe their parents had reasons or whatever. I’d rather them NOT do the mole storyline but if so, I think Karolina or Chase would be the better options in the show.
Overall, I liked the show a lot. I really enjoyed myself. It has some issues that I hope they fix going forward but I think the strongest aspect of the show is the cast and characters. Everyone, including the parents, are extremely interesting and the actors do such a great job in their roles. The story is also very interesting and that it leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered so viewers will keep coming back for more. I appreciate the slow burn of the plot which allowed for some of the characters to really shine. I think the chemistry between the Runaways and even Pride is really strong, not to mention, certain actors and their characters really fit well together. It’s intriguing. It’s also really funny, I think the actors have great comedic timing with their delivery and facial expressions. I didn’t give its own “pro” but it’s a good thing. The characters are relatable. I see a lot of potential for the show and the characters going forward, even if they don’t completely follow the comics. Now, on the other hand, I DON’T WANT THEM TO FOLLOW THE COMICS COMPLETELY ESPECIALLY FOR ALEX’S CHARACTER. I think the action is pretty lame and not very well choreographed for the little bit we get to see, I really hope they up the ante in the second season. The battle in season 9 that was built up was quite boring. There are a lot of missed opportunities in the show that could create more mystery, or to set up future things, or even beef up the history between certain characters. I also don’t really care for how the romances are handled in the show. I don’t care what anyone says, I think they were rushed. I like some more than others but rushed. There are also pacing issues that make the show feel really slow, especially in the middle of the season. I also have issue with how they handle the writing for the Wilders, especially Alex’s character. I have a lot of feelings on that, so I’m going to have to do a separate post about. But I really like the show and I can’t wait for the second season.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars.
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Summary: A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars and now threatens all life on Earth.
The Cast/Acting. There are only six characters in this movie, seven if you count the alien “Calvin”. All of the actors are good in their roles, I mean, they’re all the usual kind of roles for a movie like this. Jake Gyllenhaal as Dr. David Jordan, he’s the medical officer and the one whose been in space the longest, and he’s willing to make some hard choices for the sake of the group or the earth. Rebecca Ferguson as Dr. Miranda North, the quarantine officer, her job is to make sure that they keep in whatever they find, to make sure they don’t fail and if they do, she has a protocol. Ryan Reynolds as Rory Adams, the flight engineer, he’s the one who had the job to bring Calvin aboard the station and he’s the wise cracking one, as Reynolds always is. I also would assume he was the youngest of the group. Hiroyuki Sanada as Sho Murakami, the systems engineer, and the one with the most to lose in that his wife just had a baby. I like this guy, I normally like him and he’s the only one who we actually get to know a bit more about. Ariyon Bakare as Dr. Hugh Derry, the exobiologist and it’s his job to learn about the alien and what makes it tick. He’s the first one hurt by it, and they try to learn more about it because of that. Lastly, Olga Dihovichnaya as Ekaterina Golovkina, she is the mission commander and she tries to keep her group safe by making the hard choices. I mean, all of the acting is fine, and that helps considering how bland the characters actually are, which I will go into more later. If they were played by lesser actors, I would really be upset.
The Suspense/Tension. Life is very good at making me freak out, or wonder what’s going to happen next. Is Calvin (the creature) gonna show up around that corner? Is it going to find some way into their room? I also don’t like scary stuff, so I was anxious because I didn’t want to be scared lol, but I was tense while watching. I thought it did that very well if anything.
The Creature. Gross. Scary. As it evolved, it got worse, in how it looked. In the things it could do. It was scary. I’ve never really seen Alien but I’m sure this movie was inspired that in some way, as well as Gravity. Being locked in space with a creature. I think it was very intimidating that you couldn’t help but wonder each time someone went around a corner, if it would be there.
The Twist. So there is a twist in the movie. I think it’s a bit easy to see coming, or to probably consider it happening this way, but I thought it was a very effective and cool twist. We expected it but it didn’t make it any more shocking in the end.
The Use of Space. With a contained movie like this, it can be a bit hard to make it seem believable that these people have such a limited place to go. Director Daniel Espinosa, makes great use of the contained area and the fat that these characters are in space. The way he shows their space station, and how they move about it, was really cool. I felt like I was up there with them.
Bland Characters. The acting is fine, I think. But the characters are just the typical characters we see in this situation. They are meant to serve a specific purpose in the film and that’s about it. I think the actors do what they can, and they do enough to at least make me want them to survive but if someone dies, I don’t particularly care because we don’t know them. They talk a lot and we learn things about them through their exposition but we don’t know anything about them. There’s really only one person, we learn enough about and I cared about him because the movie did.
Predictable. While this movie does have a lot of tension in it, I do think it’s very predictable in what’s going to happen, who things are going to happen too and what the outcomes will be. We were doing a lot of guess-work and we weren’t wrong while watching. So I think if anyone is expecting any surprises, you won’t find that here in this movie.
Stupid Character Choices. I feel like I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately that has a lot of stupid characters making stupid choices but if someone tells you NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR… THEN DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! Stuff like that, is how things get messed up and why trouble happens. There is a creature in your midst that has a mind of its own… don’t be dumb and enable it to be free. I’m a curious person by nature, to my imaginative brain, but there is a limit to my curiosity because of danger. If you see a foreign object, even if it’s from space… don’t open the door. Ugh. It was just mistake, upon mistake and it was annoying. You guys are astronauts, I know you’re trained for this (as someone tells us in the beginning) but be smarter.
Overall, Life is an experience that is probably better if you’ve seen the movies it’s inspired from. It has a chance to stand on its own in that the creature is scary, and the movie does have a lot of tension in it, the acting is good and solid and the use of space and the contained environment helps build upon what makes this movie so nerve-wracking. However, the characters are extremely bland and they make such stupid choices that it doesn’t make sense for them all to be so smart in their fields but so dumb. It’s also very predictable, that while the twist was a good one, we saw it coming from a mile away. It’s generic and forgettable but it was a fun ride.
Rating: 3.29 out of 5 stars.
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Summary: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Cast and Characters.
Dane DeHaan as Major Valerian. He is a space/time traveling agent who works for the Alpha government. He is the “devil-may-care” type, a ladies man, he is very good at everything apparently, as he told us in the beginning but he wants to be better because he wants to be with Laureline as they’ve been partners for a long time. He is quick on his feet and the way he works with Laureline was great. I love Dane DeHaan and I really want him to be in a big movie that does well and is well received because I think he has good acting chops. I thought he was good, he kind of has this way of looking sad, tired, charming and rebellious all the same time, maybe it’s the bags under his eyes lol, I don’t know but I thought he fit well in the role. His delivery of some of his one liners was good, he had good comedic timing and his moments of doing physical action was really cool.
Cara Delevingne as Sergent Laureline. She is Valerian’s partner, and she is a bit more… in your face then he is, she refuses to be left behind and if she is, it irritates her. She has a lot of the humor due to her comments and reactions to things. She has great physical scenes too where she really kicks butt. I liked her and I thought she was a great match for Valerian, I thought it was easy to tell that she did have feelings for him but wanted to not dwell much on them due to his past and she was testing him. lol I think many women can relate. I think this is the best acting I’ve seen from Delevingne, it’s definitely obvious to tell that she’s a model due to her walk, and how she stands, probably can’t help it, but I thought she felt more natural here than she did in Paper Towns and Suicide Squad which is a good thing. I thought she handled her character very well and managed to stand out, I do think she was a bit better than DeHaan but I feel like the movie spent more time with her and expanding a bit more on her than it did with him.
Rihanna as Bubble. She isn’t in the movie long, she is a shape-shifting entertainer who gives Valerian a performance that was really cool, I would like to know how much of it Rihanna did but it was cool. I think she is an okay actress at least from the two movies I’ve seen, BUT I think she is a good voice over actress which is what she mostly does as her character is an alien. She was cute, sassy and her scenes were fun to watch.
Other characters. There are many other characters in this movie, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Sam Spruell, Clive Owen and they’re fine for their roles, the actors do what they’re supposed to do, Sam Spruell especially.