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: High school principal Jefferson Pierce, who retired from his superhero persona Black Lightning nine years ago after seeing the effects it had on his family, is forced to become a vigilante again when the rise of the local gang called the 100 leads to increased crime and corruption in his community of Freeland.
There will be some spoilers ahead. I’m going to try to keep them minor because the show just ended.
Cast and Characters.
Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning. Jefferson is a retired superhero with the ability to harness and manipulate electricity. He’s like a battery. He is the current principal at Garfield High School. Jefferson returns to fight crime after his daughters are kidnapped by a local gang. He immediately knows what he has to do and Jefferson will do whatever it takes to protect his family. Now, because he is a family man, he does protect his family but he considers his students to be his family as well. He’ll do whatever it takes to help them. He is stubborn, and can be a bit too determined sometimes but he always means well. Jefferson wants to protect his town from those who want to do it harm. Jefferson feels like a real person, it’s hard with superheroes sometimes, because they don’t feel human, like they don’t have human problems but Jefferson does. He has a family, even though he isn’t married to Lynn, he obviously still loves her and does whatever he can to protect her just as he does his daughters. He’s also very sad and angry about the death of his father and he even tries to take it upon himself to get revenge for it later in the season, but he’s never unreasonable. I like that about him. He gets his mind-set on something but he can still be talked down from it, it’s unpredictable, you’re not sure what he might do. Unpredictable. Cress Williams is fantastic as Jefferson. He’s also a beautiful man lol. He’s so… inspiring when he talks to his students but I also believe he’ll get you right.
China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce. Jefferson’s younger daughter, who is very independent, outspoken, smart and an athlete. She has a bit of a wild streak, but I think that was shown mostly in the first two episodes and then that kind of went away probably because of the kidnapping. She is a teenager so she does some teenagery like things, like wanting to go to the next step with her boyfriend, or being a bit of a smartass, and of course stealing her sister’s clothes. Jennifer in ways, reminds me of my younger sister (she’s in college now), but she loves her family even if they can be a bit hard on her. Jennifer gets her powers way late in the game, she shows that something might be different about her when she gets in a fight with this girl (who came at her) and she breaks her wrist. She has strong feelings for Khalil and even though he hurt her, she still loves him. When he comes back, she even is willing to see him but of course he comes back different. We finally see her gain her powers and she’s like a generator and I think she might be more powerful than her dad. I hope to see her use her powers more in the second season because I want to see some LIGHTNING! China Anne McClain is great, I’ve always enjoyed watching her, and she’s great as Jennifer. Her emotional scenes are definitely some of her strongest.
Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce / Thunder. Jefferson’s elder daughter who is in medical school and teaches part-time at Jefferson’s school. Anissa learns about her powers early on, she has the ability to manipulate her density, allowing herself to have superhuman strength and near invulnerability. She can also create powerful shock waves in which she can do that THUNDER CLAP!! She also has a rapid healing factor. She starts off fighting crime alone as Thunder because she thought she was alone in it (not knowing who BL was yet) but she eventually learns it’s her father and they become a team because she would keep doing it without him. Anissa is strong, determined, very stubborn and will do things her own way, especially in the beginning. We do see her grow to make more mature decisions on how things are handled which is great. Anissa also is bold in everything she does, from her hair to her clothes… I love her. She had a girlfriend in the beginning but she wasn’t feeling it, which I’ve noticed, if she’s not feeling it, then she’s not in it. She does meet Grace, later on, we’ll see what happens with that later on. Nafeesa Williams is great! She has great chemistry with everyone around her. She is strong and she answered my Twitter questions which was awesome. I love how she does the deep breath to allow her powers to do their thing. I also love her hair, I have hair envy every time she’s on-screen. Killing the game.
Christine Adams as Lynn Stewart. A neuroscientist at Bowman College and Jefferson’s ex-wife. Lynn is kind, loving but she will not take your crap. She will lay you out as well. Lynn still loves Jefferson and she of course loves her daughters, she is very much involved in everyone’s lives. She is intelligent and while she may not have powers (I think they should give her some lol), she is a strong part of the family by being the human backbone. She’s watched Jefferson be a hero for years, and now she has to see it again, with her daughters being caught in the mix. She doesn’t like it, but she has to accept it because it’s the reality of the situation. I also love the fact that she knows her family enough that she knows when something is wrong, but she doesn’t pry. Christine Adams is great! Whenever she’s being sassy, I’m like YASSS and whenever she is letting someone have it, I’m like YASSS! I also love her mother/daughter scenes with her girls, and her passionate scenes with Cress Williams.
Main Supporting Characters.
Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias Whale. A former politician who rose through the ranks of local government through corruption but was brought down by Jefferson’s father, Alvin. Tobias was exiled after killing Alvin but he became the leader of the 100. He also gets involved with the A.S.A in hopes of capturing and studying Black Lightning, but Tobias just wants him out the way. Tobias is an interesting character. He’s Albino and he definitely seems to hate black people, or at least the “typical black person”, whatever that means. He does have some great monologues though. He is super strong, seems to be aging slowly and has extreme anger issues. He trusts very few people, like his sister Tori and Syonide. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He’ll take everyone out. Krondon Jones is great! He’s a scary dude and his voice is awesome. I believe he’s gonna take over Freeland, and I also believe he could kill Black Lightning if he’s not careful. Dude can mean mug like nobodies business.
Damon Gupton as Billy Henderson. A veteran detective inspector with the police, he’s friends with Jefferson and I think he was an ally to Black Lightning previously. While he may help BL, he’s still a detective and he doesn’t care for vigilantism. However, he does his part because he sees that cops are corrupt. I like him, he can be a bit annoying but I think he’s a good man and I hope nothing happens to him in the future but I kind of feel like something will. Damon Gupton is fine in the role, he’s a nice guy and he doesn’t make me want to punch him so that’s good lol.
James Remar as Peter Gambi. Jefferson’s oldest friend who became a father figure and mentor to him and works as his “tailor” while having connections with Lady Eve. His real name is Peter Esposito and was a former member of the A.S.A. until he turned against the organization and gave information to Alvin Pierce, resulting in his murder.
Reoccurring Supporting Characters.
Skye P. Marshall as Kara Fowdy. She is Garfield High’s vice-principal. In the beginning, it’s easy to tell that she has a crush on Jefferson and that sometimes she tries to hard. She isn’t a major character but it’s imperative that viewers pay attention to her because we learn something about her later on, that I totally saw coming and it makes sense. However, she does seem to feel remorseful about her decisions but ya know, once you get in too deep, it’s hard to get back out. Kara Fowdy does well in her role, I’m curious to see if we see more of her in the second season.
William Catlett as Latavius “Lala” Johnson (mild spoilers). A member of the 100 who is in charge of the Seahorse Motel that 100 use as a front for their prostitution ring. I think he also does a bit of drug dealing. Lala used to be a student at Garfield High, so Jefferson feels a little responsibility for him in that he could get through to him but Lala has his “empire” and he’s not going to give that up. Something happens to him that when he shows back up in the show, something is definitely up with him and you have no idea what’s going on. It’s a bit weird but at the same time, it’s dope. He starts to show some changes himself. One of those changes is that he starts seeing the ghosts and these ghosts leave markings on his body. It’s really cool to be honest. He has some great scenes in the latter half of the season. William Catlett does a great job at making you really dislike Lala (his nickname is also stupid, I can’t always take him seriously) but later on, as things are discovered, he makes you really feel bad for him too.
Charlbi Dean as Syonide. Tobias Whale’s henchwoman and enforcer. She doesn’t say much but she will kill you with a look and she’s a bit scary. She has a great fight scene with Thunder and we really get to see her physical prowess as a fighter. She also talked in the season finale and I was like “Oh! She talks… weird.” Like she had full on sentences, when usually she just looks, smirks and threatens. Charlbi Dean is fine in the role, she manages to make me feel unsettled by her looks.
Jordan Calloway as Khalil Payne (mild spoilers). He is a track star at Garfield High and dating Jennifer. He is on the road to becoming something great with track. He has a great scene with Jefferson when Jennifer tells her parents that she might be ready to take the next step with Khalil. He’s sweet, a bit awkward and hopeful. He goes on a march with some residents in Freeland and he gets shot which paralyzes him from the waist down. Him losing the use of his legs, depresses him and he gets really moody and even treats Jennifer wrongly. I feel bad for him honestly, especially since his depression leaves him wide open for negative persuasion. He disappears for a while and when he comes back, things are definitely different. It’s a little jarring at first, mostly the appearance but it grew on me and I’m definitely interested to see what happens with him in the second season, I hope he becomes more prominent because he’s interesting. Jordan Calloway is not only *swoons* but he does a great job at playing the many faces of Khalil we’ve seen. The sad part of him, the mean part (though I’ve seen him be mean in Riverdale lol), and the part that he is currently.
Jill Scott as Evelyn Stillwater-Ferguson / Lady Eve. The owner of a funeral parlor who connects Tobias Whale with a secret group of corrupt leaders that gave him leadership over the 100. She is AHMAZING! She has some kind of control that allows her to be like this big boss in Freeland, but everyone also loves her. I can’t help but wonder how she looks and acts outside of her little corrupt group because the fact that people love her, and aren’t suspicious of her makes me wonder. Jill Scott is always a win and she killed it in the times we saw Lady Eve, every bit of line delivery was her just chewing it up.
Strong Family Dynamic. So Jefferson and Lynn are divorced but they have a working relationship that allows their daughters to still have that parent connection even though Lynn doesn’t live with them. They have Friday dinners where they all come together and eat dinner together and most times Lynn is there helping Jefferson prepare the dinner. Lynn and Jefferson also still have amazing chemistry and it’s easy to tell that they are still in love with each other, even though they divorced because Lynn couldn’t handle him being a superhero (the getting hurt part, not the saving part). But she obviously still cares for him. I also love how they are with Anissa and Jennifer. I think Anissa is in her early 20’s and Jen is 17-18 and they aren’t treated like children but in a mature way. They want to protect their girls but they also understand that they’re getting older and they must make their own choices. Nafeesa and China also have great sisterly chemistry, they feel like they’re sisters and I love their dynamic, especially in the beginning when Jen would steal Anissa’s clothes or when Jefferson and Anissa were being all weird and Jen knew something was up. I loved that they know each other so well that they know when something is wrong. I love the Pierce family. I also love how they look related, Anissa looks like Lynn and Jennifer looks like Jefferson, it’s really good casting.
Great Villains. The show has a main villain in Tobias Whale but we’ve seen a lot of people who are villainous in the show. They’re all great. Lala, Lady Eve, Tobias and Proctor are all very different villains, with different ways of going about their agendas but they’re all memorable. A lot of that is definitely the performances of these actors and how they deliver the dialogue. I can’t wait to see what Tobias does in the second season.
The Soundtrack. Now, I don’t always pay attention to the music in TV shows because I just don’t think about it. Unless it doesn’t go with the scene. But I think Blake Neely is the composer for the CW superhero shows, or probably all of the CW shows, and while the music is fine, it usually all sounds the same. Black Lightning’s soundtrack stands out because the music not only fits the show, fits the scenes, but it feels steeped in black culture. Kurt Farquhar is the composer for BL and the songs they choose for scenes, especially emotional and action scenes are so good. For example, in the season finale, they played “Stairway to Heaven” by the O’Jays, during an emotional scene with Jefferson and I teared up. Take a gander for yourself. There is a link below that has the music for each episode in Season 1. I really wish the CW would do what they used to where they would tell us who the artists and the songs were after each episode. GET BACK ON IT!! I would love that.
Get Ready for the Thunder and Lightning! The action in this show is so cool to behold. First of all, whatever Anissa does as Thunder is freaking awesome. Watching her use her powers, especially when she becomes bullet proof (Look there is nothing like seeing black people be bullet proof), and she can just walk through a rain shower of bullets… or how she does her thunder-clap. I love it. Also, when she fights alongside her father, they work so well together AND AND AND he did this awesome thing where he made stairs out of lightning and Anissa uses them to go up before coming down and doing like a Thunder stomp or something. Oh man, it was so awesome. The season finale was also great, Jennifer did this great move where she uses her powers and like body slam this dude and just her whole move was great. Also, Thunder and Black Lightning squared off in a fist fight as well and that was pretty cool too.
The Messages/The Story. I think because it’s only 13 episodes, the first season had the ability to be more intimate and focus on the characters more (which I think is part of Riverdale‘s season 2 problem). We really got to know the Pierce family and our villains. We really got to see what makes them tick and we’re learning more about them in each episode. The story is realistic in that it’s not centered around a young hero making choices that people constantly judge for being stupid (looking at you Barry and Oliver). But it’s about a man, who was already in his prime, whose lived that life and returned to it to save his family. I like that. I also love that it’s focusing on a black family that isn’t in pieces, even though Lynn and Jefferson aren’t together, they’re still a unit. That’s positive. I also love how they are showcasing things that black people go through, just in the guise of a superhero show. I can imagine this might be hard for some people, especially if you only want to see superheros superheroing but it’s set in the real world, so I think that’s legit. I mean, drugs, relationships, gangs, gun violence, police brutality… all of that is real and I think so far they’ve handled it well, for the most part.
Not part of the Arrowverse. While this is a CW show, it’s not in the arrowverse, at least not yet, and I kind of hope it stays separate. It has a more mature and serious tone compared to the other shows, and I want it to stay in its own bubble because I really don’t want to see Oliver Queen try to tell Jefferson Piece what to do and how to do it. Nor do I want to see Felicity try to be nerd friends with Lynn. I just… don’t want it. Now, if somehow Iris could meet Anissa and become best friends, I’m down with that lol, but that’s it. I like how different it feels compared to the other shows. I like that it’s more serious and family oriented (some of the other shows kind of had that going for a while, but it’s been lost I think). I don’t want any type of Damien Darkh-like nonsense to seep into Black Lightning, it has it’s down magic and science thing going on… let it stay that way.
The Serious/Mature Tone. It definitely takes some risks, the show handles a lot of material that I can imagine some people find a bit too heavy-handed, or they feel like it’s “invading” their show because they just want to watch a superhero show. I understand that, but I think not expecting a show to tackle current issues, or to even talk about them at all is a bit ignorant. They’re not all just fiction, a lot of their stories deal with reality. A black superhero is still a black person, they still have to live as a black person. I like that about Black Lightning. I like that. I also like that it handles a strong family dynamic. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, I mean it does, but it doesn’t try to be all dark like how Arrow feels like it’s trying to do now.
The Theme Song. I just want them to choose a new song. I don’t really care for it. It’s very… juvenile compared to the mature feeling of the show and how they use some of the other songs throughout. Let’s upgrade the theme song!
The Costumes. So I have a love/hate relationship with Black Lightning and Thunder’s costumes which is why it’s here and not in the “pros”. So Jefferson’s suit, is like a suit of armor, it’s bulletproof and it has lightning bolts down the front and they’re yellow and blue as shown below.
I don’t really like his suit, it looks kind of weird to me, it also fits him weird. I also do not like the yellow on his suit. Jefferson’s lightning is blue and I think his suit should just have a blue and maybe a kind of white going on, since lightning isn’t yellow. Or at least have the yellow only be the outline and not be so prominent.
Like how it is on this picture left. It’s there but it’s not so big and bulky looking. I definitely don’t want spandex because that doesn’t translate, but maybe something that looks more workable.
As for Anissa’s suit, in the beginning she went thrift shopping and found something to make work for a while. Then when she started working with her dad, Gambi made her suit and while I think she wears it very well and it does look good overall, there’s something about it I don’t really like. I think it’s the neck/collarbone part.
The picture on the left is the outfit she had at first, and while it’s cute, she looks like she’s trying to be Beyoncé in a spandex outfit but it’s not feasible for crime fighting which I think becomes evident when she first fights Black Lightning. Now, her official costume, the one on the right, I think looks good overall. I like the color and I like how it fits, but the little part above her chest plate, I think looks too big when she’s moving in it. It seems loose. Otherwise, I like it.
This is from an animated show and the comics, and I kind of like this look better. I definitely see the inspiration, but the one on the left, in terms of the top, I think looks better. Don’t get me wrong, I like realistic looking superhero uniforms, but I don’t think “realistic” means “unflattering” either. I can’t seem to find it but they showed a look at his old costume and I remember liking that one way more.
Heavy Handed. I don’t think this happens all the time but there are times where it feels like they’re trying to really hammer in some messages and they don’t really have to make it feel preachy. It only happens a few times, but those times do happen and I’m like “Okay, we get it, less is more.” I like the fact that it focuses on things that minorities, especially black people go through, but I do think, for a superhero show, it could fall into that thing that Luke Cage fell into where it hits a glass ceiling because it comes on too strong. This may seem like I’m contradicting myself from my earlier comment but I think I would be remiss to ignore that I have thought that.
Dumb Choices. There aren’t many but I hate, and it burns my grits every time, but I hate it when characters go and investigate stuff and DON’T WEAR GLOVES!!! You are searching for things, YOU SHOULD BE WEARING GLOVES! Ugh I drives me insane. Black Lightning was framed for a murder and Jefferson and Anissa are just running around all willy nilly, breaking into places and just touching stuff. *sighs* Also, Lynn is a neuroscientist, there are too many times where she’s doing science stuff with other people around, or she’s talking to her family in her lab like people can’t hear them. *sighs* There was a scene in a hospital I think, where Anissa and Jefferson or Lynn and Jefferson were talking but they were just casually walking down the hallway… I’m like “really y’all? It’s a secret!” *sighs* stuff like that man. They should really think about that.
Overall, I love Black Lightning. It’s probably my favorite of the CW shows right now. It felt fresh compared to the others, which I guess would happen since those have been on for a few years now. I just loved the family dynamic, I think that is definitely the strength of the show. Not to mention, I think all of the actors do a great job, it’s not always the best, but I think it’s overall good. I like the Pierce family and I like the villains. I think the music is used in a fantastic way in the show. It really amplifies the show and makes it feel so different. The action is handled very well, Anissa and Jefferson work very well together and I can’t wait to see them handle the villains even more in the second season. I love how they handled a lot of the messages, such as gang violence, drugs, police brutality, family issues, identity among many things. I don’t think it handles anything negatively but I can understand if people feel like it’s too heavy-handed and I can agree in some places. I also like that it’s not part of the Arrowverse, I hope that it stays that way. Now, I don’t really like BL’s costume and there are parts of Thunder’s that I don’t care for and I definitely think characters make some really dumb choices. HOWEVER! I loved this show! Second season whoooo!!
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Black Lightning? What do you think about it? Are you interested in it at all? Let me know your thoughts down below!
There’s a spoiler below… don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the show or at least haven’t finished it.
So in the finale, Lala died, at least I think he died. He seemed to have been blown up, in that Tobias winter soldiered him and made him have a grenade or something inside of him that made him choke up the little pull thing. I don’t know but it was weird. I thought it was weird, how Lala seemed to be the big bad but I knew Tobias was going to be probably the biggest baddie, but then Lady Eve seemed to be even worse than him… then we have the A.S.A. So, I just hope we don’t villain hop anymore because while I definitely think Tobias is the biggest threat for now. I am curious though, is he going to be taken down in the second season and if so, who’s going to top him? They killed Lala, they killed Lady Eve and Proctor (the lead dude of the A.S.A) is dead now, so… I’m curious to see what happens next.
Summary: A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
Cast and Characters.
Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman. My Batman will always be Michael Keaton (even if he owns it as The Vulture), but Will Arnett does a great job with this character and it surprised me in The Lego Movie and its great still. We spend way more time with Batman than Bruce, but he’s arrogant, vain, a bit of an diot and mean. The things he says just shock people due to the absurdity but with the voice Arnett uses, you just have to laugh at it. I think he has a good grasp on this character, in this universe at least. This is a Batman that has fun. I’ve never seen Batman smile as much as he does in this movie lol.
Zach Galifianakis as The Joker. Of course way more toned down than how this character usually is, but while I never really thought The Joker was a “funny” person, he is in this movie. He has a sincere voice, which is so weird, and he’s so emotional because he doesn’t think Batman takes him seriously, or acknowledges him to be his great villain. It’s pretty funny and Galifianakis’ delivery with him helps because even though we know he’s evil, the voice just doesn’t make him intimidating at all. It just makes him feel like this little kid trying to scare his older brother who won’t give him attention any other way.
Michael Cera as Richard “Dick” Grayson / Robin. So Dick Grayson is like my favorite, I love him, he’s my favorite Robin, as Nightwing he is awesome and I do like his outings as Batman. So of course I know they’re poking fun at his original incarnation with the underwear (and no pants) for his costume. RIP! *sound effect* but he’s so earnest, happy-go-lucky, optimistic and looking for a family himself. There are times where he is annoying, which I know his character can be made annoying, he is a little kid, but I never disliked him (I might be biased though) and he’s a sweet kid. His acceptance of Batman, and his want to be involved is so sweet. Michael Cera has really good comedic timing, I don’t always find him funny, but he should do more voice acting because I thought he did really great in the movie.
Rosario Dawson as Commissioner Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. She’s no-nonsense, she takes over for her father and tries to be what Gotham needs, and even tries to appeal to Batman, to work together. She knows the importance of teamwork and tries to get Batman to understand that. Babs spends a lot of her time in this movie, trying to appeal to Batman. When she’s kicking butt though, it’s awesome. Plus, I like how she doesn’t fall to any of his “charm” or insults. Rosario Dawson has great delivery for this character, her voice has that sarcastic tone that you’re not sure if she’s serious or not, which I think fits this character.
Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth. The entire movie, I knew I knew this voice but I could not figure it out. At one point, I did think it was Ralph Fiennes but I wasn’t sure, I also think it’s funny that Lord Voldemort is in this movie but Ralph Fiennes is playing Alfred lol. But he’s Alfred, he’s the backbone for Bruce/Batman. He is family, his father, (even though Batman says some rude stuff to him about family) but he never gives up on him. That’s why Alfred will always be the MVP. Ralph Fiennes’ delivery is great, he kind of reminded me of J.A.R.V.I.S sometimes but that’s not a bad thing. His role is to keep Batman honest, but to always appeal to him too.
The Story. So the story is pretty basic. Batman is still the hero of Gotham, but The Joker feels like he’s not important in Batman’s life, so he basically comes up with a plan for ultimate revenge. So almost a scorned lover type of deal lol, and then you have Batman’s whole thing with family. We all know Bruce is scarred for life due to his parents dying (MARTHA!) which keeps him from admitting he can’t do everything on his own (Ya know, the Batfamily is legit huge lol) so Alfred tries to get him to move on and welcome people in his life but he refuses. So, these two stories collide and we have a big mixture of a great time while Batman tries to learn what it means to have a family. Plus, the Joker talking to him like they were together, makes for some funny dialogue.
The Humor. I think the first half is much stronger than the second half, that’s with the story and the humor. I laughed way more in the first half than I did the second, and I think that’s because one, the superhero genre, being as big as it is, needs a little fun poked at it, but at the same time, this movie isn’t trying to take itself too seriously. It knows what it is and I think helps some of the ridiculous bits of the film. Batman in his bat cave with Alfred was some great moments, or even when he first meets Barbara, and Dick’s introduction all that I quite enjoyed.
The Visuals/Effects. Just like in The Lego Movie, the visual effects really cool. I love how everything is a lego, the lava, the fire, the gun/laser shots, it’s all part of the lego family. It’s amazing how these animators are able to create this world with digital legos. It’s amazing to me and that deserves all of the praise.
Entertaining. I think more than anything, a person will have fun watching this movie. It’s super bright, and fast paced, most of the time, and it’s fun! I think even if you don’t like the story, it could be a fun ride and I think that’s what’s more important here for this movie is to have fun with the characters.
The Message. It wants to talk about family, and learning how to not try to do everything on your own, something that Batman has to learn, and while I get that, it really hammers it in and I didn’t care about it because they kept trying to be like “Okay this is the message!” “Hey, did you know this is the message?” “Don’t forget this is the message” and I know it’s a kids movie but adults will watch and we’re not dumb and kids don’t need things hammered in like that either. Relax. We know it’s about family. Be more subtle. I mean Barbara spends a lot of the movie trying to appeal to Batman, I like her, but jeez, she’s like a poster telling you encouraging things and you just want to tell it to shut up.
The Heart. So, I liked The Lego Movie, I saw it way after everyone else did, but I quite enjoyed it and I liked what it was trying to do. I don’t think this is better than that movie, even though it seems like it’s trying to be, it’s not, and I don’t think movie quite captures the heart that the first one did. Maybe it has something to do with that whole message problem, from my first point but I think this movie lacks heart behind all of the humor.
The Humor. This is here because not all of the humor is funny. Sometimes it does that little thing where it pauses like where the laughter track would be and I’m like it’s not funny. It’s funny, but I think the first half is probably more funny than the last half. I think the first half is better in general.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The Lego Batman Movie. I think it’s really fun and a great ride. The characters are fun and great, the voice acting, I think really helps elevate the movie, you can tell the actors are having fun with their characters. I think the visuals and the effects deserve extreme praise, because it’s amazing seeing this world of LEGO come to life the way it does. The story is good, it’s a basic one, but it’s good and it’s unique in ways how this movie approaches that storyline. It’s also funny, I laughed quite a bit in the beginning. However, humor is subjective and the second half wasn’t nearly as funny as the first, nor did I think every joke landed, sometimes they felt really childish, while trying to sound super mature. I think the message is hammered over our heads, we know what you’re trying to say, you don’t have to tell us every five seconds, it’s sad when characters are kind of just there to constantly say “we’re a team!” “We have to work together!” I KNOW!!!!!!! I also think this movie tries to have heart and while it’s kind of there, it’s not enough to make the points it wants to make stick. But I still like the movie. It’s really fun.
Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lego Batman Movie? What did you think about it? I mean, it did come out earlier in the year, I’m probably one of the few people who just now saw it lol.
Which one do you think is better: The LEGO Movie, or The LEGO Batman Movie?
Tell me your thoughts and picks in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!
Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
So I’m going to say that I wasn’t necessary excited for this movie as the other DC movies haven’t been very good outside of Woman Woman which I liked enough. So, WW set the bar high and I was more interested in seeing Jason Mamoa as Aquaman to see his take on it, and to see Ezra Miller as The Flash SINCE I LOVE EZRA MILLER and I love The Flash. So I was excited to see them. But anyway, on to the review.
Cast and Characters. I think one of the best things this movie has going for it is that the cast is good, they have pretty good chemistry with each other and they’re all fun.
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman: A wealthy socialite and owner of Wayne Enterprises who also dresses up like a bat and protects Gotham City from criminals. He is a highly trained, a masked vigilante equipped with a lot of tools and weapons. In this film Bruce spots a parademon and makes it his mission to try to recruit the others to help fight as Superman died. I mean, Bruce is Bruce, Batman is Batman. I think Ben Affleck is a good choice for both characters. Being this older version of the character, he’s even more jaded than usual but at the same time, weirdly optimistic. I think he does a good job in understanding the character at this point in his life. I appreciate that he doesn’t growl when he talks as Batman but he does mumble since he talks through his teeth.
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman: Diana is a antiquities dealer, an immortal Amazonian warrior and the crown princess of Themyscira. She has superhuman abilities and is awesome. She is very different from the Diana we knew and loved from her solo outing, she’s still hurt and angry from the events that happened there and it shows because she isn’t nearly as eyes wide open as she was before, that also has to do with the fact that she’s been around for years. Diana is still trying to find her footing even though she helps whenever she’s needed. In this film, she works with Bruce, but she also opposes a lot of his theories and she basically is the one who understands the most what’s going on, as she keeps telling us. Gal Gadot is still great in her role, I love her facial expressions when she’s fighting, and when she’s enjoying whatever fight she’s in.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / Flash: In this film, I believe Barry is probably about 20 as he’s a University student. We first meet him when he’s speaking with his father in prison and it’s easy to tell that this sort of thing still bothers him, but as we get to meet him more, we find that he is a bit awkward, likes to crack jokes and obviously the youngest of the group. I liked his energy throughout the movie, he was funny, he was always smiling and I think Ezra Miller has really good comedic timing. I mean I get why people wouldn’t like him but I loved him and I can’t wait to see his solo movie. He was definitely the comic relief in the movie. I also liked the little extra things he would do for the role, like whenever he got ready to run, he would do a yoga pose, or he would breath deeply to prepare. I also enjoyed how when he was hungry as he burns a lot of calories that he would affect his body posture and facial expressions to show it.
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman: He is a meta-human with aquatic abilities and superhuman physical attributes due to his Atlantean physiology. He’s been a Good Samaritan to the people in a small town that lives on the water. He likes his alcohol and he’s super cool with all of his tattoos (good use of Momoa’s personal tattoos honestly) and it’s easy to tell that he’s distrustful of most people he doesn’t know. I liked that about him because it shows that something may have happened with him. I think Jason Momoa definitely enjoyed this role because he was able to be strong, funny and have fun. Whenever he was fighting, he would do “yahoo!” and I loved how he would comment about Bruce being dressed as a giant bat. He was totally a bro, but a likable bro lol.
Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg: A former college athlete, and a genius who gets into a car accident that nearly kills him. His father uses technology to reconstruct his body giving him abilities that allow him to fly, turn his arms into cannons and manipulate technology. Victor has to deal a lot with his struggle of his humanity and if he is still a human even though he’s mostly machine. I like that he has to deal with that throughout the movie before having to decide whether or not he comes to term with it. I liked Ray Fisher enough, I didn’t think he was the most memorable of the team but I didn’t think he was bad or anything, he was okay. He’s so handsome lol.
Supporting Characters. I was going to go through the supporting characters but I realized that they’re not very important at least to this movie. Sure, Jeremy Iron as Alfred is great just as he was in BvS. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane and she’s not in the film very long, she’s there to serve a plot point and that’s about it, same to be said for Diane Lane as Martha Kent. I guess outside of Alfred, Joe Morton as Silas Stone is probably the most important side character but that’s mostly because of his connection to the plot lol.
The Humor. I think the movie is funny, it has a lot of moments where I just cracked up because the characters, mostly Aquaman and Flash, had a lot of great lines, or interactions with other characters. I love how Barry tried to fist bump Victor and he would never do it. Or Aquaman’s reactions to the plan that Bruce had, or just most of his expressions. I don’t think every joke lands BUT I think a lot of them do that helps the movie from feeling slow and boring.
The Flash’s Effects. I will go into this more later, but I do think that The Flash’s effects were cool. I liked how they tried to distinguish this version’s lightning effects to be different with the blue instead of the red/yellow. It’s different and I thought the colors were pleasing in the film.
The Action. Not all of the action works but there are some great moments in the film. Steppenwolf goes to Themyscira and fights the Amazon, that entire scene was great! It was great to see the Amazons again and see them be awesome! There is also a fight in the middle of the film, I thought that fight was much better than the one at the end, I would have been fine if the movie focused on that storyline instead but that fight was really cool. Also Wonder Woman’s first fight scene in the museum (?) was AWESOME, that felt like it was right outside of a comic book.
The Villain. Oh boy, this dude was so generic that anytime he showed up, I was like “oh yeah, you are the villain trying to do something for Darksied” meh. I don’t even think they mentioned Darksied again so if you missed it when he said it, you will absolutely no idea what he is trying to do. He wants to destroy and change the planet. Okay, but for what? No one ever really talks about it again other than the fact that it’s BAD! He was just a big villain with his “gross” minions and I wasn’t at all worried for anyone, or at all scared of him. I mean, of course he’s a movie villain, but I didn’t think he struck up any type of fear in anyone. Which leads me into my next point.
The Story. It was really weak. I mean, I felt there weren’t any stakes. Again, there is too much going on in this story. I wanted to give a lot more bullet points for this but I’ll just put it here since it all has to do with the story.
No stakes. I wasn’t worried about anything going on in this movie, other than the fight in the middle when Arthur, Victor, Diana and Barry all show up to see if Bruce’s plan worked, I didn’t think they had anything to worry about really. Whatever threat they wanted to build up, just didn’t build up. Diana just kept saying over and over that it was dangerous but it didn’t seem that way other than her saying it.
The emotional weight. There were a few moments of emotional weight that SHOULD have hit but didn’t and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’re really just meeting Arthur, Victor and Barry in this movie and we know nothing about them in this particular world/universe. Barry’s moments with his father in jail are always emotional moments and I think Ezra Miller’s and Billy Crudup’s emotional abilities were wasted in that scene as it felt forced in there. Victor’s struggle with his humanity was nice and it helped give him something to do in the first half of the movie, but honestly, a solo movie or something before this would have helped with that. Also, Mera and Arthur have a talk after Steppenwolf fights them in Atlantis and I know what they were talking about to an extent but I also didn’t care.
The plot. I mean who cares. Steppenwolf comes back because Superman is dead, and tries to go after these Mother Boxes to remake the world. Okay. Again, why exactly? He really only says it once. Again, they suffer from too much going on and not knowing how to balance it all for me to truly care.
The Characters. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them. But I also thought that there wasn’t really much to them, story wise. I think the actors worked with what they were given. When I tried to go back over the characters, I realized that they were kind of shallow. There were moments when Bruce made me think of Bruce from Injustice but it was inconsistent. I thought Diana was very different and for some reason they definitely played up her being a woman more (the shots of her butt, people commenting on how pretty she is… take more notes from her solo movie please), and I get that she’s a different person than she was in her movie, but that is what makes her interesting. Victor has his humanity struggles and his connection to the Mother Boxes but I don’t think they did much with him outside of what he could do with the Mother Boxes. Arthur and Barry had a bit more heart personally, but that’s because of how cool they are.
Designs of Characters. I didn’t like the design of Cyborg, the Parademons or Steppenwolf. Cyborg’s design wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. I was pretty optimistic before I saw the film about his design because I figured the film wasn’t finished that he would look better but he didn’t. I think you could tell that they had to replace Ray Fisher’s body with CGI because the way his head moved compared to his body was odd. The Parademons could have had a different design, I mean I know they more or less look like that in the comics but they look too much like other things from other movies. A friend of mine mentioned they looked like Ultron’s henchmen which now I can’t unsee that. Steppenwolf looked like that hammerhead shark guy from Pirates of the Caribbean and I think his design could have been different. He’s this big grey guy and I think they could have done a little more with his design.
Special Effects. There are a lot of moments in the movie where the special effects looked really bad and weird. The effects on Cyborg were awkward, I didn’t like the blue light on his forehead and then the red light with his eye. It didn’t look well together. There is a particular character that shows up a few times where it’s easy to tell that something was digitally done to their face (a friend told me why that happened) and while I get it now, it still bothered me and I noticed it every time they showed up and was so bad.
The Fight Scenes. Not all of them were bad but there were some badly choreographed fights. Most notably, the one in Atlantis. I was really looking forward to that because I want to see how it looked underwater and it was meh. It was disappointing. The fight scene at the end, the big one, was also lackluster and there were times when The Flash was running that all you saw was a bunch of lightning and I mean I get it, he’s so fast BUT I WANT TO SEE THE ACTION. The big fight at the end, there are moments when I had no idea what was going on, there was this weird orange tint on the screen and they would cut away or do a long shot when someone was fighting. Why?
Disjointed/Structure. I don’t know if everyone really knows this, but Zack Snyder had to step down from finishing this movie due to a tragedy in his family, so Joss Whedon (Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) came in to finish the film in post production. He was originally hired to write additional scenes that would be reshoots but due to the tragedy, Whedon ended up finishing the post production of the film and filmed the scenes he wrote. I think it’s easy to tell that it was handled by different people because it gets very clunky in there. It almost feels like one of those puzzles where you have to slide the pieces in order to make it fit and someone didn’t know what they were doing at first, and then someone had to come behind them and fix it and they tried their best but one piece was still not fitting correctly.
Bad/Awkward Cuts and Transitions. Wow, this movie so many bad and awkward cuts and transitions. There was a particularly bad one that I was so shocked at how bad it was and it happened quite a lot in the movie. In the beginning, there’s a scene with Batman and a thief, and there’s a bit of dialogue and then it just cuts to the next scene. Later with Diana and Victor, they have a conversation and after it’s over, the scene cuts awkwardly again. There’s a lot of that in the movie and it’s really distracting.
Overall, the day I saw Justice League, I found myself liking it more than I do now. This review has been hard because the more I thought about it, the more I found myself not liking it as much. I believe it’s definitely better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad but definitely nowhere near as good as Wonder Woman. It has a lot of flaws, but it’s fun. I did have fun watching it. I enjoyed seeing this characters on-screen together, I loved seeing Ezra Miller as The Flash and seeing Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, they were new and felt fresh. It was great to see Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot return as Batman and Wonder Woman and I liked Ray Fisher as Cyborg. I think the actors were fine in their roles. I liked some of the action, the music was fun, I particularly liked the credits song and I thought that it had a lot of funny moments. However, there were a lot of times where the characters felt like shells of what they should be, or have been, the action wasn’t consistent, the story was clunky with no stakes, I didn’t believe the danger. The special effects were inconsistent and there were a TON of bad and awkward cuts and transitions. I wanted to really like this movie, I like it enough that I would buy it, but I don’t think it’s as good as it could have been. I just hope that the future movies, get better. Perhaps the solo movies will be handled better.
Rating: 2.89 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Justice League? What did you think of it? Comment below and let me know!
Summary: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film, a lot of secondary ones, and ones who Diana interacts with but I think there are only a few that really stand out.
Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman. Diana is an immortal Amazon princess. The film starts off with her in the present, after the events of Batman v Superman, and then we are moved back in the past with basically a long flashback. We see her as a child, someone who wants to be a warrior, especially after hearing the tales her mother told about the Gods. She eventually is taught by her aunt Antiope how to become a great warrior. She is much more bright eyed, naive and idealistic. Diana is very determined to fulfill what she has been taught about her people, she goes against her mother’s wishes with Steve to fight in the war, believing that her participating will fix things. As the film goes on, she clings to that idea, while also being a fish out of water in London, which is a source of a lot of humor. She’s very intelligent, she’s read thousands of books, she can speak many languages and its obvious that she is very caring, due to her reactions to a lot of tragedies she witnesses from the war. Her idealism causes her to get very disappointed in the end to the point where it’s kind of sad. I think Gal Gadot was a great casting choice, when she was first selected, I only knew her from the Fast and the Furious movies so I thought she was just too skinny, but after seeing her in BvS, I was excited to see more of her and I think this film lives and dies with her. The way she plays Diana’s hopefulness, her awe as she figures out some of the things she’s able to do, her determination at saving everyone, her interactions with Steve… now I do think when it came to the more dramatic parts, it wasn’t as strong of a performance but I still think she was great and easily one of the best thing in the film.
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. He is a Captain from US Air Service, he is also a British spy. He is a bit of a rogue in the beginning, he comes off in the beginning as someone who can hardly believe what he’s seeing when he is on Themyscira, as well as how Diana is. It’s like “girl what?” lol, and Pine does that well. He is a charming guy and he tries to help Diana navigate the “real” world, by answering questions, by trying to get her to understand how things are, especially as he’s seen them. Compared to her, he is cynical and there are times where he looks so irritated or stressed out due to her idealistic views of things. He tries but it’s hard. I liked him, I think Chris Pine was really likable in this role, I thought he had great chemistry with Gal Gadot and even though it did dip into romance, I thought it was well earned as it’s not rushed, or forced in there. There is a great scene near the end before the final fight where I think it’s his best scene in the film where he’s talking to her, trying to get her to understand why things didn’t happen the way she thought once she felt she completed her task. When there are dramatic moments, especially between him and Gadot, he performs it better than she does, which I think helps… he was probably the other one of the best things in the film.
Robin Wright as Antiope. Being with the Amazons was great in itself but Robin Wright was fantastic. She is Diana’s aunt and is the General of their army and it shows as her physical prowess is amazing. She trains Diana against her sister’s (the Queen) wishes due to what she believes in, she’s ultimately right, but she is such a great character who serves her purpose in the beginning of Diana’s life.
Action Scenes. There are three major fight scenes. There are smaller moments here and there but there are three BIG ones.
Themyscira beach scene. We get to see the Amazons fight against German invaders on their beach, as they are accidentally discovered thanks to Steve crashing in their water. That scene was so great because seeing those women kick butt like that, with their awesome fighting skills, their weapons, a lot of their stunts was so intense that my eyes were huge.
WWI Scene. We see this scene the most in the trailers, it starts with Diana determined to cross No Man’s Land, and it continues into a tiny village on the other side of the German trench and that entire scene is absolutely amazing. Gal Gadot has physical experience, I’m not sure how many of her own stunts she did, especially since she was pregnant during action reshoots, but everything she does in that scene is amazing. We really get to see Diana’s fighting skills.
Final Fight. This is her fight against the main villain of the film and it’s big, it grand and it’s fun. I almost felt a bit overwhelmed because it was so much, but it was a great overwhelmed feeling. It also had some great emotional moments due to her fighting him parallels other things happening during that scene.
The Effects. As a superhero film, obviously there has to be a lot of effects and there are. There are times where it gets a bit video gamey but it’s not an eyesore, unless you just don’t like that at all. The final fight is very heavy on the effects and almost overwhelming because it’s so grand and quick. There is also a really beautifully animated scene where Diana’s mother tells child Diana a bedtime story, that was really cool.
Chemistry/Small Moments. There are some great small moments between Diana and Steve that are really sweet. After a big battle, they have a small moment where they just talk, understand each other better, and he teaches her how to dance, which does come in handy in a later scene so it’s not random. It builds their relationship more, it helps them understand each other more while also allowing the viewers to understand more as well. While the film has big moments, there are a lot of slower moments that don’t feel slow, it feels relevant. There’s a great scene between Steve and Diana on a boat. I thought all of that was handled well.
The Humor. This movie is actually really funny, being that there are “fish out of water” parts in the film, mostly with Steve in the beginning and then with Diana later, it calls for a lot of humor. Diana also being naive in the world of man is also funny and endearing most of the time. The surrounding people reacting to her is great as well.
The Music. It’s big and grand, when it kicks in, especially during fight scenes, it just adds to the WOW factor of the film. Not to mention, that Wonder Woman theme is awesome, she was the best part of BvS, that theme kicking in when she showed up, so when they played it in this film, I couldn’t help the smile on my face.
COLORFUL. Oh my gosh!! I love that this film has colors! Well mostly in the Themyscira, it’s so bright and colorful, it’s definitely where most of the color comes from in this film. When she’s in London, it’s obviously kind of dark and gloomy and really grey, but there are definitely pockets of color in the fighting scenes, Diana’s costume is colorful unlike how it looked in Batman v Superman. The blue dress she wears (in the trailer where you see the sword down her back), is really beautiful on her and when she runs outside in it, that blue on the gloomy blue of the environment, it was beautiful.
The feeling. There is just something amazing about seeing Wonder Woman on the screen fighting. No one actually ever calls her that in the film, but she definitely is in the film. Just the idea of this powerhouse woman being on the big screen, that she is not sidelined in her own film, that her entire presence is being led by a female director also helps as well. She looks great on film, her outfit is great and practical, her views of the world, she is likable and someone you’d want to follow. The fact that she tried on many clothes in London to find a skirt she could fight in is just a great addition to her character that it adds to the care she’s given. I’m sure many women felt a swell of pride at seeing her, I don’t think it’s overly feminist nor do I think it’s “under” feminist as there’s a nice balance between both Diana and Steve pulling their weight but ya know, she owns every other man though.
Supporting Characters. To be quite honest, outside of Diana none of the supporting characters feel that important or that interesting. The group of guys she ends up spending her time with are fine, they have funny moments but I don’t think I would have been upset if they died minus Chris Pine who we get to spend more time with. The Amazons are an interesting group of women but they serve their purpose outside of Robin Wright’s character.
The Villains. So, it’s kind of weird but we know about the Poison lady Dr. Maru from the trailers but she’s not that interesting, there are a few other people we come into contact with, that I don’t want to spoil and there’s another person working with Dr. Maru who has a lot of interesting potential as well, and I had some questions about him but meh. There’s a third villain that I won’t spoil here, that one was probably the best one, especially in the last act but I can’t help but think with how the movie was, that maybe it was too soon to handle them they way it was handled.
The Final Fight. So, Diana faces off with the big baddie, the effects are great (a bit cgi-ish but it’s not that bad), and it’s pretty great watching her fight this person BUT once it was over, considering what we’ve been told, what Diana learned all those years ago, and how things are presented, the end of the fight feels like a contradiction to what the villain was saying before they started fighting and throughout the entire fight. It’s a bit too long and over the top at times.
The Story/The ending. So I think it’s safe to that the story isn’t anything new really, idealistic person grows up separate from the world, goes out to save it thinking they know what to do, may have some awesome wins in there but the real battle comes at the end where they are shown that their views were naive and most likely wrong, they’re now disappointed then something happens where they have to believe in it again and overcomes. Yeah, I mean it’s textbook and while its in this film, it still doesn’t feel new or fresh. With that said, the ending is interesting because after the big battle, it’s almost kind of hard to talk about this without spoiling, the entire time Diana believes that mankind is involved in this war because of an entity she grew up hearing about, she ends up learning the hard way that that’s not completely true…but once the final battle is over, the soldiers who happened to survive react in a way that makes it seem like she was right… which then begs the question, well what about the other wars? What about WWII? I mean, I get what the idea is but the execution was a bit weak in the end.
Overall, I really liked Wonder Woman and it definitely is the best DCEU film so far, but the bar isn’t that high so everything after this has to live up to, or surpass this one. I think both Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were standouts, Robin Wright was great in her supporting role and the entire time spent on Themyscira is fun, colorful and awesome as we see these Amazonian women kick butt and take names. All of the action scenes are fun and great, the last one is a bit overblown and long but it’s still fun. Wonder Woman herself is a great character, the film lives and breathes with her as well as Chris Pine, their chemistry was great and their small moments helped build their characters to each other and for us. The effects were handled very well, the film was colorful which was needed for this character. The music is great, WW’s theme always gets people hype when it kicks in and that feeling of finally seeing her on the big screen, not playing second fiddle in a boring story is just great. However, the villains aren’t that interesting and the last act has a bit of some weird story elements in it that I find contradictory. I didn’t want to put this as a con per say, but it did kind of effect certain areas of the film, it reminded me a of lot of Captain America, perhaps that can’t be helped as they were both created during times of War and do have similar attributes but the film itself reminded me a lot of The First Avenger to the point where in my head I would go “that reminded me of Cap”. But overall, I really liked Wonder Woman, it’s definitely a game changer for DCEU, we will see if they take notes from the care in this film and put that in the others.
Rating: 4.29 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Wonder Woman? What did you think about it? Did it live up to your expectations? Are you excited to see more?
There are so many great movies coming out this year! It’s crazy. Get ready for the Superhero masses! Disney live action films! Pixar! There’s so much! So this post is highlighting the films that I am looking forward to the most, I’m going to put them in order by month so that way, you know what’s to come on a monthly basis. As I become more aware of things coming out, I may add more to the list.
Hidden Figures – Jan 6, 2017
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner
I’m excited to see this film because it’s not only based on a true story, but it highlights the story of these intelligent black women and brings them to the forefront. I’m ready to learn and see this story. Plus, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer are great actresses and I’m interested to see what Janelle Monae does as this is her first feature film.
Split– Jan 20, 2017
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor- Joy
This movie looks really weird and cool. I haven’t seen James McAvoy in everything but I am definitely dying to see him play a part like this where his character has like 25 different personalities. Stuff like that is always intriguing to me, of course it’s how the movie portrays and handles it that makes or break it.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage– Jan 20, 2017
Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen
Upfront, I’ve never seen the other two but I really like Vin Diesel and I’m told his first movie is really cool. So I’m looking forward to watch the first one, not interested in seeing the second one with Ice Cube though, so I can watch this one too. Plus, Donnie Yen is in it and he’s awesome.
The Red Turtle– Jan 20, 2017
This is an Japanese animated film and it has no dialogue and I heard it’s fantastic. So I can’t wait.
The Space Between Us– Feb 3, 2017
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson
I actually had a screening for this but I must have missed it. *Sad face* But I think it looks cute. I’m not like out of chair to see it but I do want to see it, plus the cinematography looks fantastic. Asa Butterfield plays the first human born on Mars and he forms an online relationship with a Earthen, he has his first travel to earth and gets to experience things he’s only read about. There are also arises problems with his body as Mars’ atmosphere is different.
John Wick: Chapter 2– Feb 10, 2017
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan
First of all, if you have not seen John Wick, definitely check that out because it’s awesome! I love Keanu Reeves and he was awesome in that role, so I cannot wait to see this one. I wonder who did what to him this time because in the first movie, he was a retired hit man and these thugs killed his dog… so… is it his cat this time? lol no I’m kidding, it’s something about John Wick going off to help a former friend.
A Cure For Wellness– Feb 17, 2017
Starring: Jason Isaacs, Dane DeHaan
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. I like Jason Isaacs and Dane DeHaan so I’m definitely curious but this movie looks so weird!! Check out the trailer!
Get Out– Feb 24, 2017
Starring: Allison Williams, Keith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
A young African American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s cursed family estate. I thought this was a parody at first but it looks weird. I need to know more! It’s a horror and I don’t really do horror but I do want to see this, I can’t say when I’ll see it but I do want to see more. Where are the black people disappearing too??
Logan- March 3, 2017
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Doris Morgado
In the near future, an aging Wolverine and Professor X must protect a young female clone of Wolverine from an evil organization led by Nathanial Essex. I want to see it but I’m not jumping out of my seat. I really like maybe two of the X-men films (X2: X-men United, Days of Future Past) and I like X-men and X-men: First Class but the others are meh to me. So I’m interested to see what they do with it but I’m also a little nervous.
Before I Fall– March 3, 2017
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Beals
February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s in danger of losing. This is a Young Adult adaptation and though I haven’t read the book yet, the trailer definitely had my attention. These YA ones don’t have a complete good track record, but I’m interested. Plus, I do like Zoey Deutch.
Kong: Skull Island– March 10, 2017
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson
King Kong Origins. I just want to see Tom and Brie if I’m being honest lol. But the trailers did look really cool, I treat this like I treated Godzilla.
Beauty and the Beast– March 17, 2017
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans
An adaptation of the Disney fairy-tale about a monstrous prince and a young woman who fall in love. Should I even say anything?? I love Disney! I love the animated version! I am SUPER excited!!!! *freaks out* I just hope it tops all the other live action adaptations because I think each one has been better than the last (discounting Pete’s Dragon as that wasn’t better than The Jungle Book).
Power Rangers– March 24, 2017
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, Naomi Scott, R.J Cyler
A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world. For obvious reasons, I’m curious to see how this goes. As I’ve been binge watching the show from the beginning, I quite enjoy it and it’s cheesiness. Of course, it’s “darker” and “grittier” but I’m interested to see what they do with it.
When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before. I can’t even. I saw this trailer and I can’t even. Why in the WORLD would Dom, whose been preaching about family since Day 1, turn on his family. I need to know. Plus, these are fun and ridiculous movies, I have to see it.
The Circle– April 28, 2017
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, John Boyega, Karen Gillian
A woman lands a job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, where she becomes involved with a mysterious man. I love Emma Watson, I like John Boyega and of course Tom Hanks, but this movie looks out of it’s mind. I’m definitely interested. I want to read the book first, but we’ll see what happens.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2– May 5, 2017
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. I mean do I even need to say anything?? Marvel Studios next film and I’m so excited. The first one surprised me, I didn’t think it would be bad but I didn’t anticipate who much I would really like it. So I’m excited, plus I love Rocket and Groot (who is now Baby Groot). I’m always interested to see what Marvel Studios does next.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales– May 26, 2017
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Orlando Bloom
Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon. Okay, so the best one will always be Curse of the Black Pearl, I didn’t like On Stranger Tides, so I’m not like out of my seat for this one but I am curious. I do think Captain Jack Sparrow is one of Johnny Depp’s best characters but I never thought that character could lead his own film, which I why I think the fourth one was lame. He didn’t have interesting characters like Will and Elizabeth to bounce off of, but it looks like Will is back so I really mostly just want to see Orlando Bloom be Will Turner again lol. It was these movies that sparked my crush on him lol.
Wonder Woman– June 2, 2017
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes. I didn’t like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but I did like Wonder Woman in it, so I’m interested, plus the trailers look amazing. So my expectations are high but not by much.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle– June 16, 2017
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore
When an attack on the Kingsman headquarters takes place and a new villain rises, Eggsy and Merlin are forced to work together with the American agency Statesman to save the world. I adored the first one, Matthew Vaughn has returned to direct, thank goodness, because I don’t appreciate him leaving and letting Kick Ass 2 suck like that. I loved everything about the first one, and I love Taron Egerton and it looks like Colin Firth is back (he was great), I don’t know how they’re going to top it. But I hope they do. Please be good. Also, ugh Tatum… didn’t realize he was in this.
Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017
Starring: Tom Holland, Donald Glover, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero. I can’t even! It looks so good! He was so great in Civil War and I thought Tom Holland did such a great job! I don’t even care we’ve had three different actors play the character because this looks like the best rendition yet. I have such high hopes. I’m so glad Sony pulled their heads out of their egos and paired up with Marvel Studios to do this, we can’t suffer through anymore films because ya’ll want to keep film rights! Thank you so much for doing this. Now, I’m hoping for a truly great Spider-man film. Also, not an origin story. I also still believe Zendaya is Mary Jane. I’ll talk about that in another post, I’ll link it here later. Also, Peter’s crush Liz Allen is a black girl, lol whoo!
War for the Planet of the Apes– July 7, 2017
Starring: Andy Serkis, Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Aleks Paunovic
A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar become embroiled in a battle with an army of humans. The first two are excellent, so this should be just as good. I’m not worried about that thing of “the third is always the worst” because we’ve had some good trilogies so I’m sure this will be great too. Plus, it looks so intense.
Unknown Plot. But third Thor film, perhaps this one will be better than the first two but I’m curious to see what happens. Ragnarok is like Asgard’s “end of the world” so… definitely curious.
Justice League– Nov 17, 2017
Starring: Amy Adams, Batffleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. A little less faith in this compared to Wonder Woman but I’m still interested. I liked Battfleck so he should be fine, Zack Synder is directing again *rolls eyes* so it’s going to be all super dark looking and stuff. *sighs*. However, I love Ezra Miller and I’m interested to see him be a huge nerd in his role as Barry Allen/Flash. I’m probably most excited to see what he does out of everything.
Coco– Nov 24, 2017
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor, Anthony Gonzalez
Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion. I know nothing about this film, but I saw some concert art and what not and it looks beautiful! Plus, it’s Pixar so I’m definitely interested to see what kind of mystery this will be.
Star Wars: Episode VIII– Dec 15, 2017
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Tom Hardy, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga. I really liked The Force Awakens, so I’m interested to see where this story goes. I hope Finn wakes and joins the journey, I’m interested to see what Poe does as he was easily my favorite character from Episode VII. I hope to see more of Kylo Ren’s story, who is Snoke (why is his design lame?), more of Captain Phasma etc. Also BB-8! lol but yes, more Poe please. I think I like the pilots because I really liked Bodhi Rook from Rogue One and he wasn’t the “lead” but ya know lol.
Movies I’m curious to see but not really “anticipating”:
Free Fire– March 17, 2017
Starring: Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer
Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival. Again, I really like Brie Larson and it looks HILARIOUS and so much fun! I’m not like omg I have to see it but I will try.
Ghost in the Shell– March 31, 2017
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Wincott, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche
A cyborg policewoman attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker. I’m interested but I’m not for the casting of Scarlett Johansson, I don’t think she can lead a film, but also, the whole controversy thing. If I go see it, I will watch it and if she’s good in the part fine, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that she should have been an Asian actress. But whatever. It’s done, but the story and the look of the film looks really cool.
Wonder– April 7, 2017
Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin
A young boy born with a facial deformity is destined to fit in at a new school, and to make everyone understand he’s just another ordinary kid, and that beauty isn’t skin deep. I work a public library so I see this book all of the time and I do want to read it. But wow! Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower) is directing it, and I love Jacob Tremblay (Room) so I’m curious.
Sleight– April 7, 2017
Starring: Jacob Lattimore, Dule Hill, Seychelle Gabriel
A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her. I mean, I’m not thinking it’s going to be good but I like magic, so we’ll see.
Baywatch– May 19, 2017
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron
Two unlikely prospective lifeguards vie for jobs alongside the buff bodies who patrol a beach in California. Looks ridiculous but I did use to watch the show, sort of, so hopefully it’s funny.
Life– May 26, 2017
Starring: Jake Gyllenhall, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson
An international space crew discovers life on Mars. Looks interesting, good cast.
Cars 3– June 16, 2017
Starring: Owen Wilson
Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world. Um, this still baffles me, but I liked the first one enough. I mean, it’s stupid, but whatever. This looks dark and I wonder what they plan to do with it.
Despicable Me 3– June 30, 2017
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove
Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination. lol sure, why not? The first two are cute and the trailer made me laugh.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – July 21, 2017
Starring: Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, John Goodman
Time-traveling agent Valerian is sent to investigate a galactic empire, along with his partner Laureline. Dane DeHaan lol, but it looks fun.
Jumanji– Dec 22, 2017
Starring: Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world – pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a brave explorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they’ll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way. It’s not a remake but a sequel… so I’m not over the hills with it, but I’m curious to see what they do.
Pitch Perfect– Dec 22, 2017
lol I don’t even know but sure. Let’s see what ya’ll got. Are they still in college though? Or is it all new people?
So, what movies are you looking forward to this year? Did I cover everything you’re interested in? If so, let me know what it is! If I missed it, let me know what you’re looking forward too! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog!
I’m going to be real, I was really looking forward to this movie only for Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jared Leto (Joker) and to see what Viola Davis would do with Amanda Waller.
Cast/Characters. I’m not going to name everyone but the people who stood out.
Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn). This was good casting and she owns this role. Considering how insane Harley is, Robbie does such a good job keeping her humorous, sexy, and out of her mind but self-aware. At the same time, there are times when she’s emotional or appears vulnerable and Robbie gives another side of Harley Quinn that’s not always shown. She also comes off like she’s the only one who enjoys doing what she does. Everyone may have had their reasons but she loves doing it. She’s unpredictable and Robbie portrays all of that (there’s a great flashback scene between her and Batman and a bunch of water). A lot of the humor in the film comes from her.
Will Smith (Floyd Lawton/Deadshot). I was curious to see how he’d do since he’s usually always playing a hero type and to be honest, he still plays that here. His character is probably the one with the most humanity out of the Squad, he falls easily into the “leader” just toeing the “hero” line. He’s given a backstory enough to the point that we know his character more than anyone else’s. He does well in playing someone who’s mean, awesome with a gun and who will knock you out if you piss him off. But he still makes that face where he looks like he’s about to cry lol.
Jared Leto (The Joker). I already love Jared Leto, so I tried to make sure I wasn’t just biased. It wasn’t enough to have a full judgement personally, but with his role (small, don’t expect a large role) I enjoyed him. You hardly see the tattoos which is what most people were upset about, he’s wearing clothes and the camera isn’t panned so much on him that you can see the “damaged” tattoo on his forehead. I like the fact that he was like a mob boss and that he irrevocably loved his girl. I can’t wait to see more.
Jay Hernandez (El Diablo). I wish there was more of him in this film. He has these really cool fire powers, he’s a metahuman, he was born with his power and before he used it to his advantage and now after being personally affected by it, he’s trying to change his ways. He was great in how he tries to remain in control of himself and how he refuses to get involved because he’s afraid of himself. When he does let loose, it’s pretty awesome.
Viola Davis (Amanda Waller). I love me some Viola Davis and Amanda Waller is ruthless and it reminds me of her character in How To Get Away With Murder just with a bit more darkness in her. She will do whatever it takes to reach her objective and the interesting thing I find about Davis, is that she doesn’t physically look intimidating but she puts all of that into her eyes and she does this little pursed smirk that makes you take a step back. So the fact that she comes off unsuspecting but then turns around and loads off some bullets… oh yeah.
The Chemistry/Camaraderie. It’s really easy to have an ensemble cast like this and focus only on a few characters and everyone else is just there… which this does happen and I’ll talk about that more later but overall, the team has some great chemistry with each other. This isn’t Smith and Robbie’s first movie together and they just have a natural companionship between them and Harley and Floyd are the main ones who gravitate towards each other. I’m not sure if it’s because he feels kinship in her, or because she’s so insane that he for some reason feels protective of her. I’d want to argue a bit of both. They all recognize that each has their own thing and they’re really good at it but they crack jokes at each other, exchange looks and understand each other. That part I think, is one of the better parts of the film.
The Soundtrack. Man, the music is awesome. The songs chosen to fit certain scenes, to introduce certain characters was handled so well that it becomes it’s own life instead of just being part of the movie. It is a soundtrack that I would listen to it on it’s own due to the fact that the songs were great choices and the pieces created for the action scenes, emotional scenes or more “somber” parts were also great. The song playing when the Squad is walking together towards the end was a great theme for the team itself.
Costumes. There’s not much to say being as no one is really wearing a “costume”… kind of but I liked everyone’s unique look. The time that had to go into developing Killer Croc’s look had to be long because he looked awesome! Watching him swim in the water… wow, the care in his appearance is obvious. Enchantress’s first appearance is definitely creepy, I liked the whole look she had going on when she’s all decrepit, dirty and looking like she’s disintegrating. It was a really interesting take on her look and I liked it. She has another look later that is a result of her obtaining something (trying not to spoil lol) which was fine but I preferred the other look. I liked a lot of the Joker’s mob boss outfits, business man like looks, same with Harley, I liked her outfit, yeah it was skimpy and her shorts could have been longer but she’s worn stuff like that in the comics.
The Villain. Meh. The idea was nice, I guess, and the design behind the character was also really cool but I don’t particularly care for that character being the villain because their motivations were rocky at best. I mean I get it, it was definitely stated but it was stupid and cliche. Considering what the villain wanted, I think they could have done something else than the typical “beam of light” in the sky thing. Unfortunately, there are very few comic book movies with compelling and interesting villains so it’s not surprising really.
The story. This movie definitely seems to be more character driven than actual story driven because stuff is just happening and the characters are involved. Sure, the story is about this group of villains who are forced into working for the government, or they’ll die, and they have to work together. Yeah, I get that because that’s basic. However, while that’s fine, because that’s all it is, the movie just becomes flashy and action packed. It falls flat because when the team actually comes up to face the villain, the whole matchup seems mismatched. Why couldn’t this team fight something else? Or maybe it would have been fine if the script had a bit of fine tuning.
Other characters’ development. Now I mentioned the ones who were standouts, everyone was more or less good but like I said, it’s obvious that even in this ensemble cast, Will Smith’s character comes off as the lead, as well as Margot Robbie so it was hard to get the other characters interesting because outside of being curious about them, they’re not interesting. Katana was awesome in action but she doesn’t add anything, while Diablo was great, his backstory is rushed and condensed to him narrating it and a quick flashback, Rick Flagg is their “official leader” but outside of being kind of a plot device, he’s fine. I liked Boomerang because he was funny and seemed interesting but there’s nothing really there for him, same with Killer Croc, or why was Slipknot (or whoever Adam Beach’s character was) brought as well outside of “he can climb anything” because that’s lame. I know that in movies like this it’s hard when there isn’t films before to set up the characters but there needs to be a balance and there wasn’t one.
The Overall Look/Lighting/Editing/Transitions. These are together because the issues kind of go hand and hand.
Fortunately, this film isn’t washed out like Zack Synder’s DC films, because the colors are there however, during fight scenes, the lighting is really dark where it’s hard to see what’s going on. There are two major fight scenes and they both suffer from this. I think it’s easy to tell there is a lot cut from the theatrical release. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another BvS thing where the theatrical cut was mediocre but everyone says the Unlimited Edition is so much better because if I didn’t care much for the theatrical release, why in the world would I pay more money to buy what should have been the theatrical version? Some transitions were cut quick where it was almost jarring to go from that to that and it’s like what….? When it comes to the fighting, while some parts were really cool, it was mostly because the camera wasn’t moving or it was in slow motion that it was actually easy to see who was kicking butt and who was getting their butts kicked.
Overall, I enjoyed Suicide Squad for what it was. I do think it’s much better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and I do think it gives hope for the DCEU but it’s not like “Ohhhh yeah! We got more to come!” I think we can save that for when Wonder Woman and Justice League comes out. I think this movie has some interesting characters, mainly in the standouts of Floyd Lawton, Harley Quinn, The Joker and Amanda Waller, they are easily the better parts of the film and Lawton and Quinn help carry it for the most part, with their easy companionship and chemistry. The music is amazing and helps build the atmosphere of the movie and it’s good enough that it can stand on it’s own enough to listen to without the film. While the Joker isn’t a main character, his scenes are great and I believe in Jared Leto’s portrayal of him in the future. On the other hand, the movie does suffer from a weak villain and the motivations for a climax, the film fails to truly give the other characters enough to make them interesting outside of being plot devices or a funny “sidekick” and it has technical issues in the weak story, dull lighting, choppy editing and obvious cuts.