As many of you know, summertime kick starts our movie marathon season. With the projector up and running, we have already watched a plethora of films on the big screen and for the most part, they’ve all been highly entertaining. Here is what I’ve been watching.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol & Rogue Nation
Now, I am not a die-hard follower of this franchise. However, there’s something to be said about watching these films on a big screen as it allows us to immerse ourselves in the visual scope of the film. There is no doubt that Tom Cruise embodies the stereotypical action hero trope, but does so in a way that is magnetic. The Mission Impossible franchise has long set the standards for epic action films, but what makes them so compelling is the supporting cast of characters and how their lives and experiences are all interconnected, giving them a sense of history that manifests itself in brilliant character dynamics.
In all honesty, this film wasn’t bad, but also not that memorable. It’s an interesting concept when you consider the potential in humanity if we managed to gain complete conscious control over our brains. The transformation in Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy was an interesting development as she struggles to retain her emotional core as her potential manifests into a more robotic world view. I have no idea how accurate the science behind this film is, but I feel like the best way to experience it is to just roll with it.
The Magnificent Seven
Having not seen the original, I can’t compare the two adaptations. However, what I can tell you is that The Magnificent Seven is a well developed, fast-paced western drama that brings together a diverse cast of characters that form up an unexpected ragtag bunch of reluctant saviours. In an action-packed drama, we are also treated to character insights that add a layer of depth to our seven, this is seen clearly in Ethan Hawk’s portrayal as former Confederate soldier Goodnight Robicheaux, whose struggle with PTSD largely shapes his actions throughout the film. With that being said, this film does not offer anything new to the western genre. Yes, the action sequences are visually striking, the characters are charismatic, but when it comes to memorability, this film can easily get lost in the shuffle of all the other western action flicks.
Time travel is a very tricky business. You have to make the mechanisms believable whilst also making it easy for viewers to follow. Predestination is an underrated time-travel film, one that has a brilliant twist that is rooted in its development from the very first scene. The gradual build up to this revelation was subtle and the end result is both brilliant and shocking.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The second installment to the revived Jurassic World saga and it definitely raised the stakes with an impending volcano eruption once again leading to the possibility of extinction for our dinosaurs. With that, we explore the diving nature of society with factions emerging in support of their extinction while others rally to preserve the lives of these creatures. It’s an interesting quandary as these dinosaurs are man-made creations that retain their predatory nature, and in the wrong hands can easily be weaponized. However, there is also beauty in these creatures and certain scenes of their demise tugged at the heartstring of all viewers. The main issue with this film is in its lackluster villains whose motives are as generic as they get. However, the ending sets up what should hopefully be an epic conclusion to this trilogy as humans and dinosaurs alike are now forced to find ways of living side by side with each other in this new world.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Keanu Reeves has taken the world by storm with his renaissance, with the world finally appreciating him for the talent and sweetheart he is. The John Wick franchise has a massive part to play in this renaissance and John Wick: Chapter 2 took everything that was great in the first installment of this franchise and kicked it up a gear. The beauty of this film is that we get to explore more of the assassins underground scene. The first film was an intimate introduction to the world with John Wick’s pursuit of justice fuelled by his grief. Here, we see John pulled in by this establishments code of conduct, an unbreakable oath that when called upon must be answered. It is this that gives us an insight into the politics and the function of this underworld organization and within it the several factions that come into play.
What have you been watching?