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The Predator Movie Review (2018) | Utterly Daft and Disappointing

What a disaster! Terrible! The Predator movie almost makes you remember the Independence Day Resurgence debacle that we saw two years ago that drew out hating vibes within seconds the movie began. It is just as stupid and pointless and with so many flaws that you can’t count them on your finger. Why are we trying to even reboot movies when we don’t even have a proper story to back it up? Are we planning on another franchise? If yes, then this can’t be even counted as a foundation to hold any of the future runs.

I had almost forgotten how good Shane Black used to be. I mean I remember Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys to be good. These were movies that had defined him as a good filmmaker. Whatever happened with time? How did he end up falling from such good levels to become crass and unexciting?

There’s not a morsel of seriousness in The Predator movie. Terrible dialogues! Not to mention so many pointless scenes and conversations that are just sitting there without a direction. I mean, who has written this? Who writes like this? A child, maybe? The direction is so juvenile that you are tempted to walk out of the theatres on so many occasions.

Wasted Stellar Cast

With the inclusion of Jacob Tremblay of the Before I Wake and Room fame, I thought this movie was going to be interesting owing to his presence. But Alas! He has grown! The cuteness has disappeared. Well, that’s no topic to be frustrated about. It was his character of Rory McKenna in Predator movie that felt so daft that anyone could have played it really. Why bother, rope him in when you don’t have a proper dramatic bit to nail? That autism angle couldn’t elicit emotions either.

the predator lifts Boyd Holbrook

Then we have the badass Boyd Holbrook who plays Quinn McKenna who felt just so right for the role. But what does he do? Just talk tough! Then there is Olivia Munn playing a character called Casey Bracket. Watching her mood swings will make you go – is she for real?

Roping in Keegan-Michael Key as the essential funny guy to an action movie felt like at least we would have some good laughs. Well, guess what – bummer! He is so not funny in this. It is just painful to watch him even try.

Why did Trevante Rhodes even say yes to this? He plays a paper-thin character, unlike the serious one he played in Moonlight. Also, the presence of Thomas Jane will make you wonder – Does Jacob press on it? Like asked the casting directors to hire him as well for no good reason. They were together in Before I Wake after all. What was he even playing? His character of Baxley is just outright stupid. Wasted!

Sterling K. Brown‘s character Traeger felt like a child’s imagination. Full of attitude never letting his guard down, you know, the indispensable tough guy in movies, who has drawn his swords against the protagonist, despite there being a bigger threat lurking. Also, why is Alfie Allen even there?

Are You Serious? (Spoilers)

The plot for starters is an absolute mess. The Predator movie was written by Fred Dekker and Shane Black himself. Even though it seemed like a good idea to include an even bigger and dangerous Predator, the Mega Predator into the picture, they completely lose it when they find this new toy in their hand. I mean, giving people a headstart to run? This overconfident Predator must be the laziest of all the other Predators of his planet. No wonder he signed up to work in Hollywood. 😛

The Predator movie is all kinds of stupid. Like Rory killing a man accidentally Trick-or-treating, taking a life, as if the guy had it coming? And why is it alright, again? You know, this kind of shit messes with the heads of the younglings.

Casey for starters felt like a great character in the making but then she was a big let down with her puerile humour. Within no time you see her running after a Predator, trying to avenge his kin. Aren’t you afraid of that thing lady? That’s just plain doltish!

The biggest surprise that the plot decides to hold is through the ambiguity derived from the name of McKenna. The big dawg announces that he is after McKenna. Quinn, considering himself to be the hero of the movie, takes it for granted that the Predator was talking about him. But in fact, the Predator was looking for Rory, the small autistic boy, who was apparently an advanced form of humans, the next in the chain of human evolution.

You can order The Predator movie from here:

Visuals Gone Wrong

All this technology, and yet we fail. Aren’t we living in a time where the technology is at its peak? That we could have created something out of the ordinary if we wanted to resuscitate this antihero. Unfortunately, nothing changes!

What makes things even more absurd is the CGI, which at times feels laughable in some parts. The part where a force shield appears on the spaceship, toward the end, feels like two different distinguishable videos merged in a badly whipped frame. Blood and bones seem so unreal that it draws out guffaws.

There are so many moments in the movie where you are shaking your head owing to the ridiculousness of the situation. You create two rabid dogs, don’t cash in on the horror of their presence, kill one in a jiffy and then showcase the other one becoming friendly. It ends up following commands like an earthly pet. What is this, Disney?

The Final Verdict of The Predator Movie

I didn’t remember Shane Black to be this juvenile. Yes, making the Predator movie this bad, Shane Black feels akin to a child as if he is yet to grow up. That makes me sad because he has done such great movies in the past. There is a strong disconnect you feel as if an entirely different guy had shot this movie. This is so not you Shane! We know you can do better.

The Predator movie ends as if it were to make its own superhero movie. I highly doubt if it’s going to happen. Even if someone decides to go with it, please let it go straight to video and save us the trouble.

Andhadhun Movie Review (2018) | Artistry at its Best

Epic deliverance! Andhadhun movie has been written beautifully and directed just so. The director, Sriram Raghavan, has done a fabulous job filling it up with thrill galore as it embroils and leverages the blind situation to the maximum. The story of Andhadhun movie is layered with wild ups and downs having plenty of twists to keep you riveted. You are constantly wondering what’s going to happen next as the improbable keeps giving you mini-heart attacks.

The writing credits go to an ensemble of artists who have cooked an extremely scrumptious meal. What a well-woven plot by Sriram, Arijit BiswasYogesh ChandekarHemanth Rao and Pooja Ladha Surti. You can’t applaud them enough for plotting such a brilliant storyline where adventure barely stops to breathe.

Andhadhun leaves a lot of questions open, compelling you to think about which part of the story being narrated by the protagonist is true and which parts are fantasized for vindication. As you keep brooding about the plot, you can’t help but wonder there are countless elements in the story that could all well be the protagonist’s creation, that only some part of what was being shown could have been true.

In doing all of it, Andhadhun movie goes on to justify what it had ambitiously decided to scour for in the first place. Its primal tagline:

Every artist has a secret.

Tabu as Simi

What hits you almost immediately is Tabu’s acting! She is simply superb as Simi. Blows you right away! Reeking of villainy she is one of those cardinal antagonists who stand out as necessary, literally driving the story forward with such wild innocence on her face that she feels gorgeous and venomous all at the same time.

She walks in with these realistic vibes that you forget who she is in reality, and start believing her to be this twisted character who is willing to do anything to set things right.

andhadhun movie still

Tabu gets completely lost in this new character of hers with a rare innocent charm that you almost feel like forgiving her for being diabolical. She gives the story exactly what it needs and remains the driving force of Andhadhun Movie. Wouldn’t be wrong to call her, hands down, the heart and soul of the flick. Without her presence, the movie wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Ayushmann Khurrana as Akash (Spoilers)

Standing with his claws open on the other end is another winner portrayed by Ayushmann Khurrana. His character of Akash is an interesting piece per se. He is an artist who poses as a blind man who seeks to draw inspiration from nature’s sounds with hopes to complete a musical piece. In doing so he gets entangled in part of a murder mystery, him being the only witness to it. As guilt gnaws on his soul, he becomes torn between doing the right thing and keeping up the ruse.

His character is one that you relate with the most. Primarily because it doesn’t appear to do any harm in the first place and it’s the perspective of a hero that you are witnessing. You have secretly placed yourself in the shoes of Akash wondering how unfortunate of him to be caught in a situation like that.

But then you realize that the movie primarily starts with a narration. That it is a story being told by Akash and is basically his perspective, chugging the engines of storytelling, giving it a direction. Then the question becomes which part should be taken for real?

Other Characters

Manav Vij is another great actor bedecking the ensemble with his presence. He brings this crooked masculinity to the story by posing as Simi’s lover, Inspector Mahendra, never dropping his guard as a powerhouse of corruption. You are at all times scared of what he might do even though there is a comic element housed in his acts.

Then you cannot forget what characters of Manushi (Chhaya Kadam) and Doctor Swami (Zakir Hussain) drill in at a time when you are thinking that maybe the adventure is about to get over. They bring their very own taste of greed to the already messed up story proving once again how fickle money can make you.

They play people without a conscience those who are so well engulfed in a money deprived society, you know, the unlucky ones who are corrupt owing to their big dreams and with little resources to turn them into a reality.

still of Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte in Andhadhun

Then one that wasn’t that memorable was that of Sofie played by Radhika Apte. Given her past records, this role didn’t demand much of her. She ended up being sidelined here since any other actress could have done her part. It was a small role for a big actress like her.

The Editing of Andhadhun Movie

There are moments when you feel editing to be desperate. Like there has been unnecessary chopping of frames where sentences don’t feel finished. Even so, the movie trundles on brushing things off your head, making you focus on what’s ahead. Once the story begins unfolding and you become engaged, every trivial shortcoming obliterates in thin air. That being said, at times the editing is great too, getting straight to the point wobbling towards the finish where it merges with the prologue.

Some building shots filmed are constant as if the director had asked a particular scene to be filmed in a singular succession. Like an empty shot from the top of the floor, that was later filled with a dead body.

Then there are some scenes that make you wonder how much amount of effort might have gone into it, that a cavalcade of fans might have tried to disrupt. Those are the best ones!

You cannot ignore the fact that the movie becomes badly in need of a direction at a later stage where the adventure seems to come to a halt all of a sudden. You are forced to wonder out loud whatever happened to the lives of all those crucial characters in the story? There is no finish line visible as it goes on to rant without revisiting its characters.

The final moments seem to be taken straight from La La Land where Sofie finds the big shot pianist Akash playing in a restaurant for an English crowd. Even though Sriram decides to let him complete his rendition, and insinuates that the unfulfilled artist is finally fulfilled, it ends up slaving away a lot of effort. You could argue he did it so that he could let things sieve in waiting for the ending which was imminent.

Some Issues in Andhadhun Movie

Amongst some drawbacks, I would say, you can say our CGI still needs a lot of work. In the prologue section, we witness a poorly animated bunny (so no animals were harmed in the making of this movie) that doesn’t feel is in the same screen as its predator. We are still a mile behind when it comes to CGI and it’s evident during such shots.

Then you can’t help but talk about the chemistry of Akash and Sofie which seemed to be tight early on but then loses its charm midway. She ends up becoming a forgotten affair for not being a part of the narration.  The movie tries to cash in on it earlier but you could tell it was never about the love story. It was so fake that even when Sofie sadly remarks that she was leaving, you could sense that their relationship was a goner the moment she had discovered Akash with Simi, which again brings back the question did Akash really not sleep with Simi? After all, what we saw was the perspective of a fallen lover trying to acquit himself of the one crime he had committed. To what lengths could he go? That remains the main question.

The fact that the police can’t be trusted remains one of those boldly flared issues in a corrupt setup where the lawless is the law. Where would you turn toward? What’s really right? Even though the movie does so for its story, you are secretly wondering what would you do if you were put in a position like that? Can you really take all the risks that Akash took? Or approach someone bigger in the chain of law to deliver a finisher to a corrupt cop and his girlfriend who couldn’t stop committing crimes.

Leaving Dozen Threads Open

The ending of Andhadhun movie is akin to Hollywood style finish where the viewer is thrown into a fierce whirlwind of questions. Akash hits a can away resting speculations as to whether he is really blind or not. It is almost shouting out loud that he has seen so much that it is better to voluntarily choose blind.

But then you can’t help but wonder about the symbolism of a rabbit? Through the head of the probing cane that Akash forgets in the restaurant, Sriram tries to make a subtle remark. That the rabbit part could have been Akash’s creation, (why rabbit? maybe he had a thing for rabbits) and that there was no accident and that since his corneas matched with that of Simi’s he went on to get his eyes back sacrificing Simi in the process.

Andhadhun movie wallpaper

Buying Akash’s Story

Then you cannot help but wonder if one could really go blind with a medicine, can you? Really? Why buy into that story? I like to personally think that none of it happened and Akash created the whole story to win Sofie back that he did really sleep with Simi who was on the lookout for a quick sympathy sex.

Characters of doctors and Manushi seem far-fetched, and Akash posing as a hero feels unlikely too. It is highly probable that Akash could have accidentally or deliberately (you never know) killed Simi, then informed Mahendra’s wife Rasika (Ashwini Kalsekar) which he actually did to punish the corrupt cop to stop his wild pursuit.

Then there is the question of Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan). Did he really shoot himself? We had just taken the word of Simi who had said that it was an accident. How do we take her for real?

Bottomline – Andhadhun is a good movie since it forces you to think all such theories.

The Final Verdict

Ayushman chooses his projects carefully and so far the Midas touch has been checking out. Andhadhun movie is one such gold. Even though it doesn’t give you a satisfying lawful end, and it doesn’t answer a lot of questions it leaves plenty of things to the audience’s imagination.

The backdrop is set in Pune. If you have lived in the city, it feels great to identify places shown in it. If you know about what Magarpatta has turned into today, you already know about how tightened its security is. It is highly improbable that a crime of such levels could get committed today. A gunshot and nobody would hear it? Hmmph….They don’t even let the food delivery people enter the gates nowadays, it’s so bad. Anyways that’s just a perception.

Do watch this great movie for a thrilling experience. Andhadhun movie entertains you to the core.

Check out the trailer of Andhadhun movie:

Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation Review (2018) | Just Stop Already!

How should I put it? Umm….Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation feels like when you are changing channels on your Television and you stop to see what Drac is up to, and you end up seeing it anyway just for a smile. To frame it in a sentence – it’s not the greatest of things, and it’s not the worst of things. But it is definitely something in between.

To be really honest, nobody wants a movie that does not have a great plot, but Hotel Transylvania has these characters that people have slowly grown to admire. You put them in anything, and they are going to see it. Especially Adam Sandler‘s character of Drac. His voiceover remains as funny as it was when we heard it for the first time.

For all the characters of the franchise that we had grown to love in the past, this movie, unfortunately, doesn’t do all of them justice. Because Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation is not concerned about others. It is fully focused on finding Drac a girlfriend and how his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) reacts to it. It does all of it in the backdrop of a vacation spent on a cruise.

Period. That’s it! The whole story that the movie tries to sell. The rest of the things are mere fillers. The flick is terribly slow paced badly in need of a direction and what defines as good comedy.

hotel transylvania 3 summer vacation

The Bad Direction of Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation

Goes without saying that Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation tries to cruise in shallow waters without much substance to help it swim. Its jests feel a lot of times dumb and pointless. There are plenty of times when you feel even the transition from one scene to another appearing incomplete almost as if like a joke was zipped midway, lacking a punch or a proper closure.

There are so many moments in the movie when you realize the movie is badly in need of a direction that it is running out of content to hold the story. That’s when you realize how badly has it been edited.

For most of the comic stuff, it heavily relies on the clumsiness of its characters like Blobby (Genndy Tartakovsky) puking up Baby Blobby or Puppy wreaking havoc whenever it finds a bone. There is no genuine comedy embroiled in a situation that elicits some serious guffaws.

Genndy as a director needs to buff up his direction. What is he basically getting at? Maybe improve his script to milk all the great characters that he has.

Saved by the Final Showdown

I think what saves the Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation movie a little bit, if at all it swims through, is by its final showdown. Even though that feels really stupid in a way, it pays tribute to forgotten music bringing back all the classics making it all the way enjoyable. In a way, it tries to exhume a message that every father these days has been dying to blurt out:

Music, in our times, was good.

You laugh off eventually calling it an entertainer that blends in all the elements of fun by not taking anything seriously.

Just like Hotel Transylvania 2 had that GPS gig that was funny, this one might be remembered for playing Britney and Macarena competing against some deadly trance. I swear I could hear a father get up and say, “Yeah!”

Among other good things you can say the character of Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) was well animated. I mean even his mannerism and the way he spoke managed to bring a smile to your face. The CGI of the movie was great as usual. The team has done an excellent job there once again.

Adam Sandler as an Actor

Now this series does not technically use Adam as an actor. Since he basically does a voiceover in all of them. But it is probably the only good thing going on in Adam Sandler’s life as far as his movie department is concerned.

As a dialogue from Funny People:

He is really funny. I don’t know why his movies aren’t funny, though.

That’s a million dollar question that we don’t have an answer to. Is it his choice of movies?

He is really good with his comic timing and slapstick jests when you are creating certain situations. But when you put him in a movie, you know, basically ask him to run a marathon, he ends up becoming not so good. I don’t know, we need to do a case study on him or something. Interesting!

You can order Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation from here:

The Final Verdict

Hotel Transylvania movies take time to show up, around three years to be precise, thus allowing people to forget things, and then it becomes a refresher once they hit the theatres again. But it is somehow surreal that despite taking all that time, they don’t work on improving their script.

Why not come up with a real challenge and stop creating extra characters when you can basically create better food from what you already have? Handling all these evergrowing characters in a single movie is becoming difficult for crying out loud. I mean they should learn that management from Avengers Infinity War. Okay, that wasn’t a comparison really!

I think the makers need to stop. Genndy, in particular, needs to move on to a different project instead of coming back to this franchise that has run out of its juice. Instead of grinding his gears to come up with another sloppy mix, it’s better to come up with a new and original setup.

Genndy, are you listening?

Searching Movie Review (2018) | A Genius Modern Age Thriller

The Searching movie is a paragon of a genial thought, a modern age thriller that uses not a single piece of real imagery, but technology as a vantage point. It leverages it superbly depicting events of a crime and then uses it to solve it as well. Searching’s true genius lies in the fact that there’s not a single moment in the entire movie that does not use technology to depict what’s depicted. There are no conventional cameras here, just a pigeonhole perspective that runs amok. Makes you realize that you don’t need a camera really to shoot a movie but a will to think different. Aneesh Chaganti, the director and writer of Searching, proves that the crux of every flick remains in its plot.

The Searching movie unfolds beautifully as a thriller, as it progresses with plenty of frantic moments that will keep you on your toes. You are basically playing the father of a girl who goes missing and the mystery that it piggybacks along is simply killing. You are trying to find her throughout the movie with limited clues that appear next to nothing. Literally going through her laptop to figure out what path did she traverse before she disappeared.

In doing all of it, it tries to buzzer in the question of how distant technology has made us to each other. What it also shows at the same time is that you can also do a lot of things with the help of technology.  Thus driving that rusty nail further in – it is both a boon and a curse per se.

Destroying Boredom

In a movie where it is easy to foretell (blame the trailers for that) that it is going to be all about staring at a screen, Searching doesn’t do badly at all. It shoos off boredom like a good novel when you are only a few leaflets deep. You wade through its suspense right from ground zero and you cover up every possible answer that’s ringing in your head. You are secretly imagining yourself in the shoes of a father and you are busy creating a theory yourself.

still of John Cho in Searching movie

When you watch David Kim (John Cho) up on his toes you basically become the detective yourself. You are thinking of all the ways you could figure out the solution yourself. As David does all that himself, you are right beside him, reasonably checking everything he does, off your list too.

To beat the boredom of staring at screens, Searching movie uses facetime aplenty. Video calls depicting how we call our siblings in the real world too, and sometimes all those people we wish to see while speaking to. David does all that in order to elicit an answer. Aneesh makes sure it is all not boring by introducing characters that matter upfront and make everything appear quite realistic to look at.

Leveraging Suspense

The Searching movie quickly takes refuge from becoming a tragedy to suspense when it unfolds a knotted thread throwing light on the events of the crime. It opens speculations up early leaving you guessing. There are countless moments in the movie when you think you have figured it out, but you end up coming back to ground zero again. It is these ups and downs that dictate its flow, and that’s why you are never bored.

The movie builds up suspense to the maximum at first not revealing its key plot and then as you move forward, gradually leaving things for you to feed on. It doesn’t reveal everything, by keeping things under the wraps and then tries to give you one treat at a time for you to truly savour the taste.

The final revelation is something that you weren’t expecting at all. Also, the way it ends is quite gratifying to watch. You are constantly rooting for this hero who you have epitomized, batshit worried and when you finally get to see things fall in place it feels really good.

The Plot of Searching Movie

Aneesh finds a way to show the distance using a family calamity as David’s wife Pamela Nam Kim (Sara Sohn) succumbs to a disease and dies. That’s like a turning point in the life of David and daughter Margot (Michelle La) and the repercussions form a small unseen corner inside the head of the latter.

David and Margot end up being estranged even though they are not aloof physically, regularly chatting and seeing each other on various occasions. One night Margot goes missing when she was out with her friends in a group study, so the father thinks. But then the story unfolds as the father gets to know that she didn’t go to the study group. Checking in on with her Piano teacher, he realizes that she had left learning Piano long ago.

What had she been doing with all her piano money?

David checks that there is a transfer of 2500$ from her account to a deleted Venmo account. He informs the local police and a detective is assigned to him. Enter Detective Vick (Debra Messing) who finds out that the Venmo account was basically a fake ID created by Margot – a simple case of running away.

Do You Really Have a Friend?

David realizes he didn’t know any of his daughter’s friends. That in a way he was distant. Then turns toward Facebook to contact all her friends to ask them about her whereabouts. This is one of those moments that compels you to ponder. You have all those so-called friends on your FB account and they are just there. They are not really your friends but acquaintances, the hi and hello people that you rarely see, let alone meet. So cold!

As he calls them up one by one, there’s not a single person who has a clue about her whereabouts. Makes you shudder! One day you go missing and the world has no idea about you. They know you are alive only because you posted about yourself. What have we become?

None of these friends are close to her. David prods more and discovers that Margot had a YouCast (vlogging) account and that a user named  fish_n_chips used to chat with her a lot. He also discovers that Margot used to frequent lake Barbosa which he then visits for clues. He contacts Vicks on finding something of hers and then informs Vicks.

The Brother

Her car is found dumped in the lake while the money is untouched. The lead once again goes cold. It is through the crime scene photos that David finds a jacket which he then links to his brother Peter (Joseph Lee). He checks out the conversation Peter and Margot had and becomes furious, plants cameras inside Peter’s house as he tries to elicit a confession. In a quick emotional outburst, it is revealed that the brother was simply giving her pot. On being instigated about what kind of an uncle he was, Peter points out how bad a father was David as he didn’t know what went inside the head of her daughter.

 I didn’t know her. I didn’t know my daughter.

John Cho and Joseph Lee brothers in Searching movie

Lost in a painful introspection, his thought gets hindered when Vicks contacts David telling him that they have found the culprit. In a video confession, the presumable victim confesses about killing the girl before killing himself.

Broken David is browsing through Margot’s vigil service when he discovers the same girl in fish_n_chips’ profile picture in an advertisement. On digging further he finds out that the image was basically a stock photo ergo revealing fish_n_chips to be someone using a fake account.

As he tries to contact Vick, he unearths that it was the detective who had volunteered for Margot’s case, that she wasn’t assigned. As he becomes suspicious of Margot, he comes across an image of Vicks with the same guy who had claimed about killing Margot before suiciding. Smelling funny business about the detective he contacts the Sheriff as a cavalcade of policemen with David come to arrest her.

The Real Story

After being apprehended the real story is revealed. The so-called fish_n_chips was basically Vick’s son Robert who was trying to catfish Margot. Vicks was simply misconstruing facts to save her son. Robert, after stalking Margot, had befriended her and then earned her trust revealing that he needed 2500$ for a family emergency. Gullible Margot had complied and ended up giving him the money through Venmo.

It is almost like a lesson not to get lured by the internet. Anything evoking your sympathy tends to often misuse it. You have to be really wary in the monstrous world of today, where any amount of emotional sympathy is taken as a sign of weakness. Predators are forever on the prowl trying to make a fool out of you. You have to not give in or they will swallow you.

Robert felt guilty and he wished to return the cash but he didn’t want to reveal his identity to be fish_n_chips. So he followed her one night to the lake and surprised her by sneaking into her car. She attacked her which didn’t end up good as he pushed her down a ravine accidentally.

The Cover Up

Freaking out, he had called his mother almost immediately who took matters into her own hands in order to save her child. She didn’t even bother to go looking for Margot presuming her to be dead. Vick then dumped the car into the lake and manipulated evidence, then forced one of her ex-cons to confess before murdering him. The location where Margot was dumped is discovered as the police and David go straight to recover her. Luckily she is found breathing.

As an aftermath to this whole tale, we see Margot being serious about her piano lessons and through their chat messages that the father and the daughter had ended up becoming close.

You can order the Searching movie from here:

The Absence of Emotional Trauma

The Searching Movie might not be high on emotions since you are basically looking at a screen at all times. That disturbance of not seeing a face for long spans takes away a lot of emotions. If it were not for good acting and the great direction, the Searching movie might have appeared as a badly made video. But then that is something that separates a good filmmaker from an amateur. John Cho does ample justice to the character of a worried father who is constantly on the lookout. He makes the character very relatable.

Aneesh Chaganty proves why he is the next big thing in the industry. Why he is different and how he thinks different. How he was unafraid to make a movie feel entirely like a vantage point, something that people are really afraid to give a shot to. It is a bold choice but he comes through owing to the sheer suspense and thrill it exhumes.

Apart from that, the Searching movie is also not so much high on theatrics as well. Well du-uh! But if someone is looking for some gut-wrenching music to drop in, that wouldn’t be something that would be happening here. It is also less cinematic mostly because it is the screen you are staring at that basically feels like your own laptop screen for most of the time. How can that be cinematic right?

The Final Verdict

In a world that chugs its engines on social media and internet Searching movie becomes something that you relate to almost immediately. Because that’s how you have been witnessing your world now. Then you are well aware of the scams that have been duping people and catfishing innocents that feel so unjust and unfair but is extant nevertheless like every evil element that feeds on the less fortunate.

Like this review? Check out some other reviews of thriller movies as well.

Christopher Robin Movie Review (2018) | Understanding the Real Meaning | Full Analysis with Spoilers

What an alluring analogy! Christopher Robin movie is a gorgeous satire pointing all its paws towards what we have become. It tries to remind us of our place in the world. At the same time, throws light on how jobs have turned us into something else altogether. Not only were we puppets to fate earlier, now we are dancing to the tune of extant “Heffalumps” in our lives too.

Christopher Robin movie makes use of numerous strong puns in its screenplay where it compares our life to the pointless chore it has become. It expounds the meaninglessness of the life we are leading, of how ugly job has made us. And it delivers the point in a way that’s easy to grasp.

Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.

At the same time, Christopher Robin does not suck out all the magic from a fictional character like Winnie the Pooh. It serves both kinds of audience – people who don’t think too much, and those who do. While the latter has a lot to gain from a beautiful movie like this, it does not fail to impress the former too. The integrity of all the fictional characters in Christopher Robin movie is saved as if they were all real even though they were nothing but a figment of Christopher’s imagination.

If you are confused and wish to understand the analogy sandwiched in the gorgeous frames of Christopher Robin, I have decided to do a proper analysis of Christopher Robin Movie. Check it out:

The Plot Analysis of Christopher Robin Movie (Spoilers)

Members of Hundred Acre Wood are throwing a goodbye party for young Christopher Robin (Orton O’ Brien) as he is headed to boarding school. Imagine characters like Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo and Owl as soft toys Christopher has. He plays with them regularly until one day he is forced to leave them behind just like one has to when one crosses a certain age. Remember Bing Bong from Inside Out?

Pooh: What should happen if you forget about me?

Young Christopher Robin: Silly old bear. I wouldn’t ever forget about you, Pooh, I promise. Not even when I am a hundred.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh

But what happens to all your favorite toys when you grow up? Life happens. Christopher Robin, too, forgets all about them – his playthings. Until one day the topic is brought up by his daughter who he is not paying much attention to because of work. She has come across his old collection. With the collection tingled, we see what Pooh is up to in Hundred Acre Wood. It’s like a spark that ignites in Christopher’s mind making him imagine his favourite soft toy once again.

I would have liked it to go on for a while longer. Perhaps it’s our turn to save Christopher.

The Marionette

The company he is working for is run by Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss) who has asked Christopher to lay down 20% of resources. Owing to that he is compelled to work even on weekends thus upending plans of enjoying with his family in the countryside. We all have those “Winslows” in our lives who call your shots, who have your rein in their hands. They have you under their control and there’s nothing you can do about it. You are forced to follow their command or it might cost you and your family everything.

Christopher Robin: You promised these people good jobs!

Giles Winslow: And I thought you’d do anything for this company.

In the back of his head, he is well aware of what he has been doing to his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter by not spending much time with them. It is there inside his skull well-lit, the fact that he needs to stop being a marionette to his boss’s demands and take a stand, live a little. Unfortunately, that part is dim and surmounted by his feeble mind that has been wired to run timidly. Ultimately, he gives in to Winslow’s demand and decides to stay back while his family goes to Sussex without him.

Evelyn Robin: You won’t be coming to the cottage?

Christopher Robin: It can’t be helped.

Evelyn Robin: Your life is happening now, right in front of you.

The Arrival of Winnie the Pooh

It’s always a sunny day, when Christopher Robin comes to play

When they are leaving we see a bottle of honey falling to the ground. It is subtly placed by the writers to announce the arrival of Pooh and here honestly kept for Christopher to notice in order to bring back those memories from the past. Think of honey as a reminder that takes him back to the time when he was a kid. He begins to imagine once again how Pooh would show up into his world out of nowhere.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh in London

Winnie The Pooh: Your ladder is broken.

Christopher Robin: That was a shelf.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, that explains why it was no good for climbing.

So what we thought of as a ladder, the position or the status you thought you would get in a company is basically a shelf. We are all stowed in the same place and we are given an illusion of growth. We are not climbing but running, just on a treadmill.

Christopher is basically remembering things as they were. What would Pooh say if he were around? How clumsy would he be! And yet so intelligent by saying things that he would otherwise scoff at. But in reality, he is the only person putting words into the mouth of a motionless teddy bear. This notion isn’t imaginative anymore for the viewers now, even though in a way it is.

Christopher Robin: I have cracked!

Winnie The Pooh: Oh, I don’t see any cracks. A few wrinkles, maybe.

Dealing with himself and spending a night and a wrecked morning, Christopher decides to take Pooh back to his home. He catches a train to Sussex.

Christopher Robin: No, no, no! This can’t be happening! It’s stress.

Winnie The Pooh: But it’s not stress. It’s Pooh.

Catching the Train

It’s a whole lot of trouble for Christopher as he struggles to take Pooh back to his home. Winnie wears a childlike innocence that will make you go – “Hey! I used to be like that when I was a kid. Whatever happened?”

Christopher Robin: Just try and be a less, a less exuberant you.

Winnie The Pooh: Ex-Pooh-berant.

The bear is in love with balloons, surprises people by failing to “stay dead” and struggles to understand the weird world of adults. Why everyone behaves in a certain way? Why are they so cold? He calls the journey an expedition, an adventure, aggrandizing mundane things like we used to, back when we were kids.

Christopher Robin: I wonder which way.

Winnie The Pooh: I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I’ve been.

Making the Most of Life

Pooh is a creative bear making games, making the most of any situation and having fun – the very definition Christopher’s life is void of today. As a grown-up, there is lesser time for Christopher to be creative. His job is chewing him and he can’t squeeze out enough time to dive into possibilities.

Pooh makes some valid points that will make you step into a whirlpool of thoughts.

Winnie The Pooh: What day is it?

Christopher Robin: It’s today.

Winnie The Pooh: My favorite day.

On being told about the rest of the Hundred Acre gang, Christopher Robin is being hit with their memories one by one.

Christopher Robin: I haven’t thought about them in years.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, we think about you every day.

It is so sad. All the things we held dear are captured in time, and it will only take a moment to remember them and revive them, make them afresh and brim them alive. And yet we are oblivious to their existence. Good times are only a thought away. Yet we have forgotten our good times, our childhood toys and the way they used to rejoice us.

A Battle with Himself

Christopher Robin movie’s most poignant moment arrives when Christopher tries to reason with Pooh. He tries to make him understand the importance of his work. To an innocent mind, it does not make any sense. He knows that! It is like a battle with himself.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

It is when Pooh asks Christopher about his “working” world that things begin to get grim. Pooh thinks that all the people he works with are his friends, which Christopher at once refuses. It is so true – You are spending so much time with them, why are they not your friends? It is a work culture that we have bred that makes us strangers even though we see each other every day. We are distant with people that are in our vicinity. Why is it like that? Aren’t we playing (working) under the same roof? Why are there boundaries separating us from being with each other?

We just need a leap of faith!

A workplace is no fun, and the very definition has been gradually instilled as we have started becoming aloof to each other. We have cubicles defining our place and whispers stopping each other from celebrating with everyone. We are no longer friends. Humans, nay, adults are wired not to work well with each other. Our differences set us apart and it is hard to make that clear to a child. But what seems like a juvenile question is, in fact, a soul-shaker. It only makes us see our ugliness.

Importance of Work

On being asked what’s inside his suitcase, Christopher brands it as the most important thing in his life, that his whole life depends on it. Accidentally Pooh opens the suitcase and all his papers jostle out with the wind miffing Christopher in the process. A fight ensues and Pooh realizes that Christopher is better off without him. That he no longer is that fun person he used to be when he was a kid.

Think of it all as a conscious mind fighting with his sub-consciousness, reasoning with him and seething in the pain that emanates from his actions. “Why can’t I be the way I used to be?” is what Christopher is wondering. “Why are these papers so important? All I am is a moment away from dumping them and having a time of my life. But why can’t I?”

Heffalumps and Woozles Analogy in Christopher Robin Movie

Heffalumps and Woozles are compared to bosses and managers who have your leash in their hands. So you already know they are monsters who force you to believe that the work at hand is the most important thing in your life, but it, in fact, is theirs or someone else’s. But you wheeze anyway under the load of their self-made work so much that you forget to live.

still of pooh piglet and eeyore

It is a constant tussle as we see him falling into a pit, here a “Heffalump Trap” that slowly fills with water. It is akin to a pool of tears when you are overwhelmed and you end up letting go. The backdrop of fog is a perfect setup of confusion and chaos. The vagueness makes you lose your sight. The vision becomes hazy and you gradually succumb to it.

Waking up he has a little bit clarity although he realizes he hasn’t yet paid attention or given a proper thought to what Pooh, his subconsciousness has been ranting all this time. Remembering the rest of his friends back when he was a kid he bumps into Eeyore. You could think of him running into the soft toy and then playing a conversation with him.

Eeyore – A Powerhouse of Despair

Eeyore is like a powerful emotion. A splash of negativity that you can’t get rid of. An essential too. His vision is more inclined towards seeing the worst of things. But he is necessary. You can’t stay positive all the time, can you? It’s just inevitable.

In Christopher Robin movie, we see Eeyore in the river headed towards the waterfall, a surefire fall, and yet not doing anything about it. It is kind of like our working life. We knowingly throw ourselves into the pit and refuse to take action. He even says that out loud:

Just have to go with the flow.

He has left himself to the hands of fate when he could have chosen to swim across and save himself. We see Christopher trying to put some sense in him but he is a paragon of despair. How many times have you become so complacent in life that you stopped doing anything to change it? The torpor just renders you useless and then a point comes when you just stop caring.

Laughing at my misfortune, just like a Heffalump.

Eeyore drives the nail further by confirming the analogy of Heffalumps in Christopher Robin movie. It is the boss, the manager or the leader who has the reins of your life and laughs at your misfortune. Christopher is very keen on proving that he is not like those horrendous monsters but their same old buddy. He wishes to earn back his respect. For that, he literally pretends to fight a Heffalump, the bad guy and successfully earns their trust.

Finding the Rest of The Team in Christopher Robin Movie

It is a tad childish I know, but the young imaginative Christopher is back now. He is trying his best to, if you remove all the animals out of the equation, earn his own good trust. Making a silent promise to himself that he would be more happening and fun.

He then discovers Pooh to be in his favorite spot and then apologizes for shouting at him and getting upset thus making amends with himself by being at peace.

Christopher Robin: I am not the person I used to be.

Winnie The Pooh: You saved us. You are a hero.

Christopher Robin: I am not a hero, Pooh. The fact is, I am lost.

Winnie The Pooh: But I found you.

But what seemed to be a newly acquired virtue of being fun, doesn’t last long as he wakes up. There is a mental alarm clock in all of us that wakes us up early in the morning preparing us to go to work, to be someone’s slave. Christopher is no different and he blasts past everyone he ever loved to catch that morning train.

It is a bummer for his daughter Madeline who had thought his father was there for her. She bumps into all of his father’s friends (you can read here as toys which he might have left in a hurry) and realizes that he has left all his important papers to dry. In that shot of madness, Christopher might have also filled it with things that were dear to him. Here in the Christopher Robin movie, it has been theatricalized to be done by Tigger primarily because its character is funny and clumsy.

The End Run

Now Madeline takes that as a mission to deliver the important papers to her father with all the newly found friends. Also, she isn’t willing to go to boarding school and wishes to dissuade her father from sending her there. She leaves a note for her mother before leaving for London.

still of madeline robin in christopher robin movie

Even on the train, you see different perspectives when Pooh wishes to play the same game of naming things he sees.

Winnie The Pooh: It’s called “Say What You See”. You, first, Eeyore.

Eeyore: Disgrace. Shame. Humiliation.

It is interesting that Piglet points out fear and stress, while Eeyore goes for what you generally feel when you try to be different.

At the office, in the meeting, Christopher discovers that the papers were missing. Just then Evelyn arrives and informs him about their missing daughter. They both start looking for her while Madeline and gang end up in Winslow company crates.

The Most Important Thing

Eventually, all of them meet and Madeline breaks it to Christopher that she wanted to deliver the most important thing – “papers” to him. It melts Christopher’s heart finally. The feeling that made him feel her void, the tension that he carried in his heart while looking for her, helps him realize that there was nothing more important than his family. That he didn’t care about the papers anymore. He even agrees to not send Madeline to the boarding school instead spend some quality time with them. Things in his office automatically take the right course when he becomes bold and takes a stand against his “Heffalump” Giles Winslow. Then he barges out with his family and toys.

Work finally loses to the family. With that, the Christopher Robin movie ends on a happy note with a new and reformed Christopher for whom family always comes first.

You can order Christopher Robin movie with bonus content from here:

The Reality Serum | Ending of Christopher Robin Movie Explained

To the viewers of Christopher Robin movie, Pooh is made real, and that happens on so many occasions to a gawking world around. Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet end up waving or talking to many people they come across in London. While it could be a jest that Marc Forster, the director of Christopher Robin movie, could be playing at but somehow it all doesn’t fit in the equation. How can others see them?

Madeline Robin: You’re talking.

Winnie The Pooh: No, I’m not talking. Well, I am now, I suppose.

To that you can say, these are all people who have begun to see the spark Christopher carries. They have started observing things, those imaginative and creative efforts that Christopher brought to the world when he was a kid. It leaves its shine on all those he comes across. So when the driver sees Tigger talking or when the policeman witnesses it too, you can think of it as Madeline playing with all the soft toys now. When you see a child making you a make-believe cup of tea, you never say no to that. So the characters she comes across too play along.

I know it’s a bummer to figure out fantasies are not real. But it makes a lot of sense when you tack them against an imaginative board. But all those stories that carry a handful of fairy dust of fantasies and miracles, they all simply try to layer up the crux that they wish to deliver. It is up to you, to look past the figments and figure out the true meaning behind.

Christopher Robin: If I work really hard now, in the future our lives will be…

Evelyn Robin: Impressive? Worse? We don’t care. We want you.

The Final Verdict

If you take all the members of Hundred Acre Wood out of the equation and try to understand the mindset of a guy who is having one of his episodes of nostalgia you realize the true meaning behind the Christopher Robin movie. It doesn’t elude it, except maybe towards the end where it becomes too childish to be taken seriously. It begins to dwindle by the end.

Some of those things are acceptable, only if you understand, the writers and the director were keen on catering to both kinds of viewers, ergo the resultant work suffers.

There’s always time for a smackeral of wonder.

But if you focus on all the goods that I have pointed, you will realize Christopher Robin movie is one hell of a film that has been brilliantly imagined. Hats off to everybody who was associated with it in any way. They have done a great job!

American Animals Review (2018) | Perceptive Unlike your Regular Heist Movies | Spoilers and Analysis

American Animals is one of the most genuine movies I have seen in a while. It is a true story made around the most audacious heist in the history of US. If you are thinking it is just a heist movie, you are dead wrong because it is much more than that. It is not just a movie, it is an experience. An experience of a lifetime that gradually becomes detrimental by the time it reaches its climax. It changes lives in its wake.

Above all, American Animals doesn’t aggrandize robbery unlike other heist movies, rather gives you a proper ride into some rebel’s idea of living. Showcasing realistic repercussions of a heist when it goes wrong without overlooking the regret that constantly badgers one’s head. You are basically living it, each moment the way the real-life characters lived it. And it is very painful to go through their traumatic experience.  But to understand why they did what they did isn’t that difficult to comprehend either when you start relating to what went inside their heads before the heist actually began to take shape.

Even the music build up that often goes with heist movies when they are about to perform a heist is absent here. There’s limited contrivance staring at your face making American Animals movie appear as tense as it should be. You can feel the chills, the real thrill when the robbery is about to happen. It makes you reflect on the enormous magnitude of what is about to go down.

The Analogy with Birds in American Animals

It goes without saying that the characters in the flick, the perpetrators are all American Animals as suggested by the movie posters. To understand its profound analogy the director Bart Layton starts off with the characters painting themselves up as Old men, based on Spencer Reinhard’s (Barry Keoghan) ruse of deceiving the world with their disguises. The reason Spencer puts in as:

Being old is the closest thing to being invisible.

When you are old, people simply lose interest in you. All your mojo just vanishes. What a beady-eyed fella to notice something so minuscule. We see a montage of images showing an idea of an upside down world, the way an artist sees it. His ideologies are different from the rest because the rest of them are happy wallowing in their meaningless lives. His is the exact opposite.

american animals movie still

The paintings also depict the real American animals at times becoming predatory in their idea of freedom. They are preying on the weak and the less fortunate, in short complying with the cycle of life. An eagle prancing on a mouse or a duck preying on a butterfly is depictive of that. Something similar happens in American Animals too. We will come to that part soon.

We see owl eyes as a simile to Spencer Reinhard’s character who is this keenly observant kid who is an artist who loves to draw extraordinary sketches. He is also the most perceptive of all just like an owl in the dark.

The Definition of Success

A watching world that used to surround their lives begins to make their statements on the heist, an aftermath judgment that people often expel when a storm has passed. They are so distant to these characters that they have no clue whatsoever. They didn’t have an inkling about the ploy that was boiling in their child’s mind. Why are we like that? Why are we so lost in ourselves that people around us suffer?

It’s like we woke up in a nightmare.

One of the parent’s wished their child to be successful. American Animals intrudes a new meaning to this very concept through the mouth of Warren Lipka (Evan Peters) later on who drives this powerful nailing words through your head:

Which fucking future are you worried about? The one that’s fucking indistinguishable from everyone else’s? Where you fucking beaver away to get the shit you are told you need to have by some fucking asshole who’s gonna tell you what a great big success you are once you get it all?

You know he is right on almost immediately. Why do we waste away our lives to become someone’s idea of success? What is there at the end of it? What is it that we crave for in their diction?

The Amazing Screenplay

The real Spencer presents it in a much better way on being questioned this:

Who are you as an artist?

He replies:

Growing up, I had a desire for some kind of life-altering experience. I started to read about other artists. They were always affected by some kind of tragedy in their life, and had to suffer a great deal. Van Gogh ended up killing himself. Monet went blind. I felt like they understood something more about life that I wasn’t getting to experience. Art has to be about more than just “My life is great, and I am really good at drawing.”

Once we cut to Spencer’s fraternity where he is on the receiving end being bullied by the seniors, we get to explore him more. A more perfect reply wouldn’t exist, as we get introduced to the second character of the American Animals movie, Warren Lipka whose stealing ways were insinuated up early.

Seriously man, fuck fraternities. The reason to be a part of that is so one day you can walk in the door of an office you never wanna go in to see a guy you never wanna meet, all on the hopes that he might give you a job you never wanna fucking do.

Life’s Big Plans

One of the greatest lines of the American Animals movie gets delivered when Spencer and Warren are discussing how their lives didn’t turn out to be the way they wanted it to. They had an idea of college that they were looking forward to, but they were disappointed by it when they came across it.

Spencer: Do you ever wonder, you ended up being born you here, and not someone else? Do you ever feel like you are waiting for something to happen, but you don’t know what it is? But, it’s that thing that could, make your life special.

Warren: Yeah. Like what?

Spencer: Exactly.

Warren: “Like what?”

Birds of America

We see Spencer coming across this amazing art book by John James Audubon titled “Birds of America” that just sticks to his head. He estimates the cost of the book to be 12 million dollars and breaks it to Warren.

The genius of Bart Layton and the editor of American Animals can also be witnessed in the scene that follows. Both the real-life characters have a vague remembrance of them talking about the book. Warren remembers it to be in a party. Au contraire, Spencer remembers it to be in a car. The director merges both the perspectives so beautifully that it will blow your mind away. It’s just genius to savour both the ideas in one single frame.

The real-life plot begins to take shape when Warren becomes serious about the idea that was slipped to him. He googles a heist plan and tries to convince Spencer to take him on board.

Everyone in here thinks that they are gonna win the lottery, but no one buys a ticket.

Spencer is adamant about his conscience based on what he has seen.

It doesn’t work like that in real life. Bad guys, they don’t get to ride off into the sunset with the money.

The discussion ends with:

Aren’t you even curious in your little, little brain, to find out what would actually happen? To find out what would really happen in real life.

Then they watch all the heist movies to add up to their knowledge repository. Bart chooses to place Warren in one of the movies as if the instructions were directly directed towards him.

What would you do with the money? Aren’t artists supposed to starve?

The Plan on the Move

Things start to roll when Warren contacts someone dealing in stolen goods to book him a fence. Once again the contrasting stories are merged by the director to show both the angles. An email ID is given to him on which he sends a mail. In its reply, he is asked to visit the Netherlands in person. Spencer refuses but decides to pitch in half the money for the trip to happen.

Warren goes on to meet some black market dealers with a promise to produce the rare books with a hefty profit margin. Reluctant Spencer is one more time brought to the game plan by Warren.

A little subplot of American Animals manifests where we see Warren’s parents having a setback in their relationship. The director uses all these bits and pieces from Warren’s story to help others understand why it was the end of the world for Warren, why would he be so desperate to see, the only thing that made sense to him, through. The heist was suddenly supposed to give him the breakthrough he wished from life. We see him broken, shattered to pieces when he is sloshed in a pub picking fights deliberately.

american animals warren lipka played by Evan peters

Erik Borsuk

To see the plan through in American Animals, the inclusion of Erik Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson) becomes inevitable. With Warren, it is hard to reason with, as he places you in a position you can’t say no to. Especially when you are a loner like Erik who wishes to regain his friendship with Warren.

You are either in or out. This would be something dangerous, and very fucking exciting, that I need you to be a part of. This could change everything. This is your red pill or blue pill moment, my friend.

How can you say no to adventure? If your life is bleak that’s what you seek. Erik brings in reason to the team with his brain at the same time not saying no to any of it.

There’s one very interesting conversation between Warren and coach Bill Welton (Wayne Duvall) who has been noticing that Warren hasn’t been showing up to any of the games. Warren seems to have lost the reason why he used to be so jacked up for it.

Thing is I worked to get on that team since I was about five. And I have absolutely no idea why.

We should question why to everything. If we don’t get an answer to that question, it’s probably not worth the effort. Simple words to live by.

Welton talked about how Warren was a disappointment to his father. Whilst Warren says it out loud and clear for Bill to hear – what about his disappointment? He was disappointed by the college, the town and also him.

Chas Allen

They have a small enactment to see how easy the plan seemed from the outside. It’s like they were in a movie easing in and out without the nerves to shatter them. It is almost like a musical and they are playing it out like a boss.

But then the need arises for a lookout guy waiting for them in a getaway car.

I was torn between the desire to keep the adventure going, and waiting for the insurmountable obstacle that would stop everything in its tracks and return things to normal.

Thus comes Chas Allen (Blake Jenner) into the story who was a rich guy who could afford to buy a getaway car.

I think the qualities that we thought Chas could bring was money.

It was like living a movie for these characters. As things begin to trundle further down towards excitement, things naturally go up a notch. They name each other from the famous Quentin Tarantino movie – Reservoir Dogs. Everyone is allocated a task. The real quandary is who will take care of the librarian. That being a dirty job nobody wished to come forward. Warren accepts that task himself reluctantly.

The Day of the Robbery

The day comes when they are supposed to perform the heist. The team finishes up their tasks and begin dressing up as old men. They have their heart in their mouth as they draw themselves closer to the library. Bart shows everything beautifully. It is like a nerve-wracking moment unspooling inside their little brains as they bask in the enormity of the task at hand.

American Animals movie cast

There’s one moment where Spencer sees himself (here the real Spencer) picking up a newspaper outside a house. It is a frame that gets explained in the end. A future Spencer having a guilt trip, wishing he had stopped then and there. How he has played that scene over and over again in his head, him wanting to turn back from what was a surefire tumble. But the inevitability of the unknown, and the transformative experience of an artist that he aspired to have were already written.

Walking past the library door behaving as old men, being invisible, the four of them are counting their heartbeats when Warren freezes on seeing three more people with the librarian. The mission is aborted immediately as he freaks out. The rest of them abscond too. It is the best feeling as Spencer describes it, walking out without doing anything wrong. A relief that brings you back to the world of possibilities again.

It was like a new beginning.

Unfortunately for Spencer, the plan is still on as Warren makes a phone call to the library again under the pretext of a meeting.

Trying to Back Out

Spencer tries really hard and almost backs out from the heist. But it is hard to reason with a guy like Warren, who is very convincing by the way. He has all the right words and he knows how to use them.

You really wanna come all this way and not find out what happens next? I mean, tell me this hasn’t been the time of your fucking life. Man, I don’t want you waking up ten years from now wondering what could have happened, and who you could have been.

These are very impactful convincing words that are hard to fight. You know it is all true, but under a different pretext. How do you reason with it? How do you reason with the truth?

Spencer runs at night boiling with emotions and stops to find the same flamingo that he had seen in Audubon’s book. Wanting to be one of his favorite artists, that too without doing anything, and waiting for something extraordinary to happen seemed far-fetched. Spencer knew that it was a degrading plan. So he comes to a decision, makes up his mind.

You can go through life with this expectation that something fantastic is gonna happen, something life-altering that’s gonna make your life different and unique. I realized that I had to actually make something happen on my own.

To not do anything to change the course of life would be to die of boredom and normalcy. He wanted to be a part of the ripples, and his chance seemed to be only a day ahead.

Plan B

With everyone back on the same road they started on, they give it a shot again. This time without any disguises. Spencer chooses to stay outside as a lookout while Erik is the guy who was supposed to accompany Warren to make the actual heist.

Appearing as Walter Beckman, Warren enters the special collections room where he deals with the librarian, Betty Jean Gooch (Ann Dowd) however, fails to neutralize her. He calls Erik up despite his reluctance to go in and attack the librarian. They try to tase her but the taser fails to work properly. Then they tie her up.

The scene that takes place there is a perfect reflection of the painting where two eagles are preying on a bird. Warren and Erik are freaking out as they try to shut the old lady down but they fail at it. It is heart-numbing chaos as they try to retrieve the books. Glasses are broken, the librarian is hustled and dragged, books are stolen as they head towards the back exit. But there’s no back exit. The four of them had failed to check out their extraction point and had gone along with an assumption.

In the commotion that follows, they are forced to drop the two books that they were really after as they make a run for the exit. Everyone witnesses the robbery as the lads manage to escape. They still get away with two books that were worth something.

The Guilt Trip

It’s one of those major fuck-ups that could easily land them jail and Chas goes full rogue on Warren and Spencer pointing a gun at them. It is one of Blake’s greatest performance in a split second that shouldn’t go unnoticed or repressed by the already remarkable performances produced by Evan and Barry. Tears ease out as his uncontrollable emotions drop out his face making him look really vulnerable for the first time in the entire American Animals movie.

To have this need to know what is on the other side of that line and realizing the only way to actually do that is to cross it, there’s never a point in your life after that where you haven’t already crossed that line.

Erik puts his own thoughts in the equation too when he keeps on hearing the scream of the librarian in his head.

I felt so confident this was gonna be what I needed.

It’s easy to see that Warren has broken too as he zones out remembering the way he had mistreated the old lady. The real Warren Lipka breaks down on camera as he tries to put reason behind his horrible act.

We just tried to get past it, but there’s no looking past it.

In a series of screw-ups, there’s yet another addition as Spencer remembers using the same email address to make the library appointment that they used to use a lot.

The Falling Apart

In a theatrical end of American Animals, we see each of the characters being swallowed by guilt. It is, after all, you who you fear the most. If you keep it clean, tidy and with a conscience, you are basically the very best version of yourself. You are unbreakable. These guys had just ended up having cracks in them which they weren’t blind to.

This reminds me to quote Detective Rust Cohle from True Detective:

People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time.

Unfortunately, these teenagers were very much human and not criminals, to begin with. So they felt every blow, remembered every moment of the path of crime they walked on. It was painful for them to have walked on something so despicable that they hated themselves for it.

They all go down in their worst times as their misery ends with cops showing at their doors. They immediately know what’s in store for them. All of them get seven years prison time, costing them a life they hadn’t imagined they would miss out on.

You are taught your entire life that what you do matters and that you are special. And that, there are things you can point towards which will show that you are special, that shows that you are different when in all reality those things don’t matter and you are not special.

The Truth Behind Warren Lipka

Warren is one of the most interesting characters in the American Animals movie. He deliberately does crime so he could be punished. It is some sort of self-inflicting pain that he tries to make up for all the things that aren’t going well in his life. We see him asking for it in the very end too when he shoplifts intentionally and then throws the stolen item back at the security.

Is that all you fucking got?

It is his way of living, of choices he wishes to have to make his life interesting and exciting. The boredom is just killing and the stagnant sea of the crowd is sinking him.

Spencer reflects on a lot of things about Warren about how things were pulled over his eyes whenever he acted upon something. To an observer, Warren could have been this really insightful genius who used to think, unlike the mob. But to tack him to a wall based on the things he actually did, you can’t help but wonder who Warren really was.

Wasn’t he a prick, after all? A lying and cheating guy who duped his own friend and then pulled two more into the muck of his head. He was good with words so he made sure everybody was dipping their heads in his plan. The rest of the characters recall him as a bad person insinuating he was a liar too since they had no proof of him going to Amsterdam.

Would he then go to such limits taking high risks to inflict such level of pain? The question remains a blur.

The Final Word in American Animals

Every heist can be marked with one common reason – the thrill. The thrill that it gives, the adrenaline that it rushes in you, and the end result if all goes well basically stand as the driving factor of every heist. Why was it something more in here then? It was the sense of an adventure that the kids lacked. The living is so boring that we try to go after it even at a cost.

The final words are that of the librarian who was reduced to tears B J Gooch says:

I think they wanted things to come easy for them. They did not want to work for a transformative experience. They didn’t want to help other people to achieve a transformative experience. I find them all very selfish. And I see they all have trouble figuring out how a person crosses a line in their own mind, to be willing to hurt another person to get what they want. And I think that, once you’ve crossed that line, I think it’s a dangerous line to cross. It makes me wonder if they really know why they did it.

You can order American Animals from here:

The Symbolism of Audubon’s book Birds of America

There’s something about the drawings that Spencer draws in his pastime in American Animals. He has an obsession with birds, and it just goes on to show why he wishes to be free like them. In the ending placards, we see his interest growing with the birds just like Audubon’s.

Audubon had a transformative experience when he had gone into the wilderness after he was jailed for failing to pay his debt. As a way of salvaging his life, he had decided to paint all the birds in North America. Spencer wishes to have a similar experience thus having his recluse celebrated with something that he really loves doing. He is an artist today painting birds just like Audubon.

Birds are all about freedom. And only a man who has seen a cage understands what true freedom is. He truly knows how to appreciate it. His interest grew not only because of Audubon but through the cage from where he used to notice sparrows up closely. Chains of regularity that bound him up young, finally broke him free after seven years of imprisonment. A man couldn’t think of an apt pursuit.

It is good to know that that transformative experience they sought as teenagers finally happened for all of them in their real lives. The best thing is that every one of them are doing something meaningful with their lives now. They were all artists in their thoughts, and now they are all bringing their talent to good use. Erik pursues writing, Chas is a fitness instructor also writing a book, Warren is studying filmmaking and Spencer is a painter now.

The Final Verdict of American Animals

If you take a back seat and try to see things for how terrible they were, you realize they weren’t at all. Nobody got hurt, to be honest. We see people getting killed in the name of robbery. These were just some bunch of ambitious kids who thought they could get away with something they show in the movies.

Then that puts forth the question of what is being shown in the name of movies. What does it teach us? When you know there’s a generation of kids that draws their inspiration from things that are shown on the screen, why are we still making stuff to fling them in that direction. Why are things not more realistic as American Animals movie was?

Children make their own calls after a certain period of time. And there’s a point that comes in our lives when we think we are right despite what others think. Who is to come forward and break that bubble? Despite what is already taught (which by the way we don’t pay attention to), why don’t we teach them how to work on growing a conscience, morality and the benefits of doing good. Why not make living an adventure so they don’t go seeking it in cursed places?

Well, that’s just a thought. I would like to end the analysis of American Animals movie here and recommend everybody to watch this brilliantly carved film.

Check out our other movie analyses as well.

The Meg Movie Review (2018) | A Stale Shark Tale

The Meg movie is yet another stale Shark movie that’s not up to the mark. While it tries to bite on “how big this time the shark is” factor, it fails to leverage it properly. Jon Turteltaub‘s creation is an instant fail when he decides to speed up every attack the shark does to hide a proper closeup. It’s like packaging cheap thrills inside every moment to look out for. Unfortunately, that paints a very unrealistic picture. Rushing in of the shark is so sudden and deliberate that you are always prepared for it. Owing to that the flick fails to deliver real tension. The horror you feel doesn’t feel justified.

Somewhere Jon fails to leverage a monster in the sea and I don’t know how good Steve Alten (the writer of a series of Meg novels) is, but to bring a gargantuan shark from the deepest trench of the ocean and not to cash in on its sensational size and the horror that emanates naturally, feel like a dud shot, a missed opportunity. It is not visually appealing either. The cinematography is just meh!

There was so much poetry in 2015’s In the Heart of the Sea that it makes Meg feel like its written in a farcical universe. You pay attention to the screenplay of The Meg and you realize how witless it is. There is nothing of value for perceptive minds to chew on. Then you turn your attention towards its humour. Entertaining movies have at least that for the rescue. Unfortunately, it is not that funny either, even though one of its characters suddenly goes for it as the movie swims to the finish line.

Characters in The Meg

The Meg movie’s characters cannot be taken seriously. The protagonist Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is like a superhero in the vanguard who doesn’t miss any chance to encounter the behemoth even though he narrowly escapes almost every onslaught. He is a man with a mouth which eventually ends up drooling for Suyin (Bingbing Li) and vice versa. The chemistry they bring to the table is just pathetic. Suyin feels like a paper thin Barbie doll incapable of eliciting emotions. While Jonas seems like as if he is trying too hard.

still of Jason Statham in The Meg movie

The child actress Meiying’s (Shuya Sophia Cai) presence is barely for the contrast she puts up against the mammoth sized fish. Then she is there just to fix her mommy up with any potential hubby material guy. There was a lot we could have done with her given what a liability she was but instead they end up turning her into a pimp.

Some of the characters in The Meg movie are just there without a purpose. Wink at Ruby Rose as Jaxx. It’s almost like the casting peeps said:

“Hey! You look cool. You are in.”

Many are dispensable while many dispensable characters end up surviving. Jonas has an ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and you can’t pinpoint why she is there in the movie in the first place. Oh right! Just to stay as bait to Meg, so that Jonas says yes to the mission?

Cliff Curtis has so much potential I don’t know why he signs up for movies where he is always sidelined as a supporting actor.

The Theme of The Meg Movie

When you talk about the plot of the movie, it can be dissected into two halves where the first part focuses on a limited world, the one curious about the things that are underneath a thermocline in the form of a research station called Mana One. The second part capers a bit on the outside where the real action is driven. You know, with the same old cliched deadly fin that a shark deliberately shows to tell its exact location.

The First Half

In the first half, Lori ends up stranded with two of her colleagues when their submersible is attacked by an unknown creature. With the reputation Jonas has with his past rescue missions, he is sent off into the trench where the team is stranded. He manages to rescue them but one who makes his own choice.

The creature is then identified as a Megalodon, the largest shark there was, believed to be extinct. Owing to an explosion in the thermal vent, the Megalodon escapes the thermocline and enters the ocean.

Then begins the hunt to hunt it down using etorphine to poison it. They succeed in that but soon the twist happens when they realize they had killed a much smaller Megalodon, that there were two Megs that had escaped the thermocline and not just one. The real Meg upends their boat destroying everything in its wake.

Morris (Rainn Wilson) the owner of Mana One assures the crew that he had informed the naval forces who would take it from there. The lying prick he was, he goes on to hunt Meg down in the middle of the night with depth charges but ends up getting killed. When the crew comes to know about it, they resume their mission to track and hunt the shark down chasing it to a beach it was headed toward.

Sanya Bay – The Second Half

You give a sigh of relief when you finally see a beach for a change. Memories from the past come rushing down on you. If this bit wasn’t in the movie it would have been one hell of a boring movie. But hey just hold that thought! It doesn’t last very long. You get to have some fun with all the clueless people enjoying in the waters as our antagonist swims right underneath them.

still of a small dog in the meg movie

The Mana One crew then use a whale call to divert the attack, luring the shark towards them. Suyin and Jonas then try to kill it with the help of torpedoes but fail. Jonas then uses his damaged sub’s part to cut the shark open. Then stabs him in the eye with a poisoned spear. Jeez! Jason, do you ever stop being Satan?

Then the rest of the sharks come and finish it off. Phew!

Thinking Back

A lot of times the Meg movie feels like ending. When you get to it and try to think back of what you just saw, try to sum it all up, it feels like a bad adventure. That there was so little in content that the movie feels as if it is coiled up in just one place. But then The Meg movie doesn’t end at such an hour, instead tries to trace the footsteps of the classic Jaws by Steven Spielberg where the real action happens near a beach with a lot of people entailed.

But then again it barely skims it. There is no real tension, no proper horror that has your heart in your mouth. You are not dead scared like you were with Jaws. The impracticality of it all flushes the fish down the toilet. Meg becomes something that’s less of an adventure sans all the thrill you expected when you entered the cinema hall.

If you try to look at the good things, you realize things are always happening for a reason that the movie was kept intact in terms of filmmaking. The director knew what he was doing except what he was doing wasn’t terrifying enough and didn’t justice to a monster in the sea.

You can order The Meg movie from here:

The Final Verdict

With so many shark movies out there, I don’t know where I’d place this one if not at the bottom. I think 2016’s The Shallows was a lot better if you try hard to think of a new age shark story in times where we can easily handle a shark of any size. At least its backdrop was such that you took it for real. Here it’s hard to take anything seriously.

Incredibles 2 Movie Review (2018) | 14 Years of Punishing Wait is Over

The sequel to Incredibles is finally here after 14 years and it’s hard not to go gaga over it. Incredibles 2 movie is exactly what we expected it to be – extremely entertaining! In terms of its story, it is almost like its prequel and more, as the creators let it take a natural form taking things forward right from where it left off. Like the presence of Jack-Jack automatically dabbing the throttle on one of its major sub-plot.

The CGI is simply breathtaking which is exactly what you expect from a Disney Pixar creation. Brad Bird has done an outstanding job yet again with the tightly packed chemistry of the family that works so well when they are together. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the Incredibles 2 movie as you go on a mind-racking joyride that features a villain that would literally dip you into horrific waters and then suck out all hope.

The Long Wait

It was a constant follow up right from the point – “Why are we not developing a sequel to a truly deserving movie?” to “We have finally found a story” and the news that Brad was all over it flung us into euphoria. That Brad was going to see things through once again, put back the promise in its place, the promise that the movie wasn’t going to suck. And it doesn’t.

It’s time to make wrong things right.

What makes the movie admirable at once is the nostalgia that comes right back with Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) trying hard to get back the reins of Mr. Incredible. Holly Hunter‘s incredible southern accent that literally resuscitates her character of Helen Parr / Elastigirl again. While they changed Dash’s voice this time done by Eli Fucile owing to age issues, Sarah Vowell got in the vocal chords of Violet Parr once again bringing back a sudden gush of reminiscence to the shore.

incredibles 2 movie still

Then we have Frozone back in Incredibles 2 movie again reprised by Samuel L. Jackson‘s next to perfect voice. His presence felt quite satisfying and he has a pretty good role in here as well. How can we forget Edna Mode? Voiced once again by Brad Bird to perfection, she serves as a worried nanny in this one, who at once takes interest in Jack Jack’s power and abilities and gives him a suit he deserves.

It is almost like the entire family of superheroes and all the related people we saw in the prequel ending up having a reunion.

Other Important Characters

What adds spices to the already outstanding plot of Incredibles 2 movie was the inclusion of Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) and Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) into the storyline. They take the story forward by bringing that mysterious undertone that was there in the prequel as well. You don’t accept people to be good. With Winston and Evelyn giving Elastigirl a chance of her lifetime, a similar plot takes shape.

To help my family I gotta leave it. To fix the law I gotta break it.

The Screenslaver

The Screenslaver is one of those mysterious villains that ends up being a rare match. His confounded theories will make you wonder that like every genius nemesis, he is right on a lot of points. Of course, as to his real identity, who he is, you will find out once you watch the movie. I am not going to spoil it further.

Just going to put this brilliant quote right here untended:

The Screenslaver interrupts this program for an important announcement. Don’t bother watching the rest. Elastigirl doesn’t save the day; she only postpones her defeat. And while she postpones her defeat, you eat chips and watch her invert problems that you are too lazy to deal with.

Superheroes are part of a brainless desire to replace true experience with simulation. You don’t talk, you watch talk shows. You don’t play games, you watch game shows. Travel, relationships, risk; every meaningful experience must be packaged and delivered to you to watch at a distance so that you can remain ever-sheltered, ever-passive, ever-ravenous consumers who can’t free themselves to rise from their couches to break a sweat, never anticipate new life. You want superheroes to protect you, and make yourselves ever more powerless in the process. Well, you tell yourselves you’re being “looked after”. That you’re inches from being served and your rights are being upheld. So that the system can keep stealing from you, smiling at you all the while.

Go ahead, send your supers to stop me. Grab your snacks, watch your screens, and see what happens. You are no longer in control. I am.

Stunning CGI

It is hard not to talk about the movie’s stunning CGI. Whilst it is something people often tend to overlook owing to how invested they are in the story, and you barely get time to notice minutiae that comprise it, but if you pay enough attention to every character’s expressions, of things that are lingering alongside them, the artwork that goes behind in the backdrop, you realize how painstakingly everything has been built. You know it’s grandeur written in every frame. So much of work that has gone in it. Can we have a standing ovation already?

Brings to mind the t-shirt Bob was wearing when lifting Jack-Jack. You could see every tiny fabric when you zoom in on it. I can’t help but share this image so you will know what perfection is.

Bob Parr's t-shirt in Incredibles 2 movie

That’s just awe-inspiring and breathtaking if you ask me. Spending so much time making a frame look next to reality, that’s what top-notch animation is.

The Theme of Incredibles 2 Movie

As to the plot of Incredibles 2 movie, it starts off exactly where it had left off. Almost instantly taking you back to 2004. Violet’s subplot is basically handed to her by Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) who wipes out the memory of the boy she was into since he had seen her true identity.

If you wanna get out of the hole, first you gotta put down the shovel.

Violet’s struggle is in trying to win him over, struggling to do that, and then serving as a babysitter to her youngest sibling Jack-Jack. At the same time trying to help her parents.

Same goes with Dash too who is still a kid trying to understand the ways of the world, fighting his sister all the time and then babysitting Jack-Jack when the parents aren’t around.

Why would they change math? Math is math.

The world comes tumbling down for Bob Parr whose biggest struggle is to handle his kids while Elastigirl frees herself from all homely responsibility and storms off to take a job. The pay is good and a bit mysterious too. On the other hand, old-school Bob is forced to sit home to face what Elastigirl had faced in the prequel, in short, understanding or experiencing the pain of parenting.

In a world of feminism and equality, the plot automatically takes shape giving us a mouthful of laughter as Bob struggles with parenting.

Done properly, parenting is a heroic act.

What seems like a smooth life has countless challenges written all over it as Elastigirl despite her pompous comeback keeps feeling the weight of a villain on her shoulder. As the villain Screenslaver gradually builds itself in her rear glass, she becomes suspicious of everything that’s going on in her life until one day she becomes the victim. Bob runs into a trap himself and fails to help her out of the situation.

Ending up trapped, it is the children who have to rescue their parents, in the process, prove their worth. Will they be able to do that? Find out when you watch the movie yourself.

You can order the Incredibles 2 movie from here:

Some Issues

The only thing that might bother you in Incredibles 2 movie could be its ending which doesn’t blow you away. Probably because Brad doesn’t properly leverage all the powers of the superheroes this time, that they had only a human to tackle and just a tricky situation to handle.

Amongst other noticeable issues, one could say is the plot which is very similar to the one that we had seen in the prequel. It almost runs on similar rails.

Then the unnecessary exaggeration of a raccoon fight to showcase Jack-Jack’s power which felt pretty dispensable although it manages to bring a smile to your face. In its defense, I could say, kids actually loved that part.

The Final Verdict

Incredibles 2 movie is yet another brilliant installment that stood up to its standard. Brad Bird does a fantastic job again and you could say that he hasn’t lost his touch. His reprisal from 2015’s Tomorrowland feels like a major improvement.

His team of superheroes might be discordant at times but they happen to be literally a family. And there’s nothing like it in the whole world. Beat that!

A must watch for everybody especially for those who have waited all this time patiently for the sequel to come.

Mission Impossible Fallout Review (2018) | Ethan Hunt is on Another Wild Joyride

Christopher McQuarrie walks in with yet another installment of the MI series and he doesn’t fail to deliver. Mission Impossible Fallout is fully packed with action and a mind-racking mission that will have your heart in your mouth. To ice it all, the fact that Tom Cruise has done all his stunts himself deserves a standing ovation per se. The bloke is so invested in acting that even a broken foot doesn’t stop him from completing a scene. It is just thrilling to see him this phenomenal at the age of 56.

Mission Impossible Fallout doesn’t have any separate memorable side-missions like all the prequels used to carry except the immediate prequel. I guess we have to accept McQuarrie’s way of filming an MI movie. He doesn’t really cash in on a sub-plot rather focuses more on the actual one. For him, the idea of an impossible mission is to stay with the primal plot, and it makes sense too. He has literally changed the way we have been looking at an MI mission. For some, this very fact could be bothersome while for some, it doesn’t really matter.

The end you’ve always feared is coming. And the blood will be on your hands. The fallout of all your good intentions.

Mission Impossible Fallout has old school written all over it even though it is working along with all those latest gadgets IMF has. Everything boils down in the end to a cliched helicopter chase where the hero throws himself in the nick of time on a rope or someone in the team does something as intricate as cutting wires off bombs. But what makes it all different and why does Mission Impossible Fallout movie stand out?

The Direction of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie

McQuarrie believes in delivering a realistic experience to his audience. The fact that he doesn’t resort to that much visual effects in order to shoot an action sequence just goes on to prove how serious he is about filmmaking. If you get a complying actor who never fails to impress either, lo! the circle is completed. Judgment is delivered. You get a complete cinematic experience that focuses on what’s innate and not what’s fabricated. Tom is his golden goose, and the magic seems to be working every time.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Christopher McQuarrie satiates action lovers with all kinds of stunts in this new installment that capers around topics that makes all its stunts justified. It is a mind-boggling adventure of a tale that comes with its own twists and turns. Working for IMF and for so long (we are talking all the installments here) the team has become capable enough to outsmart people, and they do it plenty of times here, thus proving why experience gives them the upper edge.

There are close calls aplenty that will have you jumping on your seats. It also has an endearing love angle that places the two women Ethan loves and his boss in front of his mission and he juggles them all like a pro. There are split-second decisions to be made that Ethan makes unflinchingly. Plans going kaput that places him in dire situations and he always manages to come through.

McQuarrie leverages Tom in a way he has never before whilst depicting uncut original shots that will have you biting your nails off. Whilst Cruise cruises through it all dedicatedly and unfazed by what it might do to him. Such a level of commitment! It leaves you speechless.

The Plot of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie (Spoilers)

Set two years later after the events of Rogue Nation, the movie starts off with a dream Ethan Hunt has where he is concerned about his ex-wife Julia’s (Michelle Monaghan‘s) safety with the prequel’s villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) by his side as the world speeds up into oblivion. With Lane in custody, the remains of The Syndicate forms itself into a terrorist group called The Apostles. Ethan is assigned a mission (“should you choose to accept”) to intercept the sale of three Plutonium cores which are being handed over to their client John Lark.

There cannot be peace without first a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.

Cut to Berlin where he meets the rest of his team Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to carry out the mission. Ethan fails when he chooses to save Luther’s life over securing the plutonium cores which is stolen by the Apostles.

Nuclear weapon’s expert Nils Debruuk (Kristoffer Joner) is captured by the team then and is tricked into believing that the nuclear bombs indeed went off and that cities like Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca were destroyed in its wake. Duping him, they take the info about Apostle’s next move.

August Walker

Enter August Walker (Henry Cavill), a Special Activities Division operative who is instructed by CIA director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) to shadow Ethan for the rest of the mission after knowing about his debacle in Berlin.

You use a scalpel, I prefer a hammer.

The next job is to Halo jump into a party to intercept John Lark, impersonate him using all that face imitation technology we had seen in the prequels, and to retrieve the cores from White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). The mission goes kaput when August and Ethan end up in a fist fight with John Lark who is eventually shot by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).  That fight scene is one of the many good things about the movie.

Unable to make the mask in time, hoping that White Widow hasn’t met John Lark in person, Ethan takes the risk of meeting her anyway portraying as John Lark. A lot of agents from all across the globe wanted him dead and show up to attack John. Despite their attempt Ethan and White Widow escape. White Widow then breaks it to Ethan the price of obtaining Plutonium was to extract Lane from a convoy crossing Paris.

Testing Loyalties

Avoiding a mass massacre of the innocents, Ethan and his team extract Lane even though he is forced to go against White Widow’s team, Ilsa Faust, who is bent on killing Lane, and the police. Watch out for that chase scene! Simply dope! White Widow changes her term of core’s deliverance by wanting Ilsa too along with Lane.

Please don’t make me go through you.

Mission Impossible Fallout Ilsa and Ethan

Walks in IMF Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) pointing fingers at Ethan calling him the real John Lark. On being cornered after being asked to stop the mission, Ethan knocks him out to complete the mission.

How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?

Taking Lane’s face to continue the meeting with White Widow, Benji is tied against Lane. When Walker is left behind with Lane, he spills the beans in front of him revealing himself to be the real John Lark. The team along with Hunley (who was acting all this time) catches him red-handed and Erica is informed on the phone. She sends a shadow team to take them all in.

Turns out Walker is a step ahead as his apostles have already infiltrated the shadow team. A fight ensues and Hunley gets stabbed and Walker escapes. Ethan follows suit racing after him and narrowly cuts him only to fall back owing to a threat about his ex-wife.

The Bomb Trouble

With the help of a tracker, the team is able to track down Walker and Lane to Kashmir. Lane’s plan, with the help of the nuclear explosion, is to contaminate the water supply of India, Pakistan, and China to affect one-third of the world’s population. Benji explains how the remaining nuclear bombs are so intricately synchronized that if one gets defused the other one goes off and that bombs can only be defused when the countdown timer is running. If that ain’t an impossible mission, I don’t know what is.

The two bombs are deliberately placed at a radioactive location to mask their radioactive signature. As Benji and Ilsa try to figure out the bomb’s exact location, Ethan goes after Walker in a helicopter chase to retrieve the detonator.  To make matters worse Julia and her husband are also deliberately planted there by Walker. Lane hands over the detonator to Walker after activating the bombs and chooses to stay.

My running days are over. This is where it all ends.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Luther finds the first bomb and starts defusing it with the help of Julia. While Ilsa and Benji run into Lane trying to find the second weapon. A fight ensues as Benji is almost killed but is saved in the nick of time as Ilsa subdues Lane. Ethan rams his helicopter into Walker’s and kills him before retrieving the detonator as they all successfully defuse the bombs.

Eventually, we see the remaining two cores being retrieved too as Lane is handed over to MI6 by Sloane. Ilsa is exonerated as the rest of the team joins Ethan while he recuperates.

Ballsy Choices

Apart from being what it already is, Mission Impossible Fallout is much more. There are critical situations that take shape in front of Ethan’s eyes which question his judgment as a human being. Like the choice of saving a friend’s life on being cornered.

Then Ethan chooses to not go with White Widow’s plan of a mass massacre, instead creates a difficult mission to ensure plenty of lives are saved. Then there’s another one where he is forced to kill four bad guys to save the life of one policewoman. It just goes on to show how thoughtful and decisive Ethan is and that he is willing to work around the way in order to stay good. Saving lives and taking impossible risks is what Ethan is all about.

So the internet is ranting about this very particular scene where Henry’s beard grows and his shirt magically grows a pocket as he locks and loads his arms. While the scene looks insanely theatrical the world is too harsh on him I think.

These are obviously two shots that are merged together but the details aren’t given proper attention to. The second shot of the arm gun reload moment was shot later to make it look more appealing. Given how brilliantly the images have been merged you cannot say that the editor did a bad job there at all, except for the overlooking of minutiae. To be really honest, I don’t feel it’s that big of a deal.

The Missing Scenes

While for some there is no such thing as too much action for an action movie, McQuarrie believes it is better to leave a movie well crafted since a meal is supposed to be savoured when it has all the ingredients in the right amount. That being said a lot of frames that were shown in the trailers couldn’t make it to the final cut. It is sad because in the back of the head I kept waiting for some scenes.

That truck scene, in particular, where Ethan is about to ram into a truck before lights go out.

What’s done is done when we say it’s done.

With such a huge scene missing from the movie, Mission Impossible Fallout becomes one of those flicks that doesn’t promise what it sells. I guess we can only say, it is better to not watch the trailers or you end up creating your own little storyline for every scene in your head. And when you don’t see it in the final cut, it ends up being a huge bummer.

You can order Mission Impossible Fallout from here:

The Final Verdict

With all the things that are going inside its powerful plot, it goes without saying, Mission Impossible Fallout is an extraordinary flick. The fact that its action is as real as it gets, makes it a definite watch per se.

Fate whispers to the warrior. There’s a storm coming. And the warrior whispers back. I am the storm.

Tom Cruise does justice to Ethan once again, and it’s hard to imagine a world where Tom does not play Ethan. He literally is Mission Impossible! Just go and watch this one for the thrill of being in Ethan’s disaster saving shoes once again.

Sicario Day of the Soldado Review (2018) | The Franchise is Not Yet Lost

Sicario Day of the Soldado had standards hard to beat, and we are talking about Denis Villeneuve standards. So does it even graze it? Fortunately, yes. The series that kickstarted in 2015 with the first installment has not been lost yet thanks to Taylor Sheridan who has once again taken the story forward by writing an absolute beauty. Sadly this movie is less on the action front as was promoted via trailers, but if you have a good solid fortified story in the front seat, petty things like that hardly matter.

The politics in Sicario Day of the Soldado is high on dope and the capricious behavior of government is simply frustrating. You almost get an idea of how the government works, how it doesn’t flinch whilst taking bold decisions and then how it becomes terrified trying to see it all the way through. You fathom that even the people who actually get the job done, happen to be nothing but tiny specks who don’t matter to a comfy sprawled up system.

Unfortunately, it works the same in every enclave of life. You go anywhere, that’s how the world rolls today. You don’t have a say in anything if you are not at the top of the chain. All you can do is suggest your ideas, put forth things to keep the engine of life rolling, but even if somebody at the highest notch wishes to listen, you are tightly bound to a single order. One word and everything that you have so carefully built will fall like dominoes. Everything boils down to just one man’s command who will do anything to save his name.

Sicario Day of the Soldado leverages that quotient effectively and depicts men trapped under decisions. It shows how brave men crumble even when they are at the top of their game.

Direction and Plot of Sicario Day of the Soldado (Spoilers)

The direction of Sicario Day of the Soldado by Stefano Sollima turned out to be surprisingly good if not matching the levels of Denis. That brings to mind the glorious depiction of an ambush from the perspective of a little girl inside a van. Not for once do we see a theatrical glorification of the men shooting at the convoy. It is like living a tale from your very own perspective. There are no faces to evil. From the vantage of a girl every man with a gun is. It is one of the most powerful scenes from the movie.

Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Donovan and Benicio Del Toro in Sicario Day of the Soldado

Sollima is great with building up. He becomes successful in creating some real tension. When you see your hero trapped in a situation, you are constantly feeling that mind-numbing blow in your heart, scanning tiny moves by the enemy. You are constantly rooting for him to escape a tight situation. If a director is able to create that thrilling nail-biting moment without giving away what’s going to happen, he has managed to rivet you in a trance. That’s what happens here.

Stefano Sollima is also unafraid of depicting gore. Blood is not splattered all across the movie since a lot of areas are left to the viewer’s imagination. But when it is an absolute necessity there is no doubt aplenty.

The Story

This sequel explores US’s involvement once again on Mexico’s soil after a tragic bombing occurs in a mall in Kansas City. As a comeback bid, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is put on a mission to use extreme measures against those suspected to transport terrorists from Mexico. In comes Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) who is hired to start a war between cartels.

Matt Graver: You gonna help us start a war.
Alejandro: With who?
Matt Graver: With everyone.

Alejandro then slays a crooked lawyer of Matamoros cartel in a theatrical display of wrath. Later the team nabs Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), the daughter of a kingpin of their rivals to piss them off. They stage a rescue with the help of DEA, to plant the idea that she was kidnapped by her father’s enemies. Their mission is to escort her back to Mexico but to hand her over to her father’s rivals so as to inflame the strain.

The team gets ambushed by Mexican police as Isabel escapes amid havoc. That’s where Alejandro parts with Graver and decides to pursue Isabel alone. The US Government figures out that they messed up since two of the suicide bombers were actually US citizens and were not smuggled in as were preconceived. The mission to mess with the cartels is aborted at once and Graver is asked to erase everything that could link their involvement. Meaning even Isabel is to be executed.

I could throw a stick across the river and hit fifty grieving fathers.

Saying No

On being ordered to do so, Gillick refuses thereby turning rogue. Disguised as illegal immigrants Gillick and Isabel try to enter the US as Graver and his team tries to hunt them down in Mexico.

One of the best conversations happens when not a word is spoken. It is aced by a power pack performance by Bruno Bichir‘s character of a deaf person. Gillick and Isabel bump into him as the former uses sign language to speak to him. In a world of chaos where nobody trusts anyone, the poor old deaf man comes as a blessing.

Different worlds!

Benicio Del Toro at Bruno Bichir's house still

After being identified by a coyote named Miguel (Elijah Rodriguez), Gallo (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), who handles the business of illegal immigrants, nabs Gillick and Isabel. He then forces Miguel to shoot Gillick taking Isabel captive.

The Sicario Killer

Even though Miguel hesitates to shoot Gillick at first, he shoots him in the head as the gang moves on leaving the sicario to die. Frustrated at what he has become and what his gang sees him as – “A Sicario Killer” which was nothing but a feigned conceit for him (probably because he felt he just killed a tied man who had no choice and that there was no honor in what he did), he chooses to walk away from them.

Graver with his team, with the help of a tracker planted on Isabel, tracks her down and executes Gallo and his gang. Eventually, he decides to have mercy on the girl and rescues her to be put on Witness protection in the US, thus going against his orders.

Meanwhile, it turns out, Gillick is not after all dead, that the bullet had gone straight through his jaw. He lifts himself up walks up to a car and then drives for the border. You will have your heart in your mouth watching him gradually rise and fall. The reality engulfed in that scene is simply mind-boggling.

One year later we find him in good shape as he tracks down Miguel the boy who had shot him, asks him if he wants to be a sicario.

So you want to be a Sicario?

With that, the curtains drop. Seems like we have another part in the making. A brilliant way to leave the strands open.

You can order Sicario: Day of the Soldado from here:

What was Baffling?

Baffling was the conclusive bits I would say. Even though they were gorgeously aced, may be back in our minds we didn’t want it to get over so soon. Maybe a badass fight scene before all hell broke loose for Alejandro would have been more exciting. We knew what Alejandro could do, but he felt powerless when surrounded by Gallo’s gang. Failing to do any considerable damage and getting shot in the head felt like a plastic bag trapped in a hurricane.

To a person watching Sicario Day of the Soldado for the first time, without the knowledge of what went down in the first, explaining how badass Alejandro felt frustrating. Primarily because Stefano failed to leverage him more in here. Alejandro Gillick felt trampled and weak when put in a tight situation. I guess we could have used him more to depict his real power.

The eventuality of the flick Sicario Day of the Soldado has a statement from Alejandro who ends the movie by pressing the question of Miguel wanting to be a sicario. But there hasn’t been a single talk about him wishing to be one. He was a coyote, yes, and he did shoot him and got branded as a Sicario Killer. But that didn’t mean he wanted to be one. It was a matter of choice which from Miguel’s disapproval of his killing act felt like taken. Unfortunately, Gillick’s statement, in the end, felt like an assertion, as if Miguel didn’t have a choice yet again. That fact itches somewhere.

The Final Verdict

Goes without saying that Denis is hard to beat, or even match horns with. That was a standard impossible to match for any director who was going to step in for the sequel. Surprisingly Sollima’s work isn’t bad at all. You can witness a lot of seriousness captured inside his grim frames. You get riveted to the story at once knowing something huge is at stake.

The good thing is that we get to see Graver in action a lot. He spends a lot of onscreen time complementing the story properly with his involvement. At the end of it all, you can’t help but wonder if Sicario Day of the Soldado could have used a little more action. Or a tad more badassery from Alejandro’s character which was on the receiving end for a long time.

But to be honest, everything fell into place and felt justified in the end.

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