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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.

Ocean’s Eight Movie Review (2018) | Classy Sans Thrill

One word – Elegant! While this latest Ocean’s adventure might be high on girl power, you can’t ignore the fact how elegant it looks. The cinematographer of Ocean’s Eight movie Eigil Bryld does a tremendous job. Shots in the movie are simply stunning with cameras placed in all the right areas. Not just that, you pay attention to any aspect of the movie and you realize that everything is top grade. From the wardrobe to the execution of dialogues, everything artistically crisp.

The clothes, in particular, you see the characters wearing feel drenched in modish waters. Cate Blanchett as Lou is an eye candy in whatever she slips into. So is the protagonist Debbie Ocean played by Sandra Bullock who can’t stop her kleptomaniacal urges which basically runs in the family. That being the theme on which the plot tries to build itself right from scene one. We will come to that in a sec.

You watch this movie and the words that come out your mouth right away are – CLASSY and STYLISH! So the question is – Is that the movie all about? And most importantly is that enough to make a movie?

The Theme of Ocean’s Eight Movie (Spoilers)

Agreed there are things galore that stand out instantly but what about the plot? What does it constitute?

So basically the story of Ocean’s Eight movie is more inclined towards a heist that Debbie has been planning from behind the bars. The first thing she does is steal as soon as she lays her hands on freedom. Calling her old partner Lou, filling her in on the plan they start executing it. That’s when we get introduced to the rest of the team and an actress forming the eight thus justifying the titles from Steven Soderbergh‘s series.

ocean's eight movie gang five members

The story trundles on with the rest of the team Amita (Mindy Kaling), Tammy (Sarah Paulson), Nine Ball (Rihanna), Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) and Constance (Awkwafina). They are filled in on the plan to rob a $150 million dollar Cartier necklace from the Met Gala. The necklace is to be smartly planted on the neck of a snobbish actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) from where they wish to rob it.

If you are going to have a problem with stealing, then you are not going to like the rest of this conversation.

A Vengeful Subplot

There is a subplot that runs alongside Debbie’s plan. She wishes to get back at her ex Claude Becker (Richard Armitage) for backstabbing her, costing her freedom. Lou is not happy about it, that she might be putting everything in jeopardy but that’s like a minor inconvenience obliterated by Debbie’s confidence.

The real plan gets depicted in execution as the team literally rips the diamond apart and come wearing it into the Gala defiantly. Getting away with it eventually, even replacing the original with a fake. Debbie even plants one of its pieces in Claude’s jacket eventually framing him as the guy responsible for the heist.

James Corden is a pretty surprise in the end who plays an insurance investigator John Frazier who tries to figure out who the culprit is. Even though he knows that Debbie is responsible he doesn’t have anything on her. On being tipped off by her, he sinks his fangs into Claude.

Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling in Ocean's Eight Movie

As is customary, the Ocean’s Eight movie allows the addition of another member to continue the franchise by showing that Daphne is not a dim-witted person after all. That she was at all times conscious of what was being done to her in order to steal the necklace. She decides to not rat out on them and eventually asks for a cut.

You can order Oceans Eight movie from here:

Yet Another Subplot

Towards the end, Ocean’s Eight movie attains new levels of vexation when it tries to show that more heists were performed behind the screen. It’s almost like the producers weren’t too happy with just one heist or with the not-so-impressive storyline that they decided to put in extra weight to the story. It’s like layering it unnecessarily for substance. Even though that just feels completely superfluous that’s been done in order to sound smart. Somehow you end up being not convinced even though they aim for that icing.

The movie ends with the crew doing what they intended to do – spending their money lavishly on things that were important to them. With Debbie sipping a martini in front of her brother’s grave, it tries to say that the legend will continue in one form or the other even without the legend himself.

You would have loved it.

The Final Verdict

Ocean’s Eight aspires to walk on the footsteps of its prequels but fails miserably in terms of how smart they were supposed to portray its heists. Sandra does a great job slipping into the shoes of Danny’s sister wearing that same old sly comfort on her face at all times.

But it feels somehow a let down from what the franchise had fed us so far. Earlier there used to be competition, mind-racking moments that used to have our hearts in our mouths. Au contraire, Ocean’s Eight movie almost makes it all seem really easy. There isn’t that thrill of a heist going wrong but an assurance and conformity of a sure-shot success.

Ocean’s Eight movie tries to blend in some cool jests that keep you riveted into the story and make you want to admire the characters in the story. However, it lacks the aura and the humour that were so eloquently present in Soderbergh’s version, however, leverages on the heist bit. The only thing that is baffling to watch is that there are no close calls or oomph factor that used to be the defining entertainer in Soderbergh’s version vide last year’s Logan Lucky.

It has good music to keep things running, complements the style of theft. Classy in terms of style, elegant in picturization and amusing at times. You can say it is neat, tidy and smooth like a good wine. But then again only if you have an appetite for wines.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review (2018) | Running Out Of Stories?

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is an unserious take on dinosaurs, and more so interested in creating monsters and then lining up actors to play as baits. It has an impoverished storyline that will leave you unsatisfied with its dozens of plotholes having pointless motives that branch out ending up being daft. This part, in particular, is interested more in its horror bit than in telling a proper story. With that, it’s clear that we are not going to get a dinosaur movie we deserve. Unless, someone decides to reboot it completely, and paint it from scratch of course.

I don’t know what has happened to this franchise. Since when did dinosaurs become uninteresting? Nowadays dino movies have been reduced to mere cheap thrills. What about the magnificent vision, that mojo Steven Spielberg had so magnificently hit home when he had depicted a dinosaur on the big screen for the first time? Where did that gasp of being dumbstruck go? Where did that element of intrigue about a particular species disappear? Did we all, I don’t know, evolve? Is it really evolution when we are steering towards dumb?

The vision Michael Crichton held for the badass reptiles is gradually becoming extinct and you know it. People aren’t serious about it anymore. Hey! we are talking about our reptilian ancestors here. Don’t they deserve a calmer, dramatic and much powerful direction and storytelling? I think they do. Sadly Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is missing out on everything.

The Theme of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (Spoilers)

In terms of storytelling, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is everything that The Lost World was. So are we once again revisiting the age-old tale? Really? Are we out of stories to tell?

jurassic world fallen kingdom volcano wallpaper

There is that recreation of that trio from the second part. The same plot where all the dinosaurs are locked up and then the trio sets them free. The dinosaurs make it to the city which was basically what The Lost World’s ending pressed on. Except we are simply carrying Blue – the velociraptor, as the protagonist of the story here keeping the badass T-Rex as the big daddy in the backdrop.

Then there are many events taken directly from Jurassic Park. Like the scene of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) ending up paralyzed and then running alongside the herd of dinosaurs running from a herd here (calamity). Feels familiar Grant? The unoriginality of this movie compels you to shake your head.

Screenplay

Absurd as it might have appeared when we saw the trailers of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom with dinosaurs being put in the backdrop of volcanoes, it was clear the movie wasn’t really serious about narrating a grim storyline. That we were not going to get a movie that deserved a standing ovation.

The character Ian Malcolm played by Jeff Goldblum is a sidelined orator which was clearly in the movie just to draw eyes.

“Life finds a way.”

The screenplay for most of its part simply catapults what we had been listening over the years. Sometimes it tries to be funny, sometimes it is just pointless.

To get such a colossal platform to perform on, I think the writers should feel privileged and write something out of the ordinary. But with the flick’s writing, I felt they were more concerned about keeping things trendy.  So there is nothing profound lurking in any of it. Somehow I feel the prequel had much better writing in dialogues revolving around Masrani. It had a solid build up at least all of which is simply missing in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.

Action and Drama

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is all about fast-paced action. It does not stop to even breathe for a while. Things keep on happening one after the other. Volcanoes explode, dangerous dinosaurs show up within seconds, there is one bump after another and you just sit there watching people make close escapes. So for the most part of the flick, you are thinking:

“Phew! That was close!”

Baryonyx Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

But if you put on your thinking brain, it baffles you. Like what are the odds of a certain catastrophic event happening any second? The number of times things go awry feels just impossible.

Then you talk about its drama and it feels like a deliberate and fabricated attempt to create pang. There is no emotional touchup given to the characters of Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady. They are once again distant even though they are always running together.

The only good part in melodrama lies at the moment where we see a Brachiosaurus succumbing to a gradual death. It’s poignant and almost tries to paint a picture of what the dinosaurs might have encountered when struck by an asteroid. Its merciful crooning on being left behind will bring tears to your eyes. That bit is powerful!

The Antagonist

The latter part of the movie introduces its antagonist in the form of a hybrid creation of a hybrid we saw in the prequel – Indoraptor. With the creation of this new breed, you can’t help but wonder someone will come up with a hybrid of a hybrid of a hybrid, in the next part. Such lazy writing!

indoraptor in jurassic world fallen kingdom

The abomination is dangerous to look at as it combines features of both the Indominus Rex and a Raptor. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom focuses more on how this newly created monster is smart as hell like a raptor and deadly at the same time when it comes to attacking someone.

The movie steps into the horror genre to give kids nightmares about a monster who they have always dreamt about. Yes, it moves slowly to terrify its preys before attacking it. Like really? Does it have a sense of horror? Do they let them watch TV in their cells? Why it’s not nimble when it comes to killing its prey?

What makes matter worse is the presence of a dinosaur trophy hunter named Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine). His decisions will make you go,

Why would anyone do that? How can one be so profoundly stupid?

There’s no real connection as to why he is shown in a badass light first and then taken away just like that. That’s another example of poor writing.

The Good Bits

It goes without saying a lot of work goes into making a dinosaur movie. That the dinosaurs are created from scratch and brimmed alive using VFX in such a beautiful manner that they appear akin to reality. There’s an insane amount of work that goes into it and every drop of sweat should be appreciated.

The movie presents a lot of unseen dinosaurs in a light we had failed to notice:

  • Stygimoloch “Stiggy” presents its headbutt power bringing a heroic angle to a dinosaur we had never heard about. Remember it’s different from a pachycephalosaur that we had seen in The Lost World.
  • Similarly, we see a Baryonyx here trying to sneak up on Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) and Claire
  • A Carnotaurus tries to attack the volcanic eruption escaping peeps, which is then later killed by a T-Rex. Rest of the dinosaurs have been reprised from the prequels and they all look pretty fantastic too.

There are some shots that are really good. Like that one shot of the silhouette of Mosasaurus that instills fear right away. Of a T-Rex in the shadows in the beginning, and the one that rams in the end from nowhere. The victorious Blue who is the only real hero this franchise has.

The Decisive End

Everything boils down to one decision in the end to whether or not give dinosaurs a chance to survive in our world. It would be the survival of the fittest and there’s no contradicting Darwin here.

One of the characters Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) is created out of scratch from Lockwood’s deceased daughter’s DNA just to press the button in order to justify the ending.

The movie leaves it at that leaving us speculating as to what is to come when dinosaurs and humans are compelled to co-exist. With that plenty of suspense has been left out before the curtain drops.

You can order Jurassic World Forbidden Kingdom here:

The Final Verdict

Acclaimed director J. A. Bayona has great movies like A Monster Calls and The Impossible under his belt. I don’t know what went wrong with him when trying to depict both monsters and a natural calamity. He somehow managed to screw both up.

Now that I think of it, it all used to be so good growing up. Now that we are all grown up we have become over-perceptive about things maybe. That could have made all the difference, I surmise. Or maybe these millennial movies genuinely suck. But we will never be tired of dinosaurs, will we be?

I hope the third installment rectifies all the mistakes, ropes in a more serious director to continue this badly presented tale.

Solo A Star Wars Story Review (2018) | An Entertaining But Unnecessary Spin-off

Totally unnecessary! We all knew what was going through our minds when we first heard the news about Solo A Star Wars Story. You cannot put a face to a legend while he is still alive and breathing. Hell, we are not over it yet! In comes the spinoff, totally uncalled for, and completely unnecessary that tries to cast a young actor, nay, more importantly, a look-alike, to carry on the legacy for years to come. Don’t really see the point? Do you?

Anyways as a Star Wars aficionado, more Star Wars stuff the better, right? So we went along with it when Ron Howard announced that he was making a spinoff of the legendary Han Solo to tell, nay fabricate, his part of the story before he ever made it to the first part like what was he doing all this time? What all adventures he embarked on? How did he meet Chewie? Why is his name Solo?

All these prying questions about interesting people’s lives often intrigue us, but it is better to leave that part to mere imagination. When you put a story in someone’s past, there is a 50% chance that it might not justify a person’s awesomeness. But then there is that 50% chance that might make you revere him/her even more.

Luckily Solo A Star Wars Story edges itself precariously in between. It is at times good, at times fun and at times outright stupid. But is it good for the popularity for the character? Yes! Because that’s when people compare versions. That’s how Gods are made.

Plot of Solo A Star Wars Story (Spoilers)

Lovers Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) are trying to escape a local gang from Corellia by bribing an Imperial officer using a coaxium sample when Qi’ra is left behind. With a promise to get back to her and a dream to become the best pilot in the galaxy, Han joins Imperial navy as a flight cadet. Expelled 3 years later, he joins the infantry on Mimban.

I am gonna be a pilot. Best in the galaxy.

Alden Ehrenreich in Solo A Star Wars Story

There he comes across Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his team and sees through their cover. He tries to blackmail them but is outsmarted and thrown into a pit to be fed to a Wookie.

Let me give you some advice. Assume everyone will betray you. And you will never be disappointed.

Chewbacca

That’s where he meets Chewbacca. With his ability to speak the Wookie language, he befriends Chewie and escapes the pit. Coming on to the good side of Beckett, he and Chewie join them in their mission to retrieve coaxium shipment from Vandor – I.

The mission begins to go awry as Cloud Riders show up headed by Enfys Nest. Two of the crewmates die and all of the coaxium gets destroyed. To make amends with Beckett who reveals that the shipment was actually meant for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) the crime boss of a Crimson Dawn syndicate, Solo accompanies Beckett volunteering to help him steal another coaxium shipment. On reaching Vos’ yacht he comes across Qi’ra and finds out that she has joined hands with Vos and is one of their top lieutenants.

Qi’Ra: What should we drink to?

Han Solo: Let’s drink two and see where it goes.

Tobias Beckett in Solo A Star Wars Story

Presenting a risky plan to steal coaxium before it is processed from the mines of Kessel, Solo manages to wheedle Vos. Vos agrees asking Qi’ra to join them on their mission. (Like really? What kind of a boss knowingly leaves his prized possession with an old lover?)

You think everything sounds like a bad idea.

Lando Calrissian

Qi’ra brings the team to Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) with hopes to retrieve his ship. Solo defies him for a game of sabbac with the wager being on each other’s ship (with Solo bluffing to be having one). Lando cheats to win however agrees to help them for profits. Entry! *drum rolls* Millenium Falcon!

Just did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs!

The newly formed team reaches Kessel riding the Falcon. Lando’s droid L3-37 sparks a droid revolt and under that diversion Solo manages to steal the unrefined coaxium. However, L3 fails to make it. Using her navigational computer to map an escape route, Han pilots the Millenium Falcon for the first time piloting it like a pro to escape Imperial assault. Then they land on Savareen to process the coaxium.

That’s when Enfys shows up once again.

You happen to notice that freighter down there? You know what’s on it? About 30 hired guns. All I gotta do is give ’em the signal, you are surrounded.

Lando flies away with his Falcon.

The Final Showdown

Enfys (Erin Kellyman) reveals that she and her crew were all rebels trying to fight the Syndicate and the Empire. Sympathetic to their cause, Solo decides to help them by tricking Vos, but ends up getting double-crossed by Beckett. Vos sends his men to capture Cloud Riders but the latter overpowers them. Outsmarting Vos, Solo tries to take the coaxium but Beckett takes it instead. He takes Chewie as hostage too.

Qi’ra kills Vos sending Han after Beckett. When she is alone she speaks to none other than Darth Maul about what happened claiming Beckett to be responsible. She demands Vos’s position and is directed to return to Maul.

Solo catches up to Beckett and shoots him. Then he and Chewie deliver the coaxium to Enfys. On being asked to join the rebellion Han declines, although is offered a coaxium vial to buy him his own ship. They go straight to Lando where Han steals the card Lando used to cheat with, and wins the Falcon off his hand. Before the curtain falls, they are on their way to Tatooine where a big shot gangster (wink at Jabba the Hut) is hiring for a job.

You can order Solo: A Star Wars Story with bonus content from here:

The Missing Chemistry

The most frustrating thing in Solo A Star Wars Story is the chemistry between Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke which is entirely missing. Primarily because Alden is too busy nailing his expressions to match them with Harrison Ford‘s. You can’t see him getting serious about his acting. He is just too busy putting on a mask. The intensity in his acts is missing by light years.

Solo Qi'ra A Star Wars Story

Even the music doesn’t do its job. It is like two robots interacting even though they see each other in forever. Dramatic bits are simply absent.

Then there is a point where it all becomes really insipid. The discussion between L3 and Qi’ra about men. You almost feel like shouting out loud, “Oh! C’mon!” That just ends up making the writing all the more shoddy.  Love ends up becoming almost instantly something repulsive.

The naming ceremony of Han as Solo doesn’t feel well written.

Moments to Cherish

For a guy watching a movie first time in 4DX, the experience of watching Solo A Star Wars Story was simply outstanding. All the props the theatre carried only supplemented in the storytelling. There were plenty of moments in the movie that literally defined the word “joyride”. The best part was when Han Solo piloted Millenium Falcon. That’s when its real import was felt. It was as if I was flying it since the seats moved based on the action onscreen.

That being said, there is action galore. Only a few moments where Solo A Star Wars Story movie stands silent. All the other parts are engaging and entertaining. The meeting of Chewie and Solo was well written, and of Solo and Millenium Falcon felt like destiny aligning itself to assist the inevitable.

Solo A Star Wars Story also scores well in the Visual Effects and Cinematography department. It is visually very attractive. Scenes chosen at Savareen look extremely brilliant. Then you can’t undermine the roles played by Woody Harrelson and Paul Bettany. They are intensely powerful and well executed.

The Final Verdict

Overall the movie is very entertaining if you are not bothered by facts like the chemistry or the acting for that to matter. It does not justify the character that we grew up revering. But it does help in weaving a backstory and in days to come one might remember it as such.

At the end of it all, you cannot help but wonder why it was created in the first place. Was the spin-off really required? If so, there are plenty of characters in Star Wars that could thread out into their own universe. Are we then supposed to simply keep creating new non-existing timelines for each one of them? Or let things be for a while and focus on the actual story and strand it out instead. That’s a million dollar question.

Check out our other movie reviews from 2018.

Deadpool 2 Movie Review (2018) | Belittles Cable, Humorous Nevertheless

Everything you expect it to be! Deadpool 2 movie is high voltage humour, witty comebacks with excruciating gore. The only problem being, in achieving its Marvel-ous targets, it ends up condescending one of the most badass Marvel characters that was ever created by comics – Cable.

You put anything serious against Deadpool and he lances it with his humor sword. That’s how it is! The reason why the Deadpool 2 movie feels unjust to the character even though Josh Brolin does Cable apt justice with his looks. All that seriousness that he had implanted in our heads with a ravishing performance as Thanos in Infinity Wars, unfortunately, ends up getting belittled here. It is disparaging to a hero we were looking forward to watching.

There’s trouble brewing in its editing department too which speeds up the movie unnecessarily prancing towards an act. Then there is that impoverished CGI of Juggernaut which makes you question why didn’t we go with an actual human being like we did in X2? Or at least upped it a bit so it looked more badass like Thanos or even Hulk for that to matter.

If you are fine with such apparent issues and wish to watch DP make fun of everybody, you will not be let down. He will make sure you have a blast. Humour is simply outrageous!

Deadpool and cable in Deadpool 2 movie

Plot of Deadpool 2 Movie (Spoilers)

To form its plot we find Deadpool failing to kill a mercenary who ends up shooting his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). The whole world loses its meaning for him as he is rendered without a purpose. DP wishes to not live in it. But unfortunately, he can’t die! He tries it several times but it’s like a curse that compels him to keep on surviving without her.

After being blown up to pieces, he visits Vanessa in the afterlife for a short time before he is brought back to life. He is rejoined by Colossus as he wakes up in the X-mansion. The only thing he has with him from her is a Skee-Ball token to remember her by.

Listen to the pain. It’s both history teacher and fortune teller. Pain teaches us who we are, Wade. Sometimes it’s so bad we feel like we are dying, but we can’t really live until we die a little, can we?

Considering it as a part of his healing, he joins the X-men only to be summoned on his first mission that he ends up messing up. Meet Firefist a.k.a. Russell Collins (Julian Dennison) who is yet another mutant kid being tortured by science experiments. This time the torturer is a Headmaster (Eddie Marsan) of Mutant Reeducation Center. On realizing that the Headmaster has been abusing lil Rusty boy, Deadpool shoots one of their staff members.

deadpool 2 movie firefist

Owing to his actions both Deadpool and Rusty are immediately apprehended and taken to a prison after being put on a collar that suppresses mutant powers.

With this collar on, my superpower is just unbridled cancer. Give me a bow and arrow and I am basically Hawkeye.

Cable

Incoming Cable! A cybernetic soldier from future travels back in time to kill Rusty up young before he ever becomes a killer, for an older version of Rusty had killed Cable’s family in the future. Wade Wilson tries to save Rusty intervening and manages to. Rusty overhears Deadpool’s claim that he doesn’t care for him as Cable takes Vanessa’s token.

You are so dark. Are you sure you are not from the DC universe?

Afterlife revisited, Wade comes across Vanessa who asks him to save Collins. All those conversations are more like Wade talking with his own subconsciousness, doing the right thing, finding himself a purpose and the will to go on.

In a world where teaming up is a primal necessity, Deadpool decides to form his own team.

You know what we need to do? We need to build a fucking team. We need ’em tough, morally flexible, and young enough so they can carry this franchise 10-12 years.

Thus X-Force is created with a team of unusual superheroes. The big joke lies in the fact that nobody makes it except Domino.

 Zip it, Thanos!

As DP and Domino try to save the kid from Cable’s wrath, little did they know that Rusty had already teamed up with *drum rolls* the Juggernaut. He literally splits Deadpool in half as Rusty takes him with him to get revenge on the Headmaster.

Yet Another Team

Growing his legs and chilling at his house, Deadpool is visited by Cable who explains his situation to him, that he wishes to kill Rusty before his first murder. DP volunteers for a chance to be able to stop him from going to the dark side before murdering a poor confused child.

Cable: I use a device to slide through time. The longer I travel, the harder it is to control. I got two charges: One to get me here, one to get me home.

Deadpool: Well, that’s just lazy writing!

Back at the orphanage the team goes to war with the Juggernaut, as Rusty closes in on the Headmaster. Before Cable is about to kill Rusty, Deadpool takes the shot instead, wearing the collar that takes all his mutant powers away. He meets Vanessa in the afterlife yet again but the reunion is short-lived as Cable goes back in time to plant Vanessa’s token on the exact spot where the bullet had hit him.

Only best buddies execute pedophiles together.

Thus Wade survives, Rusty has a change of heart but the Headmaster dies as Dopinder (Karan Soni), Wade’s taxi driver friend, rams his taxi into him.

Firefist: How do you know what I want?

Deadpool: Because I have been inside you. That came out wrong. I have been inside your shoes, which is also off-putting.

There is literally no reason and zero bro-chemistry for Cable to choose Deadpool over his family. That’s one big plot hole that you can’t get over. David Leitch has still a lot to learn about drama.

No End Credit Scene

The flick doesn’t have an end credit scene so sitting all the way to the end didn’t prove fruitful. Although there’s a mid-credit sequence wherein Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio help Deadpool repair Cable’s time slider which he then uses to save Vanessa and Peter (Rob Delaney), kill X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds while he was considering becoming the Green Lantern.

deadpool 2 negasonic warhead and Yukio

Things to watch out for in Deadpool 2 movie, I would say is the character of Domino. She has the superpower of being lucky. How cool is that! Domino proves exactly why she is so awesome as she narrowly escapes life-threatening situations without having to lift a finger. The way situations align themselves as per her pleasing will draw out a smile of you.

Luck isn’t a superpower. And it isn’t cinematic!

You can order Deadpool 2 Movie from here:

The Final Verdict

Deadpool 2 movie is no doubt great when its sole aim is to entertain you. It scores very high points in that department, yes. But if you try to focus on what all story it wishes to tell you, you realize it becomes quite bland in right about everything. You wished Cable to be badass but he ends up becoming not that great. You wanted Juggernaut to be memorable, you can’t see past that awful CGI. Hell! DP is so unserious that it even changes its entire plot in its credits, almost as if the movie didn’t happen.

Another thing that might be outrageous for you would be its editing. Runs too fast and through the merc’s mouth at all times. So you are never serious enough to concentrate on the plot. It’s like things keep happening, you just have to pay attention to all the non-comic bits to understand what’s really going on.

Can you see it? Do you see that beautiful bright light? There it is.

*dramatic pause*

Oh, that’s the sun. Don’t stare directly into that.

Overlook all of that, Deadpool 2 movie still has plenty of stunts to leave you mesmerized, gore aplenty that will make you cringe and humour that will tickle you till you fall off your chair. A must watch nevertheless!

Rampage Movie Review (2018) | Silly Monster Entertainer

Totally surprised by Rampage movie! Now I don’t generally walk in with high hopes for a video game movie. They have a really bad track record except for Tomb Raider which I thought was pretty good when you hang them up to dry. What was making matters already worse for Rampage was its trailer, which had already shown all the daft stuff that we were to see and expect from the flick. Turns out the movie is actually entertaining.

Brad Peyton has a history of making pointless movies. So a movie wherein genetically engineered giants are overtaking a city seemed not only far-fetched but utterly imaginative. But that was a game after all. Even though the fancy feels undoubtedly juvenile, the good thing is that the movie adaptation of the Rampage game leverages it to the maximum.

Hits and Misses

Rampage movie becomes laughable at times, the CGI in particular, where you can literally differentiate the background from the forefront. There are plenty of instances lurking in the latter half of the movie that insinuate the obvious.

But luckily that isn’t the case for the most part of it. There are areas where it scores high owing to its CGI alone. All of it fills the movie with content giving it a proper weight in terms of substance.

Rampage movie houses plenty of action primarily in areas where the trinities wreak havoc. All of it is bound to take you back to your childhood days. If you are not meticulously bothered about minutiae that makes up a movie, you wouldn’t realize its numerous flaws. Just do not think much and you are going to end up having a good time.

Plot and Theme of Rampage Movie  (Spoilers)

Peyton walks in with an impossible plot and yet he turns it into something tangible. Few minutes in the movie, and you are thinking – I will bite it. Because things are made pretty believable. From a zero-gravity shot in the beginning to the part where the three, nay two animals, are shown encountering humans for the first time are just ravishingly built.

Gene manipulation canisters fall on earth at three different locations, as a result of an experiment gone wrong. They are either consumed or encountered by three different animals – a wolf, a crocodile and a gorilla. Out of these animals, the gorilla is friendly. Name’s George who is under the care of Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a primatologist in a wildlife preserve.

With rapid genetic changes, these animals begin to grow showing immense strength. Davis is approached by Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) who explains him the concept behind genetic editing.

Rampage movie still of George

The Summon

To make matters worse we have brother-sister duo antagonists who use a transmitter in the center of Chicago to lure the animals in order to cover up their screw-up by distorting all evidence and pointing them towards Kate. So the trio, the monsters, rampage towards the center of the city destroying everything in their wild run as the US Army tries to stop them.

But they are unstoppable. They destroy the transmitter as Davis becomes successful in bringing George to the good side of the wall.

Then George and Davis become tight again, and they attack the Wolf (Ralph) and the Crocodile (Lizzie). Even though the Wolf and the Crocodile are already fighting. But the Croc makes the job easy (Watch out for that badass bit where the croc literally rips the wolf apart!)

George and Davis together manage to slay the reptilian as George ends up going down. Surprise! Eventually, we find him intact as well as he plays pretend dead to mock Davis.

Other Characters

In Rampage movie, we find Jeffrey Dean Morgan picked off and dusted straight from the sets of The Walking Dead. His cowboy Harvey Russell has a lot of matching characteristics, it’s like you are still somehow watching Negan.

Sadly his role, which could have been much more, ends up becoming restricted. He is nothing but a smug guy calling covert shots. What is painful to watch is him surviving a plane crash only to support Davis by providing him choppers and stuff. Really weird writing!

Then there is P.J. Byrne as Nelson, who is initially present, you know, as a sidekick who keeps cracking jokes to alleviate the horror. But unfortunately, his existence is short lived. For the character’s living only in the beginning part of the movie, and then disappears completely never showing in any front later on.

Joe Manganiello‘s presence felt good. But he is more like a cameo in the movie who is put down even before he breathes. He is just there to make the wolf appear all the more powerful.

He plays Burke who is a hired gun for the antagonists.

Even though the wolf’s hunt has been brilliantly captured, you can’t help but wonder why a strong character like that wasn’t milked enough. Was it just to give Rocky all the limelight? I wonder.

Rocky still has a lot of work to do in the dramatic department. You can barely tell if he is sad. There was a scene where he was supposed to feel bad about George’s possible demise, and yet tears fail to come out. That man’s literally a rock!

You can order Rampage movie from here:

The Final Verdict

All in all the movie ends up becoming entertaining, thanks to all the monsters. Story? Not that much, and Rocky’s just smacked in the middle of everything. Playing a hero that’s just trying to save his pet.

The screenplay seems as if no amount of thought has been put in it.

I look like shit? You look like big shit.

If that’s not poor writing!

You can leave your brains home for this one. Entertains nevertheless!

A Quiet Place Review (2018) | A Gripping Sci-Fi Thriller

Even before A Quiet Place was about to hit the theatres, I was blown away by the concept I saw in its trailers. Don’t make a sound! How apt is that for horror? I knew it was going to be promising then and there.

Fortunately, A Quiet Place movie doesn’t disappoint. It leverages that hush quotient to the maximum. It constructs itself in a way that uses all the possible rogue elements in real life that could overthrow a solid working plan – of keeping quiet. We are gradually prepared for the inevitability with a plot that has dangerous written all over it. It is like walking on the edge of a knife. You know that it’s not going to work, but the plot literally walks you through it.

Plot and Theme of A Quiet Place (Spoilers)

John Krasinski‘s genius lies in a world where staying mum is the word. There are blind aliens lurking in the city that rampage and decimate everything that makes a sound. So what are the things that make a sound? Oh! Wait, right about everything. To thrive in a world where even the teensiest noise is going to set them off, how do you think you are going to survive?

It has been carefully built, of course without the usual screenplay, with the music reworking itself to produce patient notes that become both engaging and thrilling alongside its nerve-racking storyline. It forces you to often go silent yourself, as you become the characters portrayed. That’s the impact A Quiet Place has on you. You can’t appreciate John Krasinski, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck enough to come up with a plot so wild and engaging that it rivets an entire hall of moviegoers at once and shuts them to silence.

The Tragedy

What appears like a prologue basically bases itself as the nub of the story. A family of five scrounging off an emptied world, taking what they need and sticking together as a team.

Lee: Too noisy.

Meet the Abbotts family in A Quiet Place

The little one Beau Abbott played by Cade Woodward who fails to understand how dire the situation was, makes a mistake and ends up paying the price. It is a scene that rips the family apart just as aliens do to the poor boy.

One of flick’s strength is, hands down, the hearing aids of Regan Abbott (Millicent Simmonds). It is as if the whole story revolves around it. It ends up becoming the reason of Beau’s death for which Lee (John Krasinski) begins to secretly blame Regan. It kills Regan to know that her Dad hates him because of something she doesn’t have control over. She feels guilty too but the past can’t be changed.

Same goes for Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) who plays wife to Lee. We see her often visiting Beau’s room and crying. It crushes her too knowing that her hands were empty, that she could have lifted Beau to avert the tragedy.

Evelyn’s Struggle

We fast forward to a year later where people are still secretly lamenting for Beau. Lee is trying to make contact with the outer world to check if there are others like them scavenging silently, still breathing. Evelyn is pregnant with another child (like really? I thought they were careful right about everything). Whilst Regan goes to visit Beau’s grave after having a heated ASL argument with her father.

Lee takes Marcus (Noah Jupe) to a river to teach him how to fish.

Marcus: Do you still love her?
Lee: Of course I do.
Marcus: You should tell her.

He shows him that innate louder sounds are always going to mask their normal talks and movements. It is an exercise that reassures you that there is a way to stay safe despite the current state of the world. Like how in a zombie-ridden world people would wrap themselves up with zombie insides to smell exactly like them. Workaround? Okay, that seems like a preparation for a sequel already.

Back at home, Evelyn goes into labour as she steps on a nail breaking a glass frame alerting nearby aliens. As an attempt to warn others she makes the exterior lights red signaling danger. What follows is a nerve-rending affair of her trying to beat the pain by staying quiet as aliens explore the interiors of her house.

It has all those mind-numbing elements impregnated that will force you to literally jump out of your seats. It’s like you are feeling her pain as the creature’s onslaught feels imminent. But you can only imagine it.

The Grain Silo

On returning and on finding the lights red, Lee asks Marcus to create a diversion with a rocket as he enters his house only to find Evelyn with the baby in the bathroom. With babies crying is inevitable, and so they nearly escape another close call as they further into the basement. Making a promise to look after their children Lee leaves.

Who are we if we can’t protect them? We have to protect them.

Meanwhile, Regan and Marcus unite and head to a grain silo to alert their father using a signal. Regan is defiant saying that her father doesn’t love her. Marcus tries to explain it isn’t true. In the midst of a confusion, he falls inside. He is about to become a victim of grain entrapment when Regan jumps in and helps him out using the fallen hatch door.

Grain Silo scene in A Quiet Place

Marcus: He’ll come for us.
Regan: He’ll come for you.

Back at home, Evelyn wakes up to find that the basement is flooded and an alien is close by listening for sounds. Feel your heart in your mouth again! That alien heads towards the noise in the silos leaving the mother and the baby alone.

It is when the alien attacks the kids in the silo that we figure out their true weakness. Regan’s ear implants generate a high pitch frequency that drives the alien nuts as it runs away.

The Final Countdown

Lee reunites with the kids but the alien returns. Helping their kids to escape through a pickup truck, Lee sacrifices himself by yelling, drawing the creature towards him. He manages to say that he loves them both as Regan feels sorry for not understanding her father.

I love you. I’ve always loved you.

The children escape to meet their mother and the newly born at the farmhouse as the truck rolls downhill.

It is there that Regan witnesses all the implants her father had been making for her in a room she wasn’t allowed to enter. It is a melting feeling knowing that it’s too late now. That her father really cared about her and his deeds only spoke of love.

The creature follows them into the basement. Figuring out the power of the frequency of her implants, she places it in front of a microphone disorienting the alien altogether. It reveals the flesh underneath the armor as Evelyn shotguns it. Bam!

With one down, two more aliens are shown in the security monitors headed their way. With the newly acquired knowledge of how to kill aliens, Evelyn cocks her gun and prepares herself for an imminent war.

Evelyn and Regan in The Quiet Place movie

Now the hunted becomes the hunters. Curtain drops.

With her final expressions, you read defiance. When you are afraid of something, it overpowers you, and your fear makes you weaker. But the moment you decide to fight, the moment you find the weakness of your enemy and you take a shot, you overcome your fear. You force your enemy to take a step back. You can apply that everywhere in all the crises of life.

Memorabilia from A Quiet Place

The grain silo scene in the movie is the most memorable one. You cannot imagine how beautifully it has been pictured – two kids trapped in a silo. Almost feels like a painting as they hold on to each other, trying to be strong for something they don’t have a fighting chance against.

Then there is captivity in scenes where we play Regan. How she perceives her surroundings when her implants are not working. It is dead silence, right there. To be in her skin and listen to nothing, even though a world is ripping apart right behind her is a challenging watch. Not to mention how brilliantly it has been edited and alluringly pulled off.

I particularly loved all the surprises that were clamped together and the fact that the audience was filled with their knowledge. Like the existence of a ruthless nail, the broken pipe, and the alien lurking in the water. All of it has been perfectly stowed with horror.

You can order A Quiet Place Movie from here:

Weaknesses and Bugging Questions

A Quiet Place’s first big weakness I would say is in the leveraging of the first death. We hardly know Beau, and killing a character so early becomes very unrelatable. You don’t feel the pain but only get the horror of what might have happened when Beau was attacked. What fails to make you grieve over him, and make the pain less relatable is the fact that he was killed off in the very beginning without giving him a proper coverage.

A Quiet Place also makes you think about Lee’s decision to save his kids. But it is a good thing that it makes you think. Was there any other way to save his children? Could he have done something differently, at least died trying?

Another ringing question that might bug you is the alien’s perimeter of a rampage. How much does it cover when it hears a sound? While we see it awfully close to characters in the movie, it is still looking for a sound. So what if a man shouted at a place and ran swiftly to another. Will he still have a shot? What about an unmoving man? If you just stood still like Drax in Avengers Infinity War, what would it do to you then, huh?

Then again you are compelled to wonder that nature makes a lot of sound on its own. How are they registered by those aliens? Do they prance off in their killing mode at everything that makes a sound? Also, what’s their range? How far can they listen to? What about the birds? Were each one of them hunted down and killed? If so, can the aliens fly too?

I really hope we get some answers.

The Final Verdict

To be honest, the A Quiet Place’s true strength lies in its desperate moments, those unseen junctures where countless surprises are lurking. It is better you watch it for yourself to experience some genuine horror, the one that doesn’t have any supernatural elements attached. But something very innate that elicits pious fear from your insides.

A must watch for everyone. You know, something similar might happen to us one day. We better be prepared. Be packing!

October Movie Review (2018) | Falling for the Fallen

October movie is a perfect paragon that reveals how every movie is a director’s easel and that its actors only constitute a part of his/her storytelling. While Varun Dhawan has been known to make brainless movies in the past, I don’t know if it simply implies the kind of image he wishes to be associated with, but doing a Shoojit Sircar flick turns out to be a fair makeover.

It’s a pleasant change even though the role Shoojit had in mind for him was apt for a guy like Varun. It requires him to be innocent and naive which he already is. The fact that he aces it all is a wonder given his past record.

Shoojit paints him crude as Varun ends up becoming quite natural at his expressions. They seem very involved and oblivious to what’s going on. It’s good to see him in a super-realistic avatar that quite frankly suits him the most.

The Theme of October Movie

October movie is poignant. That being said, I would say it is not for everyone. If you are expecting a budding romantic love story to entertain you, then this movie is not for you. Do not go if you consider yourself a part of that audience.

The flick cashes in on crushing selfless love that depicts a one-sided love story mocking somewhere at its pointlessness, the very futility of adhering yourself to a regime, to a lost cause. What is the very definition of love? It forces you to think hard as you try to place it inside a connotation. The perspective you have grown so fond of that you don’t realize that it has become something else altogether.

Above it all, October movie places itself precariously on the edge of doubt. It builds itself on a big maybe, but isn’t that what most love stories today have been reduced to? A one-sided affair that keeps doing something for someone selflessly whilst the other one fails to acknowledge.

The Plot and Cherishable Moments (Spoilers)

Serving as the nub of October movie, in a contemporary backdrop, is a story of a 21-year-old Hotel Management trainee Danish ‘Dan’ Walia (Varun Dhawan), who isn’t good at whatever he does. Placed in a contrasting image is Shiuli Iyer (Banita Sandhu), who is the ideal student of his batch.

Everybody knows Dan, for the rebel he is, trying to mess things up, screw things up, talkative, yet with dreams to make it big. While he is just one of those friends who might come to help you when you need something, but you still can never take him seriously for the reckless image he has built in your mind, he still remains very relatable. Like that guy who is quite absent at everything for whom you never care to care about.

Shoojit cares for that guy as we see him holding the perspective of a hero. Shiuli meets an accident falling from a slippery roof that puts her in a coma. As the world begins to forget her, that same guy whom we thought was not worth much, simply can’t. He is by far the most sentient of them all. In just about two visits Dan begins to realize how badly she was affected. It kind of grows on him quickly as he begins to feel for her.

Dan slips in hope for those who begin to despair. He chooses to give a dwindling life precedence over a pointless job. Dan is one of those rare breeds who we are missing in this world. A world has come shattering down for Shiuli’s mother and the rest of her family, yet the rest of the world keeps moving on. How is that fair? Why don’t they stop? Dan stops with them and literally becomes one of them.

The Optimism

The optimism in a 21-year-old Dan is brutal when you see him hurt when Shiuli fails to recognize him. But the fact that he coherently makes it a secretive reward is just commendable. He turns it around and makes it into something good.

It is something that’s so rare. We get hurt by little things. Even when we know what to expect, and when we get it, it still crushes us, so much that we often just leave. But Dan just chooses to stay. He is always there eyeing a stranger or maybe just an acquaintance with hope.

How much world is he yet to discover? How much of it is he yet to see? Yet he chooses to be, playing his age like it ain’t a number but something very important.

Dan tries to remember what Shiuli was psyched about – night jasmines that only grew in the month of October. He brings them to her and suddenly she is resuscitated. She begins to respond even in a coma. Although it fills you with hope, October movie isn’t akin to some old Bollywood flick where the actress would spring to life owing to something the hero would do.

Instead, it is forever bolstered on all the lines that the doctor produces. It simmers in pandiculation around reality, saying this is what happens. It’s no miracle. The way the flick looks into your eyes, it is simply bold.

Painting the Reality

I loved the reality of it all, that places us directly into the world of a young trainee.

Shoojit depicts a regular 1 RK flat and how things are sieved in it. How bachelors compromise with everything while they are trying to earn a living. Why the system is deliberately made hard and how no one has the power to change it. How people can only complain about things! The occasional smoke breaks to abate the pain of a punishing livelihood. The colossal import of a small tea stall which is commonly known as tapri. Despite the revolt and the hatred, that brotherly care which seeps into your heart for the people you see regularly. It is all in there. You just have to notice.

Unable to cope up with the life he had chosen to ignore, Dan gets fired for spending too much time at the hospital, for being absent too many times from the Hotel. You can feel how much he has invested himself in something which is not his. He is fighting all those who are not doing their parts in the life of Shiuli. He points that out in his frustration when he realizes that the friend who used to accompany Shiuli all the time doesn’t even bother to visit her. Even though that friend might have been right in choosing to lead her own life, it is killing for him to see people move on so easily and forget. To leave something important from their life on a bed – still and unmoving.

Dan’s Mother

Yet another important part in the story of October movie is located at the juncture where Dan finds his estranged mother in the same tapri he used to visit. She announces her arrival with the relieving letter saying Dan has been terminated, that she is forced to pay the remaining charges to the hotel because of his incompetence.

Once again with that, she unknowingly points that Dan wasn’t good enough. Even though her story isn’t revealed, it is implied, and you understand why Dan hasn’t been going home all this time. She rushes to judgment immediately, probably her usual wont, when he refuses to answer her mother on being asked if Shiuli was her girlfriend. He deliberately lets her believe what she wishes to believe.

There is a rare beauty in not answering, in not explaining something to someone who would fail to understand. He lets her come to a conclusion, the way a majority of people who don’t understand often do. Now, she will never know. He lets himself become that talk that women often have when they are surrounded by their friends. That demeaning and degrading litter that would never sum up to anything. He doesn’t mind being a butt of the criticism and is least bothered about his image in front of his mother’s eyes.

Even better is the part where a mother to mother talk happens. Dan’s mother has always felt distant to her child. Even though she has been one of the major reasons for that, she fails to understand it. When she sees how fond Shiuli’s mother is of Dan, and how well they interact, she chooses to leave. Primarily because it crushes her to know that she would never have that with her own son.

Camera Work

One of the intriguing moments of the flick’s camera work happens when Vidya Iyer (Gitanjali Rao) is shown talking to Dan’s silhouette. The director deliberately chooses to not capture Dan in the same frame. It is her moment, it is her shot, her realization of the fact that Dan has been around for too long. In her selfishness to get Shiuli as much help as she needed, she has completely overlooked Dan’s life. She decides to do the right thing and commands Dan to leave, and lead his own life and amount to something.

Never for a second do we see Dan in the same frame, but we can only imagine from the calmness of the silhouette of what emotions are playing on his face. Of how hard it is for him to let it go, and yet he chooses to do that because he was asked of, ordered too. He obeys like an obedient child listening to ‘Shiuli’s’ mother.

The Eventuality

October movie takes a shot at hope, plays along with it, but eventually slips into despair again. If it makes you sad, and you are thinking it’s not fair, let me just quickly dab the reality throttle once again. That’s life. Life is unfair. One moment you are thinking you have got it, the other moment it surprises you and shoots you down.

There is a scene right before the end that makes you ponder. When Shiuli is looking at Dan as he is putting her to bed, you are thinking all that hard work has finally paid off, since she has accepted Dan’s unrequited love. That she has begin to see him in the same light as Dan’s.

still of banita sandhu looking at varun dhawan in october movie

But then the unthinkable happens when he begins to leave and you realize that Shiuli is already feeling that void even though nothing shows on her face. The next moment is a precarious dream where Shiuli is in the front-yard staring at Dan as he wakes up. It feels like a final goodbye, and so it is.

The Fallen Flower

Dan crashes as he was supposed to, or maybe how things were destined to. In an epilogue of sorts in the conversation between Vidya and Dan, the import of flowers in the life of Shiuli gets discussed, and the real comparison between her life and the flower is made. Maybe Shiuli was like the same flower that comes and goes spreading momentary love.

This makes me want to take you to the name of the movie all over again. The night jasmine flower is also called Shiuli. It is a rare breed that blooms for just a month (October, you guessed right) before withering away. It is a flower that you see only when it has fallen. You barely stop to notice it, if it’s not in your path. They take away the barrenness of the earth and turns it into something beautiful. That’s what compels you to notice – the beauty and the smell.

Shiuli Iyer, the fallen girl, is just like that flower that Dan failed to notice when she was around. He only began to pay attention when she fell, to observe her when she played dead.

Basing a Justification on a Lie

Probably the most infuriating feeling in the flick is that of Dan’s concept of love. But if you think of it, that’s how and what love is to a kid that age. He bases his life and what comes after on a lie, that Shiuli was in love with Dan, which was so not true.

But was it just it? Even if Shiuli would have woken up and explained that she was just asking about him casually, Dan would have still found optimism in her statement, would have still done everything that he did, primarily because he was more people than people. More humane than everything that calls itself that.

Where is Dan?

The aforementioned line is just a trigger that gets him to look at her in a way he had never looked at her. He had overlooked Shiuli all along, and then with that one-liner and her fallen fate, just like a fallen jasmine flower in one’s way, he begins to look at her. When he watches her closely and imagines her life, more love ensues.

It was intentional and subtly crafted, and I revere Juhi Chaturvedi even more for thinking that through.

The Final Verdict

October movie oscillates with hope and despair. Even though it evokes a sense of pathos, you realize that you can’t feel anything for Shiuli since you don’t know her for that long. So, the tides somehow feel unjustified. It is one of those aspects that stops the movie from becoming heart-rending.

Yes, if you think about how intelligently and how poetically it has been fabricated, October movie hits a home run. Absolutely loved it, but then again it is not for everyone. Definitely not for mainstreamers.

Check out other movie reviews from the Indian Film Industry.

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