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The Fate of the Furious Review (2017) | What it was and What it will be

The Fate of the Furious is more or less what the franchise is, and has always been about. There is no changing that. What continuously changes is the story. There is one primal plot in every flick that stands like a nub to steer the story. Since we need to keep the franchise up and running for it’s been ridiculously successful, studios are trying their level best to blow our minds. And in doing that they are leaving no stones unturned, no enclaves untrodden.

Luckily the magic formula is still working. As long as the audience is entertained, and the producers are making tons, who’s complaining?

Yet another installment that’s brimming up with death-defying stunts, mind-boggling action, eye-popping theatrics, cool jests, classy melodrama and some exhilarating adrenaline pumping action, The Fate of the Furious is everything you wish to see in the Furious universe.

Theme and Plot of The Fate of the Furious

Just two minutes in the movie and you realize it’s going to pack in tons of cheesy stuff. That it’s going to be full of it and that we should probably brace ourselves for that dumb impact. But surprisingly the movie rises up from its ashes the moment it begins to put on a show. Who saves it? It wouldn’t be wrong to say Dominic Toretto, the awesome Vin Diesel.

The one huge steer we have here is, “What if Dom goes rogue?” And I am pretty sure a room full of producers and writers might have gone nuts with that very thought. They found a way to make it happen, and they didn’t even have to use a cyborg chip, or Poison Ivy magic to hypnotize Dom. Dom does it all pretty convincingly like a robot following orders taking hell from Cipher, the stunning 41 years old showstopper Charlize Theron. Hell she could have convinced anyone to do just about anything sans conditions.

still of charlize theron as cipher and vin diesel as dom in the fate of the furious

So Dom falls like a domino rampaging everything that comes his way, turning his back on the one thing he loves the most – su familia!

And it isn’t a pleasant sight for anyone. It’s the worst for Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). One of the most impactful drama lies in the wake of the repercussions when he comes face to face with Letty on two occasions. Each time you can’t help but feel sorry for her when she fails to fathom why Dom’s become a leering bastard all of a sudden.

The movie becomes then an affair to understand Dom, to stop him from doing something awful, and failing at it of course, and then eventually being helped by him when things are all sorted out. All of this, of course, stands in their usual chaotic playground of fascinating action.

Exquisite Wrap (Spoilers Ahead)

The Fate of the Furious is strewn with four major action extravaganzas that happen like their regular jobs, only this time the perpetrator is none other than Dom himself. Others are simply trying to stop him to figure out the what, and the why, they have been hit with.

The first one happens with the main betrayal, EMP getting stolen right from underneath the unsuspecting nose of Hobbs. The second one happens at his Team’s headquarters, from where he walks in like the badass hero he is, to grab the God’s Eye. The third one happens at New York with the stealing of Nuclear launch codes, and the last one in Russia where the actual EMP is brought to use to take control of a submarine that holds weapons of mass destruction. The great thing about all of it is that there is a plausible reason for everything. The creators are constantly spending a good deal of thought in whatever they are doing. So, that’s commendable.

Racking Action

Some of the movie’s best fight scenes are delivered by the body decimating machine Hobbs, and the Parkour fighting specialist Deckard played by Jason Statham. While it’s a delight to watch Hobbs slither into his full “The Rock” mode delivering Rock Bottoms out of nowhere, forcing the WWE community to miss him even more, it’s an equal delight to watch Deckard kick some more ass. One of the best fight sequences is, hands down, the prison bit when both of them are desperate to get a piece of each other.

Roman is just as great with words as he has always been, making everything appear effortless with his innate flair. Little Nobody played by Scott Eastwood was a pleasant addition although he was mostly patronized for the better part of the flick.

There is this elongated section where a foreign minister is attacked by hacked cars. Though absurd as it might sound, or how it appears, it has been brilliantly pulled off. To achieve something so huge on such a colossal level, that’s something! It is one bit that you might remember the movie by for a really long time.

It is, however, hard to beat the final lines of Dom, when he names the baby Brian as a tribute to his bestie Paul Walker. You can’t help but feel satisfied with that apt icing.

You can order The Fate and the Furious here:

Weird Stuff

As always there are a lot of things that remain oddly placed here as well. Like how Dom still fails to even scathe himself even after being in an accident. Fire doesn’t bother him. His Godly powers still eludes us. If only someone walks in one day and says he isn’t human.

Then there are laws of physics that the franchise has never really cared about. You see when you are involved in a ridiculous action movie, clearly it is always about how and why you have ended up there in the first place. Yes, you weren’t paying attention in the class.

There are absurd loopholes aplenty, badly written comebacks at times. Deckard single-handedly bringing a flight full of hooligans down as bullets are flung around, and he is carrying a frigging baby at all times with him. Like how safe is that? Things aren’t made worse when he keeps taking pit stops to talk with the baby on numerous occasions. Ah! the cheap thrills!

Worst is when subplots are deliberately shoehorned to tell us what had happened in the past, and it is like a to and fro motion to tell us exactly how things went down not leaving anything for viewer imagination. Even during the submarine stint, bullets never hit the target; villains remain like dispensable stormtroopers.

The Final Verdict

It’s the USP of the Furious that sells this franchise. Keeping Dom at the center of the action, like a beacon that shows light. Everyone, nay, everything revolves around him, and you know it when you see him as this epitome of power that’s hard to challenge. You don’t mess with him, no matter on which side of the court you are. Period.

You see him do the unthinkable with his muscle revving beast. He wheelies his Dodge Charger too, and it is hard not to go crazy when he does. There are tons of thrilling action scenes waiting at random junctures that will make you jump on your seats. It is just sad that you see everything coming all along.

The Fate of the Furious is yet another insane and inane part that will blindly entertain you. It is trickling down with extraordinary action, and Hobbs, Deckard and Dom make it worth every penny. Rest of the cast end up getting clouded, and that’s both sad and bad.

That being said we all know how the sequel is going to deliver, and how are things going to be. Nothing much changes around here. Even though it’s fantastic, it is becoming a daft charade. I just wonder what if every possible action run runs out, would things be as thrilling?

You can check out the trailer of The Fate of the Furious here:

Beauty and the Beast Review (2017) | An Exhilarating Musical to Revive the Age Old Fairy Tale

How many times have we seen this gargantuan heartfelt epic romance take shape? Every era has its own version of Beauty and the Beast, a fairy tale that had once originated in the beautiful mind of Gabrielle -Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Over the years we saw its retelling, we saw it getting hammered in the form of TV series, animated movies and what not. The fairy tale would never fail to surprise as long as there is that tinge of magic in it to support it, thoughtful verses that send us brooding and music that aggrandizes prospering love. Fortunately Bill Condon‘s Beauty and the Beast movie retains all these elements.

Theme and Cast of Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is a theatrical feat that gambols along with its extraordinary music. Yes, it’s a musical and I think only an alluring musical could do a gorgeous fairy tale like that justice. On one side of the ring we have the gorgeous beauty Belle, who Emma Watson wears quite beautifully making it her very own persona. On the other side of the ring is none other than the cursed Beast, who by the way is a softie trapped in a monstrous body played by Dan Stevens. He could have really used a little less CGI, or a better one, now that we have already boldly ventured into that territory.

still of luke evans as gaston in beauty and the beast

Not to forget the very handsome Luke Evans who is as perfect, confident and rad with his dialogues, er, songs as he looks in reality. Casting for Gaston happened perfectly there. We have LeFou done by Josh Gad who is one of the most entertaining dimwits in the movie. He alleviates perversion with his outlook.

Voices of Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere were done beautifully by the likes of Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Ewan McGregor. Stanley Tucci hid under the veil of Maestro Cadenza pretty good.

Mocking Society

While this might have been like an umpteenth adaptation, I liked Beauty and the Beast for its hard-hitting veracity. The fact that it stuck to reflect things as they are or are supposed to be in real life, is something that connected with me the most. It is a satire on human perception, of how things work around a town that scoffs at a person who thinks differently. It is a parable that reflects how mob works, that how easy it is to egg them with a cunning spark.

The opening scene that showcases Belle’s obsession with the books, and how everyone in town sees education as a curse goes on to mock ignorant societal elements who want to churn the world their way. While at one end Belle is ahead of her time clearly seeing through it all, the insular mob in her little village wants her to follow its footsteps. People don’t like different and that’s what they hate about Belle.

Your library makes our small corner of the world feel big.

Whilst Belle is busy trying to find a world that isn’t as insolent as the one she is living in, she seems to have come to terms with it, and found the perfect abode in her books. She is thriving in a world that doesn’t get her. I guess a lot of us can relate to her in that aspect.

Materialistic Judgments

It takes our protagonist a curse to make him realize that materialism wanes. That whatever we judge based on the way it looks or appears is a curse per se because beauty is always hidden.

He fell into despair and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast?

Gaston, au contraire, is braided just the opposite. He is an irritable narcissist who can’t see beyond the material world that engulfs him. Him talking to the mirror carving a living satire with remarks like,

No one deserves you, but at least your children will be beautiful.

Goes on to show how he is full of it. He is a paragon of beauty and strength, which are things that the world is quick to judge you by.  They think exactly what he thinks of him, and fail to see what’s underneath his veil.

still of Belle and Beast in Beauty and the Beast

That salient materialism is in the punitive action of the beast too. When he punishes Maurice, Belle’s father, for life, for merely picking a flower.

He means forever. Apparently that’s what happens around here if you pick a flower.

People are so full of it that they are quick to deliver judgments. There is hatred in the heart of the beast and hatred is one of the primal causes of things that affect one’s judgment. He has punished a man with a life sentence for just picking a flower! His world’s no different from the one that we live in. The flower was dear to him, and that was it – Reason enough for him to punish and have his revenge.

You can’t judge people by who their father is, can you?

In a way the movie elicits a satire out of human perception, emotions and judgments.

Love Takes Time

People don’t fall in love in a moment. That too when there’s a ghastly creature involved; You can’t fall in love with him in a snap of a finger. You have to be around, spend ample time around someone that looks different to truly understand him, to even venture that lane.

She had seen that there was no love in his heart.

Overlooking everything takes time, and that’s what the movie sells. Belle spends ample time with the Beast enough to understand him, to accept him despite that apparent skewed image of his. Love was gradual and it was very much relatable unlike some Hollywood muck we come across every once in a while.

Then it teaches us how clingy never works with people. If we truly love someone we have to give them space. That’s what Beast does when he lets Belle return to her village. He couldn’t have possibly asked her to stay, and wished to earn her trust.

Can anybody be happy if they aren’t free?

You can order Beauty and the Beast movie here:

Issues with the Movie

If you are thinking, by now, the movie was outright impeccable, I would have to sadly add: No. There were plenty of drawbacks in Beauty and the Beast. The first and foremost being the fact that you could feel the contrivance knocking at the big screen at every juncture. Emotions were often absent. Behind that awful CGI you couldn’t see Dan Stevens reacting the way he should have. Despite how committed Emma Watson appeared in her role, Dan felt quite the opposite. He didn’t quite fit the bill, and would often get carried away with animation.

image of lumiere and cogsworth in beauty and the beast

Their chemistry wasn’t quite right either. Didn’t evoke a keen sense of longing when they weren’t together, didn’t draw out emotions when there timing was right. Everything seemed placed awkwardly like marionettes. With Lumiere taking most of the screen time , and some zany bits loosely hanging around in every scene, the movie takes away its requisite seriousness.

You must forgive first impressions.

Climax has been bluntly filled with a tasteless flavour. It rushes in eventually as if all we wanted to see was the revived cast heading into another ball. Questionable editing there! People who like to have proper focus in their movies, it’s clearly not for them.

Then you can’t really overlook how the movie doesn’t project the enchantress properly as well. She walks in at a time when she was needed as if she was supposed to be there. No character build up, nothing. She was a mere needle in the haystack.

The Final Verdict

People who are averse to musicals might not enjoy all that singing. But those who love musicals are going to love this beautiful flick. Pay attention to what the characters have to say through apparent metaphors, and you might even enjoy the musical more than anything.

Different timbres and tempo and the deafening music in the flick is something that makes the movie an enjoyable hoot. It is as loud as it is supposed to be. We can’t thank the composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman enough for that.

Gaston stands out, hands down, as one of the finest antagonists, and something that you might remember the movie by. As far as feelings and emotions were concerned the movie failed to induce that.

You can check out the trailer of the flick here:

The Girl on the Train Movie Review (2016) | A Whodunit Thriller That Leaves you Guessing

The Girl on the Train is a whodunit mystery. Tate Taylor tries to keep the real murderer well under the wraps at all times in the girl on the train movie, trying to do ample justice to Paula Hawkins’s novel of the same name. However, in an attempt to cover up, and tie everything down to the story’s culminating point, he seems to be unknowingly rushing towards the ending. That leaves Tate Taylor’s work a tad impoverished for its grim theme. Characters of the movie don’t get a proper focus, and you kind of hate every one. Nevertheless, when you focus on its fine plot you realize that Paula Hawkins had weaved one hell of a tale, and for that you cannot praise her enough.

Characters in The Girl on the Train Movie

The Girl on the Train movie commences with a slow jerk, with overwhelming thoughts of Rachel portrayed brilliantly by Emily Blunt. I am pretty sure it would have sounded a bit different if the screenplay had zoomed in on her broody thoughts more than focusing on just the materialism. Her yearning to live someone else’s life, her vantage that sees a stranger’s rewarding world and tries to compare it with hers, her perceptive theories that try to write stories on already written pages, and her constant yammering and reasoning with herself in search for a direction were all literally shouting for better subtle and artful frames. Unfortunately Tate didn’t realize that.

still of emily blunt as Rachel in the girl on the train movie

We move on just like that speeding train without getting a hang of her emotional trauma. Then we see Tate introducing us to the second most crucial character, Megan portrayed by Haley Bennett. She is a perfect fit with a constant gloom that looms over her. She tries to display all phases of her life, the past, the present and an impending horrible future in her countenance. Her comportment is that of an intense indifference that lurks somewhere in the hollows of her eyes.

Other Characters

Anna played by Rebecca Ferguson on the other hand gets the least amount of focus. You don’t see her unfurling that well. Tom’s character portrayed by Justin Theroux seems most of the time absent. Edgar Ramirez creates Dr. Kamal Abdic as Megan’s shrink, and is a guy who basically listens to her, and given his profession, understands her troubling woes more than anyone else. Scott played by Luke Evans is simply a guy who ends up being cheated upon, and later lied to by Rachel. He doesn’t get a proper screen time. With such cameo kind of roles you feel like, it is the director and not the story that is basically trying to steer you towards the enigma.

The Inebriated Plot (Spoilers Ahead)

Rachel is an alcoholic, and she drinks so much that she has become amnesic. So much that she is in a constant wont of blacking out every day. It is then others who fill her in about her acts. That’s like a curse per se. She has been divorced by her husband, who has married Anna now and has a baby with her. Glimpses from the past haunt her, and it is hard for her to move on.

still of haley bennett as megan in the girl in the train movie

Megan is a gorgeous lady with a troubled past. She babysits Anna and Tom’s child, and lives a few blocks away from their house. But her backstory will bring tears to your eyes. I just wished her dismay to be captured better than what Tate showed us. She lives with Scott, the guy with the perfect body, but unfortunately she has been cheating on him.

In a series of fuming events, Megan disappears and nobody seems to know where she is. Rachel who had unknowingly bonded with her, (a one way) by simply staring at her life through the panes of a train ends up blacking out on the very night of her disappearance. And sadly she was the only one who could have guessed the culprit.

The movie is then her attempt to figure out who the real murderer is, and she doesn’t rule herself out as well.

You can pre-order the movie The Girl on the Train here:

Other Issues

The thing with crime drama is that it mostly revolves around characters. And each one demands irrefutable attention. But there is so little to the character development here that makes you hate each and every one of them. There is nothing relatable served to you, and that’s where the disconnect lies.

The timing of this movie is also one of those issues. It was released alongside Inferno, another movie that had belied memories to blame for, almost a same amnesic plot build up. The similarity is very uncanny.

still of Rebecca Ferguson as Anna the girl on the train movie

Another vexing fact is that Tate Taylor tries to confuse the viewers even more by showing glimpses from the past in constant running frames. Even though it’s a ballsy attempt at subtlety, trying to dislodge the timeline into dissonance, it sometimes becomes too much. As if trying to figure out what’s happening wasn’t enough!

The Final Verdict

A movie like The Girl on the Train needs a profound calm. Something that lets you think alongside the protagonist, or may be relate to her character, by understanding her.  Sadly that’s profusely missing. However, the movie still remains a very intriguing crime story that will leave you wanting to know what’s coming at every juncture.

Bottom-line is, The Girl on the Train movie could have become so much great, but it ends up becoming a mere adequacy instead.

Check out the trailer of The Girl on the Train movie here:

Furious 7 Review (2015)

“For Paul”

Furious 7 is all about flying Lykan, shattered skyscrapers, mammoth bullets, Gatling rounds, super-amped destruction, relentless drone syndrome, Jaa’s Parkour, badass rides, skimpily clad models, exquisite close calls, death defying moments, Herculean jobs, mind numbing head-ons and badass action. This movie is an action-pack adrenaline pumping madness just like its predecessor. But does it have a great story? My answer would be a big No to that.

Wan unfortunately doesn’t have a good story in his baggage. What he still has is some dope action to exploit, and he manages to create insanity with that! Watch out for that insane car-dive and the skyscraper stunt! Most memorable ones! Humour shines fine by Tyrese Gibson’s presence, and he occasionally takes off the heat.

Furious 7 is thrilling throughout. Adrenaline keeps on pumping constantly. Destruction doesn’t stop. Cars keep getting totaled. Bullets fly in the air like flies. The flick has pretty great one-liners that are downright bad ass. Snappy and witty comebacks make the screenplay quite clever in a way. Dramatic bits are kind of average, but make a dash for awesomeness to pay some quality Pablo homage in the end.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Statham makes a badass entry as Deckard Shaw into the lives of Furious guys with a dope fight with Hobbs. It is here we get to see that eye candy Rock Bottom that we have been waiting forever. Unfortunately he gets sidelined by an unconvincing side-story.

We already knew from the prequel, Shaw’s brother would be lurking in the shadows waiting to drop the chaotic bomb at Team Furious anytime. So he promised Dom via a phone call. And Bam! goes the ‘home’ in splinters with a sustained visual of 5-6 blasts occurring simultaneously that engulf the entire house. The predator calls for it and Dom gears up like a Daddy to teach him a lesson.

The entrance of Kurt Russell was so pathetic that it made us instantly hate him. I swear I saw perplexed people in the theatre wondering “Why?” out loud. Mr. Nobody’s addition to the tale was simply to weave two jobs that Dom could have lived without. Just so that he could find the hunter, he agrees to lick the candy Mr. Nobody was selling. But boy does it unroll into mind-numbing stunts! Skyscrapers hyperjump by the exotic Lykan hypersport would make your teeth turn into a nail clipper. Another pretty dope bit is the car sky-diving bit. Stunts like these ensure that the franchise isn’t dead yet. It will continue to flabbergast you, compel you to jump on your seat.

Unfortunately the screen time of Deckard Shaw is quite less, and he fails to create a villainy charm in the movie. He does pop up hither and thither to overthrow Dom’s plans but passes out weak as a very average forgettable villain. He looked puny compared to Dom fury.

The best thing however remains the show stopper – a perfect adieu to Paul. Final bits show Vin in pain, and you could almost read the tears that got masked by his acting. You could instantly comprehend and empathize with his loss. A series of flashbacks of Paul show up with Vin’s narration in the backdrop and your heart falls in a heavy pit. Such a big chunk tore away! You are left to ponder in tears. It was a great decision not to kill Pablo’s character. Giving him a respectful farewell from the franchise was really thoughtful.

In an action franchise like Fast and Furious, just remember you have to overlook everything. Logics are defied, Physics taps out to action, gravity stops working and time takes a hiatus for the protagonists. Just sit back and enjoy the action packed fun this movie promises to be and is. Be super-psyched and never forget Paul!

Dracula Untold Review (2014)

Dracula Untold is told by a beautiful dark direction of the newbie ‎Gary Shore‬, Stoker’s tale has found a perfect variant.

Luke‬ is ravishing in the drac shoes and the tale of Dracula Untold is brilliantly scripted. There are subtle glimpses that Shore uses like depicting rad scenes of war through the dead eyes of a Turk that makes things different. Although the action bit isn’t that great and put out quickly, the story still keeps you rooted. Some clichéd pieces pop up here and there, but its our own favourite fictional protag Drac, what do you expect? The score is apt. It makes you feel the vampire wrath. Screenplay is good.

When we contain the awesomeness of Luke’s gripping facial gravity, make it dark, combine it with some twists and turns of the legendary Bram Stoker’s tale, add some ‪Cooper‬ to it, throw in some ‪Charles Dance‬ grim screenplay voice then lo! we get a good decent movie that has the potential to run a fine franchise on its own.

We have forever rooted for a better depiction of the bad-ass Dracula tale, haven’t we? Well, Dracula Untold might not be the right justice we expected for our beloved anti-hero, but it isn’t quite bad either. Gary Shore might have ignited a franchise spark, that could be picked up by a much better director and an imminent promising story as well.

But everything aside, If we really want the right adjudication and the perfect hammer to drop, we want it to be picked up by some brilliant directors like Cameron, Nolan or Scorsese to give it the perfect verdict.