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Avengers Infinity War Review (2018) | The Big Bad Mad Titan Finally Arrives

What a beautifully crafted flick! Avengers Infinity War is everything that we expected it to be, and so much more. It is intelligent, poetic, impactful, sad and badass, all at the same time. While it doesn’t fall short of thrill on the action front, it also fairly nibbles at melodrama aplenty.

It wouldn’t be wrong to call Avengers Infinity War a Thanos movie. The antagonist feels like a poem. He has been created so as to leave you in utter awe. Apart from the fact that Thanos is immensely powerful, and I mean like he packs in really hulk-defying powers even when he had just one infinity stone with him, he is also quite sentient.

Even in his blatant disregard for any form of life, you realize he is the feeling kind – a deviant who adheres to his code, unlike thousands of humans on our very own planet. You can feel his vibes, his pain, even though how wrong he is (debatable) in what he aspires to do. His methods diabolical and his ways to get things done even so infernal.

You will never be a god!

The whole MCU prepped us up for this huge moment and the good news is, it doesn’t disappoint. All roads lead to him, the eventuality that feels like death, and he acts like it. He walks like he owns the universe, delivers justice as if it were his call or deliverance.

That’s the ultimate badass villain that we wanted, and Josh Brolin does every bit of insightful justice to him. He is just not some mad Titan bent on destroying everything in his wake, but a sentient living monster who feels pang just like others, with a fixed purpose in life.

The Poetry in Avengers Infinity War (Spoilers)

There are plenty of moments in Avengers Infinity War where you will feel explicit poetry taking shape. In conversations of an adopted daughter with her father, of planets where civilizations collapsed as Thanos turns a leaflet of history to show Doctor Strange a glimpse from the past, his vision of why he is trying to do what he does, and “men” talking about the import of a job and what comes after. Everything has been inscribed in 2 hours and 29 minutes of enthralling awesomeness.

The part where directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo choose to mum the destructive aspect of a colossal villain by showing him fragile, as he wakes up in Volmir in a pool of water, after retrieving the soul stone, as if waking up in his very own pool of tears has been brilliantly stowed.

Gamora: Did you do it?
Thanos: Yes.
Gamora: What did it cost?
Thanos: Everything.

Then the part where Thanos had so candidly confessed to the question of ‘what after’ about his plans to see the sunset has been brilliantly pulled off at the end. It is commendably subtle as we see him vanish after that deleterious snap of his finger to a place he had confessed about earlier. It perplexes the audience poking a question at his very existence.

Is he really dying? Or now that he wields the power of a God can he not surmount death?

The Dismal End

Avengers Infinity War is brutal in its killing spree. You realize that it’s abrupt, and even though you want your superheroes to somehow escape their fate, it is simply inescapable. One by one the Avengers get effaced. The characters you have grown so fond of get obliterated in a jiffy.

Death follows him like a shadow.

There also lies poetry in the aftermath as everything one holds dear begins to wane. Starting from Buck who calls out Steve before turning into ash to everyone you thought was important fades. It is like watching a piece of you getting decimated. All you can say is, “No….No….not him or not her!”

What you instantly like about Avengers Infinity War is that it is bold, unafraid to kill its characters. It kind of reminds you of Game of Thrones. Okay the reference somehow reminds me that we have Peter Dinklage playing Eitri, the role of a dwarf, so basically himself. Only the dwarf here is a giant. When you think about it, you realize – is it not a matter of perspective? The dwarf is actually a giant for some, ergo named so. It’s like Russo’s are telling us that no one should be judged by their size but the size of things they do. If that’s not poetry, I don’t know what is.

Thor

While the world is at war, Thor is on his own mission to garner resources to be resourceful so to have another shot at Thanos. He is forever optimistic, despite how funny his character has been arched. It should well be noted that everything, I repeat, everything has been taken away from him. You can’t help but feel sorry for him, even though the Russo brethren choose to mock at his problems. He is this immense fighting machine that believes in doing the right thing, of getting the world rid of evil.

There’s despair written all over him, and yet he takes on challenges without giving them a second thought. Watch out for that neutron star bit where he takes it as if he is invincible. His Godly demeanour is, I think, very underrated and in an attempt to make him sound cool and funny he has been deprived of a lot of grief that would have otherwise made his character a lot darker.

Eitri helps Thor create his new hammer, nay an axe, which is called the Stormbreaker which becomes the very reason for Thor having a chance against Thanos. His entrance is grand and everything that happens thereafter is like an inspiration to everybody fighting.

Besides we should not forget that Thor is the only Avenger who gets to lance Thanos like a boss even though the plan backfires, but it was going to anyway.

You should have gone for the head.

Iron Man

While a lot is going on in the head of Tony Stark when he is fighting the thought of calling Captain America, which he almost does, Earth is struck by members of Black Order. Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is a badass minion with powers that surpass Doctor Strange’s.

You can’t park here, buddy. Earth is closed today. Take your tractor beam and skedaddle.

With the help of Spidey’s cult knowledge, he is able to defeat Ebony and then plan a properly planned attack on Thanos’s own turf.

While Iron Man depicts standards unseen hitherto in his fights, his presence of mind and techniques almost get the job done. If it were not for Star-Lord’s intervention victory over Thanos was possible. But everything goes to dust and then it becomes impossible to stop him.

But you cannot still appreciate Iron Man enough for his fighting efforts till last moment. He was no match for Thanos and yet he fought him as if he had a chance. The fact that he goes down trying only puts respect in the Mad Titan for him, and makes you revere him even more.

Stark, you have my respect. I hope the people of Earth remember you.

That fight sequence he sneaks in even after being exploded by a moon is one of the best that Avengers Infinity War movie retains.

Captain America

Cap is that beacon of hope that literally strikes every spark alive. As witnessed in Age of Ultron, him fighting Ultron as if he was imperishable, Captain America is nothing less than a fantastical marvel. So he proves yet again when he shows up at desperate times when we felt the end of Vision was near. He, alongside Natasha and Falcon, swoop in, in just the nick of time, making Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive taste defeat.

Not only does he personify the very definition of badass, but he makes you realize how badly you had missed him all these years. Him fighting alongside Black Panther against a bazillion terrifying giant rabid dogs with fury unparalleled makes you respect him even more. It is no surprise why everyone looks up to him for almost everything.

In a final showdown with Thanos, as he stops his gauntlet onslaught with both hands making Thanos go “What the fuck?” you can only imagine the strength he retains.

It is sad that the call was never made. That Stark and Cap never got to face each other, and in those desperate moments when you feel that either of them could have died, you realize that they could have died unfulfilled without having a chance to speak to each other again. That feeling is so sad that the moment Iron Man is lanced, you begin to go through some real emotional trauma.

Wanda and Vision

It’s hard not to talk about how hard Wanda tries to save Vision. Their chemistry is brilliantly pulled off with both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen weighing in on their characters superbly. As audience, we already know what is going to happen with Vision holding the mind gem in his head, his death seemed inevitable. But a ray of hope was struck alive with Shuri taking over to assist Vision by separating the mind stone despite how hard she tries, but everything just goes kaput.

Vision had spoken with Wanda about taking that call of destroying the gem when time came. It would have destroyed him too as his very life depended on it. Even though Vision asks her to make that choice, to which she finally gives in, doing something that every cell in her body was against, she succeeds in destroying the mind gem. It was a call that literally crushed her, and you could literally sense the pain that she had to go through to do something so huge.

It is just sad that Vision had to die twice for Thanos to retrieve the gem. He is thrown like trash when Thanos is able to lay his hands on the mind stone. It just goes on to show his evil recklessness for something we had only begun to admire.

Quill and Gamora

Whilst the crossover was a success, with Rocket and Groot speeding off with Thor on his quest to retrieve his hammer and Peter, Gamora, Mantis and Drax going after Thanos, humour was flung aplenty.

Alright, Guardians, don’t forget this might be dangerous, so let’s put on our mean faces.

Gamora had asked Quill what Vision had asked of Wanda. On being instigated he takes a shot too but fails because Thanos doesn’t let him. Thanos doesn’t kill Peter Quill instantly because he likes Peter and the very fact that Gamora was in love with Peter.

So basically that makes two of the infinity stones retrieval a process of ‘kill-me-before-Thanos-gets-it-out-of-me’ situation. Two of the other infinity stones retrieval was basically ‘torture-ones-you-love’ process and then get it from them. That fared well for Thanos, even the one that milks the Doctor Strange’s and Iron Man’s bropocalypse.

Quill and Gamora too had something special between them which was ruined when Thanos took Gamora back to Titan. With Gamora sacrificed, and the news broken to Quill was one of the turning points of Team Avengers/Team Guardians vs Thanos.

Understanding what Peter Quill feels when he discovers the truth about Gamora would be an understatement. You can relate so much to him, but it takes away the only chance they had of removing the gauntlet from Thanos’ hand.

With Strange hanging on to the Time Stone all this time without using it, you couldn’t help but wonder if the exact scene of them trying to take off the gauntlet could have been reiterated with its help. Strange could have taken Quill away for a while when the news of Gamora’s death was told. Then again maybe we have that saved for the next part.

Bruce’s Failed Resolve

Hulk’s no-show is utterly disappointing, but you know that he is going to show up in the next one. So that’s one epic thing to look up to. But given how easily Thanos beat the crap out of him, it seems highly unlikely that going with that same strategic plan of ‘Hulk smash everything’ is going to work again.

Bruce’s constant struggle to reason with his inner self is dispiriting even though how funny Marvel decided to make it. Natasha sees Banner after a long time, and it’s good to see that the spark is still kept alive. Maybe we will explore that story in the long run. It would be fun to watch how things sieve then. I have always wanted to see their budding love go into a direction.

Things That Bother You

There are some moments in Avengers Infinity War where you can feel the CGI falling apart. In one of the obvious moments where Gamora is talking to Thanos, you can see how difficult it must have been to fill in VFX through her continuously flowing mane. There’s a clear line on her left face that feels blurred since the work there remained shabby.

I know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you are right, yet to fail all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.

There are deaths galore as expected, but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like it’s devouring your heart. Somewhere deep down you come to accept the inevitability, and even though how bluntly it takes a dig at all your favourite superheroes, you fail to feel the real anguish. Maybe that’s one of those parts that wasn’t milked enough. You don’t cry but you wonder something’s up, that something can be put back together still. Is it the time stone?

Also, there are some editing issues where you can feel the deliberate jumping of frames. A lot of time has been spent on Thanos’ resolve, some of which could have been used to fill some of the apparent visible issues.

Then there are those rabid dogs like creatures, more like wolves whose faces you don’t even properly get to see for a second. Agreed that they were really fast and mad but you want to see what you are up against, right? They felt like a swarm of madness that never ever stood still for a second. I don’t know if that was the point or not. But everything sped up so fast that I am pretty sure I need to watch all their action by pausing it on Avengers Infinity War Blu-ray to relive it once again.

The Final Verdict of Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War is brilliantly pulled off. It is catered to be savored one meal at a time, and the pace is just right. In the end credit scene, we get to see that a call has been made to none other than Captain Marvel, a movie destined to drop on 8th March next year. So now we know that she is one of the answers to defeating a villain that has all the infinity stones, that has made him a celestial God now. I wonder what she was up to while all this was happening? Guess we will find out in her own flick.

Plenty of superheroes perish here in Avengers Infinity War. The worst deaths being that of Loki, Vision, Heimdall and Gamora that hurt the most. Others have a fair chance of survival, I suppose, given that we have still the time stone in our hand. It could be that or if since Avengers is the end of the road as they call it, then maybe we lost everyone for good.

What are your thoughts on that? Let’s discuss that in the comments section below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review (2017) | Yet Another Gem of Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is as fun as its previous installment was, or maybe a tad less. But it remains entertaining nevertheless. It tries to answer the speculations we had about who is Peter Quill’s Dad. The flick also forms the basis of the entire story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It seems to be drifting away from the absolute rampaging hoot the first part was, yes, but when you have a story to tell, it’s a price one is willing to pay.

The movie drives its crosshairs to all its character giving them proper screen time to prove their mettle on numerous occasions. But the ultimate hero remains none other than the antihero Yondu Udonta, the whistling blue alien, with a badass flying arrow. It is him, his one Godly fight of reprisal, his acceptance, and his sacrifice that serve as the cardinal crux of the flick. Then it was also a great allusion to tell everyone about what a Celestial is, and what is it capable of.

Plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (Spoilers Ahead)

Guardians of the Galaxy sequel returns with a whole set of new forgotten songs never forgetting the real importance of music in the life of Quill. More importantly it does not forget its humour as it starts off with Baby Groot dancing off to a song unfazed by what’s going on while in the backdrop remaining Guardians are trying hard to defeat an inter-dimensional monster.

Baby Groot is akin to a baby whom they are supposed to look after until and unless he grows up, of course, to do some actual damage. So he remains his own dumbed down version for the better part of the flick, cracking us up good with his childlike understanding.

image of baby groot in guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Rocket is just trying to be well, himself, when he steals some important batteries right under the nose of Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), who had hired them to kill the monster in exchange for Nebula. Ayesha the leader of the Sovereign Race then sends thousands of drones to kill them. But the Guardians are saved a mysterious figurine riding a spaceship.

Gamora: A little one inch man saved us?

Rocket: Well, if he got closer I’m sure he’d be much larger.

Peter: That’s how eyesight works, you stupid raccoon.

On the crash site they encounter Ego played by Kurt Russell, who introduces himself to be Peter’s dad. He has a pet called Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who is later revealed to have powers of an empath and is kept around to soothe Ego to sleep.

Yondu and Rocket’s Escape

Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta who has been exiled from his greater Ravagers community and is desperate to earn his name and get back on the saddle. He, along with a bunch of Ravagers find the stranded ship and capture Rocket. A mutiny breaks and Nebula steps in to decapitate Yondu by shooting the fin on his head. One of the ravagers called Taserface (Chris Sullivan) begins to lead the team of Ravagers by capturing Yondu’s ship and imprisoning both Rocket and Yondu, leaving Baby Groot to stray around.

I am so sorry. I just keep imagining you waking up in the morning, start looking in the mirror and all seriously say to yourself. You know what would be a really kick-ass name, Taserface!

Nebula leaves the ship to avenge the misdeeds carried out on her by her father Thanos owing to Gamora’s self-seeking glory.

With the help of Baby Groot and Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, Yondu and Rocket manage to kill everyone aboard (watch out for that deadly arrow!) and escape. It is hands down one of those rare moments to remember in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie.

Ego the Planet

The secondary parallel running story is about Ego, Peter Quill’s dad, who explains what he is all about. He expounds that he is a God-like entity Celestial who is nothing but an immortal and who has manipulated matter around himself to create a breathing planet with his brain at its core.

Taking a human shape Ego had travelled across the universe to beat his loneliness and discover his purpose. That’s when he had come across Peter Quill’s mother Meredith on Earth. Peter was consummated then however he was forced to leave her to pursue his purpose. He had asked Yondu to deliver Peter to him, but Yondu had kept him to himself. Ever since that he had been constantly looking for Peter. Ego teaches him little tricks to channel and manipulate Celestial power since he was Ego’s true lineage.

On the same planet Gamora is attacked by Nebula and a fight ensues. In an awkward twist of fate they both end up rekindling their lost sisterhood. They find skeletal remains in the caverns of the planet smelling something fishy going on.

You can order Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie here:

The Ugly Plan

Ego one way or the other proves himself to be exactly what its moniker insinuates it to be. In an attempt to bring Peter to his side, he tells him about how he had planted countless seedlings across different worlds and that it would take him another celestial to activate them. Activating them would create extensions of Ego in different worlds through terraforming. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 depicts a blob like thing consuming planets when Ego forcefully activates the seedlings using Peter as a source.

It is revealed that Ego was responsible for conceiving countless women all across the galaxy just to create extensions of himself, and he sent Yondu to retrieve the children to activate his seedlings, later killing them owing to them turning out to be failures. On realizing that it was Ego who had put a tumour in his mother’s head just because love was distracting him from his purpose, Peter Quill attacks Ego.

Meanwhile Mantis spills out Ego’s plans to Drax, Nebula and Gamora, who then join the alliance to help Peter Quill.

When you’re ugly and someone loves you, it means they love you for who you are.

The Final Showdown

Rocket, Yondu and Baby Groot arrive just in time to abate the punishing onslaught of Ego as they search for his brain inside the planet’s core. Ayesha’s army of droids arrive too causing a minor discomfort in their plans to kill Ego. Rocket creates a bomb with Ayesha’s batteries and has a hard time coaxing Groot to push the right button when it’s planted near Ego’s brain.

Peter uses his Celestial powers to save the remaining team by fighting Ego with all his might, as Kraglin approaches with Yondu’s ship for extraction. The bomb goes off killing Ego and disintegrating the planet in the process. Yondu sacrifices himself for Peter Quill. Peter realizes Yondu was simply trying to save him from being delivered to Ego and that’s why keeping him away from his true parentage, saving him from getting killed.

I told Gamora how when I was a kid I used to pretend David Hasselhoff was my dad. He’s a singer and actor from earth, really famous guy. Yondu didn’t have a talking car, but he did have a flying arrow. He didn’t have a beautiful voice of an angel, but he did have the whistle of one. Both Yondu and David Hasselhoff went on kick-ass adventures and hooked up with hot women, and fought robots. I guess David Hasselhoff did kinda end up being my dad after all, only it was you, Yondu.

When Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, The Ravagers from all across the Universe come to pay tribute. The sacrifice Yondu was so huge that they revere him for that by showing up.

Post-Credit Scenes

In a post credit scene we see Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) reuniting with his ex-team inspired by Yondu. It appears we have another group in the making.

Kraglin picks up Yondu’s fin and arrow, clearly stating that the badass power is going to be his in the future sequels.

image of yondu with kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2We find Ayesha looking for a proper revenge by creating something mysterious in a huge box. On being asked what it is she has to say:

That, my child, is the next step in our evolution. More powerful, more beautiful – more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy. I think I shall call him… Adam.

It is an allusion at Adam Warlock, another amazing Marvel character, who we might have the good hap of seeing in the long run. In one of the fun scenes of the movie Howard the Duck is shown once again. I think he is being toyed with for cameos so far. Stan Lee shows up once again with his cameo with The Watchers this time. It seems to make a curt remark as if it is Stan Lee filling them with the knowledge about his MCU. Some consider him to be a Watcher himself? Whaaaa….?

The Final Verdict

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 you realize the real hero of this movie was none other than Yondu. With an apt way to depart him from the future stories, which I think wasn’t at all necessary, (Why so soon?) the movie tries to draw out its emotional factor. But since its drama is always interposed by someone’s witty remark, a jest, or Baby Groot cuteness, it fails to charge up the melodramatic enclave it wished to go on, and eventually things kind of seem like a stretch.

Nevertheless Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 turns out to be simply amazing owing to the fun factor it trundles on, the choice of music it picks every now and then, the proper screen time it lets each of the superheroes have, and its brilliant direction.

Check out the trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 here:

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.

2015’s Fast 7 had panned out better owing to that gut-wrenching Paul Walker quotient. The Fate of the Furious was all left to the mercy of Dom’s turning on his family.

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:

xXx Return of Xander Cage Review (2017) | He Shouldn’t Have Returned

Mindless action! xXx Return of Xander Cage bends laws of physics, banks on cliched action at times to deliberately showcase what its director thinks “would look cool” stunts. It has cheesy lines galore, and a really insipid plot in its baggage. The worst however remains, that instantly piercing and bothering demeanour that Vin Diesel wears throughout the flick. His smugness is the worst. It makes you go, “Is this guy for real?” Overlook Vin and you see how hollow, cliched, stupid and pointless the whole movie is.

Plot of xXx Return of Xander Cage (Spoilers)

Presumably dead the legend, Xander Cage (the one who gets on your nerves avatar of Vin Diesel) from the first one, is hunted down by CIA to bring a stolen device called Pandora’s Box back. It is a device that can ensue destruction on a massive scale, since it holds the reins of military satellites. To successfully complete the mission he hires his own team, deliberately throwing an unprepared bunch of soldiers out of a moving plane. Whaaaat?

Wait, that’s nothing. He breaks a gun, yes! a frigging gun with his knees just to prove a point! He brags a lot about himself, or let others go on and on about him, which gets on your nerves.

To make matters further indigestible, he goes on a bike chase in the sea. I repeat, in the sea! When that’s going on, you wonder if they plan on ever stopping. A water station maybe? To get some gas? They appear as if they were planning on crossing the ocean on their bikes.

The Competition

His competition is Xiang portrayed by Donnie Yen who is the guy Cage is supposed to race to get the Pandora’s box before he does. Xiang has plans of his own and a team too. Eventually both the teams end up joining hands to fight the double crossing government instead. In words of Sebastian from La La Land:

“It is all very very exciting.”

All seemingly cool frames seem very deliberately created just to prove a scene. There is one bit that shows Cage playing with grenades with Xiang and Serena (Deepika Padukone). What a way to make a conversation! *Facepalm* It is hands down one of the most forced scenes in the movie, and makes it very laughable. You know, spoofs get made because of such absurdity!

image of Vin Diesel Deepika Padukone and Donnie Yen in xXx Return of Xander Cage movie

Oh wait! Cage gets shot too. You know when in a movie hero would get shot, a voice in your head would always go, “he must be wearing a bulletproof vest? Or the bullet might have been stopped by an impenetrable object? Well the former’s your answer.

Yes, the story is as if a kid wrote it. I remember thinking all that stuff when I was five.

All the Shooting

Then there is that cliched gun fight scene too, where two badass chicks come out in the open and then shoot at random army of villains who somehow never stop coming. Yes the one where they are leaning against each other’s backs to look dope. Yeah! It’s all in there.

Just then to break the monotony, everyone’s bullets run out, and you predict the director has something up his sleeve, in comes the protagonist from the second part, which was an even shittier movie. Ice Cube comes with a grenade launcher reprising his role as Darius Stone and the music in the background turns into a rap. It is supposed to mean the “Lord is here!”

Tony Jaa gets a role of a psychotic fighter who looks like he has been on a strict Red Bull diet all his life. Nina Dobrev plays the one fun character that we have seen in so many movies before that it should actually cease to exist. But no! Every movie has it.

Deepika Padukone doesn’t cause any ripples either. She seems weirdly out of place whenever she comes to do her bit. Her icky walk to meet Xiang would make you wonder what the director must have been expecting to see, and what came out as a result. And he chose to include it too.

And what’s with the tats? The director D.J. Caruso seems like he must have been saying: We should not leave the tattoo! Let him wear a Capri so that the tattoos show!

Worthy Bits

If you still expect something cool to happen, then it is Donnie Yen’s fight bits that takes off the heat for a while. You watch him go full Ip Man on rogue soldiers and you get your money’s worth then and there with his badass action moves. Inclusion of known faces from the past, like Darius Stone too at one point makes you smile.

Amongst other worthy scenes, okay, now I am drawing a blank.

If you are a huge Vin Diesel fan, you can still watch it.

You can buy xXx Return of Xander Cage from here:

The Final Verdict

xXx Return of Xander Cage is nothing but a fully flawed flick. If you are a diehard Vin Diesel fan, and are ready to accept him in every avatar he portrays, this movie might make you happy.

To be honest, nobody remembers the first XXX movie. Now when did that happen? 15 years ago! I was a kid back then and might have mistakenly considered Xander Cage to be cool.

So far Vin has been mighty successful in the Fast and Furious series. He should stick to that. Because at least the direction and story there weaves up something worth watching. It lets us digest all the nonsensical stunts.

You can check out the trailer of xXx Return of Xander Cage here:

The Last Witch Hunter Review (2015)

The Last Witch Hunter is yet another Vin debacle!

So he has a knack for action. Or so we have perceived and accepted him as. The action bloke! But he seems to drive the action well only when he is behind the wheels. Apart from the Fast and Furious franchise, we have rarely seen him successfully take a movie to a badass fruition.

The Last Witch Hunter is anything but a good action movie. The witch action depicted was overshadowed by the cranky looking disgusting witch-faces and the flick’s average CGI. At one point the growing roots and branches of the trees looked so animated, I wondered if I walked in for an animated movie. The action ends up without a proper focus and it becomes hard to concentrate. Also, it was horrifically limited.

The plot is downright outrageous. The minute I saw Vin give a cheesy one liner to the air hostess in the beginning scene, I at once understood, what I was in for. The story contains a prologue and a follow up eventually to connect the dots, which could have been directed beautifully had we not Breck Eisner to helm this flick.

The concept of the movie is based on sheer fantasy, which if not depicted well, naturally goes to the toilet. So, if there is nothing engaging to watch, you automatically slip into a jaded zone.

Rose Leslie’s role is that of a Dream Walker. She’s like a walking pensieve. (and Harry Potter winks!) Without a proper story she gets hazy too. Michael Caine is there in the flick just to converse with Vin, and to go into a coma. He did the latter quite well. Elijah Wood’s role headed towards naught. He should have never left his Frodo bags.

What I also almost forgot to mention, is the fact that the movie is really boring. You will be hit by a sudden indifference with all the witch-crap they throw at you without a proper explanation. Even the screenplay was an attempt at subtle one-liners, something every action movie proudly thrives on.

This movie was a failed attempt at witchcraft. I just wish a big production house and better directors to pick up this project and reboot the shit outta this!

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!