The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] Saving Mr Banks – The Movie That Only Disney Could Make March 17, 2014


IMDB: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Certified Fresh

Metacritics: 65%

A topic like this is sensitive, especially since Walt Disney Pictures is one of the biggest companies out there in the showbiz, to ever have Walt Disney being represented by an actor in any movie, is pretty much a miracle of our age.

Disney, or Walt, as he would like you to call him, is a legend, he’s the guy who made revolutionary animated movies, the person who brought us so many wonderful motions pictures, someone who practically paved the path for the standing of animation today.

However, as we grow up, after we learn more about this world, we would slowly realise that, Walt Disney, is a human being too, and no one is perfect.

Surprising as it is, this movie is not about Walt, but about P.L. Travars, the author of Mary Poppins.

The entire story is basically centred around her, and because of that, this movie became a roller coaster of emotions, and a really relatable movie.

P.L. Travars is the person who you would hate to work alongside with, she’s cranky and rude, always appearing as a step higher than you, does not care what you think and only cares about how she feels… But I’m pretty sure a lot of us can see a part of us in her.

Which was one of the reason why I really loved this movie, I could relate to her, I actually do care for her, despite all her flaws and the fact I’ll probably still hate her if I met her in real life, I forgave her for all that she’s doing, because I know she’s only human.

The portrayal of family problems is by far the best I’ve seen in recent blockbusters, it did not entirely paint a bad picture for anyone in the family, instead it simply showed the struggles they were going through and bad decisions being made, it looked at these problems through the eye of the child, and how it still clings on to the child even after she grew up.

Which was the key thing that made this movie very personal to a lot of people who had experienced similar things in their childhood.

I was surprised that the movie was actually pretty fair to Mrs Travars, considering they seem to all hated her and till the day she died she still never forgave them for what they’ve done to Mary Poppins.

The representation of Walt Disney was also fair enough, but you could still feel the utmost love and admiration the people who were involved in this movie had towards him.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed that they chose to not mention Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, instead simply went with Mickey when talking about the topic of rights of a character being taken away. However I could guess it’s because they don’t want any feud with Universal, and not everyone knows about Oswald.

I like the parallel storyline of Mrs Travars and her childhood, and how they link together, it’s a very interesting method of storytelling.

Another thing I really like about this movie is the characters, you can’t outrightly hate anyone in this movie, at the same time you don’t immediately love them either, it’s very grey when you look at it.

Now let’s get onto the topic of the reality of this movie.

This movie pretty much have a smooth ride since it’s based on one of the most classic in film history, a lot of people would come to watch it simply because they could relive the wonders of Mary Poppins.

However, as much as we hate to admit it, this movie is once again Disney fluffing up a story that they’re adapting.

This movie, albeit for all that it’s talking about, is doing exactly the same thing as what it’s main character is defending against.

Is that is not real irony I don’t know what is.

However my opinion on this issue is conflicted because in one of my scriptwriting lecture, one very important thing taught to us about adapting from a source material, is that we have to think for the final picture, instead of being thoughtful for everyone stuffing in content that’s not going to help the film.

Or the fact that when adapting from another source, it’s perfectly acceptable to change things here and there to enhance it.

Which was exactly what Walt Disney and the production team of this movie did.

This movie is about the struggles of working in the creative industry, having conflict with people who sees a different picture, and the money, contract, legal rights issue behind the scene.

I think you can add this movie to the whole list of ‘good movies about making movies’, because despite several parts of it being fictionalised, looking at the irony of it or the actual content of the movie, gives you the insight to what happens behind the screen.

Especially since many times, those movies about the struggles of making a movies, tend to focus more heavily on the actual production, while the pre-production stage can actually be just as much of a battlefield as that.

Overall, looking at the movie itself, it’s not the best as it could have been, but knowing the limitations, it’s already the best it could have been.

PS: We all know what will happen if Disney doesn’t actually acquire the rights to make a movie, just look at Lion King.

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[Movie Review] Frozen December 26, 2013


IMDB – 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes – 89% [Certified Fresh]

Metacritic – 43%

My Rating – 7/10

I’m gonna be honest with you guys… I didn’t love it.

I liked it, it’s a fun Christmas/Thanksgiving/winter season movie, but I gotta say, I expected a lot more than what they had given me.

You see, sometimes expectations play a big role in how much you end up actually liking a movie.

I walked into the theatre with the expectation of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, two of Disney’s latest successful 3D animated movie.

However the movie lacked the depth I was looking for, and thus I couldn’t bring myself to love it.

But I’m still gonna be fair and look at it as a movie itself, rather than as a Disney package.

First of all, the animation is gorgeous.

They knew they had the potential to make this movie visually stunning, and they made full use of it.

I particularly liked the design of Elsa’s ice castle, and how the color scheme inside the castle changed along with her mood, it’s subtle, but I appreciate the effort.

The characters in this movie… I’ll be frank, I didn’t like Anna during the first one third of this movie, I found her really annoying.

I’m thinking it might be done on purpose, that they wanted to portray her as the annoying younger sister who you both love and hate, if that’s the case, it’s actually done well.

On the other hand, Elsa was presented as the mature older sister, who is always given the responsibility to take care of the younger sibling, becoming selfless.

This aspect is actually pretty clever, I don’t have a sibling, but I feel that people with siblings, and have this silent rivalry or role positioning casted by their parents, would relate really well to the two sisters in the movie.

But my favorite has to be Olaf, I don’t care how people kept thinking he’s an annoying comic relief character, I love him, I really do.

He is the best comic relief character I’ve seen for a really long time, he has all the best lines in this movie, he is caring, you can kick him around and he won’t get angry.

I actually felt the most protective of him because I was worried they’d let him melt away, because of what they did to the comic relief character in Princess and the Frog.

As for the two male characters, they’re pretty lacking in terms of depth, however it’s pretty understandable considering that the focus of this movie is still mainly on the two sisters.

But they definitely could’ve been given more characteristics that make them more memorable, the evidence of that is the fact that I can’t even remember their names at this point of time.

The musical aspect of it felt amateur, I only remember half of the songs, and only 2-3 of them really clicked with me.

One being the opening sequence, the song that perfectly set the mood and background.

Another is ‘Let It Go’, but I’d give credits to Idina Menzel, she’s one of the main reason why I was so eager to step into the theatre to see this movie.

The other one is Olaf’s song, it wasn’t particularly memorable, but I just really liked it, it’s one of the few songs in this movie I didn’t cringe at the awkward timing or childish lyrics.

I have heard people mentioning that the sound track includes several other songs that were cut from the movie, and actually presents more depth, like Elsa and Anna confronting each other having conflict because Anna ask Elsa to put back the gloves, and Anna singing about feeling like she’s less important because her sister is the queen.

I haven’t heard them, but I’d definitely hear it one day, because those two scene might have actually made me love this movie.

The pacing of this movie feels a little bit rushed, that this huge conflict between the sisters that had existed and grew for more than 10 years, is suddenly resolved in just one day.

Part of me really wanted to see Elsa being wild with her powers for a longer time, the misunderstanding towards her would have been more serious and harder to deal with, she would have to do something even more epic to redeem herself.

In conclusion, this movie had the potential to be a classic, but they chose the family-friendly route instead.

It is a pretty decent film for the entire family to enjoy, but not exactly something I’d die to make my kids watch in the future.

For those of you who really loved the film, don’t get angry at me, you know what, I’m envious of you.

I was really really excited to see this movie, you have no idea how much I was looking forward to it.

It’s not fun to not love a movie you’ve been this excited to see, I really wish I did love it, I wish I saw the magic you see in it, I really really want to love it.

But there’s just something that is missing, something I was hoping it’s there, but it’s not, and I’m disappointed, and so I start to see the flaw in it.

I actually do hope they make a sequel, and introduce new threats to this world they had build, maybe a villain with fire power?

 

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – A True Revolution December 7, 2013


IMDB: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% [Certified Fresh]

Metacritics: 75%

My rating: 9/10

For many years, teenage fiction film adaptions were always judged on another scale.

A different scale from the usual movies, one that is arguably more lenient and taken less seriously.

With past examples like Twilight and Percy Jackson, the first Hunger Games movie created a good impression, increased book sales, brought in some money…

But this one, Catching Fire, is where the real revolution begins.

This film just straight up leapt the franchise onto a whole new level.

The last time this happened, I remember it was Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, where the first Batman Begins was pretty good, but the second just reached such a new height that it impressed everyone, including those who initially were doubtful about it.

A clarification, I’ve read part of the first book, didn’t finish it due to time issues, so I went into this movie with the minimum expectation of the first movie. It’s one of the things I like doing, it allows me to judge a movie as a movie itself, without prior prejudice and expectations because of the book.

One of the first thing I have to praise, is the pacing of this movie.

This movie is just so engaging that I didn’t realise how much time went past by the time this movie ended.

I remember a secondary school teacher told me once before, that a good movie, is supposed to make you not think about anything else, but the movie itself, while you’re watching it. It’s like marrying yourself to the movie for that short moment of time, fully getting inside the world.

And this movie did exactly that, I was into this movie the whole entire time I’m watching it.

It’s a roller coaster ride of events, and a real exciting one.

Another thing is the characters. One of the minor problem I had with the previous Hunger Games movie was that, I didn’t care much for the characters, only a few like Rue and Katniss, but the rest of them you don’t feel that attached to.

However in this one, some of the character’s death just outright breaks your heart, and even if it didn’t, you wish they didn’t die.

They portrayed these character in a way that you start feeling empathy for them, you start to like them, get attached to them, and so losing them became a big deal.

Many had praised Jena Malone’s performance, and I must say, she is amazing, she killed it in every scene, I really want to see more of her, I can’t get enough of her.

I want her to become the next big thing in Hollywood so I can see more of her performance, I think The Hunger Games franchise has the potential to help many uprising stars to become Hollywood’s next big star, like what it did for Jennifer Lawrence.

Talking about characters, in this one, the chemistry between the casts is greatly improved.

You could really feel Katniss and Peeta being stuck in this awkward position where things were supposed to be an act, but it hurts Peeta, and Katniss doesn’t know how to handle it.

In the last one I barely felt anything when Katniss kissed Peeta, but for this one, I actually could feel the tension between them, and I could see the feelings growing between them.

You see the growth in Effie’s character, you see the interaction between President Snow and his granddaughter, which are all really really well established, even though it’s just a few sentences, or a look on their faces.

One thing I’m very grateful about is that they no longer used the same amount of shaky-cam, I’m really not a fan of the misuse of shaky-cam, and I can’t be more grateful for this movie to be more stable than the previous one.

I’m not sure is it just me, or the lack of shaky-cam actually made this movie feel a lot more cinematic, it feels more big-scale, and I guess when you have enough money for a movie, you don’t have to hide things with shaky-cam.

The world of Panem becomes a little more familiar to us in this one.

In the previous one, we just know one or two things about it, but in this one, we get a little more details to the different districts, mainly thanks to the more significant existence of the tributes this time.

The director, Francis Lawrence, I’ve never watched any other movie of his, I just know he directed I Am Legend, and he started off as a music video director before stepping into film.

I have a feeling that this franchise is going to help his career, he’s definitely going to be one of the names people will start looking out for, at least I will have some faith in him when I see his name on a movie poster.

This movie proves that he can take on blockbuster movie and present a masterpiece in a short amount of time.

I am really excited for the next one, I think I’m definitely gonna pick up the books again and finish it.

I want to dive deeper into the world of Panem, I want to find out more about each of the characters, I wish Suzanne Collins continue the franchise and write more spin-off books. Maybe about the first Hunger Games ever, or just the history of the first rebellion.

Of course we don’t know will that ever happen, but that definitely shows that this franchise is getting successful.

 

[Movie Review] The Bling Ring – Shallow and a Waste of Time October 15, 2013


IMDB: 5.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%

(Seriously how much money did they spend on buying critics?)

There’s two kinds of movies that can be made from real life events, those that are like Argo, focusing on an event itself, and those that are like Jobs, focusing on the story of a person’s life.

Then there is this movie, focusing on something that nobody cares anymore, and did a terrible job, making no one else to care about it ever again.

This movie felt more like a news broadcast than a movie re-telling the in-depth details of the shocking crimes of a few teenagers.

The entire movie is a huge waste of a good opportunity, it barely focused on the emotions and psychological reasons behind the teens’ actions, or other key things like how teenagers today are heavily influenced by the media and celebrity lifestyles, instead it felt more like a movie to condemn these teenagers’ vain lifestyle and childishness, and also the hypocrisy of Alexis Neisers’ public and open attitude towards the whole issue.

It is a rare case in which I could actually criticize a movie’s technical aspects, such as the way it was shot, the editing, the camera angles…

It’s made every mistake that my camera and editing lecturers told us to never make.

For example, a particular scene shot in the car, with a time-lapse sorta thing of the girl singing and having fun, the editing there was really choppy and in some ways, amateur.

Or other scenes where they just throw google image searches at you without even the slightest effort to make those picture blend into the film.

The acting is terrible, because of this movie, I’m not going to trust Emma Watson’s judgement ever again.

It feels like she’s trying too hard to break away from the Hermione image, and is desperate to try anything that strikes an opposing image to Hermione.

Actually the only actress in the movie who didn’t feel like she just wandered onto the set randomly

Like I have mentioned above, this movie was based on a real event, but after doing a little bit of research, apparently this movie made very little attempt to be true to the story.

After some Googling, I found out that one of their main information provider is a police officer who was in-charge of the case previously.

That is actually… secondary source isn’t it.

After reading Alexis Neisers’ blog, I also found out that they did not bother to interview the one person involved in this incident who is still pretty public.

Most of the members involved have went public and stated that they only found out that people were making this movie through others, which definitely shows that the movie production team did not bother to approach these people at all.

Yes the entire crime itself is stupid, but it’s worst when you want to make a movie of such an event based on stupidity, and take it too seriously, does not try to adjust it a little to make it better, and insist on insulting the people involved in the incident rather than helping them tell their story.

Been a long time since I last gave a movie 1/10.

Yes Emma Watson is hot, but she sure is terrible at picking scripts.

PS: You know a movie is sad when the only name they can present to the people is Emma Watson, and no one else, and all anyone ever talks about this movie is Emma Watson.

 

[Movie Review] Despicable Me 2 – The Adorable Family Flick July 26, 2013


7.8 – IMDb
75% – Rotten Tomatoes

My rating: 7.5
Today on the bus I’ve found the perfect way to describe Despicable Me 2.

Imagine if someone presented you with a plate of dish, which has all the best ingredients in the world and has all your favorite food in it, but the problem is, none of it was cooked well.

That’s exactly how I felt about Despicable Me 2.

It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s adorable, it’s heart warming, it’s exciting, it’s hilarious…

But none of these elements were extremely well executed that I could call this movie a classic.

In this sequel to the original Despicable Me, Illumination Entertainment learnt from past experiences, and realised that the audiences loved the minions way more than they had expected them to.

And so they decided to give the minions more screen time, and even went to the extend of making them a big part of the crisis Gru had to face.

They were trying to achieve too much in too little time, and throwing in every good idea that was mentioned in the development period of the script.

One of such example is the minion who starts having a crush on Lucy after seeing her.

It was a fun idea, but that only lasted for a few minutes on-screen, and then it was never mentioned again.

Talking about Lucy, I have to comment on how likable this character is, it’s actually very rare for the audience to immediately like a character the instant they see them(not attracted, just like), especially not a female sidekick.

We know how female sidekick usually turns out to be, sexy and hot, their only purpose is for guys to fantasize.

However Despicable Me turns that entirely around, and gives us a female sidekick, who will be liked by both male and female audience, not overly sexualized, not overly annoying, has the shyness of a female yet the goofiness that doesn’t make her just a beautiful flower vase.

I also really liked the sassy villain El Macho, however he was a pretty shallow villain, and was defeated in a really short time, in a pretty lame way.

Everything is so rushed in the movie, and I could hardly feel the connection between the characters, it’s like being given an apple, and before you could take a bite, someone switch it with an orange, and before you could peel the orange, someone switch it to a strawberry.

However, despite that, the movie does what it promise to do.

It brings you laughter, the minions are really cute, even the kids became more likable than before.

There were several moments where I literally burst out in laughter, and not many movies could get me to do that.

Most of the audience, would definitely enjoy this movie greatly, especially children.

It’s better to look at this movie from a mindless point of view, just absorb in and buy whatever that’s presented to you, and I promise you, you will have a good time.

This movie does have it’s flaws, but it’s not bad enough to make you feel like they’re not even trying, in fact they’re trying very hard.

I guess we shouldn’t be so harsh on a company who is still trying to find it’s place in an animated industry dominated by Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks.(maybe Bluesky too)

It is the perfect example of a fun movie, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it gives you what you’re possibly looking forward to.

Not just that, the tone and pace of the movie stays constant throughout, which is also pretty commendable, a lot of movies today just drifts away when the script writer has a writer’s block but has to rush for deadlines.

There’s not a single moment where you feel that this movie isn’t entertaining you, it just keeps showing you new things that amuses you, maybe it’s bad in the aspect of underdevelopment, but in terms of entertainment, it’s perfect.

The romance aspect in this movie is also really well done, especially how they showcased young love which does not last; The romance that blossomed between Gru and Lucy is really natural, it’s not cheesy or forced, I’m actually convinced that these two characters really do love each other and I feel happy for them.

I would recommend everyone to go see this movie, or maybe just a friday night when you snuggle in your bed and trying to find entertainment, this is the perfect fit.

If you have a child, or a sibling who is still young, let them watch this movie, they’ll have the time of their life.

Maybe not in a Disney movie way that’s like, when they grow up and re-watch it, they’ll discover many new things they hasn’t when they’re young.

But for this movie, it’s exactly what parents are constantly looking for to show their kids.

I still hope they had developed the story and the character interaction a little more, but even without that, I still enjoyed the movie nonetheless, and that itself, already proves that this movie is a success.

At the end of the day, aren’t we all just hoping to be entertained?

 

[Movie Review] Man of Steel – The New Age of DC July 21, 2013


IMDB: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

My rating: 8/10

When Marvel/Disney got big with Avengers, DC/Warner Brothers got anxious.

They needed to catch up with this golden age of superheroes(aka perfect money-grabbing opportunity), but the situation wasn’t so good for them since they were already done with Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

They tried what they can with Green Lantern, which got a huge amount of hate from both critics and viewers.

Then they decided to team up with Legendary Pictures again, got the director of the considerably successful Watchmen, and try again with the world’s most famous hero of all – Superman.

Why Superman? Because no one, not anyone can ever possibly fail with Superman, it a guaranteed box office success no matter how bad the movie is.

Okay enough with the introduction, I’ll start with the actual review.

I’ve always admired Zack Snyder’s visual style, his movies usually have a color tone given to the entire film, that makes you feel more immersed in it.

Because the color tone is different from reality, you feel like half of you is in a comic book, the other half in the movie.

It also enhances the visual effect, making them blend in much easier than other movies.

He chose a very gloomy dark-blueish color tone for Superman, which is a good choice because Superman’s costume is blue, and it brings an entire serious atmosphere around it.

Throughout the years, one very big problem about Superman, is that no one takes him seriously anymore.

People always ridiculed Superman’s costume, saying that he wears his underwear outside and stuff like that.

This movie made the choice to give Henry Cavill the new costume in the comics, which loses the underwear.

Man of Steel also chose to take itself very seriously, with almost no lightened moment throughout the entire movie.

Some of the choices the movie made, in term of plot, had mixed reception from fans and critics alike.

[Spoilers alert.]

One of it being making Superman kill Zod.

Many are starting to lose faith in Zack Snyder because he was the one who came up with the idea, Christopher Nolan objected the idea initially, and many felt that he should have persisted with his opinion.

In my personal opinion, I think it’s a good choice they made.

Throughout the years, one of Superman’s legacy is to never kill.

However, until today, I have never understood why.

Was it just the teaching of Ma and Pa Kent? Being a good natured person?

Man of Steel chose to give an even stronger reason to why Superman chose to never kill, again.

After he had snapped Zod’s neck, he appeared traumatized by what he had done, and it would be reasonable to think that he would never kill again, because he had killed someone before, he know how it is, and so he won’t do it again.

I believe Warner Brothers are not going to make Superman an ultimate killing machine, I’d really want to tell all the fans to calm down with this one.

[Spoiler end]

The other decision they made that annoyed fans, was their decision to separate itself entirely from the original series.

We did not hear even the slightest hint of the iconic Superman theme, and Zack Snyder also mentioned that he wants this to be a whole new different thing from the series in the past.

Because of this, many felt disconnected with this movie.

A large portion of the fan base are strongly connected with the original Superman movies, and it’s understandable that they would feel a little abandoned when Warner Brothers chose to redo the movie in a completely unconnected manner from the past Superman films.

However, on the other hand, I felt that they needed to do this.

I have a friend, who would cringe whenever she hears of Superman’s name.

It’s heartbreaking, especially when she ridiculed him and tell me why she thinks that Superman sucks.

Like I had mentioned before, Superman is no longer taken seriously.

Most of the people would treat Captain America more seriously than Superman, even though Captain America’s costume in Avengers looked ridiculous as hell.(Really I loved the army costume in First Avenger a lot more)

Man of Steel needed to create a whole new image for Superman, to be taken seriously once again, as the most iconic hero in the entire world.

No longer just the goody two-shoe boy scout, but a hero who everyone can look up to.

The third thing that angered the fans, was how much damage was done to the entire city.

On this one, perhaps I agree with the fans a little bit more.

The movie chose to show very few scenes of Superman actually saving people, instead they show more scenes of him fighting with the villains.

That is not an absolutely wrong choice, but one of the things you can’t take away from Superman, is his strong will of wanting to save people.

If Zod doesn’t want to harm the humans on Earth at all, and simply wanted Kal El to hand him the codex, and would leave immediately afterwards, I bet Superman would gladly hand him the codex and wave goodbye to them all.

But Superman chose to fight against Zod because Zod is going to harm the humans.

This is a point I would really wish to see being improved on in the future sequels.

I must also mention that I absolutely love Lois Lane in this one.

Ever since at the age of 6, when I bought my first Superman cartoon box set DVD, I’ve hated Lois Lane, all the way until this movie, where I finally begin to love her, a lot.

One of the many things that made Lois Lane annoying, was how she’s supposed to be a great journalist, but can’t see through a pair of glasses and a single strand of hair.

She was supposed to be based on Nellie Bly, one of the greatest female journalist of all time, someone who pretended she was crazy, just so she could investigate a mental institute from within.

And in this movie, I finally see that part being portrayed out of Lois Lane, I finally see that fearless journalist, who sometimes may need Superman to save her, but in the most dire times, would aid Superman to save humanity.

I also really like the idea of not making Superman a hero that everyone trust(yet), one of my favorite comics of Superman and Batman, was the Public Enemies story, which touches on the aspect of people’s trust in these heroes.

It has a lot of potential, we get to see Superman earning that trust from everyone, instead of being told that everyone just loved Superman, because he is told to be a hero.

In conclusion, I believe this is a great Superman film, this was what the DC movie-verse needed, and would hang onto for a very long time in a box office fight against Marvel.

I can’t wait to see what DC has to offer next, would it be a whole new Batman franchise? Or will they work on other Justice League members like Flash or Wonder Woman?

On another note, I sort of feel like they should have pushed the release date of this movie a bit later, so that they can have a bigger show than what they have during San Diego Comic Con.

Marvel is sweeping the SDCC like it was entirely dedicated for them, and I’ve actually not heard much news from DC.

Frankly, it’s a bit worrying, whether can DC put up a fight on the cinematic stage with Marvel.

(Especially after the news that they’re splitting with Legendary Pictures)

EDIT:

Right after publishing this review, it’s been announced during SDCC that a Batman Superman film is to be made for 2015 release.

I can’t possibly tell you guys how excited I am for this.

Even though it’s going head to head with Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, I now believe they really can put up this fight with Marvel.

Come on, it’s Superman and Batman team up, how many of us had wanted this for decades?

 

[Movie Review] The Last Stand – Another Action Movie That Tried Too Hard February 25, 2013


NOTE: YES, SPOILERS, DUH

IMDB: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

I’m usually a person who don’t say much during movies, and I hate it when people around me talk, but for this particular movie, I almost banged my head on the floor as this movie unfolds it’s terrible logic.

First, I must mention how robotic Arnold Schwarzenegger reads his lines.

I’ve not seen much of his movies, except Terminator 2, which was awesome, and suits him perfectly.

Then I watched this movie and I realised, he is just like that, it wasn’t his acting.

Look at him, how is this not T-101?

I was half expecting him to say ‘Hasta la vista, baby‘ at the end of the movie after he captured the bad guy.

That wasn’t the big problem, we all know Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so we’re not especially surprised by that.

The one thing that got me very annoyed was how the movie tries too hard to be serious.

It was trying to reach a level like Mission Impossible or James Bond, when in actual fact, no one came to the movie to watch that.

I can tolerate, in fact, even enjoy a brainless movie, I can look at bad guys getting kicked in the ass for no apparent reason except to be simply told that he is evil, I don’t need to know his background story to enjoy watching him getting hit by the main protagonist.

So when the main antagonist of the movie tries to explain about death, about a story how his niece, who was very close to him, tries to shoot him in the head, hesitated, and instead got killed by him, I couldn’t help but wonder, was that really necessary?

There was no conclusion to the story, he didn’t explain why did his niece do that, maybe he killed her best friend’s parents? Or she found out about what he had been doing and couldn’t get over her own moral values?

But the story ended there, he killed her.

The bigger problem was the entire concept of the hostage in this movie.

The leader of FBI can let a whole SWAT team go face the criminals and die, yet couldn’t get over the fact his own FBI agent was captured and might be killed.

The movie would have ended in just 20 minutes, if he had done the right thing, which is to blow the car up.

That guy at the back who knows about cars, that guy you assume is a small character(and he is), was the only person who made sense in the entire team of ‘elite’ agents.

Why can’t you kill her? You have to answer to her parents? Dude she is a FBI agent, you don’t become a FBI agent and not expect death to come to you sooner or later.

If she was a civilian, okay, I understand, she would be an innocent soul trembling, but… she happens to be an FBI agent, I believe she’s went through enough training and seen enough things to not act like a normal civilian.

This movie once again made FBI looked like the most useless team of people on the planet, 5 people could do the task that an entire team of elite made up of at least 50 men couldn’t. Really?

Also, the FBI hostage, did she get the job by having sex with the leader? Because her level of intelligence definitely seem lower than a normal human being.

Was she really expecting to be living happily ever after with the antagonist? Did she really not know that he was going to push her down the car? She’s dealing with one of the most dangerous criminal on record, yet she lets her guard loose to the stage she’s asking for sex from him.

I was hoping that she was just working undercover, pretending she sides with him after receiving the money, but instead later kicks his ass.

But that never happened, she was a bimbo even till the end of the movie, playing hard to get, flirting furiously.

Once again, how did the leader of the FBI suddenly suspect that she was working with him? I thought a moment ago you still couldn’t bear to plant a bomb on the car because she’s in there.

The death of the young police officer was unnecessary, I get it, you want to make it seem sad, serious, a huge issue.

Come on, we all know that at the end of the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger is gonna kick that guy’s sorry ass, why? Because he is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s also ridiculous, how his two best friends, after winning the battle, started spinning in circle, happily in love again, completely forgotten about his entire existence.

It would have been more appropriate if he only ends up in the hospital, telling them to go get that bad guy, and at the end of the movie everyone visit him, he would be happy to see his two best friends happily together again, and his respect for the sheriff multiplied, becomes a determined youth, striving to be just as awesome as the sheriff.

You don’t mention a youth with aspiration, then let him die in the lamest way possible, without even saying any last words that meant something.(no wishing you two lover best friends back together is not meaningful)

That’s one thing Jackie Chan actually does well, he knows who to keep alive, he make sure his movies are pure action, no matter how bad the story is, the ending makes the audience happy.

They also didn’t make good use of the two comic relief characters, Johnny Knoxville’s character didn’t live up to the expectation, except the flair gun part, that was awesome. However I was still expecting him to showcase how passionate he is about guns, how these knowledge become a huge advantage… but that didn’t happen.

From the moment Luis Guzmán’s character took swords, I was hoping, he’s gonna slice the enemies and stab them, showing them that traditional weapons can be just as deadly and bad-ass, but that didn’t happen either.
(Correct me if I’m wrong about these two parts, maybe the cinema in my country cut out certain parts of the movie)

Overall the movie was a pathetic attempt on all aspects.

I heard that this movie was the director’s Hollywood debut, and that it’s pretty important to him. But if you ask me, his past movies were a lot better than this. Maybe he just lacked a good script, as I noticed that the directing didn’t have any problem, the graphic visuals was pleasant. I really hope Hollywood give him another chance.

This was also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first lead role since Terminator 3, not a good start if you ask me, but he is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his name itself would bring people into the theater.

Overall, 6/10.

Worth watching for the action, but just try to tolerate the stupid logic from the script writer(s).

 

 
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