Reviews

Black Widow Review

Goodbye Black Widow, hello new funnier Black Widow!

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Big screen MCU is back! After the painfully long wait of two years, the Marvel train has returned. Following the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, I was always curious what would be next for the MCU. Much of the recent Disney+ shows have been about closure or moving on from the events of the last Avengers movie, but the original plan was for this film to kick off what’s next for the MCU. The funny thing about it, I actually think the break helped give this movie a little more air to remind fans of the MCU (like me) what we enjoy from the many entries that came before.

While we all know the outcome of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, it didn’t make this movie less enjoyable to me. Something I originally was slightly skeptical about. It doesn’t lean into the idea of this being this prolonged mourning for Natasha, instead it felt like a greater exploration into her past and the relationships in her youth that kept her from becoming a blood thirsty monster for the rest of her days. It’s the supporting cast of Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh, Alexi Shostakov (David Harbour), and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) that elevate this movie from what could have been a little dry to being a fun time. Seriously, Yelena is hilarious and I can’t wait to see more of her in the MCU.

Some may complain of Marvel continuing to ignore there villains but in this case it didn’t really bother me. The main bad doesn’t take much to understand so it would have been a waste to spend screen time exploring that. The movie also doesn’t do much in the world of “new things.” There aren’t really new powers, or new toys to speak of. The antagonist is a literal copycat of fighting styles of other characters. So you aren’t getting something you necessarily haven’t seen before, it’s more if you are in for the story.

In terms of what kind of Marvel movie you are getting here, think more of the slightly grounded Captain America movies over say The Avengers or Guardians. The fight scenes are less about blasting people and more close up fights. Some of the fights are actually quite brutal where if they were allowed to include the blood it would be a damn mess in some scenes. Story wise beyond Black Widow herself, it does leave room for some interesting possibilities that could come back to the MCU. As I mentioned earlier, I expect a lot of fun things from Yelena Belova.

As to where this movie falls in the greater rankings of the MCU, I wouldn’t say it’s in my top ten, but it’s not in the bottom ten either. It rests somewhere in the middle. Which to me is something I can easily stand by recommending. For the MCU faithful, the drought is over. Welcome back to the big screen MCU!

Reviews

F9 – The Fast Saga Review

The bro soap opera has taken over. Even for Fast & Furious standards, F9 is bad.

Probably Not Worth Your Time

It’s pretty bonkers to think that twenty years ago a Point Break style movie about street racing would turn into a major blockbuster franchise now spanning ten movies. It became even more wild after 2 Fast 2 Furious, and absolutely insane by the time Tokyo Drift released in 2006. At that point it didn’t look like there would be a time when the Fast & Furious franchise would be a juggernaut, but here we are. I say all of this, but the truth is, I have been a fan of the crazy series ever since director Justin Lin took turned the direction of the series from being about street racing to about the drama of the characters themselves.

It’s been a winning formula to have this family drama soap opera along with crazier and crazier action set pieces that when balanced just right it has made for some dumb popcorn movie fun. At least that was the case up until Furious 7. The previous Fate of The Furious and now F9 have started a downward trend where the soap opera drama is infecting what fun there was to be had with the crazy action.

When a group of street racing criminals suddenly become unsanctioned covert-ops spy teams you know things are going a little off the rails, but when it starts using that as the excuse for well any unexplainable thing it begins to get a tad annoying that you actually notice. Where in previous movies you could ignore just how nonsensical things would get, the last two it’s so in your face your brain is screaming at the screen “COME ON!” It’s not even just the spy excuses, it’s also in the writing. This dialogue in this particular entry just hurts to think about sometimes. One character proclaims that none of this is worth it if the other person dies. To which you have to ask, this is about revenge what are you talking about?

That “what are you talking about?” and “okay that happened” are thoughts that come up way too often. With all that said, if you turn off every thinking braincell you have, the action scenes towards the end involving magnets are pretty damn fun to watch. Maybe It’s me. Maybe I have finally crossed the point where these movies aren’t fun anymore. But in the case that my tastes haven’t dramatically shifted, I have to be honest, watch something else. If you like this series watch up to seven, it had the perfect ending, and then find pretty much anything else to watch. Don’t be a “well I watched the others so I better watch this one” person like I am. It’s not worth it I promise you.

Reviews

A Quiet Place Part II Review

Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.

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I still remember when I saw the first trailer for 2018’s A Quiet Place. At the time I honestly thought the concept of not making a sound was very silly premise sure to be filled with cheap scares and terrible moments to highlight the gimmick. Then I watched the movie, and what director/writer/actor John Krasinski pulled off made me a believer. The tension was high, the concept of sound hunting aliens was used effectively, but most importantly the film told a great story. I felt for the Abbott family, I wanted them to make it. I wanted them to forgive themselves for the death of one of their children, something that clearly damaged the entire family unit parents and children alike. It’s all to say I loved the first film.

Now typically in a sequel to what felt like a pretty contained story to an original idea, usually goes completely off the rails awful. Part II doesn’t do that; Part II is just as good if not a tad better than our first days with the Abbot family. Part II picks up immediately after the climatic and destructive ending to Part I. The family can no longer stay at what was once their home, it’s defensives destroyed and the farm in flames, they make a desperate journey to find refuge elsewhere. From there the movie takes off showcasing some of the dark elements of human survivors left with nothing but savagery and desperation. It felt somewhat like the popular AMC show The Walking Dead, where after you understand the literal monsters, the heroes begin to see that humanity can equally live up to the same evil standards as blood thirsty aliens or zombies. That said while the movie is billed on getting a heavy dose of terrible people, this movie continues to stick to the much more significant threat of alien creatures. While the Abbott’s may have found a weakness to the creatures, it doesn’t mean the deadly things can’t still rip them to shreds if they aren’t careful.

All of this bleakness would probably be a bit too much if it wasn’t for the main driving force of Part II. Where Part I seemed focus on forgiveness and learning to move on from tragedy, Part II ultimately is a story of hope and fighting for it. It passes the torch from being a story about the parents Evelyn and Lee (played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski) and instead on their children, Regan and Marcus (played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe). These two young actors stepped up to the plate and really delivered carrying this movie’s heart and soul. To counter this hope was Cillian Murphy’s Emmett. A man who has lost everything, he is devoid of hope, and it’s his pairing with Regan that makes for the most powerful moments of the film. None of this is to say that Blunt doesn’t have some strong moments herself. It’s all to say this film has a great cast, and a story that focuses on them.

I could gush on the acting and story all day, but I have to give some major credit to the editors of Part II. The way moments are cut together dancing between several storylines while ratcheting up the terror or triumph in several parts of the film was so satisfying. I’m not one who tends to notice editing unless it’s bad, but this was a film where I couldn’t help but appreciate how they were layering things together. And finally, how could I not mention the sound editing / mixing? Just like the first film they effectively use the absence of sound as an effective tool to illustrate tension, as well as emotional beats for characters too. One moment with Simmonds was especially moving.

It’s crazy to me how much I can say about a slightly under hour and forty-minute film, but that’s just how good it is. Just like the first, every element is well crafted and built to elevate a story about people in an extraordinary situation. I know Krasinski was apprehensive of making a sequel to begin with but after watching this one, all I can think about is is how much I hope he convinces himself to make a Part III. Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.

Reviews

Those Who Wish Me Dead Review

Those Who Wish Me Dead is a cool title for a very hollow but passable thriller.

Maybe Watch It?

I have to admit between the cast and the director/writer Taylor Sheridan, I had my hopes high on Those Who Wish Me Dead. The premise seemed simple enough, but after many of the previous films Sheridan was involved in I was thinking maybe this one has more to it. Welp, that was the wrong assumption to make with this one. Let’s dig into this one.

Those Who Wish Me Dead follows a boy named Connor whose father was unfortunately privy to some pretty incriminating information on someone of power. Maybe it was a whole bunch of rich people or maybe just one person, the movie doesn’t really dive into what the heck the guy knew, only that it was worth killing anyone that knows about it or someone that comes in contact with a person who knows about it. A McGuffin if you will. Poor Connor happens to escape his fate and while wondering in the Montana wilderness he stumbles upon Angelina Jolie’s Hannah, a wilderness firefighter stationed on a watch tower assignment. From there story turns into the heroes attempting to protect the kid and the assassin’s trying to kill said kid.

There are moments of depth for Hannah, but it isn’t explored to great detail nor really any of the characters. It’s very surface level which is a shame because there could have been more to this. I assume that might be the case in the book its based off of. It feels like this is a story meant to play in the head of Hannah to reveal a lot more about her own struggles. Sadly, it’s just not there in the script. So, moving past that what do you have? Well again a really great cast. I especially like survivalist couple Ethan and Allison, played by Jon Bernthal and Medina Senghore respectfully, who add fun twists to the proceedings. In fact, I think it would have been a much more fun movie if it centered around those two and expanding on the story beats that they were involved in. Past them the other major leads Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult play the assassins Jack and Patrick. They are generic assassins. Poor Gillen seems to be type cast now in these henchmen bad guy roles that are paper thin in background. He’s a bad guy because bad guy type stuff.

This all speaks to the theme of this movie, it’s very by the numbers, moves at a breakneck pace and never allows room to really do more than be a passable thriller on its best night. Which hey, not a bad thing if that’s all you are looking for. Which is where my recommendation is coming from. This movie isn’t bad for the blanket-not-thinking entertainment value. It has great actors, an easy-to-follow story, and the wilderness setting isn’t used nearly enough so it separates itself from other movies just like this. So if that is good enough for ya, well go ahead and give this one a watch.

Reviews

Mortal Kombat (2021) Review

MORTAL KOMBAT!!!

Probably Not Worth Your Time

Did you see the trailer up there? Yeah, that trailer is a better experience than the actual 2021 film adaptation of the gruesome fighting video game series. By a whole lot. That’s not to say there isn’t fun to be had, but it’s really important that if you have an expectation of an epic film, dial that back by 90% and then recalibrate because this Mortal Kombat. Is a lot like the ones made in the 90’s. It’s a cheese fest with extra cheese, but prettier fights, and bloodier fatalities.

What makes this a more difficult pill to swallow though is the opening to this movie, is good. Like really good stuff. It gives an excellent introduction to two of the most recognizable fighters of the video games. Yet as soon as the title card plays, the idea of making an interesting film in the world of Mortal Kombat crumples to the ground like a body that just lost its head. Instead what is left is a bland building a team together movie with very loose threads to the establishing scene of the movie. The skeleton of a better movie is in here, but that is all it is. The cheese is heavy form from so many lines of dialog to just very confusing moments for characters in the world of the film. There were several moments of “oh come on” running through my mind before I had to laugh and just take it as it is.

While the movie fell flat on being an interesting one, does it work as just a ridiculous entertaining movie? Sometimes. There were some fights and fatalities that were fun, but the ratio was not in their favor. The best moments of the movie are the ones with Sub-Zero and Scorpion, which unfortunately this movie is not directly having either of those characters as the main character. So instead you are left with well suped up versions of the 90’s movies. If those older movies never existed I could have given this one a pass, but they do so it makes it much more confusing why they didn’t try to write a different take on this story.

This video game adaptation sadly falls into the same pitfalls of many other ones, they want to try and check boxes for fans. They may have done so but it makes for a weaker movie and begs the question why make it at all if it’s only going to be a lesser version of the games. It stings even more when there is a good idea buried in the nearly two hour movie. The movie’s first ten minutes or so could have made for something much more compelling. Instead the ambition was left at the door for something that falls short of being truly worth your time. If you are a fan of the games, you may get a kick or two out of this, but for anyone else go into this expecting something bad and super cheesy. It may help you like it more.

Reviews

Godzilla vs. Kong Review

Godzilla Vs. Kong is the title match we have been waiting for, and it delivers in spades.

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Staring in 2014 Legendary Pictures brought back the skyscraper monster movie to modern audiences with Godzilla. Every two to three years since they have given us another one. Godzilla vs. Kong is the most fun of them all. Unlike the last big Versus movie to come out (Batman V. Superman), this movie had the proper table setting of previous films for each title character which what-do ya-know, lets the Versus movie focus on the whole versus part.

This movie delivers in exactly what trailers and the title promises, Godzilla and Kong going toe to toe, and each time they do it’s an explosive awesome spectacle to watch. The action in this movie is great, like a boxing match, but with atomic breath and house-size battle axes. There’s just something more fun about watching Kong throw fighter jets and Godzilla than puny humans duking it out. It also does a better job of putting the humans to the side, and using them more for what they should be in these movies, a bit of context and offering slight support or resistance to the two massive titans battling it out. They are not the focus of the story, and that’s great.

Now sure, you could nitpick the hell out of the plot but since the movie doesn’t pay as much attention to it, it really doesn’t distract from the action that you came to see. Of the bigger plot side of things I do have to commend the writing and directing of bringing out the strengths of the two monsters. Godzilla throughout the movie is what he’s been established as, a force of nature. On the other end Kong is given a more character related role because that’s what Skull Island already brought to the screen. Again, having movies prior to this confrontation greatly aided in allowing this movie to really focus instead of having to explain days worth of explanation to make things line up.

All this is to say, I really enjoyed Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s everything I could have hoped for out of a movie pitting these two mega monsters at one another. to me it felt like a Kong: Skull Island sequel with a Godzilla Hurricane thrown in. It’s just plain fun, which is the point right? If you are a fan of fun action explosive destruction action movies, do yourself a favor and watch this movie now!

Special Note: This is the first movie I have seen in theaters since the pandemic shut things down. I’m vaccinated myself so this gave me the confidence that with mask on I could feel comfortable watching a movie on the big screen again. I’m glad I did. I saw this in the Dolby Cinema format at AMC, and wow does this movie have a completely different feel in a theater versus at home. The booming sound with every explosion and blow, the massive screen. It’s worth it! So if you can safely see the movie in a theater, this is THE optimal experience to watch the movie. Stay safe!

Reviews

The Little Things Review

It’s a lot of little things that makes this movie difficult to watch.

Probably Not Worth Your Time

How to talk about my thoughts of The Little Things? I guess to start, I’ll help you understand why I am opening with a question. Have you ever watched a movie or a tv show, or even read a book where while you are experiencing it you begin to understand that this feels very similar to “X” example? And then your second thought is and X was so good why isn’t this? Well that’s kind of the feeling I have with this movie, and I’m struggling to fully express my thoughts without first giving you that background. I have watched plenty of crime/drama/thriller’s in my life, and those prior experiences make this movie feel lesser than what I’m sure someone fresh to the genre may find as a decent if not good starting point.

Me though? I can’t say I was a huge fan. Which is all the more difficult for me since the three leads of this movie are fun to watch. Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, these are all Academy Award winning actors. They are in a genre that suits their talents, and they are playing roles that fit them well, but damn it, this movie falls flat for me.

The general premise of The Little Things is Rami Malek’s Jim Baxter is leading a case to find a murderer who is killing young women in very specific ways. This is a serial killer, with a pattern. Washington’s Joe Deacon is a washed up former detective who once had Baxter’s exact position. Something went wrong though, and it destroyed his life, to where all he has are cases and the inability to let it go. This pair latch onto Leto’s Albert Sparma, a creepy guy who fits the bill of the murderer. Thus begins a story of trying to prove that the slime ball did it. Yet at the same time the film is trying to build up a focus of comparing the two lawmen, showing what happens to someone who let his job consume him, and someone just starting to fall down that path. Both of these stories have promise and could be an interesting journey. The problem is when they come to a head in the end, it’s just not very satisfying.

I’m convinced that if given several more hours this film’s conclusion could have worked. But it also could have simply been a structural problem. The film gives more of a spotlight to Washington’s Baxter, but it’s Malek’s character that actually goes through a significant transformation. If we were given more time with him, it might have felt more consequential, instead it’s focus on following an already relatively ruined man doesn’t really work too well unless the mystery leads to a conclusion that gives him something he didn’t have before. This film doesn’t do that.

Stepping away from the heart of what makes this thing tick, I still have to give it to the trio of leads. They are still entertaining to watch. Yet at times Washington’s character had mannerisms to him that really misled me to an unsatisfying conclusion by the end of the film. It’s like he was trying to will a more interesting story for his character that never got the onscreen moment to confirm it.

All this is to say, somewhere there is a really great crime mini series that these three actors could have been a part of. Instead The Little Things is a movie with missed potential that left me disappointed and thinking about wanting to go and watch HBO’s True Detective again.

Reviews

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Life is good, but it can be better! I wish they used that philosophy for the movie too.

Maybe Watch It?

Wow, well that was a mess wasn’t it? A well financed, moments of fun mess. I have a lot of random thoughts to say about this movie but let’s take it back for a minute. Wonder Woman 1984 is the sequel to the solid first 2017 entry. The first movie’s strength in my opinion was the fun back and forth between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. The fish of water story with Pine’s Steve Trevor brining Gadot’s Dianna up to speed of what World War I life was like was fun. Her fighting to save everyone from Ares was cheesy at times yet had moments of inspiration. It was a solid movie. The ending was just okay, the villain was boring. It was overall a decent super hero movie.

Wonder Woman 1984 has that same fun chemistry between Dianna and Steve, more Wonder Woman action scenes, and this time one villain that is entertaining in every scene. Yet this movie can’t hold a candle to the first, mostly because the plot feels stuffed. There is moments that are just slightly nonsensical even for super hero movie logic, and the lesson that Dianna learns throughout the movie is one that they tell you in an opening sequence of scenes. In that short film seven minutes or so, you get the entire point of the movie right there.

You know if the whole movie can be summed up in the opening scene of the movie, I kind of wonder, why tell that story at all? But stepping aside that really quick, I do want to give props to Pedro Pascal playing Maxwell Lord. Pascal plays this guy as if he’s hopped up on cocaine or coming off of it the whole time, and it makes his character super amusing to watch whenever he’s on screen. Between him and more Chris Pine riffing off of either Dianna or the 1980’s that was what made the movie fun. There were some action scenes that were cool, and looked very colorful compared to the very dark looking first film, but none of the scenes felt anywhere near as impactful as Wonder Woman charging through No Man’s Land in the first either. There’s fun to watch in this movie for sure, but understand it’s longer, and not as smooth of an experience.

Now that I have got past the, I liked some things of this movie, I can feel okay going into the this movie was bad thoughts. I won’t go spoiler heavy but again, when the plot can be summed up at the start of the movie, it just makes the rest of it kind of seem pointless. So much so that it made me even more interested in what the villain was going through versus the protagonist. Then because with sequel’s more is better. Which irony that is one of the main things Maxwell Lord keeps preaching, why not have more? The movie is trying to tell why that isn’t a good idea even though the movie itself does that very thing. Why have one villain when you can have TWO? Well if you can’t properly develop one of them, or just rehash the old, social awkward person gets power and turns evil twist, you maybe shouldn’t run with that idea of more.

I get it though they wanted someone for Wonder Woman to have super hero fights with. Which fine, but don’t shrug off this antagonist to the side every chance you get if you don’t want viewers to not care one way or the other if they are around. This is all to say there is just a lot of stuff in this movie that doesn’t feel like it’s given proper time to grow and sink in with the viewer. It’s happening, it’s surface level, and it never goes deeper than that.

I could talk about the very odd way that Pine’s Trevor is back, and the questions it begs you to ask because of it, but I’m sure you have read about it and without spoiling things I feel like I can’t do justice discussing that. A couple more nitpicks that bugged the hell out of me. First, was an uplifting scene towards the later half of the movie that plays music that I have heard way too many times for some dramatic moment of learning something or a renewed sense of purpose to fight. It was lazy and for me it took me out of the scene as well as left me disappointed in the score. Second, the whole use of the 80’s, when I said the score was lazy, it didn’t even take the fun route of using 80’s music, they mostly used the 80’s for fashion and that was about it. Seemed very strange to me to put the year in the title of the movie if they were even going to use that time period to its full extent.

Alright, I’m done, I’m done! Wonder Woman 1984 was okay. I feel like if I saw in theaters though, I would have been a tad more annoyed. So thanks HBO Max!

Reviews

Tenet Review

Tenet offers you not just an action fest, but a new universe to dig into and that alone is worth the jump into this crazy movie.

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I want to preface everything you are about to read below with some background. First, I have a Christopher Nolan bias. I can see the flaws of his movies, but generally speaking, they never overcome the things that I love about his movies. In my book, he is one of the best at creating something big and explosive while also trying to create something with substance. He’s the blockbuster auteur. Second, I watched this movie at home well after the theatrical release which meant even while avoiding full on reviews or spoilers, I did hear rumblings about problems that some viewers of the movie had. Third, along with watching it at home I watched 75% of the movie with subtitles on.

ALLLLRIGHT, with all of that out of the way let’s get to this. I watched Tenet last night. At the time my thoughts were, I liked this movie a good deal. After a night of sleep and a day to let this movie rattle in my brain more. I love this movie. It’s Nolan’s deep world building and unique concepts dialed up to 11. Which for a story and world building creative like myself it’s like a drug to my veins. I couldn’t get enough. It’s shot beautifully, with composition of scenes both capturing bold images and reality warping action. It’s score it’s loud booming Nolan but with a techno spy thriller vibe. Finally, it’s cast also hits a typical Nolan high of excellent high caliber actors getting to play in a crazy action heavy world.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot at all, but for the sake of discussion of other elements here’s a brief idea of what you are getting yourself into. Tenet is a cold war spy movie where instead of trying to stop some nuclear holocaust, it’s a cold war about the flow of time. You read that right, the flow of time. The normal flow we all know and an inverted version of time, where objects and people inverted are experiencing time backwards. Where everything, movement, flow of energy, life and death, it’s all playing in reverse. Why this is happening, who is fighting for what? I will leave that to you to find out.

Anyways this long explanation was all to let me say the action is this movie is insane. Have you ever seen a car chase where several cars are moving in reverse time reacting as if they are course correcting to things that have already happened to them but not to you? How about a fist fight where one person is fighting as if they are leaning into punches or stabs because this has already happened to them? It’s at times difficult to comprehend but it makes for something you just haven’t seen before. It makes the action interesting not just on the first watch but on several watches later. You have something new to focus on, a perspective shift. That is awesome and I love this movie for this mind twisting way of seeing these things.

A complaint that was in my head from the start of watching the movie was for many the movie didn’t make sense, where did some people come from at the end of the movie? Why was this event happening? So on and so forth. Basically the thought in my head was be prepared for this movie to not make sense. As I watching though, that was never a problem for me. I don’t know what was so difficult for some other viewers to follow but most of it contextually from the world the movie establishes answers most of the simple questions to me. The making sense of the action is what is more of a challenge. Where at the start of the movie there were moments where I had no idea what I was watching but as I watched the movie and learned more with the lead character called the Protagonist (played by the excellent John David Washington) it made sense to me just as much as it was making sense to him. Which shocker makes for a better viewing experience over knowing everything detail beforehand like some must have wanted.

The other major complaint of the movie I had noticed involved the audio of actor’s voices. Basically the audio mixing sucks. This, I agree with 150%. I don’t know why the mix of dialog is always such a pain point for Nolan movies but they tend to be his Achilles’ heel. This is still true hear. It was very inconsistent between scenes and more of an issue at the start of the movie. I tried watching the movie without subtitles but a quarter of the way flipped them on and kept it that way till the end of the movie when it was mostly action. So caution to those who watch this movie, you should flip those subtitles on because it will make taking in the plot of this movie a whole lot easier.

I could and would love to talk more about this movie, but to say too much would just spoil the fun. If you are like me and like Nolan’s body of work, Tenet hits all the Nolan highs and the pesky audio mixing lows. For movie watchers who have a low attention span, like several of Nolan’s other movies this may not be the one for you unless you willingly accept that you won’t get the movie and just want to watch the spectacle. Which make no mistake this movie brings it in that regard. It’s loud, and it’s unlike anything you have seen before. For those though interested in jumping into a unique time bending world, Tenet offers you not just an action fest, but a new universe to dig into and that alone is worth the jump into this crazy movie.

Reviews

The New Mutants

Untapped Potential

Maybe Watch It?

The New Mutants was interesting. As I watched the short for a super hero 90 minute movie, I kept thinking about how it felt like this was either a first draft, or a cut down far too much over produced final piece. From what I have read it appears to be a bit in the middle. To be up front this movie, isn’t like the trailer above. Or at least not to the spooky level that you’d think.

Instead it’s kind of a mix between a horror lite movie for pre-teens and a Breakfast Club style group of misfits movie. It’s a blend that at moments works even if it’s not the movie you are getting in the trailers, but it doesn’t feel earned. I mentioned earlier the movie is a little over 90 minutes, well you can tell. There were moments were things just felt missing. Nothing that would make the plot not make sense, you can follow it easily enough, but missing in that I didn’t feel connected to any of these mutants journeys or relationships. There is a skeleton frame of a movie here, that could have used 15 to 20 minutes of additional scenes to really cement what they were aiming for.

At the heart of this thing is a group of traumatized teens, like any other X-Men movie, but instead of having some heroic professor’s teaching them right and wrong they are in a prison hospital causing them to reexperience that trauma. The concept is interesting, different from the X-Men. The cast is adequate, good actors not given too much to do. It’s these things that makes this movie an odd one for me. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I liked it a bit, but more because it made me think, “I would like to learn more about this part of the X-Men universe.”

I’m not even frustrated at what I watched, maybe because it was so short, but it does make me wish what could have happened if director Josh Boone would have had the opportunity to do reshoots? Not two years after the Disney Fox purchase where Maisie Williams has aged up considerably but in the normal half year or so time frame these reshoots really take place. What could this have been if this movie was much more horror like, to an R rated quality? How much more of a unique and awesome experience would that have been?

The New Mutants is a middle of the road X-Men movie. It’s not the worst of the bunch but that comes down to the fact that the setting and scenario is pretty different from the seven X-Men movies before it. Yet, after the successes of Deadpool and the brilliant Logan (which this movie references at one point) it is disappointing that this movie was not better than just okay.