Thursday, 11 August 2016

Suicide Squad

So you've probably heard by now that Suicide Squad hasn't been going down that well critically and a lot of audiences, including myself, went into the film knowing this and were interested in seeing why so many had disliked it. Now Suicide Squad is by no means a perfect movie but it isn't an awful one either. I came out of the cinema not hating it but realising that it had many a flaw and for the most part was quite disjointed. As an overall experience its a fun film with a dumb plot, it's not until you look a bit closer, a bit like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, that you realise that it just doesn't make that much sense.

Suicide Squad follows a team of super villains who are assembled by the government to clean up a supernatural disaster of their own making. The film boasts an impressive cast with the stand outs being Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Jared Leto.

Now I went into this film most looking forward to seeing Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn, a crazy character affiliated with The Joker. For the most part I was not disappointed, Robbie looked the part and sounded the part, bringing the crazy fun character to life on the big screen for the first time. She is easily the stand out of the film and one of the more interesting performances to watch. I'm not fully happy with how she was represented, I still had my problems, they're mainly linked to the way she is over sexualised in the film (even more so I believe than the Arkham games), not every character mentioned how hot Will Smith was! She has a lot more involved relationship with The Joker that didn't always feel right at times, though mainly from his side not hers but we'll get on to him later. There's a few dodgy dialogue moments in the third act but to be fair the third act ain't that great anyway. Margot Robbie does a great job and hopefully will be given a chance to add more depth to her character in another film.

Will Smith as Deadshot was a nice surprise. I've always liked Will Smith so it wasn't his acting ability I was surprised by but it was that his character was pretty much the heart of the film. He's given the more caring backstory and the film leans very heavily on him and Margot Robbie as the main characters, which works because they're the best actors but it's also a shame because it never really represented the ensemble cast like it should have done.

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is perfect casting however, if you look into the nitty grity of the film then you realise that her ideas are very stupid and don't make much sense. I look forward to seeing her play a more well written version of the character in the future. A lot of the characters are similar in this way, nothing bad with the performances, it's just that they aren't fleshed out enough or add to the story. There were times when Killer Croc and Katana turned up and I had completely forgotten they were in the film. And poor Cara Delevingne who plays The Enchantress, has still yet to have been given a role to show off any acting chops. On the plus side Jai Courtney is fine as Captain Boomerang.

Now onto the character that most people wanted to see, The Joker. What you've heard is true, he isn't in it a whole bunch (remember it's not his film), but the biggest shame is that he doesn't add a lot, if anything, either. Now Jared Leto's performance is cool and different but it never felt like 'my' Joker. He never fully resembled my interpretation of the character. His take is interesting enough to make me want to see more but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little disappointed if this is the Joker we're getting for the DC universe. He's very touchy-feely as well, very different to anything we've seen before and his character definitely seems to have fallen for Harley Quinn rather than just using her like in the comics. I can't help but feel that we should have met a Harley Quinn who was over The Joker and his abusive ways and more of her own independent character.

There's still fun to be had though, although a bit disjointed, the montage at the start showcasing the characters is cool and fun. There's some great action set pieces up until the video game feel of the third act. There are some jokes which is a relief and the small scenes with Batman showcase his badass-ness whilst leaving his murderous streak from Batman V Superman behind.

There's glimmers of a good film here and for the most part it's good fun, which should hopefully be enough to satisfy a summer audience, those of us hoping for more from our beloved comic book characters will probably be a bit disappointed but will also be thankful that it's not the complete train wreck that Batman V Superman was. I'm giving Suicide Squad a rating of 2.5/5.

I think this film just wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be, or maybe it did at one point but the higher ups then got involved. It's a weird time for Warner Bros and DC as their recent films haven't gone down as well as they were hoping for and I for one won't be rushing out to see Justice League when it releases next year. They still have a chance with Wonder Woman, I'm excited for that, I really hope they don't mess it up, the trailer looked great and there's some definite talent involved in front of and behind the camera.

What were your thoughts on the film? Was it as bad as you'd been hearing or a everything you had been hoping for? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 1 August 2016

The BFG & Star Trek Beyond

Since I've seen two new films recently I thought I would go and review them both in one post. So below are my reviews for The BFG and Star Trek Beyond.

The book and 1989 animated film are very close to my heart. I used to love the story of The BFG  and I remember in primary school when the teacher would roll in the TV and VHS player and stick on the animated film which as much as I enjoyed, also used to scare the crap out of me. When I heard that Steven Spielberg was going to be making a live action adaptation I couldn't wait to see what he did with it.

For the most part I enjoyed this film, its a visual delight and features some great performances. The motion capture and computer effects are really, really good and truly makes this the best live action adaptation of the book we could get. There are a few flaws though and one them is that there really isn't that much of a story here, after revisiting the animated film recently I have found that this has always been the case, I mean it is a short book after all. Spielberg knows this and does his best to keep the visuals at the forefront of the film and hopes that the pretty colours will distract children from its pretty slow paced plot.

What Spielberg also does with this film is take away the fear, although there are some tense moments, you only hear that children go missing as opposed to hearing that a whole orphanage has been eaten and bones left by the window. The world that The BFG is set in is a scary one and it was a world that left an impression on me as child. For better or worse, kids aren't going to be having nightmares about this one.

If you want a good time with your family with a colourful and visually pleasing film then you cannot go wrong with The BFG. I am giving it a rating of 3.5/5.

Star Trek Beyond

I love the new Star Trek reboot films. I know this is not everybody's opinion but I get such a great kick out of them, they are really fun space action adventure films with an amazing cast. Now I should probably point out that I am not a Trekkie and therefore having a lack of knowledge of the original show allows me to look at them in a more open way. Now a lot of Star Trek fans haven't liked the last two movies but the majority seem to have liked this third one, the film I believe to be the weakest in the series so far.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad film, I love that its smaller in scale and you get more time with the characters, but I never really felt like I fully connected with them like in previous installments. For the most part, this film is just a big dumb action movie, it's pretty predictable and has a lot of cool sequences and yes, even motorbike chases however, I did feel these big set pieces were let down by an obvious reduction in the quality of CGI. A lot of the sets and prosthetic's look and feel very real but whenever they cut to something bigger it almost always looked fake and took me out of the film. After watching Into Darkness on the same day I also noticed that the colours were more muted in Beyond and I didn't really like the overall look of the film.

Story wise, it's simple and fun and allows the supporting cast to get more screen time, allowing this to be more of a ensemble film. I did however question the choice of casting the amazing Idris Elba as the villain only to then cover him up in make up and alter his voice. Strange choice but maybe the villain would have been a lot worse without an actor of his calibre playing him.

I didn't hate this film, I just didn't love it as much as the other two. I still really want to stay in this universe and follow this cast on their adventures as I feel they still have a lot of great ones to come. I am rating Star Trek Beyond a 3/5.

Well I hope you enjoyed these reviews. What did you think of the two films? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!