Baywatch Review

Remember how the movie version of 21 Jump Street was a welcome surprise? It was smart and witty with a real heart to it. Well Baywatch is everything we feared that 21 Jump Street would be. No real need to beat around the bush with this one. This movie is horrible. I grew up when the television show Baywatch was on the air. It was that international phenomenon that has made a legacy, for good and bad. The movie does not take advantage of the obvious parody material from the TV show and just makes something completely senseless and wannabe.

What’s the plot? Something about drugs being run through the beach or something like that. It was so generic and forgettable in that sense. Much humor could have been drawn from the fact that they are not cops and just lifeguards. Other than a few jokes here and there about the fact, they just play it straight. Not really pointing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Pretty much it plays like an episode of Baywatch just with a few more dick jokes. How many times does Dwayne Johnson use the word “taint” in this movie? I’ve never really heard anyone use that word in real life.

Dwayne Johnson is an actor who can help save any project. Not this though. He is the highlight though and you can tell that he is trying, which goes a long way. Zac Efron is pretty much just playing his character from the Neighbors movies. The rest of the cast are just there and really add nothing to the movie. The one actor that really does nothing is Jon Bass. He seems to be the new Dan Fogler or Josh Gad as the guy who is only there so that they can make fat jokes and just improv (aka scream) when the scene is going nowhere. This is a trope that is tired and needs to go away.

Just rude and crass for real no reason other than to justify the R rating. Every line is filled with profanity and not in the clever way. It is more like the way that little kids curse when there are no adults around. This movie is really trying to get by on that simple fact and fails on all aspects of it as well. More polish could have been spent towards the script to escape the more juvenile aspects of it. I shouldn’t even say juvenile because I don’t even think they will like this.

Also, this movie has a fairly decent budget. The CGI in the movie is terrible. I guess the budget would have went towards the actors. For a film set at the beach, the blue screen background is so obvious in some parts. I can forgive some of the big action pieces that involve fire and such. But not something that could have simply been filmed or had a better background palette.

Arguably this has been one of the worst movies in 2017. It’s unfortunate considering the talent in the cast and even the director. But it’s a big misfire and all cylinders. It’s hard to recommend this to anyone. I doubt even fans of the original television show would like this.

 

SCORE: 3/10

The Fate of the Furious Review

Remember when these guys were just ghetto street racers who could barely rob a semi-truck? When exactly did they become The Avengers?

That being said, this is the eighth installment in The Fast and The Furious franchise. All of the crew who are alive (both in universe and reality) are back for this latest adventure. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has betrayed his family and begun working for the elusive Cipher (Charlize Theron). So now the crew of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Tej (Chris Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) must team up with former enemy, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to find and capture Dominic and his new cohort. What does Cipher want? What any generic bad guy from a cliche action movie wants, the nuclear codes. Will the team be able to stop her and her plans? What’s up with Dominic who only cares about family?

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If that sounds like a lot, that’s exactly what it was. The film is seemingly two movies mashed into one and makes something of a mess. It is hard to get into the specifics about Dominic’s half of the plot as it is spoiler heavy. But let’s say that it is dark. It would seemingly be fine in any other movie. But it does not mesh well with the other half of the movie with the exploits of the other characters. That half is what you have come to expect from the more recent Fast and Furious movies. Machismo up to the max, corny jokes, and over the top and nonsensical action.

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Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham save this movie. They seem to be the only ones who know what kind of movie they are in and play it to their strengths. There have always been rumblings about spinning off Hobbs into his own movie separate from the others. If they could add Statham to that mix, then that is a movie I would watch. There is a jailbreak sequence with the two that is one of the strongest set pieces in the film. Jason Statham also has a great action scene on an airplane that is something absurd but fun. Now why is Statham suddenly on the side of good while in the previous movie, he was a cold blooded murderer? That is another one of the film’s convoluted messes.

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The other cast members do not fare so well. Tyrese Gibson as Roman is just buffoonish in this movie. Constantly yelling, making dumb jokes and doing frankly dumb things. Why anyone would take a Lamborghini to a mission in the Arctic other than to look “cool” is beside me. This is an actor that the director really needed to reign in. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Nathalie Emmanuel are fine in their roles as the hackers but there is nothing really to them either. Kurt Russell and Scott Eastwood as Mr. Nobody and Little Nobody are just fine as the government types. I’m positive that they give Eastwood’s character an actual name but I could have cared less. Charlize Theron as Cipher is serviceable if generic as this terrorist/hacker. She plays the character with icy coolness that sometimes comes across as her just coasting. The biggest problem in the cast is Vin Diesel himself. Despite being the star, his character is just boring. He has not changed since the first movie and the whole grumbling/low talk/constant talk of family thing is running thin. The same goes for Letty and these two seem like relics who don’t really belong anymore.

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F. Gary Gray is the director of this film but there’s really nothing about it that makes you think he left his mark on this franchise. Justin Lin who direct the third through sixth films of this series left a permanent stamp that ultimately can’t really be changed at this point. The action scenes are great but how much of that is up to Gray or just his second unit director. It really does feel like he could have chosen a better project to do instead of this one especially after Straight Outta Compton. But I’m sure the paycheck was nice and I can’t fault someone who wants a nice paycheck.

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If you’re a fan of these movies, I’m sure nothing I’m saying will change your mind. This series is set in stone as to how it’s going to be. Continuity overload to previous films/talk about family/action scenes that make no sense, etc. I really find it increasingly hard to write these films off as “dumb fun” especially when it tries to play it both ways with some of the drama elements. If the series just shifted to Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham then I would be okay with it. But other than that, there are too many nonsensical elements that just take me out of the movie and I’m someone who can buy a super soldier fighting with a big green monster. The movie is fine but nothing to write home about.

SCORE: 6.5/10

 

I’m Now Worried For The DC Extended Universe¬†

With all the recent news coming out about the DC Extended Universe, I’m no longer in “wait and see” mode. I’m now officially worried about this cinematic universe. I loved Man of Steel and more ambivalent towards Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and have grown to really dislike Suicide Squad. So I am more about where this universe is going. But The Flash movie has now lost two directors and getting a page one rewrite. Ben Affleck has left directorial duties on the upcoming Batman movie. Suicide Squad was such a mess because of the studio being reactionary about the reception of Batman v. Superman. The DCEU is a ship that is moving but there is no singular voice and thus it doesn’t know where it’s going. 

I’ve already made my opinions about Ben Affleck stepping down as director known. The Flash losing another director and getting a page one rewrite raises some eyebrows. I can applaud the execs at Warner Bros. not rushing something as they tend to have been doing ever since the announcement of Batman v. Superman. But a complete rewrite of the script? Then there is the Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) splitting into two movies with Black Adam starring Dwaynr Johnson. 

Warner Bros. is in the business to make money. Makes total sense. But their biggest problem is rushing to a billion. Man of Steel didn’t make a billion so let’s scrap a pure sequel and instead let’s introduce a new Batman, introduce Wonder Woman and lay the foundations for Justice League while also paying homage to The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. That’s a lot and probably the film’s biggest shortcoming. 

It has been said time and time again that there needs to be a central figure in charge of these movies. Too many cooks in the kitchen is what’s making these discombobulated. Is there hope for the DCEU? Of course. These are some of the most beloved heroes and villains in superhero fiction. But there needs to be action done and quickly to help right thr ship. 

The Fate of the Furious Trailer Reaction

God that’s a really dumb title.

First and foremost…when did these motherfuckers become The Avengers? Remember when this series first started and they were just street racers? That seems like it was a completely different franchise at this point. But here we are. 

These movies are what they are now. A slick look, well choreographed set pieces, one dimensional characters who speak in bumper sticker slogans, the constant use of the word “family”. But it looks like after the events of the previous film that the characters now officially work for Kurt Russell’s mysterious government agent to take down Charlize Theron’s character. Oh and Vin Diesel’s character Dom looks to have switched sides.

Let’s be honest we know he hasn’t turned. It’s probably part of some convoluted plan to expose her. Why else would the team seemingly be working with Jason Statham’s character who killed one of their team already? 

This series is ridiculous but every entry always manages to draw me in with something. This time it is director F. Gary Gray and Charlize Theron. A great director and one of the best actors currently working. Oh and apparently Helen Mirren will be in the movie in some capacity. I can’t promise I’ll see the movie in theaters as I more than likely won’t. But I will check out.

How does this series really differentiate itself from Vin Diesel’s other action series, xXx?