A.X.L. and all the images you see in this review are owned by Global Road Entertainment
Directed by Oliver Daly
So I guess we somehow needed more than one A BOY AND HIS DOG movie this month? I mean after the monotony we got with Alpha, I guess we could use one that’s ACTUALLY good all the way through, but I get the feeling that this one isn’t gonna be it. Like Alpha, I remember seeing this here and there for the past few months, but there’s been almost no marketing push for it and what little we see in the trailers isn’t really doing much to sell me or seemingly most people on this movie. That said, a film’s marketing is not ultimately a determination on how good the movie will be (Alpha had a HORRENDOUS trailer with awful voice over), so maybe this one will be a surprise! Yeah, probably not considering we’re getting this in late August, but let’s find out!!
The movie begins with typical… teenager? Twenty something? I don’t know, YOUNG ADULT Miles (Alex Neustaedter) who is an amateur motocross rider hoping to make it to the big leagues so he doesn’t have to go to school and can live off sponsorship bucks! Okay… well he certainly has the talent but he’s lacking the equipment to REALLY give him the edge (and by edge I mean his bike will stop falling apart while he’s riding it) unlike a fellow… biker? Yeah, let’s go with biker, named Sam (Alex MacNicoll) who’s got a rich dad and seems to take a liking to Miles. On top of that he has a… friend? Yeah, let’s go with friend, named Sara (Becky G) who basically HAS to keep in Sam’s good graces considering her mother is their housekeeper and they live in the pool house out back. All this seems rather awkward to be sure, but somehow Miles manages to get the attention of Sara which doesn’t sit well with Sam, and so he “pranks” miles by… having him crash his bike and leaving him for dead. Okay… well this turns out to be a GREAT thing because Sam manages to find a robot dog in the… junkyard? Yeah, let’s go with junkyard, that’s right next to where Sam left him. Not just ANY robot dog though! A giant military grade beauty named A-X-L who escaped from the SCIENCE LAB where he was being developed. The two start to build a bond and Sara gets caught up in this as well, but the EVIL SCIENTISTS (Dominic Rains and Lou Taylor Pucci) are determined to get their dog back by any means necessary, and if Miles has forged such a close connection to A-X-L so that he functions better now than he ever has before, well I guess they’ll just have to take him too! Can Miles and Sara find a way to not only protect A-X-L from the EVIL SCIENTISTS, but also teach him to be a good dog instead of a military grade MURDER MACHINE? Will anyone be able to understand this mechanical monstrosity with razor sharp teeth, or is he too dangerous to be kept in polite company? Is there any chance that there are BETTER movies loaded onto its hard drive that we could watch instead?
Power Rangers and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate
Directed by Dean Israelite
Look, I’ve been dreading this one since they released the first image of them in their power suits, and everything since then just seemed to confirm my suspicions about what this movie was going to be. On top of that, while I do have a soft spot for some Power Rangers/Super Sentai stuff (I have the movie with Ivan Ooze on VHS and I’m a pretty big fan of Tensou Sentai Goseiger), my knowledge of the Mighty Morphin iteration of this franchise is pretty limited. It’s an odd place to be in when going into this movie as I’m someone who still needs to be taught pretty much everything about the movie, but I’m also gonna be more aware than most when it comes to how much this diverts from what the core of Power Rangers is supposed to be. Now I don’t often go into movies READY to hate them, but there have been occasions where I went in knowing that there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up hating it, and this is one of those times. Now that’s not to say I wasn’t going to give this movie credit if it DID end up being great… it was just that my expectations were very low from the outset. Did this movie ultimately prove me wrong and ended up being a worthwhile reinterpretation of the original series as well as a great continuation of the Power Rangers brand, or was this movie everything I dreaded it to be and so much worse? Let’s find out!!
As I’m sure we all know, the story of Power Rangers is about five teenagers with attitude who are chosen by the Great and Powerful Zordon (Bryan Cranston) to fight alien monsters who threaten their small town of Angel Grove and by extension planet Earth. This sticks pretty close to that, though replace teenagers with attitudes to teenagers with angst, tragedies, mean streaks, and felonies, and replace chosen with begrudgingly accept because unlike the previous version, the teens find Zordon rather than the other way around. COINCIDENTALLY ON THE SAME DAY THAT THE TEENS FIND ZORDON, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) is fished out the ocean instead of being uncorked from some canister on the moon, and proceeds to run amuck in Angel Grove while slowly gaining her powers back. Now the new Power Rangers which are comprised of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Zack (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, and Ludi Lin) must come together as a team and fend off the bad guy before she finds the McGuffin of Ultimate Destiny (I think they called it a Zeo Crystal) and… blows up the Earth I guess? Can these teens who aren’t even friends to begin with find a way to overcome their differences and beat the crap out of the space witch? Will they learn to control their individual animal robot vehicles in time to fend off Rita’s gold monster thingy and eventually come together to form one giant robot? WHY IS EVERYTHING I JUST DESCRIBED SO DISAPPOINTINGLY REALIZED IN THIS MOVIE!?