The Meg and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Jason Statham has fought criminals, terrorists, rednecks, and even Vin Diesel, but can he face his greatest challenge of all? No, not the shark! Headlining a hundred million dollar international blockbuster ABOUT a shark! Heck, even Dwayne Johnson has had some stumbles in that department! If you think about it, the man is a household name at this point with a huge back catalog of classic action films, yet he’s never really been THE A-LIST STAR his reputation would lead you to believe he has. Sure he’s in a few franchise that made boatloads of money (Fast and the Furious, The Expendables), but those were always in supporting roles. The times that HAS headlined a movie, even PHENOMENAL ones like Crank: High Voltage, have never really been the biggest of box office draws; especially in today’s climate where a hundred million dollars can be considered a disappointment. Now he’s front and center trying to sell himself on the biggest stage of his life; sharing it of course with Chinese superstar Li Bingbing and a giant freaking shark, but still! Can Statham and company manage to make a classic blockbuster that will catapult him and everyone else here to superstar status, or will this be the biggest shark jumping moment in this new age of giant international blockbusters? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where there is a research facility called Mana One that is being financed by “eccentric billionaire” Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) and is run by Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing). The big theory they’re working on is that there may be a place in the ocean EVEN DEEPER than the Mariana Trench which is undetectable by radar for… some reason (something having to do with it being SUPER cold down there) and so they have a manned submarine diving down there to see what they find. Of course things go wrong almost as soon as they get past the cold patch, and so someone needs to go down there to save them, and as it turns out they know JUST the guy for the job! Jonas (Jason Statham) is not only the best darn rescue diver of all time, his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) is one of the crew members stuck down there so of COURSE he ends up coming aboard Mana One despite being a grumpy drunk ever since… the incident. Despite protestations from one of Mana One’s crew (Robert Taylor) due to… the incident, Jonas grabs a super science sub and dive ALL the way down to where the submarine was lost. He manages to find it, but there’s something else down there waiting for them, and it’s sure no moon! No, it’s a GIANT FREAKING SHARK (also known as a MEGalodon) that doesn’t take too kindly to weird metal boxes encroaching on his territory, and while Statham is able to save MOST of the sub crew, it turns out that THE MEG managed to follow them home and is wreaking havoc all over the Pacific. Can Statham and the elite crew of Mana One, including Mac, Jaxx, and DJ (Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose, and Page Kennedy), find a way to stop this massive creature before it kills everything!? What exactly does Jack Morris have planned for this newly discovered monster, and is it in the best interest of everyone involved? Seriously, considering how big this shark is, maybe we should just bite the bullet and call in Godzilla.
John Wick: Chapter 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment
Directed by Chad Stahelski
WOO!!! JOHN WICK IS BACK!! Now I wasn’t as over the moon as some people were with that first movie (), but I am never the less EXTREMELY excited to see what Keanu Reeves has up his sleeve in the sequel! True, sequels to unexpected hits are almost universally terrible (*cough* Highlander 2, The Hangover 2, Taken 2 *cough*), but there’s not a whole lot of ways to screw up a formula like this; especially when what made it work the first time around was well choreographed and expertly shot action scenes; two things that Keanu Reeves and the returning director seem to prize above all else. Can this manage to be as exceptional as the man himself and ACTUALLY be a good sequel, or has the air gone out of this series the same way the Matrix did when we got ITS sequels? Let’s find out!!
The movie picks up RIGHT where the last one left off, namely with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finishing off what remains of the Russian mob (his injuries have healed rather nicely considering how close he was to dying at the end of the last film) and getting his car back. Of course, because of how much noise he made doing so, he gets a visit from a former associate who wants him to do a favor despite his insistence that he’s FINALLY going to retire. This turns out to be a VERY bad move as the associate Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) then blows up his fucking house because of this. Doesn’t kill the dog though! No, he makes to the end! Anyway, apparently Santino has a Marker with John which supposedly makes all of this make sense (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) as a Marker is essentially a blood oath where one party owes the other a one-time request that they MUST do or else… I don’t know, they die? I mean, good luck finding someone to kill John Wick! Hell, if that was even an option, why don’t you send THAT person to do the job for you!? Well no one was asking for my opinion when they were writing this, so John takes the job, executes his target, and THAT’S when things go to hell as the target’s bodyguard Cassian (Common) was an old friend but now a SWORN MORTAL ENEMY, and Santino betrays John and tries to have him killed. I totally didn’t see that coming, especially when HIS bodyguard Ares is played by Ruby Rose and was giving John dirty looks throughout the first act (angry dirty; not sexy dirty). So now he’s got Cassian on his ass, Santino trying to kill him, and oh yeah A SHIT TON OF OTHER ASSASSINS as Santino has ALSO put a hit on him just for good measure. Will John be able to kill his way to Santino and finally get his retirement once and for all? Well… PROBABLY considering how good he is at head shots, but does Santino plan to keep John JUST out of arm’s reach? Who can John trust now that there’s a huge bounty on his head and hit men are coming out the wood work for his very valuable head? How many suits does this guy go through on a daily basis!?
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems
Directed by Paul WS Anderson
It has been quite a ride, hasn’t it? I’ve always been a fan of Paul WS Anderson and his work, especially considering that he’s the only director other than Uwe Bowl who’s attempted to make more than one video game movie and is the one who ACTUALLY made it work. People STILL say that we don’t have any good video game movies, but what they really mean is that there hasn’t been one that’s been critically acclaimed, and even THAT criterion is rather nebulous. So what if Resident Evil or Mortal Kombat didn’t win Oscars? Neither did Taxi Driver or Dr Strangelove! It truly is the end of an era though considering how few franchises from the early years of the new millennium are still around, recent revivals like xXx non-withstanding, and there really isn’t anything like it to take its place now that it’s over. Hell, this series DARED to be different from the source material which I can’t imagine ANY film getting away with now considering everything is about franchise management nowadays! It’s kind of a sad day to see this series go, though it will be doubly so if this final chapter turns out to be a poor note to end things on. Does Mr. Anderson manage to give us one hell of a sendoff to this beloved series, or has this franchise finally run out of steam right as it was about to reach the finish line? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with the world having ended for at least the second time and Alice (Milla Jovovich) is all alone in the wastelands of what the world once was. Of course, being the savior of all humanity that she is, someone eventually comes a-knocking for her to be the big hero once again. This time, it’s… THE RED QUEEN!? Yes! The AI from the other films (played this time by Ever Gabo Anderson) that has been trying to kill her apparently wants to help her because Wesker (oh, spoiler alert: Wesker’s a bad guy again and is still played by Shawn Roberts) is just forty eight hours away from wiping out ALL of humanity and Alice has to stop him before then! How? Well apparently Umbrella developed an antidote for the T-Virus that no one bothered to mention up to this point and if she can release it into the world in time, all the zombies will die and humanity will be saved! Of course, the antidote (along with Wesker) is all the way back in Raccoon City so she has to travel back there, go back to the secret underground Umbrella base, and punch as many zombies as possible in the process! Can Alice save the world one last time before it’s too late, by which I mean the Resident Evil film rights expire? What exactly brought upon this change of heart from the Red Queen, and could this all be one giant trap to finally destroy her one true enemy? So wait, did she get her powers back or is she still human Alice?
xXx: Return of Xander Cage and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by DJ Caruso
I know I’ve SEEN the first xXx movie, but the only things I can recall are a fake diner, non-lethal bullets with fake blood in them, and a bunch of scientist being killed by the bad guys because reasons. Needless to say that it didn’t leave much of an impression on me considering how poorly I can recall it as well as the fact that I never felt the need to go back and rewatch it. Still, what with The Fast and the Furious becoming the most popular international franchise outside of Marvel, they obviously had to milk this franchise again; something that didn’t seem to go well the last time they did it with Ice Cube, but I guess now that XANDER CAGE is back, we can take one more swing at it! Does the return of Vin Diesel breathe new life into a franchise that’s been comatose for over a decade, or is this just one big Weekend at Bernie’s scheme gone even worse than any of us could imagine? Let’s find out!!
The movie opens up with NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson), who I guess was in the first movie, trying to recruit some football player (as in Soccer) to be a member of xXx, though I’m not sure if that’s a title, the name of the organization, or both. It doesn’t really matter though because both he and the football player (Neymar) are killed by a satellite that drops out of the sky. Normally these burn up on reentry LONG before they could really cause THAT kind of damage on the ground, but this is no the movie to be asking those kinds of questions in. The more important question is… WHO’S RESPONSIBLE!? Well, government operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette) seems to have an idea of HOW if not exactly WHO as the government JUST SO HAPPENS to have some sort of box that serves NO OTHER PURPOSE than to drop satellites from the sky. Okay… well the box is stolen by a bunch of badasses (Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Tony Jaa, and Michael Bisping) which means the government has to find an EQUALLY badass person to hunt them down; namely Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). It doesn’t take long for Jane to recruit him for the mission, and he brings along a crew of people with a certain set of skills to help him out. Adele the sniper (Ruby Rose), Tennyson the stunt driver (Rory McCann),a nd of course Nicks the DJ (Kris Wu) because apparently you need one of those for this kind of mission. Can this rag tag crew of Gatorade chugging XTREME athletes save the world before the OTHER Gatorade chugging XTREME athletes destroy it? What was the government planning to do with that ridiculously specific doomsday device anyway? Most importantly, does Vin Diesel look cool in this?