Lucien’s Review: Shin Godzilla

What a fascinating film I just watched.  I love me some old Godzilla movies.  The effects are so bad, but the kaiju fighting is just too much fun.  Plus, watching them dubbed adds an extra layer of cheese that cannot be compared.  I didn’t really like the new Godzilla movie that America made, partly because there was so little of the actual monsters.  A similar criticism could easily be leveled at this movie, but I won’t.  Why?  Because this film just took the most fascinating approach.  There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s get down to it.

The plot of this film is just focused exclusively around Godzilla.  No other kaiju to fight.  This movie has our titular monster as the big bad, which again sounds like it would be boring, but this movie just so odd.  It tells the story of a new Godzilla in a world where he never existed, now coming for Japan (what is his beef with that place?  What the fuck did they do to him?) and the Japanese government desperately trying to save their country from destruction.

This film is perhaps the most political movie I’ve seen in years.  It’s weird.  95% of this movie is spent with characters just talking.  There is so much talk about Japanese politics that you almost forget that you’re watching a Godzilla film for a while.  I wanna hate that, but I don’t.  Getting to see this Japanese government and some genuinely-likeable characters desperately trying to figure out what to do in the face of an international threat that is looking to take excessive measures to stop Godzilla is genuinely touching.  The head of a special department who is trying to figure out a way to stop Godzilla specifically is my favorite.  You genuinely get the feeling that he is invested in this effort to save his country.

Since the entirety of the movie revolves around the political sphere, if you hate listening to people talk about politics for almost the entirety of the 2 hour runtime of this film, you’re gonna hate it.  That’s the big and small of it.  Even when you see things happening in service to the plot of the film, they always find a way to bring it back to the the government’s efforts and how international pressure comes into play.  It’s actually kinda smart.  You genuinely feel for these people who are stuck in a world where they have red tape and public to worry about.  I like this perspective.  In the American film, it was all about a small section of military characters, none of whom were particularly interesting.  This movie has a kind of authenticity because they keep it focused on Japan and make the outside world as not evil, but disconnected.  You can take all this for what you will.

That being said, this film has a LOT of elements that are silly to the point of ridiculousness.  Since there are a lot of American characters in this movie, you get some genuinely funny Engrish.  This female character who is the American liaison to Japan is my favorite.  It’s clear that she’s a Japanese actress and English is NOT her first language.  But believe it or not, they get real American actors to play American parts.  The problem is that the writing for these actors is clearly done by somebody where English is their first language.  So the dialogue is so fucking stilted.  It’s kind great.  Oh boy.

Speaking of ridiculous things, let’s talk about the effects in this movie.  In the old films, it’s clearly someone in a suit.  This time they decided to trade in the suit for CG, and it’s…terrible.  I love it.  When you first see Godzilla in his original form, it looks so bad that I was laughing my ass off.  The eyes especially.  That was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  Maybe that’s why they worked so hard to keep the focus off him.  Because too much time with the monster and we would have been laughing our asses off.

But it isn’t devoid of cool effects.  There is one scene that just blows me away.  It’s when they finally do real damage to the monster, and he loses his cool.  What follows may not be amazing, but is done with so much finesse and really good musical cues that you feel how desperate the situation is.

One thing I do wanna point out is a track used in this film.  When I first heard it, I laughed my ass off.  It’s so clearly robbed from Evangelion.  I mean, to the point of shameless.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I know that FUNimation is at least partly licensed in the production of this film, I’d be amazed that they haven’t sued the living shit out of this studio.  It’s so obviously the track from Evangelion.  They do change it just a little bit later in the film, but it’s not enough to make me think it’s anything else.

I also wanna talk about this film’s weird habit of suddenly taking strange angle shots right the fuck out of nowhere!  I mean nowhere!  They’ll suddenly have a shot from the weirdest angle and then cut away.  Whoever was behind that decision, I want to know why.  These shots just come and go in a split-second, and serve no purpose in any scene they are in.

Overall, I’m not sure how to rate this film.  There are a TON of flaws that one could easily nit-pick to death.  But, I had fun watching it.  This is a genuinely entertaining movie, for me.  Maybe it’s because I liked these characters, and the politics they were talking about was genuinely interesting.  I don’t know.  But your mileage with this movie will vary.  So glad I watched it with subtitles.  If I had had to suffer the dub, I know I wouldn’t have been able to take ANY of it seriously.  The genuine strength of the performances comes out only in original Japanese.  This review may not make much sense to you, but this is the best I can talk about it.  Do with my review what you will.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Official Trailer

I saw the new Spider-Man today.  Awesome movie.  Just did a review on it.  But before that I had to suffer through a TON of ads for films that look just…awful.  Sony REALLY needs to get out of the movie industry, because they are producing some of the biggest shit imaginable.  I had heard that there was a sequel to Jumanji being done.  The classic film with Robin Williams, practical effects that still hold up, and CG that has aged terrible.  I had heard that it was going to involve The Rock and be set in a school.  So, some kids find the game and then it ends up having animal hijinks all around the school?  Okay, this sounds like it has potential.  Not much, mind you, but potential.

Oh, if only it had been that.  When the trailer for this film began, I was in awe, in absolute awe of how utterly stupid it is.  Let’s take a look.

So we have the breakfast club, circa 2017 being put in detention.  Glad to see the film wasted no time ripping off infinitely better films (something you’re going to learn that this film does a lot of).  So they find the game board down in that room?  You know, that iconic game board with all the really trippy effects and riddles telling our hapless characters what sorts of nightmares they unleashed?  This should be fun!

Oh, right we don’t have that.  Instead, we get their version of a Super Nintendo where it’s a video game now!  Because…modern?  Oh god, this film wastes no time trying to pander to the millenials who are NEVER going to like it anyway.  I just don’t get why they chose to do this.  Part of the charm of the original film was the understanding that it is retro.  Even for the 90’s, board games were passe.  But this game called to you.  It played drums and creeped you out.  There was real presence to that creepy board.  But now we have it just some game console that they found.  Were there even drums?  I didn’t hear anything, so I guess not.  Groj is this stupid.  This is so fucking stupid.

They start up the game, pick their characters, and then are sucked into the game.  Wait, really?  So all that stuff about the animals from the game fucking around in the real world?  That’s just, what, gone now?  Once they end up in the game’s reality, we see them all as different characters.  The really germophobic nerd is in The Rock’s body.  So, is this film ripping off Heavy Metal now?  That’s a weird choice.  Does that mean he’s going to bone some naked babes?  I bet that would make this film more interesting.  The black guy is in Kevin Hart’s body.  Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what unfunny comedy comes out of him.  The nerdy girl is a hot girl’s body now.  Okay.  But the thing which made me grown the loudest was seeing the hot girl now in Jack Black’s body.  Did this film really rip of The Hot Chick?!  You know, that film where Rob Schneider is put in the body of a hot girl?!  That film which fucking sucked?!  Unbelievable.  The premise just gets stupider and stupider.

Does anyone remember the way Robin Williams described the jungle world in the original film?  It sounded like a terrifying place, didn’t it?  A world where every day is a constant fear of if you will be eaten.  Where it’s full of darkness and nightmarish monsters that you can’t begin to comprehend.  And even the humans are killers who hunt other human beings.  That description really fucked with me as a kid.  But I guess in this film it’s a bright and colorful place, full of mirth and laughter and hilarious hijinks!  The montage that follows seems to suggest as much.

I’m just gonna cut to the quick on this, because talking about this trailer is pissing me off – this movie looks fucking retarded.  It’s not being faithful to the original.  It’s desperately trying to cash in on the hipster millennial crowd while also trying to be a family film.  Though, I guess these idiots are now old enough to have children, so maybe that works.  It’s ripping off other movies, and in the process looks even more pathetic.  Especially when the films it is ripping off starred the cinematic abortion known as Rob Schneider!  Fuck this movie right up its asshole!  Yet-another reboot that we can add to the pile of reboots that just fucking suck.  And, thankfully, the consensus on this seems to be pretty solid, so I hope this film bombs to the point that Sony can finally get the picture about how badly they need to get out of the movie industry.

Initial Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

I’m about to get very unpopular right now.  I hated the first three Spider-Man films.  Why?  Because I hate Tobey MaGuire.  I’m sure he is a perfectly nice person, and I have seen movies with him in it that I like, such as Pleasantville.  However, I do not like him as an actor.  How he was able to carry the role in the aforementioned film is beyond me.  Maybe they got that one director in a million.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, he was insufferable as Spider-Man.  There is the meme about the many faces of Tobey Maguire, well, that’s all I can think of when I watch those movies.  Andrew Garfield was a little better in the role.  At least in the first film he starred as.  I at least felt like he was trying to fit into the role of the character.  Still, he ended up being destroyed by studio interference.  Though, that’s what happened to the original films too.  Huh, there might be a clue about Sony and their vicegrip on this franchise in there somewhere.

But for the first time in, roughly 15 years, I actually feel like I have watched a Spider-Man movie.  It’s finally happened!  I knew it would be after I saw this actor in the role in Civil War.  Tom Holland was perfectly cast.  He looks the part.  He sounds the part.  Everything about this kid just screams Spider-Man.  I really liked this movie.  Is it perfect?  Hell no.  But as far as doing justice to this character and making a good Spider-Man film, this movie is the closest we have ever gotten, and part of me is worried that Sony is just going to fuck that up down the road.  Let’s talk about it.

The plot picks up 7 months after the events in Civil War, where Parker is back in school and trying to balance being a superhero and desperately hoping to be involved in something larger by Stark once-again.  Meanwhile, there is a villain who actually has a pretty neat motivation secretly working toward a goal, and Parker is the only one who can stop him.  It’s pretty standard superhero fare, but man is it all in the execution.

Once-again, Tom Holland rocks this role.  I feel like I am legit watching Spider-Man live up to his namesake!  The acting is great all-around.  Holland rocks the main role.  His buddy Ned is pretty fun too.  He’s funny.  He plays the sidekick role really well.  Plus, you actually believe that him and Parker are friends.  Their friendship all comes through due to the chemistry of these actors.  Next up we have Aunt May, who is featured much less than I thought in this movie.  They also gave her glasses for some odd reason.  But you actually feel her compassion for Parker.  The love interest in the film is actually a pretty nice character.  I don’t care that they changed her ethnicity.  It’s all good to me.  I liked her character.

A role that stood out to me was the villain.  Everyone knows it’s the Vulture, so I’m not spoiling anything there.  But he is a pretty neat character.  So many superhero films lately have a problem of boring antagonists.  We actually get to see where this man’s motivations come from.  Is he super deep?  No.  But it’s a hell of a lot deeper than the paper-thin villains I have seen in some of Marvel’s movies.  Plus, he is played by Michael Keaton, who totally owns the role.  He is nefarious and in it for himself, but you can see where he’s coming from.  And I like how they were able to get past the whole “we’re not so different” angle in this film in a pretty clever way.

But there is one performance that just bugs me – Mary Jane.  Do I care that they also changed her ethnicity?  No.  Not even a little.  What I do care about is the fact that they made her into the biggest garden-variety SJW ever!  She’s annoying.  She’s preachy.  I half-expected her to talk about her Tumblr page, it’s that bad.  How Peter is going to get past that and want to be with her in future films is beyond me.  This character was downright insufferable.  Is this a nitpick?  Absolutely.  It didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the film overall.  See, I can handle SJW pandering so long as it’s in a good movie.  But whoever directs this next, can we PLEASE make this character a little more likeable?

Tony Stark also comes back, and I was a little disappointed in this.  Robert Downey Jr was fine and all, but I was kind of thinking that Stark was going to go at this from the angle of him trying to become a father-figure in Peter’s life.  They framed it that way in the trailers.  There is one exceptionally-good moment where he is castigating Parker, but that’s pretty much it.

Finally, I have to talk about something which is a minor spoiler.  Spider-Man unlocks an AI program in the suit Stark left him, and she is entirely too much fun.  The scenes where her and Parker are arguing about stuff are just great.  Desperately hoping this character becomes a mainstay of the series.

The effects and action in this movie are pretty good, but since this film is really character-driven, I honestly don’t have much to say about that.  Vulture was a pretty good villain.  Seeing Spidey doing his thing is pretty awesome.

The final thoughts on this movie is that it’s loads of fun.  It’s not perfect.  It’s being held back by the fact that it has some scenes that drag and an SJW-tastic character who was grinding my gears every time her preachy ass was on screen.  But overall this was loads of fun, and it is my favorite Spider-Man film to date.  But here is where I am worrying.  Sony has said that after the last Avengers film, they are cutting ties to Disney’s Marvel.  Please don’t.  These people know what’s what!  Having their input has gotten you so much farther.  Let them stay involved.  Granted, Kevin Feige is leaving the MCU after this, which is when I plan on tuning out, so maybe it’s all for the best.  We’ll see what happens, but at least I finally got ONE good Spider-Man film that makes me believe this character is Spider-Man.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

When I did my review of Captain America: Civil War, I said that I honestly didn’t really know where they could go with a Black Panther film.  He is my second-favorite character in the film, due entirely on the incredible performance of the actor.  That man sells that role.  Marvel’s films have done some damn good casting lately.  Robert Downy Jr as Tony Stark, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, the kid as the new Spider-Man, and now Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.  Perfect casting.  But my perspective in my review still stands.  He’s the Black Panther, and a ruler of a powerful nation that is hidden away.  Where can they possibly go with that?  It’s a little late to get to it, but the teaser was released.  Let’s see.

We start off getting to hear Martin Freeman’s terrible American accent.  No joke, they should have just gotten Hugh Laurie to do the role.  He probably would have been more fun too.  Then we have Andy Serkis coming back from his role in Avengers: The Waste of James Spader’s Talent.  He’s saying that Wakanda isn’t nearly the backwater tribal society that people think.  Okay, liking it.  Some legit nice backdrops.  There is a cool juxtaposition between this waterfall scenery the Panther is at with the tech airplane he is leaving on.  Is the idea of the ancient and the modern clashing gonna come into play?  That could be cool.

The montage that follows seems to paint the film more as a story about Wakanda itself than the titular character.  I kinda like that.  I can’t honestly think of a Marvel film that has done that so far.  Making a movie about a nation and the struggles of being in the modern world is a neat angle that I can see either being done very well or fucked up so horribly bad.

Which is kind of my thought overall of this teaser.  I’m definitely not gonna watch any more trailers for the film.  I genuinely want to be surprised when I see it.  Modern trailers have a bad habit of ruining the entire plot of a film.  I think that’s what’s happened with Spider-Man: Homecoming.  I wouldn’t know.  After I saw how trailer 2 was spoiling the film I stopped it.  Black Panther is either going to be a very interesting dive into a nation and the people in it, or a preachy film about how evil western culture is.  Please don’t let it be that.  Please don’t let this be SJW jerk-fuel.  Marvel has thus far been pretty good about pandering to the forced-diversity crowd.  They want their works to appeal to a mass audience.

But this is new territory.  A piece about a nation and its ruler being unsure where they fit in in the changing world is a tough thing to get right.  I’m going to give this film a chance, though.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

Initial Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

The Cinematic Universe Trends Needs to Die

It really does.  It really, really does.  Seems like every film company is trying to find a way to make their own cinematic universe crap, and it is producing some of the stupidest films ever made.  People don’t realize that Marvel really found lightning in a bottle with their cinematic universe.  And part of that was having a fan of the comics who stood his ground on making the films true to the source material that he was adapting.  This concept could have been done so much worse.  There are stories about how Disney and the current head of the MCU have clashed on ideas which shows that if Disney had had their way, it would have been a lot worse.

However, it seems like every film company under the sun wants to have their version of the cinematic universe, and without a single exception they all suck.  Don’t come at me that Wonder Woman is awesome.  I’m sure it is.  Haven’t seen it.  Will Netflix it, someday.  But the DCEU is dead on arrival right now, and unless they have some good films to build on the ground they have FINALLY laid down, then it will still die.  Not unlike how the Ghostbusters remake’s attempt to make a universe are dead.  Or how Universal’s pathetic attempt to form the “Dark Universe” died right out of the gate.  Not to mention the Star Wars new extended universe.  And on that note…

Rogue One sucked!  I finally watched it, and I am going to do a review of it, but here’s my Cliff Notes – it sucked.  I don’t get why people are saying how great it was.  The film was boring.  So unbelievably boring.  Every single character in the film is boring.  Listening to Darth Vader make a stupid pun hurt me inside.  The plot was bad.  The CG faces for characters was bad.  Nothing about it was good.  How so many people could sing its praises is beyond me.  I genuinely believe it is just sad fanboys/girls who so desperately want Star Wars stuff in their lives that they will say that anything is good.  Just like how they sing about how great Episode VII was, when I couldn’t escape the fact that it is virtually a shot-for-shot remake of the original, except with a chick who can’t act and Emo Vader with his retarded-ass lightsaber.  Now they are making more films that no one asked for.  How about they release Star Wars: 1313?!  There’s something I actually wanted to see.

My point in all of this is simple – these cinematic universes need to go.  Marvel is already planning to bring theirs down a few pegs once the Infinity War films are done.  I saw that James Cameron wants to make a cinematic universe for that Avatar films.  Every company under the sun wants to try their hand at exploiting nostalgia by remaking old films in a way where it sets up for a cinematic universe.  These films are almost-exclusively terrible, and they are wasting money that could be put to better use in better films.

After all, we didn’t want a DCEU.  We wanted good DC films!  I don’t want a Dark Universe.  Nobody wanted that.  At all.  Not one person asked for that, and no one is going to miss it now that it is pretty much dead.  Nobody is asking for an Avatar universe.  The SJWs died on the hill that was the Ghostbusters remake.  I am honestly getting bored of the endless sequels.  Remakes might FINALLY be seeing a downturn now that they have become more and more box office poison.  Reboots too.  If only video games could learn a thing or two from this and be done with the endless sequels and give us some new IPs too.  There’s a thought.

Just think of all the talent being snubbed because Hollywood wants to cash in on some other form of nostalgia.  Think of the better films that could have been made if Hollywood had, instead of trying to make another stupid cinematic universe that will NEVER get the traction Marvel did, put their money into some of the smaller projects sitting on their desks?  What unseen vision is out there that will never see the light of day because the corporate dumbfucks who make movies are too busy making cash grabs?

What’s more, part of me is worried that now Hollywood has decided to just abandon the domestic market with films and instead make movies now intended just for foreign audiences.  Red Letter Media made a good point when they talked about the new Mummy film when they said the level of exposition seems like it wasn’t being made for American audiences.  It’s being made for foreign ones.  One of the biggest defenses people have for crappy movies is that they are able to recoup their money overseas.  That may be true.  In which case, will Hollywood just make safe movies for the US that they know will dominate overseas?  Stop caring about the local audiences for easy cash?  If that’s the case, why should I even go to the movies anymore?  I see trailers these days and I honestly don’t care.

As I said, Marvel caught lightning in a bottle.  That isn’t something just anyone can do, and instead of learning that lesson, Hollywood is content to just churn out more of this bait to lure people back in.  And it needs to stop.  The thing that really blows my mind is why Universal actually believed there was a cinematic universe potential in old monster movies?  That seems both short-sighted and desperate.  Is this a sign of how the film industry is doing overall?  Depressing.

Until next time, a quote,

“Hollywood has become hopelessly chained to the bottom line.” – Bruce Campbell

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Resident Evil Movies Getting a Six-Movie Reboot?! WHY?!

I don’t know how many of you know this, but the Resident Evil movies have sucked.  I can at least watch the first one because it has a couple genuinely scary moments, but the rest can’t even fall into the category of so bad they’re good.  They just suck.  They are cinematic abortions from first to last.  When I saw the preview for The Final Chapter, I was doing cartwheels because I finally thought that they were bringing an end to a series that NO ONE asked to go on this long.  No one.  People have been begging for this to end years ago.  Hell, the films aren’t even financially solvent, so why did this go on for so long?  Mysteries for the prophets.

But it seems that the films are already being planned for a six-film reboot.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this link and really soak in how stupid this is.  Naturally, it’s because of Germans that this abortion is being forced to keep going.  As they say, it’s brought in over $1.2 billion in profits.  For six films, with their level of production values, that actually seems pretty bad.  The article even says that the idea for six films is them milking it.  They want to suck this cash cow dry until there is absolutely nothing left.  I am in awe.

Can we please stop making video game movies?  I’m being serious.  These films suck.  Without a SINGLE exception, they all suck.  Everyone tried to defend the Warcraft film, but even then it was flimsy at best.  I can at least acknowledge that the original Silent Hill film was made by someone who at least loved the games and wanted to do right by them.  It still sucked, but there was at least a little heart.  More than most of this shit.  Video game films are becoming the bottom of the film barrel, and Hollywood is showing that they don’t care if film budgets are wasted making more of this garbage.  I honestly wish that Hollywood would realize that we need some originality in film.

Movies are getting so predictable.  I just got done watching Rogue One, and the whole time I’m like – something interesting is going to happen soon, right?  I liked Civil War, but that’s because it actually had heroes fighting each other.  That was unique.  But I am still tired of comic book movies.  Star War VII was a remake of the original with a check and even less fun.  None of the big movies even get my attention anymore.  And now they are releasing a new Pirate of the Caribbean film and I bet that film will die even more than the previous film did.  That franchise has been played out.  The only film I actually want to see coming out soon is Dunkirk, because it is being made by a direct who I know will make a film that isn’t just me watching a computer.

I know that there are people in Hollywood who have good ideas.  The problem is that studios are basically condemning them to never get anything made because all they care about is something easy to market.  Something that they can put out there and know there will be a return of investment.  It’s why we have Transformers VI, Star Wars: Independent Story Nobody Cared About, Cars 3, and other equally-uninteresting films that will still make a ton of money because the audience in this country is retarded.

And while we’re on the subject, can we PLEASE stop with these reboots?!  I am fucking sick of films that play on nostalgia as the only way to keep you in the seats.  All of these films just make me realize how much I loved the original.  That’s it.  I groan when I see a previews to another franchise or something that I loved being turned into a cash-grab.  Thankfully, these films are becoming less and less financially successful, which hopefully can give the six-figure salaries and two-digit IQs in Hollywood a clue that this crap is played out.

In the meantime, fuck this latest reboot.  I haven’t seen one of these films in years, and I am not going to now.  Who are the idiots who keep watching this shit?  I honestly want to know.

Until next time, a quote,

“Running out of ideas will put in you the dark until death.” – Cambodian Proverb

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Logan

It’s nice to see that Twentieth Century Fox has the balls and creative integrity to do what Disney’s Marvel isn’t capable of doing – taking risks.  And hot shit are those risks paying off!  This is not only the Wolverine film that all of us have been hoping for since the very beginning of seeing this character, but also the superhero film that so many of us have been waiting for.  And as I said, it was Twentieth Century Fox who brought it to us.  The studio didn’t seem to believe this film nor the one whose sequel was teased in the beginning would even find a fanbase, but find it they did.  Perhaps the fat cat suits in Hollywood can actually realize that making a superhero film that isn’t for kids can be profitable.  Perhaps we can get to see some of our favorite dark superheroes brought to light.  Netflix is doing a pretty good job working with this.  Their Punisher is pretty badass.  This is a fantastic movie.  Let’s talk about it.

Anyone in my audience who actually wants to see this film already has.  I realize that since my reviews are always late, I am going to start trying to find an angle to talk about which everyone else hasn’t.  So no plot recap.  It’s an adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline, where we get to meet an equally-badass character – X-23.  A tragic tale of the death of two of the greatest mutants to ever live, along with the introduction that hopefully isn’t wasted.

The glue that holds this movie together is the performances.  Hugh Jackman definitely steals the show as an aging Logan.  His powers are starting to fail him, and his age has finally caught up with him.  A lost soldier, he’s not looking for a spot to live.  He’s looking for a place to die.  But over the course of the film he comes to realize that he has one last chance to truly feel what it’s like to be alive.  A lot of comparisons have been made between this film and the incredible game The Last of Us, and I can kind of see that.  Jackman makes a pretty good Joel of the film, equally as gruff and equally tired of being alive.  And just like Joel, he meets a companion who makes him want to live again.  Only difference is how it all ends, and the level of dark implications for both characters.  Logan gets his redemption in the end.  Joel does not, but that is part of why the narrative works.

Next up with have Patrick Stewart.  Part of me likes the dark implications with this character.  There is some backstory to what happened to him that you never fully understand.  He’s done something horrible, and just like Logan, his powers are failing him.  Two of the last mutants on Earth, both of them are equally lost.  As his mind is slowly faltering, he goes from a mutant who doesn’t care about anything, to getting to enjoy one last adventure with the only friend he has left.  Stewart plays the old man with nowhere left to go very well.  You believe the chemistry between him and Logan.  He simultaneously hates and depends on his angry companion, and the juxtaposition does not escape his notice.

Of course, the character everyone is talking about is X-23.  This girl brought the character to life incredibly well.  This could so easily have been botched, as so many child actors just suck, but this girl brought her a-game to the table and it shows.  Just like Joel and Ellie in the game that everyone says this story is ripping off, the bond that grows between these two is believable.  They do take moments to address the reality that both of them are becoming killers and there is no going back.

Something else I want to talk about is the language in this movie.  As I said, I am loving the fact that we have comic movies with the balls to go this far, but part of me can’t help but early on was just so forced.  Some of the times that they would be laying down the word fuck liberally just felt so middle school.  I like hearing Professor X swear, but don’t make me think that it was put in there just because.  Fuck is a great word, but use it when you mean it.

Another thing is the carnage.  Everyone who reviewed this movie said that it was grotesque and violent, hard-R, I was told.  It’s violent, but don’t be fooled.  This isn’t Robocop levels of grotesque.  It has blood and gore, but still plays it safe.  That being said, while they may not always embrace how vicious it can be, the kills still felt visceral.  When you have Logan tearing people apart, you actually feel like that would hurt.  This film knew that it could take risks but only to a point.  I mean, if it really stuck to how disgusting Logan’s murder sprees would be, people would call it gore porn.  The creators of the film wisely chose to make emphasis on the killing to make it feel personal.  And when you watch X-23 on top of a gut tearing him open, you can tell that that would be scary as fuck to witness.

All things considered, this was a ballsy, very intense superhero film.  The most I have seen since The Dark Knight.  It took risks that no film of its genre would dare doing, and I am so desperately hoping it won’t be the last.  Disney’s Marvel will never have the guts.  Not unless they pawn it off on some lesser Disney studio so if it sucks they can give the blame there.  That’s what they did with Princess Mononoke.  See, Disney owned the rights to Studio Ghibli films, but Miyazaki outright refused to make any cuts to the violence in his magnum opus.  The film was a huge hit in Japan and Disney wanted a piece of that pie.  So rather than fight with Miyazaki when he sent a katana to the head of Disney at the time with a note attached saying “no cuts,” they pawned it off to a studio that they owned but was far away enough from Disney to be able to distribute it without them looking bad.  A clever tactic.  And it worked.  I am hoping that some film creators come to them after Infinity War, when the MCU will be toning down and sputtering away, and wants to look at some of the more violent superheros in the library and give them a fair shake.  Take a note form how big a success this movie and Deadpool have been, Disney.  You can do this.  The reward will come in ten-fold.  Not to mention, both of the movies that have taken this approach have made the most of having a smaller budget.  The limited resources not only meant that they had to be more clever in making them, but also that they could much more easily recoup their budget.  Deadpool and Logan have been massive financial successes.  Hint-hint!

This was a phenomenal movie.  It’s sad to see Logan go, but the X-Men brand has gotten kind of stale anyway.  But please, for the love of Groj, do NOT let the next film with X-23 be some watered-down version of this character!  She’s a violent killing machine.  Respect that.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick