Cold Pursuit (2019)

cp2019.jpg

Plot

  • A man seeks revenge on those that killed his son.

Pros

  • The plot was such a small part of why this film was unique and enjoyable.

  • The story moved from generic revenge to absurdist very quickly.

  • The comedy and absurdity was refreshing.

  • The music was quirky and silly, adding to the overall enjoyment.

Cons

  • None of the absurdity is explained but is that a bad thing?

Final Thoughts

I went in expecting a generic revenge action film starring generic revenge action film actor Liam Neeson. Instead, I was treated to a film that was so much more. The continued death count was a great way to tie seemingly unrelated plot lines together. I think most of the main players were given at least some backstory, which was a welcome change–even the most generic of characters like the antagonist's henchmen were given at least some motivation. The characters maintaining normalcy as abnormal events made way for absurdity was a fun choice and risky one. Having all the different backstories intertwine was a great payoff. Finally, being able to leave the theatre not quite sure if I'd seen an intentional comedy but still having enjoyed myself was a rare treat. What an absolutely weird film but one I'm glad I watched.

Captain Marvel (2019)

cm2019.jpg

Plot

  • On the brink of galactic war, the Kree wage an offensive against the murderous rampage of the Skrull. While the Skrull can shape-shift effortlessly, it would appear that the Kree and their war aren’t what they seem either.

Pros

  • Fun throwback to the nineties without being overbearing.

  • Special effects were great, as with most superhero films.

  • Provided backstory to some characters sorely in need of it but...

Cons

  • ... That backstory made a joke out of those characters.

  • The main character felt poorly conceived.

  • A generic superhero film that doesn't stand out.

Final Thoughts

It’s fair to say that I love superhero movies. I’ve seen the majority of them and watch them over and over again. I give this movie credit for keeping my love of them going strong, however; it didn’t add anything new. I have to be honest in suggesting that it wasn’t great for me within the superhero genre or outside of it. There’s an unreasonable amount of both negativity and positivity about this movie on the internet and I don’t get it. The wheel wasn’t reinvented and there have been amazing and complex strong female leads throughout time. I guess it's good that people are passionate but I feel this film is a weird choice to ignite that passion. Anyways, I wish the “don’t show emotion” and “I’m a human with emotions” narratives would have been better sussed out because the lead character felt noncommittal to either side and I felt it detracted. I really disliked how Nick Fury was turned into a punchline as well. Otherwise, it was a decent superhero film and worth a big screen viewing.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

httyd3.jpg

Plot

  • Peace between humans and dragons is becoming more and more difficult to maintain as humans can only really be counted on to ruin everything. This latest film in the series sees the humans that have formed a peaceful union with the dragons trying to find a new place to call home that will keep both safe from the evil humans that wish harm upon them.

Pros

  • Animation is great.

  • Plot is basic but performed as well as can be expected.

  • Friendship between dragons and humans really shines through.

Cons

  • The antagonist is voiced by an actor that comes and goes with an accent.

  • Friendship being potentially ripped apart by a love interest isn't anything new...

  • ... But it is a bit different when the love is forged by two voiceless dragons.

Final Thoughts

I might have seen the previous two iterations of the How To Train Your Dragon series but I didn't recall doing so at the time of my viewing. As a result, I did a quick internet search to ascertain the plots of them. I feel like (much to its benefit) a person doesn't necessarily have to see the first two films to enjoy the third. The companionship between human and dragon is felt throughout the film and is motivation enough for the plot to play out how it does. Having enjoyed this film, I feel like fans of the series will be satisfied with the way it's wrapped up ... But it's possibly left open to more.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

aba.jpg

Plot

  • A human/cyborg hybrid is given a second chance at life after being found and brought back to working order by a cyber technologist doctor in a futuristic action/sci-fi film.

Pros

  • Special effects are really great.

  • The futuristic steampunk world is exciting without being completely over-the-top.

  • Every fight scene leaves the audience craving more.

Cons

  • Generic cinematic tropes are abundant.

  • Dialogue and plot are both exceptionally weak.

  • Character motivation is poor at best.

Final Thoughts

I was able to find a lot good about this movie. Coming from manga and me knowing about it, I was able to throw caution to the wind and enjoy it for what it was. Did it have some poor qualities? Of course it did - it has James Cameron attached. He sure loves the cheese. I will give him credit for trying to branch out and create new worlds and such, but sticking to the same generic storylines, plot twists, and motivations start to work against a film. Anyways, Alita is flashy and exciting; with lots of special effects, great fight scenes, and enough going for it that I hope a sequel gets made. Apparently if this first one does well enough at the box office (which I don't personally think it will), there are two more films lined up. Guess time will tell.