The Angry Birds Movie 2 is the very definition of empty-calorie cinema—bright and shiny and satisfying enough for a few fleeting moments until it’s balled up and thrown in the trash. It’s also fast-paced, interesting to look at, and notably less irritating than the original, which is all you can really ask of a film like this one.
While the film boasts a refreshing premise — mob wives taking over their husbands’ territory when the men land themselves in jail — what lingers afterwards is the stale taste of its lukewarm execution.
Perhaps that’s why, despite some skillful scene-setting and committed supporting performances, Them That Follow is lifeless enough that small inconsistencies in accents, costuming, and set dressing appear more significant than they would in a more, well, thrilling thriller.
This is Tarantino’s Eden, the unspoiled garden when the things he loves don’t have to be sought out or championed because they permeate every aspect of life. The sense of blissful immersion extends to the film’s costuming and production design, both of which are as meticulous as one might expect.
In a cinematic landscape where retro throwbacks are predictably bundled around the same small set of nostalgia-friendly filmmakers (we all love Carpenter, but come on), it’s positively invigorating to see a loving tribute to a director’s influences that’s also aggressively avant-garde.
For the most part, it works. True, the haunted objects are silly at times, but unlike The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home is only funny when it’s supposed to be. And it’s enjoyable because of its clockwork efficiency, not in spite of it.
The Perfection takes deep, fetishistic satisfaction in pushing the envelope, then pushing it some more, building in seductive fits and shocking starts to an orgiastic frenzy of cinematic excess. Is it a progressive movie? Not especially, but that’s okay as long as you know what you’re getting into.
Director Gail Mancuso, a TV comedy veteran, gets the desired effect — as manipulative as it may be — out of both the funny scenes and the sad ones, leading up to a finale that can only be described as weapons-grade tearjerker material.
While Benjamin’s choice to give Wendy little to no backstory makes sense given the film’s overall efficiency, Body At Brighton Rock would be more memorable if she was fleshed out a little further. It’s more fun to cheer for a character that you really feel like you know — even if you just met them.
Little Woods revolves around a remarkable lead performance: Thompson shows her range as an actress in this film in ways that, as fun as they can be, she just doesn’t get to in any of her blockbuster roles.