Like John Wick himself, this third chapter feels like a lean, mean, fighting machine – and, yes, it’s the best film of the franchise so far, even surpassing the first film. There are moments in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum where I thought to myself, “Well, I’ve never seen that before.”
Detective Pikachu is one of those movies where, for about half the movie, I was trying to force myself to like it, until I just gave up. I kind of got the sense a lot of people around me were doing the same thing.
Avengers: Endgame is, without a doubt, the most confusing and convoluted of any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, yet it’s also unbelievably satisfying – and, yes, does act as an endpoint for many major character arcs.
Some movies provoke and challenge, others are just fun as hell. The World Is Yours is firmly among the latter, feeling “Hollywood” in all the best ways, though it’s also sneaky smart. If you have any friends that hate arthouse movies and refuse to read subtitles, this is the movie to convert them.
Happytime Murders isn’t the funniest or the smartest movie I’ve ever seen, but I forgive it because it isn’t trying that hard. At least, joke-wise. There’s something beautiful about the level of craft that goes into just one puppet, that in many cases ends up appearing in a single, one-off joke about pubic lice.
For the most part, Operation Finale is a good story, well told. Yet something about it isn’t entirely satisfying either. It deftly eschews the most simplistic takes, but what it offers in return — the banality of evil, essentially — isn’t quite groundbreaking either. Still, it’s more than worth it to watch Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac spar for a bit.
As relatively weak as the CGI is, The Meg is brilliant at giving its dopey characters consistently entertaining dialogue and striking the perfect balance of clever/stupid without being overly self-aware.
The Spy Who Dumped Me does an effective job of putting these two outsiders into the world of a violent action movie, but then the plot of the action movie has some truly head-scratching scenes. But, whatever. This is an August movie and Kunis and McKinnon are funny and that’s what you’re paying to see.
A movie with this strong of a message can easily come off preachy, self-righteous, and didactic, but Riley’s sense of humor and flair for absurdity save it from any of that. Boots Riley feels compelled to say but doesn’t presume to know. He has a way of dreaming rather than grandstanding, of pondering rather than prescribing.
In the past, this kind of character, who abhors swear words but kills with obvious relish, would’ve been positioned as an interesting contrast. In The Equalizer 2 it just feels like unexamined orthodoxy. It feels like the symptom of a very American kind of brain sickness.