There’s an admonition about not poking a bear – which means poking a mama bear whose mate and cub you’ve just killed might be a much worse idea.
Crazy Rich Asians takes standard rom-com tropes (boy meets girl; they fall in love; she meets the parents; the parents disapprove) and filters them through Asian and Asian-American perspectives.
Not only does it work, it’s almost perfect.
Disney’s Christopher Robin is an unexpectedly delightful film that reminds us all that family means more than anything else – and that old friends are to be valued and heeded.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is unique in several ways: it’s the first time a writer-director has done two consecutive IMF missions; it’s the first time an entry in the series is a direct sequel to the previous one; it’s the first entry in which its star suffered an injury severe enough for the film to take an eight-week hiatus, and it’s the second straight entry to feature a female character – Ilsa Faust – who is as good at her job as Ethan Hunt is at his.
It’s also a non-stop rush – and really puts the impossible in Mission: Impossible.
Robert McCall, the OCD ex-CIA operative with the imperturbable Zen calm, is back.
Once again played by Denzel Washington and directed by Antoine Fuqua, The Equalizer 2 is pretty much the sequel we’ve been expecting – McCall is now stepping in for those who seemingly can’t be helped and, exacting revenge for the death of a friend.
In Skyscraper, a man has to save his family from the world’s tallest building after a group of mercenaries set it ablaze.
It can’t decide if it wants to be goofy summer fun or an all-out disaster flick. The only real survivors of Skyscraper are Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell.
Just through its playful riffing on famous monsters and legends, the first two entries in the Hotel Transylvania franchise provided some seriously goofy summer fun. The trick was finding a core of great characters and some complementary secondary characters that could hold the screen in support.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation spends so much time on its core characters – and one newcomer – that those delightfully weird secondary characters are left with little to do. The result is a mediocre film that wears out its welcome well before the (admittedly delightful) closing credits.
After all the end-of-half-the-living-beings-of-the-universe holy crap!@ness of Avengers: Infinity War, there are two aspects of Ant-Man and the Wasp that make it a refreshing change.
The stakes are Scott Lang’s freedom and the life of Janet Van Dyne (and, okay, tangentially, the life of the costumed ‘villain’ of the piece – but not the mundane villain of the piece).
Sicario: Day of the Soldato is a unique film in that its set in the same world as the first one; features a couple of characters from the first one and starts a war between two cartels – one of which was the antagonist in the first film… and yet, the story is not really a part of that story.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a fast-paced thrill ride that serves as the middle chapter in a trilogy. It serves that purpose well – maybe even a bit better than average.
If there are flaws (and there are)… DINOSAURS!
Fans of Pixar’s The Incredibles have been clamoring for a sequel for over a decade. Now, after 14 (!) years, it’s here and it’s almost as good as the original (the only way it could be better would if we’d never met these characters before…).