The Incredibles 2 | Movie Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. How dare they? Time to become a super villain! The Incredibles 2 is copyright Disney and Pixar. Images used for reference and commentary.

Warning: This movie contains scenes with flashing lights that may be unsafe for people with epilepsy or other photo sensitivities.

The Incredibles are back! It only took 12 years. Were you alive back then? The sequel picks up right where the first one left off. Bye bye fan theories that a grown-up Dash or Jack-Jack would be the new villain. Maybe in another 12 years?

In Incredibles 2, an eccentric hero-crazy businessman wants to lure the public’s affection back to the heroes. The secret? Good press! The best hero for the job? Elastigirl! Now she must leave her family to kick bad-guy butt, sway the public, and preferably stay alive. That would be a nice bonus.

Yes, Helen Parr is front and center. She was kicking butt in the first movie – and now she is kicking more butt! Whether it’s as Mrs. Incredible or Elastigirl, I cannot get enough of this lady. #TeamElastigirl!

Helen is a super hero and a super mom. And now Bob has to dad it up to her level. It ain’t easy! Props to Mr. Incredible’s characterisation – he is still one flawed man. He has a short temper, an inferiority complex, and he’s jealous of his wife’s success. Wow, he sounds like a tool. The realism is on point. His behaviour is not justified or excused, but who wants to watch a movie about some glamorised twit? It is very reflective of the times – then and now – to see a man struggling to come to grips that his wife is succeeding in areas where he has faltered and is unable to thrive.

Like the first movie, The Incredibles 2 is not strictly a movie for the kiddies. “Whaaat? But it’s animated! It’s rated for kiddies!” This is true. But both flicks deal with family, marital struggles, and the need to find – and follow – your purpose. Also, the humour seems to be more targeted at the old(er) generation. It never stops to pander and that is what makes it great.

The Incredibles 2 has more, more, more than the first one! More Frozone, more Violet and Dash kicking butt, and more Jack-Jack. I have mixed feelings about Jack-Jack, the Gary Stu baby. If he was not an infant, the fact that he has 17+ powers would be irritable, not endearing. Instead, it lends itself to the story and the humour. But if they do make another Incredibles movie, set in the future, and Jack-Jack does still have all of these powers, he had better be a villain. Or I will be bored out of my mind watching him out-super Superman.

Oh, the villain! How could I forget? The villain is the Screenslaver – an anonymous dude who wants people to continue hating on super heroes. He uses the power of technology and mind control. Great stuff. Very unsubtle, comic book-esque, and lends itself beautifully to the importance of media in influencing the masses.

The Incredibles 2 is worth the wait. If you enjoyed the first one, you won’t be disappointed.

4.3 out of 5 stars


Ocean’s Eight | Movie Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Looks like I’ll just have to plan my own heist. Who’s in? Ocean’s Eight is copyright Warner Bros. Images used for reference and commentary.

Debbie Ocean was born for crime – and she’s ready to run this job. This lady is not only part of the Ocean family, but she is sharp and determined. After being strung up by an ex, she’s ready to pull off the heist she’s been cooking for the last 5+ years in the slammer. All she needs is a team. A team of ladies!

This is a spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven movies. Debbie is Danny’s sister, but she’s suave in her own way. Sandra Bullock excels as Debbie. From the moment she appears, she owns the show – with a permanent twinkle in her eye.

Then, there are the other ladies. Quite a line-up! Each one stands apart but works together. My favourites were Rihanna’s Nine Ball and Helena Bonham Carter’s Rose Weil. Her Irish accent is 100% preferable to Cheadle’s Cockney. The ladies’ characters are good…but could have been better. There is limited interaction between them, and a void of internal conflict. Their personal stakes could have been higher. The concept of potential jail time was floated around, but nothing that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Ocean’s Eight is not devoid of men, but they are limited to smaller parts or cameos. One character’s husband was so irrelevant, he didn’t even appear. This is a nice nod to movies where men’s wives will be flippantly mentioned but not appear or have any influence on the story. Ocean’s Eight shows how women can be clever and strong on their own, but that men do not have to be rounded up and placed on a desert island for this to be possible. It was a good female ensemble cast that wasn’t trying too hard. It seemed natural – as it should! If only female casts were not such an abnormality.

The movie follows the formula of a heist movie. The team is formed, the heist is developed and carried out, some details are withheld until the end. Is it the strongest heist movie ever? No, but it’s a step in the right direction. Did you see Oceans Twelve? That movie was good for some shut-eye.

Ocean’s Eight is an enjoyable film. If you like heist movies, it is worth seeing. I hope this movie will be a launching point for more female ensemble casts. If Ocean’s Twelve led to an Ocean’s Thirteen, I don’t want to hear from any fuss-pants that Ocean’s Eight shouldn’t lead to more movies with female casts.

3 out of 5 stars


Deadpool 2 | Movie Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Throw a dime my way. Not really, I don’t live in America anymore. Deadpool 2 is copyright 20th Century Fox. Images used for reference and commentary.

The sequel to a successful movie that no one thought would ever actually exist, Deadpool 2 delivers the same signature humour that carried the first one. Like the first one, it relies heavily on Deadpool’s flavour and flare – but now there is an antagonist that is worth his time. Sorry, Francis, ya’ basic!

Cable (real name Nathan, no wonder he goes by Cable) is a bad-ass cyborg mutant from the future, intent on killing a mutant kid for whatever reason. You’ll have to watch the movie yourself to find out why. Russell, the said child-person, is played by Julian Dennison of Hunt for the Wilderpeople notoriety. Let’s take a moment to thank Marvel for including a New Zealand mutant that wasn’t Kiwi Black. Whoever created and named that guy needs a kick right up Main Street.

I was not impressed by how they handled Vanessa’s character. I did not expect her to be out there kicking ass with the rest of them, but she was squeezed squarely in the love interest trope box and it was gross, boring and predictable.

Deadpool 2’s other main fail was that, for a movie dealing with time-travel, it messed up its time-line. There is a cameo by characters from the 80s in a movie that is clearly set – judging by technology and pop culture references – now. Someone thought they were being clever but was in fact being super stupid.

Highlights of the film were, of course, Deadpool – but also Cable and Domino. They were good counters to Deadpool’s extravagance, but in distinctive and different ways. I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the X-Force movie. When does that come out? Now? Now please.

Is Deadpool 2 just a jerk-fest for fans of the Merc with a Mouth? Yes – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an enjoyable one.

3.5 out of 5 stars


Solo: A Star Wars Story | Movie Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Smuggle some goods my way! Solo is copyright of Disney and Lucasfilm LTD. Images used are for reference and commentary.

So, they tell me there is going to be a “Young Han Solo Movie.” Excuse you? They already made a movie with a young Han Solo. It was called Star Wars. Was Harrison Ford already old in that movie? I Googled it – he was 35. Damn, he was looking good.

I thought Solo was just going to be some little boy waddling around pretending to be Harrison Ford – and it was, but he did a pretty good job of it. Alden Ehrenreich – who is going to have to become a little more famous before I remember his name – may not look or sound exactly like Ford, but he did his homework and has his Hanerisms down. It’s all about attitude! This Han is a bit green but you can see him shaping into who he will become.

In this movie, we learn some of Han’s backstory. How he became a smuggler, how he met Chewie and Lando, and even how he got his name. Can’t have Han without the Solo! Not just anyone can pull off a single name. Yes, this comment is directed at another certain someone in the movie. Look, you may be fierce, but you’re no Space Beyoncé!

New characters that are introduced are not fleshed out enough or appear too fleetingly. That is not to say I did not enjoy them. Qi’ra, Han’s love-interest – who is not pigeon-holed into that role – was refreshing and semi-unpredictable. Dryden Vos was just Paul Bettany after a scratch-up and Tobias Beckett was, well, Woody Harrelson.

The only new addition to the movie that stole my little hedgepiggy heart was L3-37 – Lando’s droid co-pilot – a rebel to the core. She is bad-ass and full of sass! Every Star Wars movie needs a droid and L3 put even Rogue One’s K-2SO to shame. L3 is all about droid rights and talking back. She speaks her mind and doesn’t take crap from anyone.

The real stars are Han, Chewie and Lando – and that’s why we buy the tickets! I was a little confused about Lando and L3’s relationship. Was there romance, sexy-times? Lando is pansexual – and it is touched upon with L3’s remarks about love and flirting towards her and Han – but could have used more visibility on-screen. I could use a lot more of Donald Glover as Lando. Give me another prequel about Lando and L3!

Solo: A Star Wars Story is full of nods to past movies that fan’s will appreciate and enjoy. It is not a movie to watch if you are not familiar with Han Solo and the original Star Wars trilogy.

3.5 out of 5 stars