In the late 80s, Predator would have been the perfect film everyone was asking for. This movie has a few big names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger playing ‘Dutch’ and Carl Weathers playing ‘Dillon’, but even with them, the movie still feels compact in a good way. In a Guatemalan jungle, Dutch, an experienced soldier and his militia including Dillon, a long time friend, tear through soviet guerrillas to retrieve secret soviet documents. The scene that shows the team gunning down a ton of people is easy to follow and more exciting than many other film’s action scenes are. As this scene takes place, it creates a scene of invulnerability for the team, even though, they are about to be almost entirely wiped out by the predator, which further reinforces the power that the predator wields. Among the scenes of the team making their way through their mission, there are a few shots of the predators perspective from above with a thermal view that make us wonder what it is that has that ability. It’s in fact, quite a while until we even see the predator at a full body shot, and even that is just for a split-second. When there finally is a shot with a good look at the predator, it looks terrifying, the design is great and gets better the more you look at it. The kills done by the predator are great, especially the one where he kills Dillon with the iconic dismembered arm still shooting shot. There are a few surprising moments that no one expected. Of course, It wouldn’t be a film starring Schwarzenegger without memorable lines, and this film is no exception, from “Get to the chopper!” to “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” This film is great.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Mission Impossible – Fallout is the sixth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise and my personal favorite. It’s a great blend of action and story, though the villain is kinda recycled, it doesn’t seem lazy, and a new villain is also introduced though, the twist wasn’t very surprising and pretty expected. This film feels very fresh and new, the action scenes weren’t boring at all and were easy to follow, not too much shaky cam or anything like that. Tom cruise, of course, returns to the franchise as Ethan Hunt and though he is getting old, he doesn’t disappoint with action. Henry Cavill plays the part of August Walker, and he has a great American accent as well as a great mustache. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg return again but don’t make much of an impact on the film as many people would’ve hoped, though they are pretty much just there for humor. The humor in the film isn’t as present as other Mission: Impossible films but when there is humor, it fits very well and doesn’t feel awkward. My biggest critic of the film was that the CGI was pretty obvious at some parts, but that was only for small action parts, whenever a wide angle is shown, or a close up, perspective, whatever, it looks good. The shots of the inside of a tumbling helicopter were great, pretty much everything about the helicopter scene was great. Just like the fifth film in the franchise, this movie is surprising, and in an understandable way, like Ethan Hunt is one of the top MIF agents in the world, it makes sense that he would do something no one would have thought of but himself. This film is fantastic.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
There is a rare time in cinema when a sequel is (arguably) better than the original, this film is not an exception. This time the crew had a whole lot of money, and they weren’t going to waste it on just making the film more flashy, they put it into every vital part of a film and it certainly shows. The liquid metal terminator 1000 played by Robert Patrick is a big creative step up from just another robot attacking, though the CGI on the liquid metal part of the terminator is a bit worse than modern standards, it isn’t very distracting. This is one of the few films with a child actor (John Connor played by Edward Furlong) that the character doesn’t annoy me, and him teaching the terminator (played by the returning Arnold Schwarzenegger) how to fit into society has some hilarious scenes that shine a bit of light on an otherwise dark movie. This movie is probably more iconic than the original, and it has some very cool scenes, like the flipping of the shotgun to reload it while on a motorbike which they actually had to modify the shotgun for. The film does sometimes feel a little long, but never boring, mostly because the T-1000 just doesn’t die. Everything has an understandable meaning, like when the T-800 wasn’t supposed to kill anybody but Arnold wanted him to not make that a choice from the terminator and so they made that John Connor’s choice, why does the terminator obey Connor? It was sent by Connor from the future. Everything has a sensible explanation, except for why miles (Joe Morton) would agree to destroy his life’s work just because some people told him that he needed to or else the world would end. Otherwise this movie is brilliant.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp is the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and definitely will not be the last. This film stars returning Paul Rudd as Ant-Man (Scott), Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp (Hope), and Michael Douglas as Hank. The story is about trying to get Hope’s mom back from the sub-atomic quantum realm because she’s been in there since 1987 trying to disable a soviet missile and only now is it possible to bring her back to regular size. While they are trying to bring her back, Scott is on his last couple of days of being on house arrest and one of Hank’s former colleagues, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), is trying to save a quantumly unstable girl, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) that Hank has the technology for. In this film it is apparent that Marvel is getting more creative with there villains, there isn’t too much of a villain in this film, it’s more of just a race against time and no one really has a very ill intent. Though there is a lack of a very mean villain, the film has suits that shrink, and resize and what-not, which make for some creative action scenes. The contrast between the scenes of Hank being extremely small cutting to see Scott extremely large are done very well. some of the parts were a little confusing and it just cut to another scene with little explanation, but it wasn’t too bad. Comedically, this movie excells, like the first film, but I think that the ongoing joke of Luis (Michael Peña) having long backstories for everything should have been used just a little more. This movie is good.
There aren’t many movie franchises quite as quotable as The Terminator Franchise and it all started with this film. Possibly Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most iconic role, the terminator is a cybernetic organism sent from the future to kill Sarah Conor (Linda Hamilton) because unbeknownst to her, she will give birth to the man to lead humans to victory in the upcoming war against machines. James Cameron was not given a whole lot of money to make this film, in fact, he used to have to eat day old Big Macs from McDonald’s on the set, but that is obviously not him today as he has made the world’s most profitable movie, twice. Since this movie had such a low budget, a scene that shows the terminator fixing his eye is very fake looking, but at least it wasn’t a mess of CGI and they actually used a real model for the head.The movie is a nice 80s action, sci-fi hit, and because it’s from the 80s, the soundtrack is a little annoting, but it’s not too bad. There is a scene in which Sarah Conor and Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) are having sensual moment, kissing and what not, and it cuts almost directly to the terminator making his way over to kill them, which didn’t flow very well and took me out of the movie, but that’s pretty much the only part of the movie that bothered me really. Schwarzenegger was the perfect actor for this role, big, strong and intimidating, just as a terminator should be. He goes around shooting a bunch of people with shotguns and looks cool while doing it, and he originally wanted the part of Kyle Reese but decided being the bad guy in the film would be cooler, and it certainly was. This movie is fantastic.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Many franchises get worse as sequels are added, but I’m very excited to see what the next Mission: Impossible has in store. Tom Cruise, the American Bruce Lee, returns again as Ethan Hunt. Tom Cruise may be getting old but he’s just as capable at doing stunts as ever, he proves this in the movie’s first scene, even before the title card reassures which movie you’re watching, Tom Cruise is hanging of the side of an airplane as it takes off, to reassure which movie you’re watching for you. It would be hard to follow the action of the fourth film but the fifth manages just fine, and even exceeds the action. With every Mission: Impossible movie, there is unbelievable luck with characters but with this installment, it feels more realistic, as far as realistic goes with these movies, but it doesn’t take all of the fun away. There was one scene though that was extremely lucky for the main characters in which their car got into a terrible accident and they walked away with minor injuries. This movie has many smart actions by the characters that no one was expecting, and a lot of this film is actions that weren’t expected and it never gets dull, repeatative, or predictable, which can be very hard with a series like this, just when you think everything has been done, Ethan Hunt pulls another trick from up his sleeve. The problem with these movies are the villains, they want something bad to happen but then Ethan Hunt comes in and saves the day, which can be annoying for some but I’m fine with it, as long as each movie introduces cool new characters, or gadgets, or whatever. This movie is good.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
This movie is enjoyable at best, it doesn’t try to be the best movie ever, or even someone’s favorite movie. It’s an unneeded addition to the once great Jurassic Park/World franchise, the plot of the first Jurassic Park movie was rich and smart, this film’s plot is as flat as, “Oh no, rich people want money and they are going to abuse animal rights to get it!” It’s a story we have all heard far too much, and also the film was filled with flat characters. The original film was famed with having amazing special effects, and this film which relies too much on CGI though it is to be expected with this kind of movie, it’s only okay at best. There was a reference to the first Jurassic Park with a goat being fed to the T-Rex and the goat was so incredibly fake, and it had such a cartoonish reaction to the T-Rex. The movie had a lot of side characters that are very obviously just there to get laughs out of the audience and I can’t really remember their names, I think one was Via, or Zia? The villains had a terrible idea to sell dinosaurs to be used in war which is very stupid once you put a small amount of thought into it. It seemed that this movie really didn’t know what to do with Chris Pratt, so they just relied on him to make himself funny, but that’s obviously not how it works. Some choices made by characters are either very stupid or very out of character for them to do. Though I didn’t like the film, it was enjoyable, and also had quite a few clever and cool shots. A lot of the visuals were well done and the “Indo-Raptor” (A hybrid dinosaur made from parts of the deadliest dinosaurs ever) looked pretty cool. A lot of it may be dumb, but it will entertain kids. This movie was just bad.
The Bourne Supremacy
This is my favorite of all the Jason Bourne movies, it definitely harder to understand than the first film, but it is more entertaining. Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne and likely unregretful. This movie starts almost immediately with the death of Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), Jason’s lover and it’s sort of just forgotten about. It is a major plot point but it isn’t mentioned very much throughout the film. This movie is very much in the Jason Bourne style, jumping shots, zoom ins for action and reaction shots, though sometimes, it can make the movie a little hard to follow. The film is also a little too fast for my liking, which can make the story a little hard to understand. Bourne is in Paris, you blink, and he’s in Moscow. Sometimes when Bourne was being chased, or shot at, you would forget why or how that situation even happened. Although it can be hard to follow, I enjoyed this movie the most out of all the Jason Bourne Movies. There were a few times that I was annoyed by the choices of some characters, but it didn’t happen too often. Also, the appearance of Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) in the film seemed very unnecessary and out of the blue. The ending of this film was probably the best of any Bourne movie, it’s a very famous scene from the movie and it’s very satisfying especially with the song Extreme Ways by Moby that makes you say “Oh Shoot.”Many people say that Jason Bourne is the American James Bond but, I would have to disagree, this movie, like other Jason Bourne films, shows Jason Bourne working against an industry, a government program rather than cooperating with and working for one like James Bond does. This movie is very good.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
This is the fourth movie of the Mission: Impossible series and it definitely doesn’t disappoint, some people even go as far as to say it’s the best of them all so far, which I would understand. This movie goes from the serious, dark matter of the third movie, right back to the all-fun style of the others. Though, Tom Cruise is getting pretty old, he doesn’t hold back on the stunts in this film, he literally climbs the real Burj Khalifa from very high up. The filming crew actually had to remove 20 something windows just to shoot this scene, yet, in the movie, only two of the windows are used. also the movie introduces cool new abilities that Ethan Hunt has, as well as cleverly using old ones. The Dubai setting is used very well and doesn’t just seem like another location, this setting feels like the things that happen there only happen there and nowhere else. In this film, the stakes were the highest of all the Mission: Impossible films so far, all of human civilization is at risk, which obviously makes the film pretty tense, the cold war was revived and the two sides are actually doing something. Unlike the other films, Ving Rhames doesn’t make an appearance as Luther until the very end when all of the main characters have a nice get together, which is a bit cheesy. With all of these films there definitely are parts which seem pretty impossible, but I guess it has the name Mission: Impossible for a reason., but this one had more sense to it, not as much dumb luck as previous installments. This movie is great.
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Identity is a movie from 2002 directed by Doug Liman and starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man who is pulled from the Mediterranean sea onto an italian fishing boat with two bullets in his back and a chip of some sort that tells his bank code in a bank in Zurich, Switzerland. Bourne doesn’t know who he is, where he’s from or how he ended up in the sea unconscious. Bourne ends up in Zurich and searches his safe deposit box, in his box it has multiple passports, a lot of money, and a gun. He discovers that his name is Jason Bourne, but that’s not the end of the story, Borne is being hunted by Treadstone, a CIA black ops program, but he doesn’t know why. This movie is based on the book with the same name. by Richard N. Gladstein, and it doesn’t over complicate the story. It’s not too hard to follow and you don’t need to pay extra attention to the movie to get the plot and know what’s even happening. Along the way of evading Treadstone, Bourne meets Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) and she agrees to help him, Marie’s character seemed a little unrealistic. She agreed to something so significant with very little hesitation. The action scenes that zoom in on people’s faces as they do something or express a reaction are pretty well done and now a very Jason Bourne thing to do. These movies always give a feeling of “Bourne is always watching” type stuff and the first is no exception, seeing the actors act confused as they find out Bourne is looking at them from a far, or very near is always satisfying. This movie is very good.