Hollywood has pretty much given up on producing any kind of original ideas when it comes to big budget event films. Franchises are the big money makers these days and one of the franchises that never quite make the jump to the $1bil club is The Terminator series. Three high priced sequels were made after T2: Judgement Day but none of them were box office hits. Yet somehow the studio executives are willing to write big checks to make more films in the series. The latest in supposed to be a true sequel to T2 since James Cameron is officially part of the production, he came up with the story and produced this sequel.
Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong) has stopped Judgement Day and Skynet never happened. Unfortunately, the war between machines and humans are inevitable and a new threat has emerged. A lone warrior from the future name Grace (Mackenzie Davis) has been sent back to our time to protect our new savior named Dani (Natalia Reyes) from the new evil time travel Terminator (Gabriel Luna). With the help of Sarah and T-800/Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Grace must figure a way to keep Dani alive and kill the more advanced Terminator. That’s basically the story, there’s nothing new here, if you’ve seen the previous Terminator films then you know how it goes. Lots of big chases and shootouts and machine hand to hand combats.
According to Cameron, we’re supposed to ignore the last three films, and this is a true sequel to Judgement Day. I didn’t care for the last three films and was curious as to what kind of story he came up with. Well as it turned out, there’s not much here that we haven’t seen before. It’s same storyline, there’s no creativity or any sort of effort in trying to create anything that resembles originality. I’m not a fan of McG’s Terminator Salvation but at least that film tried to come up with something new and move story forward to new territory. Here Cameron and his writers just rehashed the same tired storyline from the previous films and updated with new characters. It’s quite surprising how lazy script was to me.
Director Tim Miller didn’t help much with his lackluster directing skills. He basically tried to mimic Cameron’s style and he failed on every level. The action scenes were huge but lack any excitement and I’ll say it again, it lacked creativity. Miller’s background is in art direction and design and the film looked great. But he’s not a good film director, he’s one of those Hollywood directors that can shoot beautiful shots but can’t put scenes together to make a compelling story.
The only thing that saved this from being a complete disaster are the actors. It’s great seeing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor and Arnold can play The Terminator role in his sleep. Just like the last film, he’s basically the comic sidekick. Mackenzie Davis is becoming one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood. She’s great here as the new action hero and she even able to deliver some corny lines with believability. I’ve never seen Natalia Reyes in anything before but she held her own against the more veteran actors. As for Gabriel Luna, well he didn’t have much to do except to look like an evil Terminator, basically he’s similar to Robert Patrick’s T-1000 in T2.
I’ve said in my review of the last film Terminator Genisys that this franchise needs to be terminated and I stand by that statement. There’s nothing new or exciting in this latest sequel and I would be happy to never see another Terminator film in the future.
So have you seen Terminator: Dark Fate? Well, what did you think?
To be perfectly honest, I never thought I’d actually be writing a review of Deadpool, let alone a top 10 list praising the movie. I hadn’t been anticipating this movie at all – crass, vulgar, foul-mouthed movies aren’t my thing and I’m not exactly a fan of Ryan Reynolds as an actor. But all the massive buzz got this movie blogger intrigued, I simply just had to find out what the fuss is about. Heck, I even went to the screening twice as the first time around the film couldn’t be played.
Well, it ended up being a pleasant surprise and I totally get why people are flocking to see it. It’s shattered all kinds of box office records with $150mil domestic gross ($264 mil worldwide) which is unheard of for an R-rated flick opening in the month of February!
The Guardians of the Galaxy‘s director James Gunn weighed in on its success, “Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.” (you can read his FB post here) Yep, I agree with him.
Here are 10 reasons why the Deadpool movie won me over:
1. The self-deprecating humor
I LOVE British comedies as they rarely shy away from poking fun of themselves. Deadpool relentlessly pokes fun at himself, the actor playing him, and even the studio that made it. That bit about the studio not being able to afford more X-Men characters in the movie got the biggest laughs. There are a plethora of jokes on Reynolds himself and his failed superhero flick Green Lantern. It’s also not afraid to make fun of famous people, that bit about David Beckham’s helium voice is absolutely spot on!
2. The retro throwback to 80s pop culture
As Reynolds is close to my age, I really appreciate the references to 80s pop culture, especially the music. I mean, WHAM! was huge back in high school, and we all were crushing on George Michael. Boy I’d never be able to listen to Careless Whisper the same way again.
I also laughed so hard when You’re the Inspiration by Chicago played on, that was my brother’s favorite band and he’d listen to it endlessly in the car until my ears bled!
3. That it IS a love story
The marketing folks over at Fox have done some genius marketing for the film. The first time I saw this V-day poster I had a good chuckle. But hey, it turns out, Wade and Vanessa are genuinely in love, imagine that! The love story is actually pretty compelling and you get why he’d do whatever it takes to protect her. Reynolds and Morena Baccarin have a fun, playful chemistry together. I also think that it’s nice to see that they opted to hire an actress close to Reynold’s age as his love interest instead of some pretty young thing like they did in his previous superhero movie.
4. There are some bad ass women in this movie
Brianna Hildebrand is quite memorable as the brooding Negasonic Teenage Warhead. She didn’t have many lines in the movie, but the brief exchanges between these two are pretty funny. There’s Gina Carano as the villain’s henchwoman (natch!) There’s even a hilarious bit when she dropped to the ground forcefully like Superman, obviously poking fun at the famous superhero landing. I think it’s even funnier the fact that Gina used to date Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill. I think Vanessa herself is no damsel in distress. Even when Deadpool went to save her, she got some ass-kicking scenes of her own.
5. I actually care about Wade Wilson
Kudos to the writers (Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) as well as Reynolds himself in making a character worth caring about. The fact that Wade didn’t start out to be a superhero had a lot to do with it. [spoiler alert!] He’s also the first superhero who suffered from cancer. I actually felt really bad for him, and for Vanessa when he left her. No matter how cool a character is, if you don’t give a reason for us to care for him/her, it’s hard for us to care for the movie, too. In a way, it made me think that his crazy antics is perhaps a means to cope with his pain.
The accelerated healing powers that he got as a result of the rogue experiment could’ve been another ho-hum origins story. Yet here it felt like the hero’s earned it and we root for him after all he’s been through. That superpower isn’t just cool for the action stuff, but it also made for some of the funnies, albeit cringe-worthy, jokes in the movie.
6. The awesome opening credit
Ok, the opening credit is definitely one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. It immediately establishes the tone and style of the movie, the extreme self-awareness and brazenness in roasting pretty much everyone involved. As we watched an action scene being frozen and played in slo-motion, we get quips like “the writers are ‘The Real Heroes Here” and “the director is ‘An Overpaid Tool” and the likes. They made fun of some of their own movie clichés like having a [one note] British villain and gratuitous cameo.It’s as if they’re making their own ‘Honest Trailer’ video of their own movie, ahah.
7. Hilarious supporting characters
Ok so the villain is pretty much one-note and humorless (Ed Skrein), though all the jokes about his English teeth was indeed funny. But Karan Soni as Dopinder the Indian cab driver and T.J. Miller as Wade’s BFF Weasel had some hysterical lines. I think the ‘avocado’ line that Weasel said to Wade after seeing his face after the experiment is so mean yet because they’re good friends, you can’t help but laugh while cringing at the same time. Oh, and Colossus has never been funnier here w/ his Russian accent. Most of his scenes with Deadpool are simply hysterical, and the fact that he’s so polite provides an amusing contrast to the juvenile & irreverent Wade.
8. Biting wit delivered with fun action sequences
Ok so the R-rating is absolutely warranted and it’s definitely more violent than John Wick where a lot of the shots fired are quick and blurry. But just like that film, this film certainly had some stylish action sequences. First-time director Tim Miller, who had a background in visual effects, did a nice job staging the high-octane action throughout. But what made it even more memorable is the biting wit that accompany the action. Having the protagonist constantly wise-cracking as he shoots and make human kabobs out of people certainly makes it extra fun to watch.
9. Ryan Reynolds is perfect in the role
You can’t make a top 10 list about Deadpool and not mention Ryan Reynolds. In many ways, he’s the reason the film worked as he & the filmmakers have fought hard to have their brazen vision of this comic-book character come to life in this adaptation. He’s played this character before in the lame X-Men Origins: Wolverine but it barely made a mark. But here, he got to showcase what he does best, that is comedy. I really don’t care for him in dramatic roles or even as a typical action hero. But here he’s so at ease at making fun of himself which is a brazen act in and of itself. Reynolds definitely got another leash on his superhero life as Deadpool will become a massive franchise after its gargantuan box office take. I’d say he should stick to this genre of action comedy as that’s what he does best.
10. The fact that it turns the conventional superhero formula on its head
I think the whole concept of a raunchy superhero movie alone isn’t a recipe for success. Yes it’s different from the PG-13 stuff that Marvel & DC put out there, but if that’s all it’s got going for it, I don’t think the movie would be as successful. I think the fact that the movie IS relentlessly hilarious means the humor hits the mark. The “breaking the fourth wall” style also works well for the movie, which apparently is loyal to the comics. I’m not familiar w/ it but things that work in the comic books don’t always translate well on screen, so props to the writers & filmmakers for somehow making it work. It actually creates some of the funniest bits in the movie and makes Deadpool likable as he’s sort of ‘one of us.’ The pop-culture commentary and zings also made it fresh and has huge appeal to millennials AND baby boomers alike.
Now, despite all the praise, this isn’t a movie I’d readily watch again though. The graphic violence, sex scenes, full frontal nudity, and that whole scene at the strip club are gratuitous and not something I enjoy watching. But overall, this movie is pretty darn entertaining. I give props to the filmmakers for delivering on the promise of an unconventional superhero movie. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it’s refreshingly daring in its approach.
So, what do you think of Deadpool? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?