Too bad the squad didn’t die…
Premise and Conflict
It was bad enough that the reason for assembling the squad was largely the same as Batman’s line of thinking in the last movie, but SS was even worse because Amanda Waller did it before there was a threat. Even worse than that was the clumsiness of Enchantress arising as the threat due to Amanda’s assembling of the squad. Still worse, there was a disconnect between the squad and witch. Never mind that it didn’t feel like a suicide mission to stop the witch, the squad was comprised mostly of regular humans and that made their victory phony.
From the movie’s perspective that it was a suicide mission that required expendables, the glaring question is- why were soldiers part of it? It’s also true that a team of Marines could’ve done all the same work.
The witch’s plan wasn’t clear and how her brother turned people into creatures was stupid…or perhaps the issue was that the creatures looked like they were from the original 1960s Star Trek series.
There’s the saying that a hero is only as good as the villain is bad and the villain here was awful. She was a witch who in one second teleported to Tehran to steal secret documents, yet she needed to build a head-scratcher of a device and take precious time doing so in order to kill the world. What, she couldn’t break into the CDC and spread deadly viruses?
More confusing, she got her brother involved who, for most of Act II, was more of a villain than her and did the stupid thing of drawing attention to himself. Their plan would’ve succeeded with minimal discretion.
Killer Croc didn’t do anything until the very end. Captain Boomerang didn’t do anything special and his “power” of the boomerang was laughable. Harley Quinn had a few good lines, but stuck out like a sore thumb for not even having a skill like Boomer. Diablo was the only one with a superpower, yet shooting fire has been done numerous times. Joker was a joke, it was like Jared Leto’s trans character from Dallas Buyers Club done as the Joker…it felt like the actor was trying to impress audiences with his version of the villain, as opposed to feeling that the character was real.
The Batman cameo was ridiculous. He intercepted Deadshot with his daughter and said, “I don’t want to do this in front of your daughter.” Gee, you just did. Using the daughter against him should’ve meant apprehending him alone and mentioning that his daughter shouldn’t read about him hurting Batman or the police.
Diablo in the backstory killed his wife and children. Was that to make the audience feel good in rooting for the squad’s success?
Amanda Waller killed some colleagues and FBI agents. That didn’t give me the impression that she was cold as ice, that gave me the impression that the creators of the movie didn’t put enough thought into character and story.
In the backstory, Joker pushed Harley Quinn into a vat of…I dunno. And that affected Harley by…I dunno.
The music felt like a cheap attempt to duplicate the soundtrack success of Guardians of The Galaxy.
An interesting idea that failed to capture the essence of the game.
In the second half, the movie focused on the Watcher aspect of the game and preached against the dangers of anonymity. Aside from the cringe-worthy, after-school-special morality, that danger is so obvious it wasn’t enough for the movie and Nerve overlooked the more interesting aspect of the game- the Players. What I got from the game is the phenomena of attention-whores, peer pressure, and the lack of boundaries amongst millenials, but those juicy topics weren’t squeezed.
Why was Emma’s friend the competitor at the party for most of Act II when she was supposed to be playing, as well?
I left the theater feeling there was something else worth mentioning, perhaps the stakes taking too long to kick in, but forgot to make a note of it and this what I recall for now.
A movie of atmosphere and cool ghost effects that were tiring without the fundamentals of a good story. It’s also more proof that story trumps talent. That means a better story could’ve succeeded with a B-list cast and/or director or could’ve been a classic with this talent.
It took 45 minutes to get to the point of the newlyweds (Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddelston) living in the haunted house. While most movies have a clear setting or direction at the start of Act II, those that need more time are at least on the path by the start of Act II. Like Man On Fire where the girl is kidnapped at the Midpoint. But in Crimson Peak, the story until the house was muddled and not intriguing.
Before then, the movie opened with a massive head scratcher. The ghost of Mia’s mother appeared to her and warned her of “Crimson Peak.” This was done to start the character with a belief in ghosts. But the girl did not know what the words meant so the obvious question is- why on earth didn’t the ghost spell it out? It would’ve been so simple to instead say, “Don’t marry Tom Huddelston!” Such an oversight of logic was painful.
Once in the house, it never felt that the protag was in real danger from the ghosts and the real threat from the sister, Jessica Chastain, took too long to transpire.
The only good thing was the cool premise.
I was intrigued right away- what if one’s consciousness could be transfered to a new, “blank” body? Problem was, the movie didn’t explore that idea which was loaded with inherent drama and conflict. Instead, it explored another premise- what if the “blank” body was actually from a dead person and the people behind the procedure needed to keep that a secret? That might have worked with a different Setup, but the first idea was still more intriguing. Sure enough, this lead to a muddled story for the protag Ryan Reynolds- part What-if?, part person-in-peril (like a DWAP according to Blake Snyder), part body-switch…ugh.
For such a secret operation, the company behind it had too many employees and especially too many henchmen.
It was an interesting idea to twist the events of the first two movies. Too bad hardly any of it was understandable as the movie piled on one twist after another.
Premise and Plot
– Arnold Schwarzenegger as the original Terminator (T-800) befriended Sarah Connor when she was a little girl. That wasn’t a twist, but a whole new addition to the mythology that was treated as an afterthought.
– The movie bothered to replicate a young Ahnold as he looked in the 1984 original, but did not bother to replicate Robert Patrick as the T-1000 and instead used an Asian actor who looked nothing like Patrick.
– Too many dates made it hard to follow them- 1973, 1984, ’83, ’97, 2017, 2029…
– Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor in 1984 looked like a teenager and Linda Hamilton in the original looked like she was in her late 20s.
Now I’m tired of writing about this and probably didn’t even mention the key problems. Basically, the movie was too damn confusing and I didn’t even know who was doing what and why.
Like Ted 2 that I saw within a couple of weeks of this, the sequel was smart in having a different premise than the original, but…
Plot and Character
The plight of the guys in the first movie was relatable and made me empathize with them. Here, it wasn’t clear if they suffered because of their own stupidity or implausibility. The stupid thing was not having a contract with Christoph Waltz; perhaps I didn’t understand something and they did have a contract and, if so, I didn’t accept the explanation that they had no legal recourse. The whole beginning just felt implausible and that cut much of my attachment to them and the adventure- getting an offer from Chris Pine based on a faulty prototype, them turning down the royalty offer, the passage of time where they built the factory, them not considering selling the products to another buyer, etc.
Waltz screwing them should’ve been clear and simple and the story should’ve respected an audience that is more knowledgeable about entrepreneurship in today’s age of Internet billionaires and TV shows like Shark Tank.
A few good laughs, but overall the movie did not get close to the original.
The premise was smart- Ted wanted to be considered a person so that he can marry his girlfriend- because it grew naturally from the first movie and didn’t repeat the original’s story. Problem was, the typical court trial was stupid. Not for a second did I believe such a legal issue is handled like a murder case. Then to make it worse, the movie had a second trial!
A simpler and plausible plot would’ve been Ted and the gang preparing for a hearing in front of the state or federal officials in charge.
Mark Wahlberg needed more. The original movie succeeded because of his relatable plight and Ted was in a great supporting role; here, Ted had the relatable plight, but Mark had nothing special to do in the supporting role.