Episode 221: Hurdles Beyond

August 31, 2016

221

Popular guest host Kathie rejoins Jakob and Mandi for an impromptu episode to talk about Star Trek Beyond. They all saw together a few weeks ago and have varying opinions about the latest Star Trek fan-film, some of which they’d forgotten already.

Making It Out Alive

By Jakob

As often happens, as soon as I hit “stop” on the recorder, I remembered what I mean to talk about on the podcast. It ties in to the premise of my previous blog post, which was how Hollywood movies, especially franchise films, have taken on the characteristics of fanfiction. I’d written the piece just previous to seeing Star Trek Beyond (because I didn’t expect to see it until it made its way to Netflix) but if I had, it would’ve been a prime example of the phenomenon.  And not just because Simon Pegg, an avowed Star Trek fan, co-wrote the script making it literally a fanfilm.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Episode 220: PokéBusters

August 4, 2016

220

Two pretty darn good things that haters are hating on. Resident haters Jakob and Mandi give Pokémon Go and the Ghostbusters 2016 reboot some love. Both well-made, charming additions to their franchises, what’s not to like?

Well, not mentioned in the episode but I (Jakob) find the whole premise of the Pokémon universe a little horrifying. It makes the capture and enslavement of small creatures seem like a light-hearted game. Especially when these cute little companions are not kept in humane habitats but in some kind of tiny stasis orbs. I mean, these cutely-named “pocket monsters” are kidnapped, imprisoned and then forced to fight in gladiatorial combat. Taken from their perspective, it’s essentially The Maze Runner or Battle Royale. There’s something seriously effed-up about the whole thing. Anyway… we don’t talk about that. Mostly about how people who hate on Pokémon Go are kinda dicks.

Actually, in this episode we mostly talk about neither Ghostbusters nor Pokémom Go.


Episode 219: Familiar Things

July 27, 2016

219

We liked Stranger Things so much we immediately did an episode on it highlighting some of its weaker points. That’s the normal thing to do, right?

Mostly we try to navigate the myriad of references to classic 80s sci-fi and horror movies (not tropes but actual scenes lifted from movies) in the show and decide if too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. Watching an episode (or 4 in row) can be like falling into a sugar coma of nostalgia. Stranger Things is such a pastiche, it causes one to wonder if there’s substance beneath the style. Perhaps not. But, ultimately, that might not matter in the same way Eggo waffles are a pale imitation of actual food yet are delicious and satisfying.

Regardless, it can be agreed there needs to be a social media campaign to bring back fan-favourite character Barb Holland. #BringBackBarb #BARBLIVES

 


In typical “nuanced” Nerd Hurdles fashion Jakob comes off somewhat negative about the Stranger Things theme music (by S  U R V I V E) which is very similar, if not pretty much identical, to an album he recently released called Mind Thief. a snippet of which is heard at the end of the episode or can be streamed in full below. Jakob claims his poo-pooing of the John Carpenter-esque synth music in Stranger Things had nothing to do with grapes, sour, or otherwise.

 


Episode 218: Scandalous Scandals of Scandal

June 23, 2016

218

Having run out of quality shows to watch on (Canadian) Netflix, we get Scandalous with Shonda Rhimes frustratingly good/bad brand of addicting spray-cheese television.

 


Episode 214: The Force Awakens In Los Santos

January 4, 2016

214

We stopped sleeping on The Force Awakens and went and saw it finally. It took us a while to get out to the cinema on account of all the Grand Theft Auto V we were playing.

Post-Podcast Analysis

A friend recently posted a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of “As I get older, the biggest lie I tell myself is I don’t have to write it down because I’ll remember.”

Quite true, since as listeners will probably note there’s a lot of things we could’ve talked about regarding The Force Awakens but, well, we didn’t. I did however have a list of things I wanted to discuss but apparently my mental notes were erased once we hit the record button. I wasn’t even struggling to remember what I wanted to talk about, it was just poof, gone. Anyway, here are some of those things.

BB-8 is not Jar Jar Binks

When BB-8 made his first appearances in the trailers I was certainly one of the people who thought, I have a bad feeling about this. It struck me as the most improbable droid design and he seemed positioned to merely be overly cutesy comic relief. Perhaps he’d even provide Jar-Jar levels of tooth-grindingly hokey slapstick.

In the end it turns out he was comic relief, but in much the same manner as R2-D2 had been. In a way BB-8 is an improvement on R2 as his design allows him to actually keep up with his human counterparts in action sequences. That’s something they always had to fudge a little with R2. He’d be lagging behind in one shot and then suddenly he’d be caught up to the gang in the next. He could also traverse all manner of terrain his little wheels shouldn’t have been able to handle, like a forest floor and the loose sand of Tatooine’s dunes. BB-8 is more believable on most terrain (though Neil Degrasse Tyson disagrees).

Vincent from The Black HoleExcept for stairs. They even comically demonstrate BB’s problems with stairs in one scene, as he slowly crawls down into Maz Kanata’s bargain basement. Which I was happy to see since I’d been wondering about how he’d take on stairs since he first appeared on screen and assumed they’d just conveniently not show it. BB-8 did manage get down them, but slowly, Certainly this must be a huge problem for him and a massive design flaw by his makers. Or is architecture designed for accessibility more often in that galaxy than in ours? Only places like the Mos Eisley Cantina that don’t want droids don’t have ramps? It made me wonder why they don’t just give those droids the landspeeder hover technology. Sure, he’d end up basically being Vincent from The Black Hole, but Disney owns those rights anyway.

However, other than being cute, BB-8 pretty much lacks personality when compared with the Laurel and Hardy / Bert and Ernie snark of R2 and 3P0.

Kylo Ren is not Darth Vader

Kylo Ren meme

Click to embiggen

Lately I’ve seen a few memes that attempt to defend Kylo Ren’s supposed badassness. There seems to be a faction of devotees who really want him to be someone other than the character they saw on screen. They don’t want him to be the emotionally muddled and very human Ben* Solo but rather his one-dimensionally psychotic idol, Darth Vader. Wishing Kylo Ren to be more of a space-Nazgûl seems to me completely misses the point of his character. He has some strong hereditary Force power, sure, but he’s also incredibly unfocused and impatient.

On the podcast I claim that he turned to the Dark Side because he, like his uncle Luke, didn’t have the discipline to be a Jedi and was just kind of shitty at it. So he took the easy route and started indulging his fanboy cosplayer tendencies by creating a character who is essentially a corny parody of Vader. Ridiculous and, in Kylo’s case, completely pointless mask, a silly flaming broadsword and an odd penchant for capes. He’s just a little too cringingly pathetic to ever be truly badass—as is true for most villains and bullies. In the Potterverse, he’s the sort of disenfranchised adolescent who’d turn to the Death Eathers to make him feel like a man. Or, in our own world, he’d turn to DAESH. Not mythically evil, just a horribly misguided young man making poor life choices.

So Kylo Ren isn’t Darth Vader. But he is a lot like Anakin Skywalker from the Prequels—something I think his fans** might be in denial about.

Captain Phasma is Boba Fett

Kickass costume. Holds a blaster well. Essentially does nothing. Will probably get eaten by a large monster in Episode IX.

Jakku is Tatooine

Given all the other mash-ups and rehashing of elements from the Original Trilogy, why they hell aren’t the Jakku scenes set on Tatooine? Why are so many desert planets in this galaxy inhabited (by light skinned people) at all. Is it because the Empire and the First Order keep blowing up the habitable planets? But whatever the reason (it’s explained in various Force Awakens book and video game tie-ins apparently), why did they create a new desert planet that seems to be exactly like Tatooine in climate and society? Why not make this “Battle of Jakku” the “Battle of Tatooine”? There’d even be the nice continuity of that maybe the Millennium Falcon had been stolen or acquired by one of Jabba’s Hutt brethren. The whole set-up was a bit of a ham-fisted way for Rey and Han to meet up anyway, so why not? And instead of the sort of Jawa/Tusken Raiders mash-ups they had on Jakku, we could’ve had actual Jawas and Tusken Raiders. Given the films apparent mandate of nostalgia pandering, why pull that punch? I felt like Jakku was the weirdest choice they made in the film.

Snoke is not Palpatine

Mostly what I mean by “Snoke is not Palpatine” is “the name Snoke is not as good as the name Palpatine.” Snoke has got to be, by far, the dumbest name in Star Wars. Ever. Which is a god damn achievement. It sounds like the name of a Congressman from Delaware. Re-elect Gordon Snokes (R) in 2016! So, actually, the name Snoke is the weirdest choice they made.

J.J. is not George

Which is a good and a bad thing. Lucas was recently quoted criticizing the film’s creators for not being innovative enough and rehashing his ideas. Or, as one parody site put it, making a film that was both popular and enjoyable. The Force Awakens is no Episode 1.  On the other hand, J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens won’t be the innovative, game-changing juggernaut that George Lucas’ A New Hope was (read this defense of the man). Star Wars was actually the second time Lucas’ changed the game, having re-written the teen comedy template for the ’80s with American Graffiti. The same as Star Wars gave us Battlestar Gallactica, where would John Hughes and Cameron Crowe have been been without American Graffiti? That’s two films whose style affected almost everything we saw for a decade and beyond.

But though more of an innovator than Abrams, Lucas wasn’t wholly responsible for the triumph of those films either. Lest we forget, and most people have as pointed out by this NY Post piece, Marcia.  When Episode 1 came out and people said, “How could the person who made A New Hope have made this piece of bantha poodoo?” My response was, “Because she didn’t,” and people said, “WTF you talkin’ about?” And we all chalked another one up to the patriarchy’s revisionist history.

The Force Awakens is not Star Trek

To me, and many others, the tone of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film was entirely wrong. It’s essentially the same bro-ish tone that’s used in The Force Awakens, but it’s a tone that more or less works in the Star Wars universe. While it seems everyone else is trying to nit-pick holes (and more holes) in The Force Awakens, I’m willing to more or less let it be what it is—a slightly ridiculous, action-packed buddy movie. That’s all a Star Wars film should be and that’s all it is.

Unlike an overblown, pretentious movie like Prometheus, finding fault in The Force Awakens provides little pleasure. I do wonder if I’ll enjoy The Force Awakens once it makes it to the small screenThough I didn’t agree with the tone of Abrams’ Trek reboot, I did honestly enjoy it in the theatre. When I tried to watch it on DVD later, I had to turn it off—removed from the larger-than-life spectacle of a cinema screening, it was utterly unwatchable dreck. I was actually shocked at just how bad a film it is. Curious to see how The Force Awakens holds up in a few months time.


* Seems a little weird to me that Leia and Han named him after Obi-Wan. In A New Hope, you didn’t really get the impression Leia knew him personally so much as knew of him. And Han pretty much straight-up didn’t like or respect him in the two or three hours he knew the “old fossil”. It’d made sense for Luke to name his offspring Ben, but Leia? If Ben didn’t look so much like Han, I’d be tempted to suggest Luke and Leia’s incestual relationship didn’t end with that kiss in the Hoth infirmary.

** I don’t know if she’s a fan per se. But when Kylo removed his helmet in the Rey interogation scene, the pre-teen girl beside me gasped and said, “Ooooh, he’s so good looking!” I guess the Sorting Hat would put her in Slytherin.

snape kylo

 

 


Episode 213: Watching The Detectives

December 24, 2015

213

Detectives. Private Dicks. Gumshoes.  Lately, it seems we’ve been watching shows about private eyes. Jessica Jones, Poirot, Father Brown, Death In Paradise and the like.

Spoiler warnings: This episode contains spoilers for Jessica Jones Season 1, Death In Paradise Season 3 and Bones Season 10.


Episode 206: Furious Furiosa Fury Road

May 20, 2015

206

Jakob and Mandi go for a drive on Fury Road.

Facebook conversations with Darryll on the topic of Mad Max: Fury Road

Back in college, I took applied arts with Darryll Doucette, film maker and presenter on the Dread Media podcast, where we bonded by talking about movies between classes. In the decade since graduating and parting ways, we’ve stayed in touch on Facebook to have the occasional gab session about some film or other. With Road Warrior being very important to both of us, when the first production shots for Fury Road appeared last June it was inevitable we’d have some things to say.

June 25, 2014

Jakob: The robot arm is disappointing. The whole appeal of the original was the low-techness of it all. This seems more like Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone which is awesome too, but in a totally different way.

Max max first  exclusive

Darryll: The arm doesn’t look so much robotic as hydraulic. More deiselpunk actually with it’s pistons and such. But I see your point. Everything’s looking kind of designed rather than cobbled together. Characters should be too busy surviving to build this.

Jakob: Well, I would assume even if it’s like diesel-powered (I know you didn’t mean literally) that there’s have to be a cybernetic interface to make it work. Which seems hella-hi-tech. I mean, maybe she was a robotics professor before the collapse… but still… it feels like shark-jumping before they even get to the sharks.

Darryll: Oh, I agree. Cybernetics have no place in this world.

  1. I wish Eric Bana were playing Max.
  2. This story takes place, chronologically, between Mad Max and Road Warrior yet seems heavily informed by the Hollywood revisions of Beyond Thunderdome. A move that might ruin the film for me.

Jakob: Eric Bana… Tom Hardy… Ryans Hemsworth, Gosling or Reynolds… no difference to me. I don’t really care about the casting. Hardy seems as good a choice as any. At least it’s not Affleck.

So, they’re setting it as an episode 1.5? What? I wonder why. I’m sure no one wants to see that chapter. And are people supposed to then watch a Gibson Max, then Hardy’s Max and then back to Gibson and then, supposedly, more Hardy films? What? I thought it was supposed to be between Road Warrior and Thunderdome as a way to erase Thunderdome from the cannon. Oh well.

Darryll: It would be way more logical to set it after Road Warrior. But my real beef lies in the differences between a post-collapse story, which is what Mad Max 1 and 2 are, and a post-apocalypse story, which Thunderdome decided to be for american audiences. By the look of things, I’d say Fury Road has placed itself on the Thunderdome timeline. Fail.

SpacehunterJakob: But man, it’ll be an awesome sequel to this. Casting is pretty much perfect.

Darryll:  Love Spacehunter. I always thought of it as a standalone Han Solo adventure.

December 17, 2014

After our “Preview Reviews episode (200), where Mandi and I shared our thoughts on some (then) upcoming summer films based on their trailers, including Fury Road, Darryll had this advice for me.

Darryll: Jakob, I suggest letting go of the Road Warrior comparisons. I know where you’re coming from but that road leads to disappointment. Fury Road is a different future altogether. Taken on it’s own merits, of all the trailers you featured, it looks to be the most visually dynamic and thrilling. It’s familiar but not a rehash. It’s something else.

Jakob: That’s an absurd thing to say about a sequel. Want to take the franchise in a significantly different direction? Create a new franchise. The result will be better because you won’t be lumbered with the past. But, of course, this film only exists as a platform to make money, not because there was a burning need to further the story. If my goal was to just enjoy the movie, yes jettisoning Road Warrior would be the way to go. That’s not my goal.

Darryll: On the one hand, you seem to be complaining that the other films [on the podcast] are too much of the same, while on the other you are complaining that Mad Max is not the same enough. Well, we can agree, I think, that Thunderdome is different from Road Warrior which is different from Mad Max. My point being that Miller set the precedent a long time ago that the sequels are only tenuously connected. Not really direct sequels so much as permutations on a world featuring familiar elements. Namely, the character, Max. 

Please note, I am not commenting on the quality of the films or even my personal preferences but just on the creative decisions made by the creator of all these films. He seems quite willing to change things up whenever it suits the story he wants to tell. To complain that this new one is not enough like the one you liked the most is to ignore the interchangeable nature of the film series as a whole.

Jakob: I think it’s a super valid criticism. Thunderdome is terrible—and not only because it’s so tenuously connected to the Road Warrior world. It’s not enjoyable on its own merrits. I could say it sucked only because it was too different from Road Warrior, but let’s be honest—it’s just a bad film. Thankfully Road Warrior was just as tenuously connected to Mad Max. Like Lucas apparently fluked out with A New Hope, Miller seems to have fluked out with Road Warrior. And that’s fine. He can make whatever film he wants now. But I refuse to work at liking it or have to jettison a love for Road Warrior to do so.

I’ll grant you I may be placing too tall an order for me to like the film—keep it in the Road Warrior universe but not just rehash the same chases and set pieces. Probably nearly impossible to strike that balance. If Fury Road is enjoyable on its own merits, I’ll enjoy it however much it’s like or unlike Road Warrior. Just like with Aliens—very different from Alien, but just as enjoyable on its own merits.

Darryll: I am certainly not asking you to jettison your love of Road Warrior. And Thunderdome is certainly a bad film with or without comparisons to Road Warrior or Mad Max. I only ask that you also judge Fury Road on it’s own merits, in the spirit of the interchangeable nature of the series. I ask only that if it is in fact “good”, you enjoy it for that. And if it’s “bad” we can rail against it’s actual faults and not it’s refusal to adhere to the tenants of Road Warrior.

Actually, my personal preference would have been a return to the world set in Mad Max. To me, a world crumbling on the edge of despair and ruin is far more interesting than continuing to explore a contrived post-apocalypse. With each film the time before the collapse recedes further into the past while Max endures. Returning to that moment on the precipice to have another look at the world around Max would be a welcome change.

Jakob:  Actually, as much as I’m not a fan of the “reboot”, but given that they went with a young Tom Hardy and not an aging Mel, yeah, why not do a new trilogy starting with the crumbling world of the first film? Start fresh.

Darryll:  Yeah, one of the great things about Mad Max is the feeling of a society on the edge. The edge of a frontier. The edge of collapse. The edge of despair and oblivion. Very much the climate in our current real world if you ask me. Returning to that edge to take an updated look around would be very interesting. Seeing Hardy as Max as an MFP officer again would be a welcome shock treatment to the entire series.

And of all the films, the gang in Mad Max feels the most realistic. Very much a “gang” and not a pseudo “tribe”, to call back to an earlier thread*. Even their clothes are more realistic motorcycle gang clothes. No feathers, mohawks, or football fetish gear.

* I believe the referenced thread may have been on Darryll’s or Dread Media’s wall in which I was bemoaning how the Fury Road gangs in the trailer seemed to have appropriated some form of neo-tribalism and “gone native”, as opposed to the ’70s “glam-rock” look of bike gangs of Road Warrior. The latter of which had nothing to do with a wholesale and insensitive (on the part of the filmmakers) and nonsensical (on the part of characters) appropriation of indigenous cultures.

Jakob:  Ah, but this is where my opinion is nuanced. The gang in Mad Max is more realistic, but more hum-drum. The gang in Road Warrior strikes an incredibly precarious balance between fantastical and being just this side of believable.

Darryll: Ha! Right. The apocalypse was an excuse for these guys to go completely off the rails and indulge every barbaric whim. I always suspected a couple of Maximum Security prisons were emptied during the riots between Mad Max and Road Warrior .

Jakob:  I more meant the feather boas and buttless chaps. Mad Max needed more of those.

May 15, 2015

Darryll: Fury Road? I need to dish about it, nerd-style.

Jakob: Haven’t been yet. Hopefully this weekend.

Darryll: Post-Haste!

Jakob: I’ll see what I can do. Moonwood was supposed to see it as a group, but we’re having trouble even scheduling a practice so I might have to drag Mandi to it tomorrow morning. Actually, she’s on board now that the MRAs are protesting it, haha. I’m really trying not the let the unanimous good reviews and “100% Fresh” rating not get my hopes up.

Darryll: I hope she’ll dig it. Lots of strong female badasses. I’ll say no more.

Jakob: Well, that’s hardly a spoiler. Though Mandi and I are of the mindset that being “a badass” does not necessarily make for a strong female character. Sometimes can be just the opposite. So my expectations remain sufficiently low to enjoy myself.

Darryll: I couldn’t agree more. It’s all there.

Jakob: STOP TRYING TO GET ME EXCITED!

Darryll:  Ha! Just go see it!

May 16, 2015

Jakob:  Saw it.

Darryll: Oh, oh. And….?

Jakob: After being super bored for the first half hour, it picked up.

Darryll: Yeah, it’s a little shaky starting off. I suspect lots of deleted footage from first act. Also didn’t care for Max narration or daughter(?) flashbacks. But once Furiosa hits the road its on. I was surprised at Max’s vulnerability. Miller’s stripped him of his mythical status. Very welcome change.

Jakob: A more welcome change would have been to strip him from the script. A completely superfluous non-character. He just got in the way of the narrative. The daughter ghost/hallucinations were nowhere near as interesting as the original back story and corny to boot. I didn’t start getting interested in anything until the scene where the wife finds Nux hiding in the look-out compartment thing. Then I finally felt tethered to the film in some way.

Darryll: As a supporting character, yes, Max does get in the way of the narrative. That’s kinda the point. He’s a complication to Furiosa until he regains some sanity and becomes an asset. I enjoyed his arc a great deal if not Hardy’s perfomance at all times. I loved his Seven Samurai moment of going off into the fog and coming back with loot.

Jakob: I think Nux could’ve filled all those shoes and things would’ve been much tighter and made for a better focused story. I would’ve rather have seen Furiosa (worst name ever btw) or one of the older desert ladies do that Seven Samurai bit.

Darryll: It would have been super cool if one of the older ladies did that but Furiosa would never leave the brides alone that long. Not troubled by her name. It’s rarely used anyhow.

Jakob: I would’ve liked to have seen them introduced much earlier as well. Since they were the most interesting and human characters. When I thought ‘Furiosa’ was a name given to her by Joe, or her gang name, was okay with it. But when it was revealed to be her childhood name it bugged me.

Darryll: Was it? I missed that.

Jakob: Yeah, the woman who was “bait” says to the others “This is our Furiosa.”

I also couldn’t believe in the world Miller was setting up. I didn’t buy any of those three psychotic warlord clowns could keep their empires together. Especially Joe running that hydroponic farm. I couldn’t buy that he could keep that kind of operation going much less built it up. So unless the back-story was that he’d raided it and taken it over at some point (which we’re not told at all) the Citadel made no logical sense.

Darryll: One way or another, Miller was gonna have to include this insane cavalcade of circus cars. At least, we’re shown an infrastructure that could support such an army. The cars would be utterly ridiculous without that. So for that, I am grateful. On the other hand, The Citadel is not far from the goofiness of Bartertown so it’s a toss up. I thought of it as something like an Aztec, or Egyptian civilization. So, there’s that.

Jakob: I still doubted there was the infrastructure to support those cars. Gas Town must’ve been a helluva producer for everyone to waste that much fuel all the time.

Darryll: Their insane fuel consumption was, again, kind of the point. They were just repeating the wasteful lifestyle of the rulers before the end times. Joe was ridiculously proud of his trumped up army.

Jakob: I understood the message of the consumption and was okay with it on that rhetorical level. I just didn’t buy these fringe communities could function and flourish for any length of time.

Darryll: Agreed. His kingdom was tenuous at best. It plays out that way too.

Jakob: I just didn’t believe he had the presence of mind to have even a tenuous kingdom.

Darryll: He did act like a spoiled Royal. Fun as a main villain but, yeah, not as scary as Humungous at a ground level. Nux was the character I could have done without. His arc was jarring to me. I would have preferred he stay a villain.

Jakob: Really? His flipping allegiance was far too abrupt, but I loved his arc. If they’d gotten rid of Max and 20 minutes of pointless car chase at the beginning, they could’ve done his story more justice. Also his performance outshone the two main leads by miles.

Darryll: Whoah. Theron was awesome. No one held a candle to her performance. I would watch a sequel with just her but I cant say the same for Nux.

Jakob: I found her delivery stilted and awkward. Fault of clunky lines more that her acting perhaps. But every one had clunky lines and I only winced when she or Hardy were delivering them. Mandi pointed out she did some great silent acting. I agreed it was reminiscent of Gibson’s actually.

Darryll: Her only clunky delivery was a comment in the canyon about, “having bad luck.” Weird syntax on that. Felt like a fifth or sixth take.  As for “20 min of pointless car chase…” You’re losing me there. The initial chase was great and all part of Furiosa’s plan to lose her squad of War Boys.

Jakob: It was visually stunning. I found it pointless because I had no reason to care about Furiosa or her plan at that point. Or the wives except on a basic universal human rights level. I didn’t have a reason to care about Max at that point either.

Darryll: You’re right. But a lot (most if not all) of character development happens in the action beats. Their ability to work (fight) together pays off big in the grand finale. We don’t need to love or even care about them that early in the movie. A little mystery concerning motive is always welcome. And I loved the complete lack of verbal exposition. We catch up just as things speed up. I loved it. Silly warts and all. It made my heart beat. Going to see it again tomorrow with Nadine.

Jakob: I disagree. The character development happened in those quieter scenes between the chase scenes. I think if the first chase scene had only been 10 minutes long instead of not letting up for what felt like 40 minutes, I could’ve lived with the character/motivation mystery. But I’m someone who finds action sequences boring without well established context. Even amazing, inventive scenes like in this film. I’d rather be told a story than shown a spectacle. If both can happen, all the better. Once the story kicked in about a third of the way in, I started to enjoy myself.

I’m glad it got your heart beating. I should make clear, I did enjoy lots of the film. I just didn’t think it was all that good overall. Though I will say it’ll probably end up being one of the best constructed action/Hollywood films this year. If not the best.


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