Series of reviews, had a plane ride so snuck in some stuff.
Watched first half of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
. Stopped because I felt like we were getting near the end of this plodding film, only to find there was still over an hour to go. Not much to comment on, it's a Michael Bay film so the explosions were nice and big, not much else stood out.
Verdict: Not my sort of movie.
Next up was Suicide Squad
. I recall hearing from friends more into comic book stuff that it wasn't terrible, but the pieces didn't quite fall into place. Stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, not quite an ensemble cast in my opinion. Premise is that the DC universe comes to the same conclusion as Nick Fury over in the MCU, but the twist is that DC is going to use their bad guys
instead to try to save the world.
Kind of hard to take the premise seriously when one of the baddies you attempt to put on the team proceeds to then do bad things, though. Feel it would have worked with some build-up, like a lesser baddie to first contend with.
Courtney finally gets to inject a bit of much-needed humor into his role as Captain Boomerang and does OK, Jay Hernandez as Diablo also OK, no real stand-out performances though. To be frank I did not really enjoy Jared Leto as The Joker, part of that may just be how hard it is to be in Ledger's shadow, but I just thought this Joker was just evil, not really complicated.
Ending also soured me,
Verdict: Worth seeing for plot developments in the DC universe.
Followed up with Independence Day: Resurgence
. Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner and possibly a few more faces return, Liam Hemsworth and Jesse Usher take on the new hero roles. Technology on Earth went in an alternate direction after the alien technology went public and new and improved defenses have been built up in anticipation of potential future alien invasions. So of course something bigger and badder invades on the 20th anniversary.
They expand on the mythos surrounding the aliens a bit and explore a couple of interesting concepts regarding the aliens. That said, this felt so much like a bigger, "better" remake with cameos. Returning characters help keep things together but it's just very formulaic and there are too many cases of unnecessary tangents. I always felt the original film was enjoyable despite itself, it was sloppy and plain but had an innate charm from the actors that kept it together, this only salvages a portion of that charm.
And last up was Skiptrace
starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville. Years after his partner is killed, Bennie (Chan) is still obsessed with bringing his killer to justice. Somehow, Knoxville (con artist Connor Watts) finds himself tied up in the middle of everything and Bennie has to escort him from Russia back to Hong Kong to save his god-daughter. So, the plot is pretty typical HK fare.
I only was able to see the first half, but the movie is a dud. I had hopes that Knoxville would find inventive ways to get beat up as Chan's sidekick, and once the film finally gets rolling in the second act, it seemed that would be the case, but then they make a pit stop in Mongolia that ends up deflating all the goodwill I had for a Chan flick. It's just a poor, nonsensical script, and Chan is too old at this point to save it with legendary stuntwork.