Tag Archives: Ruby Rose

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) Review

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Resident Evil The Final Chapter

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence & horror
Cast:
Milla Jovovich as Alice
Iain Glen as Dr. Alexander Isaacs
Ali Larter as Claire Redfield
Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker
Eoin Macken as Doc
Fraser James as Razor
Ruby Rose as Abigail
William Levy as Christian
Rola as Cobalt
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

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Aside from Apocalypse, I’ve generally been enjoying the Resident Evil movies, as silly as they were. At the same time though, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the last movie, I was hearing some particularly mixed things about the final instalment. Given that it was once again Paul W.S. Anderson directing, I was hoping to like it as much as Retribution, or even the original or Afterlife. Unfortunately, The Final Chapter doesn’t quite nail the landing, and although it has some enjoyable parts to it, there are just too many problems that are hard to overlook.

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There were some very questionable decisions for the plot from the get go. If you remember the end of Retribution, there was a cliffhanger of Alice, her new allies and Wesker at the White House about to take on hordes of zombies. Since it’s announced quickly in the movie I feel comfortable in saying this, but basically Wesker once against screwed Alice over unsurprisingly, but the worst part is that we don’t get to see any of that happen on screen. Retribution at least showed briefly what happened after the end of Afterlife. However in The Final Chapter it’s just briefly explained away in the film in the opening recap, almost like they didn’t have the budget to show everything that happened, either that or just couldn’t get the other Retribution actors to return. You’d think that this was a decision made by a different director who wanted to take the movie in a different direction as quickly as possible, but Anderson did both films, making the choice even more confusing. The tone unlike that in Retribution took itself very seriously, probably because it’s the last film in the series. Not that I’m not necessarily opposed to that, but doing that does expose some issues and makes it even worse to watch. For example, there’s a moment where a newer character who we don’t get to really learn anything about dies, and the scene is so dramatic and tries to be emotional. It’s mind boggling, made worse by the fact that no other character death in The Final Chapter really got that treatment. The Final Chapter goes all in with the plot twists and attempts to tie things up as it’s the grand conclusion, to some rather mixed results. Some of the reveals I’m not sure about, they seem a little too convenient. They might seem initially quite punchy and effective as twists, however I know for certain that a few of them are blatant retcons and contradictions of what was established in the previous movies. I’m sure that if I was to watch these movies all over again, I’d find plenty of things that doesn’t add up. As for the actual conclusion, I guess it was fine but it wasn’t really satisfying on any level really. It doesn’t quite end on a cliffhanger, but does end on a note where one could technically make another movie if they wanted to.

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Milla Jovovich is more than comfortable in the role of Alice, having played it for nearly a decade and a half, and her performance is generally reliable despite there not being much to the character. Ali Larter also returns as Claire Redfield, the only other non villain character from the movie series to return for the final film. Most of the other members of the main cast don’t really stand out, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby Rose and William Levy are other survivors that Alice meets up with and they are just sort of there, you don’t remember any of them. We have Iain Glen returning as Alexander Isaacs as the main villain for this movie (and yes this is another retcon, he wasn’t really dead three movies ago), and if you enjoyed seeing him ham it up in Extinction, you’ll want to check out The Final Chapter to see him. He’s definitely one of the best parts of The Final Chapter, and every time he was on screen made the movie even more enjoyable. Shawn Roberts also returns as Albert Wesker as a minor villain, unfortunately he doesn’t really do all that much in his screentime instead of just standing there, at the same time I wouldn’t trade more Wesker for less of hammy Iain Glen.

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Paul W.S. Anderson returns to direct the final instalment, unfortunately his work here is a bit of a mixed bag. It seems Anderson did away with the 3D from the past two movies, so don’t expect anything flying at the camera. They’ve gone back to the very post apocalyptic look from Extinction, and everything looks in ruins, and I’m more than fine with that look. However, a lot of the movie is set in a lot of darkness and so it could be hard to see what was going on, especially during the action scenes. That brings me to probably the most disappointing aspect of the movie, the action. Some of the setups and sequences look about as entertaining as some of the previous movies’ but the editing is absolutely horrible and flat out ruins them. Now it isn’t quite some of the worst editing I’ve seen for an action movie, but after seeing the previous movies it’s such an incredible drop in quality watching The Final Chapter. Thankfully, the second half was at least somewhat better with the editing in the action scenes.

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As someone who enjoyed most of the movies in the series, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is rather disappointing. Although it’s not as bad as Apocalypse and I had fun in certain moments (mainly in the second half), the mix of horrendous editing and very questionable plot decisions make it a very mixed bag indeed. If you watched through the series to Retribution, you may as well watch the last movie as well. There have been talks of a Resident Evil movie reboot, and I while I enjoyed most of the movies in this series, I’d be open to an interpretation that has actual horror and is much more faithful to the games.

The Meg (2018) Review

Time: 113 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor
Li Bingbing as Suyin Zhang
Rainn Wilson as Jack Morris
Ruby Rose as Jaxx Herd
Winston Chao as Dr. Minway Zhang
Cliff Curtis as James “Mac” Mackreides
Director: Jon Turteltaub

A massive creature attacks a deep-sea submersible, leaving it disabled and trapping the crew at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. With time running out, rescue diver Jonas Taylor must save the crew and the ocean itself from an unimaginable threat — a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.

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The Meg marks the end of the Summer Blockbusters season of 2018. In the lead up to its release, I have been having mixed feelings about it. Honestly while the movie looked like it could be fun, it felt that there are so many ways that this wouldn’t work. Yes, the idea of watching Jason Statham take on a giant shark sounds cool and all, but yet there was something about it that didn’t have me immensely hyped. Fortunately it turned out rather well. The Meg is not a great movie, and it does have its fair share of problems but I can’t deny that it’s still rather entertaining.

I found out in the end credits that The Meg is actually based on a book, but since I haven’t read the book I won’t make any comparisons between it and the movie. Something I should establish early is that despite the latest trailer working well, all the moments about the meg attacking people on the beach are from the third act. So don’t expect an hour and 50 minutes of that. The Meg doesn’t have the greatest of writing and is very straightforward and almost a little generic. The humour doesn’t really work like 95% percent of the time, and it can really miss. There is a forced kind of relationship between Jason Statham and Li Bingbing’s characters which kind of comes out of nowhere. Even though the latest trailer made it seem like a completely goofy shark flick, The Meg does have a weird mix of goofiness and seriousness. It actually quite surprised me how serious this movie felt a lot of the time. Most of the time you can look past it but whenever it tries to get very dramatic and when people are killed off, you don’t really feel anything. Despite its problems, I generally had fun throughout. It got better over time and by the time it got to the third act, I forgot about most of the problems. If you know what you’re in for, than you’ll probably like it.

Jason Statham is as usual entertaining and likable in the lead role and he does very well to lead this movie. The rest of the cast, which consists of Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and others do well enough in their roles, but their characters don’t have enough depth. With that said, I didn’t really expect the characters to be really complex or anything, and they work well enough for the movie.

The direction of this movie by Jon Turteltaub is pretty good, it looks good and the CGI bits most of the time are decent enough. It does have some jumpscares, and annoying as they may be, a couple of them made me jump a bit. The tension is generally done well, I didn’t worry too much about the characters because I knew everything would be fine and all that (not to mention the film didn’t really give enough reason to care about them), but nonetheless a lot of the scenes can be very thrilling. However the movie does feel like it was held back a little bit, like it might’ve benefited a lot more had it been more over the top and more outrageous. Originally, Eli Roth wanted to direct this movie but because he wanted an R rating, the studio passed on him. While The Meg still works fine enough with a PG-13/M rating, I think it would’ve benefited from an R rating, with them going all out with it.

The Meg does have some faults and there are some aspects that could’ve been improved that would’ve made it better (like going all out with an R rating or outrageous and over the top) but on the whole, I had fun with what we got. If you saw all the trailers for The Meg and thought that you’d like it, go and see it, you’ll probably like it. I personally had a good time with it, and it was a good way to end 2018’s Summer Blockbuster season.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) Review

Time: 107 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Vin Diesel as Xander Cage/xXx
Donnie Yen as Xiang/xXx
Deepika Padukone as Serena Unger
Kris Wu as Harvard “Nicks” Zhou
Ruby Rose as Adele Wolff
Tony Jaa as Talon
Nina Dobrev as Rebecca “Becky” Clearidge
Samuel L. Jackson as NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons
Toni Collette as CIA Agent Jane Marke
Nicky Jam as Lazarus
Rory McCann as Tennyson “The Torch”
Al Sapienza as CIA Director Anderson
Michael Bisping as Hawk
Ariadna Gutiérrez as Gina Roff
Hermione Corfield as Ainsley
Director: D.J. Caruso

After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora’s Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government.

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For some reason I watched the previous xXx movies in preparation for this ‘movie’. The first xXx with Vin Diesel was over the top stupid fun action and I enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure. The second xXx didn’t live up to the previous movie, it just wasn’t as fun, it had an even less charismatic lead with Ice Cube and was mediocre overall. Not even Willem Dafoe could save it. Now the ‘prestigious’ and ‘critically acclaimed’ xXx franchise has a third instalment, with Vin Diesel returning. One wonders why this movie even happened, the last instalment was 12 years ago and none of the movies were that big of hits. After watching this I still don’t understand why this movie got made. It is definitely more entertaining than the previous instalment, but with it feeling so self important and obnoxious at times, it took away from the enjoyment of the movie. I can’t deny that I had an entertaining time watching it for what it is.

There’s nothing to say about plot and character, the plot is some generic action movie plot, the characters are cliché, 2 dimensional and don’t have anything to them and the dialogue is horrendous. However you probably already knew that. The question is, is this movie stupidly fun and entertaining? Yes and no. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously but yet somehow manages to take itself too seriously at the same time. There are a whole lot of preposterous action set pieces, and a lot of this movie is just entertainingly stupid (and at times its just flat out stupid). At the same time there is a constant feeling of self importance throughout the movie. movie constantly feels arrogant with its writing and style. It feels pretentious, and if you ever want to make an entertaining dumb action flick, you can’t make it pretentious. Commando, Broken Arrow and even the original xXx understood this. The way this movie ends feels like its trying to set up a sequel and its just completely embarrassing after actually watching this movie. For the most part however, it is enjoyable. To this movie’s credit, there was a character reveal that I surprisingly liked.

The acting isn’t very good. Vin Diesel plays Vin Diesel again, he’s pretty much like in the first film. However he seems even more of a jackass this time around. It doesn’t help that Xander is constantly being praised by everyone, there are even literally moments where a bunch of random unnamed women just fawn all over Vin Diesel’s body and find him hot, I’m surprised Diesel didn’t have any writing involvement. Xander’s ‘team’ are a bunch of stereotypical douchebags, none of them are particularly likable, some of them end up being annoying. If there is a particularly character that’s sounds out as being annoying amongst all the rest, its Nina Dobrev’s character. There is a particularly random moment with her and a gun in the third act which made me question why I was watching this movie in the first place. Toni Collette looks like she hated being there, and I can’t really blame her. The only one who makes a real impression is Donnie Yen, he was also really good in his action sequences.

The action scenes were entertaining and the stunts look well choreographed but the editing really hurt the final product. There are so many times in the fight scenes where the editing would be quick cutting unnecessarily, its not Taken 3 levels of editing but its still pretty annoying. The style was also pretty obnoxious, as I said it constantly had some arrogant feeling to it and with its direction it constantly feels like it. When each character is introduced, they have some Suicide Squad esque character introduction. The effects were never that good in the xXx movies but you’d at least hope that they would’ve improved, here the visual effects are quite simply horrendous, there are some green screen that is terrible, especially one absolutely laughable moment in the third act.

As you already knew, xXx 3 is not a good movie but it does have some entertainment value, especially with how over the top it is. However there are some issues with the action and the movie overall has this obnoxious arrogance to it that it can get quite annoying. If you liked the original xXx movie or like over the top stupid action flicks, you might enjoy this. Although it lacks some of the ingredients needed for ‘the perfect stupid action flick’, if you just want to watch a stupid movie, this is definitely your film.

John Wick Chapter 2 (2017) Review

Time: 122 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence and suicide
Cast:
Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Riccardo Scamarcio as Santino D’Antonio
Common as Cassian
Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King
Ruby Rose as Ares
John Leguizamo as Aurelio
Ian McShane as Winston
Director: Chad Stahelski

Retired super-assassin John Wick’s (Keanu Reeves) plans to resume a quiet civilian life are cut short when Italian gangster Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) shows up on his doorstep with a gold marker, compelling him to repay past favors. Ordered by Winston (Ian McShane), kingpin of secret assassin society The Continental, to respect the organization’s ancient code, Wick reluctantly accepts the assignment to travel to Rome to take out D’Antonio’s sister (Claudia Gerini), the ruthless capo atop the Italian Camorra crime syndicate.

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John Wick Chapter 2 was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. The original John Wick was great, with its fantastic direction, interesting world and likable main character. So naturally, with one of the directors of the original returning for the sequel, I was looking forward to it. Chapter 2 met all my expectations and even surpassed them. It explored its world even further, its action sequences are even greater than in the original, John Wick Chapter 2 is one of the best action sequels in recent memory.

John Wick Chapter 2 is longer than the original, 2 hours compared to the original’s 1 hour 40 minute runtime. A lot of that is due to Chapter 2 delving deeper into the criminal underworld, which was one of the highlights in the previous movie. There’s a way that these criminals operate and seeing more of the fantastic world created was very intriguing. If there’s any potential flaws story wise, I guess maybe Wick’s motivation isn’t quite as strong as in the first movie, in the original it was for revenge, in the second he’s more forced into a situation. With that said, it’s a bit of a minor issue. Chapter 2 is paced quite well, although pretty fast, it’s slow enough that it allows time for the movie to explore the story and the world. I won’t spoil what happens at the end, but I’ll say that I’m very intrigued in what direction Chapter 3 will go in.

Keanu Reeves is effortlessly great as John Wick, as I said in my John Wick review, this role is perfect for him. He can show off his skill as an action star while being convincing and show a lot of emotion in the role. And this movie is no exception. There are a lot of great supporting characters and actors, some of them returning like Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and John Leguizamo, McShane particularly stealing the spotlight effortlessly. There are also some newer characters that are added which were great to see. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Laurence Fishburne (it did feel like he was put in the movie for fanservice, since him and Reeves were in The Matrix), but maybe we’ll see more of him in the sequel. The same goes for Peter Stormare’s character. The main villain played by Riccardo Scamarcio was okay. He didn’t leave as much of a presence compared to Michael Nyqvist’s Viggo from the first movie, but he wasn’t bad, he worked quite well for the story and I do understand some of the ideas that were put into place with his character. The secondary villains with Common and Ruby Rose were really good and served their parts really well.

The direction of Chapter 2 is once again fantastic. There are so many great action set pieces, not one of them have any flaws and they are all consistently entertaining. They are fast, brutal and thrilling. The third act was especially great (including a sequence involving mirrors). The stunts themselves were also incredible. Another thing that makes these action sequences work so well is that everything is edited to perfection, every cut made is necessary and you can tell what’s going on, the camera doesn’t unnecessarily shake. The colour scheme of the movie is perfect, this movie is beautiful, the cinematography was excellent throughout. Honestly for the movie that they were going for, the direction is perfect. The soundtrack by Tyler Bates was also very effective.

John Wick Chapter 2 is truly a great movie. All the aspects from the previous movie have returned, with the great main character, excellent direction and its fascinating world. Chapter 2 expands on most of these aspects, culminating in a film which is quite possibly superior to the original. I can’t wait to see Chapter 3 in about 2/3 years. The John Wick series is one of the best action film series’ in recent years.