John Wick Chapter 2: A Hit and Miss

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This is what happens when you say “I crush and microwave my Weet-B  ix”

The good: The creative action sequences in the second half
The in-between: The supporting cast, the story (it coherent and makes sense)
The bad: The numbing and boring action sequences in the first half

I am surprised that many critics thought that John Wick Chapter 2 was completely innovative. I think it is innovative… in the second half. Mostly I was mildly interested, sometimes I was bored in the first half of the movie. As a matter of fact, a lot of the movie is completely generic.

The plot is that John Wick (Keanu Reeves) a retired hitman is brought back in the game reluctantly by a secret assassin society. The gangster that hires him Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), wants Wick to kill his sister in Rome to consolidate power in the society.

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Ian Mcshane plays Winston who I like to call “Da Boss”. I like his delivary when he says “excommunicado”

In the beginning of John Wick Chapter 2 John Wick is gets run over by evil henchmen three times and there were so much gunfire and murder. As a story I ask myself “Structurally, how is John Wick going to top this opening because I am pretty desensitized to this point” they do top it admittedly it was quite clever how it was executed.

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This “Hall of Mirrors” scene looks and is pretty cool. Well shot and choreographed.

I counted and there were about six moments that were actually cool. That’s a good number however nearly all of them were condensed in the climax meaning the first 90 minutes were a medicore affair. John Wick Chapter Two plays it’s hand in the final act. There are two action sequences. One of them is in the subway station both. The other one takes place inside a hall of mirrors. They both scenes that were both thrilling and inventive. Both are gimmicks that have been used before in movies but they have not worn out it’s welcome.

What has worn out its welcome in action movies are two things

1. The protagonist having 100% accuracy with a gun and
2. The arm bar.

 

GTA
John Wick (and Mike Banning) never gets this notification. Lock-on is the equivalent of steroids in the bodybuilding world.

The “Man who never misses when firing his gun” cliche reduces action movies in a risk-free killing spree making it hard to care for John Wick’s fate since I believe he is not in any sense of danger.

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Now this is an arm bar

The arm bar to me has become a recent crutch in action movie. It’s like depending on swearing for a joke to be funny in a comedy. It’s been overused recently because people are now into Mixed Martial Arts. I have gotten tired of it. If someone is going to apply and armbar, I actually hope someone would actually break hyperextend or even break the arm for the sake of variety.

All the action in the first half of John Wick is a combination of those two boring and repetitive things. Oh and Wick gets run over by several cars. He has legs of steel.

I would argue that John Wick Chapter 2 were two separate movies. The first half I was deprived off anything that was interesting the story fell like a cheap knock-off of The Godfather. The second half consists of the John Wick Chapter 2 I wanted to see. It’s no great action movie Casino Royale or Face/Off but it sure isn’t as cartoonish and self-serving of a bad action movie like xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. ⭐⭐3/4

Power Rangers: The Krispy Kreme Movie

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Power Rangers is a movie that appeals to fans of the franchise and no one else. When I was growing up, I was never a fan of the franchise… You can anticipate on what my opinion of the movie is.

It starts off with a joke on masturbating a cow and it doesn’t improve much from there. There are six cardboard cutout characters (which I will explain later on) who are troubled teenagers in high school, find a cave with power coins that resemble colored rocks that contain the essence of a power ranger that gives them super powers. They have to stop a villain called Rita Repulsa who has the desire to blow up a small village called Angel Grove

The Characters: Generic as heck

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The blue one is cool at least…

All the main power rangers are almost entirely stock characters you have:

1. The one who was the quarterback football star that has fallen from grace and is a troubled teen (The red power ranger)
2. The one who is reserved and doesn’t speak until she reveals something personal about herself (The yellow power ranger)
3. The rule-breaker in high school who was a cheerleader and manipulative. She is the one who falls in love with the quarterback. (The pink power ranger)
4. The social outcast kid who is “on the spectrum” and gets bullied and only establishes a relationship of the quarterback only because the quarterback is using him. (The blue power ranger)
5. The one Asian guy who looks like a model and thinks he is too cool for school (The black power ranger)

Aside from the blue power ranger who was the autistic one (RJ Cyler), none of the other characters are interesting. There is character development in two scenes that feel forced instead of progressive. One is set in a fireplace where, all of a sudden, they reveal all their vulnerabilities when for the first 60 minutes, the movie was just making scenes that looked cool. The character development was rushed in my opinion. I guess you can say the acting was fine because they got through with what little they had in the script.

Do I have a taste for Krispy Kreme?

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I would like to know if Krispy Kreme covered the entire production budget. That is the only reason I can come up with why this product was mentioned. It is mentioned about ten times in the space of two minutes. It’s sort of like when Adam Sandler’s character asked incessantly in Big Daddy if the kid he taking care of wanted a happy meal.

The Krispy Kreme product placement was just awkward and jarring. It made no sense to the plot (although I am already asking too much for myself there that’s for sure) and the plot point that revolves around Krispy Kreme could have taken place anywhere but a Krispy Kreme. It’s like in Tropic Thunder when Matthew McConheys character travels in the Viet jungle just to deliver Ben Stiller’s character a TiVo subscription. Tropic Thunder was using product placement ironically whereas in Power Rangers it is force fed and cringeworthy.

The Last Thirty Minutes… Ugh.

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One is the villain in Gods of Egypt, the other is the villain in Power Rangers. Both are bad. Figure out which one is which

The last half an hour of Power Rangers is exactly the same as the last half hour of a Transformers movie: Large Robots (The Power Rangers barely fight in their suits) being used to beat a large bad guy (who is so poorly rendered in CGI that it looks like one of the Gods in Gods of Egypt) with slow motion at the points of impact and all the robots combine to morph into a super robot that reminded me of Optimus Prime. They even have a joke about Transformers. After what I saw, I didn’t care if that movie was aware they were in on the joke. This was not a good final act at all.

In between all the action, you have incessant product placement, so much so that everyone in Angel Grove records the event with Samsung phones. There are no Blackberries, Androids, and Apples to be seen. At least we now know who has cornered the Angel Grove market.

No more needs to be said. Aside from the autistic kid’s character (The one that’s sort of funny and is not initally arrogant or annoying), the entire movie felt like Transformers for kids. That is not a good thing. I can only imagine how desensitized people will become in the next 10 years from bloated special effects. The mantra for movies like Power Rangers is “More and more and more” I guess I will find out how bloated it will be when they churn out another five on them in the next decade. *