I watched Avengers: Endgame last week. And it was excellent. Don’t worry, that is all I am gonna say about Endgame.
Apparently, after the 3 hour excellency, my mind needed a palate cleanser.
So I watched a few bad movies. And I want you to share in my misery.
Based on Homer’s Illiad, the movie shows how Orlando Bloom is so desperate to get it on with Diane Kruger, that he is responsible for destroying one of the great ancient cities.
I saw this movie in the cinema back in 2004 and I actually don’t remember how I felt about it back then. I can tell you how I feel about it now. Its not a good movie. I don’t know if Wolfgang Peterson wanted to recreate his own version of Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” or not. I do know he failed in doing that.
Troy is big and epic, with sweeping shots and lots of CGI and lots of known actors. But if you apply 2019 sensibilities to it, its an incredibly white washed film. Its about ancient Greece – but only British, American and Australian people live there. And women are only prices or slaves to be won and don’t have any agency.
I know the movie is based on an ancient retelling of the Trojan War and the siege of Troy. But the base premise is still ludicrous to me. Paris (Orlando Bloom) has the hots for Menelaus’ (Brendan Gleeson) wife Helen (Diane Krüger). And because he can’t keep it in his pants, tens of thousands of Greek soldiers besiege the city of Troy.
Spoiler alert – alot of people die and Troy is burned to the ground in the process.
Achilles also dies during the battle, by getting an arrow into his heel. We all know about Achilles supposed immortality and his heel – but its never explained well in the movie prior to that moment. So, if you have no meta knowledge about the myth of Achilles or have read the Illiad, you are gonna ask yourself why Paris is putting an arrow into his heel (and its not even made clear if Paris did that deliberately or if the arrow just ended up there by chance).
But not all is bad. Despite having no greek heritage, Brad Pitt gives a decent performance as Achilles (and its one of the few movies I can remember, where Brad Pitt isn’t constantly eating). Sean Bean is good as Odysseus, and he doesn’t even die. Eric Bana as Hector, the Trojan prince and top warrior, is delivering a decent performance as well.
All of this doesn’t distract from the overall bad script and movie though. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 54% fresh rating – so its a 50/50 chance that you’ll like it.
NEED FOR SPEED
Based on the popular video game franchise from Electronic Arts, this 2014 movie shows that movies based on video games are still overall pretty bad. I can’t remember a good movie that came out of a video game – maybe the upcoming Detective Pikachu will buck the trend.
There is one scene, where the police is trying to stop the car race going on. One cop is positioning his car perpendicular to the road, puts a stick to the throttle and times the release of his car in a way that he hits the leading Bugatti Veyron in the rear. The Bugatti spins out and into the woods.
So cops are stopping cars now by trying to kill the driver? And did they do the damage to a real Bugatti Veyron? That poor car.
Both Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper grip the wheel with such intensity, that they look like your grandma trying to see anything 5 feet in front of her when driving.
There is nothing redeeming about this movie, actually. If I want to see modern supercars, I go watch re-runs of Top Gear. If you want to watch people race cars illegally across the country – go watch the Cannonball movies from the 80s. They are way more fun. Or go and watch the Fast & Furious franchise, cause they dial the crazy up to 11 and that makes those movies fun.
The actors mostly phone it in, none more so than Michael Keaton, who only has a few scenes throughout the movie sitting behind a desk and shouting out crazy lines.
Rotten Tomatoes 22% rating is more than the movie actually deserves, yet it still made over $200 million worldwide. Against a $66 million budget, so apparently it made a profit.
This was the best out of the 3, which isn’t saying much. It is also the most recent film, coming out in late 2018. Its based on a book series by Philip Reeve and the base premise is both great and crazy (I might have to read the books some day – once my ‘to read’ pile is down to a more manageable level).
Thousands of years into the future, Earth is in dire shape. A cataclysm called the 60 minutes war has decimated the landscape and population centuries earlier. Now, people are still living in cities – but those cities are on wheels and roaming the country side. There are small towns going around and doing business with each other and there are big cities preying on those small towns for their resources. London is such a predator city.
The opening of the movie is exactly that – a gathering of small towns is scattered by London arriving on the scene and chasing one of them (a small Bavarian mining town called Salzhaken) down. And that opening, as well as the rest of the movie, is visually impressive. Seeing London on wheels and driving over the countryside is a sight to behold.
Unfortunately, visually impressive is the only good attribute of the movie. Its gorgeous to look at and the world building is great. It has a fantastic steampunk setting, if only the script would have held up to that as well. There are too many characters that seemingly come out of nowhere and only get unsufficiently explained. Too much story wants to be told in too little time.
Hugo Weaving is chewing the scenery as the big villian, who wants to destroy his enemies with an ancient weapon called Medusa. For that he kills everyone in his path, even the Lord Mayor of London. But overall, that big goal of him falls flat. Its never really explained why he wants to do that – you get a vague sense of them needing more resources, but that is all.
Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan are actually not bad as the protoganists – both have run afoul of Hugo Weavings character and Heras ‘Hester Shaw’ wants to avenge her mother. The rag-tag outlaw crews they meet along the way would be interesting, if they were fleshed out a little more.
Rotten Tomatoes puts the movie at 26% – I wouldn’t say its that bad, on the strength of its worldbuilding and CGI alone. One would guess that the other 3 books in the quartet would be made films as well – but since it completely flopped at the box office ($83 million globally vs. $100 million production costs + marketing), that won’t happen. Another movie where I wonder what a good script would have done for it.