Vin Diesel

The Last Witch Hunter

WitchHunter

Summit | PG-13 | Breck Eisner
Pictured:
 But does Vin Diesel dream? And if so, of what?

3(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

Early on in The Last Witch Hunter, Kaulder (Vin Diesel) hotwires a series of ancient runes in order to prevent a suddenly conjured thunderstorm from tearing the plane he’s on out of the sky. You did not misread this; in the film’s universe, weather runes should not be concealed together in close quarters, lest sky tornadoes suddenly erupt. Were The Last Witch Hunter the kind of film that ran with this sort of outlandish idea, following an immortal being through various misadventures in the world of ill-applied magic, it might have proven more engaging than the film that ensues instead, one that’s every bit as generic as its misnomer of a title. (more…)

Furious 7

Furious7Header

Universal | PG-13 | James Wan
Pictured: A sentient thumb, pensive.

(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

8Furious 7 has had something of a pall over it ever since the untimely passing of series lead Paul Walker. Between all the phases the series has been through over the years, from aggressive self-seriousness to foreign trend-chasing to its wonderful, inexplicable left turn into gleefully over-the-top action with Fast Five, Walker starred in more Furious films than any of the other series leads. In a lot of ways the series reflected his career trajectory, as he moved from his early pretty-boy trappings into weirder, more assured fare like Running Scared. For its part, the promotional runup to the film’s release has played into the “one last ride” hanging over the franchise, a move that would be a lot more tasteless if Furious wasn’t a franchise exclusively about family and loyalty over all. (more…)

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians_header

Disney/Marvel Studios | PG-13 | James Gunn
Pictured: “So a rabbi and a green guy walk into a ba…oh, sorry.”

8The Marvel movies released since Iron Man have followed one common thread, despite the wildly different approaches to the material. From that film’s sarcastic wit and social commentary to Thor’s ponderous family melodrama and otherworldly theatrics to Captain America’s increasingly skewed take on what it means to serve one’s country in older and modern times alike, they’ve all been centered on the flashy superheroes. The ones with plasma cannons and giant hammers and impenetrable shields and sweet hand-to-hand combat moves. It was a wise strategy: hook ‘em with the flashy stuff early. Part of the reason that Marvel Studios is perhaps cinema’s most fiscally untouchable juggernaut at the moment is that it took comic books and, well, made them cool for everyone else. (more…)