Mini Reviews # 13: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Crimes of Grindelwald, and Deadpool 2

So while I was mucking about the interwebz, I managed to read the list of the highest box office killers last 2018, and saw how I missed quite a few of them. And as Mr. Jefferson would say: “So, what’d I miss?” #hamilton

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

They did an awesome job on the dinosaurs! (there are more close-ups and the details on those animatronics are superb) Not so much on the people. Because they make the absolute worst decisions that no rational person would. Take for example, Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), the leader of the band of mercenary hunters who is so mustache twirly as to make him the stupidest mercenary ever. On the upside when I am feeling particularly tetchy, I do a Ken Wheatley and just yell “I want my bonus!”, into the air. Claire Deering (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Christ Pratt) also suffer from being quite daft. That ending feels like they don’t know what they have done, or are only mildly concerned about it. They have good chemistry though.

Don’t get me started on the Indoraptor because she too is suffering from a terrible case of daftness. She is supposed to be a lean mean, intelligent, killing machine with enhanced everything, but somehow cannot manage to track down Owen and company scuttling around a sculpture. I mean sure, cliches and plot holes are a necessary, and there are instances when it becomes quite an enjoyable evil, in fact. When it is used to add richness to the story instead of as a means to sell you short.

But Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a few things going for it. Like I said, the dinosaurs look amazing. J.A. Bayona, the director, also made use of his horror flick directing chops, making this the creepiest and bloodiest Jurassic installment. There are plenty of gorgeous tension-filled shots, and the action sequences are exciting (that gyrosphere underwater scene was superb).

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Not a particularly huge improvement over the first one. This is still a teensy bit muddled and confusing, and overblown. There are too many story lines here, with little cohesion. Hot Dumbledore Jude Law has his Dumbledore thing, Credence has his identity thing, Leta Lestrange has her own family tree / secret thing, Newt and Tina also have their romantic tension thing…and um their Mystery Van Scooby Doo thing, Queenie and Dan also have their forbidden love thing, Grindelwald has his Magneto thing. Theseus has…whatever his thing is (honestly, he felt underwritten, same goes with Queenie). There are too many things! And this move tends to drag on and on and on with no satisfying resolution, and no sense of urgency.

I am also not particularly drawn to Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald. He’s too cartoony for my taste. I wanted charisma, and allure and all that jazz. His posse too, doesn’t look that impressive. I am team Death Eaters fo shore.

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald has a fantastic production design though. The set pieces looked awesome. And the beasts aren’t too shabby either. While the Niffler is always a crowd favorite, they added a few new ones inspired by mythological creatures all over the world which are awe-inspiring to watch.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Deadpool 2 (2018)

What’s great about Deadpool 2 is that it is still Deadpool. It is vulgar, and crass, and gory, and violent, and meta, and relentless, and over the top, and is not afraid to show it. Deadpool 2 though, does more pop culture referential jokes, and more meta jokes than the first one, I feel. He pokes fun at Ryan Reynolds, and Marvel, and Frozen, to name a few. The broad humor is still on point, I feel like. There are plenty of action sequences too, that will delight fans of the first movie, and people who have strong stomaches.

I had issues though with Julian Dennison’s Rusty Collins aka Firefist. I wasn’t quite invested in his pain, aside from showing one, brief scene of him being tortured in the orphanage, there is nothing else we know of him. I wanted more context. I was more invested with Cable. It could be because Josh Brolin is too awesome an actor who gave Cable some depth. And in the hands of a lesser skilled actor, Cable could’ve easily became a bland villain.

I also noticed how Deadpool 2 quickly diffuses crucial emotional events quite quickly. So it can be quite confusing when the sense of danger is constantly fluctuating. But I am okay with that because Deadpool is just being Deadpool, and he handles serious stuff the only way he knows how.

And oh, girl crushing on Domino!

Rating: 3.5 /5 Stars

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