Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): A Compilation of 2017’s Worst Movies

Directed by: Michael Bay | Produced by: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce | Story by: Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan | Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel | Cinematography: Jonathan Sela | Production Company: di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro Studio | Distributed by Paramount Pictures | Official Website


When you heard the latest Transformers movie is out on the theater, what is the most thing you can expect? The cling-clang-boom-here-you-go Robots? The unnecessarily excessive explosives and cool vehicles trying to calm down army of angry alien robots? The somehow sexy, smart and talented woman who unexpectedly falls into a out-of-the-league man’s arm? The Mark Wahlberg’s abs, after the departure of the awkward Shia LeBeouf? Well, it’s all you can get from the fifth installment of Transformers live-action movie franchise, called Transformers: The Last Knight.

Open with the setting of British Dark Ages, where King Arthur and his Roundtable Knights fight their battles with the help of Merlin (the unrecognizable Stanley Tucci). Here, instead of using Magic like we used to know, Merlin is actually asking for help from the Guardian Robots, who trusted him with a staff that powerful enough to destroy a planet, while the 12 guardian robot forms a three-headed robodragon. From now, I exactly know this movie is leading to its self-destruction.

Over almost two millenia after, earth is being invaded by Alien ships, as told by one of Nasa’s physician, “They tried to make this earth a microwave, and we are the popcorn.” Failed inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to hide his Autobots friends in a car junkyard alongside his assistant Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael). Joined with them are Izabella (Isabela Moner), an orphan teenager who has a high interest in Robots, and her pet robo Sqweeks who tries so hard to look as cute as R2-D2 and BB8. One day when their hides has been revealed and they were chased by both Decepticons and the government, they are found by Cogman, a robobutler who tries to impersonate C3-PO, who works for Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Sir Edmund Burton invites Yeager to England and he also invites Dr. Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), a History Professor from Oxford University. 

Meanwhile, on Planet Cybertron, Optimus has met his creator, Quintessa (Gemma Chan). Instead of original Hasbro’s Cybertron gods Quintessons, it seems like Bay is trying to simplify all things so the Quintessons are replaced by single entity, Quintessa. Quintessa wants the staff to be returned, so she hypnotized Optimus to follow her instructions and get the staff back. On earth, Sir Edmund tells them that the alien invasion that happens lately is caused by Merlin staff, that only can be activated by Merlin’s direct descendant, Viviane. Optimus is back to earth as an enemy, as Yeager and Viviane try to find the staff that said to be buried with Merlin.

The movie feels in total disorder all around. It’s like they messed up with everything. The plot is a chaos, you can’t barely even know the connection with the previous installments, and the movie itself destroy its own timeline. There’s so many things that feel like they were forced to be there just to maintain the running time of no shorter than 150 minutes, and for me the movie looks like the compilation of 2017’s worst movies. You can recall the “Hello I’m King Arthur” moment from King Arthur and The Legend of The Sword and “Why are we in England again?” moment from The Mummy. The CGI looks cheesy, predictable and the final moment states that this movie is a total destruction. 

The characters looks like they only be there for the paychecks. Mark Wahlberg looks hopeless, clueless but somehow be able to pull out The Excalibur. Ha, you know this is a mess now. Laura Haddock tries her best to look smart as a Ph.D degree holder from Oxford but somehow finally falls into Wahlberg’s arms. Their trying to render C3-PO and R2-D2-look-alike characters is also failed, though Sqweeks is bearable and Cogman’s interaction with Anthony Hopkins is probably the best scenes of this movie, and one of the reason why I give this movie rating of 3.7. The other reason, is Anthony Hopkins himself. As an Emmy and Oscar winning actor, he doesn’t lose his charisma at all, and an actor with his caliber dominates the screen whenever he appears.

And the final reason why I still watch this movie is probably my crush over Optimus Prime. Haha. Oh and if you think that this franchise needs to be shut down immediately, you’re wrong. They’re going to make the sixth installment.

The Whole Truth (2016): A Bland Courtroom Thriller with Zellweger’s Stellar Performance

Directed by: Courney Hunt | Written by: Nicholas Kazan | Starring: Keanu Reeves, Reneè Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Belushi, Gabriel Basso | Edited by: Kate Williams | Production Company Atlas Entertainment, Likely Story, Merced Media Partner, Palmstar Media | Distributed by: Lionsgate Premier


We are early introduced to our main character, Louisiana crime lawyer Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves), who is now defending his old friends’s son, 17 years-old Mike Lassiter (Gabriel Basso). Mike was accused of killing his own abusive father, Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). Ramsay was assisted by the young Janelle Brady (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is also daughter of his old companion. Ramsay is so sure he could win the trial, and free Mike from his charge. His only obstacle is that Mike refused to talk to anyone, including Ramsay as his lawyer.

During the trial, almost all witness’ testimonials support the allegation that Mike did kill his father, due to Boone’s abusive behavior towards Loretta (Reneè Zellweger), Boone’s widow and also Mike’s mother. Ramsay, along with Janelle, works their best to free Mike from the accusation. They see opportunity when the prosecutor finally calls Loretta to testify, and her disclosure of Boone’s abusive behavior finally starts to reveal. However, when Mike decides he wants to testify, which Ramsay has objection towards it, the whole story starts to build themselves.

Led by Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’s director Courney Hunt, who has a law degree, I was quite expecting for a John Grisham-esque storyline. That expectation was enlarged by the cast of Keanu Reeves, which I thought would bring back his Devil’s Advocate’s persona. Sadly, that expectation wasn’t really match the reality.  The movie feels boring, bland with no clear explanation to the whole truth as the title implies. Even the twist and the conclusion at the very end feel lame and yawning. 

Keanu Reeves plays like a wooden doll lawyer, nearly no expression, nor the passion. He looks like he had been nervous all the time, despite the fact that his persona dominates the whole trial whenever he stands to speak. Miss Mbatha-Raw looks dashing, but she got almost no chance to develop her character. She, at the end, just looks like a platonic companion to Reeves’ wooden and dominating character. The only good performance came from trio Jim Belushi, Reneè Zellweger and Gabriel Basso who successfully convince us that their family is troublesome. Reneè Zellweger herself did a stellar performance as a survivor of abusive marriage, as weak, vulnerable and as pathetic as she could.

The Mummy (2017): A Big Confusing Piece of A Puzzle

Go back to Ancient Egypt and meet Princess Ahmanet here.

So wherever you are, please don’t forget to search for something that have value in the market, no matter it is, or whether it will cost your life. Or make you cursed. Well, meet our “hero” Sergeant Nicholas Morton (Tom Cruise), who is despite being in Iraq for his mission, he also searches for historical artifacts that have value at the Black Market. Alongside his bestfriend Corporal Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), he unintentionally opens up the gate into a tomb for an exiled Ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who has been mummified alive and exiled to Mesopotamia after she killed her own father.

When archaeologist Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) thinks this is her life finding, she wants to take the sarcophagus back to the US. At the plane, she just realizes that it is maybe a mistake taking the sarcophagus back, since the plane then crashes after being attacked by crows (literally). However, since this is a Tom Cruise movie and he is also our “said to be The Chosen One”, then he is being brought to life without any scratch. Voila! Discovering he might be cursed by Ahmanet for releasing her from her prison, Nick suddenly wakes up in a group of archaeologist led by the mysterious Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Despite explaning to Nick the reason why he is being resurrected from his death, Dr Jekyll shows his true other personality, whom you surely can guess, Mr. Hyde.

This is not the only strangeness we can find in this movie. I mean, there’s so many pieces of puzzle that needed to be arranged in order to make this movie understandable. Just trying to compare it with the previous The Mummy franchise in early 2000s starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, this movie is lost most of its adventurous nature. This movie is just like a story about someone who’s being cursed but successfully turns the curse into superpower that makes him a savior for this world. This movie also maybe just a beginning of the upcoming installments, but it is a confusing beginning. There’s so many questions left behind, like how can Dr Jekyll still live until now? What is his true role in this franchise, because to be honest, you should not just cast Russell Crowe for just standing and showing his other monstrous side that is not frightening at all?

I don’t wanna comment about Tom Cruise. His cast is like putting Ethan Hunt in the Mummy franchise. He’s just being Tom Cruise, a die-hard superhero that shows no special ability other than being handsome. Sofia Boutella should steal the screen, I suppose, her build and her performance is truly frightening, but the script is bad. So instead of being a scary queen of evil, she just looks like a desperate woman searching for a man to resurrect her God of Death, Set. Her power is dominantly CGI, and her final battle against Cruise is a big let down. Not to mention the disappointing Annabelle Wallis that I prefer she just died since she has no wittiness of Rachel Weisz on the previous franchise. 

I give this movie 6.8/10. All for Sofia Boutella’s beautiful eyes and Tom Cruise’s ripped body.

Wonder Woman (2017): So Long Lynda Carter, Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman

So here’s the movie official site.

Made to fill the gap that has beein left empty by the previous DC Extended Universe release, Wonder Woman is an estrogenic movie that looks like a muscular Sailormoon trying to end World War II. With Gal Gadot’s background as an Israeli ex-military, no wonder she got the look of the most iconic female superhero. I have no expectation seeing this movie, nor have read any of the comic books. However, I end up leaving the cinema with smile.

Tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of Themyschira, daughter of Hippolyta Queen of The Amazon (Connie Nielsen), and note this, until the end of the movie, no one have ever addressed her as Wonder Woman. Well-trained since her younger day by her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright), Diana fulfills her fate to be the bravest Amazon warrior when she meets Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), US pilot and decides to follow him to leave Themyschira to kill Amazon’s archenemy Ares, the God of War.

Trevor then brings Diana to London, where he hands over the notebook of Dr. Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya), German chemist under General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston). In London too, Diana shows off her brilliance in front of British Officials and steals the attention of Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis, our beloved Remus Lupin of Harry Potter franchise). Though being doubted by his superiors, Trevor realizes his promise to bring Diana to the warzone, alongside Middle Eastern agent, Scottish sniper, and Native American smuggler, who contributes little to none to the main story, more to just fulfill the “color” of another Hollywood movie. At the warzone where she believes she can find Ares to end this war, she finally shows her superhero moments on this man’s, man’s, man’s movie. Her shattered glass, blown up tanks, destroyed tower and her long-lasting make up seem like a show that this woman is again, a muscular Sailormoon who is going to make a statement.

For those who have read the comic books, they maybe are going to prefer the comic. However, after the disappointing Man of Steel (2013) and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice  (2016), this movie is satisfying enough. Playing the most iconic female superhero of all time, Gal Gadot looks tough, determined yet beautiful. I have never seen the satisfying Wonder Woman portrayal beside Lynda Carter, and yet Gadot’s performance is still stealing my attention. My most disappointment is maybe Chris Pine’s portrayal of her love interest Steve Trevor. As this world is a man’s, man’s, man’s world like James Brown sang, Trevor somehow always tries to shows his superiority over Diana by telling her what to do or what not to do, despite he knows that she is more capable, stronger and out of his worldly traits. The villain, Ares (I’m not gonna tell you who played it since it will spoil the entire movie twist), is nothing but an annoying man trying his best to be bad but he failed after all. As the God of War, and with his reputation told at the very first part of the movie, Ares should be a very good strategist, arrogant, cunning, despicable and formidable warrior. In this movie, yes, Ares is the main plot twist, but he’s lack of wittiness and reasoning, so the main villain is not working for me.

So, after all, I think this movie deserves a 8.2/10. A 0.2 extra is for Miss Gadot’s long-lasting make up style since World War II era until now. Haha.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017): Even Undead Javier Bardem can’t Save this Sinking Franchise

The official movie site is here.

When Disney first decided to bring one of its attraction to big screen with the first installment of Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), it was fun and appealing. Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is funny, yet cunning and have strong determination, that convinced us why he is one of the most popular pirates on the Carribean sea. The addition of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann makes this first installment more interesting. Will and Elizabeth is more than lovers, they have characters, and their characters somehow complement with Jack’s sloppy demeanor. 

On this fifth installment, Salazar’s Revenge, they seems want to reboot Will and Elizabeth’s addition into the body of their son, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and young astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario from the Maze Runner franchise). To release Will from the curse of The Flying Dutchmen, Henry promised himself to find the Trident of Poseidon, which is believed to be able to release any curse of the sea. To find the Trident he must find Jack, since Jack owns the compass that would bring him to the location of the trident. 

While working with British trade union, Henry meets Capitán Salazar, Spanish captain of Silent Mary who has been cursed in the Devil’s Triangle since he lost the battle against Jack. Salazar makes Henry promised him to tell the world about his return from the dead world, especially to get some revenge with Jack. Shortly, Henry then meet Carina Smyth, who has been false accused as witch thanks to her intelligence. They stand side by side to find the Trident with The Map No Man can Read, alongside Jack who is now run out of his luck and has to find the trident in order to beat Salazar.

As I thought that they tried to remake the same formula of the first installment of this franchise, with Thwaites and Scodelario, I also thought that they are failed successfully. Thwaites is not charming as Bloom, and Scodelario has no wit of Knightley, and since their character supposed to balance Jack’S craziness, the movie becomes imbalance and Jack’s craziness sink to the bottom of the sea. Depp tries so hard to entertain us with his dry humors throughout the movie, and it turns to be perfectly failed. My heart is still jumping with Javier Bardem’s Salazar, who spills oil from his mouth while saying “Death”, but he also tries so hard to look frightening as the main villain. For me, he is more frightening in Skyfall (2012) than on this movie. Geoffrey Rush’ Hector Barbossa steal the spotlight, but the somebody is someone’s father moment ruined it all. I mean, now everything is trying to put Star Wars’ “I am your father” surprise in their movie? Oh, please.

This franchise is sinking, and Disney should consider to put it into an end, which I thought it would still be so far considering the extra after credit scenes showing that Davy Jones is back. I remember the old times when I enjoyed this franchise a lot, since it’s full of fun and games and interesting characters with beautiful CGIs, but this movie is a sign that probably this franchise has to remain with the dead. 

Oh, I do wonder. As long as I remember, Elizabeth Swann is the incumbent King of The Pirates on the third installment who has led the pirates to win the battle against the British trade union, right? Then Will Turner left his bride to fulfil his curse with the Flying Dutchmen crews and Elizabeth must be raising his son alone for ten years before Henry finds the location of the Dutchmen and promises Will he will release him from the curse. My point is, a woman with strong determination like Elizabeth and with her position as the King of the Pirates, will she just sit on the countryside for ten years instead of leading her pirates to release Will from the curse? Will she leave the duty on the shoulder of her 10 years old boy? That would be a more interesting storyline. Haha. Anyway, I give this movie 6.9/10.

King Arthur and the Legend of the Sword (2017): Not Good, Not Bad, Just Frustrating

Here‘s the movie official website.

After a lot of stories, books and movies about King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table, this movie probably wants to mix up the classic story with the taste of 2017. With lots of (ehem, useless) CGIs, grandeur scenes on trailers and Ritchie’s successful latter movies like The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015) and Sherlock Holmes (2009), this movie looks promising at the beginning, and turns to be a failed combination of the legend itself and The Lord of The Rings-styled CGIs.

Starts with The King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), who successfully defended his fortress Camelot from the attack of the evil sorcerer Mordred (the real Mordred is actually Arthur’s illegitimate son, said the legend). Soon, Uther Pendragon is betrayed by his own ambitious brother Lord Vortigern (Jude Law) and drifted the young Arthur away Baby-Moses-styled into Thames. Here’s where I start to eat my popcorn and wonder why my popcorn tastes sweet although I’m asking for a butter popcorn from the cinema snack counter, since the movie is getting to ruin itself. 

So shortly the young Arthur grows up to a ripped (not-so) young man (Charlie Hunnam), who is capable to combat thanks to the training he got from his early ages from The Kungfu George (Tom Wu). He makes trouble with the Vikings and since the Vikings are supported by King Vortigern himself, Arthur should leave the town immediately. However, he is taken by Vortigern’s Blackleg army, who deemed he is “at the right age” to fulfill the prophecy of the right born King, the heir of Uther Pendragon’s throne and the only person who can pull out the legendary sword Excalibur from the stone. So he is taken to the sword area, supervised by the charming Blackleg captain played by David Beckham, and as you can guess, he can pull out the sword but he passed out after that. 

And I can’t push myself to continue my review since I really wanna cry. Omg I don’t have any idea why they did such things to one of the finest legendary King? Well maybe the legend of King Arthur has been too often adapted before and Guy Ritchie wants a slightly different adaptation with his patented projection montages. On the other hand, that projection montages where the character games out to us what situation should or could develop has been used too often and it doesn’t suit the movie like this. It probably suits Ritchie’s other movies, and I admit that it suits Sherlock Holmes very well, but it doesn’t suit this movie. And what’s the real meaning of King Arthur’s legend of you can’t meet Merlin? In this movie, Merlin’s role as Arthur’s mentor is substituted by a young and beautiful Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who has casted out a snake (the last gigantic snake is overrated) a little bit too often. Charlie Hunnam feels nothing like royalty, actually can be understood since he is raised on the brothel, but the costume designer gave him clothes that makes him looked like a hobo ready to perform street arts. However, over all the bad things that came out from this movie, Jude Law plays his role believably good. His emotion and his ambition can be felt and convincing enough, but his script is totally garbage, so it wasted all the moods he has built perfectly.

So if you think that The Hobbit has been chopped out into a trilogy is overdone, you should think of what this movie would look like since Ritchie wants to make it into a six series movie! And I give this movie 5/10. 

Alien: Covenant  (2017): Nostalgic, but still Going Nowhere

Check the official movie site here.

When Ridley Scott announced the project of the next Alien movie, I have a special excitement. I love the original movie, after nearly 30 years (the first Alien movie was released on 1979, am I correct?), it still gives me goosebumps and still one of the best thriller movie I’ve watched. It still feels like a Friday the 13th movie on the set of Interstellar. The prequel, Prometheus (2012), have a really grandeur cinematic feelings, thanks to Michael Fassbender’s performance as a poker face android called David.

And this movie is the sequel to Prometheus. As you can see, Fassbender is returning as a slightly upgraded Android that claimed to be a better version of David, called Walter. He is now a staff to a giant spaceship named Covenant, that brings about 2000 colonies to a new habitable planet called Origae-6. One moment, the spaceship enters a space storm and he has to wake the whole crews before the actual time. The failure of the system caused some sleeping capsules to explode, including the capsule of Covenant’s Captain Jacob Branson (James Franco, that was the only screentime he had) and left the ship under the captainship of Christopher Orams (Billy Crudup). After the space storm, they find a new habitable planet and a sign of life. Tired of reaching Origae-6 and refused to get back asleep, Orams decides to explore the planet, though his second in command who is also Branson’s widow, Daniels (Katherine Waterston, The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)’s Tina), is against that idea.

The idea is, as you can guess, wrong. Some of them are infected with mysterious thing that turns out to be Alien’s seed. I don’t have to tell you their gruesome death, right? The thrill is starting, then the whole mood of the movie turns upside down since Fassbender is also reprising his android role, David. His best scene where David teaches Walter to play Flute, that somehow turns into a lethal weapon at the end of this movie, left me wondering how they make the scene of one person playing two different characters so beautiful to be watched. On that scene too, you can differ Walter from his “older brother” David, although they have an exactly same poker face. I then realized that maybe there’s just a few actors who can deliver the same performance as Fassbender in this movie, differentiating two characters that have the same face but one with the tricky mind and others with a tragic end.

The whole emotion of this movie is controlled by and laid upon the shoulder of Katherine Waterston, who plays Daniels. On her hand, Daniels is not just a smart woman, but also a decisive, tough woman who do her role effectively although she is just losing her husband. Some little details of the previous Prometheus can still be seen, like the photo of Noomi Rapace’s character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and younger look of Guy Pearce as Dr. Weyland, “father” of David and other upgrading versions of him includin Walter. This movie did give a nostalgic feeling of the first Alien movie, with the same gruesome deaths and same morphology of the alien itself. Scott feels like he is fully dedicated to this franchise since I can’t name any other franchise older than Alien that has been running for so long and have consistently given us thrills. Unfortunately, the nostalgic feeling is all that we have on this movie. This movie is just telling another episode of the existence of scary Alien, but lead the Franchise to nowhere. If they’re gonna make any other sequels, maybe they should decide which directions they’re gonna lead this whole old franchise.

This movie is rated R due to some gruesome deaths, so don’t bring young children to watch it unless you want to give them nightmares. I give this movie 7.6/10.

The Circle (2017): Probably the 2017 Greatest Letdown 

Here’s the movie official website.

So when we first saw the trailer of The Circle, we already know that the big theme of this movie is about the dystopian future where every person’s data is stored on the net (they call it The Cloud) and accessible to anyone. Goodbye privacy, huh? We have seen and known this theme since Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s A Brave New World, and some of the latest few dystopian movies. Enter those science fiction movies like The Social Network (2010) and The Net (1995) where even everything you share on the internet can be used by anyone. TV series Person of Interest (2011-2016) has better view of this kind of future, where the government can have eyes on every citizen and use their data on every single interest they need. 

That idea, where every data you shared on internet can be used for any purpose is what The Circle is really about. However, here’s we met Mae Holland (Emma Watson), a smart girl who has been recruited as customer service officer at Google or Apple-like corporation called The Circle. At first, Mae is living her life like usual, not long until two cheerful managers of The Circle come up to her and ask why she didn’t join their weekend activities? When Mae said she should help her mother (Glenne Headly) taking care of her sick father (Bill Paxton), the managers keep checking at their tablets and reveal that Mae loves kayaking and her father is having a multiple sclerosis. Getting creepy? 

The Circle, on the other hand, also has a culture of sharing on Friday, called Dream Friday. Their employees usually gather on a giant auditorium where there is sharing session of innovation by the company CEO, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). At her first Dream Friday, Bailey is introducing their new technology called SeeChanges, a wireless camera that connected to the satellite and can see everything in the real time. Feeling unconfortable, Mae decides to go kayaking at the Bay. Unfortunately, the water starts to ripple and causes her to slip down her kayak. She is saved by the water patrol, thanks to the SeeChanges camera that put to actually watch the seal activity. The next friday, Mae is invited to Dream Friday session and she declares she wants to use camera on her shirt to start sharing her 24/7 activities.

The idea of poster girl in Mae really reminds me of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series (2012-2015). However, this movie lacks its powerful moment, despite of their stellar casts. The Circle is trying to give fear to audiences that their data on the internet can be used to strip their privacy off themselves, but they’re completely failed. The story is going nowhere, doesn’t give us a proper climax, and the casts are giving a very bad script. Emma Watson did a great job with burying her British Accent, but she lacks of passion. She doesn’t even look smart, if you compare Mae to her Hermione persona. Tom Hanks doesn’t look like a villain, but after all, who ever thought Tom Hanks would be a proper cast for a villain? Under his smiley and charming face, he is adorable as the CEO, but he strikes nothing as a main villain. I thought he even didn’t get the stage to act villainous due to poor script. The whole movie should tell us about terrifying future, but it failed successfully. It even wastes their stellar casts.

I give this movie 5.9/10.

Unlocked (2017): It’s (Out of) A Man, Man, Man’s World


I’m sorry I can’t find any official site regarding this movie.

Okay. So when will we ever get bored with action movies with die hard protagonists? Maybe we never will. Name a few, all that JBS: James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer (for me, he is eligible to include), Bruce’s John McClane, Jason’s The Transporter, Liam’s Bryan Mills, and the list still opens for suggestions. Now, mention female die hard protagonist character. Angelina’s Lara Croft? Milla’s Project Alice? Maybe, but I find there’s only few female character in the action movies that is hard to be killed, fully skilled as both assassins and agent. The action genre is likely has been told very well in James Brown’s song A Man, Man, Man’s World. This movie, however, is trying to give us a refreshment to that, with offering a female character in this male dominant genre.

You will meet Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace), a former CIA investigator who has retired since she thought she has failed to avoid terrorist attack on Paris and killed several citizens. She is now worked as a social worker for Moslem immigrants in London, still haunted by the tragedy she thought she can restrain. Reluctant to return to her old job, she is encountered by an CIA agent named John Sutter, who asked her to interrogate a messenger they had captured. The messenger, Lateef, is said to have the words from Imam Khaleel (Makram Khoury) that has to be sent to extremist David Mercer (Michael Epp). When Alice receives a phone call from CIA’s Director of Europeans Operation Bob Hunter (John Malkovich), she realizes that she has been recruited by counterfeit agents.

She tries to escape with the messenger, but death seems to follow her everywhere. After the messenger is killed, she runs into her mentor, Eric Lasch (Michael Douglas). Unfortunately, the gangs follows her too and killed Eric, left Alice to decide that she must investigate the motives behind all these. She is helped by MI5 edgy head Emily Knowles (Toni Collette). The movie is getting more and more thrilling until Alice encounters an ex-Marines Jack Alcott (Orlando Bloom). With his Cockney accent, Bloom’s Jack is ruining the whole thrill they have created from the start and the movie is starting to falling into pieces.

As I said before that the movie has potential to give refreshment on the genre that has been long dominated by male characters. Noomi Rapace plays Alice Racine with muscular and full determination we have seen her since her The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (2009), and Alice Racine can find her own way to be the next die hard character if the script of this movie had been written better. Alice Racine has a solid background story to make her a good agent, but the script is too easy to guess. The other big names helped the story to develop, unless Orlando Bloom’s Jack, but all have little to none character development. John Malkovich’s Hunter and Toni Collette’s Emily are supposed to be kick-ass characters and actually they’re fun to be watched, but they are given to petty script to develop their own character. Even Michael Douglas’ Eric has a potential to be a very good and surprising villain, but they give so little background story on his motives.

Fortunately, the movie has a very good message that sometimes, it is the extremist that made everything’s worse by turn the facts upside down. When the message is actually good, peaceful and kind-hearted, they turn it into a hateful message and create terror against humanity. I like this movie, and as the ending implies, there should be sequels to Alice’s next action. I just hope they’ll make it with better script.

I give this movie 6.2/10.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017): WE ARE GROOT!

Check Marvel site for the movie here.

When I first saw Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, I see it as an ease after bloated and heavy superheroes era of Marvel (except Iron Man series). An orphan boy raised and being disciple of the universe, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), is teamed up by destiny with Thanos’ fierce daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), broken-hearted Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a savage raccoon made on laboratory Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a moving tree that must take inspiration from Tolkien’s Ent Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Quill and his team were both entertaining with their humorous actions and much explosions, and the music mix somehow completes the whole movie into a fresh and adorable superhero movie.

Then Marvel realizes that this fresh and adorable movie has potential to be a new franchise that can help building the background before creating the battle of the universe on Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and of course, generating some more cash. So they created Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (to be coherent with the music mix that always accompanies Quill through his Walkman) with a little additional emotion and Star Wars theme of family issues through galaxies. 

While the guardians are being chased by the Sovereign ships after Rocket steals their Annular Batteries, they are helped by a man named Ego (who could be fitter to be a sexy daddy other than Kurt Russell? Oh maybe Sylvester Stallone could be a candidate too since he is also a cameo here). Quill learns that Ego is actually his father, a celestial thingy that wandered across the universe to “seek life”, fell in love with Quill’s mother. This movie is quite easy to be guessed, as it runs well with Gamora’s feeling. When Gamora suddenly feels that there’s something wrong with Ego, we have no other option but to agree with her. Besides, a deity named Ego sounds more like a villain rather than a graceful god.

Meanwhile, the Sovereign’s High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) hires Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) to find the guardians and take the batteries. Yondu’s Ravagers find Rocket, Baby Groot and Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s sister, and abduct them. A little coup within Yondu’s Ravagers by the heavily salivating Taserface (Chris Sullivan) teams up Yondu and Rocket, and creates the most enjoyable scenes of the movie when Baby Groot adorably tries to help. From Yondu too, Rocket realizes that Ego is a bad guy, and the music starts again, and they escape the ship trying to reach Quill and the others by doing more than 700 leaps that make their face looks like old Looney Tunes cartoons.

On Ego’s planet, Quill has learned that Ego killed his mother by putting tumor on her brain and Ego is trying to create the world of his own by activating all the seeds he planted on many planets he visited (and mating and having children) using Quill’s energy. Ego’s servant Mantis (Pom Klementieff) tells Gamora, Nebula and Drax that this is not the first time Ego tries to activate the seeds by using his children as batteries. This is where we’ve lost the feeling we got on the first Guardians movie. We lost the fun. The music stays on, there’s still explosions everywhere and the humors is still giving us grimace, but somehow the fun is lost. We know that the grand theme of this Guardians movie is about family, but we don’t need more “I am your Father!” scenes without the idea of “father and son ruling together”. The Gamora-Nebula relationship is somehow weirder that we can even see Gamora looks like a girl on her period who yells at literally everything and Nebula feels more soften within her steady built. 

The best thing in this movie is still Baby Groot. His cute built and adorable innocent really feel like he is just a little child among those adult guardians. His round innocent eyes, cute dances, until his wave that can soften Gamora to say “Hi” really stole the show, and even funnier than every humors in this movie told by the “really speaking actors”.

This movie is rated PG-13 for its sarcastic humors so be careful to bring your children watching this. And please don’t leave your seat before the Marvel logo appears. There were 5 after-credit scenes. I give this movie 8.7/10. 0.7 points are from Baby Groot himself haha.