Shane Black proves a semi-charmed remedy for the wavering outer space slasher franchise in The Predator, ushering in a new era of the horror-tinged sci-fi action with gutsy enthusiasm and immature brio. A neck-break pace and trademark jet Black humor define this goofy, giddy motion picture about blood-thirsty invaders from outer space come to an American small town right out of a John Mellencamp song. The fourth (or sixth if you count the dreadful Alien cross-over events) installment in the Rastafarian space slayer series manages no shortage of missteps – waddling into the three-pronged crosshair of some hot topic controversy along the way – but comes out the other side as a buoyant, bloody joyride of cinematic ridiculousness that revels in its throwback homaging of the excesses of the 1980s. Read More
The superhero genre has (deservingly) caught a lot of flack over the years for its Saturday Morning Cartoons rendition of tentpole blockbuster cinema. The Marvel brand in particular was privy to the lather, rinse, repeat template, providing a steady stable of colorful smart asses who smash and bash and save the world, returning to the status quo (or shwarma) when all is said and done to await their next universe saving event. Then along came Deadpool. Say what you will the R-rated superhero flick – like for instance that it falls in line with many of the same familiar tropes it purports to mock – but the gleefully violent and “adult”-oriented box office smash opened the flood gates for more of its R-rated ilk, showing studios through the ever influential power of green (not Green Lantern mind you), that audiences were more than receptive to “mature” content in their superhero films. In fact, they were damn near starving for it. Read More
When you assemble the likes of Kate Mara (House of Cards), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) you’d expect all the girl power onboard to make for some exceptionally high voltage x-chromosome electricity. I mean we’re talking Ygritte, Sue Storm, Thomasin, Daisy Domergue and Wai Lin all huddled under one hot tin roof, sermonizing, philosophizing and fisticuffing under the purview of a Ridley Scott protege. But all the estrogen in the world can’t overpower Morgan’s tepid and over-familiar “lab monster” plot nor fuel its running-on-fumes third act.