Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Review

I wasn’t expecting much when it came to the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible series mostly because I’m not a fan of the series in general. Watching this fourth film was probably the most fun I’ve had watching a Mission Impossible movie, but that certainly didn’t make it a great movie. It’s not even that I’m bias against Tom Cruise whom I think isn’t a very good actor because I have seen Tom Cruise movies I enjoy thoroughly. I was even open to the idea of this film being a good time because it was helmed by “The Incredibles” director Brad Bird. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was not a good film, though I did have fun occasionally.

After being blown away by the “The Dark Knight Rises” prologue I was in such a pumped up mood that I knew nothing could put me down. I was absolutely right and for a while I was having a blast with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol but past a certain point I just realized that for the most part the filmmakers and actors didn’t care about an interesting story or developed characters so why should I.? What the filmmakers cared about was the constant action. As a friend and I walked out of the theater my friend said something a long the lines of, “I can’t believe a movie with that much action could be so boring”. I couldn’t have said it better myself and I couldn’t agree more.

Sure, a lot the action was fun especially the sky scraper scaling scene shown in the trailers and showcased in the movie posters. At the end of the day however, it just couldn’t be ignored how lazy the writing and performances were. What subsequently followed the skyscraper scene was a chase scene that felt fifteen minutes too long and in the middle of that very chase is when I realized that I truly just wanted the movie to end. To be completely honest, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t just walk out because I had already seen what I paid to see.

Even though I was not a very big fan of this film at all, I will admit that while some of the action scenes were beyond stereotypical, there were some that really kept you on the age of their seat. The other best quality of the film was Simon Pegg, I’m always a fan of his work and he certainly had a funny role in this film. There’s not much else that can be said, I like Jeremy Renner, but I was not a fan of his work here and the attempt at a cool twist ending that was hinted at the entire movie was completely atrocious. If you enjoy some mindless action and violence Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol might be the film for you and I can respect another person’s taste, however count me out on this one.

Grade: C-

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Carnage Review

It’s difficult to wrap my head around exactly how I want to approach my review for Carnage. It was a film so unlike most movies and in just that way, among many other reasons, it was a very enjoyable film. It was also a very short film and certainly kept my attention through out. It was fun, well made, well acted, but unfortunately it just didn’t amount to as much as I hoped for.

The best quality of this film were unquestionably the performances. Jodie Foster is always hit or miss very me and she was pretty good here. John C. Reilly played the most likable character and had fun with it. Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses and she was fantastic in Carnage. The best performance came from the brilliant Christoph Waltz whose instigating character was played to perfection and though you could probably consider the character the antagonist of the film, the character was in no way an evil villain. It was nice to see a great performance from Waltz in a role that wasn’t some one as a cruel as Hans Landa.

The film centered on two couples and their verbal sparring after one of their sons hits the other couples’ son with a stick. What starts as a civil conversation eventually leads to what feels like warfare. It was based on a Tony-Award winning play and as a result the filmmaking here was nothing special as it just placed the play in movie form. Sure there’s no action or much drama, but the film was a lot of fun and an excellent watch.

My biggest compliant here would be that all of this constant bickering felt like it was leading to a very exciting climax, but unfortunately the movie just ended with out much of a satisfying resolution. Once I looked past the fact that the film didn’t get to the point I wanted it do I just realized that it was a lot of fun, but it just wasn’t amazing. The film’s biggest feat is in the way it could’ve easily felt redundant from time to time, but it never ceased to entertain.

Grade: B+

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review

Any time you make a sequel you run the risk of disappointing a lot of people. More often than not if you make a sequel the people who are watching it have seen and enjoyed the first one. You could make   one of those rare sequels that are actually better than the original, you could make one that’s right on par with the original or you could go the same route as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and be very disappointing. I am an avid and of the first Sherlock Holmes movie and Guy Ritchie’s other films and I will say that with out a doubt, this is the worst Guy Ritchie film I’ve seen.

This was a film that I was very excited for. Unlike a lot of people I was actually a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes and what Guy Ritchie had done with the story and I couldn’t wait to see what he’d do with Holmes’ nemesis, Professor Moriarty. I was even excited about character actor Jared Harris playing Moriarty whose performance was the most redeeming quality of this film. Unfortunately, even a good villain wasn’t enough to save the rest of the film from falling a part.

Right from the beginning there was simply something off putting about the film and it went essentially nowhere compelling from there. A lot of it just felt like one extremely dull moment after another just to lead into another one generic action sequence after another. My favorite moments of the film were the scenes between Holmes and Moriarty especially a final climactic scene involving a game of chess. Unfortunately, the rest of the film was nearly captivating enough and the decently satisfying climax was not worth the wait.

Almost everything I enjoyed about the first one I found was overplayed and almost, at times, unbearable in this one. The chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law was there, but there relationship just became more accustomed to joke-telling than with actual character and story development. Worst of all though, I felt as though the female lead was just tossed into the film so that the film could have a female lead. Noomi Rapace did a fine job, but here character was about as unnecessary as this film.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was just not a very enjoyable experience. Admittedly there were parts of the movie that were fun, but when you combine those scenes with the rest of the film you get two-hour movie that just simply was only worth the price of admission because it had the honor of showing a “The Dark Knight Rises” trailer before it. I can’t wait to watch Sherlock Holmes again because I find that a very excellent film, I can’t say the same about its sequel.

Grade: C