The Summer movie season is off to a great start. The first five movies I saw, Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Now You See Me, and Man of Steel were great films. I don’t think the summer has ever started this strong. I’m going to review three of the movies I’ve seen so far.
Fast & Furious 6
I know it’s been out for 3 weeks but it has been the number one movie two weeks in a row so…better late than never.
As a big fan of the franchise, I had certain expectations the latest installment: all the cast reunited, bigger stunts, and fun dialogue between the team. I wasn’t disappointed.
This film reunites the team from Fast Five (Dom, Brian, Han, Gisele, Tej, Roman, and Mia), brings back Letty, and Hobbs is back with his new partner Riley (played by Gina Carano). Dom has retired to Spain where he and Elena are living together when Hobbs shows up to drop the bombshell that Letty is still alive. I’m not going to recap the entire movie but here are the things I like.
Despite the fact that the team is scattered across the globe they are all quick to respond to Dom’s call to arms and reunite in London. There are several mentions of the film about Dom’s team being family and throughout the film that’s exactly how it feels. There’s a lot of great dialogue between the team that helps reinforce that feeling of family.
I really love to the neat and tidy ending in this one. Dom and Mia are back in the house they shared in the first film. Dom is with Letty again and there’s a nice scene between him, Letty, and Elena. That scene establishes that there are no hard feelings and that the two women get along. And, as Elena was in the previous film, she’s partnered back up (permanently it appears) with Hobbs.
All this plus we get the tragic death of Gisele triggers Han to return to Tokyo where he is killed (they play his death scene from movie number three) and reveal who killed him (and the villain in the next film), Jason Staitham.
I know there are a lot of imperfections in these films but I still like these characters so much and I can’t wait for the seventh film.
Now You See Me
I had been looking forward to this movie for months since I saw the trailer. I love a good heist movie with an engaging group of criminals who pull off the impossible against all odd – movies like Tower Heist, The Italian Job, and Ocean’s 11. A good heist movie does seem like magic since you always see scenes that explain what the team did after they get a hold of their target.
Now You See Me is a cat and mouse game between The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco), Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and his fellow FBI Agents, and Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) a magician trying to expose how The Four Horsemen do their tricks. I’ve been a big fan of Dave Franco’s since Scrubs and Isla Fisher is in my all-time favorite movie (let the speculation begin). Of course the rest of the cast is amazing and does a great job on the film The Four Horsemen’s on-screen chemistry is a lot of fun while Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine get a chance to do some really nice bantering, bragging, and scheming.
NOW YOU SEE ME pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against "The Four Horsemen", a super-team of the world's greatest illusionists. "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.
I don’t know what the end meant when The Four Horsemen got onto the carousel at the end – I’m going to have to see it again to see what happened. There’s a part where Dave Franco jumps around and kind of kicks Mark Ruffalo’s ass – funny and unique scene. Overall, I had a great time (I was on a 2nd date so that couldn’t have hurt) and I hope you’ll go see it.
Man of Steel
With a cast like Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Christopher Meloni, Kevin Costner, and Laurence Fishburne (not to mention the numerous Whedonverse alumni, BSG alumni, and even a guy from one of my favorite shows, Flashpoint), your movie had better not suck – and this movie doesn’t.
I’ve seen it twice now and am floored by the story which so effectively introduces Clark and his supporting cast while giving us flashbacks to the things that shaped him as the boy who would one day become Superman. The action is big, the scenes between Clark and the people he loves (or one day will) are gripping, heart-wrenching, and incredibly satisfying.
I’ve heard the critics complain that this Superman is too angsty. This is Superman for 2013, a Superman that has had things happen to him that some can relate to (bullying) and things that are completely unique to him as the only alien he’s aware of is himself. Just like Nolan did with Batman, Snyder grounds this version of Superman in reality and digs into his origin, childhood, and quest to find himself to make him a character we grow with and really care about. If you want Christopher Reeves’ interpretation of the character, you can purchase it on amazon.com.
I’ve also heard the complaints about him killing Zod. “Superman doesn’t kill!” you howl. Well this one did and instantly regretted it. Instead of a victory, Superman met with a failure that adds to his character. He’s not perfect but he sincerely tries to do the right thing each and every time. In a comic book, it’s easy and convenient to write an ending where Superman doesn’t kill (or write him on a long, boring walk across America – I’m looking at you Straczynski) but in the real world, lines blur and it the right answer sometimes presents itself in retrospect.
The movie was everything the fans deserved and a complete departure from the bland Superman Returns film from a few years ago.