Film/Arts/Satire*
(*homocinematically inclined)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dearest Review: Super Troopers


 

Look, up on the screen... even more superhero movies!


Logan:
It took three tries, but they finally made a good — no, great — Wolverine solo film. Apparently, all it took was to team ol' Wolvie up with Professor X for a buddy-slash-road movie. Set in a bleak future where mutants are nearly extinct, Hugh Jackman is back for his ninth (and reportedly final) turn as our favorite mutton-chopped, impossibly ripped anti-hero, as is Patrick Stewart, finally able to act in the usually cardboard role of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. They are joined by a young girl (Dafne Keen) with very familiar abilities and tasked with getting her to a fabled mutant Eden called... Eden. Stripped of all the typical tropes of a superhero flick, Logan plays out like a tragic western, one where not all of the heroes get to ride off into the sunset. (8/10) Now streaming on HBO.

"I told you never to bring up Viva Laughlin!"

Spider-Man: Homecoming:
Talk about finally getting it right... This, the third reboot of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in just fifteen years, gives us an age-appropriate leading man (a winning Tom Holland), smartly skips an origin story (are you listening, makers of the next Batman movie?) and, with Michael Keaton as the menacing Vulture (another kind of birdman), even nails the villain (something that remains frustratingly elusive for most superhero flicks in this Marvel age). It also gives Peter Parker a United Colors of Benetton-ish set of schoolmates, but keeps shoe-horning in Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and all the high-tech that goes with him (do we really need another talking super-suit?). Yet it remains refreshingly thrilling with the webbed wall-crawler's boyishly daring attempts at being — and ultimately becoming — a truly super hero. (8/10) Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The itsy-bitsy spider crawled up the monument...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
As a largely unknown Marvel property, the ragtag space crew known as the Guardians of the Galaxy burst onto the screen three years ago in a zippy, action-packed blockbuster that was super-fun. Well, it was fun while it lasted. The cheekily-titled Vol. 2 piles on the quirky characters, garish colors and snarky jokes (they even hold for the laughs this time) proving that, yes indeedy, there can be too much of a good thing... especially when it comes to Baby Groot. The plot has Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finding his long lost dad (the luxuriously locked Kurt Russell) who turns out to be a planet (wtf?) and (spoiler alert?) not that great a father. With its five requisite pre-/mid-/post-credits scenes, Marvel definitively proves here that they don't know when to quit while they're ahead. (4/10) Now streaming on Netflix.

Yeah, yeah, we get it. You're frikkin' adorable.

Wonder Woman:
One of the coolest things this year, movie-wise, was how rapturously embraced this first full film foray of the Amazing Amazon was; audiences and critics, even those who don't like superhero movies, loved them some Wonder Woman. Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot (make that Movie Star Gal Gadot), eschewing the overly-dark tone that has infected the DC Cinematic Universe to date, instead deliver a star-spangled adventure that deftly mixes mythic fantasy with period war epic, plus a refreshing dash or two of romantic comedy. From an island paradise to the trenches of the First World War, the warrior princess Diana joins American pilot/Allied spy Steve Trevor (an utterly charming Chris Pine) in his mission to thwart a chemical warfare plot… oh, and Ares, the God of War himself. To paraphrase the classic theme song of her beloved 70s TV series, “It’s a wonder, Wonder Woman!” (8/10) Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

This isn't in the movie, but don't you wish it was?

Click here for reviews of the Bat-movies of 2017.

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

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