Every once in a while I remember a bunch of films that I’ve recently watched which didn’t leave enough of an impression to want to paint them, so I compile them into a single post. This is one of those posts:
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
A WRINKLE IN TIME
WRECK IT RAPLH 2
GUNS AKIMBO (2019)
While I appreciate Daniel Radcliffe’s insistence on taking incredibly weird and random roles post-HP, I really found this too loosely cut together, inconsistently shot with unnecessarily dizzying camera moves, full of huge leaps in logic and a tone to the aesthetic and soundtrack that felt like it was trying too hard but without the slick control that something like this needs to make it work. It’s probably some edgy 16yo’s favourite movie ever. Didn’t really work for me.
Kinda had me in the first half, thinking it was a paint-by-numbers action film… until it becomes a paint-by-numbers action film with a few twists that I’m sure trailers would have spoiled if I’d watched any of them. Honestly, I was expecting an extra one that never came. It’s more self-aware than you’d think and has some neat design concepts but still it only gets up around a medium. Toby Kebbell does a pretty good Australian accent tho.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (2019)
I actually forgot that I watched this. Awkwafina does a good Danny deVito impression but the body-swapping jokes are just the same as the last film but with a bigger cast and their impersonations of one another aren’t that clever. No sense of consequence, so no real reason to care. The first one of these reboots was fine but this is unnecessary.
Do not watch.
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (2019)
Psych! This one’s actually great! But since DOLITTLE was terrible I needed to average the list out to medium overall so this is included here. Eddie Murphy deserved much better recognition for this gem — a much lighter and more fun love-letter to a period of filmmaking than the self-indulgent ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD and more worthy of your time.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE BLAH OF BLAHBLAHBLAH (2018)
Good creature design, boring everything else. Character beats are set up then erased. Protagonist has no meaningful connection to the larger plot. Doesn’t contribute anything meaningful to the Potterverse, if anything the explanations make it less interesting. Do I mean the first movie or the second one? Yes.
A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)
Takes a beloved classic tale and oversaturates it in CGI while sanitizing much of the protagonist’s intelligence and agency from the story’s weirdness. Zoned out for most of it. Kids might like it but there are better options.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018)
The bits with the self-aware Disney princesses are great (maybe 5min of the total runtime), everything else is forgettable.
I had to check if I’d already included a review of this. A big dumb mess of a monster movie, all the cast seem to have been given different notes about what film they were in and the whole back half is pretty much just buildings collapsing. Even GODZILLA 2 (for all its many flaws) managed to be more interesting than this. It really says something if I’m suggesting you watch that over this.