Saturday, August 8, 2015

Movie Review - Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I enjoyed the Mission Impossible TV series from the 80s or 90s and loved the first Mission Impossible movie, but felt the movies had gone downhill from it. This one redeems the franchise.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a 2015 action, adventure, spy film. It's rated PG-13 for language and violence and is appropriate for teenagers and up.

The Good

Action. This is an action movie first and foremost, and the action doesn't disappoint for the most part. The fighting was interesting and intense. The fights were short enough they didn't get boring, but long enough I felt real struggle. They were also filmed so I could see what was going on. Too often directors trying and make them chaotic and confusing so the viewer will feel like they are in the middle of the fight, but I'd rather watch it than be part of it.

Stunts. The stunts were fun, especially the motorcycle chase at the end. I've seen a lot of car chases and motorcycle chases, but never one like that. I actually felt like I was on the motorcycle. It was great!

Pace. The movie was really well paced. I never felt bored, nor did I feel the film was moving too quickly to keep up with.

Story. This movie actually had a pretty good story with international intrigue and espionage. It was nice that it returned to the spy genre instead of being just another over-the-top action flick. They story was actually entertaining a more than an excuse for mindless action scene after mindless action scene. There was some real character development.

Twists. I won't say that the twists were completely unexpected, but there were several satisfying reveals at the end that I didn't completely see coming.

The Bad

Underwater scene. The underwater scene did not convey how difficult it is to hold ones breath for several minutes while swimming.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I really feel very satisfied with everything in the movie and didn't feel I was missing anything. It would have been nice to see a little more chemistry between characters, but it didn't hurt the film not to have that.


Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was an entertaining flick and reminded me a lot of the first one. I'd describe this as a really good remake. I was entertained from start to finish and never felt like it dragged. I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Movie Review: Marvel's Ant-Man

I've been an Ant-Man fan since I first discovered the character in the pages of a reprint of The Avengers comics from the 1960s by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. I thought he was a really interesting character with fun adventures, but I never imagined he could carry his own movie. And I was sort of right.

Marvel's Ant-Man is a 2015 sci-fi, action, adventure, comedy, superhero, heist film based on the Henry Pym and Scott Lang versions of Ant-Man. It's rated PG-13 for language and few intense scenes. It's appropriate for most ages.

The Good

Comedy. I think what makes Marvel movies stand out from every other movie is the intelligent humor they pack each film with. This movie is no exception. There are original jokes from the beginning to the end that add to the story and character development and aren't the same old jokes we've heard a million times.

Characters. The characters are all really interesting (minus the main villain) and well developed. I genuinely cared for all of them and wanted to know what happened to them. Even the cameos that appeared on screen for just a minute or two had character and personality. Well done, Marvel. Well done.

Action/Special Effects. The action was fun, and the use of the shrinking power was handled really well. The shrinking power was used in a clever way that made Ant-Man a unique hero. The special effects were not just another Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but had their own style and flair. There was lots of action, but it didn't take over the film like in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Cameos. It was nice seeing Howard Stark and Peggy Carter at the beginning of the film to tie this into Marvel's history and put Henry Pym in his proper place as a key figure and brilliant scientist. And the fight with Falcon was fun.

The Bad

Villain. The main villain is little more than a bad caricature of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of He might as well of had a thin mustache to stroke while tying young women to train tracks. Usually Marvel villains are misunderstood and genuinely believe they are the good guys, but in this film the bad guy revelled in how bad he was.

The Heist. This film is little more than a heist film, and it's a pretty typical, predictable heist. From Marvel I was really expecting a fresh take, and I didn't get that.

Twists. One of the interesting things about heist films is how things don't go as planned and unexpected twists come up. Maybe I've just read too many comic books or watched too many movies, but the twists in this film I saw from a mile away. Nothing was a surprise, not even the two codas during and after the credits or what happened to the original Wasp.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish this had been more than a heist movie. There so much more that could have been done. There have been several characters who have worn the suit and called themselves Ant-Man, but Henry Pym in the 60s battling spies was by far the most interesting, and that's really what I was hoping this film would be. The heist approach was fine if it had had some really intriguing twists or a wholly original take, but it didn't.


Marvel's Ant-Man is  a solid, entertaining flick. It has the heart and humor we've come to expect from Marvel films. I highly recommend this film and give it a solid 4 out of 5 popcorn boxes.