November 1 marked the US and global release of Terminator: Dark Fate. Tim Miller is the director while James Cameron and David Ellison are the producers. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise their roles as Sarah Connor and T800 a.k.a Carl. We get to see Mackenzie Davis as Grace, Natalia Reyes as Daniella “Dani” Ramos and Gabriel Luna as the Terminator Rev-9.
Beyond this point lies
spoilers and minor rant. Read on at your own risk.
The events of this movie take
place directly after Terminator: Judgment Day. Starting, we get to see Sarah
Connor and John Connor relaxing in Livingston, Guatemala in 1998. After the
events of Judgment day, they are now sure they saved the future. No more
Skynet. John Connor can now be a car mechanic instead of the leader of the
resistance. While they are busy relaxing a T800 shows up kills John Connor and
poof, he vanishes. Little did Sarah Connor know that Skynet had already sent
various terminators to kill John Connor. Throughout the timeline.
Moving on, now that Skynet and John Connor are no more the Spotlight shifts to Daniella Ramos.
Daniella or Dani is now the future leader of the Resistance.
They now fight against a new AI called Legion, who sends a new terminator Rev-9 to kill Dani. Dani from the future sends a cyborg subordinate Grace to protect the younger Dani.
In the end, Sarah and
“Carl”, join forces with Dani and Grace. They eventually stop Rev-9.
Sacrificing Grace in the process and “Carl”.
Is it all Retconned?
The answer to that is YES. The sixth instalment being the legitimate third instalment the others are officially retconned. They now exist in another dimension. While the series Chronicles of Sarah Connor is completely redundant.
Have we seen this before somewhere?
Again Yes! We have. In T2 we get to see Sarah Connor saving the future leader of the resistance. With the help of a subordinate from the future sent by the leader to stop the bad robot. The bad robot also being sent from the future to kill the younger future leader.
Apart from the obvious retelling of the T2 plot; they managed to pull a Halloween. Where the Halloween 2018 is the direct sequel to Halloween I and II. Retconning the rest.
To clear up some facts first, the T800 models all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one is not to be confused with the one that died in T2. The T800 that killed John Connor is stuck in the past, gains feeling. The feeling of emptiness. Lost without a purpose. Gets married! Regrets he killed John.
It is refreshing to see the old faces reprising their roles.
James Cameron being back. Terminator: Force Awakens hits us all with an ample
amount of nostalgia.
All in all, it is a fun action movie. Regardless of the confusion and retelling of the old plot. We get to see a good amount of badassery. Sarah Connor being armed to the teeth and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who doesn’t love Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Spider-man: Far from home takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame where the Avengers re-snapped the universe. So fan expectations were unusually high. Does Peter Parker deservedly carry on the legacy of his mentor Tony Stark?
Far From Home, the sequel to Homecoming, easily bests its predecessor.
Homecoming ignored repetitive things like the death of uncle Ben, the hardship of Aunt May and the origin story of Peter Parker becoming a superhero.
However, Spider-man: Far From Home ups the ante and tries something that has never been done with this character. Peter is on the verge of becoming a responsible individual, only to be hindered by teenage angst and identity crisis. For the first time, a Spider-Man film did not take place entirely in New York.
The world mourns the death of the fallen Avengers, but life goes on and Peter is prepping for a Euro trip with his school buddies. He wants to leave behind his spandex life and spend some quality time with MJ. Unbeknownst to him, aunt May packed his luggage with a suit (which will come in handy later in the film).
Peter plans to ask out MJ in Europe. The high schoolers visit Venice, Paris and other landmarks but the Euro trip goes haywire when a supervillain named the Elementals start destruction in Venice. Peter and his friends were just off a boat. He left his suit in the hotel room. with a pair of web shooters his utmost effort to stop the antagonist was not enough.
That’s when the fan-favourite Mysterio aka Quentin Beck arrives in the scene. He teams up with Peter but almost single-handedly stops the destruction. We see a glimpse of Mysterio in the opening scene of the film, where Nick Fury and Maria Hill acts as a witness.
Fury coerces a reluctant Peter to suit up and go to his secret lair. Peter finds out Quentin Beck is working with Fury to take down the Elementals. Quentin hints of a multiverse, claiming he came from Earth, just not the one Peter lives in. Throughout the movie, other versions of the Elementals make an appearance. These villains were loosely based on old Marvel characters like Hydro-Man and Molten Man, giving fans a scope to replenish some comic book memories.
To be honest, it is hard to write a no spoiler review of Far From Home, without telling enough about the plot. There’s deception, old enemies and loads of surprise to keep you on the edge of your seat. Peter inherits a pair of high tech glasses named Edith (courtesy of Tony Stark), capable of worldwide surveillance and destruction. Edith plays a central role in the movie, putting Peter on the forefront of enemies he must stop.
An entertaining thrill ride
John Watts returns in the director’s chair, and he does a good enough job to give Spider-Man the opportunity to shine as an Avenger when the world is at stake. The brilliant cast is the heart of the show, you will be occupied with laughter, emotional turmoil and gasping for more throughout the movie.
Tom Holland is impressive, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s first outing as Mysterio is something to die for. Samuel L Jackson is as charismatic as he was in the other MCU entries and seems like he’s not leaving the Marvel world anytime soon. Zendaya plays an unconventional MJ, putting a refreshing vibe on the character. Jacob Batalon’ Ned Leeds is the quintessential friend Peter needs by his side. He is super funny and provides some essential jokes to make the audience smile.
There are two post-credit scenes that might just be the best part of the movie.
Far From Home is the last MCU movie of 2019 and albeit an unmissable one.
Get your tickets from Star Cineplex to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The last Toy Story movie came out 9 years ago which seemingly gave the franchise a decisive ending. But never say never in sequel hungry Hollywood. Pixar just gave us another round of “Talking toys with identity crisis” and surprisingly, it’s a gem.
We rarely see sequels that fulfil our expectations. Thankfully, Toy Story 4 proved to be an exception. With a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is an unmissable movie.
Toy Story 4 is a refreshing and witty addition to the series.
The animation is stunning, the jokes are laugh out loud material and like other Pixar titles, this one aligns well with a subtle melancholy.
Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) bonds with their colourful crew of toy buddies. The existing characters were fun to watch, but the newer ones are equally charming. After Toy Story 3, what could possibly happen to Sheriff Woody and friends?
You’ve got a friend in me!
Andy is all grown up and his toys are transferred to another kid named Bonnie. Bonnie is very fond of playtimes but for some strange reason, Woody is not among her favourite toys. When Bonnie goes to her orientation day at kindergarten, she struggles to fit in and make new friends. Unbeknownst to her, Woody sneaked into her backpack and decided to give her a morale boost. Bonnie ended up DIY-ing a new toy and named it Forky (Forky is a plastic fork so the name makes sense). Bonnie loves Forky and wants to take him on a road trip with her, but Forky disagrees and tries to escape.
The thing is, Forky is made up of trash bin throwaways. He doesn’t think of himself as a real toy, hence always referring to himself as “trash”. Forky believes he belongs to a wastebasket where he can live a cosy and safe life. But Woody’s samaritan persona incessantly lectures Forky how important it is for him to keep Bonnie happy. Forky opens up existential questions that trouble Woody likewise- What is a toy without the love of a child? Can a lost toy find meaningful life? Is it okay to leave a kid once s/he grows up and move on for further adventures?
A theme that echoes throughout the movie is finding your true self.
In this case, it’s Woody who needs a little push to recalibrate his purpose as a toy. “Nothing lasts forever and you can always find new avenues to start over”. Woody learns this at the end of the movie.
We see flashback scenes, snippets of kid Andy playing with his toys, rescue missions, reunions…what not! One of the paramount reasons we loved this movie is because of its antagonist characters (read: toys). We sort of liked the Huggin’ bear fromToy Story 3, he’s an okay-ish villain. But the one you’ll see in Toy Story 4 is too cute and has sentimental agendas. We don’t want to spoil anything about this movie but you’ll love her for sure.
Greatest animated fanservice (probably)
People who have grown up watching Toy Story will especially like this sequel. It’s emotionally charged, has got fantastic dialogues and the narrative pays off.
The surge of female empowerment in Hollywood movies is evident in recent times, Toy Story 4 also leverages it to put girl toys on the forefront. Little Bo Peep, Gabby Gabby and Jessie get their ‘Power girl’ moments and leaves an inspiring momentum for young girls.
One would be happy to see all the fan favourite characters return after a 9-year hiatus. But when comedian Don Rickles (the voice of Mr Potatohead) passed away in 2017, we were half expecting to see some form of tribute to the moustached Potato we loved. Thanks to Pixar, they rummaged through old recordings of Rickles when he lent his voice for the trilogy and used it as a tribute to the actor. Director Josh Cooley deserves a pat on his back for such an amazing job.
This is one film you don’t wanna miss out. Do yourself a favour and watch it in Cineplex. Stick around till the end credits for bonus surprises.
Baba Yaga is back. Keanu Reeve’s third time playing John Wick pays off with ultimate fan service to the lovers of action movies. ‘John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum’ dazzles with fewer dialogues and a bazillion of action setpieces. It seems like the franchise is more interested in worldbuilding rather than a decent script and honestly, we don’t complain.
People don’t go to theatres expecting a John Wick movie to be a storytelling spectacle. If you can ignore some necessary aspects, this film will get your approval as the ‘Edge of the seat’ action mayhem we have not seen since the likes of Mission Impossible: Fallout. Rest assured that you will walk out of the theatre with a vertiginous head. The film is unquestionably violent and mostly, all caps LARGER THAN LIFE.
Run Wick, run!
Director Chad Stahelski’s third entry in the R-rated franchise has got lots of guns, knives and even books as weapons. Parabellum picks up from where the second movie ended. Out soft-spoken antihero, John Wick is declared ‘excommunicado’ by the ruling assassin council ‘The High Table’. With a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick races throughout New York City and eventually, to Casablanca to mitigate his enmity with the high table.
Meanwhile, a mysterious woman called ‘The adjudicator’ pays a visit to the Continental hotel. She warns Winston (Ian McShane)- the manager of Continental to step down from his position. The adjudicator stated it is only because of Winston that John Wick could spill blood in Continental grounds and the high table can’t spare this. The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) also gets a visit from her. Just like Winston, he is guilty of helping John Wick (he gave Wick a gun). He laughs it off when The adjudicator tells him to leave town.
Wick meets Sophia (Halle Berry) who happens to be an old colleague. Sophia is in no mood to assist him but ends up joining his quest for old times sake. To make amends, Wick tries to find a man called ‘The Elder’, who sits above the high table. But he’s untraceable, can John find him for redemption?
The good, the bad and the bullets
The first act is arguably the best part of the movie. John Wick movies are not known so much for stories as for brilliantly crafted action sequences. The franchise ups its ante with a uniquely presented fight and chase sequences. If there was an Oscar for stuntwork, this move would have won every one of them. Action is the heart of this movie and the only reason we’d recommend you to watch it in theatres.
They say, ‘Your heroes are only as good as your villains’.
What’s an action movie without a terrific villain? Apparently, it’s the area where Parabellum falls short. Zero (Mark Dacascos) the knife-wielding ninja is the baddie of this film. Despite his martial arts masterworks and unwarranted wit, we were not overly fond of him.
John Wick 3 is rightfully a neo-noir bloodbath which ends on a dramatic note but teases for more sequel.
We’ll probably see Halle Berry in a meaningful role next time. Her cameo sets up the backdrop of what she might be up to in the next film.
So go to Star Cineplex if you love the puppy loving hit-man John Wick. Get your tickets from here.
Bonus: This time, there’s a lot of horses as well, and they kick major ass!
Marvel Cinematic Universe has many films still lined up in production, with Spiderman: Far Away from Home due to hit the screens in just six weeks. We know that Black Panther will get a sequel and another Guardians of the Galaxy film should also be underway. But in many ways, some would say in the most crucial and substantial ways, Avengers: Endgame is a conclusion to a broad and hefty storyline, birthed in small bursts throughout a decade.
The film opens
to a morose aftermath of Thanos’ destruction. Every Avenger is reeling from the
loss, the dismantling of their team and family which is what they have proven
to become over the years. In some way, every one blames his or herself and
nobody blames the other. It is a collective defeat which visibly and
understandably has taken an incredible toll on each of them. Their beliefs and
everything they stood for have been shattered. Only Hulk can be arguably said
to be in a better place and perhaps has find the most harmonious spot in coexisting
as both Hulk and Dr. Banner.
Black Widow is
shown that it is all but what she can do to keep hold of herself by constantly
communicating with each other, keeping track of their missions and hoping that
Rhodes can find her best friend, Agent Barton (Hawk-Eye) who has taken a turn
for the worse. Captain America is seen doing what would seem perfect for him if
he was not usually busy saving the planet – leading a support group for those
who have all lost somebody.
really do the world any good?
In Infinity War,
Thanos made a valid point. The world might have been better off with half the
population gone. We could assume that half of its problems would disappear too.
But the movie shows that as long as people would remain who remember the lost
ones, the world would be a living hell for those left behind. Some parts of
Earth are also shown in how they have reacted to the change – some have become
abandoned and haunted-like, some have erected rows upon rows of pillars with
the names of the lost.
avengers don’t give up hope. (Spoiler Alert: only if you haven’t seen the
trailer), the return of Ant-Man gives them all a direction to start working in.
Thanos was able to do what he did because he had possession of the six infinity
stones which he collected across a couple of movies. If you also remember, in
Infinity War, Dr. Strange – the man who has seen 14 million possible future
outcomes – willingly gives away the time stone to Thanos. Here is your biggest
clue to the reversal of all the damage. Let’s just say that there were a lot of
references to time travel movies and not one of them included Marvel’s (not so)
very own X-Men Days of Future Past.
film promotions had placed a lot of hyped on Marvel’s latest addition to its
superheroes – Captain Marvel. One could fear that she would in some
overpowering way steal the show. But you can rest assured that the people who
were there from the beginning are the ones who undoubtedly see their missions
to the end. There are a lot of twists and turns, beautiful scenes which serve
as short homages to the stories being told for years, the underlying emotions,
the character’s developments and the closures that they never got.
A deserving good-bye
What has always
made Marvel films great isn’t just that they can tell superhero stories well,
or that their action sequences are breathtaking or even that they almost
unfailingly deliver the unthinkable each time. For a die-hard fan, the films
are protracted distortions of our own realties. Fantastical and mythical, the
fact that there are so many different characters ensure that there’s something
everyone watching the film can connect to. Watching the film can be transformative
in that it’s not just the characters playing out their roles on screen – the
same energy can be felt coursing through the viewers themselves.
Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have both pretty much confirmed that the Endgame would be their last Marvel film. The same can be assumed for Mark Ruffalo and maybe even Chris Hemsworth. Endgame portrays each of these brilliant characters in their own essences, fitting into their perfectly carved shape in the Avengers team. We are far away from the Tony Stark we first saw – the dashing, narcissistic playboy.
Captain America has always shown to have a heart of gold and despite the superhuman alterations to his biology, time and time again, he proves that it is his heart, his goodness and sheer willpower that amplify his strength. A nod to the scene in Infinity War where he singlehandedly is able to stall Thanos, in Endgame too he beseeches the audience with what he is able to accomplish through his worthiness.
Tony Stark and Dr. Banner put their brains together one more time and Avengers: Endgame ends as a story of emotional and physical battle, victory with which must come loss, families being torn apart and families being pieced together. It is a well rounded conclusion to the arc started by Thanos and his quench for what he deems to be peace. The movie’s strengths lie in the usuals – acting, plot, buildup. Additionally, the shooting locations are spectacular and more diverse than Infinity War and it definitely did not seem like a 3 hour long movie. Lastly, the action scenes and the energy with which they reverberate demand that you watch the film on the big screen.
A 4.5 out of 5 rating is fitting for Stan Lee’s last.
Avengers: Endgame pays respect to its origins and the expansive career of the stalwart and manages to avoid cliches in exploring a theme that is well-known in the sci-fi realm.
With the hype of not only Marvel fans but also, DC fans, if you have decided to go for the cherry on top which is Avengers: Endgame then we understand your distress upon watching all the movies so far. However, we know how tricky it can get to decide to opt for something that ends the whole saga of Marvel Cinematic Universe series of different superheroes and their endless battles which leads up to the final movie.
If you cannot watch the 22 vastly articulated films which lead to Endgame itself, do not worry because we have a short road map which might help you catch up with the marathon!
The marathon essentially starts
with 2008’s Ironman starring Robert
Downey Jr. however, not all the details would help you catch with the drift,
but it is the starting of something beautiful. We see Tony Stark embarking on a
journey of protecting the civilization with this creation and invention of explosives
and weapons for mass destruction. The presentation of the relationship of Tony
Stark and Pepper Pots is just as important for us to notice, as it carries a
significant importance to Ironman himself.
Get ready to be distracted by
Chris Hemsworth’s luscious locks and hard abs because there is no actor better
to play the role of thunder god, the mighty hero from Asgard. What is important
for us to see is the role of Thor, his hammer and him ascending to Earth as it
leads to multiple more parts as weel.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)
This movie is not only known for
a step towards the marathon but it also is very well known for its representation
of the World War II and role of women through the relationship of Steve Rogers
and Peggy Carter, one of the founding agents of SHIELD. In the movie we see a
skinny soldier turned into a hero-like representation of America, thanks to the
‘super-serum solder’ administered by the U.S Government. Why this movie, gets
more attention is because The First Avenger showed the very first Infinity
Stone which is called “The Tesseract”.
MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012)
If you skipped Thor and The Incredible Hulk, this movie will help you to catch up with the
details before they team up to battle a “Tesseract wielding Loki”. The film
also shows us the importance of various main heroes who were previously cameo
characters such as the Black Widow and the Hawkeye himself. However, this movie
shows the core team of Avengers and a glimpse of the famous ‘purple evil alien’
we all know as Thanos.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014)
Captain America’s transition from a S.H.E.I.L.D vigilante to a well-known superhero is beautiful transformation. But what is worth noticing is Cap pledges allegiance to his friend to the government, ultimately tearing the Avengers apart.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
The MCU production now jumped
from one planet to the other to bring us closer to Thanos himself. The movie
represents Star Lord’s ability to hold an Infinity Stone as a part of his
lineage. The Power Stone is kept for safekeeping in Xandar which is destroyed off-screen.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)
The movie which was hyped in Bangladesh not only for the Marvel fans, but also because it showed a scene of the Chittagong shipyard which quickly stirred more attention on social media. The movie might not be as entertaining as the first but it is important to see the creation of Vision by the power of the Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter. Here we also see one of the important characters known as Scarlet Witch.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)
Tony Stark and Steve Roger’s previous
concerns come to a head because of Bucky and people’s unease with the group of
superheroes destroying and creating chaos around the city to demolish problems
they were responsible for. We also get to see introductions of Black Panther
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017)
If you decide to skip the movie because of the bare minimum relation it has with Endgame, you could. However, one of the reasons why this movie is recommended is to see the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker as both of them grow a beautiful bond which extends to one of the most emotional scenes in Avengers: Infinity War.
THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)
Now the story line of Thor might be repetitive leading to a cycle of losing and gaining power of thrones, but what this movie concentrates on, is how Loki gets his hands on Tesseract, the introduction of Doctor Strange and the destruction of Asgard which leads the refugees to run into Thanos.
BLACK PANTHER (2018)
One of the most anticipated
movies last year was Black Panther itself as it was the leading movies in MCU
to represent black empowerment so uniquely. The movie is the introduction of
the superhero T’Challa and his community in Wakanda which we will also see in
the movie Avengers: Infinity Stone.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018)
If you haven’t watched all the
movies, as a hardcore fan of MCU would, we assume that this movie might have
stirred your interest with the yearlong memes and theories. Now, if you have
not watched this movie, we strongly urge you to get a bowl of popcorn and sit
through it all because both Infinity War
and Endgame were shot and written simultaneously.
We won’t spoil this much for you but it will spark a lot of questions in your mind,
this we can guarantee.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018)
One of the many reasons why fans speculate this movie came after Infinity War was because he might play a major role in saving the world from Thanos. And the fans were not wrong. The post credit scenes of the movie take place after Thano’s snap and the consequences of Civil War. Do keep in mind that the Ant Man and its sequel plays an important role in the Endgame.
CAPTAIN MARVEL (2018)
Captain Marvel is initially known as Vers, a Star Force Agent from Kree race. She carries some powerful abilities such as super strength, physical endurance and the power to shoot blasts of energy with her fingertips. The Kree previously portrayed as villains before in Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With the strong 90s vibe and complex storyline Captain Marvel will not disappoint you.
The release of Avengers: Endgameis on the 26th of April and get ready to stand in the never-ending line and tackle the hyped fans for popcorn and drinks because this year will be the most awaited year, as the journey comes to an end. So, are you ready for it?
As a young adult who’s been born and brought up in Dhaka, much of our generation view the city in rose-tinted glasses online or in media. In the age of social media, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t familiar with aesthetic photos of Dhaka from numerous Instagram posts or through popular song lyrics. #JadhurShohor. But the stark reality is that living in this city is much grimmer than it might seem. The dog eat dog nature of Dhaka has been beautifully portrayed in the recently released film “Live from Dhaka”.
Nothing but the truth
Written and Directed by Abdullah Mohammad Saad, “Live from Dhaka”, chronicles the days of Sazzad, the protagonist played by Mostafa Monwar, and his miserable state of life in the city of Dhaka. Sazzad being unemployed and partially handicapped is seen as a guy down on his luck after losing most of his money when the Dhaka Stock Exchange crashes. In addition to his own physical and economic woes, he is being hounded by loan sharks and has to deal with his younger brother who’s plagued by addiction. Although receiving some support and solace within his girlfriend Rehana, played by Tasnova Tamanna, Sazzad decides to cut all his losses and permanently move to Russia.
A grim depiction of Dhaka
But as events transpire, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to escape the gritty reality of Dhaka. The harsh bleakness of his situations was beautifully portrayed in black and white throughout the movie before some very beautiful backdrops of Dhaka.
The film also didn’t shy away from showing the darker underbelly of Dhaka.
By the end of the film, you really start feeling for the protagonist but also reminded of how he is isn’t that different from everyone else.
The acclaimed independent film has been gaining much hype among Bangladeshi film enthusiast back since 2016. It had premiered in a number of International Film festivals around the world and winning Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) in 2016. The Film was finally released in Dhaka, Bangladesh in Bashundhara City Star Cineplex, on March 29. With stunning visuals, gripping story and comfortable runtime of 1hr and 31mins, you should definitely catch this tale about our beloved Dhaka.
First, they tried too hard to not be Marvel. Then they tried too hard to be Marvel. Turns out all they had to do was say the magic word. The DC Extended Universe finally gets it all right with “Shazam!”.
A refreshing break from the bleakness
For a long time the consensus was that the DC movies are to be significantly more dark and bleak than contemporary superhero films. The darkness was supposed to inspire a more realistic outlook. If done right, that could have turned out well. But it wasn’t executed right. So the DCEU tried to move on to a more cheerful theme, evident in the Justice League movie. Unfortunately that also didn’t turn out great, as perhaps the most awaited film ever had measly returns from the box office.
With Aquaman, the DCEU showed signs of vitality. And they have finally perfected the formula with Shazam. The most family friendly movie from the DCEU so far, Shazam attempts to inspire every adult to embrace the child in them. And every child to unfold the hero in them. The DCEU displays it’s knack for consistency, comedy and timing in this exhilarating Boy-of-Steel film.
A well told origin story
The most difficult part of a Superhero story told on the big screen is often the origin. Origin stories are a dime a dozen, and many of them are as good as one would imagine can get. While Shazam isn’t innovative, it is near perfect in execution. The film tells the story of 14-year old Billy Batson gaining the powers of the “Seven Elders” and his subsequent adventures in a simple and carefree fashion.
While it is easy to assume from the trailers or this review that the film is specifically kid-friendly, such is not the case. It explores dark aspects of the regular lives of people with straightforward realism. But unlike many contemporaries, the film attempts to teach the audience to deal with life’s many problems with a smile.
A genuinely good time
At its core, Shazam is a cheerful superhero tale, told with remarkable simplicity and style. It doesn’t try too hard to be something it is not. And that sets it apart from many of its contemporaries. Instead of pushing an overreaching theme or straining to set up some elaborate tale (it does that quite naturally), Shazam just offers its audience a good time at the theater. All the actors involved perform perfectly on their roles, especially the younger actors and Zachary Levi. Mark Strong’s acting is as strong as ever. Most importantly, everyone seems in touch with their characters.
So go watch Shazam in the STAR Cineplex. And let the magic entangle you for a good time.
Most commonly the complaint from loyal fanbases after a book to film (or manga to film) adaptations starts from the story not being true to the real canon. In this case, the film’s producer and co-writer James Cameron is actually and fan of the original manga created by Yukito Kishiro. Cameron has planned to create an adaptation of Alita for over a decade so it only makes sense that he stayed true to the original content.
Since the protagonist of this film is a female cyborg, it called for extremely polished and high-tech CGI. This meant that they had to spend a staggering 200 million dollars just to make the movie. This did not leave much to spend behind actually promoting it. The visual representation of the character Alita is extremely realistic, sans her eyes. Those were left exceptionally large to stay true to the manga.
The manga actually provides an explanation for why her eyes are so huge in proportion to the rest of her face but since the movie takes on so much story and condenses it into a two-hour show, it is understandable that it didn’t explore much of her origins.
The action sequences of sci-fi films can be turned legendary if put in the right hands. James Cameron has explored such aspects in his previous works such as The Terminator. Much of the action in Alita: Battle Angel is surrounding a sport they play called Motorball. It’s kind of an amalgam of roller derby and rugby that is mainly played by the cyborg inhabitants of their fictional world.
The fluid action sequences and incredible motion capture could’ve only been possible with a significant budget.
Alita moves through the air with ease, and many of the cyborgs fell organic to the proceedings.
Motorball becomes one of the more thrilling elements of the film. Among many action-packed scenes, the one in which Alita encounters Nyssiana stands out.
Nyssiana is a cyborg assassin who ruthlessly pursues Alita in the film. She is a film-original character and resembles a minor antagonist who appeared in the first volume of the manga.
The whole movie is essentially a buildup to a much bigger battle of sorts. The movie begins with cybernetics physician Dyson Ido(Christoph Waltz) finding the remnants of a cyborg under a fabled floating city called Zalem. Ido rebuilds the cyborg and gives her the name Alita. Alita is amnesiac at first but like all movies that feature characters with memory loss, certain situations trigger flashbacks.
Since, Alita: Battle Angel movie is only based on the first four volumes of the manga, so several plot lines and characters were not adapted for the film. Dr. Ido’s story differs a bit in the movie because he is not the main character in every arc of the manga. The name of his manga counterpart is Daisuke Ido. Rosa Salazar characterizes Alita as someone who is just discovering a magical world, but who also has a lot of command over her life. She’s innocent but not afraid. And when the time comes to protect those that she loves, she is ready. The only element in the plot that didn’t play out that well, was the romantic element. Character dialogues and moments of climax had scopes of improvement too.
Complexity in character building
Once Alita begins to unlock her potential as a Battle Angel, the movie has an awful lot to juggle. Not only the origin of her advance-tech heart (so powerful it could power the whole city for a year!) but the people who seek to steal it for nefarious purposes, including Ido’s ex-wife Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), another cybernetics doctor who works with Vector (Mahershala Ali) to create superpowered cyberathletes to compete in Motorball.
Alita and her romantic counterpart Hugo have an instant connection with one another and that plays a vital role in the story up to the very end. The revelation of Desty Nova in Alita: Battle Angel was one of the biggest surprises in the film. Desty Nova is a mysterious figure who is central to the final arc of the Alita: Battle Angel film. He possesses several bodies during the film and appears to Alita in flashbacks. Nova is also a major figure in the manga, and he becomes the main antagonist of the story.
Whether you think the storyline of Alita: Battle Angel is special or not, the movie in its entirety keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Despite its long duration of run time, It doesn’t drag and leaves you wanting more.
Since the movie ends on kind of a cliffhanger, we can only hope that the directors and producers will come up with a sequel. In the meantime, you should watch this one while it’s still running in the theatres because it’s a sensational experience whether you love futuristic sci-fi or not. Get your tickets from here.