June 24, 2018
MBW was away at a conference it Atlanta. You know what that means: more reviews of films you all saw months ago. Now, working the day job, writing, and taking care of the HA can wear a man down some. So I have to admit I went to bed early a couple of times. Therefore I was only able to catch up on two movies.
First up, Black Panther. This is a film thoroughly enjoyed by many, one that resonated with a lot of viewers. I’m not inclined to tell someone he’s enjoying the wrong thing, that his fun is invalid. So, if you liked Black Panther, great. It didn’t work for me, though. There were a few good action scenes. Some of the visuals were impressive. Not all, however. The CGI fights of our titular hero looked false, like some of the early Spiderman movie effects. The whole lost world vibe can make for cool story, but it is hard to swallow nowadays in a world encapsulated with satellites. And the writers suffered from Star Trek syndrome, with characters suddenly forgetting the technology at their disposal, thus allowing a problem to continue for dramatic purposes that they should be able to settle without difficulty. A lead character with the immense resources of an entire kingdom at his disposal ought to be in a better situation than BP allowed himself to suffer.
The setting didn’t work well for me. I had trouble rooting for a tribalistic monarchy. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Then there’s the end. If BP suddenly wished to benevolently share his country’s tech and resources, why not start with his neighbors? When comparing levels of poverty and disease, frankly Oakland doesn’t match the neediness of say, Senegal or Sudan or Namibia or…you get the picture. Start in your own backyard, man. (Yes, BP did tell the UN he was going to share with the world, but apparently the first priority was — California.)
I’ve enjoyed most of the Marvel offerings, so I went into BP with good will. But, as with the second Thor flick, it failed to entertain me. YMMV. But c’mon, armored rhinos?
Second, The HItman’s Bodyguard. Now this one pushed the right buttons. Near John Wick level action but with the hyperkinetic comedy snark of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Note to writers: a simple plot limits the likelihood of plot holes. There were some, if you trouble to think about it, and the action was — as is always the case with these films — implausible. No one should be able to long survive the trauma these characters do. But you know going in that’s in an action comedy. The film delivered precisely that. Plus Salma Hayek. Recommended with a couple of beers and a bowl of popcorn.
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am.