Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movie reviews some of the biggest theatrical releases.
SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (theatrical release)
Tensions continue to mount at the US Mexico border as drug cartels have begun smuggling terrorists into the US. Josh Brolin returns for this sequel as government agent Matt Graver who’s sent in by the CIA to interrogate a suspect after a grocery store bombing in Kansas City. He’s a no-holds-barred kind of guy who will stop at nothing to bring down a terrorist. The bombing is traced back to a Mexican cartel led by Carlos Reyes. The President wants to declare these cartels as terrorists, so Graver sets a plan in place to kidnap Reyes’ daughter and frame another cartel for the kidnapping in order to start a war between rival cartels. In order to pull this off, he propositions former operative Alejandro Gillick to join the mission as an act of revenge for Gillick after Reyes killed his family. The kidnapping goes astray when Mexican police intercepts it, and Gillick’s loyalty to the girl versus the mission changes as his paternal instincts kick in.
-Starring: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine
-Sequel to the 2015 film that also starred Emily Blunt. Her presence is missed as well as the film’s original director.
-Benicio del Toro is completely captivating to watch. He’s the kind of “silent” actor that never fully lets on what his character’s thinking or doing at any given moment. He pairs well with Josh Brolin who’s the opposite of that. Del Toro really brings out the personal side to this movie elevating this story behind your standard action thriller.
-“sicario” is a hitman hired by Latino mafias, while “soldado” is Spanish for soldier
-There is a pulsating nature to the film right from the first scene. The stakes are always high where any wrong move by Brolin or del Toro’s characters has drastic consequences on the young little girl and the relationship between Mexican and American governments.
-There’s a lot going on to the story as we see how these cartels and human trafficking affect two different generations. The writing makes it easy to follow while showing the complexities at hand with how we deal with the border crisis. I hope this gets people talking about the very topical issues happening in America and to look at them through a variety of angles.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Only if you don’t mind its violent, gritty, and timely nature.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (theatrical release)
Since we were last on the island of Isla Nublar, the island is in rough shape. Heavy rains have had a lasting impact on the land and there is an active volcano that could erupt at any moment. There are a few dinosaurs remaining on land as well as living in the depths of the water. It’s become a heated debate on whether the government should get involved in saving them or let God run its course on killing them with the eruption. Eli Mills is the new head of Hammond and Lockwood, the company that originally founded Jurassic Park twenty-five years ago by John Hammond. Hammond’s best friend Benjamin Lockwood still lives at the estate but is on his death bed. Mills is looking to rescue the dinosaurs and seeks help from Claire to gain access to the control system on the amusement park. What he’s specifically after is the cherished dinosaur, Blue. It is Claire’s job to then wrangle in Owen to come back to Jurassic World one more time as Blue was his little baby. After they barely escape from the exploding island (that’s given away in the trailers), Claire and Owen find out far too early that all is not what it seems at the Lockwood Estate.
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Rafe Spall, Jeff Goldblum
-Ranks as one of the worst sequels in the Jurassic franchise
-You almost forget that Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are supposed to be the stars of the movie. They’re the heroes we should be counting on, yet Owen and Claire are treated like background figures most of the time. They have a brother/sister type of chemistry as they work together, but any sort of character development is thrown out the window.
-It’s sad when you don’t care about any of the new characters in a sequel. Far too much time is spent on greedy, ruthless villains looking to keep dinos in cages selling them for profit. You count down to when they are able to escape and eat up the plethora of annoying new characters.
-The first section fumbles as it attempts to get everyone back on Isla Nublar and then off again. The pacing feels rushed most of the time, yet you don’t get the feeling like the movie’s really going anywhere constructive. Its attempt at finding humorous moments falls flat.
-If there was an adoration and wonder for dinosaurs in the original or even Jurassic World, all of that is gone in this film. It’s lacking the excitement that Spielberg perfectly captured in the original.
-The script is downright terrible with horrible dialogue and unrealistic actions taken by the characters. Yes, it’s about dinosaurs, but you still want some sense of plausibility.
Is It Worth Your Trip to Movies? All the strong moments are in the trailer.
RATING: 2 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
INCREDIBLES 2 (theatrical release)
The Incredibles have to be careful, as being super heroes is considered unlawful in the city. When the Underminer wreaks havoc on the city, they feel no choice but to step in and save the day. Teenage daughter Violet is in full teen angst mode as she’s told to watch after baby Jack-Jack, and then on top of that, she exposes her real identity to one of her classmates. Mr. Incredible and his wife Helen/Elastigirl are taken into custody after all is said and done due to the destruction on the city. Their pal Frozone ices his way out of there without notice. They’re not the only ones frustrated with the laws set in place against super heroes. Businessman and tycoon Winston Deavon and his sister Evelyn are looking to fund a program to get super heroes back in good graces again by setting up publicity for them. They choose Elastigirl to be their first model as the evil Screenslaver makes his mysterious presence known. As she’s off working, Mr. Incredible is playing the role of stay at home dad for the first time. Violet is moody, son Dash is excessively energetic, and then there’s Jack-Jack, who starts to unleash uncontrollable powers of his own.
-Featuring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener
-It’s been fourteen years since Pixar created their own super hero movie, and Incredibles 2 is well worth the wait.
-It’s continual proof of Pixar’s magic as the special effects utilized are far more impressive than your standard live-action blockbuster.
-The movie is part super hero action flick and part comedy thanks to the scene-stealing Jack-Jack. If he was a darling little cutie in the first one, now he’s turned into one of Pixar’s funniest characters to date.
-Incredibles 2 is a celebration of parenthood, and the incredibly hard work everyone puts in to be the heroes of their family and the collaboration it takes to make the whole family unit work.
-Pixar wants the audience to question stereotypical social and gender norms with making Elastigirl the working mom with Mr. Incredible being the stay at home dad. He learns quickly how much work it is to be a stay at home parent.
-Parents will want to take note that there is one sequence that is quite dark and possibly too scary for little littles going in.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Pixar is firing on all cylinders with a Marvel-caliber super hero movie.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS