After she is mentally liberated, Lucy (for some reason) becomes a different person – determined, brave, philanthropic, and just a hair's breadth away from all-knowing. And in some damn impressive high-speed chase sequences, with awesome telekinetic displays of power, she can travel through the 4th dimension. With this transcendence, Lucy tears through the story...like those advanced aliens from Independence Day vs. some anthill on earth on a ranch in Elmendorf, Texas.
Taking place just two hours before the onset of the next bloody purge - in which all of "America Reborn" acts out their deadly anger without fear of legal repercussion - The Purge: Anarchy takes off in 2023 with a new cast and new characters. What is not new is what the film seeks to accomplish, which is exactly what the first one did (only, this one does so a little less effectively).
Like the first Planet of the Apes revamping, this film has spades of action, tons of story, and a strong emotional appeal throughout, as it keeps audiences torn between rooting for their own kind and a new race of super-apes.
The film's remarkably static intelligent undercurrent shows the intellectual and emotional growth of Caesar as a leader who can make complex moral decisions and advance his cause, thereby reminding us of what fortifies character. The problem? Well, how about why audiences would ever be expected to go for such a premise behind a remake in the first place?
And while Eric Bana (Hulk, Vantage Point) and Édgar Ramírez (The Bourne Ultimatum) work great together, the writing behind who they are and what they are doing is left hanging in a wishy-washy, unoriginal patchwork of a film that is neither interesting, nor scary.
Director Robert Stromberg (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hunger Games) gives us Maleficent, a cunning re-invigoration of the story of Sleeping Beauty, the tale this time told from a much more modern point of view, with a newfound respect for acknowledging the dualistic nature of personhood.
An experiment involving students at Oxford in 1974 leads a skeptical few to realizing that the force they seek to reduce to terms most familiar is far more sinister and deadly than they can imagine.
Wanna know what I can't imagine? Why a film with such fine and devoted acting can't do anything but occupy space as another "show up the skeptics" piece of cinema where the supernatural elements are over-utilized and where sudden shocks and cheap "jump" surprises typical of possession-style horrors unjustly dominate the screenplay.
The narrative has nearly enough cohesion to work, but to no avail. The CGI, however, is magnificent (probably the only thing in this film that is).
This one features new dragons, some twisty new protagonists, and a new fiercesome competing tribe led by a ruthless conquerer (Djimon Hounsou, voice) who seeks to subvert dragon powers for his own dictatorial purposes, and the emergence of Hiccup's mother (Cate Blanchette, voice).
It's nearly everything a sequel should be, minus some not so soothing pacing, and what seems to be more of a teenaged appeal.
This one doesn't quite offer up the succinct focus as what we received the first time around, but the adorable characters remain as enchanting as ever.