By Shane Sellar
The Spy Who Dumped Me
The easiest way to tell you’re dating a spy is if they interrogate you during sex.
Sadly, the dumpee in this action-comedy won’t have a light shone in her face any longer.
Dumped by her globetrotting boyfriend (Justin Theroux), Audrey (Mila Kunis) and her friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) go to his house to trash it but are interrupted by armed man. Now aware that he’s a spy – and in possession of a desirable flash-drive – the women fly to Europe to return the Intel. But when he goes missing the friends must then trust is his CIA partner (Sam Heughan).
Featuring some of the worst jokes ever written, yet riddled with some brilliant bursts of rapid-fire violence, this buddy-comedy is quiet the dichotomy. Nevertheless this contrast is too distracting and both leads are annoying.
Besides, who wouldn’t date a spy? You get to taste all of their meals for poison.
The Darkest Minds
Teenagers already wield the greatest superpower around: they cannot be tried as adults.
However, the special abilities the teens in this sci-fi movie have don’t vanish at 18.
When a disease wipes out most of the world’s underage population, it leaves the survivors with strange new talents that the government colour code per individual powers. But when Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) registers as an orange, her power to possess minds makes her highly sought-after by a subversive group leader (Mandy Moore). Luckily, Ruby has friends to help make the right choice.
Boasting clichéd superpowers, pointless musical montages and a love triangle that dominates the majority of the story, this adaptation of the similarly named YA novel is the last vestige of the dystopian teen genre. Unfortunately, it does little to reignite any interest in the tired concept.
Incidentally, the easiest way to defeat any super-powered teenager is by giving them mono.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
There’s something about wedding receptions that makes every guy think he can breakdance. This musical demonstrates that they cause men to belt out ballads as well.
While Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) struggles to scribe a eulogy for her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), to recite at the grand re-opening of her hotel, the 1979 version of Donna (Lily James) graduates and spends the summer with three different suitors.[Text Wrapping Break]Back in 2018 Sophie’s fathers (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård) and her grandmother (Cher) show up to celebrate Donna’s life through ABBA songs.
Featuring the Swedish bands lesser-known hits, this time-travelling sequel to the 2008 adaptation of the Broadway musical is saved from the monotony of the present-day storyline by the 1970s cast, who freshen up the musty material. Nevertheless the male vocals remain an issue.
Incidentally, the worst thing about meeting the younger you is now you’re too fat to share any clothes.
Sorry to Bother You
Telemarketers call during dinner because most people eat alone and enjoy the company.
However, there is something more nefarious behind the interruptive calls in this comedy.
When Cash (Lakeith Stanfield) lands a telemarketing job, he struggles to get past ‘hello’ until Langston (Danny Glover) advises him to use his white-person voice (David Cross) when calling.
Soon Cash is closing deals, impressing his performance artist girlfriend (Tessa Thompson), and attracting the attention of the company CEO (Armie Hammer), who wants him to head up a new department. But the success comes at a cost when Cash learns what his employer actually sells.
A surreal and sublime satire of the current social state, this bizarre dark comedy from writer, director Boots Riley leads an all-out assault on American institutions, like, capitalism, slavery and reality TV with acerbic wit and imaginative shots.
Interestingly, when white people use their black-person voice they win Grammys.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
The easiest way to distract someone with the powers of a wasp is to spill a can of Coke.
Mind you, the insects in this sci-fi movie are too determined to be diverted by refined sugar.
On house arrest since he violated the Sokovia Accords, Scott (Paul Rudd) has been busying reconnecting with his daughter and starting a company with his friends (Michael Peña, T.I.). But when he receives a message from the quantum realm he must illegally suit up as Ant-Man and help Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter (Evangeline Lilly) locate their missing wife/mother.
In the same jovial vein as the original, this side-splitting sequel also adds a new dimension to the fold with Lilly’s Wasp, who not only makes an excellent foil to Ant-Man but she also amps up the action scenes.
And while Bee Woman was the first choice, she died after firing her first stinger.
The biggest problem with Internet urban legends is that the supernatural entities are always so judgy and mean-spirited.
Luckily, the meme monster in this horror movie doesn’t have very much to say on any topic.
When their friend (Annalise Basso) disappears, three teens (Joey King, Jaz Sinclair, Julia Goldani Telles) contact the fabled Slender Man, a featureless figure who haunts the web, for help in finding her. But during their meeting the girls make eye-contact with the gaunt giant and are cursed with madness. The only way to stop him now is to give him want he desires.
Inspired by the real-life legend that has claimed some real victims, this fictional account ignores reality opting for a more Bloody Mary vibe. Unfortunately, the scares are cheap, the acting amateurish and the overall execution is ham-fisted.
Besides, just like every scam on the Internet, Slender Man is really a Russian hacker.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
To solve America’s issues with Mexico the cartels should build a border wall out of cocaine bricks.
Instead, the Defense Department in this action-thriller has vowed to eradicate trafficking.
When suicide bombers detonate in Middle America, the Secretary of Defense (Matthew Modine) suspects the Mexican drug cartels were involved in getting them across the border. In retaliation he gives CIA operative Graver (Josh Brolin) carte blanche to start a war between the cartels by kidnapping the daughter of a kingpin. Graves hires a cold-blooded assassin (Benicio del Toro) to do the dirty work.
Lacking the moral center and unexpected twists and turns of the first Sicario, Day of the Soldado is a leaner, meaner, more action-heavy sequel that seems to revel in killing Mexicans. While both performances are gritty, the story is fear driven and hateful.
And while pitting cartels against each other can be risky, it worked in NAFTA.
When staying at a hotel for criminals it’s important not to give your car keys to the valet.
Fortunately, the guests in this action movie can easily steal another ride.
As L.A. residents riot over drinking water restrictions, two brothers Sherman (Sterling K. Brown) and Lev (Brian Tyree Henry) rob a bank where Lev ends up getting shot. To save him, Sherman goes to a nurse (Jodie Foster) who provides medical attention to felons from inside a fortified hotel.
But can those defenses keep The Wolf-King (Jeff Goldblum) from reclaiming the prize that Sherman stole from him during the heist?
Set in the near future for no real reason, this ensemble has the star power but the immoral characters they play are clichéd. And while the dialogue tries to sound slick it ends up as flat as the action.
Incidentally, criminals make the best patients because they never sue for malpractice.
The worst thing about working in the world’s tallest building are the nosebleeds that last 8-hours.
Ironically, the hero in this action movie is bleeding from everywhere other than his nose.
Working security since losing his legs in a bombing, former FBI agent Will (Dwayne Johnson) applies his tactical knowledge to accessing the safety of a 225 stories tall building. But when a blaze erupts Will’s blamed and hunted by police. Inside the towering inferno terrorists are holding Will’s wife (Nev Campbell) hostage until he hands over a hard drive containing incriminating evidence.
A blatant rip-off of superior hostage/disaster movies before it, this green screen laden imitator is incapable of contributing anything new to either genre. And while having an amputee protagonist is admirable, using their disability as a gimmick or a punch line is not.
Worse, when the elevators breakdown workers inside have to descend the world’s tallest staircase.
Unfriended: Dark Web
The dark web is just another feature for your Internet provider to exploit monetarily.
Fortunately, the users in this thriller don’t need a bundle deal to surf the dark net.
After accessing a computer he found at work to Skype with his friend, Matias (Colin Woodell) receives a message from someone concerning a disturbing video. He later learns the previous owner of the laptop was not only in to some nefarious online activities, but is also watching his every move. Now the mysterious owner is offing Matias’ friends in an attempt to get their property back.
Told entirely through laptop and cellphone cameras this stand-alone sequel is a slight step-up from its predecessor thanks to its topical storyline. Unfortunately, it squanders the secrets of the dark web by focusing on toothless jump scares instead. And the moral of the story is to never use a found laptop, just pawn it.
Eighth grade is that time in a young person’s life when they start experimenting with drugs that aren’t prescribed for their ADHD.
Mind you, the only high the teenager in this dramedy is looking for is the rush of getting Instagram likes.
Soft-spoken Kayla (Elsie Fisher) hopes her Youtube tutorials on self-confidence will garner a following beyond her single-father (Josh Hamilton). But as the end of the school year approaches Kayla’s popularity on and offline is at an all time low. Excited about high school, she starts hanging out with older kids and experimenting with sex, all in an effort to breakout of her introverted shell.
The most authentic depiction of the tribulations facing today’s iGen to date, this awkwardly hilarious and aptly directed coming-of-age tale perfectly captures adolescent dialogue, while newcomer Fisher brings empathy to her generation’s anxieties.
Unfortunately for today’s connected youths, it’s impossible to ever skip class.
He’s a Cold Snap Decision. He’s the…
VidiotAnt-Man and the Wasp, Eighth Grade, Hotel Artemis, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Skyscraper, Slender Man, Sorry to Bother You, The Darkest Minds, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Unfriended: Dark Web