Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 4, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 4, 2020

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 30%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Vin Diesel stars in this comic book adaptation about a soldier who dies in battle, only to wake up as a government super-solider who is almost unstoppable. The movie hit theaters with a thud in mid-march due to COVID-19 and immediately went to streaming for $20 a pop to try to help recoup its large investment. Technically the film looks great, with bigger than life set pieces and decent effects. It also helps to have a supporting cast like Sam Heughan and Guy Pearce. Where the movie ultimately fails is its inability to deliver a final product on footing with its dark tone. In order to make this a genesis story for a hopeful big franchise, the studio decided to make this a PG-13 picture, probably to pick up a younger audience. But it’s not PG-13 material and that really hurts it in the end. Also, it so desperately wants to be Iron Man (and even scored the Iron Man 3 villain in a similar role) that it becomes overly predictable throughout its entirety. But in the end, it almost works, and just might find an audience with such a small amount of competition out there. C

Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Available on Netflix

We may not be getting a string of big theatrical releases priming us for a big tentpole summer, but Netflix surely threw out a surprise with its new big-budget actioner starring Chris Hemsworth as an Australian mercenary who is hired to retrieve a drug lord’s kidnapped son in Bangladesh. The film looks and feels like it could have been a moderate hit in theaters, as it is original and interesting enough to keep you engaged throughout. Personally, I loved the setting and the villains, as they both felt new and different from what we are used to, giving the film a novel edge, even though we’ve seen this story before many times. And you can’t beat the leading man as Hemsworth is perfect in this role, delivering a flawed hero worthy of spending two hours with. By the end, it is basically still a mindless and extremely violent action film, but one that many folks will enjoy, especially since they get to watch from the comfort of their own home. B