Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 27, 2024

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 27, 2024

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Rated R for sequences of strong violence and grisly images

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

In Theaters

With the immense success of 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, writer/director George Miller decided to give us the backstory for Charlize Theron’s Furiosa with this huge prequel.  Set many years before the events of Fury Road, a young child Furiosa is snatched away from The Green Place of Many Mothers by an evil Warlord named Dementus (Chris Hemsworth).  Forced to watch her mother die trying to protect her, she must first find a way to survive before she can strategize her revenge.  If you love the world of Mad Max, then this is a film that should have you excited, and you’ll probably walk away very happy.  It is a big, epic revenge thriller with many of the elements from all of the previous films.  I’ll admit that many of the big set pieces are just grander visions of the chase scenes from the last film.  While they look new and cool, they are largely unoriginal and they take away from the real spirit of the film, which is about vendetta at all costs.  Surprisingly, much of the film follows Furiosa as a young girl and it takes half of the film before Anya Taylor-Joy steps into the role.  She looks a little frail and fragile for the part in all honesty, but she is a fantastic actress and manages to fill Theron’s shoes just fine.  The real star of the film is Hemsworth, who manages to be a perfect sadist with a warped sense of humor.  You couldn’t have asked for a better villain for such a project.  As you would expect, the production is stellar and Miller really wants to give the audience its money’s worth.  But it’s two and a half hour running time seems pretty long and there are many moments when the film drags where it shouldn’t.  It’s one of those “I liked it but didn’t love it” kind of features that has the bones of something much better, but does a good enough job in entertaining, even with its limitations.  B

Hit Man

Rated R for some violence, sexual content and language throughout

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

In Select Theaters Now, Streaming on Netflix on June 7

Texas writer/director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Bernie) brings us this great little comedy, based on a real life character, starring fellow Texan Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) as a school teacher who moonlights with the New Orleans Police Department as a fake hit man trying to set up people looking to hire one.  When a beautiful and vulnerable women (Adria Arjona) attempts to hire him to kill her abusive husband, he stops her before she can get arrested, and then ends up starting a steamy relationship in the process.  While the film is mostly a comedy, it certainly has its dark elements as the plot begins to twist, but it also turns out to be one of the most entertaining films we’ve seen this year.  And while the film could have ended up being a predictable farce, Linklater keeps the movie fresh and nuanced, with a huge amount of creativity combined with a constant eye on how real people could or would behave in similar situations.  This authenticity elevates the film while still delivering the laughs and the thrills.  The movie also gives Glen Powell a huge steppingstone to what will most likely be a huge career.  But more than anything, I especially loved how Linklater turned the life of a very interesting dude named Gary Johnson (who passed away in 2022) into such a wild and crazy adventure that, while it might not be completely true, you really want it to be.  A