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A Letter From Atlantis: Aquaman Review

 

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We, the people of Atlantis would like to share our thoughts on the movie Aquaman.

First of all – congratulations to DC for finally making a movie that makes it into the billion-dollar range. CONGRATULATIONS. We’re happy for you – even though you made it by creating an Atlantis VERY DIFFERENT from the one we live in.

Now congratulations are out of the way, let’s get down to it.

Queen Atlanna was the most realistic of all the people who supposedly come from Atlantis – though, swallowing goldfish? Really, ‘Queen’?

But we’ll let that pass.

 

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You should wonder though – right after us, what it took exactly for the runway queen to fall in love with the lighthouse keeper. Was it because she had never seen a man before? Wait; supposedly there are males who look exactly like that in that Atlantis. Was she trying to shame the Atlantean king she was arranged to marry – or was it just ‘woman’s intuition’ that guided her to him – after all, they were destined to parent a fishboy?

 

As an aside – she didn’t run very far, did she? Ran all the way from Atlantis – only to stop at a lighthouse right at shore. Not very queenly – by our standards, at least.

 

And the child who would be king – what exactly is his ‘why’? He carries the guilt of being the reason his mother was sacrificed – but that’s about it. Everything else he carries is on the outside – tattoos and a six-pack that makes him look like he could out-superman Superman – and no kidding. We saw that movie too.

 

 

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By the way, this child who would be king could NEVER be a king of ours. Why, you ask? Well, you have to wonder why a supposed king would know his way around Atlantis in one movie (Justice League actually) and suddenly need help in another movie. Could it be the alcohol?

And oh, we get the ‘Arthur’ narrative – but making him journey to earth’s core to pull a sword (well, trident, same difference) out of stone (a dead king’s grip) to prove his kingship – come on. Is originality still a thing up there?

We guess not, seeing how this story is just many parts Black Panther, many parts Thor and so on. Let us not even talk about the redhead whose job it is to show this wannabe king just how inept he is. So what exactly qualifies him to be king? Birthright?

Still, there is a lot to like. Down here, our opinions differ on certain parts of the movie. I like the detailing – like how Mera’s ceremonial dress was made of jellyfish and seagrass. I mean, an octopus as a ceremonial drummer?! Sign me up!

But not all of us feel like that.

Some of us feel like the colors were garish and over-bright and that you have NO IDEA what Atlantis is supposed to look like. The computer-generated fish and lobsters are icky. Maybe, but I understand the need. I mean, what else could you have done?

The bad guy, Orm is more like we would expect our king to be; decisive, strong and bold – and completely in the right. Of course, we expect you surface dwellers to disagree; after all it is your world he is threatening. However, consider this; if you’re not stopped, all of sea life is in jeopardy. How hard a choice is it to make then?

 

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Though, for the record, we all laughed when he said ‘no, don’t call me king. I am Ocean Master’. Yeah, alright.

 

The second bad guy – Black Manta too stole our hearts. But did he have to look like a manta? No offense – it is hard to take anyone in that kind of helmet serious. Even he kept mumbling his name – but his performance was – .

 

 

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Your actor, Mamoa would have been better suited playing that white-faced bounty hunter, Lobo who lives for the fight. There’s nothing royal about this upstart, hardly anything Atlantean about him either – except that he can talk to fish and glide under water. And also, it was good seeing Wilhelm Dafoe on the side of the angels again (John Wick, anyone?) – but he is quite wasted in the role, as is Nicole Kidman, our beloved (insert underwater snort here) queen.

We like Mera – even though we thought she is the token ‘strong woman’, and we also think it is cute how she goes from all-savvy Atlantean to out-of-her-depth Atlantean. I mean, eating roses?

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Yuck. And the ‘romance’ with Arthur? That shit looked like it belongs in Zee World.

All in all, a thoroughly entertaining movie which stayed mostly true to its source – which; as I explained over and over to my fellow Atlanteans; are comics, and not home.

 

 

 

 

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SATAN: A Dark Comedy Review

 

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The lights come on, and there’s a girl in a rumpled choir gown singing ‘Hallelujah’. As her singing reaches its climax, she throws off the gown to reveal the body of a lingerie model, clad in an outfit designed to make a stripper blush.

 

And that is our introduction to Joy Isi Bewaji’s SATAN: A Dark Comedy, a play which, at its worst is a laughter-filled thrill ride, and at its best, is a thought-provoking, humor-filled satire. Written and directed (her debut) by Joy herself, it is a lean (the play clocks at around 40 minutes) but loaded production.

 

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‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you’ seems to be the theme Joy wants the viewer to take away. Right away, we are presented with a lamenting ‘devil’ who relishes the opportunity to finally share his side of the story. And then, he goes on about his business, never making anyone do anything – just giving ‘helpful’ suggestions and nudging them in the way they ALWAYS wanted to go.

 

There’s the adulterer who, when confronted with Jesus’ name comes up, says ‘Jesus?! He was never married! What does he know about women, lust and love?!’ There’s the wife who continually skabashes – and yet a loud noise is enough to send her scampering for safety. There’s the ‘ambitious’ lady who, after being passed over at the office decides to take a more direct approach – basically, a montage of the everyman and the things he struggles with. The laughs come steady and without fluff or emphasis, the dialogue, though long at times, is completely natural.

 

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The thing about the stage is it’s a raw, honest medium that doesn’t cover for any thespian. There are no special effects or retakes or special editing sessions where mistakes are hidden behind camera angles, and poor delivery is made up for with redubs. Also, unlike the big screen, on stage the feedback is immediate. It’s clear if the play has the crowd or not, what went wrong and at what point it did. More often than not, the weight of the work rests on the shoulders of the actors – and, they can make or mar a production.

 

The cast of Satan come with their A-game, or at least they did for the performance I witnessed. It took a bit, for some reason they were somewhat dull at the beginning – but they quickly got into their groove and delivered a stellar performance. High up on the list is Satan himself, seducing and suggesting and singing and moaning and sighing and ranting with a flair that echoes everything we know about the character he plays – whether fiction or fact. The other actors too give him great material to bounce off, and their expressions are a joy to watch.

 

Joy’s innate fearlessness shines through in her choice of theme, dialogue – even down to some costume choices. Her directing is brave and confrontational – and even though one may wonder if the struggle between good and evil for the soul of man can be narrowed down to logic and choice, the play is strong enough to encourage wondering.

 

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And though some of the cast were a bit extra with the acting in a couple of scenes, though some of them spoke with weird accents initially, though the light guy dozed off at points; leaving the lights on when they were supposed to be off, watching Satan: A Dark Comedy was a worthy experience. One I intend to repeat come Sunday – and this time, with a bunch of friends.

I suggest you do too.

 

Peep the flyer below to catch the next show times.

 

SATANI O

 


Quick Review: Ant Man and The Wasp

 

Ant Man and The Wasp is a ‘chilling’ kind of movie.

 

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The type of movie that puts the ‘chill’ in ‘Netflix and you-know-what’. The kind of movie to be watched on a Saturday evening between Premier League matches. The kind of movie you watch with your special someone, just holding each other.

Nobody’s here to save the world; we have Tony ‘Stank’ and the bearded Captain and ‘The Blek Pentha’ and Odinson and the Widow who was never married and the Scarlet flyer and – we have them for all that.

We’re not that ambitious. We’re just trying to remind you of the things we mere mortals care about. Like love. And family. And loyalty. And faith. And how children are little blessings – whether male, female or confused. And how love, faith and hope, and of these three…

LOVE.

 

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It’s the kind of movie that reminds you why it’s important to always do the right thing – no matter how unsure you are. The kind of movie that shows you how it is possible; despite all your good intentions, to be the bad guy in someone else’s story. And that’s okay.

It’s okay, because you won’t answer to them anyway. You’re responsible to yourself and to God – if you believe in that – and really, that’s all that matters. As long as you can look yourself in the eye and know; in the most secret places of your heart, that ‘I did what I thought was the best thing’.

Last last, we go dey alright.

Ant Man and The Wasp is the kind of movie you watch with your significant other, who can make cold akara taste like manna from heaven just because you’re eating it from his/her hand. It’s the kind of movie that makes you look them in the eye and remember all the things that made him/her/them your special someone.  It’s the kind of movie that makes our great Nollywood write shit like ‘nine months later’ on the TV screen.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Oga/Madam, if you’re single, don’t go to the cinema to watch it o. Stay in your house, or ask Google where it is showing online. It’s for your own protection o.

I’m not even playing. Some guy nearly got himself slapped yesterday because he had forgotten he was single, and in one particular tense moment, grabbed the nearest someone – who happened to be somebody else’s special someone.

DISCLAIMER 2: If you were screaming during the high-octane scenes of the Fast and The Furious, if you like high-stakes adrenaline movies, this one IS NOT for you.

Stay in your house.

Danke.


Avengers 4 Plot or How I Bring Them Back

 

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‘Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives’.

With those ominous words Thanos introduces himself in the much-heralded Avengers Infinity War, ten years in the making. Standing in the smoking and smoldering pile of what was once the remainder of Asgard, the mad titan makes an entrance that rivals narcissist Stark on his best day.

 

For the next heart-pumping (or heart-rending, depending on how you choose to see it) minutes, Thanos goes through our favorite characters like a sandstorm through the desert, decimating folk like a shredder does paper. He beats the jolly green giant so bad he (Hulk) doesn’t want to come out ever again. He sacrifices the one person he professes love for, Gamora, his daughter for the Soul Stone, and destroys Vision much like the bot we refuse to accept that he is – but which he really is.  If truly, Thanos is destiny as he described himself in one scene in the movie, then there’s nothing bright and hopeful about destiny.

It is gloomy, destructive and uncaring.

True, the purpose is balancing a clearly-overburdened galaxy which Thanos undertakes with a determination and focus that puts the best of our so-called world savers to shame. Clearly the star of the movie, Thanos has a gravitas that makes him the most superior of Marvel villains and the second-best onscreen comic villain in over fifty years of comic movies.

More on that later.

The focus, for now however is what direction the sequel is likely to take. And here, we get into the spoilers.

 

Avengers-Infinity-War-Iron-Man-Robert-Downey-JrAvengers 4 is the end for Downey Jr. as Stark – Best case scenario, he does what Pepper has been asking him to for over ten movies; hang up the armor, marry and start a family of smaller Starks (Morgan, anyone?).

Worst case scenario: he dies fighting Thanos – and NO ONE will forgive Marvel for that.

 

 

Stark is important in defeating Thanos – In a particular scene, Strange is magicking and when they ask what he’s doing, he says he went into the future to see if they win. Of the millions of scenarios he peeked into, they only won one.

Earlier in the film, he tells Stark if it came down to choosing between saving him (Stark), his ward (Spider-Man) and keeping the Time Stone away from Thanos, he would not hesitate to let them die. Yet, after Thanos got one in heavy on Mr. Stark and is about to kill him, Strange gives up the stone after Thanos agree to spare Stark. My theory is in the one scenario where they win, Strange sees Stark is important to defeating Thanos so he gives up the stone in a pyrrhic victory scenario.

 

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Avengers 4 is also the last time we’ll see a lot of the originals – After Thanos gets the last stone from Vision’s head, he does the one thing he meant to do all along; snap his fingers (off-screen) and obliterates half the universe. They don’t show him doing it; however we see people slowly begin to disintegrate. Off go Black Panther, Spider-Man, Falcon, Bucky, Star Lord, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, Mantis, Drax, Nick Fury, Maria Hill – to wherever it is comic characters go when another cosmic-powered comic character snaps his fingers. The thing about those who left VS those who stayed is the former is composed mostly of people who just started their MCU Spider-Man has at least one more movie after Avengers 4. Same goes for Black Panther. Same for The Guardians, and, if I’m correct, Dr. Strange. Besides, I’m quite sure about Ant Man and Wasp becoming part of Avengers 4. So, I won’t be too unduly worried about those guys.

They’ll be fine.

 

 

The post-credit scene ending has nothing to do with the Captain Marvel movie – At least, that’s what the facts as we have them now say. According to gist coming out of Hollywood, the first Captain Marvel movie will be set in the 90s, so there’s little chance of Infinity Anything showing up in there. However, I’m quite sure she’ll be a major part of Avengers 4 – hence Nick sending out that distress signal. I’d like to know tho – how the hell does a clearly analog device display colors like that?!

Hell. Nick is the super-spy, no?

 

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Iron Man and Captain America will reunite – That one’s a no-brainer. I mean, Stark had to at least know there would be some of the good guys left on earth. The first thing would be to rally the forces, take a head count and know what the odds on their parts are. And the first step in that would be to reconcile with Steve – even though his ego would want to get in the way.

 

 

There’s going to be the granddaddy of all smackdowns with Thanos in the middle: Even though the ending shows Thanos ‘retiring’ in a quiet corner of the galaxy, sitting and watching the sun set, somehow the Avengers interfering and bringing everyone back will be sufficient enough to make him put on the gauntlet again. And he’s definitely getting into it with the larger Avengers team – all at the same time.

 

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Those are my theories as far as the final Avengers movie goes. What’s yours?

 

Thank you for visiting!


Freebies: Dumb Things In Infinity War.

 

 

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Some things that made no sense to me in Avengers Infinity War:

 

If you hate spoilers, do not proceed beyond this point. You have been warned.

 

  1. How did Heimdall, who can see all nine realms, not see Thanos coming?
  2. What happened to Korg, Valkyrie and Miek?
  3. Why did Heimdall choose to save Banner?
  4. How did he know Dr. Strange’s address?
  5. Why was Black Widow/Steve surprised to see Banner? He called them, no?
  6. Why did Thor need a new hammer? Did Thanos’ punches make him forget what Odin said in Ragnarok?
  7. Really, who send Thanos?
  8. Why did Thor need a new eye?
  9. Again, what the fuck was Red Skull doing in Infinity War?!
  10. Strange could have ended that fight in over a million ways. A simple one; why didn’t he do to Thanos what he did to Dormamu?

 

Please, if you have a better explanation that ‘plot armour’, do share. And if you have some other things that also made little/no sense to you, please share too.

PPS: If DC committed a third of the atrocities this movie is guilty of, na Zack Snyder and im family alone go watch am. Bias much?

 


Avengers Infinity War Spoiler-free Review: 10 Years Worth!

Ten years in the making. Ten years in the waiting.

 

Is it worth it?

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Well…630 million dollars (as of this morning) would say so!

From the moment Robert Downey Jr. donned the Iron Man suit, we’ve been made to feel like this is the moment we’ve been waiting for – even though that isn’t true. However, it could be because that 2008 movie marked the first time an Iron-suited Avenger would appear on the big screen – but that wasn’t the biggest clue.

The biggest tip was a certain post-credit scene.

Anyways, after 18 films and roughly 114/15 billion dollars in profit on a 3.7 or billion budget, Marvel decides to bring their 10-year plan to a climax.

Roll out the drums for Avengers: Infinity War.

 

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It’s simple really. Uncle Big-Bad Thanos who spent the last 10 years (or 18 films, depending on how you look at it) sending acolytes to gather the Infinity Stones finally decides it’s time to step up to the plate and serve himself. Or, as he so clearly put it in the Age of Ultron post-credit scene, ‘If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself’. So he decides to go around the galaxy to gather the stones and then, right the scales of reality – a task he elected to do himself – or at least, with help from his genetically enhanced alien henchmen The Black Order (Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw (the talkative), Cull Obsidian & Curvus Glaive – read a comic!).

What follows is a throw down of galactic proportions.

 

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Random strands of events conspire to bring our heroes together and splitting them in two factions – Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider Man on one team, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Black Panther, Scarlett not-so-witchy Witch, Vision, Okoye, Black Widow, Falcon in another. Together, they form the resistance trying to stop Thanos from his goal – annihilation of half the galaxy’s population – one team engaging with him directly, the other team trying to stop him from getting the last stone.

How well that went is anyone’s guess.

For me, Thanos was the show-stealer here. I remember watching an interview in which Josh Brolin, the man who did voice and motion capture for the huge titan and also plays Cable in the coming Deadpool 2 said he had more fun playing Thanos than Cable. It took seeing this movie for me to understand and agree with that sentiment. As far as bad guys go, Thanos makes a compelling argument for the award for The Best Villain In Comic Movies. Personally, only one villain outshines him –

Again; your guess.

Of the many, many things to like in this movie, how everything came together is the best part for me. The Thor, Loki, Hulk, Heimdall narrative was well done and compelling as an opener and a setup for what was to come – but even then, nothing can prepare you.

 

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The cast inhabit their characters well, as much as I dislike Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda, she had a more prominent role than usual – and that was good for her. It was nice to see the Captain not be in uniform and yet, never more ‘captain’ than in his moments. I wanted more of a reunion between Black Widow and you-know-who – but I didn’t get it. Time?

Of course, Downey’s Stark is still quite an important part of the whole thing – and never more important than when Strange surrenders something and his only explanation is ‘There was no other way’. If you can’t work it out yourself, chill. I got you – shortly.

I also liked seeing Tom Holland more as Spidey than Peter. I have made it clear before; his Peter Parker doesn’t much work for me, but his Spider Man, the tiny hero with the heart of gold who always tries to do what’s right – he is a winner. Check out the Iron Spider suit!!!

One of the things that irks me about Marvel movies is how sometimes they try to retain the character’s comic truth – but can’t be bothered to put it in the narrative so they mention it in passing.

Case in point: Gammora.

 

Through the first two Guardians movies and even now, in Infinity War, we’re constantly beaten over the head with how she is ‘the most ferocious woman in the galaxy’ and in the comics, this was/is true. Gammora’s exploits are the stuff of legend. Can you say the same for the movie version? She doesn’t even appear particularly skilled in fighting! I understand the need to power down most of the movie versions of these characters – but power them down and shut the fuck up! They kept referring to her as that, and yet in the movies her sister Nebula is more fierce than she is.

Suckers.

Anyways, I doubt I need to tell you this movie is a must-watch. While there’s so much you’ll have to wait a year for closure on, go ahead. Be entertained.

And then, get yourself the stone of patience. A year is a long wait.

 

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Yup. No ‘stone of patience’. I just made that up.

Lame much?

 

 

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Have an Infinite-Goodness week!

 

 

*I don’t own copyright on any of the images. They belong to each of the respective copyright holders.

 


Movie Review: New Money/Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay/Tomb Raider

 

So I have not been writing reviews for a minute.

I’m busy. So much so.

But I haven’t exactly abandoned my second first love. I still see movies as often as I can, as much as I can.

Having said all of that, I won’t be writing detailed reviews like usual – at least, not for this one because of the volume of stuff I need to get through. But I will do enough so you can decide to enjoy or pass on any of the three following:

  1. New Money

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Not a bad movie – which is to say it isn’t all that great. The lead actress, young cutie Jemima Osunde who apparently is a Shuga star as well (sorry, don’t know much about these things) gives a strong performance as a girl who finds out she’s the daughter of a multi-millionaire CEO who passes before he can do more than touch her cheek. He leaves a video message – and more or less bequeaths the entire chain of companies to her. Falz is the hungry boyfriend who sees all the advantages of dating a naïve girl with a good heart.

As a side note, that faux Yoruba accent thing Falz does is borderline annoying at this point. Sure, Folarin is an amazing actor. I just think he would fare better in serious roles. His jokes as Kwan, the main character’s primary love interest (oh, she has secondary and tertiary love interests; just watch) were not amusing in the least – though there were people laughing in the cinema.

Kate Henshaw is her mother, a struggling, kind woman who owns a restaurant and seems to never be out of depth. Dakore is the official wife who can’t have kids of her own – you see where this is headed, right?

Some other supporting characters gave brilliant performances, and shone whenever they were on screen. Jemima, in my opinion, has a bright career ahead of her. She did well.

 

A fairly predictable film, it does have flashes of brilliance but not enough to take it into ‘amazing’ or ‘breathtaking’ space. Still worth a watch if you have nothing better to do.

 

 

2. Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay Animated Movie

 

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As usual, there’s another mission for Task Force X. However, there are a couple of twists to this one. First is the lineup. We have the usual suspects (well, usual for 2016 moviegoers) Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang – and then we have a throwback from the original comics’ lineup, Bronze Tiger and then, we have Copperhead, thrown in for some reason, and then Killer Frost.

The story is as usual – get something done for Amanda Waller who, in this incarnation has lost quite a bit of weight and looks more like her DCU counterpart as played by Viola Davis. However, she didn’t lose all that weight because she was weight-watching; she lost it because she’s sick and dying. She needs some insurance – and therefore, the Squad is out on the road again.

It’s an interesting one; the Deadshot here is somber, calm and world-weary. Bronze Tiger is the one character who believes in a higher power and refuses to work with killers and criminals. Harley Quinn, who is a much-beloved character of mine, is disappointingly under-utilized here.

She provides comic relief is all.

A lot of DC characters show up, Vertigo, Punch and Judy, Vandal Savage, Professor Pyg, Scandal Savage, Knockout, Zoom, Silver Banshee, Blockbuster – all appear at some point, and yet manages to clutter up or slow down the movie. It’s not great great – but it’s a fun watch and waaaaaaay better than the live-action movie.

Not in cinemas – and I can’t share my copy. Sorry.

                         

 

 

3. Tomb Raider

 

 

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If you are old enough to have seen the original Tomb Raider, you probably will remember her as a sexy heroine in bum shorts who never looks flustered or stressed – no matter what is going on around her. Better yet, if you are old enough to have seen the original movie and played the game, you would have realized some things didn’t ring true for Angelina Jolie’s portrayal.

Like how she could take a mud bath and emerge without a hair out of place. Like how she manages to look sensual no matter what (this quality is one I feel distracted a lot from her tremendous acting ability) I watched the movies and I hated them – because they looked nothing like the Lara Croft I saw in the games.

And then, Alicia Vikander was cast as the new Lara Croft.

I had hopes. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of Vikander’s, I knew it was going to be a departure from the slinky sexuality of Jolie’s Croft. And that I looked forward to.

In that regard, I wasn’t disappointed. This Lara’s physicality is imposing – if exaggerated at some point. She’s just starting out; so there are several skill gaps but all of those details come together to give (me at least) a heartwarming viewing. The story and plot were choppy and reminiscent of several similar movies, the villain was just there, someone to provide a foil to Lara’s ambitions – but the character; Lara herself shows so much promise. I want to believe the next film will be the bomb. I believe so strongly.

Worth a watch. Beware; however, you might nod off in the middle.

 

 

Well. I hope I have done justice to these films. Have you seen any of them? What do you think? Please let me know!