F9: The Fast Saga

Vampire Owl: How fast are the things around here?

Vampire Bat: Well, you know the case with this particular franchise.

Vampire Owl: They are surely not faster than us.

Vampire Bat: Well, humans have enough scientific inventions to go faster.

Vampire Owl: You feel that they can match the inventions of Dr Frankenstein?

Vampire Bat: Mr Frankenstein is not a real scientist, and he is not one of us.

Vampire Owl: You keep repeating the same, but he has blended in.

Vampire Bat: He even has some really bad teeth and breath.

Vampire Owl: He tests his own elixirs by drinking them, which causes this.

Vampire Bat: Well, those are the drinks which taste like Sprite or Sprint all the time.

[Gets a green apple cake and three cups of white tea].

What is the movie about? :: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who has stopped all his dangerous and adventurous activities is not settled down with his wife, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and child. Good old friends Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Parker (Chris Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) arrive at their location in the middle of nowhere with news about a plane crash. They ask Dominic and Letty to help them in recovering something important from the plane, as it involves Cipher (Charlize Theron), one of their biggest enemies, whom they defeated with much difficulty. Dominic feels that he is done with all of these activities as they now live for the child, and nothing else. He is reminded that Cipher, the murderer of Dominic’s son’s mother might be free now, and all set to enjoy her life, while committing more crimes against people and nations. He still disagrees, but as Letty tells him that this is not what they are, he decides to join her who had already started. It is also because he realizes that his lost brother Jakob Toretto (John Cena) is also involved in all of these.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: After searching the crashed plane, the find a device called Project Aries, which has the ability to hack into any computer-controlled system. The team is then attacked by a group of mercenaries led by Jakob who manages to steal the device, while the team of Dominic just manages to escape in time. The device seems to be something which can end the world. Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) also joins them against the advice of Dominic. Letty and Mia goes to Tokyo to investigate and discovers that their old friend Han Lue (Sung Kang) is alive, while Dominic who finds Jakob is arrested by his financier Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) who has his connections and is also holding Cipher hostage. But he manages to break out, while Roman and Tej finds help. They will soon have to meet up in Edinburgh, where Jakob is using an electromagnet to steal the other half of the Project Aries device. But the question remains if the team is up to the challenge. Well, this is also about family for Dominic, but in another way.

The defence of F9: The Fast Saga :: Well, we know what the Fast and Furious series of movies have been coming up with – they are fast and they are indeed furious. There is a lot of mind-blowing action happening around here, not just with the cars racing and fighting, but also with a good amount of melee combat and gunshots which are also around. The final battle seems to be huge, as one would expect from this franchise. The cast is also once again at the best, and the new addition only make things better – they are all the superstars of the blockbuster level like never before. Well, what was seen in the trailer was quite less – there is a lot more of flying and destruction to follow. It is the kind of action for which the screen might seem to be rather small. The movie also adds a strange, but still effective emotional side to the same. The fans of the franchise are not going to complain, as there is no shortage of what they have always wanted. Being fast and furious will only continue to be what the name suggests for years to come, as the scope for sequel is also provided around here.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does have the problems in letting its characters die – it should actually do that and let others just take over. Now, it seems that some people won’t even die of old age if there was the chance. Then, we keep missing Dwayne Johnson – there is nothing as furious as The Rock; maybe I even wanted Jason Statham after Hobbs and Shaw. You can always have the Transporter and Mechanic around here while adding three heads without hair on one mission with a lot of muscles to go with the same. For action, they could have actually gone a more classic way rather than bringing so much of destruction without trying to make more sense out here. People might also get tired of being tired of having too many brothers and sisters coming out of nowhere, as much as the dead people coming alive. If someone had to be brought back to life, the best choice for that was Gal Gadot, but they seem to find it easier to get all other back here, maybe because of some cost concerns. The repetitions are surely there, and it makes things difficult to rise above a certain level.

The performers of the soul :: Vin Diesel is here doing what he would have done with Dwayne Johnson on his side, and this time he has to manage with less muscle power on his side, as he is also missing Jason Statham. He does what he has been doing for a long time yet again, as he has to do a lot of racing as well as the fighting with him being the big guy once again in the absence of competition on his side. John Cena who becomes the new addition to the lost family also comes up as a fine antagonist, a strong one without doubt. Among the lady leads, Nathalie Emmanuel does come up with the smartest work, while Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez have their moments of big action too. But the one true antagonist is played by Charlize Theron, who will always be among the best of them all, an actress who suits all roles very well. In comparison to that character which seems to be on the way to becoming the big eternal nemesis, Thue Ersted Rasmussen plays the rich antagonist who is supposed to fall in short of plans. Among all of these, Anna Sawai also leaves us with some moments to remember – she could have more of Hollywood for sure.

How it finishes :: F9: The Fast Saga is that movie which is not that different from the previous movies. Fast and Furious itself is nothing less than a genre all by itself. There are not many people who haven’t wanted to watch any one of the sequels in this particular franchise, and most of them have done the same on the big screen at the time of its release. Well, the franchise surely isn’t done yet, as there seems to be two more sequels coming up to finally end the series. The series hasn’t managed to increase its level, as most of the interesting and believable things have been done already, and highest point seems to have been already reached earlier. Yet, people seem to be still in need of more action – they keep hoping for more all the time. If it is so, there is none other to serve with so much of entertainment, even though at times feeling like going for an overdose. The best thing about this series though, is that they have managed to make it look so good, and with this suitable, they surely know how to get the audience in support too.

Release date: 25th June 2021
Running time: 150 minutes
Directed by: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell

<<< Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Fast and Furious 8

Vampire Owl: I remember that a movie in this franchise once inspired me jump of the top of the cliff.

Vampire Bat: And then what happened?

Vampire Owl: And I used my wings to fly away.

Vampire Bat: That doesn’t really sound furious at all.

Vampire Owl: That was a furious leap of faith.

Vampire Bat: You have wings. You are an owl. I don’t see any need for faith with jumping off the top of anything.

Vampire Owl: But my wings could stop working at any moment, like yours.

Vampire Bat: It is of no concern of yours, because I can fly with my mind.

Vampire Owl: What does it take to prove my furious character?

Vampire Bat: Maybe, do the fast and the furious when there is an occasion?

[Gets three cups of iced tea with a piece of strawberry cake].

What is the movie about? :: Dominic Toretto a.k.a. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are spending their honeymoon time in Havana, Cuba – there are still races, and the two seems to be enjoying it a lot at the port city and capital. All has been going well for the two until Dom comes across a cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) who seems to have something with her that makes him work for her, turning him against his family – it feels more like he is left with no choice. Meanwhile, unaware of this, the Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has his special moments with his daughter cut off when he is asked to get an EMP device from a military centre in Berlin. For the same, he turns to Dom and Letty, as well as the remaning crew, including Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Tej Parker (Chris Ludacris Bridges), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and himself going on the mission.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: The mission begins and goes on as planned, as they are successful in stealing the device. But after the same, Dom goes rogue, and takes the EMP for himself, getting it to Cipher. Hobbs is captured by the authorities and sent to prison while the rest of the team is left confused with no clue about what is happening. Imprisoned just opposite to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), both ends up escaping, as the man known more as Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) takes them with him without giving them a chance to beat up each other. He, along with his assistant whom they call Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), recruit the two, along with the remaining members of the team to track down Dom and Cipher, who seems to be planning something huge, which is to become a permanent threat for more than one nation.

And what is to follow with a twist of events? :: Deckard has his own reasons to find Cipher and teach her a lesson. They track Dom using the device known as God’s Eye, and they are found to be at the exact same place – Dom and Cipher arrives with their own team and steals the device, leaving the heroes with no option to trace them anymore. Cipher is not finished though, as her plan goes for more than just an EMP, as she aims to go for nuclear ability. Dom remains her main man in achieving the same too. But the question remains about what advantage does Cipher has over him, and what has kept him doing what she needs him to do. Well, the team is surely thinking about the same, and also looking for an opportunity to stop him, as Dom and Cipher have become very close to bringing mass destruction around, or even beginning another world war. Who can stop the man who is so good at what he does?

The defence of The Fate of the Furious :: This should be the biggest of the Fast and Furious franchise in terms of action and thrills, as one has to wonder if it can go any higher. The humour is also good. There is one sequence involving the cars being hacked and remote-controlled, with those vehicles moving everywhere, out of control, quickly going through the streets, taking off from showrooms, and even falling down from the parking on top floors – you see so much happening along with the attempt at stopping Dom. Then there is that final long scene involving one nuclear submarine and a lot of ice; the franchise does know how to make things bigger and bigger. The action sequences might not be able to get this good with any other franchise, as we had already seen how XXX: Return of Xander Cage had struggled despite having Vin Diesel in there too – there should be something about this franchise, for it comes on top each and every time.

Positives and negatives :: A definite improvement from the last movie by a margin, and better than the movie before that, and also before that, The Fate of the Furious is the flick that you don’t wish to avoid at any cost, even if you are tired of watching this kind of thing – this one brings everything back in style, and we have Charlize Theron as the villain; it is something that elevates the whole movie even more. She is one actress who can nail this at any moment. With Vin Diesel doing what he has been doing so well, we also got Dwayne Johnson, or The Rock, going Hercules again, even though there could have been more fist fights for him. Then there is Jason Statham, as the rock solid one, as he has been more than just the Transporter or the Mechanic for long. Even Luke Evans gets a little bit of action around here. Tyrese Gibson and Chris Bridges are once again fun, and Nathalie Emmanuel brings the extra charm. Michelle Rodriguez is there doing the usual, and she has a great chemistry with Vin Diesel.

How it finishes :: Where XXX: Return of Xander Cage had was not much fun, The Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie the franchise comes so good. Well, as Priyanka Chopra had chosen the wrong movie, Baywatch to make a Hollywood impact, Deepika Padukone had chosen XXX: Return of Xander Cage. One has to wonder how it would have been, if she was in this movie instead of that one. The fact remains that nothing matches the Fast and the Furious movies in its content – with the talk about the family and a certain code of honour among its characters Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto will always be superior to Vin Diesel as Xander Cage. Dom is a person that we will love to love, while Xander is someone who gets none of that love, cent percent not from the family audience and those who see things from a matured angle – even his Riddick will get more love in that case. Well, you can trust The Fate of the Furious with the same, and only hope that no Bollywood movie, especially an nth sequel of Dhoom will steal from this flick.

Release date: 14th April 2017
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, Tego Calderón, Luke Evans, Helen Mirren, Don Omar

<– Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Vampire Owl: Are they as cool as our guardians?

Vampire Bat: But we haven’t really appointed any guardian for the New Vampire World.

Vampire Owl: I was referring to ourselves as the guardians.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that we are qualified enough to take over as the guardians anywhere.

Vampire Owl: It is relevant that we refer to each other as guardians.

Vampire Bat: Does that accomplish anything?

Vampire Owl: Well, with great power comes great responsibilities.

Vampire Bat: You haven’t been responsible since the last red moon.

Vampire Owl: Which is exactly why I need this.

Vampire Bat: You really don’t need a reason for that, and there is absolutely no need for prior experience in the same.

[Gets the tickets with masala tea and cheese popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: Star-Lord Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have improved their positions as the Guardians of the Galaxy, and are more famous than ever. Due to the same, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) the leader and the high priestess of the golden people known as the Sovereign, assigns to them, the task of protecting their high-powered batteries from a monster out of space – she assigns the same to the Guardians as she hesitates to waste the life of anyone belonging to their high class species. In return, the high priestess had offered Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s sister who was caught trying to steal the same batteries. The Guardians are successful in stopping the monster finding its weakness, and are given the thief in return, along with a display of high priestess’ contempt for them. Nebula does maintain her hatred for her sister and continues to thrive on the same.

So, what happens next? :: But it turns out that they are chased by a group of drones remotely controlled from Sovereign, as Rocket had stolen a few batteries for himself, much to the dismay of Peter Quill and Gamora. They are very much in trouble, but are saved by Quill’s father, Ego (Kurt Russell) who destroys each and every drone before the Guardians crash on to a nearby planet. There, Ego accompanied by Mantis (Pom Klementieff), an alien with empathic powers, greets the Guardians and reveals to Peter who he is. Quill, Gamora, and Drax travels with him to his planet, while Rocket, Groot, and Nebula in bondage stays behind with the ship being repaired. Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) who is living a life in exile, is contacted by Ayesha to punish the Guardians for their crime. With his team, he makes a quick visit to Rocket and captures him, only to be replaced as the leader by Taserface (Chris Sullivan) in a mutiny supported by Nebula who gets herself free.

And, what is to follow next in the galaxy? :: Ego’s planet is revealed to be his own, and seems to have no other life form other than him and Mantis. He reveals himself as a celestial creature, something like a god, and shows his ability to manipulate matter to his son. He tells Peter that despite assigning Yondu to deliver him as a boy, that never happened, which is why their meeting took so long. Ego lets him know that he had been searching for his son all around for a very long time, but couldn’t find any success with the same until then. Meanwhile, Drax gets closer to Mantis who seems to have something to tell him. At the same time, at the other planet, Rocket, Groot and Yondu are imprisoned by Taserface as he kills the men loyal to Yondu. Nebula takes a spacecraft to go and find Gamora and kill her, while Taserface decides to finish off the executions on the next day. Gamora also feels that there is something strange about Ego – what would that be? Can the other guardians escape captivity in time?

The defence of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 :: The best thing about this flick is that it can stand alone, and not just as the volume two. The visuals are undoubtedly great, and the fact that it is in 3D adds to the same. The music is also really good, and it keeps the whole thing going along with the humour which scores even better than the previous movie. With some wonderful action sequences to go with everything else, you are certain not to miss the entertainment factor in this one. Running just over two hours and a quarter, this movie has absolutely no moment which makes you think about not having watched this one. The emotional side is also too good, and it is also another improvement from its predecessor. The most interesting characters in this one are Karen Gillan’s Nebula and Michael Rooker’s Yondu – there is no prize for guessing which one is the cutest one, for that one rules the poster at more than one place.

The claws of flaw :: One has to say that three years means a little too much of a gap between two superhero movies, especially with this tale and heroes not that much popular ones at least in this part of the world – people seems to have forgotten most of the action from the first part, but thankfully, this one can stand alone except for very few occasions. The regular viewer is certain to wonder who was defeated in the first part and for what reason was there for the same to happen. Also, the movie hesitates to explore the universe beyond, and it was something that could have been easily done with Sovereign added – more is always possible in this case when we see the premise again. We know what the game Mass Effect had achieved with a universe like this, and that proves the same – even though there is the comic book base, more could have surely been done differently in a world without boundaries.

How it finishes :: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is certain to be a very entertaining superhero movies to all kinds of audience, with the world or rather the galaxy needing to be saved once again. There are so many interesting superhero movies coming up, some of which we have already seen the trailer including Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman, we are certain to have a big year here. This remains one immortal genre, and with superheroes all around, we will keep having more movies to follow. As they keep coming, this movie improves on the original Guardians of the Galaxy, and becomes the entertainer that needs to be watched in 3D on the big screen to get the maximum effect. Visually too good a movie and with good humour and emotional side, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 becomes one the rare sequels which become better than the first movie – it is something which superhero movies have struggled to even as there are exceptions. Well, it is the time when Alien Covenant is running the show on other planets.

Release date: 5th May 2017
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Fast and Furious 7

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Vampire Owl :: Its been quite a long time after the release. What took you this many days to watch this one?

Vampire Bat :: I just couldn’t get the tickets, even at the more local theatres where audience usually avoid the English movies.

Vampire Owl :: I thought so. After all, this was a much expected movie of the year, not as much as Jupiter Ascending for you, but still you seemed to avoid this one.

Vampire Bat :: I waited for the queue almost everyday for the first show, but couldn’t manage to get a ticket, only now I managed it now because they changed this movie to the bigger movie hall switching places with the other one.

Vampire Owl :: Well, there were other ways, but I know that the Vampire Bat never do a ticket reservation. He just stands in the queue everyday.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, all this for the privilege of watching this movie with such an audience who turns into chaotic people when the lights are switched off.

Vampire Owl :: The darkness of the theatre is scary, I mean it is not even the real darkness but created by man.

Vampire Bat :: It is a dangerous place indeed; strange beasts roam around, some of them howl, others whistle and few others talk in a language which comes out as abuse.

Vampire Owl :: So, it has worsened. This is why we should watch movies more at home rather than anywhere else.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but I have already watched this one and is ready with the review.

[Leaves for the tea shop].

What is it about? :: With Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his team defeated, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew might have thought that life was going to get simple and without problems, but they were wrong. It comes to light that the old villain had an older brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who hopes and strives for revenge on the crew who put his brother in a terrible position, and for him, vengeance is beyond that word – he is like a man custom made for things like these. After Han-Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang) is killed, a bomb explodes which puts Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) as well as their child in a precarious situation, and the protagonist decides to take things into his own hands. After the funeral of Han, the team will return for their final mission, but that won’t start with the attempt on taking the big Shaw down; there will be more to it.

The defence of Fast and Furious 7 :: The action is fast and furious, thus posing no scope to bring any challenge to the name of this movie. The movie is more action than any other element, and wastes no time in getting to it; the vengeance element stays strong and so does the tendency for turning into a heist movie in parts. The comic side also work, just at times. The cast stays strong, and the power of the action sequences can never be questioned. There are also some free lessons for Bollywood if they are making any disgusting sequels to Krrish or Dhoom – they should learn something and not copy – don’t go down to the abyss while making the next movie in one of these two ridiculous sequels.

The claws of flaw :: We can’t have this one at the top if we consider the other movies of this genre or those of the same franchise. The transformation into a full action movie with revenge as central theme might bother some fans, and this one is also free of any possible racing elements which some people might have wanted. The action sequences do ask for a lot of willing suspension of disbelief, even more than you used to do, with this franchise. May be there was the need to set a limit, but being fast and furious should go beyond the limits, if we go into deeper thoughts about it. Another problem might be about the story going predictable, but that also just comes with this one.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is a fine tribute to Paul Walker, and it was good to watch him doing what he always did the best. We will surely miss him if a sequel or a reboot for this series will ever come to us. Vin Diesel is fine as usual and continues his good run in the series even though I have always liked him more in Riddick as the titular character. Still the best moments of the movie goes to Dwayne Johnson who has more awesome seconds in the beginning and end, making so strong an impact. You will know that he is the one true cavalry. Jason Statham wasn’t that much of an interesting villain here as expected, even though he does deliver a punch or rather a number of them. I would say that a different “type” was needed here with the character. Nathalie Emmanuel looked amazingly good in the movie, and was a very nice addition to this one.

Soul exploration :: This certainly works as that wonderful tribute to Paul Walker as his final movie. There are some very nice stunts featuring him, and the final few scenes which provides a beautiful farewell to him. This was never going to be an easy job after his demise, but they have surely managed well. Once again, the movie itself is all about family and brotherhood – something that continues with the same power. Fast and Furious 7 has its heart and soul right there. The emotional moments are all about supporting the same, and there is very fine success there. There is something clearly for the soul there, and it feels so good.

How it finishes :: Fast and Furious 7 is that movie which had a wonderful reception here, far beyond the expectations. I waited so long to get a ticket not in the malls, but at those local theatres, and finally got lucky on a Thursday just because the movie was changed to a bigger movie hall. This is actually expected to do more here, as it is the final movie Paul Walker, and the cast includes people like Dwyane Johnson the Rock, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham. Yes, add them to the cars and we have a lot for the audience here. The next week also has some holidays in the form of Ambedkar Jayanthi and Vishu, and after the big Easter weekend success, this will only earn a lot more, and may be go on to become the biggest grossing Hollywood movie at this part of the world.

Release date: 2nd April 2015 (India); 3rd April 2015 (US)
Running time: 137 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, John Brotherton, Ali Fazal, Noel Gugliemi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.