‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ Film Review

Two years after Sonic the Hedgehog surprised and impressed audiences with its blend of character-accurate CG (which couldn’t have been possible without the cry of outraged fans who were unlucky enough to catch the first trailer back in 2019) and witty humor, we get a sequel that seems to promise more Sonic adventure with the addition of two classic characters, yet upon further viewing becomes much of the same in terms of comedy and hi-jinks. I was one of those people who was not as impressed with the first Sonic, as it felt more like a mid-2000’s kids movie based on a cartoon a la Alvin and the Chipmunks or Smurfs (The latter in 2011, but still). Not even the presence of Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik was enough to save the experience. Cut to 2022, things seemed to have changed. Carrey sported a look more in line with the Dr. Robotnik we know and love, while the introduction of Miles “Tails” Prower and Knuckles the Echidna, and a plot involving chaos emeralds seemed to ensure a Sonic film worth seeing. While Sonic 2 improves on the adventure aspect, it seems held back by an attempt at being a family-comedy.

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‘Mortal Kombat’ (2021) Film Review

Mortal Kombat (2021) - IMDb

The original Mortal Kombat from 1995 was as decent of a video game adaptation as one could be. Sure, it was cheesy and the effects have not aged well in recent years, but one thing it had was a sense of self-awareness; it relished in those corny effects and dusty atmosphere, making it feel like the video game that it was based on. The only thing it was missing, however, was enough bloodshed and brutal fatalities to give it the R-rating it so desperately needed. When the original game was released, it caused controversy among parents and politicians for its use of graphic violence, causing the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) to come up with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to ensure that what children were playing was or was not appropriate for them. Now, after twenty-six years, we finally get a live-action Mortal Kombat movie with all the gore, profanity, and crudeness that make for an R-rated extravaganza!

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‘Pokemon: Detective Pikachu’ Film Review

Grade: B

Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith in Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Two decades have passed and Pokémania is still sweeping the nation. Fads come and go, but this phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, as long as there are new creatures and worlds to expand. Its popularity only seemed to go strong with the rise of an app called ‘Pokémon Go’, causing many a lazy butt to go outside and a generation of millenials to become social, yet never have we had a live-action ‘Pokémon’ movie until now. ‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ is just as fun as a movie set in this world could be; elevated by great effects and the charm of Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the electric-type creature.

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‘Tomb Raider’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider (2018)

When it comes to Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander may not be Angelina Jolie, but then again, she does not need to be; this ‘Tomb Raider’ is different in terms of tone, style, and source. The reason I say this is because while Jolie’s portrayal of Croft was taken from the old-school PlayStation games that harbored many a teen crush on a female video game character – leading to action-adventure B-movie fun, Vikander’s turn is from a grittier source. Back in 2013, a mature reboot of the ‘Tomb Raider’ franchise came about; spawning a new generation of fans. While I have never played the new ‘Tomb Raider’, I figured that Hollywood would one day do its thing and make another movie.

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Film Review

Grade: F

Assassin's Creed Movie Poster

It may have weapons, action, the look of a video game movie and Michael Fassbender, but the film adaptation of one of the most popular video game franchises next to ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Call of Duty’ is not just the snoozer that this year’s ‘Warcraft’ (another adaptation of a popular video game.) was, it is also the most mindless, confusing, PG-13-rated excuse of a movie that tries to pander to fans and gamers alike, yet can’t work as an actual movie. Besides Fassbender, you also have Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons to join the cast, but they really can’t save this film. Instead, we are left to sit through video game-like cinematography featuring a cameo by a CG-bird that flies every now and then, poorly handled action sequences with the choppiest editing I’ve seen, (which is thankfully not as frustrating as the editing in ‘Moulin Rouge’) and a plot point that seems to flip-flop with the point it’s trying to get across.

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