Reviews: Wonder Woman, Baby Driver, and The Big Sick
Kevthewriter has reviews of three movies currently playing in theaters.
I wasn’t planning on seeing Wonder Woman. After hating both Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad, I thought I was done with the DCEU. But after hearing the reviews, I decided to go see the film and surprisingly I really liked it.
What’s most interesting about the movie is its theme of good vs. evil when it comes to human nature. While other DCEU films have tried talking about the nature of humanity and yadda yadda yadda, this takes it in an interesting direction by saying that people aren’t all good or bad, it’s not as simple as some would think. In the film, Wonder Woman thinks that all people are good and the only reason they’d start wars is because a god is forcing them to do it while the villain thinks all humans are bad and wants to destroy them all. But, as the film goes on, Wonder Woman realizes that people can be capable of being both. Basically, she learns that things are more complex than they seem.
Gal Gadot has also improved a lot. She was wooden in Batman V. Superman but here she has more emotional range than she has ever displayed in any of her movies. Chris Pine is an effective straight man to her overt optimism and they have nice chemistry together. It has some good action and nice cinematography, as well as some cool sets and costumes. My only qualm is the villain. The guy they got to play Ares at the end REALLY doesn’t look like someone who could be a god and it’s distracting. Otherwise, this was a really good flick. I don’t know if it’ll make me want to see Justice League but we’ll see…
When Ansel Elgort was announced as the lead, I remember reading a bunch of commenters basically booing the decision. And, I had to ask, why? Although, it might be because I’m just not familiar with his work. The only movies I’ve seen him in were the Carrie remake and Men, Women, & Children. He was terrible in Carrie but most of the cast was so I’d chalk that up to terrible direction more than talent. And in Men, Women, & Children, he was okay. In other words, I had no opinion of Elgort so I didn’t really mind this casting.
But Wright made the right decision because he was great in this movie. He really captures the quietness and awkwardness of Baby’s character. It’s a star making performance that will hopefully get him more roles in the future.
Wright’s direction is also to be commended on. The film thrives a lot on its soundtrack and uses it to set up the mood of the scenes very well. Wright basically uses the soundtrack to tell the film’s story, as he carefully picks certain songs to show what is going on in the scene. It also further shows Baby’s quirks and eccentricities, as his need to play different songs at different times shows just how odd he is, but also displays his personality very well.
The supporting cast is also good. Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Elza Gonzales make an interesting pair of villains and CJ Jones is good as a deaf father figure to Baby. In addition, the movie has some fun chase and action sequences.
But there are two complaints I had with the movie.
While Elgort and Lily James do have some chemistry, the love story by itself felt rushed. As a result, while I did care for Baby, it was hard to really root for them to get together because the movie didn’t do a good enough job of establishing their relationship.
A more minor complaint I had with it is that I wasn’t fond of Jon Hamm’s character being the main villain. He did a great job, don’t get me wrong, but the movie seemed to be setting up either Kevin Spacey or Jamie Foxx as the main villain of the piece so it didn’t feel right to have Hamm end up as the main bad guy by the end of the film.
Otherwise, this is a fun, stylishly directed film with great action sequences, a well used soundtrack, a likable lead, and a good supporting cast. While some of the things about the script could have been done better, it’s still an enjoyable time at the movies.
The Big Sick
One word to describe this movie is charming. The whole cast, from Kumal and Zoe to Ray and Holly to even the supporting cast are charming, hilarious, and have a lot of chemistry together.
The movie also has a lot of heart. When it’s funny, it’s funny and when it’s serious, it can actually be pretty serious as well. It’s a movie that actually manages to effortlessly combine drama and comedy together. It never feels like the comedy or the drama is forced in, the transition between the two genres flows nicely.
The movie also incorporates interesting themes of honesty, religion, and family and nicely interweaves them into the script.
I don’t know if I’d say it’s quite as great as critics are making it out to be but it’s still a charming, nice film that balances comedy and drama well and has likable characters with nice chemistry.