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My thoughts on Old (2021), Escape Room: Tournament of Champions 2021, Candyman (2021), Free Guy (2021) and Kate (2021)

Shyamalan's Latest has an interesting concept but fails to make a true impact. It doesn't help it feels very similar to an old mystery show called Lost. Somehow you just know that the explanations for the mystery is going to be a disappointment. Not that I was rooting for me to be surprised. For quite a bit I was hoping the film would get to me or in the least would terrify me. Thing is that Old never truly challenges you. You aren't made to be challenged. It also does a poor job of actually showing what it really would be like if you found out you and everyone around you are aging rapidly. Some of the people involved already were pretty looney tunes. It made it real hard for me to root for them. Although while it wasn't what I hoped for I did like the ending. If only not to have felt like the viewing experience was a complete waste of time. 

The sequel to Escape Room falls victim what a lot of sequels suffer from. The original was already pretty far fetched. But this part goes beyond. Any credibility is gone especially concerning the survivors of the original. Why would you subject yourself to the same predicaments when you barely made it? And when it is real clear the people behind the escape rooms are really powerful and almost omnipotent. The traps weren't creative or fun. I can't even remember the deaths and it's just been two weeks ago I watched the film. There is nothing memorable or iconic. Kind of a drag!

It's not that long ago I watched the original and was surprised how well it holds up. And how dark and sinister it actually is. Like the sequel it has a social commentary however that never feels forced or artificial. In the reboot / remake / sequel or whatever you want to call it almost everything feels forced on you. Even why Candyman exists. The new perspective completely demystifies him and turns him into an anti hero of some sorts. While I liked it at a specific moment in the film I don't think I like this take. The original Candyman is quite ruthless and scary. In this one he is not. If a horror film is not scary it should at least be creepy or super disturbing. It's none of those. And I don't get it. Jordan Peele has demonstrated how to build up tension and atmosphere. But perhaps he didn't want to interfere with Nia DaCosta's direction. She certainly infused some style to the film only without the suspense it's pointless. 

There is one redeeming element but is not something I can discuss without spoiling. It could be THE reason for me to check out the sequel if that is going to be made. For now it's a major disappointment. 

Free Guy is a surprisingly charming feel good film about a NPC (non playable character) in a videogame who develops a will or intelligence on it's own. Villain Antwan (Taika Waititi) and the world aren't really ready for this and want him annihilated. For the most part this is a fun and action packed adventure that can be real touching at times. I wished it had gone a little deeper into the A.I. and the philosophy behind it like Soul managed to do. Still I had a blast from start to finish so I can't really fault the film for have added layers. It completely blows away Ready Player One (which I liked) since it gets to the point a whole quicker and feels less bogged down by pretension and ambition.

Kate is another film about a female assassin (The Protégé, Gunpowder Milkshake and The Doorman) which borrows the action from John Wick. This shouldn't be that surprising since David Leitch also was involved as a producer. It's not quite to the same level of John Wick or anything made in Hong Kong in the Eighties and Nineties but it was more serviceable and entertaining than the others I mentioned. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is very convincing as the assassin and it's refreshing to see that she does struggle and get hurt because she is physically weaker than the men she is up against. However it is a very forgettable film and there is nothing truly memorable about the film. A real shame if you ask me since the finale easily could have been longer and more hard hitting. Still I had enjoyed myself and these days that counts for something.

Also check the Heroic Bloodshed page for more Gun Fu titles:


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