Alright, sure - Charlize continues her ascension to the top of the action hall of fame, and it's deserved! The story is whatever, and certainly isn't a gamechanger for the spy genre, but the fighting is well-choreographed and some of the needle drops are fun. I'd watch it again, despite the male gaze dominating nearly every shot of Theron.
Kevin Hart has so much infectious energy, and Dwayne Johnson is obviously likable (admittedly not his most likable role), but this just didn’t come together for me. Hart’s character arc is frequently interrupted by random action sequences (which vary in quality), which come and go only to find Hart in a different place mentally. It’s not even cheap character development - it’s non-existent. Danielle Nicolet is a real winner tho.
Go figure - I like a Star Wars movie. We live in an interesting time where our expectations for a franchise built on the success of a single film back in the 70s hinge on the very same cultural phenomenon. Filmmaking has certainly changed in the last 40 years, and Star Wars has changed with it. For all the stunted idol worship we've given the series, it still manages to produce exciting and adventurous films. Yeah, some of the best…
Review from the Louisiana International Film Festival premiere
Damn me for liking this movie. The first 25 minutes tried REALLY hard to get me to walk out, but by that point I realized that the story was actually doing a good job of... being a story. And the characters were well-rounded. And the romance wasn't contrived. And it was (mostly) uphill from there. I'm genuinely happy that this film was a literal surprise (this was a secret screening held under lock and key until the moment it ran onscreen) and that I was not expecting to see it.