Right, finally got the to opportunity to see some actual good movies this week. This here is the real deal and what you should be spending your money on instead of Morbius or Fantastic Beasts. Watch these following three titles, starting with…
Everything Everywhere All At Once. (I feel almost compelled to add commas to that title.) We have another A24 picture, after last month’s X and it’s directed by the guys behind Swiss Army Man, a solid movie I reviewed ages ago. It’s also the most recent indie darling to blow up with general audiences, similar to Squid Game from last year. Either because it’s a movie about multiverses and it’s just something to hype up because the new Dr. Strange movie is coming out in a few weeks, or it just happens to be that damn good. Both are valid, but I’m also more than happy to just agree with the latter as Everything about being Everywhere All at Once is that good.
The story is nicely set up in the frantic opening with Evelyn, running around after everyone in her laundromat/home. Then on the way to the auditors her husband suddenly acts like a completely different person, and states she is the only person who can save the multiverse. While the rules of travelling between different realities sounds confusing at first, the film definitely impressed me with how they went about explaining it as the exposition is scarce and it mainly just shows you what it’s unique gimmick can do. I didn’t know much about the movie before going in, but I wasn’t expecting it to be the most funny, entertaining and insane ride I’ve had in the cinema for a while.
The movie takes full advantage of its premise especially when it comes to its action scenes. It’s mostly martial art fighting, but this movie adds an absurdity factor, where any of the characters can just summon random abilities from another universe to help in the fight. This usually involves completing a stupid task to get said powers, but the results are always unexpected and hilarious. These elements also help keep the action fresh, as there is always a new ridiculous and creative method for fighting, which makes every new set piece feel like it’s your bloody birthday! Other factors to the great action, is the fast editing and music, which not just carry the action, but the rest of the movie. The multiverse is also used for other creative outlets as well, such as to give us some wacky worlds, along the lines of a live action Rick and Morty. It’s also used for dramatic purposes as well, which is mainly achieved through our main villain, who I won’t share any specifics on, but this is probably my favourite since starting the BC. All the acting from the main cast is fantastic. Michelle Yeoh is great as our lead, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis were also amazing in their roles. Though Ke Huy Quan as Evelyn’s husband Waymond is the standout, as he’s very lovable and displays so much range in the characters he plays. It’s also quite hard to believe that he hasn’t done any serious acting since he was a child actor in the 80’s playing Short Round and the techy Asian kid from The Goonies.
I Don’t really have any big negatives for this one, besides the fact it’s kind of out there, however, I feel confident enough that this can be ironed out on a second viewing. Everything Everywhere All At Once, I expected worse, but instead I got one my favourites of the year. It’s a movie that makes me glad I saw this in cinemas and one I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing again. Want to watch a movie that is definitely going to be better than the new Dr. Strange movie, then check this out, but do that regardless, as this offers a new unique movie going experience, that seriously requires your attention.
Next is another mouth full of a title, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The movie I was most looking forward to as it’s about Nic Cage playing an absurd egotistical version of himself and as an admirer of his craft this was way up my alley. Although after seeing The Northman, this would easily be my least favourite out of the three on here, but don’t let that diminish the fact that this is still a fun entertaining movie in its own right.
Nicolas Cage (Who I’ve only just realised I’ve been spelling it as Nicholas Cage for all these years. I deserve to be crucified for this.) is always working and never has time for his family, especially his teenage daughter. Gone are the days of his action career when he was in Con Air, Face/Off and The Rock, but Nic is trucking along with his job as an actor, while his imaginary friend Nicky likes to remind him that he’s actually a star and he’s Nicolas Fu******************************************************************************king…. Woo Cage! Things change when Nic meets Javi a real admirer of the Cage and a guy who the CIA have their eyes on, because he runs some big cartel group and has kidnapped a royal. That’s pretty much it, it’s a fun action comedy with a really entertaining Nicolas Cage performance, and has great chemistry with Pedro Pascal who plays Javi. That’s what makes the movie and if you want more than that, then you have come to the wrong place.
I was disappointed by the fact that they didn’t really delve into the Nic Cage lore and as to why having him in movies is so special. They mainly just reference that he starred in a particular movie and not explain why he’s so great in something like Face/Off or Con Air or any of the movies he’s been in. Cage is so over the top in Face/Off, with the crazy expressions he makes and how he delivers his lines, it made for such a memorable fun performance and Cage is one of the key factors as to why Face/Off is such an entertaining action movie. Similar circumstances can be applied to The Rock, while not as over the top as Face/Off, I don’t think anyone could have pulled off the lead role better than Nic Cage. He’s got some really funny lines in that movie, that wouldn’t be as great if it weren’t for Cage’s delivery. The biggest crime is they didn’t even reference Vampire’s Kiss in this movie, not even to use for meme material, like they did for Con Air and The Wicker Man.
Overall I enjoyed this movie for what it is as it’s certainly fun and it’s nice to see Nicolas Cage in a major movie again. As a fan of the man I would have loved to see it go more over the top, but I understand it’s a studio movie and that isn’t possible, so I’ll take what I can get and call it a day.
Final movie for this post, The Northman. From director Robert Eggers the guy behind the weird horror darling, The Lighthouse, comes a more mainstream version of that, but also with a mix of Hamlet and Conan the Barbarian.
Set during back when Vikings were a thing we follow the story of a young boy who sees his father being murdered by his jealous uncle. Years of shirtless fighting later he is ready to honour the oath he set himself and get his vengeance. That’s the plot, the story is more interested in being character focused and being a dark epic, which I’m all up for. The first time we see Tarzan as a man with his Viking brethren attacking that fortified village (shirtless of course) sets the stage for the rest of the film. Savage men violently killing people and claiming whatever property they choose fits the bill of what I imagine Vikings were like and the complexion of our main character, Amieth.
The Northman is easily the least fun out of the three we have discussed, which is fine as that wasn’t what the film was going for and it succeeds in other avenues mainly for being very bleak. Eggers’ directing is what makes this movie, from the camera work, lighting, production and the score. The way he makes his movies very dark and also pretty weird as if they’re almost a dream, you don’t want to end. The characters also help sell the film as they’re quite rich, which I’m not very used to in a big Hollywood film. Amieth who borders on being a good guy, has quite the journey as the noble savage bent on revenge, who travels through darker and darker territory as he gets closer to his target. The film makes the point he’s more a beast than a man, as for most of the movie he’s hunched over like a bear, which is likely a metaphor for the lack of humanity left within him. (I only think of that because there is other symbolism like that throughout the film.) The acting is also great, I often enjoy a good Alexander Skarsgård performance, as he’s great at being an immoral human and sells the practical performance of being big and not wearing a shirt. You also have Anya Taylor-Joy delivering another great showing, Nicole Kidman is great too, and it’s interesting to see she’s now played both Skarsgård’s wife and Mum. You also have Dafoe back, acting like a crazy person again, which is never not great.
The Northman is another great 2022 movie. I also enjoyed this more than The Lighthouse, mainly because it’s less abstract. I recommend giving this a go if you can, along with the previous two movies. This has probably been the most successful post when it comes to movie quality, but stay tuned as I’m working on some posts that don’t stack up to these three, but it’ll feature some actual critiquing and ranting. Until then Blog Complainer, signing out.