The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (1)
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Coasts on the limited demands of Redbox renters looking for something to fall asleep with on a Friday night.
Say what you will about this franchise, but at least each sequel has been an improvement on the film that came before it. Of course, that's a misleading statement when, in fact, that improvement only comes by inches and not by leaps and bounds. But, with that being out there, at least they're improving. What I like about the film, if I can even say that, is the fact that it's perfectly content to exist on smaller level rather than risk being embarrassed by the more high-quality action films out there. Let's be honest, no one will ever confuse this with The Raid, Mad Max Fury Road, Hard Boiled or The Killer. It's an exercise in unpretentious, cheaply made, action films and I can appreciate that. Not every movie needs to reach for the sky in terms of ambition. And I think this series, in general, is content to exist on a smaller level. If bigger Hollywood studios were involved you might not even have Danny Trejo as a lead, you'd probably have a white and fading action star in the role. Then again, it's not like this is an iconic role or anything, but it'd speak to Hollywood's ignorance to think that Danny Trejo couldn't be a lead in big-budgeted action film due to his ethnicity. Machete doesn't count, cause that's a Robert Rodriguez project and he has his own studio and a lot of control over his projects in terms of casting. With that out of the way, I do like how this film keeps adding actors in order to give the film a little more life if a sequel is ever commissioned. I do think that this film, somewhat, 'change's the formula of someone close to Frank, or Bernie, being murdered and then going on a murderous rampage to find the person who did this and avenge their friend. This film sees one of Frank and Bernie's friend being kidnapped days before her wedding for a $5 million ransom. It's not much of a change, really, but it is something. The structure of the 'narrative', with Berne and Frank finding various clues that leads them to other leads, remains exactly the same. Even with the same travelling by map device. I do think that the addition of John Amos would, theoretically, give the film more legs if a sequel was ever made. But John is also a good addition to this franchise. Maybe not as good or as inspired as Danny Glover was in the second film, but still a good addition nonetheless. I don't think this film will ever be confused with Back to the Future or Raiders of the Lost Ark in terms of script structure, detail and pacing. So, yes, it is not a particularly good script that has a lot of forced humor in it. I do think that the chemistry between Danny Trejo and Danny Glover helps a lot. They're fun to watch even if the script around them is nothing special. But there's a lot of goofy moments here. There's scenes where the film is literally begging for laughs with a laugh track. Not a literal laugh track like you'd see (or hear) in Full House, but characters laughing uproariously at their lame jokes in the hope that their laughter would be contagious enough to make YOU laugh. Look, I still think this is an improvement, but begging for laughs in this manner is probably one of the saddest and embarrassing things any comedy can do. I did get some chuckles out of it, but nothing too extraordinary. The usage of stock footage also comes up in the form of a cargo airplane that Frank has to safely land. It's used more comically this time and I think that was definitely a self-conscious decision. Like I mentioned, the action itself isn't gonna fool anybody. It is what it is and that's all you can expect. It's not good or anything, but it gets the job done. That's all I have to say honestly. You know exactly what to expect if you've seen any of the three films in this series. It's a film that you go into having low expectations. The film does nothing to exceed them, but it is fairly watchable at best and slightly below average at worst. You know what to expect here, so take it or leave it.
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