Reviews

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CHIPS (2017)
4/10
Fun Obnoxious Partners
23 March 2017
There had been a lot of buddy cop movies involving one serious level-headed cop forced to work with a crazy wild cannon partner. In the 80s, they had a balance of drama and comedy like 48 Hrs. (1984), "Lethal Weapon" (1987) and "Tango and Cash" (1989). Later on, the comedy dominated, as with "Rush Hour" (1998), "The Other Guys" (2010), and "The Heat" (2013). This new one "CHIPS" now joins that long list.

"CHiPs" was a hit TV series which ran for 6 seasons in the late 70s to the early 80s. This was a generally very wholesome, light comedy- drama series that made stars out of Larry Wilcox (as Officer Jon Baker) and specially Eric Estrada (as Officer Frank Poncherello). As with other buddy cop TV series that became films like "Starsky and Hutch" (2004), and "21 Jump Street" (2012), this new film incarnation of "CHIPS" is considerably edgier and raunchier than its venerable, vanilla- flavored predecessor.

Jon Baker is an injury-laden ex-motorcycle riding champ who wants to save his sinking marriage by becoming a policeman, barely making it under probation as the oldest rookie on the force. His partner goes by the name of Frank Poncherello, an undercover agent sent to investigate a violent big-time heist suspected to have been perpetrated by a gang of policemen. Both of them have their own hangups and eccentricities which put them at odds with each other at first. Later though, they end up saving each other's lives and eventually forge an strong yet unconventional partnership between them.

The action in this film is violent and graphic (decapitation alert!). The adrenaline mainly comes from all the breathtaking motorcycle riding stunts weaving in and out of traffic, which I hope will not encourage the already unruly motorcycle riders on the streets now. Those custom Ducati bikes they rode looked very fine and powerful. There are also car stunts, gunfights and big fiery explosions galore to keep the energy on the constant up.

Another aspect that keeps the energy up is the very raunchy comedy as written by the same guy who directed and acted as its lead character Jon Baker, Dax Shepard. This comedian is mainly known for his work on TV series like "Punk'd" and "Parenthood". "CHIPS" is his biggest film to date. The comedy style is very shallow and juvenile, with a lot of sexual references, with a lot of naughty closeups to further amp up the raunch factor visually. Shepard's brand of comedy is very physical and over-the-top, not always funny.

Michael Pena is usually seen in serious good-guy roles, like "Crash," "World Trade Center" and "Collateral Beauty". I have never seen him in such a vulgar role like this one before. He looked mighty awkward doing this role, and maybe come across as miscast. However, because of this discomfort, I felt he actually funny in the role of a guy that had a lusty deviant sex drive lay beneath a calm and professional surface.

Their chemistry together was really iffy, but actually gels better towards the end. If you have been reading my previous reviews on films like "Hangover" (MY REVIEW) or "Sausage Party" (MY REVIEW), raunchy comedies are not really my cup of tea. But this one had its few laugh out loud moments, mainly due to the naughty guy banter of the two lead actors. The obnoxious factor can go overboard though. As an extra bonus, a paunchy Erik Estrada had a cameo before the movie ended, not too flattering, but it was good to see him again. 4/10.
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Busanhaeng (2016)
10/10
More Than Just a Zombie Film
5 September 2016
This new Korean film "Train to Busan" is certainly earning a lot of positive word of mouth and box office success since its debut in the Midnight Screenings section of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

The central character is Seok-woo, a man stressed out with problems about his investments business and his divorce. His 9-year old daughter Su-an, feeling neglected, requests her father to bring her to Busan the next day to see her estranged mother. Seok-woo could not say no.

On the same train to Busan as Seok-woo and Su-an, a lady passenger with a bite wound on her legs, collapses and turns into a zombie. As she bites another person, that next person would also turn into a zombie and so on. Panic ensues on the train, and as everyone eventually discover along the way that the same zombie frenzy was true for the rest of the country. The fight to survive is now on.

This film was one exhilarating roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. The zombies and their attack scenes were very well-executed with a combination of practical and computer-generated effects. These monsters were very fast-moving and relentless in their quest for human flesh. We hear people around us gasp and shriek with shock as we see these zombies pile up in droves and hordes, crash out of windows and barrel through doors. We breathlessly hang on to the edge of our seats the whole ride.

Of course, what Korean film does not have a good dose of melodrama? The father-daughter dynamic between Seok-woo and Su-an is front and center. But aside from them, we also meet a cast of supporting characters on the train whose fates we will be following for the rest of the film. These include a burly man with his pregnant wife, a teenager with his girlfriend and his baseball team, a haughty businessman, two elderly sisters and a homeless man, among others. We get just enough introduction about who they are for us to care about what happens to them.

Gong Woo played the flawed lead character Seok-woo very well. He was able to convincingly portray the development of this uncaring apathetic guy into a hero we could all root for to get through this crisis alive. He was as good in the weepy dramatic scenes as he was in the swashbuckling action scenes. This actor has come a long way since his breakout role as lead star of the TV romantic comedy series "The Coffee Prince" back in 2007.

Kim Su-an is only 10 years old but she had already been acting in films for five years now. She is the dramatic core of this film as the daughter desperately reaching out to her jaded father. As a child actress, she held her own impressively among this cast of veterans with her heartfelt portrayal. Who would have thought that the sad little song she wanted to sing for her father would resonate so much?

Ma Dong-seok is charismatic as Sang-hwa, a devoted husband and selfless fighter. We see him first as some sort of comic relief only, which made the audience warm up to him. Later, we would discover how much more his character was able to do and give for others, and loved him more. His pregnant wife Seong-kyeong was played by acclaimed Korean indie film actress Jung Yu-mi, conveying strength in her delicate condition.

Another actor of note is Kim Eui-sung, who was totally hateful in his role as the selfish Yong-suk. In total contrast to Sang-hwa, Yong- suk was a man only thought of himself alone, not caring that he actually put a lot of other characters directly into harm's way.

Ahn So-hee (as Jin-hee) and Choi Woo-shik (as Young-guk) were in there to inject some teenage romantic angst into the film. They were relatively lightweight performers who were probably included just because they looked cool. That scene when Young-guk encounters his baseball teammates-turned-zombies was very well-conceived by the writers.

People may dismiss as "just" being a zombie film, but it is the drama of human relationships and interactions that rises above the horrific and thrilling carnage. Director Yeon Sang-ho's first two feature- length films ("The King of Pigs" and "The Fake") were both animated films exploring the bleak side of human nature. With his first live action directorial effort, Yeon has created a complete film masterpiece with "Train to Busan." Highly recommended! 10/10.
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5/10
Secrets, Survival, Sharks
25 August 2016
Set in mid-1945 during World War II, the USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay (Nicolas Cage), was secretly tasked to deliver parts of an atomic bomb (which would later be dropped on Hiroshima) unescorted to a naval base in the Pacific. Back in open sea after successfully delivering their cargo, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea. The sailors spent five gruelling days with minimal supplies floating on life rafts in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the original 1,196 crew members survive the ordeal.

The first hour of the film was quite brisk and eventful. The main storyline was laid out within the first scene. The backstory about some of the young sailors were introduced, oddly not too much on McVay himself. The USS Indianapolis embarked on its mission, torpedoed and sunk all within that first hour. However, this meant that the entire second hour would only be dealing about the survival ordeal of the sailors among the sharks awaiting rescue. It got maudlin and repetitive after the first few shark attacks. This was definitely not the war action film people were expecting to see.

The actors all seem to have come from the Nicolas Cage school of hammy acting. The major side story was about two friends who were in love with the same girl back home. Another side story was about a couple of sailors, one white, one black, constantly at odds with each other. There was also another side story about an arrogant young officer and his despicable attitude. All these rehashed side stories just served to fill out the rest of the running time before and after the sinking. The best actor for me would have to be Yutaka Takeuchi, the Japanese actor playing court-martial witness Commander Hashimoto, who displayed dignified subtly in his brief role.

For its Philippine release, this film's subtitle "Men of Courage" was replaced with "Disaster at (sic) Philippine Sea." However, for Filipino moviegoers expecting to actually see some part of the Philippines or see Filipinos in action in this film, they will be disappointed. The Philippines was mentioned but was never actually shown except for scene labels to establish the location. There was an extra card interrupting the closing credits stating how the search for the wreck of the Indianapolis was undertaken in 2001 in cooperation with the Philippine government and National Geographic. That was all about the Philippines here, nothing more. 5/10.
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Ghostbusters (2016)
8/10
Just Watched It and Liked It, Surprised with All the Hate
17 July 2016
The first "Ghostbusters" was a classic American comedy film from 1984. Written by actors Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and directed by Ivan Reitman, it was about three parapsychologists (Venkman, Stantz and Spengler) who ran a ghost hunting outfit in New York City. This year, a reboot of this film with an all-female main cast written and directed by Paul Feig is released.

Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) have been interested in ghostly phenomena since they were in high school. After a period of estrangement brought about by differences in career paths, they are reunited when they were called to investigate a ghostly sighting at a local museum.

Together with nuclear engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann and her prodigious talent for inventing weapons and New York subway employee Patty Tolan, they formally launch a ghost hunting business, later dubbed by media as "Ghostbusters". For their first major case, they track down a mentally-disturbed janitor of a local hotel who had been causing malevolent spirits to appear all over New York City. Never would they have guessed that this case would actually lead to a city-wide ectoplasmic apocalypse.

Melissa McCarthy was not annoying here as Abby, unlike her early films. She continues her winning run following "The Heat" and "Spy" (also by director Feig). Kristen Wiig is so geeky, so self- deprecating, so delightfully funny as Erin. It took time for me to warm up to the unorthodox comedy styles of Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, since this is the first movie I have seen them in a film. They eventually do hit their stride as the quirky badass Holtzmann and the loud excitable Patty. coming up with their own comic highlights.

The scenes with their pretty but dumb receptionist Kevin were so awkward and cringe-worthy. But only because he was played by Chris Hemsworth, the against-type casting actually worked to make this character hilarious. In addition, I found the scenes accompanying first part of the closing credits featuring Hemsworth were so embarrassingly funny. You won't see Thor the same way again. While this Kevin character could also be seen as feministic male-bashing, but I did not take offense because of the good-natured comic treatment.

Being a reboot of a beloved film, comparisons, fair or otherwise, will be inevitable. Most evident would be that the comedy in the original film was more subtle and mature, while the comedy in this reboot can be gross and childish. The disparity of male and female team dynamics and interactions are very clearly noted. There was none of the sexual innuendo and smoking which were prominent in the first film. The ghosts of this reboot had the same colorful and cartoony style as the first film, but the technological advance of 30 years is evident to make them look polished.

There was no mention of ever having a previous Ghostbusters, which may bum out loyal die-hard fans. However, I enjoyed seeing many references to the first film, like the logo, the old firehouse, Dana's apartment building (now a hotel), Ecto-1 (now a hearse), Slimer and the Marshmallow Man. I had fun seeing the original cast members (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver) in cameo appearances, though too bad that they were not as their old characters. The late Harold Ramis was cited in a dedication at the end of the closing credits.

There was also a very short extra scene at the very end of the credits when the song faded out. There was a mention of a name which can be recalled from the first movie. Was this just another nostalgic throwback or was it hinting a possible sequel?

My sons and I had so much fun watching this light-hearted and happy- vibed film. I was actually laughing out loud so much at some pretty side-splitting silly gags. The interaction between the four ladies started off uncomfortable and rough. But as the movie got on, they really hit it off very well, and their individual comic styles gelled very well as a group as they spouted all their pseudo- scientific jargon and wielded their sophisticated proton-pack weaponry. 8/10.
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2/10
An Insulting Sequel to the Iconic Original
5 June 2016
Gyeon-woo is back, but without the original Girl anymore. This situation opened up the opportunity for him to meet and hook up with another "sassy" (also unnamed) girl. (He is really a masochistic sort, isn't he?) Anyhow, this girl is Chinese this time, knows her marital arts and her cameras, They actually get married here in a charming indigenous ceremony. Conflict arises when Gyeon-woo gets a job at a tech company with an abusive boss. His Wife will not take that abuse sitting down, but will Gyeon-woo appreciate her for it?

Sad to say, watching "The New Sassy Girl" right after watching "My Sassy Girl" just emphasized just how bad this sequel by director Jo Geun-sik is. The comedy was terribly flat all the way, with nothing memorable that sticks at all. Even the romantic conflict is very lame, practically just tacked on without any emotional impact.

The age of Cha Tae-hyun (already 40 years old now) shows, and his attempt to recapture his 2001 charm was largely ineffective. While she is pretty, Victoria Song (as the new Sassy) could not really measure up to the high level set by Jun Ji-hyun in the first film, in both charm and performance. Her role was very poorly developed.

I thought this sequel did not really need to happen. It was but an insult to the former's memory. 2/10.
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8/10
Enjoyed This Way More Than the First Reboot Film
1 June 2016
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as comic book characters in 1984, later spinning off to have its own cartoon series, toys, video games, and of course, films. There was a cartoonish film trilogy in the 1990s. Recently, Michael Bay produced a franchise-reboot as a live action-computer-generated motion capture film. I did not particularly like this very dark 2014 film, rating it only a 5/10. When trailers came out for this sequel though, I already saw that it looked like it was going to be a way better movie than the first one.

The turtle heroes, along with old pals April O'Neil and Vern Fenwick, and new friend Casey Jones, spring back into action as Shredder was busted from incarceration. The arch-villain had inter- galactically nefarious plans as he conspired with mad scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman to bring into Earth an evil Dimension X being called Krang and his Technodrome in his wild dream of world domination.

The way the turtles looked in this new film was way better executed. In the first one, they all looked too big, ugly and unwieldy. Their appearance now is more accessible, more in tune with their personalities. Even if the storyline will have their team tested, this was a truly excellent ensemble work among the four actors behind them, imbuing each one with individual charm. They are: Pete Ploszek (as conflicted leader Leonardo), Alan Ritchson (as muscle- bound rebel Raphael), Jeremy Howard (as brainy scientist Donatello) and Noel Fisher (as childlike spirit Michelangelo).

Also similarly excellent were the CG artwork, performance and the on screen chemistry between the two comical evil side characters, warthog Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and the rhino Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). They definitely stole their scenes from right under the main bad guy Shredder (Brian Tee), who felt rather lackluster among the other colorful characters of the film. The pinkish brain-like maniacal alien super-villain Krang was portrayed with gruesome glee by Brad Garrett.

The unconvincing and hammy acting of Megan Fox (as April) and Will Arnett (as Vern) were fortunately buoyed up the excellence of the CGI and story around them. Tyler Perry was an over-the-top nerd as Dr. Stockman, uncomfortably funny. Veteran acting nominee Laura Linney was uncharacteristically stiff as police chief Rebecca Vincent. The best live performer of the film was TV's "Arrow" Stephen Amell as Casey Jones. His graceful physicality (with a hockey stick and skates) and smart-alecky sense of humor made him stand out.

The look of this new film is so much better than the first one, literally "out of the shadows" where the first one wallowed. There were brighter colors, a lighter mood, a more fun throwback general feel about it. The previous one was too dark and intense, and took itself too seriously, to its own detriment. With this one, we had our beloved Turtles back to the unpretentious way we knew them in our youth. Serious critics may be hard on this one, but I really enjoyed 112 minutes with it, right up to the classic TV cartoon theme song over the closing credits.
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Angry Birds (2016)
6/10
Avian Absurdities
14 May 2016
Angry Birds is a video game franchise created by Finnish company Rovio Entertainment, It was first released in December 2009. By July 2015, the series' various games in all its different formats have been downloaded over three billion times the world over. It was not a big wonder that a film would eventually be made from the characters of this game.

Practically everyone has seen at least the original game with the five birds: main bird Red, yellow bird Chuck, black bird Bomb, white bird Matilda, and triple Blues. Many should be familiar with the maddening physics-laced puzzle game play of launching these angry birds to hit the green pigs hiding under various structures. Not too good with analyzing projectile motion, I admit I was not so patient with this game.

The film's storyline tells of Red as a miserable hotheaded outcast with poor people skills. A violent altercation with another bird caused him to be sentenced to attend Anger Management classes under Matilda. There, he met Chuck and Bomb, as well as quiet giant maroon bird named Terence. One day, a ship of green pigs landed on the birds' island. While the other birds welcomed their unusual guests, Red remained suspicious that the Pigs were up to no good. Unfortunately, Red's worst fears were soon confirmed, and birds have to go beyond themselves to get their precious treasures back.

The film as a whole was better than what the trailer showed. For the most part, the storytelling was very entertaining. The best part of the film was the climactic battle where we saw the birds in action with the giant slingshot, but it was too short, I felt. It was too bad we only saw the green boomerang toucan bird Hal, the tiny orange bird Bubbles and the cute pink bird Stella all too briefly. On the other hand, an inordinately long, occasionally awkward, time was spent with the iconic Mighty Eagle.

The voices come from some of the most popular comedians working in Hollywood today. Jason Sudeikis was Red. Danny McBride was Bomb. Maya Rudolph was Matilda. Bill Hader was Leonard. Josh Gad, whom we last heard as Olaf in "Frozen," was Chuck, a hyperactive voice performance I really enjoyed. Peter Dinklage did so well in his ironic casting the Mighty Eagle. It is very surprising that the first time I have seen Sean Penn's name in a film again was as Terence. Fans of the Youtube channel Smosh will be delighted that Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla have cameos here as the voices of Bubbles and Hal respectively.

The comedy was rather weird to describe. The jokes can really be juvenile, shallow and silly, but there were also quite a number of adult humor (some even creepy or uncomfortable references). I liked the obvious parody of the "Time in a Bottle" scene from "X-Men Days of Future Past" or that Grady twins reference from "The Shining." I liked the cheery and cheesy retro pop songs in the soundtrack, from "Never Gonna Give You Up" to "I Will Survive", to accompany the most unexpected scenes.

I had fun watching it for sure, but I cannot say I completely liked this film. It was really had to put a finger on what exactly the film lacked, but my kids and I all felt it while watching. Looking back now, I think it may have been this odd sense of humor, which felt forced and flat at times. Anyhow, the small kids in the theater were giggling and laughing so much at the cute green pigs and wide- eyed hatchlings, I enjoyed hearing their delighted reactions. I guess then that the film did hit their target and that is most important. 6/10.
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Bastille Day (2016)
8/10
Imposing and Exciting Idris Elba
22 April 2016
Idris Elba has been in big Marvel films like "Thor" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron", but I don't really know how he looked like without the Heimdall costume. He had a performance last year in the film "Beasts of No Nation" which triggered controversy when he was not nominated for an Oscar, but this was not shown locally. Just this year, he had been in two films, "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book." However in both films, we only hear his deep imposing voice. With this film "Bastille Day," we finally see Idris Elba as a modern day action hero, not far from the news that he is being touted to be the next James Bond.

Michael Mason is a skillful American thief in Paris. One day, he steals a bag from a distraught girl on the street named Zoe. After getting her cell phone and seeing nothing else of apparent value in the bag, he throws it into a garbage dump. The unexpected happens, killing four people and triggering mass paranoia and discontent in the city of Lights. CIA operative Sean Briar goes over and beyond his assignment to get to Mason and secure him before the French Police do, uncovering an insidiously complex plot which will come to pass on Bastille Day.

Idris Elba is as imposing and impressive as his voice was. When asked why he ran away, Mason quipped, "Don't you see how you look like?" Elba's Briar was big, macho, tough and scary, anyone would have tried to run if he comes to get him. As an agent, Briar was an independent-minded and reckless rouge to the chagrin of his CIA bosses, but to the delight of the audience. If this was a preview of how he would be as James Bond, it makes us all eager to see how Elba will transform the iconic role as his own.

Richard Madden is more known to many as the ill-fated Robb Stark on HBO's "Game of Thrones". After he bid the TV series goodbye via a bloody Red Wedding, he went on to be Prince Charming in the live action version of "Cinderella." Physically, Madden looked like a scared boy when placed side by side with the intimidating Idris Elba, which made him just right for the role of the unfortunate Mason, a guy who just so happened to steal the wrong bag. I liked the chemistry that was built between the two characters.

I was floored by the action sequences of this film, so raw with bone- crunching realism. I liked that the chase and fight scenes were not too obviously choreographed. That chase scene on the rooftops would have been flawless parkour stunts in another film. But here it was shaky and so uncertain that it created so much tension, so much better. The execution of the many twists and turns of the story was very effectively done, such that we never would have seen the climax miles away. I would not mind a sequel as the ending seemed to suggest. 8/10.
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7/10
Revolution and Romance
19 November 2015
So, another hugely popular young adult series has come to an end. Like the "Harry Potter" and the "Twilight Saga", the "Hunger Games" franchise also chose to divide the final book, "Mockingjay", into two films. When I saw Part 1 of "Mockingjay" last year, I thought it lacked substance to stand alone on its own. However, now that I have seen Part 2, I understand why they could not have just made it as one single big movie.

After the long introduction to the action that is Part 1, Part 2 begins where it left off. Katniss is dead set on killing President Snow. Peeta is slowly recovering from the brainwashing he suffered by the guys in the Capitol. Gale is wasting no time in trying to win Katniss back. The three of them are members of a team sent by President Coin to storm into the Capitol and kill President Snow. However, their mission is beset with dangerous and elaborate booby traps, as only the best Gamemakers of the Capitol can concoct.

Being their fourth film already together, Jennifer Lawrence (as Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (as Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (as Gale), Woody Harrelson (as Haymitch), Elizabeth Banks (as Effie Trinket), Stanley Tucci (as Caesar) and Donald Sutherland (as grand old President Snow) have really fit their respective characters like a glove by this time. With Jennifer Lawrence there portraying her, every rash act of Katniss becomes heroic somehow. She gets the audience to actually root for this indecisive, foolhardy character.

Julianne Moore (as Coin) and Natalie Dormer (as Cressida) had to contend with bad hairstyles but do get their jobs done right. It was good to see and hear the departed Philip Seymour Hoffman one last time as Plutarch, though his screen time here was very short. It was great to see Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie in a small scene as Commander Lyme. It was good to see the other victors like Finnick (Sam Claflin), Annie (Stef Dawson), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Johanna (Jenna Malone), though their screen time was also very brief.

"Mockingjay Part 2" is a very long movie and it can feel like it. It was more than 2 hours (137 minutes to be exact) of war, politics, and yes, the love triangle. There are actually no more Hunger Games to show in this one, but the Capitol itself was turned into one large-scale Hunger Games arena when Katniss and company encounter the "pods" (which were spectacularly violent land mines). I actually do not recall that there were oil tsunamis or mutant monsters underground in the books, but these were the most shocking and thrilling parts of this film. Without these, the younger members of the audience may doze off with all the talking scenes. 7/10.
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5/10
Average Unoriginal Witch Film
22 October 2015
In ancient times, Kaulder was a fearless witch hunter who was able to kill the Queen Witch herself. However, before she died, the Queen cursed Kaulder with immortality. Cut to modern times, Kaulder is the last witch hunter of his kind. A congregation of priests called the Axe and Cross were commissioned to help Kaulder over the centuries in his sworn mission to incapacitate and incarcerate all the bad witches. Loyalists of the Queen though are working feverishly to resurrect her, setting up a major confrontation between good and evil to decide the fate of mankind.

As predicted, Vin Diesel's acting was as one-dimensional as ever. His look was as unchanging as ever too. He looks the same whoever character he played -- Riddick, Toretto, now Kaulder. They should have kept the ancient Kaulder look which would have set the character apart. As predicted also, Vin Diesel's pervasive good guy vibes are very apparent no matter how tough or violent he gets. These good vibes saved the day, making this derivative and CG-laden witch adventure more bearable and entertaining. Of course, we would root for him to route the queen and her minions, good should triumph over evil!

Michael Caine and Elijah Wood play priests of the Axe and Cross, who were Kaulder's personal assistants, advisers and bodyguards, Dolan 36th and Dolan 37th respectively. However, their roles were not as big as their names would make you expect. Caine was as cool as you'd expect, acting like he was Alfred or any of the recent Caine roles you can recall. His performance was always a respectable effort even though he may only be just phoning this one in, being so short. Elijah Wood looked very wrong in this role. The way he looked with a priest's collar was very awkward. His acting was so stiff, as if he knew how wrong he was for that role.

I was expecting the priests to be Kaulder's sidekicks in his battle against the Witch Queen, but it turns out they would be out of the scene for most parts of the film. Kaulder's companion would be a young female witch named Chloe played by Rose Leslie. Leslie, who gained popularity as Wildling Ygritte in TV's "Game of Thrones," is a polarizing actress, either you will like her or you won't. I like her, so I liked that she has moved onto Hollywood, and she gives a strong feisty performance as her TV character did.

I did not think this film "The Last Witch Hunter" would be anything original, and it was not. The poster was generic, looking like it could be a poster of one of Vin Diesel's "Riddick" films. Even the title was generic, "Witch Hunter" having been just used in a recent Jeremy Renner- Gemma Arterton film called "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters." Still I went in to watch this film because it is a Vin Diesel film. As consistently one-note his tough guy roles were, at least Diesel certainly knew how to entertain his audience. And that he did. 5/10.
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