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Septembers of Shiraz (2015)
Some Interesting Thoughts About The Iranian Revolution
I watched this movie on Netflix Canada where it was called "Enemy Territory." Set in Tehran in 1979 about eight months after the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah and brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power, the movie basically tells the story of one affluent Jewish family living in the city and trying to navigate their way through the chaotic times.
Adiren Brody played Isaac, husband to Farnez (Salma Hayak) and father to Parviz and Shirin. Isaac is a successful jeweller who stays out of politics and looks after his business, treating his Muslim employees well. The biggest mark against him is that he regularly travels to Israel to visit family. As the movie opens, the family is happy and successful and celebrating Parviz' opportunity to go to school in the United States. All seems well, even in the aftermath of the revolution. But suddenly Isaac is arrested, and the family finds itself living in a nightmare. Confined to a prison, Issac is questioned and tortured in an attempt to get information from him. Most of the torture was not especially graphic, but there was one unsettling scene in which Isaac is tied and beaten. His wife and young daughter aren't given much information about where he is, and for a time don't know if he's alive or dead. You feel for the family's plight, and you hope for their eventual escape, but for me Isaac's story and the family's troubles were secondary. I found this movie more interesting for offering a few different takes on what the Revolution was all about.
To be honest, the religious aspect of the Iranian Revolution wasn't much depicted. But I found three competing narratives that told the Revolution's story. There were those who honestly saw the Revolution as an attempt to right social injustices and to free Iran from foreign domination. Much of this was seen through Habibeh (Shohreh Aghdashloo) - who worked for the family but who was also a friend to them, but who was increasingly aware of the discrepancy between the two. As she noted once, in all the years she had worked for them she had never been asked to share a meal with them. Watching her struggle within herself about the meaning of the Revolution was interesting, and Aghdashloo did a good job of portraying that internal struggle. Then there was Habibeh's son Morteza (Navid Navid.) Essentially he and his cohorts are the thugs who appear in every revolution (or even just protest) and use the events as an opportunity to wreak havoc. Morteza steals everything from Isaac, in spite oft he fact that Isaac had been very good to him. And there's Mohsen (Alon Aboutboul) - in charge of the prison where Isaac is held. His character makes the point out that even revolutionaries are for sale. Once Isaac arranges to give him a lot of money (donated to the revolution, of course) Mohsen suddenly arranges for Isaac's release and gains him and his family safe travel out of the country. None of that is earth-shattering, but I thought it was a well done portrayal of the multi-faceted motivations behind a revolution.
I can't say this was a particularly exciting story. There is some drama toward the end as the family approaches Turkey, and it isn't at all clear that they'll make their escape, but beyond that it's a relatively straightforward movie. Isaac gets arrested; Isaac gets tortured; Isaac gets released; Isaac flees with his family. It's not complicated. But somehow I did like the portrayal of the Revolution. (7/10)
John Wick (2014)
You Can Steal A Man's Car - You Can Beat A Man Up - But Don't Kill The Man's Dog!
As the title clearly tells us, this movie is really about one man - John Wick. John is a sort of super (perhaps even super-human) hit man for the Russian Mob. But he's retired. He found love; he got married; everything was great; he left the life. But his wife got sick and then died, and as her parting gift to the devastated John, she arranges for him to be sent a puppy after she died. The puppy comforts him in his grief. Until ... One day he has an encounter with the son of the Russian mob boss he used to work for. They don't know each other. The guy falls in love with John's car, and later breaks into John's house, beats John up, kills John's puppy and steals John's car. It was the killing of the puppy - the last link with his beloved wife - that pushed John over the top. He's back, and he's out for revenge: bloody, merciless and remorseless revenge against anybody and everybody even remotely involved with this heinous act.
That's it, more or less. The movie then goes through a whole series of bloody gunfights and fistfights and martial arts sequences as John (Keanu Reeves) single-handedly wreaks havoc on the Russian Mob in New York City. The fight scenes go on and on and on. They seem never-ending. It was a very one-dimensional part for Reeves (but, then again, most of the characters in this were one dimensional.) The point of the movie wasn't to tell a story or to give us meaningful moments and characters. They were all pretty one dimensional, working with a plot that was straightforward and largely predictable. This is obviously all leading up to the climactic confrontation. Admittedly, I wasn't entirely sure who John's final confrontation was going to be with until the son was killed with almost a half hour left to go. Clearly it wasn't him. So it goes on and on and on for a while longer.
Personally, I found the last half hour quite tedious viewing. If you really like this kind of genre - violent and bloody action with little or no story - then this is a movie you've got to watch. I have to admit that this just really wasn't my style, even though I can appreciate a man wanting to take revenge for the killing of his puppy! (3/10)
Hidden Figures (2016)
These Women Definitely Had The Right Stuff
I couldn't help but think of this movie in relation to the 1983 movie "The Right Stuff." That film honoured the first seven American astronauts in the Mercury program. This movie honours the vital contributions to that program of African American women - largely behind the scenes and often not getting the credit they deserved. The movie focuses on three women in particular: Katherine Gobel/Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). All three are brilliant in their respective fields: Katherine as a mathematician, Dorothy as a programmer and Mary as an engineer. All three work for NASA in the early days of the space program as the Mercury program is just beginning, and all three are involved in the vital calculations necessary to launch, orbit and re-enter capsules. In the midst of the work, the women are forced to deal with things such as riding at the back of the bus, segregated bathrooms and the prejudices of their co-workers. Henson and Spencer seemed somewhat more central to the story and offered good performances. Monae - better known as a singer than an actress - seems to fade away a bit compared to those two, but still does a fine job with the role.
Truthfully, race was really as central a theme to this movie as was the space race. While it was all set in the context of the space race between the USA and the USSR, it was also set in the early 1960's at the NASA facility that was located in Virginia - a state where segregation was still an accepted and every day fact of life. And, of course, the women are not just African Americans - they're women, and they have to deal with sexism as well - even from some African American males, who don't seem to know what to make of them working in such important jobs. The scenes depicting the reality of life in the south in the era are sobering, and once the Mercury astronauts are introduced there's a lot of tension involved - although much of that is mitigated by the fact that we've seen the astronauts' stories and the basic story of the space flights in "The Right Stuff." But it was inspiring to see the contributions of Katherine and Dorothy and Mary and others like them.
It's a well done movie. Some of the characters are composite characters. That isn't really a big deal and was probably necessary to give some focus to the movie. Actually, two of the most important NASA figures - Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) and Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) were composites. There were some scenes that were very dramatic but that were created for the movie. Harrison (and since he didn't exist - no one else) never smashed down a "Coloured Women" restroom sign, for example. It was a powerful scene, but completely made up. I want to suggest that Parsons was a superb choice for the role of Stafford. His role as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory makes it easy to relate to him as a jealous and arrogant scientist who seems to look down on everyone else's work - and he proved here that he can handle such a character in a dramatic role as well - although if I were Parsons, I might be concerned a bit with the possibility of type casting.
It's also a bit jarring in the year 2017 to see the state of technology in the era. I'm a child of the 1960's and grew up without computers, but even so I'm so steeped in today's culture that when I saw the sign "Coloured Computers" for the first time, I thought how ridiculous it was that even the computers that African Americans used were segregated. It took me a few minutes to realize that the African American women WERE the computers, doing the necessary calculations. NASA was just in the process of having a huge and primitive IBM computing machine built to take over the job of doing their calculations. Seeing people working frantically on all of the complex equations in the movie was a bit disorienting.
This is a very deliberately paced movie. It's interesting all the way through. I wouldn't say it's an intense movie very often, but it's a very watchable movie that pays deserved tribute to a largely forgotten but courageous and determined group of African American women who played a vital role in the beginning of America's space program. (8/10)
It's Tough To Stick With, But A Powerful Ending Makes The Effort Worthwhile
Perhaps it's strange to review a movie starting with the end, but somehow with "Arrival" this makes sense. Everything, to me, led up to the question that Louise (Amy Adams) asked Ian (Jeremy Renner) as the movie approached its close - basically, "if you could see your whole life laid out before you, would you change anything?" That's a thought provoking question - and put in the context of this movie, it's a powerful question.
As the movie started, we seemed to be offered a series of flashbacks of Louise's life. She was a mother, her baby grew into a young girl. Louise was a good mother, she adored her daughter, but something happened and her husband left her and her daughter got sick and died. What a downer of a way to start a movie. And how did it possibly relate to a story about aliens? Clearly this was not going to be a typical action-packed alien invasion/sci fi movie. But that opening was was what kept me watching. It was clear that the daughter's death had to be central to whatever was going to happen. But how? Louise was a Linguistics professor. One day, apparently after her daughter's death, 12 alien ships ("shells") appeared in various parts of the world. Louise - the linguist - is brought in by the US government to try to figure out a way of communicating with the aliens, to figure out why they're here and where they're from. And she's teamed with Ian - a scientist. And really, until the last 10 minutes of the movie, that's about it. The movie seems to be about trying to communicate with the aliens (and to some extent about the various nations trying to communicate with each other.) I took some Linguistics classes when I was in university. I enjoyed them, but I never would have thought that linguistics would make the basis of a good or entertaining movie - and I was right. To be honest, watching Louise try to talk to the "heptapods" (because the aliens had seven limbs) was tedious and at times excruciating. Why are the aliens here? That was the question for all of the characters in the movie. Why am I watching this movie? That was the question for me through most of it. But the opening scenes with the daughter kept me watching. I had to figure out how those fit in with the story. And - I'll be honest - I still don't entirely understand it.
Somehow the aliens' way of communicating has something to do with time. The aliens don't have a linear view of time. It isn't from the past into the future. It's everything together, all at once. And somehow this has impacted Louise. Her daughter didn't die in the past - her daughter will die in the future. And as it all comes to an end - after Louise has saved the day by convincing the Chinese (who were about to attack the shell that had landed on their territory) to back down (which maybe turned Louise into a bit too much of a hero; I think the point could have been made in a different way) she poses that question to Ian: "if you could see your whole life laid out before you, would you change anything?"
Ian's the father! Or, he's going to be the father! He asks her, "do you want to make a baby?" And suddenly the question is for Louise to answer: "if you could see your whole life laid out before you, would you change anything?" She knows that if she makes this baby with Ian, this baby is going to die as a teenager. Would you change that? Would you not have the baby? Would you not marry Ian? Because the marriage is going to fail. There are things in all our lives that we probably think on the surface we would change if we could. But that question made me think - if I changed the things that weren't so good, that would change all the things that are really great! Everything would be different, because everything is connected to everything else - like the aliens who made clear to Louise that they were just one out of twelve alien ships, all connected. Louise would marry Ian and have the baby. And, having thought about it, I don't think I'd change any of those things in my life that aren't great - because even the not great stuff is connected to the great stuff, and if I didn't have the not great stuff, I probably wouldn't have the great stuff either. If that makes any sense. Very rarely does a movie make you do something as deep as contemplating the very nature of your life. This one did.
Believe me, that last 10 minutes is worth it just for that one question that it raised, and for the explanation of the movie's somewhat strange timeline. It's kind of a tough slog to get get there. It's tedious at times; it's confusing at times. There are things that are simply unbelievable. The aliens seem to have an incredibly complex way of communicating, and Louise really didn't seem to have that much time with them, so her deciphering of their language in that short time was hard to accept. But those opening scenes do keep you watching, and the closing that ties it together makes the whole exercise of watching it worth it. (7/10)
The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)
An Important If Lesser Known Story From The Holocaust
Strangely in a movie about The Holocaust, my first reaction as I got into the main events of the movie was sympathy. As the Germans bomb Warsaw, I found myself feeling such angst for the animals at the Warsaw Zoo, who must have been absolutely terrified by what was happening. That's obviously not the main message or reaction that the movie is going for, but it's effective as a way of drawing us into the much more serious plight of Warsaw's Jews after the German occupation of Poland.
I'll say right off the top that this isn't "Schindler's List" - which, for me, remains the most powerful and most moving Holocaust film ever made. Having said that, it rightly honours the courage and sacrifice of the Zabinski family. Jan and Antonina owned the Warsaw Zoo. They took wonderful care of the animals - Antonina especially having a special bond with them - and as the movie opens (in the summer of 1939) all seems bliss. There are concerns about a possible German attack, but no one seems to take them very seriously - especially not Dr. Heck, a Berlin zoologist who is a friend of the Zabinskis and denied any interest in politics. Once war comes, though, the bliss disappears, Jews start to be rounded up and confined to the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Zabinskis hatch a plan to save as many Jews as they can - starting with their best friends, then a girl who Jan rescues after she is raped by two German soldiers (it was an absolutely haunting and disturbing scene as she's led away into an alley by them, and actress Shira Haas was superb in depicting the absolutely traumatized girl afterward.) Eventually, they hid over 300 Jews in the Zoo, saving them from the concentration camps. It's a powerful story - a true one, and one that I was unfamiliar with (and I consider myself fairly familiar with that part of history.) Like Schindler from the aforementioned movie, the Zabinskis were eventually declared "Righteous Among The Nations" for their heroic work during the War.
The brutality of the war was clearly depicted; the terror that must have been felt by the Jews was felt. In a way, Heck sums up what is still to this day one of the great mysteries of that era: how Germans who, before Hitler and the War, were good and decent people could become consumed by the Nazis and their evil ideology. Because as the movie started, Heck did seem like a decent person - not someone you would expect to become caught up in the work of the Holocaust.
Jessica Chastain played the title character as Antonina. Her performance was good (as were the performances in general) but I found the fake accent she (and others) used in this movie to be at times difficult to follow and sometimes distracting. I really would prefer that actors in these kinds of roles just use their normal voices, because phony accents really don't convince me or give any feel of reality to the story. But beyond that there really isn't very much to criticize about this - except that perhaps the suffering in the Ghetto was somewhat underplayed, and the ongoing focus on the plight of the animals might have been a bit overdone at the expense of the human tragedy that was unfolding. (8/10)
The Family (2013)
I Expected Something Better
This is supposed to be a comedy - but the major problem with this is that it just isn't very funny. It seemed to have potential. It's about a family (headed by Robert de Niro, who in my opinion seemed a little old for the part) who are in the witness protection program because dad (De Niro) has ratted out his former Mafia family. First - I wondered about the FBI stashing them in France? France? It just seems implausible to me that France would be host for an FBI witness protection program. But OK. It's a comedy. I can live with that. It was supposed to be about the challenges of the family fitting in with French society. That actually could have been funny - but it wasn't. At times it was violent, at times it was quite boring. But it was really never particularly funny. The whole family (including Michelle Pfeiffer as the mom, Dianna Agron as the daughter and John D'Leo as the son) just more or less continues on with their mob upbringing and lifestyle, with not much of an attempt that I could see to fit in. Tommy Lee Jones was added as the head of the FBI team responsible for them. So the cast is good and capable and should be able to pull of comedy - because they've done it before. But it just didn't work.
I'll concede that while it may not have been funny, there was a bit of a "cute" moment when De Niro's character goes to a local film festival and watched "Goodfellas." Although, in all honesty, that might have been a bit too cute. The final scenes (where the mob shows up in the little town - more than half a dozen of them, which strikes me as a bit of overkill, but then again I'm not a mob boss) aren't too bad. They seem to be an attempt on the part of director Luc Besson to add some action into the movie. As I said, those closing scenes aren't bad - but one of the problems is that I never felt that Besson had a handle on what genre of movie he was supposed to be making. Perhaps (if you take away some of the nonsense) the film manages to give you a sense of how frustrating it must be to be in a witness protection program - constantly moving; constantly looking over your shoulder for whoever might be out to get you.
Basically, I expected more from a movie with a promising plot and such a collection of names in the cast. But if I ever feel the need again to watch a movie about how hard it is for outsiders with a secret to keep to fit in, I'll stick to "Coneheads." (3/10)
Perfect Stranger (2007)
Dreadfully Dull With Way Too Many Plot Twists
The cast was promising - the stars of this are Bruce Willis as Harrison and Halle Berry as Ro - and the story seemed mildly interesting. Ro's friend is murdered, and Ro tries to figure out who the killer is, suspecting a guy that her friend was having an anonymous internet romance with. OK. Like I said - it seemed promising. But it turned out to be dreadfully dull for most of its runtime.
It starts with an actual interesting story about Ro (an investigative reporter) confronting a US Senator about a sex scandal. But that turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie. I guess it just establishes that Ro is a hotshot investigative reporter. OK. You could have just told us that. Then her friend gets murdered and she has to figure out who did it. So we spend a huge amount of time watching Ro pretending to be someone else, sending online messages to "ADEX," who she thinks is Harrison. Meanwhile Ro's friend Miles is some sort of tech wizard who spends a lot of his time hacking. Is this serious? Even in 2007 online romances and hacking would have seemed a bit dated. But by 2017? Let's just say that this ten year old movie already seems much older. But I get the sense that the viewer is supposed to be dazzled by this high tech wizardry. The movie meanders and sputters along, with none of it being especially interesting. Then - after 75-80 minutes of boredom, it's as if writer Todd Komarnicki suddenly realized that the script was a dud and filled the last 20- 25 minutes with no fewer than three plot twists. So we go from the killer that the whole movie had suggested, to a new killer, only to find that the old killer was really the killer, only to discover that there was actually a different killer. My mind had gone numb by this point. For the record - plot twist # 1 (which dealt with Miles' relationship with Ro) was the most interesting, and plot twist # 3 (which revealed the real killer) was, I confess, totally unexpected. But, still, you can't save a movie that's been boring for almost an hour and a half with plot twist after plot twist after plot twist. Komarnicki also gives us a lot of unnecessary backstory about Ro's childhood and her abusive father and he throws in the "f" word a lot. In my experience overuse of the "f" word is a sure sign that a writer knows he's written a dud, and rather than actually fixing the script he throws in the "f" word as much as possible, apparently thinking that prolific use of the "f" word will make a movie seem hard-hitting and exciting. (Memo to all script writers: IT DOESN'T WORK!!)
Not a movie I would recommend at all. (4/10)
Navy Seals vs. Zombies (2015)
Decent Zombie Flick With A Confusing Title
I was confused from the very beginning - and I still am, a little bit. I notice that here the film is listed as "Navy Seals vs. Zombies." That makes perfect sense, because that title sums up the movie perfectly. I watched in on Netflix Canada though - and there it's listed as Navy Seals: The Battle For New Orleans." So I spent a lot of the 90 minutes wondering how New Orleans found its way into the title, since the whole movie is about a zombie outbreak in Baton Rouge - and as far as I can remember there wasn't a single reference to New Orleans in the entire movie. I notice that there are reviewers on various sites who say that this movie is about a zombie invasion of New Orleans. But it isn't. It's about a zombie outbreak in Baton Rouge. It's all very confusing. Did somebody somewhere (in coming up with that alternative title) not realize that New Orleans and Baton Rouge are not the same place?
The confusion around the title notwithstanding, I found this surprisingly enjoyable. It's a fairly simple and straightforward, low budget movie with a largely unknown cast. You expect little out of it - you get more than you expect. There was one chuckle in this. The cable news network that was reporting on the outbreak was called "ZNN." Yeah. Too cute. At first you're kind of set up to believe that the outbreak is a result of an enemy attack using some sort of biological weapon - "to bring a superpower to its knees" as one character says. But it turns out that the biological weapon seems to have been created in a US government lab and it accidentally got out. I wasn't entirely clear on whether you had to actually die to become a "zombie" or just be infected through a bite. It was made clear that you had to shoot the zombies in the head to do away with them.
Most of the movie is set in Baton Rouge (with a little bit at a Seals command centre in Virginia Beach) as a Navy Seals team enters the city and tries to evacuate (1) the Vice President, who's stranded in the city, and (2) scientists at the lab where the virus was created in the hopes that they might be able to make an antidote. Most of it is a pretty standard battle against the zombies. That's becoming a bit too routine, what with the zombie plague currently on the go on movies and television. But it's still a decent action flick, whose ending seems to be a bit of a tribute to US Navy Seals. If you're into the zombie genre, this is worth taking in. (6/10)
Go with Me (2015)
Solid Cast In A Movie Most Notable For Its Stupidity
This movie is stupid from the start. There's no kinder way to put it. In the first 10 minutes or so we discover that Lillian (Julia Stiles) was attacked by Blackway (Ray Liotta) in the parking lot of a restaurant she worked in. But she didn't report it to the police. Then she discovered that Blackway has been following her all over town. But she didn't report it to the police. Then, in spite of the fact that Blackway (a) has already attacked her once, and (b) has been following her all over town she simply leaves her front door open (not just unlocked - but wide open) on two occasions, virtually inviting Blackway in for a drink. Or something. Seriously - Lillian is not playing with a full deck. Finally, after Blackway decapitates her cat - she goes to the police, only to find a sheriff who's terrified of Blackway and just tells her to leave town - or to find Scotty, who can take care of Blackway. Except Scotty wants nothing to do with Blackway (so why did we need Scotty in the picture anyway for the one scene he appeared in?) So Lester (Anthony Hopkins) steps up with his young friend Nate (Alexander Ludwig) and Lester, Nate and Lillian go searching for Blackway with a gun - except that Lillian says she'd rather do this without guns - but the guy attacked her and cut the head off her friggin' cat! He's insane! The police won't help you because they're terrified of him! You need a gun! Desperately! Preferably more than one! And why - if Blackway is constantly following Lillian, does he apparently have no clue that she's teamed up with these two and is looking for him? My head hurt by the time all came out.
Has Anthony Hopkins gone into the poor house? Was he in desperate need of money? Why did he star in this? He's a flippin' Oscar- winning actor. He didn't need this turkey on his resume. And Liotta? He's not got the resume of Hopkins - but I still have the same questions. Same for Stiles. And what of Hal Holbrook? I was embarrassed for him. He had a nothing part as an old guy in charge of some sort of logging company who sits around the office spinning yarns about how loggers off in the woods for long periods of time have sex with trees. Oh my Lord.
Having said all that, Hopkins and Liotta and Stiles were all OK in their roles. I "got" Hopkins' character of Lester. His daughter died of a drug overdose, the drugs were probably supplied by Blackway or his men, and now Lester has a chance for revenge and doesn't care if he gets killed looking for it. I get that. It was just a dumb movie is all. I was intrigued by Blackway, and there's some decent suspense as the search closes in on him. But the movie adds some totally unnecessary scenes at the end (which doesn't mitigate the fact that the whole movie was unnecessary) making you wonder: why? Just end the thing. Please. Which looked like what Anthony Hopkins was asking as he stared out the window with a blank look on his face in the thankfully very last scene. (3/10)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Good Special Effects And A Decent Story That Fits The Genre Well Enough
This gets off to a decent enough start as an American atomic submarine gets caught and held by ... something! We don't know what it is, they don't know what it is - but whatever it is, it's big! Eventually the sub escapes and reports what happened to the somewhat skeptical Navy brass, bringing with them a hunk of flesh that got trapped in the propellers. Experts are called in, and eventually it's determined that this thing is a giant octopus that has developed a taste for human flesh and appears to be wreaking devastation throughout the North Pacific.
It's a 50's sci-fi flick, so you have to set your expectations accordingly. I appreciated the fact that there was a bit of a twist involved in this. While the giant octopus was radiated (presumably by US atomic tests) it wasn't a giant octopus because of the radiation. It was just a giant octopus that had been radiated. Apparently there might be lots of them down there. We're told that, in fact, there have been reports of such beasts going back hundreds of years. Go figure. I thought that made for a more interesting story than just a normal octopus who got radiated and grew huge as a result. And the special effects by the famous Ray Harryhausen were pretty good - by the standards of those pre-CGI days anyway - and the attack on San Francisco was pretty well portrayed. The creature's tentacles are moved by stop action work, and they're pretty effective. The cast was about as you'd expect it to be - not great, not awful. They played their parts.
Some of the backdrop to the creature scenes are less than riveting. This being a part of the 50's radiated monster genre there has to be a romance, because a giant octopus should never stand in the way of romance. That was provided by Kenneth Tobey as the sub commander and Faith Domergue as one of the scientists. There's an attempt to portray Domergue's Dr. Joyce as a very liberated woman. She comes across well in that way sometimes. On the other hand, she sometimes stares wide- eyed as the men make various points, she falls for Cmdr. Matthews pretty easily and I thought it odd that a highly liberated woman and expert marine biologist would scream like a little girl every time the creature appears and throw herself into Matthews' arms for protection. I mean, I get that it's a giant octopus - but it's still an octopus and she's an expert marine biologist and ... Well, I guess in the 50's you could only take women's lib so far.
It's not a disappointing movie and it fits well into the genre of which it was a part. But on the other hand it was a part of that genre - so don't set your expectations too high. (6/10)