Tigers Are Not Afraid

This week’s pick is something I heard about on a horror podcast and have had on my list for some time. It’s a pretty brutal fantasy horror which frankly, is right up my street but might not be your cup of tea if you’re averse to children being fatally harmed. Which would be fair enough.

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

“A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war”

Director: Issa López
Stars: Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Nery Arredondo

*Lots and lots of spoilers*

Estrella (Lara) is a young girl living in a Mexican city devastated by the infamous Mexican Drug War. She’s at school learning about fairy tales when class is dismissed indefinitely due to violent gunfire outside the building. Amid the panic of the incident, the students and teachers are forced to dive for cover.

While on the floor, Estrella’s teacher gives her three pieces of chalk and tells her they will grant her three wishes.

Meanwhile, on the streets Shine (López) steals a gun and an iPhone from the henchman of crime boss Chino (who is actually well-known politician Servando Esparza). The henchman, Caco is fucked out of his nut so doesn’t notice the mugging or the fact that Shine seems keen to blow his head off. Luckily for Caco, Shine can’t pull the trigger.

Following her eventful day at school, Estrella returns home to find that her mother is nowhere to be found. She waits for days for her to return and grows increasingly worried/hungry. She fears her mother has fallen victim to The Huascas, a human-trafficking ring masterminded by Chino. She wishes that her mother would return and that night suffers horrible haunting visions of her.

The ghost implores Estrella to “bring him to us”. Later she catches Shine looting her apartment. When she confronts him, he shouts at her that her mother is dead.

Estrella follows Shine to his make shift home where he lives with his friends, other street orphans called Morro, Tucsi and Pop. Morro is super, super young and carries a toy tiger. She tells the boys that she’s hungry. Shine tells her he doesn’t care about her and is very anti having a girl around. Estrella sticks with the boys though and in particular, bonds with little Morro. Shine still has hold of the phone he stole (it has a photo of his mother on it) but by now it has become clear that the cartel know he has it and they vow to get it back at any cost.

When Morro is taken, Shine gives Estrella the gun and tells her if she kills Caco and gets him back, she can stay in the gang. She doesn’t want to do this but is eventually persuaded. She breaks into Caco’s apartment but wishes that she doesn’t have to kill him. When she approaches she realises he’s already been murdered. Estrella lets off the gun anyway and allows the boys to believe she’s killed him.

The kids are forced to go on the run when Caco’s brother comes after them and they start to wonder what’s on the phone that’s got their knickers in such a twist.

A lot goes on but the gist is that Morro is killed accidentally, the kids make a deal with Chino – to hand over the phone if he calls off The Huascas – and Shine finds a video on the phone of Chino murdering a woman. While the children deal with the loss of Morro, Chino reveals that he was the one that murdered Caco, thus revealing Estrella to be a flaming liar. Shine is particularly angry with her and the boys shun her.

Alone in the abandoned building the kids have been calling home, Estrella is once again haunted by ghosts, this time all the victims of Chino and his gang. They implore Estrella once again “bring him to us” – I think they want you to do something for them, love.

When the boys bury Morro, Estrella is lead back to them by Morro’s ghost.

The kids meet up with Chino and he holds up his end of the bargain, however Shine has worked out that the woman in the murder video is Estrella’s mother and he wants to tell her. He gives Chino a fake phone and he in turn murders every one of his henchmen.

In return for Shine’s kindess/honesty, Estrella uses her last wish to grant him what he wants – for her to remove the facial scar he sports from the tragic fire that also stole his mother’s life. She’d been reluctant up until now, convinced that each of the wishes has lead to something bad.

She’s not wrong though and she finds herself alone again (Tucsi and Pop are long gone, Shine is dead) and running from Chino who has worked out the double cross. Estrella is guided by Morro’s toy tiger to the room in which her mother was killed.

She finds a pile of hideously decaying corpses but tricks Chino into the room where the ghosts, including Shine have their way with him.

This film is truly gorgeous with some wonderful supernatural/fantastical imagery. Morro’s tiger is wonderfully animated, while there are some really effective scares. Every one of the children are brilliant, their gang is one you really warm to quickly. Shine is a very damaged boy who tries to be hard but hasn’t really got him in it, while Estrella is nails.

This is a very sad tale which has really opened my eyes to the trauma suffered by children forced to live with nothing on the streets. The end made me weep like a goddamn baby but I loved it.

4/5

What does my own little tiger think if this one? Would she set up home with it on the roof or leave it to starve? Find out here.

It Chapter Two

Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) is back to terrorize Derry and there’s only one thing for our gang to do – come back and kill the fucking clown. A promise is a promise after all…

It Chapter Two

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

You’ll Float Again

*Spoilers*

My Review

27 years after the events of the first film, we catch up with Bev, Stanley, Richie, Bill, Ben, Mike and Eddie as full grown adults, all doing their own thing outside Derry. Well, all but Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) who stayed to keep an eye on the small town and the unspeakable evil that lurks beneath it. When it becomes apparent that It – despite their victory against it last time – has not disappeared forever as they’d hoped, Mike is forced to call The Losers back together for a new fight.

None of the gang remember much except Mike, something has happened to their memories of the town they grew up in and the childhoods they knew. Most of all their summer of friendship is a blur. As they settle back into their roles within the group, these memories start to come back – and it’s not all roses. Mike must convince them to keep their vow to do what it takes to defeat It once and for all.

Unfortunately Stanley (Andy Bean) can’t join his friends – and in addition to the killer clown, the relentless pest Pennywise – the Losers also have to contend with their old bully Henry Bowers (Teach Grant), who’s just escaped the mental institution that has held him since he brutally murdered his own father. Can our pals evade a stab-happy Bowers, clear their minds and beat the shit out of the third creepiest clown in cinematic history before going back to their respective lives?

My Comments

I can’t go too far into the play by play, there’s just too much ground to cover. It is an epic story and it spans a lot of time. At 2 hours 49 it’s a beast of a movie and I loved it. I’ve seen in twice now and it’s full of all the wonder and magic and terror and nostalgia I needed. The film is imperfect and not all of it works but I’m delighted with the adaptation of a book that means a lot to me and I have no doubt that will grow with every viewing.

The effects are amazing if a little much in some places – looking at you naked hag – and the casting of the adult versions of the Losers is spot on. Particularly Eddie (James Ransone) and Richie (Hader) who steal the show with their chemistry (much as they did as kids). James McAvoy is obviously very easy on the eye and brings a solidity to Bill Denbrough, the unofficial leader of the gang. And Uncle Stephen‘s cameo was brilliant too.

Main man Bill Skarsgård nails PW perfectly. He’s really grown into the role – I particularly enjoyed the scene in which he manipulates a little girl by way of her physical insecurities (and then eats her). The scene in which the gang come together for the first time in a Chinese restaurant is also glorious – and hideous, in equal measure. I love how the film flashes between past and present day, perfectly morphing the adults back into children, pulling at our heartstrings as it goes. I can’t look at baby Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) without wanting to smoosh the shit out of him, he’s so vulnerable and precious.

“Your hair is winter fire
January embers
My heart burns there, too.”

I have beef too – mainly the way they used Bowers and his crew. In the book the human terror was just as prolific as the supernatural and Henry posed a massive threat to the gang. In Chapter Two he’s reduced to a secondary character and framed as the light comedy relief which is just wrong. His story line never really goes anywhere. Likewise, Bill’s wife Audra and Beverly’s husband are underused and the emphasis on Bev’s lifelong cycle of abuse is not very clear. I think it’s a key element of who she is and how she defeats her demons. As a result adult Bev isn’t very well-developed and Chastain is quite overshadowed by her adolescent counterpart.

It needs to mentioned that the movie opens with a horrendous homophobic attack. It is obviously incredibly difficult to watch – but I’m glad they didn’t shy away from including it in the film. It goes some way towards making the point that Derry is bad because of an inherent evil that dwells there (or are people just bad?). The image of Pennywise putting out a hand to help a drowning man is chilling to the core and the scene looks exactly as I imagined it in my mind.

There’s a lot of fat phobia – Eddie’s ma in particular is not treated very respectfully, while Ben was only hot once he got skinny and did some crunches (true the source material) but how good would it be for the fat dude to get the girl, no questions asked?

It is a mammoth book and it would be very hard to cover everything across two films, so I shouldn’t be too sore about the missed bits. I’m still delighted with what I got and I’m sad it’s over. It may be about fear and the birth of evil but it’s also the perfect ode of the kind of friendship you’ll always hold near, even if you lose touch. I cried my eyes out as the credits rolled (both times).

Now, what I wouldn’t give for a Pennywise backstory spin off!

Film details:

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader
Director: Andy Muschietti
Year: 2019
IMDB Rating: 7/10
My Rating: 5/5

What are you watching? Have you seen It? What did you think?

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

We’re back on our bullshit with a Free-for-all month, which if I’m honest is kind of my favourite theme outside of Halloween. This week we spend 90 minutes (and a bit) with one of the most elegant men in cinematic history.

A legendary American war veteran is recruited to hunt a mythical creature.

Sam ElliottAidan TurnerCaitlin FitzGeraldLarry Miller

*Spoilers*

Calvin Barr (Elliott) is living out his twilight years in modest surroundings. With his faithful hound in tow, he’s getting by but also feeling his age.

Via the medium of flashback we learn that the young Calvin (Turner) was once the handsome beau of Maxine (FitzGerald), until he was called away to war. Undercover as a Nazi, Calvin was the man who put a bullet in Adolf Hitler’s head. Since it was a secret mission, the government covered it up – and history played out as we know it now.

Unfortunately, as Calvin recounts later, the assassination didn’t stop the Nazi agenda and he became a murderer for nothing. The FBI know who he is though and this is an important point for later on.

In present time, our boy still has the moves – as he fends off a group of muggers when they try to take his car. He’s also being tailed by a couple of mysterious men. So life’s not all dull.

As Calvin laments his lost love and we find out more about their love story via his memory bank, it seems the world isn’t done with him yet. The American and Canadian FBI to be exact want him for one last job – to kill a disease-ridden Bigfoot before he infects more people and causes the destruction of all humankind.

Right.

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There’s a lot about this film that just seems incredibly pointless. When Jill suggested it, I assumed from the title that I was in for a B-movie/exploitation adventure. While this is quite the bizarre premise, it’s also very slow and ponderous. I don’t mind that but this film has a fucking Yeti in it and somehow just doesn’t come through.

If anyone but my love Elliott was playing Calvin, I don’t think it would have worked as well. He manages to portray a vulnerability that breaks your heart at the same time as being a total badass. That wry smile of his gets me everytime.

Obviously Aidan Turner is a total piece as the young protagonist who just wants to propose to Maxine. Alas, duty calls and it keeps the young lovers apart, as it turns out, forever. I also enjoy the scenes between Calvin and his younger brother Ed (Miller), who never really had a traditional relationship but are working on it now.

I have to admit that the Yeti bit is fun but it’s a little random. It doesn’t really have any bearing on the story – and at the end, Calvin is presumed dead and there’s a funeral. I can’t work out why they thought he was dead unless he wanted them to – and then he comes back…

Anyway, I didn’t hate this, it just wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

Film details:

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot
Year: 2018
Director: Robert D. Krzykowski
IMDB Rating: 5.6/10
My Rating: 3/5

What does my queen think of this one? Would change history by murdering it or let it live in the wilds of North America instead? Find out here.

Hellboy

Demons Have Demons Too.

Hellboy (2019)

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

Starring: David Harbour • Milla Jovovich • Ian McShane • Sasha Lane

*Minor spoilers*

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“Who are you calling ‘Helmet’?”

Who are you calling a monster, pal? Have you looked in the mirror recently? ~ Hellboy

This movie has received a lot of negative reviews. Milla Jovovich herself was asked what she thought of all the bad press and she responded that it will be a cult classic instead – and fuck the box office (to paraphrase). Which is possibly the best answer ever.

Having now seen it for myself, I can safely say… I completely agree with her.

Nobody is more surprised than me to learn that I loved this. I adored del Toro‘s HB movies more than cocoa puffs. BUT – I had a high old time with the new Hellboy (though admittedly it took me a moment). David Harbour might not have been my first choice to fill Ron Perlman‘s boots but I’m glad he’s here now.

The addition of psychic conduit Sasha Lane to the cast – as well as a fine turn (as always) from Ian McShane and a little help from a wild and wonderful new friend – and this does have the makings of a film you’d revisit again and again. Screw the people who didn’t like it.

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Yaaaaaas (Blood) Kween

Directed by Dog Soldiers’ Neil Marshall, it is extremely gory – with limbs flying and eyeballs exploding left and right. It is bloody for the sake of being bloody in places – and I am down for that.

Sure, some of the dialogue is utterly laughable but in that 90’s action movie way, particularly the one liners. In fact, most of the things this movie has been criticised for are the things I loved about it. It’s fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.

There’s a wonderful and grotesque segment inside Baba Yaga’s walking house which I adored – and the story itself, while stupid in place, is firmly grounded in old English folklore so what’s not to like.

Jovovich plays it pretty straight as super villainess Numue the Blood Queen but has a comedic sidekick in the form of pig faced Gruagach (voiced by Stephen Graham). And while we failed to stay for the post-credit scenes (rookies), this does climax with a hint to what could follow in the Hellboy universe and I’m there with bells on.

Yeah, I probably would

Glynn and I were pretty much the only two people in the cinema enjoying ourselves but I’m not mad about being in the minority – come see me when this is the ultimate cult classic in 25 years time and I’ll tell you – I told you so.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place (2018)

Directed by: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe

IMDB Synopsis

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

*Minor spoilers*

Jeeper creepers, this is not a film for anyone looking for a relaxing ride. Tension is pumped up to the max as the Abbott family try desperately to evade blind monsters who have acute hearing to make up for their lack of sight. Eeek.

Before I begin I will say I went into this with little expectation and not much knowledge of the plot. All I knew was that our main protagonists have to STFU at all times. So with this in mind I’m going to try to avoid giving too much away.

Evelyn and Lee Abbott (IRL couple Blunt and Krasinski) live on a farm with their children, Beau, Marcus and Regan. Although this set up is far from fun and games, they have pretty much all they need or at least access to it, if they can just stay silent and not attract the attentions of the mysterious creatures surrounding them.

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Following a horrible accident, the family are challenged more than ever, not least within their relationships with each other. Marcus (Jupe) is taught survival skills by his father, something he is reluctant to do given how scared he is. Deaf Regan in contrast is eager to get stuck into the dirty work but her parents won’t let her. When the family starts to expand, protection is everything and the Abbotts will stop at nothing to save their clan from extinction.

Remember that all of this comes together with very little verbal communication. It’s not fair to say there is no dialogue as the bulk of it is brought together through sign language. The film is almost completely silent and this is an eery experience to share in public with a room full of strangers. The silence makes you feel very much part of the action and will make you think twice about crunching through that large box of popcorn.

While most cinema goers know how to behave, there is almost always a couple of people who DGAF and the boys next to me did their fair share of whispering. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment but it did force me to do a little bit of heavy sighing of my own. So go into this off-peak if you can and don’t you dare be one of those talkers, it’s unforgivable!

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As above, the way tension is crafted is the film’s best asset and there are scenes in it reminiscent of Aliens (1986). The effects are impressive and Emily Blunt delivers as always but I think deaf actress Millicent Simmonds as Regan is the stand out. Krasinski has talked openly about his decision to cast an actually deaf actor in order to gain insight into deafness as well as authentic reactions and it pays off beautifully (and should also be a no brainer, always).

Krasinski should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment, especially I think in a genre that is hard to get right sometimes. This film is by no means perfect and some of it is a little heavy-handed, while there are a few moments that seemed poorly thought out (in terms of character decisions), however it is very good and extremely effective. A must see.

My Rating

4/5.

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Bright (Film) Review

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Jill and I thought we’d take a break from Christmas viewing for one week to spend a little time in Fantasy Land with the fairies. Or Elves and Orcs, mainly.

This week’s pick had the added bonus of my mother’s input as we watched, since she’s been with us for Christmas. I have to say, her love of shit films echoes mine perfectly, thus making them at least 65% more enjoyable than they actually are.

So without ceremony and *spoilers*

Bright (2017)

IMDB Synopsis

Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. A human cop is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for.
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Neither ta but heaps of sour cream

My Review

Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is injured badly on the job one day while his partner, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) is buying burritos (which I think it pretty legit if we’re honest). Unfortunately, Jakoby isn’t just a cop, he’s also the first Orc police officer. Since Ward’s attacker was also an Orc this is going to lead to some political shit in a bit, just you wait and see.

Following Ward’s shooting (which he survives, just about), Jakoby is more or less blacklisted by his colleagues and seriously distrusted by his partner who feels let down by his lapse in judgement that day. He’s also been rejected by the Orc community for choosing the cop life over gang-banging. (If you’re looking for subtlety here, this isn’t the film for you).

I suppose a bit more background would be helpful. Humans live in rickety harmony with Elves and Orcs following thousands of years of fighting. While they all manage to live together, suspicion still bubbles beneath the surface.

Our Odd Couple may no longer get along but there’s still work to do and Ward is back on the job following a long recuperation. First he makes Jakoby watch another Orc get beaten up by cops to test his loyalty to the po po. Since Jakoby has only ever wanted to be a police officer the side he’s chosen is clear.

Then they pick up a mysterious dude with a sword that whispers something to Jakoby in Orcish about a prophecy and I didn’t really get it. Just that there’s a hint that maybe our two anti-heroes are more important that we’ve been lead to believe.

While all this madness is going on, Ward is being leant on by Internal Affairs to get a confession out of Jakoby for his actions on the day Ward was shot. He let the perp get away conveniently and the bureau want to sack him with probable cause. Ward isn’t comfortable with this but is promised an end to his crushing financial woes if he plays along.

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Bringing in the big guns

Shit gets real when Ward and Jakoby are called to a safe house (something about a militant group called Shield of Light) where loads of elves have been killed. They rescue the lone survivor, an incredibly annoying elf called Tikka who has a magic wand in her possession. The wand must not be touched by human hands unless that human is a ‘bright’.

And you know what? So much happens that I just can’t go into it all. I can however tell you that the partners are double crossed by back up officers and Jakoby tells Ward the much-needed truth about what happened when he chased his shooter that day – prompting Ward to take a massive leap of faith.

They go on the run with Tikka who is being chased by Leilah (Noomi Rapace), the true owner of the wand and there’s a super beautiful Elf called Kandomere (played by the most beautiful man in the world Edgar Ramirez) knocking about in the FBI too. He’s on the tail of Ward and Jakoby which is lucky for them tbh. He can chase me any day.

Jakoby along the way is forced to face his heritage and the consequences of his past actions, while Leilah draws closer. What’s the fucking prophecy all about though and what’s so special about Ward?

Why can’t Tikka get that goddamn hair out of her eyes and stop being such a sap? What is a bright and could someone close to us actually be one? And finally, is all this shit really worth it for Jakoby who has been isolated for so long from both Orc and Human communities?

You could watch this I suppose to find out the answers for yourselves. You know, if you can be arsed.

My Thoughts

Uh. Whatever. This has an awful lot going on and although it’s fun in places, I feel as though it takes itself way more seriously than it should. It’s also very heavy-handed on the messaging about race and police brutality. Which is fine, I guess. Subtlety is not something one expects from the director of Suicide Squad.

There’s not really much more I need to say. Why is it two hours long? Why was Tikka such a disappointing character? Why can’t real elf men like Kandomere really exist?

“Yeah, Christa? Fancy going out for a bite? Something elf-y?”

My Rating

2.5/5. SHRUG. Take or leave really.

What was Jill’s take on this one? Would she ram a wand in its eye or save it from savage Elves? Find out here.

The Machine (Film) Review

machine_ver4This week was Jillian’s choice in the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre. I’m not that great with Sci-fi, truth be told, so I think the idea of trying films I would never pick up under my own steam, is a good one.

This film was quite topical for me as I’d already watched Ex Machina (2015) at the beginning of the week. Both films have very similar subject matter, but are executed in completely different ways. The fact I watched them in such close succession is both a good and bad thing. Though when it comes down to it, they don’t really compare at all.

Who would win in a fight between the two? Don’t worry, I shall tell you shortly.

*As always, Spoilers*

The Machine (2013)

Director: Caradog W. James
Stars: Toby Stephens, Caity Lotz, Denis Lawson

IMDB Synopsis: In efforts to construct perfect android killing machines in a war against China, UK scientists exceed their goal and create a sentient cyborg.

My Review:

Channel 4 have recently released an all-too realistic looking trailer for new TV show, Humans, placing it innocuously (and creepily) within the other adverts, so A.I. and the concept of robots passing for members of the family is current to say the least. Add this to my viewing of Ex Machina, a film I looked forward to seeing for ages, and you could say there’s been a lot of futuristic ponderment going on this week.

G and I often pose hypothetical questions about mortality and the like to one another (usually he to I) and we ended up having a decent debate about Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, whether it really matters if your loved one is human or not, if you love him/her and he/she simulates love back*. So I appreciate a film that makes me think about things from an unusual angle.

The Machine was similar to Ex Machina in topic, but stylistically very different. The opening credits tell us that there has been a cold war with China, sending the UK into a great depression. The arms race is focused on powerful, intelligent machinery as a result. In short, cyborgs, baby. (Love saying that word out loud: Cyborg. Cyborrrrgg. Cyyyyyborgggg.)

Vincent is a clever and handsome scientist who has worked out a way to implant artificial segments of brain into wounded (and brain damaged) soldiers, giving them a quality of life they could never have imagined possible. Unfortunately, during an experimental surgery with a solider named Paul Dawson, he is disappointed when his subject fails to show empathy. Right away you wonder what Vince’s motivation is as an employee of the Ministry of Defense, working on deadly human/robotic weapon people, hoping for signs of humanity. You will find out.

Sadly, Paul Dawson goes mental and kills everyone, except Vincent, who is badly wounded but lives to fight another day, being all handsome.

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Soon, it becomes apparent that Vincent does have a driving force and it’s his daughter, who suffers from Rhett’s Syndrome. This will almost certainly come back to bite him on his tight bottom later in the film, mark my words. He is also haunted by nasty dreams and it doesn’t help that a woman who says she’s Paul Dawson’s mother is hanging around outside the M.O.D building, pushing for answers about what happened to her son.

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When Ava, a promising young woman appears looking for funding for a project, involving computers she has taught to be convincing ‘humans’, Vincent snaps her up as an employee right away. Concerned about Mrs Dawson, who appears on Ava’s first day, and intrigued by a rumour surrounding ‘Area 6’ (where all the wounded test subjects are kept), she starts to snoop, despite Vincent’s insistence that she minds her own effing business.

There’s a spark between them, and Ava agrees to help Vincent scan and ‘fix’ his daughter’s brain. Unfortunately, some things aren’t meant to be and Ava is murdered by a disgruntled Chinese man outside the base, not long afterwards.

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Meanwhile, there’s a girl called Suri (not Tom Cruise’s kid, sadly) creeping about recording things people are saying and communicating with the other soliders/security in a non-human way. (The security guards roaming the base are all former patients with brain implants). Vincent is convinced that the implant causes patients to lose the power of speech as a side effect, rendering all the guards mute, though it is obvious that he’s tripping because they’re all thick as ruddy thieves, transmitting thoughts between them.

Vincent goes above and beyond his remit by replicating the deceased Ava in cyborg form. He uses scans he’s made of her face previously and thus, The Machine is born. She is blonde, beautiful (but of course) and unlike Ava (presumably) has completely smooth parts.

Right away it appears she is not the killing machine Vincent’s boss, Thompson is keen for her to be. She’s sweet and trusting, so Thompson begins to manipulate her, stoking the fire of her inner rage with a big pokey stick.

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Handsome Vince is on a completely different page and gets pissed when The Machine accidentally kills an assistant dressed as a clown (I don’t blame you, Machine, KILL KILL KILL!), so she promises it won’t happen again. She is powerless against the manipulation of Thompson though and eventually unleashes her inner arse kicker.

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The questions: Is The Machine really as human as she’ll have Vincent believe? Can Thompson remove her empathetic side and get her onside as the world’s greatest killing machine? What’s with the Flashdance (1983) tribute scene? What are those naughty robot brained soldiers plotting; and finally, can Vincent save his daughter before all his resources are taken away?

Oh, and, are they romantically connected? I couldn’t quite determine it from the ending. I think not re: sexual organs, but sex ain’t always the main event so you never know.

My Thoughts:

Well, it wasn’t half bad, I’ll say that. It’s definitely not the closest thing to Blade Runner (1982) since Blade Runner, as the poster would have us believe but on its own merits, it’s not bad at all.

I don’t think I’m a Caity Lotz fan, though I haven’t seen her in anything else (her CV says Arrow (TV Series) and Mad Men, as well as The Flash (TV Series) and another DC project, so I’m guessing she’s big in the comic world). I just found her a bit hammy. Still, as a cyborg with a heart (or does she?), I don’t know what I’m expecting.

Toby is handsome and his scenes with his daughter are sweet enough, but it’s all a bit clinical for my taste. There’s not much heart or soul to this film which I think is where it falls down.That said, I enjoyed the climax, which all went a bit Superman III (1983) as the subjects, led by The Machine, clamber to destroy the quantum computer.

Compared to Ex Machina, though, which I loved, it doesn’t hold up as well. Perhaps it’s Oscar Issac that does it (another handsome scientist), or maybe it’s the bigger budget, the more visually stunning sets, the better actors – but to me it’s like comparing a ballet to a rock video. I like them both, but artistically, the ballet takes it, easily.

My Rating: 

3.5/5

Pop over to Jill’s shortly for her take.

*The answer, I believe, is a little bit yes and a little bit no. Conversation for a whole post!