Aliens! Time travel! Chris Pratt’s Aw Shucks Everyman Demeanor!
BQB here with a review of Amazon’s latest (first?) sci-fi blockbuster.
In its early days, streaming media brought us a new age of golden television, with a lot of hits coming to the forefront that would have otherwise been lost. Lately, in the past few years, IMO, streaming service generated movies and/or TV have been rather stale, stagnant – devised by committee tripe designed to appeal to the widest possible audience without really achieving anything.
In my further opinion, Amazon has been the worst at creating its own content. At least Netflix gave us House of Cards and Stranger Things. Hulu gave us The Handmaid’s Tale, though it looks like they’re going to milk that for all its worth and never come up with something new.
Amazon has had a couple of interesting flicks here and there. While I would never watch it again for fear of being swept into a depression coma, Manchester-by-the-Sea was a sad, poignant study of how sometimes a man can screw up his life so badly that a happy ending is simply not possible. I also enjoyed 2019’s The Aeronauts, about a death defying flight in a hot air balloon in the 1800s.
But by and large, Amazon really stunk it up. I finally ponied up the dough for their streaming service in March to watching Coming to America 2 and while it had its fun moments, it was sad, watching the great comedian Eddie Murphy, who no doubt still has plenty of funny left in him, be proverbially chained up like a captured tiger in a cage, unable to roar and make us roar with laughter because, OMG, he might offend someone somewhere and Amazon can’t have that. Someone might get so offended they might go to another service that will allow them to buy a toothbrush and a tin drum of popcorn and a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers and have them delivered the next day by a minimum wage worker who has to pee in a jar because they aren’t allowed pee breaks.
Where was I? Oh, right. A movie review. Anyway, I’d been thinking about getting around to cancelling Amazon Prime because the movies weren’t worth the monthly cost, and sure Prime allowed my fuzzy bunny slippers to be delivered earlier, but I’d rather wait and save the dough. But I’ll admit this movie was pretty good and thus I’ll wait a bit longer to cancel the service.
Chris Pratt stars as an Iraq War veteran turned high school science teacher who dreams of doing something big with his life, but can’t catch a break. He’s married to hottie Betty Gilpin and has a daughter but he dreams of doing great things with science. One wonders, if he dreams so much of being a great science, why he doesn’t go study more science, but it is a movie.
Time travelers from the future arrive to inform us that in 30 years, the world will be overrun by freaking scary ass aliens. A debate ensues as to whether or not present folk should venture forth into the future to assist future people in the fight. Some say yes because these people are our collective kids. Some say no because, you know, the aliens aren’t attacking us now so eff the future people, it’s their problem.
The debate becomes moot when a worldwide draft is handed down, and literally everyone and I mean everyone is drafted. Dark humor ensues at the start of the film when Pratt is drafted and with his soldier training, most lead a rag tag group of civilians against an alien horde. You’ve got people showing up to fight in regular clothes, grandmas struggling just to put their boots on, people who have never handled a gun before, it’s a mess. But that’s how bad the problem is – doesn’t matter if you’re old or incompetent at fighting, if you have a pulse, the govt will stick a gun in your hand and demand you travel to the future to fight aliens.
Amidst this chaos, Pratt meets his daughter, all grown up (Yvonne Strahovski.) They could have played up the father/daughter working together while they are the same age angle more, maybe even for laughs, but they did it very straight here, Pratt’s character mostly following her orders out of respect for her position though occasionally breaking rank at times where, hey, he’s not going to let anything happen to his kid, rules be damned.
Rounding out the cast is JK Simmons as Pratt’s estranged father, who is given a chance to redeem himself in the fight.
Overall, it’s a good movie that somehow survived Amazon’s design a film by committee so as to appeal to everyone and not offend anyone strategy and if theaters were open to full strength, it would have been enjoyable to watch this on the big screen with surround sound. As with many action sci-fi films, a lot of suspension of disbelief is required and there are dumb moments, but hey, it’s got guns and aliens, so it’s worth a watch.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but I still haven’t forgiven Amazon for muzzling Eddie.
I specifically looked your review up because Kev just watched this film. 😀 He told me how ridiculous it was and how Chris Pratt was the only decent actor.
So ooo now we’re disappointed that you liked it. 😀
I’m not sure I liked it so much as its something Amazon made that wasn’t completely terrible. I feel like now that the streaming services have taken over, they’re churning out crap because they figure we have no alternative and Amazon has been the worst offender.
There were obvious plotholes, the first being wouldn’t it make more sense to have all the future people retreat to the past and work with the past people at a time when they have 30 years to come up with a solution to fight the aliens? This seems like it makes more sense than to grab overweight old people off the street, put guns into their hands and send them to the future to be slaughtered as alien fodder. But then there wouldn’t be a movie.
Also, it has Betty Gilpin, who I like because in GLOW there is a season where she hooks up with an old millionaire who saves the failing lady wrestling franchise with his money so I like to think once my self-publishing millions come in I could score a Betty Gilpin or a reasonable facsimile thereof…or at least her character as the real BG probably only wants young millionaires. In conclusion, I have to become a millionaire.
😀 Kev said a lot of points like that were not explained.
I’m no expert on dating in these fun, internet times, but do know that The Millionaire Plan for a hot babe doesn’t work as well as The Get Fit, Dress Well, and Have a Stable Income approach. 🙂
I have the last one. I mean, you knew I didn’t have the first because I complain about it all the time but you just assumed the last two. I will give you fat and bad dresser but the income situation is fine…I’m just saying for someone as old as I am at this point to start a family, you got to be Trump rich to score a younger babe with a baby factory that’s still operational. A younger babe isn’t going to want an old geezer, like even a fit geezer, unless he has a lot of money. And I say this semi-facetiously because I get that wouldn’t be much of a relationship so…I don’t like it but I accept it, there’s not going to be any kids and will there be like, a happy love story? Eh…people get that in their lives like once, maybe twice and I blew my chances when I was young so…in conclusion, acquiring a trophy wife with toilet gator millions is the current goal.
The rule is half your age plus seven. Work on the other two and you’ll have it made.
You also ought stop trying for ‘hot babes.’ Even if you score one, they are not the faithful sort. Even poor Bill Gates is out a woman.
Yeah, hot babes out of my league have always been my Achille’s heel.
I basically deserve where I’m at now. No one liked me, then there was a 6 month period in my late 20s when women popped out of the woodwork left and right to go out with me…I thought wow this is cool I can play the field forever and then it instantly dried up. It wasn’t till years later I realized all the women in my orbit had their baby clocks ring at the same time and thus my hideousness started to look not so bad. Oh well.
I never thought Melinda Gates was all that hot. I’m not sure what their break up is all about. Thus far, it sounds like Bill was a perv who chased babes and was constantly rebuffed and Melinda was tired of the embarrassment. If he has a side of the story he hasn’t shared it yet. Just goes to show that all the money in the world and being the inventor of Windows still can’t get you hot babes if u are hideous.
Thus is my problem. I could get rich and muscular but I’d still look like the love child of Steve Buscemi and Ron Pearlman.
I met one hot babe once a long time ago, during that 6 month period and she was very hot and very nice and unfortunately I let her go and I have regretted it since. You will only get one hot one who is nice and able to look past the Gollum looks in a lifetime.
But anyway, thank you for being my free psychiatrist in the movie review comments. If anyone ever read this I’d be embarrassed to put it out there.
😀 😀 I was wondering that…. you can delete. Feel free to email me. And, remember that math equation. You may not have the past, but you can have the future.
I mean, at my youngest and most handsome I couldn’t get women to save my life so I’m not sure how as an old geezer I’m supposed to get a younger woman without a Toilet Gator fortune but it’s a nice thought.