Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. (IMDb)
An okay first act (woman saving man as the first big plot point is a highlight amongst the generic child flashback/training scenes) and a messy third act (the surprise villain is unfounded and weakly executed; same goes for WW’s love thing) are held up by a wonder-ful second act in which Diana’s touching mix of compassion, innocence, and magnificent strength breaks through patriarchal bullshit in spectacular fashion (I nearly cried when she said “no” to Steve and leapt out of the trench).
John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working undercover, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces. (IMDb)
Sorry Skip, your repeated “I’m on vacation” one-liner doesn’t cut it; John wasn’t on vacation and if he really was such a reluctant hero he wouldn’t have driven off bridges and over cars when he still had no idea what was going on. A protagonist has never been more annoying (the eye-rolling father-son dynamics don’t help), nor a plot more generic and lazily written (hello cliche Russian villains–the carrot chewing scene is unbearable). The helicopter crash at the end looked pretty cool though.
John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C. (IMDb)
Willis’ gruff cop and Long’s sheltered geek make a fun odd couple, but the former’s “old-school” attitude gets annoying quick, especially when the tech-ignorance gives way to blatant racism (“Kung-Fu shit” and “Asian hooker bitch”? Really?). Elsewhere, the writing is ridiculous (the bad guys can literally hack anything in seconds) and full of plot holes and the action sequences often match it (see helicopter vs. car; car in the elevator; semi vs. fighter jet). Mostly fun, but really dumb.
John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building. (IMDb)
Darker than ever, thanks to some super high stakes (see the school bomb) and what feels like the biggest and bloodiest bad guy body count yet. The former offers some great moments of drama (see the “fire drill” at the school) but the latter makes it a little harder to swallow the triumphant “let him burn” and “yippie-kai-yay” at the end. For the most part though, Willis’ dry wit (“attention! Nils is dead!”) and action heroics continue to entertain, and Jackson proves to be an enjoyable sidekick.
John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. (IMDb)
A solid sequel, even if it tries a bit too hard to be self-aware (both John and Holly comment on how the same thing is happening to them again) and then rehashes the famous yippie-kai-yay line. There’s still great action (the final airplane sequence is a standout) with high stakes (see the unexpected mid-movie crash) and Willis still has the same swag and dry humour (his ongoing feud with the cops entertains). The villain isn’t quite as good but the empty shells SWAT twist almost made up for it.
Autobots must escape sight from a bounty hunter who has taken control of the human serendipity: Unexpectedly, Optimus Prime and his remaining gang turn to a mechanic, his daughter, and her back street racing boyfriend for help. (IMDb)
Excepting the increased amount of shameless product placements and flat one-liners, this is the most mature of the series thus far: Wahlberg is a steady lead, the father-daughter central relationship is refreshing, Tucci’s villain gives us an actual dynamic character, and the plot is easier to follow, even if it ends in yet another bloated (but still impressive) final action sequence featuring Transformer dinosaurs of all things (though KSI’s far-fetched tech almost tops them in ridiculousness).
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. (IMDb)
A few new faces, a lot of the same old shit (cars, explosions, a model to take by the hand everywhere, a plot that’s cheesy and/or confusing and exposited by boring dialogue) with some new things to groan at (enough pop songs and product placement already) but some saving graces too (Sam’s restlessness, the Dylan twist, the hopeless feeling before the final battle–the latter of which finally paired the impressive CGI with some coherent and cool action sequences; see the glass building collapse).