Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

In the way it captures the injustice, high stakes, and high-running emotions of the revolution it triumphs, and loudly–the music, the sounds, the turns all scream for your attention (see especially Hampton’s welcome home speech). As a whole it feels a bit scattered though, with biopic-obligatory-feeling side plots (see Jake’s revenge), teased but discarded character dynamics (see Roy’s discomfort with Hoover), and a titular relationship that doesn’t quite live up to its dramatic potential.
7

Johnny English Reborn (2011)

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Johnny English goes up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier. (IMDb)
Has a few good sequences (see the clever spoof of the classic rooftop chase, pointless helicopter hijack, awkwardly delayed bathroom confrontation) but also some cringe-worthy ones (see the opening Tibet training montage, life-saving kiss). Most of the rest is in between: a mediocre spy plot (who was this murderous lady who kept showing up?) slathered with slight-chuckle-worthy slapstick and dramatic irony along the lines of the first film, just with a little less luster this time around.
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Widows (2018)

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Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. (IMDb)
Great cast, cool flourishes (see the car-convo tracking shot), but never gets into a good groove (maybe for a few minutes during its heist prep montage). There’s a grief-themed character study, a women-empowerment thread, a shady politics sub-plot, and a heist movie all thrown in there-all with potential, but focusing on just two of the four would’ve made for a more impactful film. As it is, it feels disjointed (the attempt at a plot-tying twist only raises more questions) and is hard to get into.
6.5/10 (Alright)