Mike’s Not-So Complete Guide to 2019 Summer Flicks
If I could go to the movie theater every week, I would, but unfortunately, it’s not an option in my universe. That being said, I was able to check out five of 2019’s summer offerings. The pickings this summer, at least by whatever standard I maintain, seemed relatively slim. I can’t say I was at any point clamoring to go out and see the latest Fast Franchise cash grab/ego-trip Hobbs & Shaw, so I didn’t.
So, without further ado, let’s run them down chronologically.
Avengers: Endgame showed up right as summer was starting to rear its sunny little head. For those who aren’t familiar, shame on you, this is currently the highest grossing film of all time. It is also the finale to a franchise phase ten years in the making.
The film picks up after last year’s Avenger’s Infinity War and sees our Marvel superheroes devastated by the effects of bloated grape nut Thanos’ sinister “snap” which wiped out half of the known population. Time has passed and the remaining heroes decide it’s time to put a plan in action to bring their allegedly dead buddies back to life.
Anyway, without getting into too much detail, this movie is three hours of exactly what you’d expect it to be, for better or worse. If I was nine years old, this would probably be the greatest film of all time for me. As a 29-year-old, it was at times nothing more than glitzy special effects and a who’s-who of ultra-famous celebrities. This movie is by no stretch of the imagination bad, it’s just predictable and kind of boring.
Infinity War was like The Empire Strikes Back and this movie is kind of like Return of the Jedi. All of the motions play out exactly as you expect them to, for the most part. The stakes never really seem that high because there’s practically no way a film like this could ever end on a down note.
The next film I’ll talk about is another series continuation: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.
The most ridiculous thing about this film isn’t the insane action, the unparalleled special effects or the wickedly dark humor, it’s the stupid title. That being said, this movie offers fans of the franchise exactly what they want: violence and gratuitous bloodshed at the hands of America’s favorite badass.
2019 has really been the “Keanu-ssance.” You couldn’t turn around for five minutes without seeing Keanu Reeves picture or name plastered somewhere across the Internet. So, by the time this film came out, I was a little fatigued on hearing about how the guy was spotted casually eating ice cream or petting a dog somewhere. If the Internet is great at one thing, it’s ruining a good thing.
Fortunately, that didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of this film. John Wick 3 has a glorious first act, a slower than usual second act and a return to form third act. For fans of action and the franchise as a whole, this one won’t disappoint, but I wouldn’t say this film is particularly for everyone.
The third film I had the opportunity to catch was the reboot of the 1980’s horror classic Child’s Play. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this movie going into it, but I actually ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would. For anyone curious, I am a total sucker for cheesy horror, so this one played right into my hand.
It’s by no means a conventionally “good” movie, but it’s decent for what it is. I appreciated that the filmmakers tried to give Chucky a more modern edge by making him artificially intelligent rather than a possessed doll. Purists of the franchise may find this reboot to be problematic, but it’s an excellent popcorn flick for folks looking to shut their brains off for an hour and a half.
The next film I took in was Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film Parasite which took home the Palm D’Or at the Cannes film festival this year. I’ve been a fan of this director’s work since the wickedly dark Memories of Murder, so I was quite curious to see what his new film was going to be like, and boy is it a trip.
Parasite is about as pitch black and bizarre as modern cinema gets. Without giving much away, the film tells the story of a poor family struggling to find their way in a society that wants nothing to do with a lower class. Through various forms of manipulation, they find themselves leading double lives and working for an incredibly affluent family. Just as everything seems to be falling in place for them, a dark secret reveals itself and the lives of everyone will be dramatically altered forever.
I know that’s vague but spoiling this movie would be criminal. The twist that goes down halfway into this movie turns the whole thing on its head and left me with my mouth open until the bitter end. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone attracted to foreign cinema.
Finally, I saw the film Ready or Not which is kind of like a cross between The Most Dangerous Game and Clue. I wasn’t particularly interested in this movie because its trailers didn’t market it to look very interesting, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. This movie is violent, over the top and pretty comical.
The movie doesn’t boast any incredibly big names, but a slew of competent character actors turn in unique and almost cartoon-quality performances. This movie somehow manages to keep its fast pace throughout the entire picture without really stopping for any time to breath. I imagine a movie like this will have high replay value on FX next year.
So, those are the five movies I saw this summer. I can say, with confidence, none of them were bad. With the Fall and Winter films starting to show off their trailers, it looks like movie-goers are going to have a lot to choose from: Terminator: Dark Fate, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Top Gun: Maverick. Let the year of reboots and sequels roll on!
Final Score Card:
- Avengers: Endgame – 3/5
- John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum – 3.5/5
- Child’s Play – 3.5/5
- Parasite – 4/5
- Ready or Not – 3.5/5