HBO managed to depict this chapter of the Chernobyl saga in a fraction of the time and never relied on manufactured melodrama to pad things out. Chernobyl 1986 tells a watered-down version of the same story, adding nothing new or revelatory – not even interesting characters – which makes its existence is sort-of superfluous. And why settle for a simple vanilla cone when a scrumptious sundae is available?
The Power feels stuck in second gear. Character exposition comprises most of the first act, but while Valerie certainly earns our sympathy, most others are painted in broad strokes and the vengeful spirit turns out to be something we’ve seen many times before. The film is deliberately paced and atmospheric, but relies too heavily on gratuitous jump-scares for its own good, to the point where we wish it would stop throwing us false alarms and get on with the story.
I suspect those who grew up with Space Jam might be a little put-off by the sequel’s overemphasis on spectacle. At the same time, it’s obvious A New Legacy was created to appeal to a generation raised on the internet, immersive video games and the certainty that King James – not Air Jordan – is the greatest basketball player of all time. And for all I know, those same kids will find the sight of Porky rapping very funny. In that respect, I suppose the film succeeds.
Habit is an abject failure on all counts, a blatantly calculated attempt at Tarantino-esque hipness while neglecting to provide a single reason we should give a damn about any of these characters and the situation they’ve gotten themselves into. That situation has slutty slacker Mads (Bella Thorne) and her two dim-witted besties getting on the wrong side of psychotic, perpetually-screaming drug dealer Queenie (Josie Ho) by losing $20,000 of her money. They decide to disguise themselves as nuns so they can hide-out in the home of a kindly blind woman.
Like the theatrical cut, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is ultimately a mixed bag, though perhaps for different reasons. The film certainly has issues of its own, most notably the extreme length and the director’s increasing reluctance to trim the fat. And more than ever, those not completely up-to-speed on the DCEU will feel they’re attending a party they weren’t invited to. Others might consider those liabilities to be virtues and a major part of what makes the film his crowning achievement. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the Cult of Snyder not loving all 242 minutes of it.
But while none-too-original, Great White is certainly watchable. Viewers might even find considerable enjoyment in its utter predictability. Like comfort food or a Hallmark movie, there’s nothing special or surprising about it, but at least you know what you’re gonna get. Shark fans with similarly modest expectations shouldn’t be disappointed.