There are quite a number of good releases on the big screen this month, which would really make date night to the movies this Valentine’s Day a worthy one, but pick the wrong movie and you’re headed for disappointment. Here are a few reviews to help with that:
I’ve got to say, the concept and storyline behind Monster Trucks is quite a unique one and a really refreshing change from Transformers. The idea of an actual living, breathing, feeling creature that is far more powerful than the typical horse, serving as the engine of your truck is a thrilling one and the bond between man and his ride becomes a lot more real. In this movie, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a monster truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed and oil, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town with a most unlikely friend.
It’s packed with high-speed chase scenes and races, with stunts that are so crazy far-fetched that only a 9-year-old boy could love them. The movie is very much targeted at young boys with even the romance being downplayed in this movie. The female character, Meredith, played by Jane Levy, seems to fancy Tripp a lot more than he fancies her, and he spends most of his time just ignoring her in typical pre-adolescent fashion. The plot is light and easy and predictable. It’s a great movie for kids, especially if they are all boys, but not one I’d recommend for datenight.
This was one of the best movies I’ve seen this season, which keeps its audience on the edge of their seats with the sudden and unpredictable change between relaxed and high paced scenes. Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organisation in the present day, as the search for the apple of Eden continues. The backstory is a little off, historically speaking, but the overall storyline, fight sequences and cinematography are brilliant to say the least. The character of Maria, played by Ariane Labed, is perhaps the most skilfully portrayed by the Greek actress and one that definitely holds her audience’s attention with a mysterious dark beauty. This is definitely a must watch for those action junkies.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
This is a movie that promises a lot but delivers so little. It has all the right elements for an epic action-packed flick but is just stitched together in such a floppy, haphazard way. After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora’s Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government. Bollywood sensation, Deepika Padakone joins Diesel in this one, and while she is as gorgeous as ever, her performance leaves much to be desired. The actress doesn’t so much hold her own as the others who have made the switch from Bollywood to Hollywood do. As is the norm with the xXx franchise, the action scenes are far-fetched with us even seeing Diesel skiing through a jungle, and surfing on a motorbike though the ocean. Diesel’s know-it-all arrogance becomes a bit annoying after a while and the chemistry between Diesel and Padakone is too forced. The script with the not-so-witty-but-rather-lame retorts really does the big characters a great injustice. It’s predictable for the most part with generic characters – well all for sidekick, Adele Wolf, played by Ruby Rose, who was the most colourful of the lot – and is not a movie I’d recommend in a hurry.