Friday, March 9, 2018

Movie Mini-Reviews: Attack of the Killer Donuts (2016) and Death Wish (2018)

* Attack of the Killer Donuts (2016)

A town is under attack by donuts turned sentient by a chemical accident. I wasn't expecting good cinema with this movie, but I was expecting a fun, good time which I didn't get. The characters are all awful from spineless Johnny and his obviously cheating on him girlfriend to his mother who is oddly having an affair with her son's friend to his weird uncle only in the film long enough to infect donuts and mess things up. The only decent character by any stretch of the imagination is Michelle, the only one who see through the bullshit and is the only pro-active or competent one. Johnny steals the show as the hero later even though it makes no sense. I wanted way less human drama and way more donuts attacking people.

Speaking of donuts, I was even disappointed with the donuts. They are largely portrayed with digital effects and it looks terrible. A few scenes have puppets when they are stationary that looked adorable with creepy teeth. If these had been used more often, it would have made the film so much more fun to watch. The CGI looked cartoonish and made the film seem much more childish and poorly made than it was. These donuts fly through the air, spew green goo, and bite people in larger and larger numbers once they figure out how to make more of themselves. This could have been a fun movie, but the writing spent too much time on barely watchable relationships and gags over their adorable title characters.

My rating: 1/5 fishmuffins

* Death Wish (2018)

Dr. Paul Kersey decides to get his own revenge when the police have no leads on the criminals who murdered his wife and brutally attacked his daughter. Death Wish is a fun action movie that had me laughing throughout. Bruce Willis is phoning it in a bit and isn't spectacular in his role. He also isn't quite believable as a heart surgeon, which contributes to the comedy. We follow him from his pacifist beginning and through his bumbling first attempts into his rise to skilled vigilante. His progression is fun to watch and makes him seem like a real person who has learn the basics. Paul targets thieves, drug dealers, and especially people who make the community live in fear. His motivation has some real emotion with the tragic death of his wife and his daughter in a coma she may not wake up from.

Two elements surprised me and made the film infinitely more enjoyable: the puns Paul spouts when he kills bad guys and the ensuing gore. The puns are such dad jokes and are delivered with such deadpan that I rolled with laughter with each one. It's an unexpected touch in an otherwise pretty serious action film. The gore is well done and much more extreme than usual in action. Eli Roth directed this and brought some tricks over from his usual horror films. The best kill is when Paul kicks away a jack (with the cheesiest pun imaginable) and crushes a bad guy with a car. The ending sequence is exciting and had me at the edge of my seat. For a genre that I'm not a huge fan of, Death Wish is funny, emotional, and exciting all at the same time.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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