Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Brian Tyler

QuickView: Escape Room (2019)

“Survival is a CHOICE.”

Jason Walker

Once the latest craze becomes mainstream, it is only a matter of time before Hollywood seeks to cash in with a formulaic script and general disregard for the specific nuance of its subject matter. Escape Room‘s by-the-numbers horror is doubly burdened by the fact that the Saw series has already trodden much of this ground with a sharper bite. The film is rarely sympathetic towards its victims, lured into and trapped in a series of deadly puzzle rooms, treating their past trauma merely as plot points. There is mild entertainment to be found in the initial stages as the strangers meet and realise their circumstance. From there it swiftly loses its way, less engaging the more elaborate it becomes.

4/10

QuickView: Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

“Well, you grow up your whole lives together, you make excuses for people.”

Astrid Young Teo

Notable as a very rare Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast, it is great to see a film like Crazy Rich Asians succeed but that does not automatically elevate it beyond a derivative romantic comedy. A few early scenes suggest an insightful wit, like news spreading to family in Singapore through gossiping message chains before the end of a conversation in a New York. Yet, for most of the running time, the Singaporean location serves as set dressing, only occasionally touching upon the family dynamics specific to the Chinese diaspora. The film’s chief issue is wanting to have its cake and eat it — telling the story of a modest outsider rebuffed by a wealthy family, whilst at the same time glamourising the indulgence afforded by that wealth. The rare big budget representation in Crazy Rich Asians is welcome, featuring a who’s who of Western Asian actors, but — like many of its privileged characters — there is a disappointing superficiality to its success.

6/10

QuickView: Now You See Me 2 (2016)

“That’s good. It’s good to be positive despite making zero progress in a year.”

Jack Wilder

The level of smartness of this sequel is evident from the fact they failed to call it Now You Don’t. Where the original was a surprise success with stylish sleight of hand distracting from its lack of substance, this movie fails to cover its tracks at all. The freshness is gone, but so too is the tension. The tricks are now overblown and ridiculous, to the point that each time one is revealed it induces a groan rather than amazement. There is no magic here.

3/10

"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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