*Warning: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk.
A sequel of a sequel of a superhero movie walks a fine line. It has to be entertaining, but it also has to extend the narrative and the character arc in a way that feels right to both the universe and the characters.
Two weeks ago, Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer of this world. His previously unknown first child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), otherwise known as the Goddess of Death has returned from exile to return Asgard to the way it was before her exile. But to do this, she has to make sure that her brothers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are out-of-the-way. They find themselves in another world where Thor is a gladiator and fighting against The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This world is ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who might be crazy. With the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor, Loki and The Hulk might be able to defeat Hela and save Asgard.
If there was a proper way to do a second sequel, especially for a movie which is based on a comic book, this film is the blueprint. It is funny, entertaining and takes the narrative and characters in new directions without feeling stale or overproduced. And of course, the two female characters, played by Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett are amazing. They contribute to the narrative, both standing on their own two feet and neither relying on the stereotypical female caricatures that exist in the genre.
I absolutely recommend it.
Thor: Ragnarok is presently in theaters.
Director Roland Emmerich likes to destroy the world, at least on screen.
In Independence Day (1996), it is two days before July 4th. Communication systems around the world are failing for what seems to be no reason. At first, the reason is though to be meteors. Then David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that Earth is about to destroyed by an alien race. The day before July 4th, many of major cities around the world are destroyed by the aliens. The survivors have one more chance to save Earth. Can David and Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) save the world on July 4th?
For a movie that is more science fiction than fact and more action than plot, it’s not bad. Considering that it was made in 1996, the special effects are also pretty decent.
In The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist. He discovers that a rather large ice sheet has separated from a glacier and could potentially affect climates around the world. At the same time his son, Sam, (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in New York City for a school trip. When the upper part of the United States is hit by a giant wave and then frozen over, Jack will go on a daring and dangerous mission to rescue his son.
Before I go any further, I will warn that anyone who sees this movie for the first time, must watch on a large screen. Watching this movie on a small television, the impact is lost. This movie hit’s home for me, especially with the idea of climate change. Now granted, this is a movie and I am sure that some liberties were taken with the plot. After Hurricane Sandy hit two years ago, this movie had elements that were very real. Especially the large wave hitting downtown Manhattan (I see that view nearly every day).
I recommend both.