Short Review Roundup – Movie Edition, part 4

It has been awhile since I’ve done one of these.  So long, in fact, that I am pretty sure I watched all of these movies before no-angel was born, and she is six months old now.  But I haven’t been to the theater since Infinity War, and I’ve been watching a lot more non-SF (including Die Hard knock-offs Under Siege and Sudden Death).



Bright is an incredibly 90s film.  What could be more 90s than mashing up buddy cop flicks, the fantasy racism that was stock-in-trade for 90s Tolkien imitators, and the heavy and obvious influence of 1997’s The Fifth Element?  The first two elements can’t help but feel stale.  Surprisingly, it is the earnest performance of Joe Edgerton as Will Smith’s orc partner that makes that part work as well as it does, not Will Smith’s performance.  The Fifth Element-inspired elves are much more interesting, and make for some of the best action set pieces anywhere.

3.5 of 5 Stars.



The biggest problem with Waterworld is that it isn’t The Road Warrior.  Forget that it is a Mad Max knock-off (and, uh, that Kevin Costner drinks his own urine), and the movie stands just fine on its own.

4 of 5 Stars.


Assassin’s Creed

Pretty much all Assassin’s Creed has going for it are the action scenes, and those are marred by constantly cutting to shots of Fassbender flailing around.  Everything else is bad, but the biggest problem is the extraordinarily abrupt ending.  And I recognize this is a silly movie based on a video game that starts with the premise “actually the Islamic murder cult was good,” but the idea that we are less free now than hundreds of years ago almost gave me an aneurism.

2 of 5 Stars.


The Circle

The plot and every character are underdeveloped.  The only thing the movie properly develops is the worldbuilding.  Tom Hanks and Karen Gillen are very good, Emma Thompson is good, John Boyega is badly miscast, and no one else has enough to work with.  The idea for The Circle may have been fresh when Dave Eggers wrote the novel in 2013.  By now it is banal.

2.5 of 5 Stars.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
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11 Responses to Short Review Roundup – Movie Edition, part 4

  1. benespen says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by Bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexandra says:

    I saw Waterworld on TV one time and, don’t recall if I watched it to the end. Otherwise, I haven’t seen any of these. And now, probably won’t given they all sound dated.


  3. Mark says:

    My point of reference for Bright was actually Alien Nation. The movie is probably more cromulent than critics gave it credit for, but it’s also something I immediately forgot about after watching and didn’t think about at all until you just mentioned it.

    Waterworld is far better than its reputation would have you believe (at the time it was famously the most expensive movie ever made, but studios put out 10 worse flops every year now, such that this is barely a blip).

    Assassin’s Creed somehow focused way too much on the present day VR setup (always the biggest complaint about the games). They tried to solve VR’s most enduring problem, but mostly failed. It seems nobody can make a VR setup that won’t make you look like a huge dork when you’re using it, even in fiction.

    And I never saw The Circle, but it doesn’t sound like I’m missing much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I love Waterworld! That makes me want to watch it again 😀 Such a classic haha.

    I wanted to watch ‘Bright’ when it was new, but kinda lost interest and your review doesn’t sound like I’d like it a lot.. Also not a big fan of Will Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      Somewhat weirdly, Will Smith doesn’t dominate the movie. His orc partner is the more interesting one, and everything going on with the elves is more interesting than the buddy cop stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Daniela Ark says:

    oh what a waste (and a sin!) to have Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson perform two underdeveloped characters! I totally agree about WaterWorld! 🙂 I need to watch Bright!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: October 2018 Month-in-Review | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

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