On vacation, I was still able to whip out some reviews. When I ran out of movies at theatres being released, I thought I’d hit some things that were available online. The two shows I’ve been meaning to watch are Black Mirror and Sherlock. I watched my first episode of Black Mirror and hated it (it involved a Prime Minister and a pig). Instead of giving another series a chance, I thought I’d watch the Netflix original film that cost $90 million and starred Will Smith. I had just seen Hitch on TV again, and that always cracks me up. Smith is one of those guys that can even make bad movies not half bad.
I had seen the cast of the movie in San Diego when they showed up for an interview with Conan O’Brien during Comic Con last summer. With such an impressive cast and big budget, it’s amazing that Netflix gave us one of the worst movies of 2017 (I had already completed my list or I would’ve slapped this on it).
Director David Ayer (Fury) has written movies that were critically praised that I didn’t care for (End of Days, Training Day, Sabotage, Suicide Squad). He co-wrote this mess with screenwriter Max Landis (American Ultra). It’s a lot easier to make it as a screenwriter in Hollywood if your dad is named John Landis.
The movie starts out a lot like Alien Nation (Mandy Patinkin, James Caan) from 30 years ago. Two cops are working together, but one of them is an alien. This world takes place thousands of years in the future, but L.A. still looks the same. The filmmakers try to tackle racism, and do such a poor job doing it, you laugh at their attempts (not to mention the fact that you can make an argument about how the movie is actually racist, with how they portray the Mexican gangbangers).
Joel Edgerton (It Comes at Night, The Great Gatsby) wears more makeup than Oldman did to play Churchill, since he’s playing the blue orc. His character does have a few interesting things going on. He reads faces and can tell when you’re lying, and his sense of smell can get him out of jams. He’s the first Orc cop in the city’s history, and that means all the other cops treat him like crap. Especially after they assume he let another Orc go that shot Daryl Ward (Will Smith). Not only are there orcs but there are fairies, although they only show one in the beginning and end of the movie. For some reason, we’re supposed to laugh when Ward beats one to death with a broomstick as the gang next door cheers him on. There’s also a segment of society called “elves” and they’re rich. Again, the movie tries to show various class divisions, but it’s like the whole thing was done by an 8th grader.
There’s an elf (Noomi Rapace from the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Prometheus) that has a powerful magic wand. In the wrong hands, it brings up the “dark lord.” In the right hands, it can make wishes come true. As one cop says, “If you want a million dollars, you got it. If you want a bigger d***, you got it.”
Again I have to ask…was this written for 8th graders?
And speaking of being written for 8th graders, if you’re going to have a scene where people are going into a topless bar, how do you drop the ball and just show us naked women? You couldn’t have one orc on stage dancing, with three or four blue boobs? Or an Elf (the women all look like blonde, Swedes) that’s hit hard times? But I digress.
Edgar Ramirez (Joy) plays a federal agent for the Magic Task Force.
Australian actress Lucy Fry is the elf that possesses the wand and is hanging with the two cops, who are now on the run after killing officers that were going to kill them.
I suppose there are some that will be entertained by the chase scenes, but really…this is all a mess. My wife and I were surprised at how bored we were watching it. About 45 minutes in, she asked, “Do you think this will get any better?”
I kept trying to convince her to turn it off, but we had another couple watching it with us and felt that would be rude.
This gets 0 stars, and if it’s the type of original content companies like Netflix are going to give us, we’re in trouble.