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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of The Foreigner & Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for a double-bill of The Foreigner and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

First on the docket: Jackie Chan seeks revenge in The Foreigner.

A grieving father goes after the individuals responsible for a terrorist bombing that claimed the life of his young daughter.

The Foreigner is one of those movies that feels like it should be much more entertaining than it is. A solid if oft-told story, the picture boasts a well-loved lead and a suspenseful plot, with fierce action sequences that will set you on the edge of your seat. Sadly, all of the above is weighed down by a plodding tempo that makes the movie seem much longer than it is. Jackie Chan is solid in the lead, but the film gives you at least its first half to ponder how this humble restaurant owner got such...erm...Jackie Chan-like skills, with no real payout for your wait; the answer is exactly what you'll know it was going to be if you've ever watched an action/revenge movie before. When everything hits the fan, Pierce Brosnan is perfect as the blustering minister who WON'T HAVE IT!!...but where was he going with that accent? The convoluted plot would feel almost comical at times if not for Chan wearing his very best Emmett Kelly face for the duration; in fact, I think I really might have hated this one but for how much sympathy he earned for his character.

The Foreigner runs 114 minutes and is rated R for "violence, language, and some sexual material."

The Foreigner earns a half-Weasley bonus for (briefly) featuring Harry Potter's Cho Chang, Katie Leung, but gets a full demerit for getting Hot Blooded into my head.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Foreigner gets four and a half.

Next up: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.

The relationships among a psychologist, his wife, and a student give birth to our most beloved female superhero.

Well, dear reader(s), it feels like quite the privilege to be a girl writing in a time when I get to ask which is the better of this year's two Wonder Woman films. I mean, the answer is unequivocally "the other one," but still...

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has all the pieces of a great story, so--especially riding 2017's wave of Wonder Woman mania--it should have been a can't-miss. Unfortunately, it goes foul by sensationalizing the sexual aspects of the story, resulting in an uncomfortable and unsatisfying finished product.

Wonder Women's chief positives are in its leads; Luke Evans and especially Rebecca Hall are terrific. Bella Heathcote is a bit of a weak link, and prominent enough that you'll feel it at every turn, but two out of three isn't so bad, I guess. The film has some genuinely touching moments as well as some funny ones, and it's told in such a way that it keeps moving even when there's not a lot to tell.

Ultimately, though, WW is just too lurid in its presentation to be taken seriously. When a roomful of adults is overcome by the giggles at every erotic turn, that's a sure-fire sign that, as the Internet is so fond of saying: "You're doing it wrong." Wonder Women sincerely attempts to sell its titular family as "normal," but does so with so little finesse that it only comes across as tawdry, even to someone (like myself) who wouldn't normally bat an eye. Amusingly, the movie even takes a stab at explaining Wonder Woman's skimpy costume, but--just a year removed from Batman v. Superman (where you can bet it wasn't Batman or Superman who featured in a gratuitous crotch shot)--it rings pretty hollow.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women clocks in at 108 minutes and is rated R for "strong sexual content, including brief graphic images, and language."

Sadly, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a coulda-shoulda-mighta been great picture that falls well short of even memorable.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women gets four.

Fangirl points: It's always a delight to hear Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing in glorious surround-sound!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. wow.... i heard nothing but good things about professor marston.... i still wanna see it.


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