The Critic: Best of the Boy Films

Ok, I’m going to immediately apologise for the term “Boy Films” but it’s what Bear and I call movies that are basically men with guns, actions, explosions and blah trying to fit in a storyline that for some reason boys tend to enjoy. It’s also not strictly true with the three options I’m going to look at because actually it was me that suggested each one.. so I guess you could call them Tomboy Films… maybe. I’m sure you’ll get over it and find more important things to think about.

So the three movies we’ll be looking at I’ll be ranking #3 to #1, 1 being the best of the 3, with a brief explanation. You are welcome to disagree with me but when I watch 3 films in as many weeks and my brain doesn’t seem to want to give them a post for themselves.. you realise #1 is possibly heightening it to too much acclaim.

As you can see, I enjoyed them all sooooo much. Meh.

So up first…

#3

So despite the beautiful landscapes created by computers, and some raunchy nude scenes, there was generally more a sense that something was missing than I think they intended. There was some interesting flashbacks/dreams, and a rather cute addition of a man-cave off in the woods filled with books, but ultimately the storyline was pretty predictable. OK, so the cute ending made me well up but I’m pretty sure that’s just the family-woman in me rather than an actual attachment to the story.

SPOILER ALERT!

My one main issue is the whole clone thing, and them all being in love with girly. If once freed they all come looking for her, does that mean she has multiple husbands, her child has multiple dads? Or does she kill all but one, do they fight over her, do we just assume that only one at a time has any memories of their relationship? Polygamy is probably not explained very well here and the film just feels like too many loose ends are hanging off the cliff.

#2

This one has far more action, explosions and twists, but also quite a lot of dodgy associations being made. When you give an American bad guy, a traitor (in your words), the motive of being mad about Wall Street, trading arms, wars over seas, etc, you start to label anyone who is annoyed at the USA’s actions in those areas as a bad guy. If A is B, is B A? There’s quite a lot of these leaps and they made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Normally if you have an American traitor it’s for the money, this time it was just a rearranged view of the protester with a gun.

The other disturbing part of the story was the new bad guy idea of a Korean. It felt as if Hollywood had become bored of the Arab terrorist complaining over the “War on Terror“, and instead swapped it with the new worrisome “enemy of the West” an Asian egomaniac. Meh. In general it was all a little too forced. There were some good plots twists and some cute stuff with the bodyguard and the son, along with the heart-wrenching death in the beginning.

Another thing that annoyed me a little was the amount of characters stating they would NEVER share codes for the deadly weapons of mass destruction across the USA… *cough* unless the President who is watching them be beaten tells them to give up because he can’t stomach it. Never should mean never, and if it’s that easy to get information out of someone should they really have the passcode in the first place?

Not a bad film, but not great either.

#1

This was one of the more interesting stories, the funnier scripts, and the more interesting twists on a traditional story than I’ve heard for a long time. There is one thing I wish they’d left out: everything past the crown thing. If you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, close your eyes when you see Kingy tucking children into bed.

I would also have liked maybe a happier end for the giants, it seems a shame that they couldn’t have been brought into a friendship. What was incredibly interesting but could’ve been looked into a little more was the different names for the legendary king spoken of at the very beginning through the fairytale. Erik the Great, the king who created the magic crown to send the giants away, is to the giants themselves Erik the Terrible, known for his cruelty to them and deaths of the giants. This implies a deeper history and it could have been worked into and tied up nicely.. but maybe that’s a little postmodern of me.

It was a good evening out and I came back far more satisfied than after either #2 or #3. It might even be one I buy on DVD someday soon.

On the other hand, if Hollywood could stop refreshing traditional stories I’d very much appreciate it. Jack the Giant Slayer may have been a good example, but that doesn’t mean there should be hundreds of the same thing.

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