As a red-blooded American male, I take a great deal of pride in being emotionally dead inside. This is especially true when it comes to films: A man tearing up during a touching moment on the big screen is entirely unacceptable, unless, of course, one happens to be watching the closing moments of Field of Dreams.
One imagines that the elevator pitch for Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope was simple: “It’s Risky Business by way of Boyz ’n’ the Hood!” While the funny but scattered indie doesn’t quite live up to that elevated pedigree, Dope is nevertheless a hearteningly low-key change of pace from the general bombast of the summer months.
What’s most frustrating about Jurassic World is that there’s part of a good movie in there, somewhere, just dying to get out. Unfortunately, it’s buried under a thin ash of nostalgia, smothered by a uselessly mawkish family drama, and strangled by a profusion of half-thought-out subplots that don’t make a particularly great deal of sense.
Mad Max: Fury Road doesn’t exactly feel like a narrative feature film. There are no character arcs to speak of. The plot is about as barebones as can be: Get from point A to point B, and don’t die. Dialogue is minimal. Motivations are obvious and unchanging and largely unexplored, which isn’t a problem given the production’s interest in the basest of instincts—the eternal social struggle between freedom and slavery.
Maggie opens with Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) searching a ruined American city for his daughter. In snippets of overheard radio chatter and newspaper headlines, we gather that a virus that turns people into zombies has overrun the world. The disease acts slowly; on average it takes eight weeks for the infected to turn into the undead.