Paragraphed Movie Reviews: Great Villains
Last week I reviewed some recent animated films that I had seen and spent all week trying to come up with another grouping for this week’s Paragraph Reviews. I finally settled on movies that have a particularly memorable villain. We love movies where good triumphs over evil and the more evil the villain, the more satisfying the ultimate victory is.
Air Force One: A
I loved this one. Harrison Ford was excellent as the President of a hijacked Air Force One. It was a little more violent than I anticipated, but I don’t think it was overdone or unnecessary. Glenn Close was also wonderful as the determined Vice President. This is one that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from, particularly Gary Oldman’s chilling performance as a Russian terrorist. You can’t have a hero movie without a villain and the badder the bad guy, the more heroic your hero can be.
Knowing the ending really ruined it for me. While it was a very well done movie, it seemed to end rather abruptly. Instead of letting the viewer gradually figure things out for themselves before wrapping everything up, Hitchcock simply plot-dumps the whole movie in the last five minutes. A little disappointing given the recommendation this movie received.
This movie is not for people that are put off by psychopathic serial killers. The entire film is dark, grisly and frankly disturbing. Despite this, it’s a fantastically fascinating film. The only thing keeping this film from an A+ grade is a somewhat disappointing ending. Not that it was bad, but so much went on during during the first hour and a half that the last half hour just seemed to “easy”. Nevertheless, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are both fantastic as the old dog detective about to retire and the recently transferred young hot shot hunting a serial killer, John Doe, who is carrying out his crimes to preach a lesson about the Seven Deadly Sins.
The Dark Knight: A+
“Sometimes, a man just wants to watch the world burn.” The Joker is a different breed of criminal, one who commits atrocities with dangerous precision and planning for no reason other posing moral dilemmas for his intended targets. The special effects are incredible, but the movie is enjoyable because of the performances of the actors. Heath Ledger’s Joker is psychotic and insane while Batman, Gordon and Dent are all focal points of his evil transgressions. Possibly two of the world’s greatest actors, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine stand in as Batman’s pillars of confidence, both moral and ethical. Director Christopher Nolan has successfully taken Batman out of the comic books and transplanted the world onto the big screen in a way never done before.
The Silence of the Lambs: B+
Serial killers are never easily understood. So a movie about two serial killers is bound to be one messed up film—and Silence of the Lambs is just that. Hannibal Lecter’s entrance is carefully prepared and it is eventually under his guidance that the FBI locates and stops another serial killer. The Beauty and the Beast theme is played out very obviously, and Jodie Foster is terrific in her role as the young trainee assigned to work with Lecter and her steadiness and pluckiness are paramount to the movie. Despite her excellent work, she is upstaged by Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of what could possibly be film’s most iconic villain.
Die Hard: B
Overall a solid film that really defined a genre. Fast-paced and fascinating, Die Hard was highly enjoyable. Bruce Willis was pretty good as the man part of man-against-the world, but even more impressive was Alan Rickman’s portrayal of the sadistic corporate thief. His presence is so powerful that you almost find yourself more concerned about the outcome of Hans Gruber that the movie’s hero.
Up for next week? War movies.