I had high hopes for Red Sparrow when I saw the trailer. It looked stylish and sharp, and I’m a sucker for a good thriller. At the same time, I had some reservations. A spy using their sexuality as a weapon to seduce targets is a tired trope that never clicked with me in the first place. Nonetheless, I went in with some strong expectations.
There is no reason that Passengers had to be a mediocre film, and it is just that — mediocre. Though I certainly enjoyed parts of the film, there’s no chance I remember this movie next holiday season. That’s a shame because director Morten Tyldum’s film had a 110 million dollar budget and a star-studded cast. Passengers is the tale of Jim Preston, played by Chris Pratt, a traveler on the Starship Avalon, which is voyaging from an overpopulated Earth to a budding colony world. When a collision with a large asteroid causes Jim’s hibernation pod to malfunction, he finds himself alone aboard a ship nearly 90 years from its destination — doomed to never see the Avalon’s destination.
PSA: Sexism still exists, especially in the entertainment industry! After watching Carrie Fisher, the actress who starred in the original Star Wars trilogy reprise the role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, viewers attacked her appearance across social media and stated that she is “too old to be acting.” After watching Brad Pitt, an actor with gray hair who has clearly aged since his first hints of stardom in The Big Short, viewers hailed him as “the rising star of political cinema”. Quite the discrepancy, if I do say so myself. To be fair, I don’t think any actors should be judged for their looks, but rather for their job, their acting. However, this seems to be an idealistic and unpopular view.
As the final installation of one of the most popular young adult series of the decade (and the catalyst for the current teen-dystopian trend), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 had a lot to accomplish. It had to show how high the stakes were for Katniss and the rest of Panem. It had to finish what Mockingjay — Part 1 started, a film that many accused of being merely a setup for Part 2. It had to give millions of fans closure and bring a mega-franchise to its epic conclusion. So did it accomplish all that lay before it?