Movie Reviews: Vivo, Free Guy, and The Suicide Squad

August has been a month where alot of new movies have been coming out in theatres, and on streaming services. Which means if you all have been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks, than you got some catching up to do. Here is some movies you should think about checking out.

Vivo

Vivo (film) - Wikipedia

( Spoilers) We all have lost someone in our lives. Remember how that felt? That feeling of just wanting to spend more time with the one we lost. Vivo is a movie that focuses on what would you do if you had the opportunity to spend time with someone one last time, and dealing with grief when you lose someone.

Vivo, is an animated musical produced by Sony pictures. The story focuses on the titular character, Vivo a kinkajou who loves to sing. Vivo is the adopted pet of Andres, an old man who entertains people with songs he writes. Vivo had fallen off a fruit truck as a baby, and was chased up a tree by a gang of dogs. Andres scared away the dogs. He is able to lure a scared Vivo down from the tree. Since than, the two play music in their local plaza in exchange for money.

One Andres receives a letter from his old friend Marta, asking Andres to come see her in Miami. Andres wants to show her a song that professes his love for Marta. Vivo is reluctant to go Miami, and gets upset with Andres. After having some time to reflect, Vivo realizes he is being selfish and returns to Andres apartment and finishes packing up their bags. The next Vivo finds Andres dead. At Andres funeral, Vivo meets Andres grand niece named Gabi. Vivo decides to hitch a ride to Miami with Gabi in order to get Andres song to Marta. It is his way of making up for being upset with Andres before he died. Gabi ends up helping Vivo in his quest.

A death, multicultral characters, and songs that make you want to dance to the beat are what make up Vivo. While at first it starts off as a happy story gone sad, the beat starts to pick up as Vivo continues on his journey to get Andres song to Marta. Vivo is not the only character dealing with grief in this film. Gabi is a fun and energetic little girl who is fine with being herself. She loves to sing, just like Andres does. She also knows a lot about what Vivo is going through, which compels her to help her out. Vivo journey is not only about Vivo dealing with his grief over loosing Andreas, but Gabi also deals with her own grief and how it has affected her life. Vivo represent a different cultural in an entertaining and colorful way. The film heroes do face obstacles such as a quiet loving Python that looks like he could have come right off the set of Anaconda, and Gabi girl scout troop who are determined to properly quarantine Vivo.

Now Vivo does have some clichés. It has the typical buddy film type of formula. Vivo and Gabi start as opposites. Vivo sings a calmer beat, while Gabi approach to singing is loud, and all around. It’s happy ending was also very predictable. Otherwise this film was a fun sing along that you should check out when you feel like watching a musical with the kids.

Free Guy

Free Guy (2021) - IMDb

Another film that was released this month was Ryan Reynold’s Free Guy. This film would have been released much sooner, but Covid hit the world and brought us to a pre apocalypses era in time. Now that it is finally introduced in theatres, the movie has been favorable with the audience.

Free Guy focuses on a videogame world named Free City. Free City is closely related to grand theft auto. Characters can fun around, commit crime, run over civilians, and blow stuff up with their avatars. In free city, background character and bank teller named Guy enjoys his average life. He wakes up, watches the news about all the chaos going on in Free City, and works at a bank with his best friend Buddy the security guard. He also dreams about finding love. It is all a typical day for the happy and cheerful Guy.

In the real world we meet Walter ” Keys” Mckey, and his ex partner Millie. Millie and Walter originally designed another videogame. Gaming company Soonami owner Antwan stole the code from them, and used it to create the free city game. Walter now works for Antwan, while Millie uses her avatar, Molotov Girl, to search Free City for proof that Antwan stole Free City code.

Back in Free City, Guy sees Millie avatar and immediately falls in love with her. Later, at his bank job, a player come in and tries to rob the bank. Instead of lying down on the ground as usual, Guy goes against his programming and disarms the player trying to rob the bank. He takes his goggles, and Guy gets his first glimpse at the fact that his world is a videogame. He is completely clueless about that fact. Guys soon goes on to become a popular character nicknamed Blue Shirt Guy, and teams up with Millie to find the proof she is looking for, and to eventually save Guy world.

What is there to like about Free Guy? Everything about the film is enjoyable. Ryan Reynold is fantastic as the main protagonist. Guy starts off happy and carefree until he starts to go sentient. Once he goes sentient, he starts to realize his world is even cooler than it was before. Besides all the videogame action, there is even an Avenger in the movie. Obviously. with Guy being the central focus, his character developement intertwines with the other character developement as well. While helping Guy out Walter comes to stand up for himself, and Millie realizes their is more to life than her obsession to get back their code from Antwan. All the action, jokes, and references make Free Guy a great film about the little guys in the background standing up to the big bad guy in order to save their very existence.

The Suicide Squad

Why 'The Suicide Squad' is not a sequel, according to James Gunn and Joel  Kinnaman – Daily News

Imagine you what soldier storming the beachfront bay area during one of the world wars. Mines go off, their are bodies everywhere, sweat trickles down your face as you shoot your way through the enemies, praying that you will making it out alive. That is the type of rush you will get when you see James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, a film that will keep you guessing which one of the unlucky DC comics bad guys will be blown up, and which will live. Another thing to mention is that James Gunn is the director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films, before a incident with Disney caused him to step away from Marvel.

The film opens up with a hook catching intro. Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Rick Flag lead a team of unknown comic book villains to the beaches of Corto Maltese. When they get to Corto Maltese, they discover that one of their team is a snitch and find the Corto Maltese armada waiting for them. The armada opens fire on them, leading to a battle with a high body count. Amanda Waller, leader of the team, even gets to use one of the brain bombs implanted inside the criminals heads. Something that is used to keep the team in line, and if one steps out of line it is bye bye your head.

This is the first twist of the movie. Rick Flagg team is just a diversion for the actual team. The actual team is made of Rat Catcher II, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, and Polka Dot Man. Bloodsport agreed to the mission to prevent his daughter from winding up in Amanda Waller personal prison, Belle Revue. The team assignment is to find another DC comics villain known as The Thinker, and destroy the mysterious Project Starfish.

Eldris Elba replaces Will Smith Deadshot with another mercenary naked Bloodsport. Bloodsport background is that he is known for putting a kryptonite bullet in Superman that sends him to the ICU. Even though it would be nice to see Will Smith Deadshot again in the future, Edris Elba does a great job playing Bloodsport. Bloodsport is not exactly a great father, but not bad enough that he wants his daughter to wind up like him. Margarot Robbie returns as Harleyquinn. Harley was last seen driving off in the Birds of Prey movie. She still has some issues with men to deal with. This film does not focus a whole lot on Harley story, but it is still entertaing to watch Harley murder a bunch of people. She even gets a fantasy love life with the current ruler of Corto Maltese.

Rat Catcher II is the heart and soul of the team. Played by Daniela Melchior, Rat Catcher II is portrayed as not really a bad guy, but more like a freindly person who does bad things. She ends up taking on her father mantle of Rat Catcher.

King Shark is the team Muscle. He comes across as a dumb, and blood thirst creature that will most likely eat the entire team. Really, the guy is just a fish out of water. What he really is looking for is freinds that he belongs with.

John Cena plays Peacemaker. Peacemaker believes in keeping piece at all cost. That includes killing a whole bunch of people in the process. Makes him look like he is anti peace. He can match up with Bloodsport. He is a marksman, and an excellent fighter. Unlike Bloodsport, he wears a toilet bowel shaped mask, and prefers bigger guns with bigger bullets.

Finally we come down to Abner Krill. If anyone would have gotten eaten by King Shark, it would have been poor Abner Krill. He would be the nerdy kid who played by himself in the school yard. Poor Abner got stuck with his powers because his mom did all sorts of experiments on him and his siblings. He was the only one of his siblings to survive. Unfortunately , his powers are a curse. It cause him to poof up, and get covered with colorful polka dots. If he does not release his power every once and a while, he would die. He absolutely hates his mother for what she did, but has a condition where he sees her face everywhere he looks. This does lead to some pretty hilarious scenes though. On the positive side, his power is pretty cool. He can shoot out a bunch of polka dots that can destroy anything. He gets to show off his powers right toward the end of the film, giving this character a fifteen minutes of fame moment.

The last member, and villain of the film is Amanda Waller. Waller is the hard ass boss who forces the team to go on suicidal missions in exchange for reducing their prison sentences. In the film, she is a cold hearted son of a bitch who has a few secrets.

There is one flaw in an otherwise excellent film. Bloodsport is too much of a Deadshot clone. Both of them are gun toting mercenaries who are trying to save their daughters. Even their call to action revolves around saving their daughters. Also Harley side story was ok, but not really anything special. Her boyfreind troubles has already been used in Suicide Squad, and Bird of Prey after all.

In the end, The Suicide Squad proves that James Gunn does amazing when creating movies about a team of heroes, and villains.

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