I have watched a bunch of movies in the past weeks, and because I can, here are some thoughts on them.

Baywatch

So, yeah. This happened. It is interesting that Dwayne Johnson is bigger as he gets older. See ‘The Rundown’ or ‘Race to Witch Mountain’ to see what I mean.

Anyway, this is stupid, but fun. It is very self-aware, mocking Zac Efron with his previous work, using episode plots from the series to illustrate just how absurd it all is. It is just goofy fun until someone decided there needed to be a plot about drugs on the beach.

That is where it fails. The plot is weak and predictable, with all of one underutilized twist. That was just bad.

Where it shines is in John Bass’ portrayal of Ronnie, the schlub who would be lifeguard. It would have been easy to make him the butt of the jokes, being the chubby one and all, but they don’t really go there. He is the fish out of water, yes, but in the same way the audience is – and the writer and director are smart enough to not insult the audience by mocking them. Well done.

Don’t expect this to be good, but it is a fun way to kill a few hours.

CHiPS

This is a bad movie. And you should feel bad when you watch it.

You should, but you won’t. This was panned by critics, and rightly so. It is not, from a critical standpoint, good in the slightest. There are glaring continuity errors, overly predictable jokes and ‘gotchas’, and a reliance on fall-back ‘homophobia’ jokes (not gay jokes, jokes mocking those who are or appear ‘homophobic’).

But…but…it’s actually funny. And fun. I didn’t want to like it but I did. Dax Shepard is likable, even with this sub-par material. Michael Pena is good as his partner, and plays the reluctant partner turned friend well.

It is interesting that the California Highway Patrol had nothing to do with it, and did not allow use of their logos, etc. Worth a look, but again, don’t expect much beyond a bit of a laugh.

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending

So, once upon a time, the Wachowskis directed a movie that changed the way we see action.

Then 16 years later, this came out.

And somehow, in those years, where most directors become better at the craft, they go worse. Much, much worse.

I was calling the other movies bad, but fun. This was bad but no fun. In every way this was a slog Bad plot, uneven pacing, bad effects, and about the most unbelievable ending ever.

I really can’t explain it – literally no one in this movie seems to be having any fun, and it just never clicks. Scenes with Channing Tatum rollerskating across the Chicago sky are poorly composited – he looks like an overlay, not part of the scene.

It gets so bad that Eddie Redmayne is interrupted by Jeremy Irons who smacks him about for chewing too much scenery. Yeah.

Don’t see this one. It’s just no fun.