September 2023 movie critics: Equalizer 3, A Haunting in Venice, Acide, Nouveau Départ, The Creator, Dogman

Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer 3” closes out the high-octane trilogy with a riveting blend of action, suspense, and compelling drama, anchored by an electrifying performance by Denzel Washington. Washington reprises his iconic role as Robert McCall, the retired U.S. Marine and DIA officer, who this time, uncovers criminal undertakings in a scenic Italian town, drawing him back into his vigilante alter-ego.
September 2023 movie critics: Equalizer 3, A Haunting in Venice, Acide, Nouveau Départ, The Creator, Dogman

Equalizer 3: Great summer action suprise!

Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer 3” closes out the high-octane trilogy with a riveting blend of action, suspense, and compelling drama, anchored by an electrifying performance by Denzel Washington. Washington reprises his iconic role as Robert McCall, the retired U.S. Marine and DIA officer, who this time, uncovers criminal undertakings in a scenic Italian town, drawing him back into his vigilante alter-ego.

The narrative is meticulous and scintillating, traversing through the picturesque landscapes of Italy, as McCall unleashes his signature justice against the menacing Camorra. Fuqua’s direction is deft, merging visceral action sequences with moments of poignant emotion, creating an immersive experience.

Denzel Washington’s portrayal of McCall is nuanced and multifaceted, oscillating between a relentless dispenser of justice and a guardian angel to the beleaguered townsfolk. The supporting cast, including Dakota Fanning and David Denman, enhance the narrative with their robust performances, each bringing depth to their respective roles.

Robert Richardson’s cinematography is a visual treat, capturing the stunning Italian landscapes with precision and elegance, adding another layer to the film's lush aesthetic. The action sequences are choreographed with a breathtaking intensity, making every confrontation a spectacle.

The film excels in drawing empathy, ensuring the audience is emotionally invested in the plight of the townsfolk and McCall’s crusade against the criminal syndicate. The climactic confrontation is a cinematic triumph, symbolizing the victory of resilience and unity over oppression.

★★★★★ Antoine Fuqua Equalizer 3 “The Equalizer 3” is a cinematic masterpiece, amalgamating intense action, captivating plot, and stellar performances, particularly by Denzel Washington. Set against the enchanting backdrop of Italy, it sees McCall confront the nefarious Camorra to liberate a small town from their clutches. Antoine Fuqua delivers a seamless blend of adrenaline-fueled sequences and emotive moments, complemented by Robert Richardson’s exquisite cinematography. Every frame is imbued with meticulous detail, enhancing the overall viewing experience. The film’s resolution is both triumphant and satisfying, leaving the audience in contemplative silence. A fitting conclusion to a riveting trilogy, “The Equalizer 3” stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of well-crafted action cinema, earning a well-deserved 5/5.

A Haunting in Venice: requires concentration to follow the thriller

Kenneth Branagh’s “A Haunting in Venice” is a visually gripping and tense mystery, revolving around the iconic Hercule Poirot (played by Branagh himself), whose retirement in post-war Venice is interrupted by a Halloween séance. The plot, though a bit convoluted and demanding of audience’s constant attention, is steeped in intrigue and layered with mysteries within mysteries.

The film showcases Branagh's ability to navigate through complex narratives and deliver an eerie, atmospheric experience in the haunting backdrop of Venice. The ensemble cast, each contributing to the tension and suspicion, enhances the unsettling and mysterious aura of the film. However, the multiple subplots and the intricate connections between characters may challenge the viewers’ concentration, making it a bit hard to follow at times.

★★★★☆ Kenneth Branagh A Haunting in Venice “A Haunting in Venice” is a mysterious and atmospheric exploration of concealed secrets and spectral manifestations, well-executed by Kenneth Branagh, both behind and in front of the camera. The complexity and multitude of intertwined plots create an intricate puzzle, providing an engaging, albeit occasionally challenging, experience for the audience. The subtle tension and unfolding mysteries keep the viewers intrigued, even if they need to stay particularly alert to keep up with the storyline’s intricacies. A beautifully crafted mystery with a slight demand on viewers' attention, it rightfully earns a 4/5.

Acide: a few incoherences for a science fiction

Acide, directed by Just Philippot, is a suspenseful Belgian-French film showcasing a fractured family's struggle for survival against devastating acid rains in Northern France. It creates a riveting, suspenseful environment, gripping the audience's attention with the relentless perils faced by the young protagonist, Selma, and her separated parents, Michal and Élise.

The film, however, suffers from multiple incoherences in the plot, which somewhat disrupts the flow and undermines the believability of the storyline. Despite this, the suspense is well-maintained, and the depiction of a family uniting against a common threat is portrayed convincingly, making it a watchable and engaging film.

★★★⋆☆ Just Philippot Acide Acide is an intense exploration of familial bonds and survival, set against an intriguing environmental disaster backdrop. While the plot incoherences create some distraction and hinder the narrative fluidity, the suspense and tension cultivated by Philippot are commendable. It's a film that draws you in with its unique premise and emotional dynamics, offering a fairly gripping experience despite its flaws. The engaging suspense and thematic depth grant it a respectable 3.5/5.

Nouveau Départ: Fun and original comedy with good acting

Nouveau Départ is a lighthearted, entertaining comedy showcasing the adventures of Benjamin Mee, a single father striving to reconnect his family by taking a leap of faith, leaving his job, and purchasing a property home to a dilapidated zoo. The film’s originality and humor, blended with excellent performances, create a captivating concoction of fun and warmth.

The film, balancing humor and heartfelt moments, illustrates Benjamin's struggle and determination in refurbishing the zoo, aided by the devoted zookeeper Kelly Foster and her team, weaving a tale of family bonding and unforgettable adventures. The engaging storyline and vibrant characters make Nouveau Départ a delightful watch, deserving a commendable score of 4/5 for its originality, enjoyable narrative, and stellar acting.

★★★★☆ Philippe Lefebvre Nouveau Départ Nouveau Départ is a refreshing comedy featuring a single father’s journey to rebuild a neglected zoo, aiming to bring his family closer. The film beautifully captures the essence of new beginnings and family unity, radiating a delightful charm throughout. The blend of original humor, captivating storyline, and standout performances make it a delightful and entertaining experience for audiences. Despite the challenges depicted, the fun-filled adventure and the essence of familial bonds elevate the film, earning it a well-deserved 4/5 for its creativity and the engaging journey it unfolds.

The Creator: boring sci-fi with so many incoherences

“The Creator” by Gareth Edwards is a visual spectacle but disappointingly lacks substance and coherence in its narrative. Set in a war-infested future between humans and artificial intelligence, it follows Joshua, an ex-special forces agent, tasked with assassinating ‘The Creator’—a being capable of ending humanity.

The film’s setting is a meticulous display of chaos, yet the incoherence in timeline, location, and technology utilization makes the experience baffling and underwhelming. While the visual effects and performances receive commendation, the disjointed writing, particularly in the third act, makes the storyline seem incongruent and half-baked. The uninspired casting and empty scenarios only add to the overall dullness of the movie, overshadowing any potential moments of brilliance.

The film, with its promise of an intense, futuristic thriller, unfortunately, falls flat due to its lack of depth and empty storyline, earning it a meager score of 2/5.

★★☆☆☆ Gareth Edwards The Creator Gareth Edwards’ “The Creator,” despite its visually arresting depiction of a futuristic war and commendable direction, fails to deliver a coherent and engaging narrative. The film, populated with uninspiring cast performances and a multitude of inconsistencies in its portrayal of science fiction elements, feels empty and unfulfilling. The insubstantial plot, coupled with a listless script, detracts from the overall cinematic experience, leaving the audience wanting more depth and coherence. Even with some moments of visual splendor and a glimpse into the ramifications of artificial intelligence, “The Creator” ultimately is a letdown, meriting a score of only 2/5 for its disjointed and lackluster execution.

Dogman: An original masterpiece psychological drama with good action

“Dogman” by Luc Besson is a cinematic triumph, showcasing a riveting blend of action and drama set against the backdrop of New Jersey. The movie, with its original and invigorating storyline, is a heart-rending depiction of a man, Douglas, who is shaped by his abusive past and finds solace and companionship in dogs. It is both original and richly captivating, plunging the audience into the depths of trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

Besson masterfully navigates the story’s thematic waters, delivering a film full of emotional depth, well-crafted characters, and a remarkable narrative structure. Caleb Landry Jones, along with the entire cast, gives an outstanding performance, enveloping the viewers in a tale of recovery, loyalty, and descent into madness.

The film’s story is both unconventional and profoundly touching, showing how the abused protagonist finds protection and companionship in the very creatures he was thrown to. The evolution of Douglas, from a victim of relentless cruelty to a man living on the fringes with his canine allies, is depicted with a meticulous attention to emotional detail, making the movie an unforgettable experience.

“Dogman” is a masterful composition, a genuine and compelling piece of cinema that deserves a perfect score of 5/5 for its exceptional storytelling, profound emotional impact, and originality.

★★★★★  Luc Besson Dogman Luc Besson's “Dogman” is a masterpiece, presenting a unique and emotionally powerful narrative about a man, Douglas, who, after enduring abuse, forms a deep connection with dogs. The narrative is a stunning exploration of trauma, resilience, and the descending veil of madness, brought to life by impeccable performances, particularly by Caleb Landry Jones. The emotional depth, combined with Besson's precise and poignant direction, creates an unforgettable cinematic experience that resonates profoundly with the audience. This film, with its innovative storyline and captivating execution, is deserving of its 5/5 rating, standing out as a pinnacle of original and heartfelt cinema.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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