The Suicide Squad (2021)

The Suicide Squad
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: various comic characters
Sequel to: Suicide Squad
Cast: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Jai Courtney, Flula Borg, Mayling Ng, Pete Davidson, Sean Gunn, Storm Reid, Alice Braga, Taika Waititi, Pom Klementieff
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 9.8.2021

Plot:
The Suicide Squad has some new recruits and a new mission on Corto Maltese. Instructed by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), they are dropped off on the island that recently saw a regime change. And so, Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), RIck Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) find themselves on different paths to the island capital to gain control of a secret weapon in a stronghold in the city.

I was debating with myself whether I actually wanted to go see The Suicide Squad, given that Suicide Squad wasn’t good (to put it mildly), but ultimately my love for the cast won out. And I’m glad it did – The Suicide Squad is a whole lot of fun.

The film poster showing Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), RIck Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) in a star-like formation, surrounded by explosions.
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F9 (2021)

F9
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious
Cast: Vin DieselMichelle Rodriguez, Jordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronNathalie Emmanuel, John Cena, Finn Cole, Vinnie Bennett, Sung Kang, Anna Sawai, Lucas Black, Shad Moss, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Don Omar, Shea Whigham, JD Pardo, Michael Rooker, Jim ParrackKurt Russell, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren
Seen on: 19.7.2021

Plot:
Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have chosen a remote life of retirement. But when Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) drop by to tell them about a distress call from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), Letty is itching to go. Dom is reluctant – until he realizes that somehow his estranged brother Jacob (John Cena) is involved. And he still has some open business with Jacob that he can’t just let go.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love the Fast and Furious movies, with all of their problems. And I found F9 absolutely satisfying to watch once more. This series just works beautifully.

The film poster showing the main characters in various sizes and poses in front of colorful smoke and above cars, tanks, drones and helicopters.
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Dolittle (2020)

Dolittle
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Writer: Stephen Gaghan, Dan Gregor, Doug Mand, Chris McKay
Based on: Hugh Lofting‘s books
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Harry Collett, Carmel Laniado, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, Kasia Smutniak, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Jason Mantzoukas
Seen on: 13.2.2020
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Plot:
Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) has a gift: he’s a veterinarian who can talk to the animals directly. But every since his wife (Kasia Smutniak) was lost at sea, he hasn’t worked anymore. This changes quickly, when he gets two visitors in a day: the first one is Tommy (Harry Collett) who brings in a hurt squirrel, and the second is Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado) who brings the news that the Queen (Jessie Buckley) may well be dying if Dolittle doesn’t help – and that would mean that he’d lose his entire estate. Forced from his isolation, Dolittle takes on the case – and Tommy makes sure to be part of it.

Dolittle has potential – Downey Jr. surrounded by animals voiced by a whole lot of excellent people? What can go wrong? A lot, apparently. Maybe this film should serve as a case study for that.

The film poster showing Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) surrounded by various animals.
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Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblebee
Director: Travis Knight
Writer: Christina Hodson
Part of: the Transformers movies
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, Stephen Schneider, Ricardo Hoyos, John Ortiz, Dylan O’Brien, Peter Cullen, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux
Seen on: 14.1.2019
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Plot:
The war between the Autobots and the Decepticons on Cybertron is starting to look very dire for the Autobots. So Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) sends one of his scouts (Dylan O’Brien) to Earth to find a place where they can regroup. But the scout crashes, gets attacked by the military led by Burns (John Cena) and is finally found by one of the Decepticons who damages his voice box. In a last effort, he hides in the shape of a Beetle and ends up on a junkyard. Many years later Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) finds him, calling him Bumblbee for his yellow color. As she is a gifted mechanic, she gets to work – and can hardly believe her eyes when he transforms into a huge, but obviously traumatized robot. But the Decepticons are still out there and so is Burns, both hoping to find him.

Without having seen all (or even most) of the Transformers movies, I feel confident saying that Bumblebee is probably the best of them. It was entertaining all the way through.

The film poster showing Bumblebee in humanoid form, Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), Agent Burns (John Cena) and Bumblebee in car form surrounded by sparks from an explosion in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Ferdinand (2017)

Ferdinand
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Writer: Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle, Brad Copeland
Based on: Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson‘s children’s book The Story of Ferdinand
Cast: John CenaKate McKinnon, Jeremy Sisto, Bobby Cannavale, Raúl Esparza, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Flula Borg, Sally Phillips [I saw the German language version, so I can’t speak to their performances.]
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) is the son of a famous fighting bull and is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Or rather hoofsteps. But nothing could be further from Ferdinand’s mind: he is more interested in smelling the flowers, bringing him the scorn from the other young bulls. Ferdinand grows up (John Cena) into a formidable bull and as luck would have it, he gets stung by a bee, causing him to go on a rampage that brings him directly to the matador academy to train as a fighting bull.

Ferdinand is a sweet film that works hard to dismantle toxic masculinity in a way that makes sense for kids – and it does so quite admirably.

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Trainwreck (2015)

Trainwreck
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Amy Schumer
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie LarsonLeBron James, John CenaVanessa Bayer, Randall ParkMike Birbiglia, Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, Daniel RadcliffeMarisa Tomei, Method Man, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, Chris Evert
Seen on: 18.8.2015

Plot:
Amy (Amy Schumer) doesn’t believe in relationships. She’d rather have sex with random guys while dating Steven (John Cena) who is nice to look at but not exactly a rocket in bed. But then Amy has to do a story on sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader) for the magazine she works at. Amy has as little interest in sports as she has in monogamy, but Aaron is actually a nice guy. And he likes Amy. He even asks her out, forcing Amy to take a long hard look at her life and to decide whether it’s really the life she wants to lead.

I’m not a huge fan of Apatow (though I did love Freaks and Geeks), so I usually give his movies a wide pass. But I had heard good things about Amy Schumer, and since Trainwreck is also written by her, I decided to give it a try. And I have to admit that the movie worked pretty well for me.

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