Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Part 3 felt like the logical ending to the series, yet here we are. And the continuation of the story does not seem far-fetched or forced, after a few minutes you're glad to be back with the crew. The series already covered the theme of the lost friend who has to be found a couple of times, yet things still feel fresh enough thanks to a few variations, a smart and sweet script, interesting new characters and plenty of unseen toys. The balance of humor and heart still works perfectly, the action sequences are fun and spectacular as always. Only people afraid of ventriloquist dummies might wanna skip this one.
Goddammit, why couldn't this film have a smarter, more surprising script? Because the execution, editing, fight choreography, cinematography and the usage of music is absolutely fantastic. The atmosphere also feels exactly like Berlin in the year 1989. Unfortunately, all scenes that don't have a really cool song in the background or aren't about people trying to kill each other are a tiny bit boring.
After the fantastic Unbreakable and the great Split Shyamalan goes and ruins the two films with a half-baked, boring and ludicrous finale. McAvoy gets to shine with his split personalities again, while Willis simply doesn't get anything to do. Even the soundtrack is dull when it doesn't quote the outstanding score of the first film. But the biggest insult after a pretty uninteresting setup is the oddly staged and pathetic showdown, which should piss off anyone who admired the beginning of this trilogy. The very final twist doesn't turn it all around. One of the biggest let-downs of recent years.
When the end credits roll you feel as if you had a pretty great day of partying in New York. There are drugs, there is sex, funky music and a lot of cursing. Reducing the film to the quirky humor, which relies on dialogue not on punchlines, wouldn't do it justice though. This story is primarily about a break-up, which makes for a couple of very touching and true moments too. The protagonist trio, especially Gina Rodriguez, has a fantastic comedic timing and turns a film without a plot to speak of into a pleasure from beginning to end.
The Transformers prequel does cash in on the current 1980s nostalgia, but at least it does so by delivering a highly enjoyable adventure. Going back to the formula "a boy and his first car", now with a girl, that worked great in the first film, was also a smart move. The film has its best moments when it is focusing on kids having an exciting adventure, like in the classics from that era. Each time we turn to the bad guys, we're in the usual Transformers territory. Still, thanks to great soundtrack, a likable young leading lady and good sense of humor (instead of embarrassing jokes like in the last three films), the enjoyment far outweighs the "been there, done that" moments.