Oliver has written 22 reviews for films rated ★★ .

  • F9

    F9

    ★★

    This is proof that the franchise can only push its ambition and ridiculous stunts so far before the result becomes tiresome, and the storyline between Dom and his estranged brother is too soulless and contrived to make us care about what’s happening anyway. But at least the very end has a welcome surprise.

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    ★★

    The age disparity between the actors and the teenagers they play demands an awful amount of suspension of disbelief, the music during most of the action scenes cheapens them, and the story is thus far the weakest of the franchise, but it is refreshing to see how little the film relies on CGI for its stunts, and it does a good job—like the previous entries—at fleshing out its characters.

  • Black Widow

    Black Widow

    ★★

    With a bland, soulless, and inept direction and script; a lackluster story; terrible Russian accents; uninspiring and mind-numbing fight scenes; and a dull final battle, Black Widow is a painfully average, awfully perfunctory, and mostly tedious origin film for its titular character, who deserved much better considering her role in the MCU.

  • Predator

    Predator

    ★★

    I was bored beyond measure, and the unnecessarily slow start was useless if the purpose was to build tension and suspense because none of the characters were likable, and a lot of silly and dated moments just took me out of the film.

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

    ★★

    Predictable and mostly not outrageously unexpected, this American holiday classic is an obnoxiously patriotic and unfunny Christmas farce that hardly works as a drama or a comedy, with a boring series of gags, antics, nonsense, beats of nothing, a far-fetched plot, disasters, circumstances, and even animal cruelty.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★

    It starts off engaging and urgently paced and has its moments, but it ignores a lot of what happened in its predecessor, and as it progresses, it rushes story development and becomes more tedious, bloated, and evidently soulless, with an artificial plot full of conveniences and stupid contrivances.

  • Lover

    Lover

    ★★

    This dull, uneventful, and vapid character study is a disappointing feature debut from Ralph Sepe, as it trades a well-constructed story and narrative substance for empty flair and genre clichés, eventually arriving at a dead end.

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★

    I don’t understand why this prequel to Twin Peaks was made, as it doesn’t offer any useful insight into Laura Palmer’s past other than what she was going through the days before her death, and aside from Sheryl Lee’s standout performance, a lot of the music is pointless in many scenes, and the overall lack of a defined plot makes the film feel repetitive and aimless.

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★

    The world is so poorly developed, and the clumsy dialogue, artificial plot, and shallowness weigh down the impressive visual effects and welcome message about female survivors, attempting to be an empowering film with a badass cyborg-turned-RoboCop-roller-derby hunter warrior originated from an anime comic but instead turning into a cheesy, lifeless video game movie.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★

    It doesn’t matter how competent the acting is, how unique the visuals are, or how nice the score is because that is mostly undermined by an adaptation that fails to effectively interpret Frank Herbert’s dense novel, and as a result of this and the film’s unsuitably bizarre nature, this is a confusing, laborious mess.

  • Serenity

    Serenity

    ★★

    The story is utterly ridiculous, and even more so once its preposterous twist is revealed, yet the film takes itself so seriously and is acted and presented with such conviction, panache, and baffling irony that it becomes inadvertently hilarious.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★★

    Despite a great Live Aid performance, this relatively lazy biopic of the classic, world-renowned rock band and legendary lead singer suffers from a clumsy script, lots of poor editing choices, and an unwelcome, biased view of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality.