Summer blockbusters

Max Muñoz, Staff Writer

There’s no getting around the fact that the current state of popular film is extremely unoriginal. Everything is either a sequel, is based on source material, or a spinoff. And while the word “unoriginal” does have negative connotations, it doesn’t mean that the film landscape can’t have streaks of creativity within its unoriginal box. You just need to dig through the dirt for a while to find your diamonds in the rough. So, my thought process is, if critics can’t help you do that, then what are they good for?

“Avengers: Infinity War”
When Marvel Studios released their debut movie “Iron Man” in 2008, no one expected the massive cultural impact the studio’s future movies would have on pop culture at large. Fast forward ten years, more than a few heroes, eighteen films, and a shared universe later, and you have “Avengers: Infinity War”.
While the film’s performances, writing, score, and pacing are all solid, and it’s special effects are unrivaled in the industry, “Infinity War”s true strength is its ability to juggle so many characters’ personal plotlines and story arcs at once. Everyone from Spider-Man to the Guardians Of The Galaxy get their own moments to shine, and it’s clear that directing duo the Russo brothers put a lot of care into each and every character here.
“Avengers: Infinity War” grossed over 2 billion dollars worldwide, putting it in the top 5 highest-grossing films ever.

Personal Score: 8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Student comment: “Haha, everybody died.” -Harry Li, sophomore

“Incredibles 2”
Coming over fourteen years after the first “Incredibles”, the hype for “Incredibles 2” could either have made or broken the movie. Meaning that audiences could either be wildly disappointed by the movie because of their impossibly high standards, or the opposite would be true, with audiences purposefully setting their standards low so that they would be satisfied by anything. For me, the film disappointingly lands somewhere in the middle of the road, with nothing glaringly bad about it, but nothing exactly special either.
In purely technical terms, this movie is a masterpiece. Every frame of animation is intricately detailed, and despite its obviously cartoonish design, the movie makes you feel like you’re in another world.
However, this film’s writing and story is crushingly mediocre and predictable. Gone are the interesting characters and arcs from the first “Incredibles”, instead we’re left with the cliched remnants of what used to be so intriguing.
“Incredibles 2” grossed 180 million worldwide.

Personal Score: 6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Student comment: “It was nice. I like the style.” -Simon Nagi, Freshman

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
I’ll be frank. The “Jurassic” franchise has one good movie to its name, and we all know which one it is. “Fallen Kingdom” is one of the most uninteresting and boring movies I’ve ever seen, and does nothing to revive the already-dead franchise.
With a story that makes little-to-no sense, annoying and unlikable characters, and surprisingly cheap-looking special effects, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is a cookie-cutter action flick that’s neither enjoyable nor unique in any way.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” grossed over 1 billion worldwide.

Personal Score: 3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%
Student comment: “It was okay. Mediocre I guess.”-Henry Coch, Sophomore

“Ant-Man & The Wasp”
I won’t lie, I was pretty lukewarm on the first “Ant-Man” film. While, in my eyes, Paul Rudd can do no wrong, I’ve always enjoyed the character more in movies that weren’t his own. And those feelings essentially carry over into “Ant-Man & The Wasp”.
Admittedly, the movie is pretty funny, mostly due to Rudd and Evangeline Lily’s fantastic chemistry, but outside of that, it honestly kind of feels like movie… filler? With so many movies being released from Marvel Studios every year, it almost feels like some of these weaker films are just meant to tide fans over until the next big one.
Overall, I don’t think that “Ant-Man & The Wasp” is a bad movie, and it definitely doesn’t put a dent in Marvel Studios’ consistent track record, but I also don’t think delivered what it could have.
“Ant-Man & The Wasp” grossed over 600 Million worldwide.

Personal Score: 6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
Student comment: “I can’t remember any of it.” -Seamus Carmody, Sophomore

“Mission: Impossible- Fallout”
Every time a new “Mission: Impossible” movie comes out, everyone always says “This one’s different than the others! This one’s the good one!” and it’s always… not. “Mission: Impossible- Fallout” is no different.
The only things I really liked were the score, which was intense as always, and the action sequences, which were really cool as always. I feel like with every new “Mission: Impossible” movie, Tom Cruise and the writers try to find some way to top the insane stunts of the last movies, and they never disappoint.
But, alas, everything outside of those two factors I just mentioned were incredibly bland. The story was really predictable, the performances were decent at best, and outside of the action scenes, the cinematography and camerawork were basic.
“Mission: Impossible- Fallout” grossed over 700 million worldwide.

Personal Score: 5/10
Rotten tomatoes score: 97%
Student comment: “I really like the big guy. The big guy was really cool.” -Sean Shelton, Sophomore

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
After the fantastic spinoff that was “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, I had high expectations for this “Star Wars” outing, and boy was I disappointed. Outside of the fantastic performances from Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian respectively, there’s really not much to write home about here. The story is boring and needlessly complicated, and the characters, other than Han and Lando, are dislikable across the board.
Something else that I found pretty odd (in a bad way) is that “Solo” is an exceptionally ugly movie. Most of the shots are an off putting grayish-blue that actually make it hard to see some of the action.
I don’t know, for the most part I’ve been enjoying these new “Star Wars” films, but “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is far from that classification.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” broke records at the box office not for how much it made, but for how little. Worldwide, it grossed a meager 101 million, making it the lowest-grossing “Star Wars” film after adjusting for inflation.

Personal Score: 5/10
Rotten tomatoes score: 71%
Student comment: “I thought it was really good. I really liked the feminist robot, .” -Catie Zhang, Freshman

“Ocean’s 8”
While “Ocean’s 8” is technically a sequel to the previous films in the franchise, it’s really a remake in all forms but name. Everything down to the opening shot to the basic plot beats are copy-pasted right from the first film, which already cripples the movie a lot. Add this to the rest of the movie’s plentiful weaknesses, and you’ve got yourself a pretty bad flick.
Part of what made “Ocean’s Eleven” so fun were the great performances from the all-star cast. Well, in this movie, not one of the performances here are noteworthy, with Sandra Bullock of all people even managing to mail it in. Also, while it’s certainly illogical to expect much from pop star Rihanna and internet personality Awkwafina here, boy did I despise every scene that they were in.
Things only really get interesting in the second act, which is not coincidentally when the heist happens, and the other two acts bored me to tears. Overall, “Ocean’s 8” is an uninteresting, uninspired, and unnecessary cash grab with no right to exist.
“Ocean’s 8” grossed over 250 Million at the box office.

Personal Score: 3/10
Rotten tomatoes score: 68%
Student comment: “I liked the feminist attitude a lot”-Liam Carmody, Junior