Tag Archives: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Movie reviews: ‘Pirates: Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ ‘Baywatch

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (PG-13)

The ship has definitely sailed on Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise with “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth and hopefully last film in series. There’s no question that the first two films in the series — “The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Dead Man’s Chest” were entertaining, but Depp’s schtick as the drunken, bumbling Capt. Jack Sparrow became old hat after that.

Basically “Dead Men Tell No Tales” feels like all the films that proceed it, a mishmash of high seas action and slapstick comedy of Depp’s Capt. Jack, who you just know will weasel his way out of any situation he encounters no matter how perilous it is. There’s no question the special effects are spectacular — especially with the crafting of the ghostly nemesis, Capt. Salazar (the always great Javier Bardem), who seeks revenge on Capt. Jack, but the story is dull and predictable, and like the previous films, feels overlong.

While the story brings to a conclusion a subplot from a couple of films ago, there’s nothing really new to talk about here, with the exception of a wonderfully inventive scene involving Capt. Jack’s head and neck on a guillotine.

Lammometer: 4.5 (out of 10) 

Hear Tim’s review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “Baywatch” with Tom Barnard on KQRS.

“Baywatch” (R) 

After a string of hits including “Moana” and “The Fate of the Furious” star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sinks big-time with “Baywatch,” a hapless remake of David Hasselhoff’s syndicated TV smash from the 1990s.

The plot is paper-thin: Johnson leads a group of lifeguards who are trying to keep a drug-dealing villain from taking over the beautiful coastline they protect, even though none have any real law enforcement experience. Johnson assumes Hasselhoff’s role of Mitch Buchanon, who along with fellow lifeguards C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrback) and Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) take on three new recruits for the summer, including Matt Brody (a very ripped Zac Efron), a Ryan Lochte-like lunkhead whose fallen out of favor with the Olympics because of his wild ways.

Baywatch is a failure on all fronts. The acting is terrible, the dialogue is uninspired (how many times can Johnson rib Efron about looking like a member of a boy band? Apparently not enough), and unlike the big-screen remake of the very self-aware 21 Jump Street, the cast mostly plays it straight like Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson and company did in the TV series.

In fact, the only time the film is funny is when Hasselhoff appears as himself in moments of self-parody, like he’s the only person in the entire movie that gets the joke that its OK to poke fun at yourself. The problem is, the actor’s two scenes are about a minute apiece. The rest of the movie is an embarrassment.

Lammometer: 2.5 (out of 10)

Watch Tim’s review of  “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “Baywatch” with Adrienne Broadus on KARE 11.

Movie review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’ way too serious

“The Fate of the Furious” (PG-13)

While it’s not a total spinout, “The Fate of the Furious” – the eighth film in the seemingly endless “Fast and Furious” franchise – seems to have lost its way following the blockbuster worldwide success of “Furious 7.” After an entertaining 10-minute race scene to kick off the film, “The Fate of the Furious” quickly loses the type of self-aware sense of humor that made the last film such a joy; and remains stuck in neutral with a formulaic action movie plot until it miraculously pulls itself out a funk for the third act of the movie.

Diesel is back for his sixth “Furious” film as Dominic Toretto, the cocksure street racer who has evolved over the film series into the leader of a band of international mercenaries whose jobs often find them trying to save the world from disaster. But when Dom is coerced by notorious super hacker Cipher (Theron) to go rogue, he’s forced to turn against his crew in order to secure an EMP device that has the power to shut down a major city and turn the scene into complete chaos. And that’s not all …

Convinced that Dom is taking commands against his will, the crew (including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Michelle Rodriguez – whose Letty is now married to Dominic) takes up an offer from government shade Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his new right hand, dubbed “Little Nobody” (Scott Eastwood, who appears to be filling the void left by late Paul Walker) to recover the EMP and other potential weapons of mass destruction to clean their crime-riddled slates.

While its far inferior to “Furious 7,” “The Fate of the Furious” isn&#

8217;t a bad movie – the action in the final third alone will give audience members what they’re looking for with subplot that involved a Russian nuclear submarine. Thankfully stars like Johnson, Jason Statham, Russell and Helen Mirren (who sadly appears for about 5 minutes in a pair of scenes) didn’t wait that long to let you know they’re in the joke.

On the flip side, Vin Diesel and the film’s new villain, played by Charlize Theron, are trying to play it straight throughout  the film; proving that even Oscar winners can’t act their way out of horrific dialogue.


Listen to Tim’s review of “The Fate of the Furious” with Tom Barnard on “The KQ Morning Show.”

A little sense of humor clearly would have gone a long way, and while Diesel attempts to charm his way through the opening scene, playing it straight for most of the way exposes all of the actor’s weaknesses (mainly, that he only knows how to play one type of character – a wiseass tough guy) and he hits a low point as he barely squeezes out a couple crocodile tears.

Theron’s turn is almost more painful to watch, though, as her over-the-top madwoman questing world domination borders on a mustache-twitching villain that revels in evil. Theron, like everybody else in “Furious 7” should have been reveling in the ridiculousness of what the franchise it has become. It’s too bad, because Theron has proven otherwise that she’s an extremely talented actress.

True, no amount of criticism will stop “The Fate of the Furious” from being another worldwide blockbuster (“Furious 7” grossed $1.5 billion worldwide two years ago) out of the gate, but the shift in gears to a semi-serious film (“The Fate of the Serious”?) will no doubt be a drag on the long term prospects of the box office and the films that come after it.

Lammometer: 6 (out of 10)