Avoiding Responsibility: Prince of Persia, Legion, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, & Rambo: First Blood


It’s been a terrifically unproductive day of bad and classic movies with my friend, Evan. We watched Prince of Persia, Legion, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Rambo: First Blood.

Prince of Persia (2010)

I think Prince of Persia may be one of my favorite movies of the last decade, Disney or otherwise. It may not have done well with the critics, at the box office, or with people interested with racial equity (see the LA times article about white washing), but it had a surprisingly clear and developed plot, Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton have some great chemistry, and Alfred Molina provides clutch comedic relief. The absurd amount of money Disney put into the project (reportedly $200 million) definitely didn’t hurt either.

Prince of Persia is awesome. It’s an homage to the classic video game with a big budget, a big name actor and talented support, and just a lot of fun. I highly recommend this movie. You can thank me later.

Legion (2009)

I remember when I first heard about Legion. I was immediately intrigued (in the sense that I knew it was going to be awful and wanted to witness this train wreck). Let’s start with the official synopsis of the film:

An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When G-d loses faith in humankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity’s only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner with the Archangel Michael.

I mean, what’s not to like? This seems like a huge win. An end of humanity scenario where a fallen angel fights against hordes of angels sent by G-d to kill everything. Sign me up.  It starts with a gathering of souls in a diner run by none other than Dennis Quaid (love that guy) and progresses quickly to an all out battle when a Betty White look-a-like enters the diner and starts climbing on walls and taking bites out of some dude’s neck. The movie never slows down and even features a battle (well, two actually) between Michael and Gabriel.

The movie has an all-star cast. Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Paul Bettany and Willa Holland gave “inspiring” performances. Tyrese and Lucas Black are both veterans of the Fast and Furious franchise, Paul Bettany is the new star of Priest (which came out two weeks ago, and is high on my must-see list, once it reaches TV at least), and Willa Holland made her debut on The O.C. as Marissa Cooper’s little sister before graduating to Gossip Girl as Agnes Andrews.

Conclusion: This movie is bad. Really bad. But, it’s also an opportunity to turn off your brain for 100 minutes, which I always love.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

I was never a Star Trek kid, but in my senior year of high school, on my history teacher’s recommendation, I started watching the original series. William Shatner’s Captain Kirk is freaking awesome and the moral questions the Original Series tackled that no one else could always got me coming back for more. I was watching the series 50 years after the series aired so the “cool” technology and graphics, but the writing was still top notch.

The Wrath of Khan featured the “Kobayashi Maru” training session (which is seen again in J.J. Abram’s 2009 version) and while I found Khan to be slightly disappointing, I was pleased with the movie. By far, the best surprise of the movie for me was discovering that Kristie Alley played Lt. Saavik. I have to say, for someone best known over the last decade for her weight problem (she played herself in Fat Actress) Alley looked good.  I’m sure Star Trek fans have already seen The Wrath of Khan, but it’s a good film even for those who may just want to see classic performances by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Rambo: First Blood (1982)

This movie is awesome. Sure, the plot makes no sense (Rambo, a war hero, returns home from Vietnam, where a cop senselessly messes with him, provoking Rambo to go on a rampage in small-town USA), but that’s not really a problem, because this is Rambo, and First Blood delivers exactly what’s expected: nearly constant action. The end really surprised me when Stallone delivers a really impressive soliloquy.

I think my Saturday clearly proves I watch too much TV, but hey, it’s summer. That wraps another Avoiding Responsibility post. Hope you enjoyed it.

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