I wanted to like this more. I’m a big Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jaime Foxx fan. I am also a New Orleans native. I just cant get around how formulaic and boring this plot was. Full disclosure, I am fairly stale on the superhero/superpower movie at this point, but I still appreciate interesting subversions or departures from that formula. This movie was about as cookie cutter a story as you could get. It had some of the least compelling villains if seen in a long time. So why am I giving it three stars?
Honestly, the directing in this movie was good. I likes the gritty and dirty production design and aesthetic. I liked the heavy influence of the City of New Orleans in the film. The director/s have a guerrilla style to them that help to ground a big budget film like this. They seem to come from that school of filmmaking that directed skate videos early on, its very punk rock and anarchist. The one take shot from within the ice chamber thing where the girl was freezing was a really interesting perspective. They made some bold choices and I would watch another film they did for sure. The performances were also very solid, effects were good, locations were interesting, I just wish it had a better script and believable characters.
A lot of this film working hinges on the relationship between the young girl and Jaime Foxx’s character, but the motivations made zero sense to me. Jaime Foxx’s character kidnaps her, throws her in the back of a truck, and seriously threatens to kill her mother, and within maybe 10 min on screen, she saves his life and volunteers to go on a suicide mission with him. I don’t know if there were like scenes cut that would’ve explained that leap of faith but I was baffled as to why she would do this. This all led to a very stale and disappointing third act showdown that was mostly a cgi showcase with nothing bold or inventive happening at all. I had some fun with it but cant say it wasn’t a disappointment.