Review roundup: April 14, 2022

Arts & Entertainment

A lightning round of reviews for “Fresh,” “The Adam Project,” “Deep Water” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”

Nolen Kelly, Editor

Posters: Netflix, Hulu and Paramount | Edit: Jakob Eiseman

It’s been a while since my last review and since then I’ve watched quite a few movies that I’ve been bursting at the seams to talk about. Today I have two good and two bad movies to quickly review and I’m going to do my best to keep it simple enough so as to not drive either of us insane. Today we’re talking about “Fresh,” “The Adam Project,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and “Deep Water” and I have a lot of thoughts on all four so without wasting any more time let’s hop in first with something good: “Fresh.”

  1. Fresh — Good

“Fresh” is a Hulu original movie that did not initially grab my attention. It looked like a less interesting version of “Get Out” with added cannibalism, but that disinterest changed really quickly. Sebastian Stan has never been an actor I would run at breakneck speeds to check out, even in his Marvel projects, so I couldn’t even force myself to try and be interested but seeing him branch out lately has been nice to see so that was some incentive to give it a go. To my delightful surprise, this movie was a lot of fun. While I still believe there was some influence from “Get Out,” they take it in their own direction and make it interesting. Stan (“I, Tonya” “Avengers; Endgame”) is a great balance of uncomfortably weird, darkly funny and strangely hypnotizing as Steve, the movies central antagonist to Daisy Edgar-Jones’ (“Normal People”) sweet and equally funny protagonist, Noa. 

“Fresh” is funny, grotesque, charming and a good time of a movie. The film and trailers were both perfectly punctuated by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs classic club banger “Heads Will Roll” and I’m glad it was used because it fit shockingly well into the vibe and tone of the movie. “Fresh” was a surprise to me and I really can’t recommend it enough. I laughed at times, and it felt wrong. But, the characters were played well enough that when horrible things happened it felt horrible, and I want more movies like this. Are psychological gore horror/romance/comedies for everyone? Not at all. But, hey, I had a lot of fun and I’ll be revisiting this either for Halloween or Valentine’s Day… maybe both. “Fresh” is available on Hulu now and I give it an 8/10.

  1. The Adam Project — Bad

If I never watched a movie by “The Adam Project” director Shawn Levy ever again, my life will be almost exactly the same but I would still have the two hours that I invested into every one back. This isn’t to say his movies are bad, or even unwatchable, but they all meet the bare minimum requirements to make a movie just enough. “The Adam Project” is another example of this phenomenon that Levy regularly produces. My main problem with this movie is that everything in it feels like a watered down version of a cooler version of this movie. Time travel, family, Mark Ruffalo, spaceship battles and wacky science fiction jumbo are all super cool stuff and are present, but it’s all just there and hollow. Nothing is very interesting about any of it, unfortunately. In one scene they used “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin for a shooter fight scene and I did not enjoy any of it despite how cool that sentence sounds. While this movie had some decent effects and visuals, I couldn’t tell you anything particularly interesting about the effects but just that there was enough of them to keep the movie going. 

There really is not much that I think I can add to this other than it was just really bland and predictable. There were moments I had fun, yeah, but this movie had the same formula as the previous Shawn Levy movies I watched before: “Real Steel,” “Free Guy” and any of the “Night at the Museum” movies. I feel bad that I don’t like this movie because maybe I am being too harsh on a kids’ movie but there just wasn’t a lot of fun here. The emotional scenes were minimal and made me begin to realize I have emotion right as they began to move on which got annoying and hurt my viewing of this movie. I don’t know, man, maybe I just need to rewatch with someone who likes this and I’ll change but I don’t think that’s likely. In summation: “The Adam Project” was not very fun, was very predictable and kind of cringe at times and I wish this was actually something better. “The Adam Project” is available on Netflix and I give this a 5/10.

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — Good

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise mostly because I never played any of the games or watched the shows, but I always appreciated how others appreciated the character and his media. When the first “Sonic” movie was released in 2020, I had no thoughts about seeing it since it was not my thing and video game movies are never good, but after pirating it with Korean subtitles I thought it was pretty good for what it was. Recently, I went along with my roommates and paid 17 U.S. dollars to see “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and as someone who cruised through the first one and knows nothing of the lore, I had a good time. Is it a good movie? I really don’t know. I think I laughed harder watching this than anything I have in months. Was it actually funny? Not totally, but it wasn’t boring. At a two hour runtime, “Sonic 2” never for a second bored me and I think that’s the highest praise I can give it. There was a fair balance of bad, good enough and pretty good in this movie but it was never so terrible that I wanted to cry. This may be the least cinematic movie I ever talk about, but when I have a good time with a movie I want to talk about it and “Sonic 2” was a good time for me.

There is a possibility this will be Jim Carrey’s last movie ever, which I highly doubt, but if it is I think he went out in the most ballistically Jim Carrey way possible as Dr. Robotnik a.k.a Dr. Eggman. If Carrey was not in these movies, they definitely would not be as fun as they are. He is wild and relentless and just the right amount of whacky needed to make a silly speedball like Sonic feel more watchable. Would I recommend this to everyone? I don’t know, maybe. It all depends on your tolerance for super, silly, speedy, chili dog eating hedgehogs. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is in theaters now and is a 6/10.

  1. Deep Water — Bad

I don’t think Ben Affleck is the worst actor ever. Far from the best by any means, but when he is good he is really good. “The Town” gets better for me on every watch and “Good Will Hunting” is still a masterpiece today for every reason under the sun. Ana De Armas is a very talented actress that I am gravitating more towards after her great performance as Marta in “Knives Out” and her slick time in Bond’s final outing, “No Time to Die.” I was interested in giving this a watch mostly because it seemed like it would be good but boy was I wrong. No clue what happens in this movie even though it’s pretty clear what was happening. There was no plot in this and despite the tense thriller feel to it, it always felt like it was ramping up to the story but then just never got to it. Things happen, but incoherently because it’s never clear why anyone does anything. 

My initial critique that I will stick with for now is to trim a third of this movie out completely, reframe it like a dark comedy, and have more movie actually happen. Despite the dark framing and scenes, I didn’t think this looked too bad cinematography wise but if they leaned into making this funny or capitalizing on the ideas present, this could have been great and it’s a shame we got this mess of a movie. It sucks but I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from a Hulu original starring Ben Affleck called “Deep Water” that has about three scenes of anything deep or water-related. What are you going to do though? “Deep Water” is now available on Hulu and is a 4/10.

That’s about it. Have you seen any of these movies yet? If you have what did you think and if you haven’t which ones will you be checking out? There are plenty of movies that I still have not seen yet from 2022 but I hope to be checking them out and reviewing them soon. Thank you for reading and checking out this article. I’m Nolen Kelly and you’re watching Disney Channel.

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