7.5/10 The second collaboration from director Shawn Levy and leading man Ryan Reynolds following last year’s “Free Guy” (4/10), my expectations were low for this film but I am happy to be wrong as I thoroughly enjoyed this viewing experience. Before I get to why this is Shawn Levy’s best film and Ryan Reynold’s best live action film since “Deadpool 2” back in 2018, I will get the negatives out of the way first. There are definitely some eye rolling moments in this film. For example, I love whenever there is a car chase scene through a forest that there is always a perfect amount of continual space between trees so that the vehicles can always fit through wherever they are driving. We saw this ridiculousness recently in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and it is equally dumb through every movie in which it happens. In the climax of the film we also get convenient timing as things are breaking down and getting sucked towards the middle of the room. While bigger objects than humans get sucked away, lighter humans are somehow able to stand their ground. Characters also waste time talking instead of immediately running away and chatting later once they’ve gotten to safety. Finally, as solid of an actress as Catherine Keener is, she feels completely miscast in this film and isn’t the menacing figure the film wants her to be. Those complaints aside, there is a lot to love about this film. What surprised me most was how emotional the film was, bringing me to tears in multiple scenes. Even in the first act of the film, there were moments with young Adam’s mother (Jennifer Garner) that caused a lump in my throat. The film has multiple scenes between a mother and her son, a father and his son and two lovers that were extremely emotional and engaging. The screenwriters were able to pull the emotional aspects off with relative ease. When the film started I was worried that Reynolds would play the exact same character he plays in all of his comedies, which has gotten rather old. While he is the sarcastic, quick talking smart ass, he gets an equal amount of time to be serious, heartbroken and authentic, which was a really nice change of pace for him. I hope Reynolds makes more serious films like “Mississippi Grind”, “Buried” and “Smokin’ Aces” since he stretches his acting talents when he takes a break from playing the same wise cracking comedic character in every comedy or rom-com that he makes. The entire cast is solid in this film and the visual effects look fantastic as we get some solid action scenes like the aerial flight combat scenes in particular. There is some strong messaging about the importance of family, how we treat others, valuing the time we have, etc. While I enjoyed the visuals and performances, it really was the excellent emotional aspects that had me invested from start to finish that had me overlook the film’s flaws. While Levy and Reynolds have another two collaborations planned (“Free Guy 2” and “Deadpool 3”), I am happy that their most recent film together was such a pleasant surprise.

#AdamAndGrieve / #JokinAces / #RealFeel / #NoGoodReedGoesUnpunished / #TheKidsAreAllFlight / #12GoingOn40

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