The Boys: Herogasm

5/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Spoilers

What an episode, The Boys and Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles, take the fight to Homelander, played by Anthony Star and we get to see Herogasm in all its glory.

I will get my one little nit-pick out of the way now. I would have liked Herogasm to be a bigger deal and more of an event, like it was in the comics, than what we got. I am not saying what we got wasn’t hedonism in the extreme, but I would just have liked it to be grander, I suppose maybe Amazon stepped in and said, ‘steady on’.

That aside this was a great episode. The fight between Butcher, played by Karl Urban, Soldier Boy, Hughie, played by Jack Quaid, and Homelander was great. Like I accurately predicted in my previous reviews Homelander loses, and it will be this and his public shaming at the end that will lead to him going full on monstrous and no doubt declaring war on America like he does in the comics.

I also liked seeing the character growth of both M.M, played by Laz Alonso, and A-Train, played by Jessie T. Usher, part of me wanted to see A-Train get killed by Hughie for comics accuracy but I actually thought the scene wherein A-Train gets emotional and apologizes was incredibly well done and touching. I do wonder if this is it for A-Train as when he uses his powers again he seems to have a heart attack, if it is the end I think he went out on a hell of a high. With M.M I thought seeing him go to town trying to hurt Butcher felt very therapeutic and much deserved, I also thought him being the hero rather than getting his revenge really does show the best of him and why he is the heart and soul of the team.

Finally, the b story with Frenchie, played by Tomer Capone, and Kimiko, played by Karen Fukuhara, was very sweet and continued to extent out their character dynamic. I look forward to seeing them as a couple even if I do think it will be short lived.

Overall, a spectacular episode of TV.

Pros.

The Homelander fight

Jensen Ackles continues to shine

The ending

Seeing a TV version of Herogasm

The character work

Cons.

Herogasm could have been a little more outrageous

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The Boys: The Last Time To Look On This World Of Lies

4.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles, returns to the States to settle some old scores and the Boys smell a team-up.

I thought this was one of the best episodes of this season so far. It was massively depressing for a number of reasons, but that didn’t bother me much as I have read the comics series and feel like I know where a number of these storylines are going, and am excited.

I thought the prospect of the Boys teaming up with Soldier Boy to fight Homelander, played by Anthony Starr, is really interesting. I think it is likely going to be this and Homelander possibly losing his powers during the battle that will likely lead to him going fully off the deep end. In that vein I thought Homelander appointing himself head of Vought and trying to get his fellow Seven members to take over different departments was incredibly in character and darkly hilarious.

The two things I wasn’t keen on and that keep it from being a 5 in my opinion is the continued relationship drama between Hughie, played by Jack Quaid, and Annie, played by Erin Moriarty, that feels very cliched and needless. I understand in the comics there relationship is often on the rocks but I think this season has really turned up the drama higher than it needs to be. The other thing I didn’t like was the Seth Rogen cameo, it wasn’t funny and just felt tired.

Overall, a near perfect episode, who would have thought The Boys could pull off a musical number.

Pros.

Ackles

Getting to meet the Legend

The musical number

It got political and I thought handled it really well

Cons.

The needless relationship drama

The Seth Rogen cameo

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The Boys: Glorious Five Year Plan

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Boys go to Russia to try and track down a weapon that will stop Homelander, played by Anthony Starr. Meanwhile, Starlight, played by Erin Moriarty, tries to recruit more supes to her anti-Homelander resistance.

I am glad to see that Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles, didn’t actually die and will not instead be a rival to Homelander in the supe game. I think that the season finale will be a battle between the two that likely Homelander will lose causing him to snap, and honestly I am very here for it. I enjoyed seeing more of the Boys get powers with Hughie, played by Jack Quaid, this time being the one to juice up. I hope more members of the gang do so it can be closer to the comics.

The Starlight sub-plot is again weaker, with everything he has done it makes little sense that she stays working alongside Homelander, but I will say it was cathartic to see Homelander put a definitive end to the love triangle between Starlight, Hughie and her old flame.

Overall, I think this episode brought the action and was firing on almost all cylinders.

Pros.

More of the Boys on V

The return of Solider Boy

The ending

Lots of action

Cons.

It makes little sense why Starlight is still in the Seven   

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The Boys: Barbary Cost

3.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

After a very public rant Homelander, played by Anthony Starr, rises in public ratings and starts to feel like he can take on his Vought overlords. Meanwhile, the Boys ask Mallory, played by Laila Robins, about her time in Nicaragua wherein she saw the supposed death of Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles.

A slight step down from the second episode, but still quite strong. The octopus eating scene will stay with me for a while it is all kinds of messed up and really highlights The Boys at its obscene best. I do still strongly believe this season is pushing Homelander to an extreme wherein he is going to go fully off the rails by the end. In that vein I don’t like the idea of the quasi forced relationship between him and Starlight, played by Erin Moriarty, I know he is just doing it to mess with her but I don’t see why the character would care enough to fake a public relationship with her, especially after she just walked the red carpet with Hughie, played by Jack Quaid. This again feels like more forced relationship drama.

The Nicaragua stuff handles better and the flashbacks for the most part work well, we get to see Payback in action and see more of Jensen Ackles Soldier boy who is quicky starting to steal scenes. I also thought the Butcher, played by Karl Urban, side plot wherein he is suffering withdrawals from the temporary compound V was interesting to see and his scene with his surrogate son was quite powerful.

Overall, a very good episode but the Homelander/ Starlight relationship announcement at the end just feels like forced in drama and the action is a bit lacking in the episode as a whole.

Pros.

The flashbacks

More of Solider Boy

Homelander going further off the rails

Seeing Butcher destroy Ryan and the drama of it

Cons.

The episode as a whole lacks action

The Homelander Starlight relationship twist at the end feels forced, more needless drama for padding

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Ms. Marvel: Generation Why

4.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Teenager Kamala Khan, played by Iman Vellani, dreams of breaking away from her strict parents and being like her hero Captain Marvel, sadly that seems like a faraway dream when we first meet her. However, all of that changes when she receives a magical accessory that allows her to have superhuman abilities.

I will open this review by saying two things that need saying before I get into a wider discussion on the episode. Obviously this series should be heralded from bringing in Marvel’s first grouping of Muslim characters, representation is very important and hopefully this show will allow new groups of people to look towards the MCU and see a hero that is like them; and that is a powerful thing. Additionally, my review for this episode and the coming ones in the series will be from someone who is fairly unfamiliar with Ms. Marvel as a character, I have read a few stories featuring her here and there but for the most part I am going in blind.

Now onto the review proper.

I thought that this may be the best episode of any of the Disney + Marvel shows thus far. I really liked the tone and the Edgar Wright esque cinematography and graphic blendings/ transitions, I thought this helped the show to feel fresh and different to both the other Disney + shows as well as the wider MCU.

Moreover, I also really liked the family focus here and thought it was done much better than in Hawkeye. Though I thought having Kamala’s mum, played by Zenobia Shroff, be a low key baddie, or at least an antagonist figure in her life is a little trite and played out, I thought her wider family dynamic was a lot of fun. Furthermore, the family actually felt like a family, whereas with the Bishops in Hawkeye, the mother and daughter felt more like estranged business associates rather than how I personally would view family, though again everyone’s family is different.

I also thought Vellani was terrific and instantly super likeable and warm, she sank into the world and character really well and I am excited to see more from her both in this show and the wider universe.

Overall, I enjoyed this first episode a lot.

Pros.

Vellani

The humour

The visual style

The family dynamics

Giving us a wider look into the MCU

Cons.

The mother daughter stuff felt a little cliché to me

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The Boys: The Only Man In The Sky

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Homelander, played by Anthony Starr, splits further off the rails and the Boys continue their investigation into the fallen supe Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles.

This was an improvement on the first episode in a couple of ways. I enjoyed that the series didn’t mess around with the will he wont he question around Butcher, played by Karl Urban, giving himself powers and just went straight for it. I am excited to see where this plotline will go.

Moreover, I enjoyed where the Soldier Boy storyline went I am looking forward to seeing more of Laurie Holden’s Crimson Countess and think she will be a welcome addition to the rouges gallery of the show. In that vein I also like that the show is continuing to push Homelander into becoming an outright villain in the public’s eyes and thought that killing off Stormfront, played by Aya Cash, was a bold step in doing that.

Again much like the first episode the thing that I am the least happy about is the separate Hughie, played by Jack Quaid, plotline as I feel that it continues to feel like filler and for the most part I just want him to get back involved with the rest of the Boys. The relationship drama that I complained about in my previous review is still here to a degree though thankfully it is down on the last episode.

Overall, the series is getting into its flow and looks to be heading in an interesting direction.

Pros.

Butcher getting his powers

Holden’s Crimson Countess

The further descent of Homelander

The continued mystery of Soldier Boy

Cons.

The Hughie/Annie relationship drama and other slow side plots

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The Boys: Payback

3.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

One year after Stormfront, played by Aya Cash, is outed for being a Nazi the world has a whole new view on superheroes.

I thought that this was a slow first episode for the most part. I understand why the show has chosen to start in this way, to show the changes in the characters and the world but I just thought that compared to other season openers this one was a little light on action, though the sequence with the shrinking superhero was a fun little bit of gore.

I like where this season is heading, with the Boys themselves having superpowers in order to fight the supes, like they did in the comics, and with them investigating an obscure old superhero group; there is a lot of promise for where it could all go. Likewise, I am enjoying seeing the series push Homelander, played by Anthony Starr, to the edge I think it is quite clear that before the season is out he will snap and become outwardly villainous in a very public way.

I am less than keen on the Hughie, played by Jack Quaid, and Annie, played by Erin Moriarty, relationship drama and feel like it is being used to pad out the season, maybe because they don’t have as much footage as they would have liked because of covid. I hope that in the coming episodes we can move away from the relationship drama because honestly it is boring and a little trite.

Overall, a good first episode if a little underwhelming.

Pros.

The tease of the Boys getting powers

The looming mysteries

The ending

The shrinking superhero sequence

Cons.

It is slow

The Hughie/Annie relationship drama

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Moon Knight: The Tomb

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Moon Knight, played by Oscar Isaac rushes to find Ammit’s tomb before Harrow, played by Ethan Hawke, in an effort to save the world.

I am quickly starting to lose interest in this show. The promise of really delivering a true depiction of this character is not coming to pass at all, very much like with Boba Fett in his show, the character has been toned down too much. The Steven persona is too silly and weak, and though he is supposed to be the more human side to the character he often just gets in the way.

I think there are so many better ways this show could have gone than the Indiana Jones knockoff it has become. I think tone is a big issue for this show because even in the final moments of the episode wherein the various Moon Knight personas meet another Egyptian God it is not treated with any pomp or seriousness but is instead served up as yet another joke, which hurts the show.

Another thing that is starting to irritate me is the constant baiting of the third persona Jake Lockley, the first tease was exciting, the second was okay we are almost there and then the third was like really are we still doing this. Bear in mind the character has been teased far more than 3 times on the show thus far.

The only redeemable aspects of this episode was the killing of the lead that felt gutsy, even if it did lead to the incredibly predictable mental institution sequence, and the continued greatness of Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy.

Overall, episode 5 needs to be pretty stellar to win me back, I’m fading off fast.

Pros.

Hawke

Calamawy

Cons.

The constant teasing of the third persona

The obvious mental institution twist

Steven’s weakness is starting to become annoying

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The Suicide Squad: Rats Save The Day

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Taskforce X are back with another suicide mission to shave some time off their prison sentences, this time looking to destroy a research project being conducted by a non US friendly Southern American Country.

Some out there on the internet are trying to create a moral outcry about this film, whilst others are loving it, so, where do I fall? Closer to the latter but with notes.

Firstly and lets just get this out of the way, this is not a family film, this is not a film you can watch at a family party or all gathered round the TV; the age rating really should have given that away. Many people online seem shocked by what they are hearing about the content in this film, and clearly they have never red a Suicide Squad comic book in their lives.

Yes, this film is very true to the comics featuring all the death, gore and general unpleasantness that you would expect. However, in my mind it does go too far but only in one respect: that is of course the birds. This film does not like birds, in the opening scene we see one mashed with a ball and then later on we see a bunch of them set on fire, now obviously this is all fake, but still as someone who likes animals this was a little uncomfortable to watch and I felt like the film lingered on it for a bit too long each time.

In terms of characters Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 was my favourite, I thought she perfectly embodied the hopeful silliness of the film down to the bone. Moreover, I liked the relationship between her and Idris Elba’s Bloodsport. I thought the surrogate father daughter dynamic worked well and helped to push both of their character arcs along nicely. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is better here, and less obnoxiously all over the place as she was in Birds Of Prey, I do think Harley works best as part of a team, rather than being the centre of basically a solo film.

Overall, a good film and certainly one of DC’s best, it would have been getting five from me if it weren’t for the birds; but that is a personal thing to me.

Pros.

Melchior

The jokes

The character moments/ growth

The violence

Cons.

I don’t like seeing a bird mushed by a ball and then having the shot linger on it

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Batman The Long Halloween: Falling Back In Love With Batman

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

I have been less than impressed with the last few DC animated offerings I have watched; however this film bucks that trend and is not only fun to watch, but also reminds me why I fell in love with the Batman world and mythos in the first place.

This is one of the few times when I have not red the source material before heading into a direct adaption of a comic like this, so I can’t say how faithfully it sticks to the original book. What I can say is that after watching this film it makes me want to read the comic and find out more about this story.

I found the mystery and plot to be engaging and interesting throughout. I enjoyed watching Batman try and figure out the mystery of the holiday killer, and I thought that it was fascinating to see this through the lens of a Batman who has not yet become the World’s Greatest Detective. I think this intrigue has been what a lot of recent DC animated films have been sorely lacking.

Moreover, I was pleased to see how many villains made an appearance here, and though there are quite a few the film does not feel overcrowded, rather each are given there moment to shine and then are quickly replaced with another threat.

Overall, a fun ride that reminded me why I care about Batman as a character.

Pros.

The plot and the intrigue

Batman and Catwoman

Joker

The tension

Cons.

A bit of a slow start

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