REVIEW: THE BOYS – SEASON 1

Starring

Karl Urban (Dredd)
Elisabeth Shue (Piranha 3D)
Laz Alonso (Straw Dogs)
Jack Quaid (Logan Lucky)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
Erin Moriarty (Jessica Jones)
Tomer Kapon (Wedding Doll)
Antony Starr (Outrageous Fortune)
Dominique McElligott (Leap Year)
Jessie Usher (Shaft)
Chace Crawford (Eloise)
Nathan Mitchell (IZombie)

Erin Moriarty and Jack Quaid in The Boys (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Simon Pegg (Ready Player One)
Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam)
Ann Cusack (Tank Girl)
Shaun Benson (ARQ)
Jimmy Fallon (Almost Famous)
Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones)
David Andrews (Terminator 3)
Brittany Allen (Falling Water)
Malcolm Barrett (Timeless)
Tara Reid (Sharknado)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Jess Salgueiro (Mary Kills People)
Billy Zane (The Phantom)
Shantel VanSanten (The Flash)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
John Doman (Gotham)
Brendan Beiser (Andromeda)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Seth Rogen (Knocked Up
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)
Hallea Jones (Let It Snow)

 

Jack Quaid in The Boys (2019)
Traditional superhero lore primarily revolves around individuals who inadvertently (and sometimes reluctantly) step into their saviour destinies. Typically, these superheroes are cognisant of the public’s reverence for their abilities, yet they often choose to either live on the fringes of or blend seamlessly into society. The few who publicly embrace their fame manage to maintain their moral compass despite ever-present temptation and opportunities to make negative choices.Laz Alonso and Karl Urban in The Boys (2019)In 2006, The Boys comic book explored this concept through a hyper-violent and decidedly darker lens, questioning what would happen if these figures became tainted by their social status. Now, The Boys TV series, set to premiere on Amazon Prime on July 26, expounds on this alternative premise. In a world dominated by corporate greed, approval ratings, social media stats, a clan of superheroes bends the rules to their whim, and a group of everyday people tries to stop them.Ann Cusack and Erin Moriarty in The Boys (2019)The  series, developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, is everything that fans of the Gareth Ennis (Preacher, The Punisher)-penned comic expect it to be – gory, diabolical, and unapologetically blunt with an undercurrent of social commentary. But, it’s also an easy saga for viewers coming straight to the show to follow. The costuming, action sequences, and cinematography are solid for a TV production and the plot mostly maintains a steady pace with pivotal moments that work well for a streaming service style release. And, there’s just enough expository information revealed in the first few episodes to set the stage for a packed ending to its first season. There’s already strong speculation concerning The Boys season two, so there will likely be several loose threads in the finale.Karen Fukuhara in The Boys (2019)The Boys obviously leans on its source material for a general framework; however, a few tweaks, including protagonist Hughie Campbell’s background, are made. In the TV adaptation, Campbell (Jack Quaid, The Hunger Games) is a tech store employee who’s afraid to stand for himself or take risks to change his mundane existence – which makes him much more relatable to the general audience than his comic counterpart. The plot swiftly puts Hughie’s vigilante arc in motion after (as revealed in the trailer) his girlfriend Robin is gruesomely obliterated by A-Train, a speedster and member of the dominant superhero (aka “supes”) collective known as the Seven.Erin Moriarty in The Boys (2019)Robin’s unintentional death is written off as collateral damage by Vought International, a massive superhero marketing and management company that dominates the United States, led by the pleasingly ruthless and ingeniously manipulative Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue). Her character is the first of several who are either gender or race swapped, but it’s permissible since none of their backgrounds are inextricably tied to their origin stories. Hughie’s difficulty processing Robin’s death and mounting anxiety attacks over realising the supes’ indomitable influence is interrupted by Billy Butcher, portrayed by Star Trek’s Karl Urban, a vigilante whose mission to eliminate superheroes leads to the formation of The Boys. His accent is a bit iffy at points, but Urban fully embodies the role of a madman with a singular focus, dishing out a level of charismatic energy and sharp wit that’s incredibly fun to watch. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonzo) and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) round out the vengeful quartet characters who consistently challenge and surprise each other with their ingenuity when they aren’t butting heads over sticking to the script. The fifth leg of their crew, simply named Female, comes into play but it’s not clear how this person will fit into their overall mission.Karl Urban and Jack Quaid in The Boys (2019)The internal examination of Vought and Seven’s corrupt partnership filters through Annie “Starlight” January (Erin Moriarty), the newest member of the elite Seven who realises that her dream job is full of smoke and mirrors. Her childhood crush on a renowned idol is shattered when he uses it as a sickening abuse of power and she struggles with maintaining her creed as a hero and meeting the expectations of her proud mother in the midst of constant coercion. Starlight manages to swiftly gain her footing in this sphere as she goes off-script to push back against her employer’s ridiculous standards. She’s truly good at heart with badass powers, so perhaps she will be treated well in the TV series and given the space to have an impactful arc. Hughie and Starlight’s paths cross in the most mundane way and sets up an inner conflict for the former about his motivations. It’s a classic case of falling in love with the supposed enemy who shows that everyone on the other side isn’t a monolith but, thankfully, it doesn’t feel like a trope in this narrative.Antony Starr and Chace Crawford in The Boys (2019)The Boys has focused on a few primary members of the Seven, giving them varying levels of development with Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), the sole woman hero of the clan until Starlight’s arrival, getting the least screen time. The Wonder Woman-esque hero is fully aware of the morally reprehensible behaviour of her comrades but she remains silent and offers little support to Starlight. However, a pivotal atrocity will certainly change her outlook. There’s a deeper story begging to be told with Maeve that will hopefully unfold as The Boys progresses. The Deep (Chace Crawford) is annoyingly surface-level – a poor man’s Aquaman who’s hyped up on his fame, immature, condescending, and trying to flex the little power he has against those whom he perceives to be weaker when he’s the weakest link. His purpose at this moment is to be irritating and he’s succeeding on all fronts. The Deep, who was Black in the comics, and his comrade A-Train, portrayed by Jessie T. Usher of Survivor’s Remorse, switch races in the live adaptation and have some different personality traits than their comic versions. A-Train’s lack of accountability and egoic decisions are the catalyst for much of the initial action and plot progression, but the series also digs deeper into his personal relationships and insecurities about his future with Voight.Elisabeth Shue, Chace Crawford, and Erin Moriarty in The Boys (2019)The most intriguing hero is Homelander (Antony Starr), the leader of the Seven and a mashup of Captain America and Superman. The show does a great job of slowly peeling back his outer layer of high moral standards and leadership qualities to reveal an obsessive, manipulating, narcissistic, and sinister being who is capable of unthinkable callousness. Homelander is undoubtedly the supreme villain hiding in plain sight that too many people are underestimating. The Boys has the potential to become Garth Ennis’ next comic-to-TV production win on the heels of Preacher’s upcoming fourth and final season. Sure, some of the scenes run a tad bit too long and the punchlines occasionally fall flat, but those are outweighed by truly clever moments, an engaging plot, and several WTF moments to create a dark and oddly realistic take on the superhero genre.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: LET IT SNOW

Let It Snow (2019)

Starring

Isabela Merced (Sweet Girl)
Shameik Moore (The Get Down)
Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Mitchell Hope (Descendants)
Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet)
Anna Akana (You Get Me)
Odeya Rush (Lady Bird)
Mason Gooding (Booksmart)
Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Joan Cusack (Addams Family Values)
Miles Robbins (Halloween 2018)
D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place)
Hallea Jones (Locke & Key)

Shameik Moore and Isabela Merced in Let It Snow (2019)On Christmas Eve in Laurel, Illinois, Julie Reyes runs into rising pop star, Stuart Bale, on a train. He mistakes her as paparazzi when she tries to return his phone to him, to which she takes offense, despite his apologies. After the train is stopped by snowed over tracks, Julie gets off to walk home, Stuart joins and offers lunch at a local diner called Waffle Town. She reluctantly agrees and also saves Stuart from a group of fan girls cheerleaders. She reveals to Stuart she got accepted in Columbia University in New York and her mom is also deathly sick, but if she delays leaving, she’ll lose the scholarship.Odeya Rush and Liv Hewson in Let It Snow (2019)The pair ended up going sledding and meet Julie’s mom, Debbie. They go back to Julie’s house where Stuart is introduced to Julie’s grandpa and they bond over Mick Jagger and everyone dances to one of his songs. During which Debbie throws a coughing fit, causing Julie concern. Stuart offers to get her a nurse for her mom, but Julie sees it as a charity case to which Stuart dismisses, stating he offered it cause he cares about Julie. The two almost kiss when Stuart’s publicist shows up to take him back to his hotel. Stuart offers for Julie to come with him, but she declines, feeling a need to stay with her mom.Kiernan Shipka in Let It Snow (2019)Across town, Waffle Town employee, Dorrie, tries to juggle her best friend, Addie, who’s worried that her boyfriend is going to break up with her and telling a cheerleader she hooked up that she likes her who visits Waffle Town with her friends. She receives a cold response from the girl, Kerry, and Addie makes a scene with her boyfriend in the diner. Dorrie tries to calm her down, but she storms off. Meanwhile, Tobin plans to tell his best friend, Angie, nicknamed The Duke, that he likes her. The two are invited to a party by Duke’s friend, JP, who Tobin sees as competition. The three end up stealing the keg from the party and ended up in a ditch. They wait for the tow truck in a nearby church where Duke has Tobin play “Whole of the Moon”, but when JP and Duke start dancing together, Tobin leaves. Duke attempts to talk to Tobin about it, who brushes her off, angering her.Isabela Merced in Let It Snow (2019)Tobin’s friend, Keon, attempts to arrange a party to impress a big time DJ, but his parents shut down the party attempt at his house and gets called into work at Waffle Town. His friend and fellow co-worker, Billy, offers Waffle Town as a party spot, provided he get the necessary supplies. Back at home, Julie’s mom convinces her to go to Columbia, stating “when life offers you something special, you take it”.Let-It-SnowEveryone ends up at Keon’s party after Tobin arrives with the stolen keg. Duke arrives and Tobin confesses his love for her, to which she admits the same. Addie returns to Waffle Town and apologizes to Dorrie for her rude behavior. Kerry apologizes to Dorrie for her hot and cold behavior, kisses her in the open, and the two begin a relationship. Dorrie and Julie tell each other about their day when Stuart returns, wanting to see Julie again before he left town. The two kiss and make plans to meet in New York when Julie moves to Columbia. Keon’s party ends up a success, despite the DJ not coming anymore and everyone dances all night long.tmp_hqzVfr_ee7f23718d575e17_edit_img_image_original_46799927_1571861248It was very interesting and engaging all the time. Like, there was no time when I felt that it’s way too long or slow. I guess it was perfect in everything like the cast and all but yeah, the film could have been better. It had good comedy and romance which I was expecting from it. So, in that scenario it was up to my expectations. It’s a nice film to watch this Christmas.