Well, we have come to the end of the semester, which means it’s time for the Mesa Legend Critic Awards. All the movies reviewed this semester are up for nomination. Overall, the semester has provided many standout movies, some especially entertaining ones and just one or two stinkbombs.
The worst actor award goes to Lewis Tan who played Cole Young in “Mortal Kombat.” With a poorly written dialogue, this unknown actor really had nothing to work with except an entire video game universe at his disposal. His character was made up specifically for the movie as the main protagonist, and honestly he made no impact. I didn’t find myself exactly rooting him on, because he was just so predictable.
Millie Bobby Brown’s performance in “Godzilla vs Kong” takes the cake as the worst actress. The humans in the movie were not the main story focus, so when her franchise character was on screen, she seemed more like a bratty know-it-all teen than anything. It got old fast despite her storyline driving the plot sometimes. Maybe it was the way the character was written in this movie, but she seemed to act like she was superior to everyone else.
The biggest stinkbomb of the semester was definitely “Mortal Kombat.” With the popularity of the video games and the fan’s excitement over reviving the movie franchise, it was too much pressure and failed to be great. Despite having the violence level of the game, the main complaint is the cheesy writing. It gives hard-core fans nostalgia, but as a film introducing this cult-classic universe to younger generations, it missed its opportunity by making it cheesy. Overall, the only entertaining thing was the brutal fight scenes.
Best Actor goes to the man who actually won an Oscar this year for his performance in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Daniel Kaluuya. Playing the civil rights leader and Black Panther Party chairman, Kaluuya transformed into Fred Hampton. The film brings to light what he did for his community by feeding and educating children, as well as fighting against police brutality. He encompassed the role he had in front of him and gave a masterclass on how to play a historical figure.
With her first-ever acting role, grammy-nominated singer Andra Day, most known for her song “Rise Up,” became Billie Holiday in “The United States vs Billie Holiday.” Using her beautiful voice to become her idol, Day captures the spotlight of the movie. She stands out from her fellow castmates. Although she was nominated at this year’s Oscars, she didn’t win, but she did win for her performance at the Golden Globes.
The best director goes to Emerald Fennell, who directed and co-wrote “Promising Young Woman.” She was nominated for directing at the Oscars and won for best original screenplay. The way she navigated the story, especially the twist ending, was a fantastic roller coaster ride. From her genius scene using the Paris Hilton classic “Stars are Blind” to the epic showdowns between Cassie and the men she teaches a lesson, Fennell’s vision is awe-inspiring and visionary. I can’t wait to see what else she does.
Best Film The best film of this semester was “Promising Young Woman.” The brilliant ending is what makes this a winner. I love a twist ending, and this definitely had a crazy finale. It also has a very strong message of giving consent and the rape culture that goes on at colleges and universities. Between Carey Mulligan’s superb acting and the ideas and leadership of Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” is a fantastic and enthralling drama sure to leave every viewer on the edge of their seats.