Netflix Nourishment: 71st Edition

Brandon Vick reviews Nimona, Extraction 2, and Run Rabbit Run on the latest Netflix Nourishment!

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NIMONA

Based on the graphic novel by ND Stevenson, this is a fantastic fairytale that’s eagerly irreverent, wonderfully heartfelt, and hugely relevant. With a punk-rock attitude and rebellious spirit, directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Spies in Disguise) bring a new kind of antihero to the animation world – one with extra sass and spunk. Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a troubled teen who wants to wreak havoc. You can’t really blame her since she’s been seen as a monster for ages by society because of her shapeshifting talents. Where she’s from, they don’t take too kindly to monsters. She’s simply shunned for being different.

So, when Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a trailblazing knight, kills the Queen – Nimona is pumped to be the sidekick to his villain. However, she’s a little disappointed once she finds out Boldheart has actually been framed and he’s out to prove his innocence to fellow knight/romantic partner Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang), the Director (Frances Conroy), and the rest of the kingdom he swore to protect. Even though Boldheart is an uptight knight who hates fun, Nimona is his only hope as they combine their outcast forces to uncover the truth and change how everyone sees them.

Moretz is sensational as is Ahmed in delivering lively voice work that puts their charisma and charm on full display. The animation styles are dazzling, the action is rousing, and the goofy humor is delightful. Most importantly, Nimona is fearless and sincere while presenting themes of acceptance and fearing what we don’t understand. It glows with pride in serving as an excellent example of how representation and inclusion can educate and entertain all ages.

Extraction 2

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) should be dead after his last mission, but he’s no normal human being. He has to have some time to recover, though it ain’t long before he’s needed again to come to the rescue. And this time it’s personal in a sprawling, action-packed sequel that doesn’t really change things up from the first one. Even so, director Sam Hargrave and the Russo bros do hit the ground running at a more breakneck pace while upping the action that will give its fans what they want.

Chris Hemsworth is fantastic as a walking, talking weapon of destruction. But there’s no escaping such a weak script and the typical tropes and empty-headedness involved; however, the attempt at balancing some emotion with the punishing violence is commendable. As far as the action goes, Hargrave and Hemsworth are unstoppable. The prison breakout sequence is outstanding. It happens early on and what follows doesn’t even come close to matching it. Overall, while still uneven, the movie is actually a decent improvement. Another installment is coming, so here’s to the director and star going bolder, ballsier, and bloodier.

RUN RABBIT RUN

Sarah Snook (Succession) stars in this imitative, stagnant Aussie horror centering around family trauma and a rabbit. Sarah (Snook), a single mother who has recently had to bury her father, starts to notice strange behavior from her daughter, Mia (Lily LaTorre). She claims she’s Alice, Sarah’s sister who went missing back in 1996. Could it be because of grief or something more demonic? It’s one horror trope after another as they eventually return to Sarah’s childhood home where her past is out for revenge.

It’s easy to see where director Daina Reid and writer Hannah Kent are headed practically from the start. Ingenuity isn’t their forte. From the physical to the psychological- the story is unable to conjure up any satisfying scares, which is unfortunate because Snook and LaTorre are fantastic. They could’ve done great things with a more complex, chilling take on childhood, motherhood, and how insurmountable guilt can drive you crazy.

Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association and the Southeastern Film Critics Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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