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Credit: IO Interactive

The last five years have been good if you’re a Hitman fan. Sure, we also got the laughably ridiculous film Htiman: Agent 47 and then there’s the general miasma of living under the Trump administration, but we have been spoiled with the release of the Htiman: World of Assassination trilogy, which took the promise of older titles like Hitman: Blood Money and realized it on a much greater scale. Hitman 3 completes the story that began in 2016’s Hitman, featuring six new maps as well as all the content of the previous two games.

Hitman 3 starts off strong, with 47 parachuting onto the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai. The mission that follows feels like the perfect mix of Mission Impossible and Hitman. The second mission takes 47 to Thornbridge Manor, a sizable country estate in Dartmoor, UK that feels like a nod to Hitman: Contracts’ Beldingford Manor mission. The third mission, Apex Predator, takes place in Berlin in a crowded nightclub where 47 is both the hunter and the hunted, and the fourth mission takes place in Chongqing, China, an almost cyberpunk city that houses plenty of secrets. What follows is perhaps the most creative map in the game, taking place in Mendoza, Argentina that also feels like the next step to Hitman: Blood Money’s A Vintage Year. And lastly, the final mission takes you to a more linear location that harkens back to Hitman: Absolution and wraps up the narrative in a satisfying fashion. …


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Credit: CD Projekt

Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to be the biggest video game launch of the last five years. Developer CD Projekt Red gained a lot of goodwill with the success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and their new game seemed to have all the makings of a hit as well. However, as the game was delayed three times, it became apparent that the developer was making its employees work through crunch for extended periods of time, and when the game finally launched, people realized that it needed a lot more work. Despite CD Projekt Red’s ongoing efforts to fix the game, the disappointment with Cyberpunk 2077 remains high. …


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Credit: Amazon Prime

If you saw Tandav’s trailer, you might have already seen the warning signs. Sure, the show boasts a stellar cast and a director (Ali Abbas Zafar) who is known for directing Salman Khan blockbusters, but its story is overblown and predictable, despite addressing real world controversies. While the series has its flaws, it doesn’t deserve the abysmally low ratings it has been receiving on IMDB, mostly by viewers and anti-fans angered by its controversies surrounding religion.

Samar Pratap Singh (Saif Ali Khan) makes a powerplay to secure his seat as the country’s next PM by taking his father off the playing board. His play, however, gets intercepted by Anuradha Kishore (Dimple Kapadia), who blackmails him into declaring his support for her as PM. As Samar plots his revenge, he also tries to make use of rising student politician Shiva (Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub) from VNU, orchestrating events to create rifts between Shiva and his friends, who are all in a socialist party. …


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Credit: Netflix

Outside the Wire is one of those Netflix action movies that seem promising at the first glance, but end up underperforming despite having good elements. Described by some reviewers as a cross between Terminator and Training Day, it takes place in the near future, where the US military has taken an active role in a conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

During one firefight, drone operator Lieutenant Harp (Damson Idris) disobeys a direct order and performs a drone strike that saves thirty-eight soldiers but kills two of them. He is reassigned to the war zone under the command of Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie), who takes him on a trip to deliver vaccines. The vaccines are only a cover story, however, and soon Harp finds himself wondering what Leo’s endgame is. HIs explanations change every ten minutes, and he appears to be playing everyone else for his own motives. …


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Credit: Amazon Prime

Vikings has travelled down a long and bumpy road since the death of its first protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Flimmel). While the seasons since then haven’t been perfect, they remained engaging enough- and maintained the excellent production values for long enough- that fans have kept coming back for more. The final season, which is technically the second part of the sixth season, wraps up the fate of the remaining main characters, as well as some of the major historical events that took place during this time period, including the final battle between the Vikings and King Alfred of Wessex.

The season begins with the Vikings at Kattegat facing an existential threat in the form of invading Rus warriors. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), who was mortally wounded in the last season, manages to arrange one last charge that ends up saving Kattegat and carving his name in the history books. Back in Kiev, Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) conspires with exiled prince Dir to rescue prince Igor from Oleg’s clutches. Ubbe(Jordan Patrick Smith) travels through the Atlantic Ocean, ending up in Greenland and often finding himself on the East Coast of North America. Back in Kattegat, King Harald (Peter Franzen) teams up with the returned Ivar and Hvitserk to go on another raid in England, which pits them against King Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). …


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Credit: Netflix

Cobra Kai has never shied away from embracing the absurdities of its premise and characters. In doing so, it has created a self-aware show that is both adorably corny and true to its characters. Originally made for Youtube Red, the show found new life on Netflix, entering the mainstream pop culture consciousness.

Season three picks up right where its predecessor left off, with Johnny (William Zabka) trying to help Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) recover from his accident, and Kreese (Martin Kove) returning Cobra Kai to its aggressive, villainous roots. Daniel (Ralph Macchio) is trying to save his car dealership from going under, and later, he tries to team up with Johnny to fight against Kreese. …


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Credit: Netflix

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has always been unapologetically cheesy, wacky and soapy since its first season. Over the last couple of years, however, the show has bloated in size as both the scope and cast of characters grew considerably. After being cancelled in July 2020, the show had to scramble to wrap up its many loose ends. It doesn’t entirely manage to do so in its final and fourth season, which feels rushed, cramped and underdeveloped.

At the end of last season, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) created a time paradox leading to two versions of herself existing at the same time, with one ruling in hell and the other deciding to remain on Earth. Their actions have consequences, however: a group of Lovecraftian entities called the Eldritch Terrors arrive at Greendale one by one, and it is upto Sabrina and her coven to stop them from destroying the town (and eventually, the world). …


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Credit: Netflix

Adapted from the manga of the same name by Haro Aso, Alice in Borderland is a modern take on the tropes popularized by the likes of Battle Royale and Saw. It’s definitely as brutal as the latter, and the way it dispenses its characters may remind audiences of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) spends most of his days playing battle royale online games. When his brother asks him to stop being a deadbeat for the umpteenth time, he simply announces that he is moving out and walks out of his home. He meets his long-time friends Karube (Keita Machida) and Chota (Yuki Morinaga) at a train station and starts goofing off. The three of them eventually end up in a train toilet stall, but when they emerge out of it, they find that most people in Tokyo have disappeared. …


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Credit: Pixar

Usually, Pixar films are geared towards children, despite being accessible to adults. Soul, however, seems the opposite: made for adults and accessible to children. It’s a return to form for Pixar, whose middling Onward dropped earlier in 2020. Soul not only has the hallmark imaginativeness you have seen in the likes of Inside Out and Coco, it is also the most unapologetically Black Pixar film yet.

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a school band teacher, but he wants to do more with his life. An aspiring jazz musician, he finds his prayers answered when he gets the chance to play for a legendary musician, Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). However, he soon drops down a manhole and finds himself on a moving belt taking him to the Great Beyond, where souls go after death. Panicking, he tries to escape and ends up in the Great Before, where souls are equipped with personalities and the “spark” of life before being sent to Earth. Joe is mistaken for a famous Swedish psychologist and he is saddled with mentoring 22 (Tina Fey) a stubborn, bratty soul who doesn’t want to go to Earth. Joe, of course, is still trying to go back to Earth, and with 22, he finds out a way to do just that. …


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Credit: Netflix

AK vs AK has an ingenious concept at the heart of its narrative: a meta-story about the quintessential clash between a star and a director driven up to eleven. If you are into Bollywood’s dynasties and lineages, you might be thrilled with the prospect of a brash “outsider” like Anurag Kashyap going up against an industry mainstay like Anil Kapoor. Although Kashyap hasn’t been a nobody in a long time, he is still an outcast when compared to Bollywood royalty like Kapoor, whose lineage stretches back to Prtihviraj Kapoor, who was the first patriarch in Bollywood.

After Anurag Kashyap throws water on Anil Kapoor’s face during a panel discussion, he becomes persona non-grata in Bollywood. This assistant (and documentary cameraman) Yogita suggests a bold plan. A few days later, on Christmas Eve (and Anil Kapoor’s birthday), Kashyap appears on the set of Kapoor’s latest film and reveals he has kidnapped his daughter, Sonam Kapoor. Kapoor has ten hours to find him, and his search will be captured on camera, touting it as the most realistic thriller in cinema. …

About

M S Rayed

I combine my love for creation and knack for analysis in everything I do.

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