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'Bullet Train,' 'Prey' make old formulas fresh

'Prey' is best Predator movie since original

A common criticism of certain films is that they're "formulaic," which I dislike as a criticism, because it's imprecise.

A formula, after all, is simply a set of descriptions and measurements of specific ingredients, illustrating how and when to combine them, in order to achieve the results you're looking for.

In that sense, a formula is a rudimentary story, and while it's true certain stories can feel hindered, or perhaps even trapped, by their underlying formulas, it's a mark of a versatile formula when you can make it feel fresh by switching up its ingredients.

'Bullet Train'

"Bullet Train"...


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