Movie Review – Angel Has Fallen

TL;DR –  I don’t think anything here will surprise you, but it was still a solid action flick, touching on all the big buzzword fears of the moment.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Angel Has Fallen. Image Credit Roadshow Films.

Review

A couple of years ago I popped and on a whim caught a showing of London Has Fallen. It was a perfectly fine if boilerplate action film and overall I did quite enjoy it. Though my mileage was a lot further than a lot of people as I had not seen the first film, so the fact that they hit almost the same plot beats was not as much of an issue. Well the third film in the series is out today and overall it’s pretty much the same as last time, with maybe a little something extra.

So to set the scene, we open with United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) holding off a bunch of goons while under attack only for it to be just a paintball exercise. His old Army buddy Wade Jennings (Danny Huston) runs a training outfit and with Mike probably about to take over has head of the Secret Service he’s hoping he can send some training contracts his way. It is not likely as President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) has but a ban on contract armies. Well one day after visiting a doctor’s to discover how bad his back really is Mike is out protecting the President when they come under attack by drones. When he wakes up all of his team is dead, the President is in a coma and he is under arrest because they think he was the one who set it all up.

Continue reading
Advertisements

TV Review – Wu Assassins: Season 1

TL;DR – A good start to a season however it struggles to keep the momentum moving in the back half of the season.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes in life, it is the simple things that really work. For me, that is a show with a well-crafted story, strong characters, clear action, and with the fundamentals of filmmaking down pact. Now, once you have that, if you want to spice it up with some deep lore, building upon some grand mythology, I am also here for it. Today we look at a series that has the characters, has the action, and the filmmaking, but does not quite nail that story component.   

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm. So let’s break the Wu Assassins down, using those four categories we mention in the introduction.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Point Blank (2019)

TL;DR – A solid, if not very imaginative action flick   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Point Blank. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a while since I have sat down and watched a solid action flick, the kind where you can get out some popcorn, sit back and not think that hard about what is going on. Well, today we have an example of just that with Point Blank which is a reimaging of À Bout Portant, a French film from a couple of years ago.

So to set the scene, we open with Abe (Frank Grillo) smashing his way out of a window leaving a dead District Attorney in his wake. On the run, with a gunshot wound, he texts his brother Mateo (Christian Cooke) for a pickup, but just when he arrives Abe is hit by a car. Later that night Paul (Anthony Mackie) is doing his rounds as a nurse at the local hospital leaving his very pregnant wife Taryn (Teyonah Parris) at home resting when he comes to examine the John Doe. Only to be ambushed by a masked figure, dramatically changing his life.  

Continue reading

Movie Review – Rim of the World

TL;DR –  This is fun adventure flick in the tradition of saving the world being thrust upon young people. A fun cast, a good set up, and a good use of world building.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Rim of the World. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you have read this site before you will know I am a fan of the alien invasion genre, indeed Independence Day is one of my top ten films of all time. So I am always interested to see different takes on the genre, to see where they can take the formula. Today we are looking at the newest Netflix film based around this very scenario, but also more than many films I have seen this year, Rim of the World both knows what it is and what it wants to do, and at all times it succeeds in these core drives.

So to set the scene, we open on the first day of summer camp as kids from around Los Angeles and further come together to have a fun time away. Alex (Jack Gore) is a space enthusiast who likes to live in his world of screens, but there is a reason for his isolation. Zhen Zhen (Miya Cech) has secretly flown across the Pacific to attend the camp in an attempt to overcome her disappointed father. Dariush (Benjamin Flores Jr.) is full of bluster, the rich kid that has it all, and cares more about his sneakers than other humans, but then it is all a shield. There is also Gabriel (Alessio Scalzotto) who no one quite knows why he is here. Rim of the World adventure camp is full of zip lines, canoe rides, and camp counsellors that may have needed more of a background check before starting work, so your usual summer camp. However, while all that is happening the International Space Station is being destroyed because entering high orbit is an alien mothership and as people will find out as the sky explodes, they are not here to make new friends.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Chase

TL;DR – It explores what happens when a hitman’s work and life collide    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Chase. Image Credit: Vertical Entertainment.

Review

The hitman is a character that has been around as long as cinema has been a medium. Sometimes they are the bogeyman lurking in the shadows, sometimes they are a threat to contend with in running gun battles, and sometimes you kill the wrong person’s dog and you forfeit your life. One area that does not get as explored as much as it should is what happens when the hitman goes home and how does that affect their lives. How can you kill people by day and go home to your family at night and what happens if those worlds collide together? Well, today we look at a film that explores this intersection with Chase.  

So to set the scene, we open in as Chase (Damien Puckler) and his best friend who is also his sort of boss Miles (Aries Spears). Chase and Miles have been inseparable since they were 15 and ran off from foster care together. Miles is the boss and always seems to be in the position to manipulate the people around him and Chase is his best hitman. Chase has a simple system, he has a flat rate, double for women, and triple for kids and his only rules that he is paid in full up front, he not a repeat service so you will never see him again, and that he does not leave orphans. Chase has been living that life for a long time but in recent years he has found two attachments, his girlfriend Blair (Jessica Morris) and their child Micah (Eli Michael Kaplan). However, while Chase is good at compartmentalising, Miles thinks he is going soft and well as you can imagine this is a recipe for disaster.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Dredd (2012)

TL;DR – A film that combines great action, compelling characters, visual storytelling, and creative worldbuilding making it a must watch   

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Dredd. Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Review

There are some films out there that just don’t find their audience the first time around, yet over the years they build upon and continue to find their voice as a slow burn. These are films that are often referred to as Cult Classics. Today I want to take a look at a film that is both of these things. It is an action film, both beautiful and violent, it is a look at society, and also is the home for some of the best one-liners in cinema.

So to set the scene, in the far future the world has been ravaged by war with people crowding into mega cities where violence and murder are commonplace. Long gone are democratic governance and due process, replaced with the Judges. These are judge, jury, and indeed sometimes (a lot of the time) executioners. They have the power to hand out justice as they see fit, only answering to their other judges. One such Judge is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) who is tasked by the Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) to give a new recruit Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) an evaluation. She had marginally failed the final test but she is the best psychic the Judges had ever seen so this is her sink or swim moment. They can pick anything to respond to so they choose Peach Trees a mega block with 75,000 residents where ‘Ma Ma’ (Lena Headey) had just killed three men and made an example of them. Judges rarely come to Peach Trees, but when they capture one of her key lieutenants Kay (Wood Harris) alive and take him away to be interrogated, Ma-Ma locks down the entire block forcing the Judges to fight their way out.   

Continue reading

Movie Review – Destroyer

TL;DR – This is a film that holds its cards very close to its chest but that makes the slow burn that much better   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Destroyer. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

Okay … wow, this is a difficult film to parse because its structure and tone jump all over the place and it is a film guards its biggest conceit at all times. This also makes it a difficult film to review because there are vignettes throughout that I really like and really didn’t and it is hard to conceptualise that without immediately running into spoilers. However, that is what we will attempt to do.

So to set the scene, we open on Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) a detective in the LAPD who has clearly had a tough life, and is clearly worse for wear after a long night of drinking. She is arriving at a murder scene of a John Doe that had been shot multiple times. The police on site were not happy to see Erin, and even less so when she implies she knows who did it because she recognises the tattoo on the back of his neck and the money covered in die spread around the body as a warning. All of this is confirmed when we next see Erin at her office and she gets a letter with one of the dyed bills revealing a past that haunts her to this day.

Continue reading