Angel Has Fallen (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Writer: Matt Cook, Robert Mark Kamen, Ric Roman Waugh (Screenplay) Katrin Benedikt, Creighton Rothenberger (Characters)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Lance Reddick, Danny Huston, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.


Tagline – Fallen. Framed. Forced to Fight for His Life.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Franchise Hasn’t Fallen

Story: Angel Has Fallen starts when Mike banning (Butler) is the only survivor of a drone attack on President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), the rest of the team are killed and Mike has been framed for the assassination attempt. FBI agent Helen Thompson (Smith) is investigating the case, with Mike looking cut and dry to have been the man behind it, but when Mike escapes, he sets out to prove his innocence.

Mike turns to his estranged father Clay (Nolte) as he looks to discover why his old friend an private contractor Wade Jennings (Huston) has set him up and how he can prove his isn’t involved despite a nationwide manhunt for him.

Thoughts on Angel Has Fallen

Characters – Mike Banning is still a senior secret service man, playing righthand to the President, he has been keeping his injuries secret, which is nice to see an action man actually suffering injuries, instead of just being fine, like most action stars. He does his duty saving the President from an attack, only to find himself framed. When the people come to finish the job on Banning, he escapes and uses all his training to allude and search for a way to prove his innocence. Allan Trumbull is now the President, stepping up from his role as the Vice in the previous two outings, he is looking to change certain ideas, though he spends most of his film in a coma after the attack, he is the only other witness who could defend Mike’s involvement too. Wade Jennings is the private military contractor and old military buddy of Mike’s, he has framed him and is using his expertly trained team to hunt him down and finish off the job. Leah is the wife of Mike’s she is trying to keep him from working now they have a child and must deal with the consequences of seeing the name dragged through the dirt. FBI Agent Helen Thompson is trying to put the pieces together, seeing Mike as the prime suspect, she just wants the case closed without anybody else being hurt. Clay Banning is the estranged father of Mike’s he has been off the grid for years because of his own trauma from his time in the war, he is the only person Mike knows he can turn too.

PerformancesGerard Butler is great in the leading role, he is always going to be a bankable star when it comes to action roles and this is no different. Morgan Freeman does everything you would expect from a President role, without needing to do much. Piper Perabo takes over from Radha Mitchell in the wife role, which doesn’t have much to do if we are being honest. Danny Huston is one of these actors that you know is always going to be a villain, he does everything we know he can do in this role. Nick Nolte is a lot of fun, bringing his trademark estranged father role to the big screen once again, he gets a few laughs in too.

StoryThe story here sees Mike Banning being framed for the assassination attempt of the President, the figure that he has been guarding for years and he must go off the grid to prove who was really behind it. The story is one that is great to watch for action, but if you have seen the previous instalments of the franchise, you will be left asking a few questions. First what happened to President Benjamin Asher, we have zero mention of him, secondly, how is nobody on Mike’s side after all he has done in the past, like seriously, he pretty much saved the President against impossible odds twice. While this question could be answered with the number of pieces of evidence placed on him, it still doesn’t seem to fit the character these people have created. Away from these questions, we must say this does build on the scale of the previous film’s stories, which is good because it does feel different, which each film does do. We could easily watch this story as a single film too and the fact that we do touch on the physical injuries that Mike has suffered through his job, does show a vulnerable action character.

ActionThe action is big, we might not have the large scale opening attack, but once we get into the military formations ideas, we get plenty of tactical shootings.

SettingsThe film does build on the settings, with the first one being one building, the second being one city, now we have a nationwide hunt.

Special EffectsThe effects, well this has been an issue for the franchise all along, but the green screen scenes are so clear to see it almost feels like they didn’t finish the job yet.


Scene of the Movie – Mike and Clay have an escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – No mention of former President Benjamin Asher, like what happened here?

Final Thoughts This is a action sequel that does enough different to make it feel fresh even if certain parts of the story feels too farfetched, it does continue to have a 24 vibe to everything, but it is well for a watch if you have seen the franchise or not.

Overall: Trilogy that hasn’t Fallen.

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Street Fighter (1994)

Director: Steven E de Souza

Writer: Steven E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Simon Callow, Byron Mann

 

Plot: Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts.


Tagline – The solution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Action Nonsense

 

Story: Street Fighter starts as the evil tyrant Bison (Julia) has been controlling the country of Shadaloo, Col William Guile (Van Damme) is leading the assault to bring him down after his latest demand is 20 Billion Dollars, to save the hostages he has taken. Chun-Li (Wen) has been reporting the story only for herself to have a personal investment in taking him down too.

Colonel Guile recruits Ken (Chapa) and Ryu (Mann) to go undercover to locate the secret base, before it is too late giving Guile a chance to go face to face with Bison in an ultimate fight between the two men.

 

Thoughts on Street Fighter

 

Characters – Colonel Guile is part of the Allied Nations a soldier that is trying a bring an end to the evil tyrant Bison, he is an expert in martial arts and will put himself in the line of fire in an attempt to stop this man. Bison is the dictator tyrant holding the country hostage, he is willing to offer anybody a chance to fight for their freedom, but his skills are beyond anything any normal person can handle, he is almost waiting for Guile to arrive for a worthy opponent.  Chun-Li is a journalist with her own reasons for hunting down Bison, she is able to handle herself in a fight and willing to take just as many chances as Guile in finding the truth. Ken is involved in his own dealings with one of Bison’s supplies, he is used to get close to Bison to help locate the base of operations, while being one of the best fighters in the world.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is nowhere near his best in this role, he might handle the fighting, but everything else just looks out of place. Raul Julia is easily the best thing in this film, he is so wildly over the top you just want to see where he takes this character next. Ming-Na Wen does bring her character to life which is entertaining, though she seems to vanish for parts of the second half. We do get plenty of different characters from the history of the games, the performances are mixed as they look to bring these generic figures to life.

StoryThe story follows the Allied Nations trying to bring down a tyrant trying to take over a country with his ludicrous demands, we see the favourite fighters from the game come into battle on both sides as they look to bring the end to the war for the country. This was one of the first attempts to bring a video game to life, we do get the characters, though as I am not a fan of the game, I can’t tell you how accurate the characters are. This isn’t a difficult story to follow, though it does feel like it wants to put all the favourite characters in scenes even if they aren’t always written strongly. This is however a good alcohol story because you can make a drinking game out of it.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is countless numbers of fights, each fighter does have their own style, only for the scenes not being shot in the strongest style. This film does have comedy, though I am not sure if it is meant to be a comedy or not.

SettingsThe film uses the typical locations with the secret base for the villain being a major part of the settings, it is filled with the gadgets you would expect to see from a video game style location.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget without being anything that will be remembered for being strong.


Scene of the Movie –
The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters not getting enough time to shine.

Final ThoughtsThis is the typical video game movie that just didn’t work, we have too many iconic characters that don’t get their time to shine which would only disappoint the fans of the game.

 

Overall: Disappointing video game movie.

Rating

 

 

Wild Rose (2018) Movie Review

Director: Tom Harper

Writer: Nicole Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo, Jamie Sives, Craig Parkinson, James Harkness, Janey Godley, Daisy Littlefield

Plot: A troubled young Glaswegian woman dreams of becoming a Nashville country star.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautifully Charming Movie

Story: Wild Rose starts when Rose-Lynn (Buckley) is released from prison returning to her home with her mother Marion (Walters) and her kids Lyle (Mitchell) and Wynonna (Littlefield), Rose-Lynn wants to continues her dream of chasing to become a country singing star, even though her mother doesn’t want to see her not making the money to support her children.

With Rose-Lynn needing to get a job, she ends up being a cleaner for businesswoman Susannah (Okonedo) whose children hear her sing, Susannah pushes Rose-Lynn to record something, which will leave Rose-Lynn in the toughest decision of her life, chase her dreams, or raise her children.

Thoughts on Wild Rose

Characters – Rose-Lynn has just come out of prison after a year, she has always dreamed of being a country singer, she has the talent to perform, which is never going to be questioned, though she is to take life more seriously because of her two young children, she must find a job, which she does as a cleaner, which opens a massive opportunity for her dream. Rose-Lynn has a way of not giving everybody the truth about her life, which sees her using people to either help her career or look after her kids, that she isn’t prepared for. Marion is Rose-Lynn’s mother that had to raise the children while she was in jail, she has tried to support her daughter and would do anything for her grandchildren, though she just wants her daughter to do something responsible with her life. Susannah is the businesswoman that has Rose-Lynn as a cleaner, she pushes her to follow her dream, even using her connections to give her a big opportunity in her life, though she doesn’t learn everything about Rose-Lynn’s past. To complete the cast we have the children that Rose-Lynn doesn’t give the most amount of time too as well as certain people that don’t learn everything about the past.

PerformancesJessie Buckley is fantastic in this leading role, playing a role that isn’t always the most likeable, but once she gets free to sing, you will become mesmerized by her performance. Julie Walters is one of Britain’s best actresses, she shines in the supporting role throughout the film, showing every emotion required through her facial expressions. Sophie Okonedo in the supporting role is great to watch too, as are the whole cast in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a Scottish country singer fresh out of prison, where she wants to put her life back on track, only she needs to learn what is the most important part of her life, her music or her children. This is a story that is about being able to balance the chasing of dreams with the reality of life, learning to find a balance that can make you enjoy your passion, without giving up on your family, trying to get back on your feet after a stupid mistake. This does have the traditional feeling you will get when you see somebody needing to face this decision, you know there is always a chance for greatness, while it could be just waiting to happen, you must chase a dream. We do get to see how life can find a way for you whether you are from the bottom or starting at the top.

MusicThe music in the film is the country sound that Rose-Lynn enjoys listening to and performing.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around Glasgow, this does show us the tougher everyday life that Rose-Lynn was raised in and where she wants to be, the places which have given her a chance to perform.


Scene of the Movie – Glasgow song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Rose-Lynn is selfish character at times.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful movie that shows us just how much dreams and reality need to be balanced to never give up on either, with a stunning performance from Jessie Buckley.

Overall: Wonderful movie.

Summer Night (2019)

Director: Joseph Cross

Writer: Jordan Jolliff (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Chatwin, Analeigh Tipton, Lana Condor, Victoria Justice, Ella Hunt, Callan McAuliffe, Melina Vidler, Ellar Coltrane

Plot: A coming-of-age story about the complexities of young romantic relationships.


Tagline – Thirteen Friends. One Night to Get it Right.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: TV Pilot?

Story: Summer Night starts as we head to a small American town, we go on to meet the young adults in Andy (Chatwin), the newly pregnant Mel (Tipton), Lexi (Condor), Harmony (Justice), Dana (Hunt), Taylor (McAuliffe), Vanessa (Vidler), James (Coltrane), Corin (Kampouris), Rabbit (Milner), Seth (Nelson), Caleb (Szeto) and Luke (Davis) as they all know each other, they all have connecting stories and spend a typical summer night socialising at the local bar, where the issues get dealt with, from broken hearts, unplanned pregnancy, first dates and old love.

Thoughts on Summer Night

Characters – We do meet a lot of different characters, they do all know each other and they each represent a different version of a young adult trying to balance their romances, these characters do feel like we are jumping into a television drama, because nobody seems like they are a main character and a different story could cover their story in a deeper level.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are all strong, considering the actors don’t get that much screen time, we see how they are all dealing with different emotions and understand each characters mindset through the performances.

StoryThis story follows a group of young adults that are spending their summers having a good time dealing with love and all the things around it over one night. It would be fair to say this could easily be a pilot for a television show by just how the story unfolds, we do meet a lot of characters with each chapter of the film feeling like it could be bigger with longer conversations between the people having moments in their lives. By not having a true main character we are often left wondering why we needed so many characters for a film. Certain points being discussed are serious and do need to be looked at in a serious light too.

ComedyWe do get moments of comedy which can get laughs, though we do focus on the drama of life more often than not.

SettingsThe film is set in one small town, it shows that the group of young adults are close and the drama of their lives can cross paths.


Scene of the Movie – The band performances.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters for just a film.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at how young adults can spend a summer night, partying and trying to figure out relationships and life in general, it would work better as a television series as we could spend more time with the characters.

Overall: Young Adult Life.