Mum and Dad (2018)

Director: Brian Taylor

Writer: Brian Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Lance Henriksen, Joseph D Reitman, Rachel Melvin, Olivia Crocicchia

 

Plot: A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.


Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun

 

Story: Mum and Dad starts as we meet the Ryan family father Brent (Cage), mother Kendall (Blair) and bratty children, teenager Carly (Winters) and young Josh (Arthur) who seem like a normal dysfunctional family as the parents must deal with their kids ignorance and poor behaviour.

Today is different as the parents for the whole town have become infected by a virus which causes them to go into a rage as they look to kill their own children, Carly must take her first steps of responsibility and protect Josh from their own parents who are hell bent on murdering them.

 

Thoughts on Mum and Dad

 

Characters – Brent is the father of the family, on the verge of a mid-life crisis, sports car and man cave in the works to go alongside the job he now hates but must continue you. Kendall is the mother of the family, becoming distant from her daughter, facing the reality she can’t go back to the job she once loved, waiting to just become old now. Carly is the teenage daughter of the family, she is rebellious stealing from her mother, getting high and sneaking out, not really someone you can support through the film. Josh is the youngest member of the family, he is always causing trouble, never seemingly going to school either. This is one of the problems of the film, the kids are pains in the arses and you find yourself rooting for the parents over their kids.

PerformancesNicolas Cage is fantastic to watch in this movie, he needs to be way over the top and he gets to go into full cage mode here. Selma Blair is good in her role, she gets the most conflicted during everything going on and you can see in her performance how she is reacting to each moment. Anne Winters is good, but never becomes the character we need to care enough about.

StoryThe story uses a mix of what The Crazies and The Purge has, while the crime isn’t legal, it follows the idea that this is a virus that only seems to last for a day causing people, parents to turn into murders after their own children. This does bring a nice spin onto plenty of genres and gives us an action romp without explaining everything going on, just watching how the kids must find a way to survive, nothing too difficult to watch.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes from the idea that parents are trying to murder their children, which works because if it being horrific to think about happening.

SettingsMost of the film takes place inside the home as the parents are trying to get to their kids to kill, it shows how home can become the dangerous place when parents snap.

Special Effects –  The effects work well for the film, used as and when with most of the kills or attacks happening off camera.

Scene of the Movie – Full Cage moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Brent attacking David doesn’t make sense to what is going on in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror comedy that pushes the limits of what we can show on film, but it works when you want to watch something so, over the top and mad.

 

Overall: Fun, Crazy and Completely bonkers.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – A – American Ultra (2015)

ultraDirector: Nima Nourizadeh

Writer: Max Landis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman

 

Plot: A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Comedy

 

Story: American Ultra starts as Mike Howell (Eisenberg) who must explain what has happened. We move back to see how Mike and his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart) who live in a small dead-end town while enjoying getting stoned in their spare time. We also meet the government agents Adrian Yates (Grace) who is looking to close a project that Victoria Lasseter (Britton) has started.

When Adrian decides to terminate asset Mike Howell he becomes activated by Victoria and Mike learns all about a new set of skills that leaves a trail of bodies as Mike and Phoebe go on the run to learn the truth.

 

Thoughts on American Ultra

 

StoryThe story here is easy to follow and it is clear that this is designed to poke fun at the is he an agent or not sub-genre of action without being full parody. I think the story works and comes off original for the most part because you are left wonder where it could go next and we see how anything is possible too.

Action/ComedyThe action going on within this film is to make the extra comedy with how unique the kills and use of weapons that make things original throughout. While I don’t think, this is the best comedy the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously helps make it feel light hearted throughout.

Characters/PerformancesMike is meant to be your everyday stoner who just gets by in life but what if he had been recruited by the government to be an undercover asset, well this is told through this character where he questions his own existence in the world. Phoebe does have a twist to her character with Yates being the typical over the top full of power government agent with Victoria being the elder member of the government team who wants to do the right thing. When you look at performances Eisenberg gets to have a lot of fun with his character and Stewart shows the talent she has but doesn’t always show in Twilight. Grave continues to be good at the over the top guy with the rest of the cast fitting the movie well.

SettingsThe settings are within the small town which shows just how the government can take control without needing to explain. It also gets fully explained by Mike hasn’t been able to leave under the program.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few and far between but all work for how the story is being told without having anything go wildly over the top like it could.

Final ThoughtsEnjoyable and fun is the best way to describe this because you know you are having something slightly light hearted going on throughout.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable action comedy that watched the right way can be enjoyed.

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