Beyond the Law (2019) Movie Review

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Writer: Chad law, Johnny Martin Walters (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Messner, Steven Seagal, DMX, Bill Cobbs, Zack Ward, Randy Charach, Patrick Kilpatrick

Plot: A former mobster turned businessman and a police detective must contend with a dirty ex-cop looking to bring the killer of his son to justice.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Revenge 101

Story: Beyond the Law starts when Chance Wilson (Rushing) is murdered by mobster Desmond Packard (Ward), this grabs attention of businessman/mobster Augustino ‘Finn’ Adair (Seagal), Detective Ray Munce (DMX) and his disgraced father Frank Wilson (Messner) who returns to town to learn about the killer.

With Frank tracking leads, his reputation proceeds him, with Finn wanting to clean up the mess before it gets out of hand and Ray wanting to stop the bloodshed too, who will be the last man standing between the three.

Thoughts on Beyond the Law

Characters – Frank Wilson has a reputation for being the dirtiest cop on the force, that is why he is out of the game, he returns after his son is killed forcing him to reconnect with people both sides of the law to get revenge for his son’s death. Augustino ‘Finn’ Adair is a former mobster turned businessman, he has never bought caught which made his turn to the clean even more difficult to take, his son is the catalyst to the problems as he gets to learn who he can trust now. Detective Ray Munce is one of the few people that Frank trusts, even though he isn’t the man he once knew. Swilley does fill in the blanks in Frank’s time away, he wants to see Frank get his revenge along the way.

PerformancesJohnny Messner, Steven Seagal and DMX in the lead roles are all strong enough, we see the older generation character showing the loss of control, while the young stars show the reckless nature they have turned too in their characters.

StoryThe story here follows a father looking to get revenge after his son is killed by a local mobster and he returns to his old stomping grounds to get the person responsible. While this might seem like a by the book revenge film, this does have a difference, we are in a complete corruption filled world of characters, be it dirty cops, mobsters or reckless gangsters. This does change things because usually the revenge story is following somebody good who is pushed over the limit. Outside of this, we get everything unfolding just like you would imagine, waiting for a big blow off in the final acts of the film.

ActionThe action isn’t as big as you would imagine with Steven Seagal involved, everything feels pretty routine, but didn’t need to get out of hand.

SettingsThe locations used show Frank returning to an area he knows well, which sees him using his connections to get the answers he requires.

Scene of the Movie – Showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not too much new to the genre.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book revenge thriller, it does put us in a complete world of corruption, otherwise, we know how this will unfold.

Overall: By the book.

My 20 Favourite Films of 2019

It is that time of the year, where I must pick my favourite films of the year, I want to point out that these are the ones I enjoyed the most, I do think some other films might be technically better than some of the films on this list, but we are only talking about the ones I enjoyed watching the most.

20 – The Wandering Earth When it comes to disaster movies, I will never not watch one, The Wandering Earth is such an ambitious idea that you are engaged in just how big the idea is, the science seems to make this even more enjoyable, if you liked Armageddon, you will only find yourself enjoying this movie.

19 – Ready or Not Ready or Not is a film that has made quite a few of my lists this year, it is a horror comedy that follows one woman on her wedding day that must go through one final traditions before being welcomed into the family, a random game, she draws Hide n Seek, which turns into an extreme game of life or death, where she must survive the night. Samara Weaving steals the movie, giving one of the best performances of the year, putting herself well and truly on the map.

18 – Stuck Stuck is a musical follow six strangers from six different cultural backgrounds who become trapped on a subway train, where they each get to shine the spotlight on the problems they are facing in life, each learning valuable life lessons along the way. The music here is fantastic and the idea that people will never learn other people’s problems until they listen only helps this film get to the next level, barely seen, but one you need to find.

17 – Marriage Story Marriage Story might well be one of the hardest watches of the year because of just how heart breaking some of the scenes are, though the performances from Driver and Johansson are truly remarkable, we will feel each and everybody blow the two hit on each other.

16 – Fisherman’s Friends Fisherman’s Friends follows a Sea Shanties band of fisherman that get signed by a record label and manage to get a top ten hit in the UK music charts, based on the real band and their incredible success story.

15 – Rocketman Rocketman is the biopic based on Elton John’s struggles with his vices, drugs, drink and sex, it shows how he went from small time, to biggest star in the world and just how everything spiralled out of control. Taron Egerton shines in this film where he brings the living legend to life with ease and should easily be on the shortlist of best actor of the year.

14 – The Two Popes The Two Popes follows the electing of the pope after John Paul II dies and what follows as the scandal as the two most respected men in the church discuss their ideas of moving the church into the future, this is such a compelling movie to see how the two look to solve the problems they are facing.

13 – Little Monsters Little Monsters is the second musical on the list, this is a horror comedy that follows a teacher and chaperone who on a school trip must protect the children after a zombie outbreak hits the petting zoo. Lupita Nyong’o is fantastic with a smile that could light up any room, as she remains positive for all the school children. This might be a light film, but it is a lot of fun that is easy to watch.

12 – Godzilla: King of the Monsters Godzilla: King of the Monsters is easily the most visually appealing movie of the year, the monster creations and battles are truly fantastic, it might not have the deepest human characters, but we only want to watch the monsters fight in this film.

11 – Departures Departures follows a hypochondriac who meets a terminal ill teenager that gives him a new friendship, with a new view on life, this is a film that will make you smile, cry and open your eyes, with a great post Game of Thrones role for Maisie Williams too.

10 – Le Mans 66 (Ford v Ferrari) Le Mans 66 follows the battle between the manufactures competing in the Le Mans race, we see how Ford wanted to make a statement by becoming one of the biggest worldwide brands in racing. As a racing fan, this is one I could have watched for days on end, with brilliant performances from Christian Bale and Matt Damon too.

9 – Alita: Battle Angel Alita: Battle Angel is one of the most fascinating films, using newer technology to bring the film to life, we follow an android who learns about the corruption within the world and looks to fight back against the people trying to control everything, while learning about her own past.

8 – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood Quentin Tarantino’s latest film pays respect to Hollywood itself as it looks to put his own spin on the Sharon Tate murders, which does see us following the neighbour as he looks to find his own place in the Hollywood system where he is stuck between TV and Film. We have stunning performances from the whole cast, with funny and intense scenes along the way.

7 – Ad Astra  Ad Astra follows one man on a secret mission across the universe as he must track down his father’s lost spaceship around Neptune after it looks like it will be bringing a threat to Earth. It what is one of the most visual space movies you will ever see, this is beautiful to watch and one that will engage us from start to finish.

6 – Avengers: Endgame Avengers: Endgame is the final chapter in the Infinity Saga which answers the big question, what has happened to the characters that turned to dust and how will they get back at Thanos. While the film might deal with a lot of issues, it does also take us back to major moments in the whole saga with surprise appearances and a breath taking ending.

5 – John Wick Chapter 3 John Wick Chapter 3 picks up right where the last one finished, showing how John is now the enemy and must look for a way to solve the problems he is facing, with amazing fight sequences, a continuing world building process, we are left with only wanting to learn more from this universe.

4 – Fighting With My Family Fighting With My Family follows the early career of Paige in the world of WWE, we see how her time wrestling with her family gave her a chance to work for the biggest company in the world, one that will put her to the true test, in a heart warming comedy. As somebody who watch wrestling as the real-life debut of Paige, this is one of the most enjoyable films of the year with wonderful performances through the whole film.

3 – Knives Out Knives Out is a who dun it with its own flair that is just a pure enjoyment, we got such a massive cast of big name actors who just want to shine through the film too. Rian Johnson has bounced back from the abuse he suffered after the Last Jedi with an instant classic in the comedy genre.

2 – Us Us is a horror that follows a family that are getting terrorised by their doppelgangers who want their lives, it is filled with symbolism and with an ending that will leave you guessing and questioning just what to think about the outcome. This is a film that is truly compelling when it comes to the ending and one that you could think about for days, weeks or even months.

1 – Doctor Sleep Doctor Sleep is the long awaited sequel to The Shining, it follows Danny all grown up as he steps into battle with a cult that hunts down people with the Shining to suck the life out of them to maintain their own immortality. Rebecca Ferguson shines in the villainous role and with a director who isn’t afraid to spin who experiences the horror, we get a true masterpiece.

Always Be My Maybe (2019) Movie Review

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Writer: Michael Golamco, Randall Park, Ali Wong (Screenplay)

Starring: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Keanu Reeves, Susan Park

Plot: Everyone assumed Sasha and Marcus would wind up together except for Sasha and Marcus. Reconnecting after 15 years, the two start to wonder – maybe?

Tagline – There’s Always Been Something Between Them

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Rom Com 101

Story: Always Be My Maybe starts when we get to meet two friends Sasha and Marcus who have grown up as best friends into their high school era where they almost become a couple, only their friendship falls apart. 15 years later Sasha (Wong) has become a major celebrity chef, heading back home for the latest restaurant opening. Marcus (Park) has followed his father Harry (Saito) into the family business, getting high on the side.

When the two reunite they see the changes they have both been through and start looking at what could once have been between the two despite having their own relationships on the side.

Thoughts on Always Be My Maybe

Characters – Sasha was once Marcus best friend before becoming one of the biggest celebrity chefs in America, she has restaurants across America and now looks to return home for the latest one. She starts to see her relationship crumble and with her old best friend walking back into her life, she is left to wonder what if. Marcus was Sasha best friend too, he never made too much of his life, working with his father, getting high and being part of his small band, never leave San Francisco. With Sasha back in his life, he must decide if it is finally time to take a chance on life. Harry is Marcus father that has always let him do his own thing, they both lost his wife and mother to Marcus. Veronica is Sasha best friend who is always there for business and personal issues, she knows about the previous friendship.

PerformancesRandall Park and Ali Wong are both fine in the leading roles, they do struggle with balancing the ideas of their stand-up routines, with realistic conversations, which shows through the film. The supporting performers do get the better laughs, with more realistic nature to everything happening.

StoryThe story follows two childhood friends that almost became more that have gone onto live very different lives until they get a chance to meet up again 15-years-later to put forward the question once more about what could have been. We do have deeper side to the story, which explores the ideas of not taking chances in life, when you meet somebody who will go everywhere. The idea that the two get a second chance does make most of the story feel like a straight to TV level of storytelling and while it doesn’t completely fall into relying on stand-up jokes, we do get more than we need to. The story does have a proper heart which is the important factor needed, only it just doesn’t do much more outside of this.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy is mostly miss until Keanu Reeves arrives on the scene, where he will give laughs through the scenes with ease, while the romance elements are everything we have seen before.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in San Francisco which is always a nice backdrop, it does show the different lifestyles the two are living with where they feel more comfortable.

Scene of the Movie – Double date.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It offers nothing new to the rom com.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book rom com that does get saved by an outrageous cameo, which is the clear highlight of the film.

Overall: Simple and Fun.

Thank You 2019

2019 has been a big year for Movie Reviews 101, we have seen the highest number of visits, the most amount of content and we are looking to continue to grow this year. We have always varied our content from big blockbusters to indie movies. The ABC Film Challenge has gone on stronger than normal and will be returning next year with the following subjects.

January – Catch Up 2019
February – Oscar Nomination
March – Favourites
April – Action
May – World Cinema
June – Sci-Fi
July – Romance
August – Animation
September – 80s Movies
October – Horror
November – Comedy
December – Anticipated

If you want to join in just get in contact with us at

I would like to thank everybody who has visited, given us a chance to watch upcoming releases early for their support this year, we want to continue working with everybody and will continue to bring as much as possible, when it comes to new content with upcoming releases.