The Wave (2019) Movie Review

Director: Gille Klabin

Writer: Carl W Lucas (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Flanagan, Justin Long, Donald Faison, Katia Winter, Sheila Vand, Sarah Minnich, Bill Sage

Plot: A man on the verge of a promotion takes a mysterious hallucinogenic drug that begins to tear down his reality and expose his life for what it really is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Mind-Bending

Story: The Wave starts when a safe lawyer Frank (Long) is about to get a promotion, he co-worker Jeff (Faison) is trying to push him into partying a little bit more, instead of following his routine with his wife Cheryl (Minnich). When Frank decides to go along with a night on the town, he finds him at a party meeting mysterious strange Aelous (Flanagan) who offers him a hallucinogenic drug that sees him lose track of time.

Waking up alone in a random house, he finds his life falling apart, the big meeting not going as planned and simple journeys just randomly getting skipped, he needs to put his life back together before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Wave

Characters – Frank is a safe worker, he lives his life through a strict routine that never sees him taking any chances, deciding he needs a change he heads to a party, takes a drug and sees his whole life change overnight, needing to figure out what he has gained with his decision to take a drug which sees him lose time. Aeolus is the mysterious man that supplies the drug for Frank, he pushes him into taking the drug which he promises will be different than anything he has had before. Jeff is the best friend of Frank, he pushes him into going on the night out, wanting him to loosen up, only to show concern with what happened. Natalie and Theresa are two women that friends meet that give answers to what might have happened that night.

PerformancesJustin Long is the star of this film, he can always make the routine based character shine and look out of water when they are pushed. The rest of the supporting cast are both strong without taking any of the spotlight of Justin.

StoryThe story here follows a man that has lived his life with a routine until one night he agrees to let loose and party, only for things to get out of control and he finds himself losing his own sense of reality. This story is one that you do need to watch carefully or you will end up missing one of the key ingredients to the outcome, we are left to try and piece together each incident Frank finds himself going through, it does all make sense by the end too. The clear question in this story does come from the idea of how Frank goes from not doing anything questionable, to willingly taking drugs off a stranger. Outside this we can enjoy this story and how everything unfolds.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film comes from seeing how Frank suddenly starts losing sense of reality and how everything in his life comes crashing down.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to keep us moving around the different incidents that Frank finds himself in, with great transitions between them too.

Scene of the Movie – Boom a car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sudden jump to unknown drugs seems to drastic.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly bonkers sci-fi film that could sit next to Donnie Darko or The Butterfly Effect for mind being storytelling.

Overall: Wildly out there.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – M – Miss Bala (2019)

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Writer: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Screenplay)

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Aislinn Derbez, Matt Lauria, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Abarca

Plot: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.

Tagline – Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Miss Congeniality 3?

Story: Miss Bala starts when makeup artist Gloria (Rodriguez) visits her friend Suzu (Rodlo) in Mexico only for a night out to end up with a shoot out and Gloria finding herself being dragged into the criminal world by Lino (Cordova) threatening to kill her and Suzu if he doesn’t help.

Gloria is also recruited by the DEA and she is caught in the middle of both worlds trying to decide what is best to do, while she just wants to keep her loved ones safe.

Thoughts on Miss Bala

Characters – Gloria is a simple make up artists that is always dreaming of getting higher up the business, she has friends both sides of the American border, which sees her visiting Mexico a lot, including seeing her best friend. She gets caught up in the middle of a shoot out and becomes the target for the Mexican cartel who want her to help them transfer across the border. She needs to do what she can to remain alive, whether it be illegal or not. Lino is the runner that has the ruthless gang that forces Gloria into working for him, he offers the most human emotions of the people trying to push her around. Jimmy is one of the connections on the American side, he believes there is a problem within the gang.

PerformancesGina Rodriguez does a solid enough job in the leading role, though it does seem like she doesn’t know this world is happening in her character. Anthony Mackie does feel more like a cameo that an important role in the film. Ismael Cruz Cordova is the best performer in the film

StoryThe story here follows a makeup artist that gets drawn into a criminal world where she is forced to complete illegal actions to make sure her friends are kept safe, while learning more about the corruption within the world she has been thrown into. This does show us how one person can be thrown into a world they know nothing about, while it also shows us just how the world is both corrupt and one that can swallow people whole if they don’t fight back in their own way. We do only learn what is happening through the eyes of Gloria, which helps keep certain parts more of mystery, though being a remake, it does seem to lose a big part of the story.

Action/CrimeThe action is just wild shootouts which don’t feel like they are as tactical as both sides think not being the most entertaining, while the crime world is everything people imagine the cartels to be.

SettingsThe film does show us just how close the two worlds could be despite being two different countries.

Scene of the Movie – Final shootout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We have seen this story before.

Final Thoughts This is an unimaginative action crime that we have seen before, it doesn’t reach any levels of intensity which it should, with the performances just not making the film any better.

Overall: Basic Action.