Corporate Animals (2019) Movie Review

Director: Patrick Brice

Writer: Sam Bain (Screenplay)

Starring: Demi Moore, Jessica Williams, Ed Helms, Karen Soni, Dan Bakkedahl, Isiah Whitlock Jr

Plot: CEO Lucy takes her staff on corporate team building in some underground desert caves in New Mexico. They get stuck there.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Corporate Animals starts as bossy CEO Lucy (Moore) is taking her staff including Jess (Williams), Freddie (Soni), Billy (Bakkedahl) Derek (Whitlock Jr), May (Kim), Gloria (Kelly), Aidan (Worthy) and Suzy (Pedrad) on a team building weekend led by Brandon (Helms) which will see them take an advanced spelunking trip, only for the group to find themselves trapped in a cave, needing to try and work together to survive, only leading to truths coming out from the workplace.

Thoughts on Corporate Animals

Characters & Performances – Lucy is the self-centred CEO that has always walked over the members of her team, she steals their ideas and forces them into doing this weekend of team building, always crossing the lines with how she approaches business. Demi Moore is one of the highlights of this film, fully committed to the self-centred figure that clearly looks down on everyone else. Jess and Freddie both believe they are fighting for the vice presidency role in the company, they bring the most team building side to staying alive, looking for solutions learning they have secrets that could both save and destroy the company. Jessica Williams and Karan Soni do have good comedy chemistry, which will go for the whole cast, each member of the cast does make us feel like we are watching an office sitcom, over a life and death situation.

StoryThe story here follows a group of employees on a team building weekend, which sees them getting trapped in a cave needing to think of different ways to survive the situation they find themselves in. The story does play out like an extended episode of a sitcom, with the characters always feeling like they are just office staff placed in the cave, with the time jumps through the days only covering about five minutes of what happens, not the rest of the day, while this does work with the idea of the inexperienced group in the cave, it doesn’t make it feel like there is any urgency to escape. We seem to get more bickering than problem solving, which does become tiresome by the end.

ThemesCorporate Animals is a comedy that does feel like a sitcom, rather than the comedy horror it seems to want to be, if we want to see the work trip horror comedy done better, we just need to look at Severance which hits more of the comedy beats, instead of the slow build up sitcom arc this film sets up.

Corporate Animals does have strong performances and great chemistry, but you never feel like they are in any danger.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – U – Unleashed (2005) Movie Review

Director: Louis Leterrier

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon, Vincent Regan, Dylan Brown, Tamer Hassan

Plot: A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.


Tagline – Serve No Master

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Unleashed starts as we see how ruthless mob boss Bart (Hoskins) uses Danny (Li) like a dog to take out the enemies he has been facing, a position where he leaves nobody unharmed, rarely even alive.

When Bart crew is ambushed, Danny manages to escape, finding help with Sam (Freeman) a blind man that fixes pianos who takes him in, offering Danny a look at life for the first with his stepdaughter Victoria (Condon), until Bart finds him and forces him back into the world of fighting and killing.

Thoughts on Unleashed

Characters & Performances – Danny has been trained to become a relentless killing machine, locked away and never given a chance at an original thought, obeying the orders of his master when his collar is removed. He gets involved in an ambush, where he can escape and start to be taught new things from strangers, wanting to live his life for the first time. This character is caught in the middle of the world he hasn’t ever left and a world he could never imagine. Jet Li is brilliant in this role, we know he can handle the action with ease, it comes to the serious side, where he brings the film a breath of fresh air. Sam is the blind piano tuner that doesn’t see the pain Danny has lived through, but is willing to help Danny, seeing the good spirit in him. Morgan Freeman gives us a nice calm character that is only interested in doing good. Bart is the ruthless mob boss that has kept Danny as his personal attack dog for decades, with Danny next to him, he has him by his side, which strikes fear into the enemies he has, he is a greedy and will use anyone that comes into his life or kill anyone that crosses him. Bob Hoskins is wonderful in this full psychotic mob role. Victoria is the stepdaughter of Sam’s, she becomes the positive ray of sunshine in Danny’s life, showing him the little things he could enjoy in life. Kerry Condon is great in this film, in fact the whole cast is great to watch through this film.

StoryThe story here follows a man that has been locked up trained into an attack dog for a mob boss that gets free after an ambush, where he gets to experience life for the first time, learning there is more to just fighting and killing. This is a nice story to watch, showing us that people can become trapped into a world they never imagined, where they will have no hope but to do bad things, never knowing things could be better. This reflects on how the kindness of strangers could give someone the light they need to enjoy life, showing them more to life. The two sides of the light versus the dark are drawn out wonderfully to give the story of Danny a bigger impact.

ThemesUnleashed is an action drama where we get to see the pure fighting skills of Jet Li when he is either taking out people for his master or fighting back against his master, with different fighting environments. This environment changes when we see the calmer music-based world that Danny gets welcomed to, which will give him memories of the calmer happier younger days of his life.

 

Unleashed is a great action drama highlighting the skills of the four talents showing the importance of finding the good in life.