Jungle Cruise (2021) Movie Review

Jungle Cruise – Massively Fun

 

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Writer: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, Michael Green (Screenplay) Glenn Ficarra, Josh Goldstein, John Norville, John Requa (Story)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Edgar Ramirez, Veronica Falcon, Jack Whitehall

Plot: Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.

Runtime: 2 Hour 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Jungle Cruise starts when Dr Lily Houghton (Blunt) is trying to convince the British scientific community to go in search for a plant known as the ‘Tears of the Moon’ that is known to cure curses and any illness or injury. Needing to matters into her own hands, she is joined by her uptight brother MacGregor (Whitehall) as they head to the Amazon Rainforest in search of a boat.

Lily finds Frank Wolff (Johnson) a down on his luck captain who talks the talk, who reluctantly offers to take them down river, while they are being pursued by Prince Joachim (Plemons) who wants to petals for himself, as well as the cursed souls of Aguirre (Ramirez), Sancho and Melchor searching to end their curse.

Thoughts on Jungle Cruise

Characters & Performances – Dr Lily Houghton has been dismissed by everyone because she is a woman, she isn’t taking these rejections and looks to go on the adventure herself, being able to fight her way out of different situations, proving to be more resourceful than any of the men around her believe her to be. Determined and stubborn, she will get what she wants when it comes for making history being the strongest character in this film. Emily Blunt is fantastic in this role, being an adventurer that can handle themselves, easily on that performance that could be compared to Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones. Frank Wolff is a captain who owes a lot of money, filled with dad jokes but knowledge of the rainforest like nobody else. He does play into the conman style as he looks to get money out of tourists, needing to find a way to make Lily mission more difficult for her own safety. Dwayne Johnson is great in this role, the confident figure that will look to take advantage of people, while also not being afraid to poke a bit of fun at himself through the film. MacGregor is the high society brother of Lily, he is loyal to her even if he doesn’t like getting his hands dirty, the fish out of water role would be the best way to describe him. Jake Whitehall gets most of the laughs in this role, he will get to poke fun at somebody not being prepared for a rainforest adventure. Aguirre is one of the cursed men trapped in the rainforest looking to end the curse after centuries of being trapped here. Prince Joachim is searching for the petals as he believes it will help Germany win the war, he will bring the latest weaponry to the rainforest as he looks to hunt down Lily, knowing she has what needs for answers. Jesse Plemons is delightfully over the top in this role, boarding the crazed obsessed psychopath willing to kill anyone to get what he believes is his.

StoryThe story here follows a British adventurer that heads to the Amazon in search of a legendary flower that she wants to use to help cure illness around the world, only for her to learn the truth behind the legend and what it is really been hiding for all these years. This is a story that is based on a theme park ride, like what Pirates of the Caribbean did a few years ago. The story will easily get compared to Indiana Jones, The Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean and many others in this style, it will have enough to just about make it have an original tone. The adventure itself is fun, with Lily and Frank breaking the typical molds in this world, while the villains don’t get flushed out enough, especially Aguirre and his men, who could have been haunting levels of villains instead of certain parts being played for laughs.

ThemesJungle Cruise is a big fun adventure movie that will see the dangers and beauty of the Amazon rainforest for everyone to see, having the supernatural side to it, playing into the legends that will have come before them. The creations of Aguirre, Sancho and Melchor are special effects heavy, showing how they have become part of the rainforest through the years. Each one gaining a weapon to fight back with.

Final Thoughts Jungle Cruise is a blast of an adventure movie that will have plenty of fun throughout.

The Suicide Squad (2021) Movie Review

The Suicide Squad – Badass Action Film

 

Director: James Gunn

Writer: James Gunn (Screenplay) John Ostrander (Comic Book)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Mikaela Hoover, Taika Waititi, Sylvester Stallone, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Rooker, Alice Brage, Nathan Fillion

Plot: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.


Tagline – They’re dying to save the world.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Suicide Squad starts when Amanda Waller (Davis) puts together the latest edition of Task Force X under Colonel Rick Flag (Kinnaman) to go and take down a threat from a small island country of Corto Maltese. Flag is joined by Harley Quinn (Robbie), Bloodsport (Elba), Peacemaker (Cena), Ratcatcher 2 (Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Voiced by Stallone).

The group head to the island and looks to complete the mission, which will be filled with action, blood, gore and everything they need to satisfy their twisted needs.

Thoughts on The Suicide Squad

Characters & Performances – Bloodsport is forced into this mission by Waller, threatening to send his daughter to the same prison, he takes the led on the mission, with his deadly shooting ability and more gadgets that Batman, he will look to put himself back on the right path for the mission. He does have plenty of things he needs to fix about himself, which he will get a chance to, while being the most down to Earth member of the team. Idris Elba is brilliant in this role, filled with the reluctant leadership skills, as well as the deadly side to his character, with a heart of gold buried in him. Harley Quinn in on the team, bringing her colourful look to the violent world, from the tortured soul deep down inside of her, always excitable throughout the adventure, she gets her own side adventure to let her shine too. Margot Robbie continues to be the perfect casting choice for this role be as flawless as we know she is in it. Peacemaker believes anything he does is for the greater good of America, he doesn’t care who, how many and how he kills people, doing it in all the name of liberty. He is always looking to outshine Bloodsport believing he is the greatest soldier in the world. John Cena brings this deadpan figure to life, delivery all the best lines while keeping a straight face. Ratcatcher 2 is the youngest member of the team, she has the ability to communicate with rats, filled with a tragic backstory, even if she does feel like she shouldn’t be anywhere near this team, because she isn’t pure evil or even bad. Daniela Melchior brings us a mix of the unwilling younger generation, to the tragic figure that wants to do the right thing character to us here. King Shark is a walking talking shark that is still trying to learn, he is lonely and once he learns about friendship and teamwork, becomes the strongest member of the team. We do get to meet plenty of members of Task Force X who will have their own skill set, with Colonel Flag being the man assigned to keep them in line on the mission. Amanda Waller is the woman that has put to the team together, with Viola Davis being a demanding presence on screen. The characters are lacking a villain though, with most of the threat being a generic Spanish speaking country with a dictator running it, with the largest villain not getting enough to explain what is happening with them.

StoryThe story here follows Task Force X as they look to gain some time of their sentences to complete a deadly mission for the American government to bring down the leader of a small island country before they unleash an unknown threat on America. This side of the story does sound like a Rambo or Expendables story, but adding the ‘supervillains’ doing good adds the colourful tactics behind getting the mission done. The story does keep contained with the missions taking place on the singular island, which will keep the story flowing nicely. The biggest weakness comes back to what I said about the first Suicide Squad, none of the supervillains feel like they would be a threat to any of the superheroes in this world, with certain members of the team, feeling like they have just come out of an X-Men film rather than ever doing anything wrong.

ThemesThe Suicide Squad is a comic book action film that doesn’t hold back on a violent action we see throughout the mission, it goes against everything we would see the superheroes doing, with bodies piling up everywhere thought the film, the special effects are great to with the different abilities each character has to make them stand out in the film. The island is used to show a generic small nation that hates America wanting to fight back, with each location on the island giving us a different environment to fight in.

Final ThoughtsThe Suicide Squad is a big badass action film, filled with laughs, gore and everything you would expect from villains taking the leading roles.

Breaking the Bank (2014) Movie Review

Director: Vadim Jean

Writer: Roger Devlin (Screenplay)

Starring: Kelsey Grammar, John Michael Higgins, Tamsin Greig, Sonya Cassidy, Julie Dray, Doon Mackichan

Plot: With ruthless US and Japanese investment banks circling Tuftons, a struggling two-hundred-year-old, family-run British bank, can its bumbling, incompetent chairman, Sir Charles Bunbury, fend off the onslaught and save the bank?

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Breaking the Bank starts as incompetent bank chairman Charles (Grammar) finds himself needing to make a big decision with takeovers, being pushed into making an investment by Nick (Horne), one which backfires on him, leaving the family bank on verge of collapse and being kicked out by his wife Penelope (Greig).

After losing everything Charles needs to try and fix things before it is too late and he must use what little knowledge he has to turn the bank around, bringing it back to what it is meant to stand for, for the generations before him.

Thoughts on Breaking the Bank

ThoughtsBreaking the Bank is a comedy about a family run bank that gets tricked by the incompetent chairman into giving up everything. This is a comedy that does play into the fact Kelsey Grammar can play a pompous figure with ease. Outside of this side of the comedy, most of the film misses the comedy but a long way. The whole banking discussion side of the film does feel overly uninteresting, not capturing the magic other movies could have, with this coming off more like a plan and dull scheming movie over anything else.

Final Thoughts Breaking the Bank is a comedy that falls flat and ends up getting caught up focusing on banking way too often.

Moonbound (2021) Movie Review

Moonbound – Enjoyable Adventure

 

Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi

Writer: Ali Samadi Ahadi, Arne Nolting (Screenplay)

Plot: Based on one of Germany’s most popular children’s books MOONBOUND tells the story of little Pete who embarks on an enchanting journey together with June bug Mr. Zoomzeman and the Sandman to rescue his little sister from the evil Moon Man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Moonbound starts when young boy Peter who is obsessed with space, finds himself needing to impress people because his little sister Anna gets him overly involved in situations, he stumbles up on a legend of Mr Zoomzeman a June Bug that needs two humans to take travel to the moon to save his lost love.

When Anna is kidnapped, Peter must work with Mr Zoomzeman and the Sandman as they look to rescue their loved ones from the moon and the evil Moon Man.

Thoughts on Moonbound

ThoughtsMoonbound is an adventure animation movie following a young boy getting to live his father’s dreams of making it to the moon, where he will need to save his sister, playing into the legends of his sister’s children’s books to rescue her. There is a big message about family and supporting each other between siblings, letting both sides have their own enjoyment with what they can find in life, with the adventure side of the film taking us out of this world in a rescue attempt. The family can all get a different level of enjoyment out of this family friendly film, with jokes for all ages and an adventure out of this world.

Signature Entertainment presents Moonbound in Cinemas Nationwide 6th August

Final Thoughts Moonbound is a fun family film that everyone can enjoyed.

Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Movie Review

Director: Edward Norton

Writer: Edward Norton (Screenplay) Jonathan Lethem (Novel)

Starring: Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Ethan Suplee, Cherry Jones, Bobby Cannavale

Plot: In 1950s New York, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Motherless Brooklyn starts when Tourette’s suffering Lionel (Norton) witnesses his mentor Frank Minna (Willis) murdered as he looks to uncover the truth about who was behind his murder, with his team Gilbert (Suplee), Tony (Cannavale) and Danny (Roberts), which will point Lionel in the direction of who is behind the murder.

As Lionel digs deeper into the case, he learns of a corruption case in Brooklyn where Moses Randolph (Baldwin) is looking to clean up the slums believing they are the problem in the city, while the campaigners against it are the targets to his cleaning operation with the mayor backing everything he does.

Thoughts on Motherless Brooklyn

Characters & Performances – Lionel Essrog is a detective that sees his mentor murdered and looks to try and investigate who is behind it, he pretends to be a journalist to get into the world, where he will need to control his Tourette’s syndrome, which will cause him having outburst swearing, which can get him into trouble. Edward Norton doesn’t convince in this role, he hits the serious side well, but then he seems to throw Tourette’s in for what seems like comedy value, being offensive over part of his character. Laura Rose is the woman that Lionel starts trying to connect to his mentor, her past is what makes Lionel looking deeper into everyone connected to the story, she does work for a campaigner who is trying to save the housing for the minorities. Gugu Mbatha-Raw does everything right through the film without getting too much to do outside basic. Moses Randolph is the man that has put himself into the position of power, using his construction plans to make everything happen in the city, no matter who will walk over. We get plenty of issues about who he is, will take centre stage through the story. Alec Baldwin does get the strongest scenes when it comes to speeches, which will see him shine in the film. We do meet plenty of characters who will all have their own stories about what is going on, all trying to stay one step ahead of each other throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a detective who is looking to solve the case which saw his partner murdered, leading him down a political rabbit hole in search for the truth. This is a story that shows us how people out themselves into positions of power to make sure they could control the city and increase their own income, we get a side attachment to the lead character Lionel of Tourette’s which just ends up looking completely out of place for the noir style the film is going for. We get twists around each corner, which will keep us wanting to know who the real villain of the case is, even if we are entering a world without anyone having a true moral compass. It plays out like you would imagine, without offering anything new to the genre, or being one of the best in it either.

ThemesMotherless Brooklyn is a crime thriller that will keep us guessing, will look at the corruption going on within the political system, showing us how people will take advantage of their position for pain, without getting intense with how anything unfolds, we are in full noir mode, which is fine, but it just never feels like the case is in any rush to be solved, despite using the Brooklyn backdrop to make everything feel tight with the tension of most sides being on a knifepoint waiting to explode.

Final Thoughts Motherless Brooklyn is a crime noir that never manages to hit the intensity it wants to.