Director: Rodo Sayagues
Writer: Rodo Sayagues (Screenplay)
Starring: Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III, Madelyn Grace, Rocci Williams, Stephanie Arcila, Bobby Schofield, Diaana Babnicova
Plot: The sequel is set in the years following the initial deadly home invasion, where Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Don’t Breathe 2 starts as we see how the blind war veteran now named Norman (Lang) has been teaching his daughter Phoenix (Grace) survival skills in case of emergency, not letting her leave the home apart from with one delivery driver Hernandez (Arcila).
After an encounter in town, Norman finds himself being targeted by Raylan (Sexton III) and his crew, who are searching for something inside his home, forcing him to turn back to his brutal ways.
Thoughts on Don’t Breathe 2
Characters & Performances – Norman is the blind for soldier that has been passing on his skills to his daughter, protecting her from the outside world, willing to punish anyone that gets in his way or tries to get into his home. He will continue to use his skills to defend his home, against the odds, using his skills, even if his is still harbouring a dark secret. Stephen Lang is just as impressive in this role, as the guy who looks like he wouldn’t be as deadly as he is. Phoenix is the daughter of Norman, she does crave meeting other children her age, with her getting frustrated about being alone most of the time, she does know how to defend herself, proving to be difficult to capture Madelyn Grace gives us a strong young performance, never feeling like a victim in the film. Raylan is leading the criminals targeting the house, he does have his own motivation for this, trusts his guys to get the job done, often left disappointed by them. Much like the rest of the crew, we get the typical types of criminal, each with their own strength which will be turned into a weakness. The performances are more menacing and threatening that the original, even if they turn out to be the typical villainous figures in a horror film.
Story – The story here follows the blind veteran coming under attack from a group of criminals targeting him, only for him to need to turn the tables on them to protect what is most important to him. Building on what we know of the blind man’s need to protect his daughter, we dive into this story, giving us a feeling this could be a sequel or a prequel early on, before reveal which it is. The story will bring a fresh approach to the blind man, with him having an innocent presence, despite what we know he did in the first film, while this does end up having the twist along the way, only to double down on the twisted nature behind everything in the film. It does have a great level of intensity in the film, despite the hunting side of things don’t seem to get the level it could have.
Themes – Don’t Breathe 2 will continue to bring the sensory effects of the blind man defending his home, we will get some excellent scenes watching the criminals try to find Phoenix, in complete silence throughout the sequences. The action is brutal & hard hitting, making us want to turn away from moments of violence. One of the factors which made the first film so intense was keeping everything in the singular location, while the moments of action work, having them in different locations does take away the defensive mentality in Norman.
Final Thoughts – Don’t Breathe 2 is an intense brutal sequel, building on what we know the man is capable of.
Director: Max Winkler
Writer: Theodore Bressman, David Brandon Smith, Max Winkler (Screenplay)
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jack O’Connell, Naheem Garcia, Fran Kranz, Patrick M Walsh, Jonathan Majors, Jessica Barden
Plot: Two brothers try to escape their circumstances by travelling across the country for a no holds barred boxing match that becomes a fight for their lives.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Jungleland starts when Stanley Kaminski (Hunnam) has gotten his fighter brother Walter ‘Lion’ Kaminski (O’Connell) into a debt with a local gangster, needing to do repay the debt he owes to Pepper (Majors). The debt will make the pair travel across America to a fighting competition known as Jungleland with a young woman Sky (Barden).
As the journey is under way, Stanley learns how much trouble the pair are in, with a girl that isn’t willing to return to the former life she finds herself being dragged back too, with the brothers needing to make the big decisions on whether to help her or clear their debts.
Thoughts on Jungleland
Thoughts – Jungleland is a drama that follows two brothers who have been struggling to make ends meet, drawn into a criminal underworld which has caused them to make bad decisions in life. This is the type of story that will focus on the importance of working together between hard times, with the brothers knowing they have each other despite the hard times they are going through. The decision on whether to do the right thing or clear the debt is the pivotal point between the two that could make or break them. The performances from Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell are brilliant, with the pair showing their talent off, while giving us the excellent chemistry they have on screen. Jessica Barden completes the main cast, as the woman they need to deliver, which she gives us another great performance to match the brothers. The fighting side of the film is the bare knuckle style, which doesn’t always come off as strong as it could be with a lot of shaky cam through the fights, making it the weakest part of the film.
Final Thoughts –Jungleland is a great drama filled with the struggle to succeed when the world hasn’t given you a chance.
Director: Gerard Johnson
Writer: Gerard Johnson (Screenplay)
Starring: Polly Maberly, Craig Fairbrass, Lorraine Burroughs, Sinead Matthews, Cavan Clerkin, Mark Stobbart
Plot: Build him up. Tear him apart.
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
Muscle is a gym based movie, which is why it has made its way into the sports selection, it wasn’t one I enjoyed that much, but it fits the selection of sports movies. I have decided not to give this one a full review, as I wasn’t able to find enough positives to talk about.
Signature Entertainment presents Felix and the Hidden Treasure on Digital Platforms 27th September