Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons (Comic Book)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges

 

Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Blast of Fun

 

Story: Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts when the Kingsman are left for ruin with only Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) making it out of a calculated attack by drug lord Poppy (Moore) who is using former failed applicant Charlie (Holcroft) to do her work.

Searching for the Doomsday play, Eggsy and Merlin head to Kentucky and for Stateman to work with their agents Tequila (Tatum) Ginger Ale (Berry), Champagne (Bridges) and Whiskey (Pascal) to learn more about the Golden Circle which is the only other clue they have, it isn’t long before Poppy reveals her plan to the world and now the two Kingman and Stateman must work together to stop her with the help of an old friend.

 

Thoughts on Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 

Characters – First the Kingsman Eggys is now a proven Kingsman, a year has passed and his working relationship with Merlin and Roxy are the highest they have ever been. When he losses most of his team, he is reunited with Harry and must use his skills to return Harry to his former glory and save the world. Merlin continues his gadget man role but gets to learn with Ginger Ale about newer technology, where the two work to help the field team. Harry survived, well we get a loose story that works as to why but he is damaged spending the year not remembering who he is, when his memory does return to him, he isn’t the same man but does still have the edge.

The Statesman, Tequila is the agent that first discovers the Kingsman in their base, he asks the questions and feels almost like an American Eggys. Champagne is the leader of the Statesman who sets out the missions. Ginger Ale is the gadget woman that dreams of being able to go into the field but for now she works with Merlin. Whiskey is the agent that goes out into the field with Eggys and is easily the best character from the Statesman side of things with his lasso in hand, he gets all the best fight scenes.

Poppy is our main villain, she is a drug lord living off the grid, she has everyone in the palm of her hands but now she wants to be remembered as the successful businesswoman that she believes she is, by making her drugs legal, which looking at the reasoning seems like a good idea for her motives. She does have an evil side which comes out with how she is demanding people to accept what she is doing or they will die and forcing Elton John to sing for her.

We do have a large cast but with the length of the movie the most important characters do all get the required screen time.

PerformancesTaron Egerton once again does a great job in the leading role showing the street smarts one minute and the upper class the next, Mark Strong and Colin Firth both enjoy their roles never putting a foot wrong. Julianne Moore relishes playing the villain and makes the most of it. The weakest performances come from Bridges and Tatum but that is mostly because they have very few scenes and are both here to drag in a certain audience. Halley Berry does a good job in her role not demanding the attention which other gadget figures have in the past, but to me Pedro Pascal is the scene stealer here, he loves the action sequences, understands how his character is meant to be over the top too.

StoryThe story here does increase the scale of everything, it brings the Kingsman into an international ring of secret agent which opens many more doors in the future, but it does bottle down to needing to face one crazy genius who has an enhanced goon as their main protection. The villain does have good motives for their plan, which is different for most villains who just what the money or revenge, the idea of bringing Harry back while farfetched does play into the bigger story too. If you wanted bigger, you get it here and even though the film is longer than you would like it to be it just doesn’t get slow.

Action/AdventureThe action is large scale with the usual well-placed action sequences with the ski lift being the most impressive of the lot. The adventure side of the film does take the agents all over the world to face different environments for battle.

SettingsAs we said we jump around the world, we start in London, head to Sweden, Kentucky, Italy and Cambodia for our main settings which gives us different environments to fight in.

Special EffectsThis is one of the weakest elements of the film, it does make things bigger which does force the use of CGI and the large-scale scenes do at times take you out of the moment.


Scene of the Movie –
Ski lift.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Travelling around the world never happened so quickly.

Chances of Sequel: I am sure we will get one.

Final ThoughtsIf you wanted a sequel that is just as fun as the original, then you will find it here, it builds a larger universe which we know is something we don’t always need, we have a great villain with a smart plan, we also have enjoyable action throughout.

 

Overall: One of the most fun action films of the year.

Rating

 

 

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Keanu Reeves Weekend – Knock Knock (2015)

knock knockDirector: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth, Nicola Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo (Screenplay) Anthony Overman, Michael Ronald Ross (Story)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Ignacia Allamand, Aaron Burns

 

Plot: When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Building Thriller

 

Story: Knock Knock starts as we meet Evan (Reeves) a devoted husband and father, his wife Karen (Allamand) and kids Jake & Lisa are going away for the weekend. With his family away Evan tries to get his work done before two beautiful young woman Genesis (Izzo) & Bell (de Armas) turn up on his doorstep during a storm soaked through looking for friend’s house.

Evan ever the gentleman offers the girls shelter and a way to their new location, but as the time together the girls try their best to seduce Evan as he does the best to resist all temptation. Evan eventually gives into the temptation leading to a wild threesome. When the morning comes Evan learns a shocking truth about the girls as he tries desperately to cover the night before.

Knock Knock is a film that I can say had me on edge from start to it finished which is always a good thing. We are drawn in to what will happen next, why these girls have targeted Evan, what their motives with their action. All of these really pull us in but the problem with this is that we don’t learn about what is going on, we don’t get any of these answers which I accept we do sometimes like a few loose ends but one answer would have been important. Finally, the bigger issues fall with that Evan is a good guy we don’t see anything bad about him through the film. I feel this story has so much potential if only it answered the questions.

 

Actor Review

 

Keanu Reeves: Evan Webber is the devoted husband and father who is spending his weekend alone to focus on his work. His time is interrupted by two girls seeking shelter from the rain. Evan tries his hardest to not give into temptation but the girls are too much for him to resist. The morning after he tries to get rid of them but the girls have plans for him. The best thing about Evan is how willing to turn the girls down over and over as we see how much of a good person he actually is. Keanu is good as we see him as a good guy lead astray by the girls.evan

Lorenza Izzo: Genesis is one of the girls who turns up on the door of Evan’s she is the leader of the two as she has more tricks up her sleeves to make Evan stay under their spell. Lorenza is good as one of the seductive woman.girls

Ana de Armas: Bell is the emotional weaker of the two girls who is happy to go along with the plan, she is more sex driven than Genesis as she likes to play the daddy card. Ana is also good in the seductive woman role.

Ignacia Allamand: Karen is the wife of Evan, she is architect and takes their kids away for the weekend. She is your typical wife and mother but we don’t get to see too much from her character. Ignacia doesn’t get enough time to really give us enough time on screen.

Support Cast: Knock Knock doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with the only ones involved do a good enough job.

Director Review: Eli Roth Eli gives us most of a good thriller I just wish he would have given us an ending and answer some of the questions the film offers us.

 

Horror: Knock Knock gives us a twist on the home invasion horror.

Mystery: Knock Knock gives us plenty of questions but fails to answer all of them or any really.

Thriller: Knock Knock does keep us on edge from start to finish.

Settings: Knock Knock keeps the setting inside the home of Evan which shows the home invasion angle working.
Suggestion
: Knock Knock is one for the thriller fans to try because it is disappointing ending. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: Unanswered questions.

 

Believability: It tries to make it feel real but sadly doesn’t come off enough.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: One night can cost you everything

 

Overall: A great thriller that just seems to forget to answer the questions it asks.

Ratingcard

Keanu (2016)

Director: Peter Atencio

Writer: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens (Screenplay)

Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jason Mitchell

 

Plot: When an L.A. drug kingpin’s kitten unexpectedly enters the life of two cousins, they will have to go through gangs, hitmen and drug dealers who claim him in order to get him back.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Comedy

 

Story: Keanu starts when down on his luck Rell (Peele) finds a kitten on his doorstep he names it Keanu. His cousin Clarence (Key) arrives to try and help cheer him up the two find themselves needing to go into a world they are not used to after Keanu is taken from Rell’s apartment.

The two must take their suburban backgrounds and hide them from the drug kingpin Cheddar (Method Man) who recruits them to sell his product and show the rest of his dealers how to get the deal done, all just to get Keanu back.

 

Thoughts on Keanu

 

Characters/PerformanceRell is the heartbroken stoner that hasn’t achieved much in his life, he life is turned around by the kitten Keanu but when Keanu is taken he finds himself needing to use what knowledge he has to survive the drug scene. Clarence is the married cousin who is known for being safe, he finds a new personality within himself as he works with his cousin to rescue Keanu. Hi-C is one of the dealers that Rell and Clarence must teach how to be heartless when dealing with clients. Cheddar is the drug kingpin that has the cat, he is ruthless and impressed by the guts the two have.

Performance wise, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key show the chemistry their television is known for, but as I have never seen that I could see just how capable this pairing could be. Tiffany Haddish is good throughout as well as method Man and all the cameos going on through the film.

StoryThe story follows to outsiders of a drug world that find themselves in the middle of a drug war trying to rescue a cat, this all works for the comedy of the film as we see how different worlds collide to teach each other life lessons.

Action/Comedy The action side of the film is all what we know without being overly risky and in parts does add to the comedy. The comedy is the highlight here with the well placed jokes not taking over the film which is important for any comedy.

SettingsThe settings is mostly LA which we see the different worlds the characters come from to learn and teach the characters through the film.

Final ThoughtsOne of the good comedies of recent years and one everyone could enjoy.

 

Overall: Great comedy and one of the best in recent years.

Rating

 

 

Karate Kill (2016)

Director: Kurando Mitsutake

Writer: Kurando Mitsutake (Screenplay)

Starring: Hayate, Mana Sakura, Katarina Leigh Waters, Rene Wiesner, Asami, David Sakurai, Kirk Geiger

 

Plot: When a mysterious loner and Karate master Kenji’s little sister goes missing in Los Angeles, whoever stands in his way of finding her will face the wrath of a lethal KARATE KILL!

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Soaked Action Horror Delight

 

Story: Karate Kill starts when Kenji (Hayate) travels to America in search his sister Mayumi (Sakura) who he hasn’t heard from for weeks. Arriving in America Kenji learns that she had been doing well but has been abducted by a crazed cult known as Captain Messiah, an internet group that produce snuff, torture videos on the black market.

Kenji must travel to Hooper, Texas, the base for the cult to use his karate to eliminate the Captain Messiah group led by Vendenski (Geiger). Kenji teams up with a former victim of the cult Keiko (Asami) as they prepare to eliminate Vendenski and his best soldiers Simona (Waters) and Benning (Voss) ending their reign of terror.

 

Thoughts on Karate Kill

 

Characters/PerformanceKenji is one man on a mission, to save his sister, he is an expert in his own form of karate, one that can kill, he has trained to defend himself from all threats and now he puts his own life on the line to save Mayumi. Keiko was once going to be a victim of the cult but escaped with only serious injury, now she has waited for someone to help her fight back. Mayumi is the sister looking for a life in America first as a student but that dream is taken away when she is taken by the cult. Vendenski is the psychotic leader of the Captain Messiah cult, he is preforming the torture and murder on film to make money on the black market, this is a great villain and one that isn’t just a man in a suit, he will get you to follow him or kill for him.

Performance wise, Hayate is great for the fighting scenes but with this character we don’t get enough time for the emotional moments. Asami is good for the partner in this battle showing the strength in fight scenes. Kirk Geiger is the star of the show here because this villain is easily one of the most entertaining this year.

StoryThe story is an easy one to follow, whittled down it is one man searching for his sister against a cult of enemies that outnumber him. We know how it will go and sure we have a couple of twists along the way but this story is everything it tries to be, fun.

Action/HorrorWe have wonderfully gory fight sequences that take martial arts in a direction of violence over to kicking someone’s ass which is enjoyable to watch.

SettingsThe settings start by following what you would say are by the books, starting in clubs but when it turns into the cults arena we see a different side to the settings showing the down and dirty battles Kenji will face off in.

Special EffectsThe effects used fit the budget this movie had, it also shows us you can pull of the crazy over the top style needed with everything you need it too.

Final ThoughtsThis will only be for the select audience, there is no lying about that, this will be for the fans of the violent action movies that never wanted to hold back with what we see, with a great villain that works to perfection in the genre.

 

Overall: Enjoy the action carnage.

Rating

 

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Screenplay) David Dobkin, Joby Harold (Story)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox

 

Plot: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Fantasy Film

 

Story: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starts with backstory, yay, in this we get to see how King Uther (Bana) has waged war against Mages showing he is keeping him people safe at Camelot. After the latest victory, Uther finds his kingdom under attack from within racing to save his son Arthur from his corrupted brother Vortigern (Law). With Arthur safe we get a flash into how Arthur and Vortigern spend the next years before we start our main story.

Arthur (Hunnam) now a gangster like figure in Londium crosses paths with King Vortigern and learns his own destiny within the world as he is the only man to be able to remove the sword from the stone. With King Vortigern needing to hunt down and kill Arthur who begins his own resistance movement against the new evil ruler with a mix of loyal men to his father and his own friends.

 

Thoughts on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur is the boy raised in the gutter that was destine to become king, we follow his journey from small time street hustler to warrior and then king, this isn’t too much in the field of original in the character design. The Mage is the guide into the fantasy world for Arthur mostly in riddles. Vortigern is the evil king looking to gain the power of magic through the sacrifices he is willing to make, he hasn’t plenty of chances to kill Arthur but wants to do it in display style. The rest of the characters all help with the characters through the film without being that memorable.

Performance wise, Charlie Hunnam does struggle in the leading role which does leave you wondering how he keeps getting potential franchise lead roles, Jude Law does give us a very mixed performance, one minute you feel like it is good then it comes off cheesy. Astrid Berges-Frisbey does seem to struggle throughout, it seems part is the language barrier because it feels like she is just reading the script with no idea how to add any impact to her lines. The rest of the stars are better and handle their supporting role well.

StoryKing Arthur is a story that has been told plenty of times and building the idea of a fantasy world should work, but you do have plenty of things going wrong here, first it uses the explaining the action scene while it is unfolding way too often, I think it was about 5 times through the film. we also have dialogue which feels like we are watching a gangster film. the story does end feeling very long and misses the chances for the best action sequences for extra talking scenes.

Action/Adventure/FantasyAction sequences are all cut chopped and edited down losing the scale we would like to have seen, the adventure side of the story is forgettable but it is difficult to make this original. The fantasy world is what is interesting but we do get large scale scenes which just feel like a film trying to be bigger than it is.

SettingsThe settings are all fine but none of them can become iconic enough.

Special EffectsThe special effects look good throughout but in the end, are used in places just to be big.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward mix of gangster and fantasy film that doesn’t quite click with the film missing too many chances to give us a truly memorable action sequence.

 

Overall: This is a forgettable fantasy gangster film.

Rating