ABC Film Challenge – Random – M – Mojave (2015)

Director: William Monahan

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Louise Bourgin, Mark Wahlberg, Walter Goggins


Plot: A suicidal artist goes into the desert, where he finds his doppelgänger, a homicidal drifter.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Thriller with Potential


Story: Mojave starts as Tom (Hedlund) a suicidal artist who works in film goes off the radar into the Mojave Desert, but when he meets drifter Jack (Isaac) and the two clash leading to Jack tracking down Tom once he goes back to his life in the film world.

With Tom adjusting back to his normal life he must deal with everything he didn’t want to in the first place. Jack however shows his true colours as a ruthless serial killer that tracks down Tom to get the revenge for the fire camp incident in the desert.


Thoughts on Mojave


Characters/PerformanceTom is an artist working in Hollywood, we never seem to learn just what his job is but we do know he isn’t enjoying life right now. Jack is a drifter that hunts in the desert but after clashing with Tom he sees a chance for a new hunting ground, LA who calls everyone ‘Brother’

Performance wise, Oscar Isaac is good in this role keeping up his ability to play someone slightly strange, Garrett Hedlund does ok but you don’t seem to buy into his broken rich man character.

StoryThe story has moments that you could see borrow from Insomnia and The Hitcher, I say this because we have an innocent man that accidently kills someone and must work with the true criminal to move on but ultimately this is a cat and mouse chase between the two.

ThrillerThis is a thriller that does pull us in even though it does take its time getting going, there are some wonderfully crafted scene that are filled with tension though.

SettingsThe desert does make for a good starting setting which shows how they can clash there, with LA making for a good setting for later in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that surprised but does take time getting going and is mixed with really good scenes and bland scenes.


Overall: Slow burning thriller.





Franchise Weekend – Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)

Director: Dennis Gansel

Writer: Philip Shelby, Tony Mosher (Screenplay) Philip Shelby, Brian Pittman, Rachel Long/Lewis John Carlino (Story/Characters)

Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine, John Cenatiempo


Plot: Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him, until his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best: make them look like accidents.

Tagline – Revenge is a dangerous business.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Action Film


Story: Mechanic: Resurrection starts in Brazil as Arthur Bishop (Statham) believes his life in the fixing problems business was over, but when a mysterious woman wants him to do a job which lead him into going into hiding in a remote beach island where Mei (Yeoh) keeps a home safe for him.

When that peaceful life is interrupted by Gina (Alba) who is being forced into help Crain (Hazeldine) to get a job done, Arthur finds himself coming out of retirement to do the three kills for him, each seeming to be more impossible than the last.


Thoughts on Mechanic: Resurrection


Characters – Arthur Bishop is the assassin that is in retirement, but his reputation only leads people into tracking him down, forcing him to complete a new set of kills, where we continue to see his skill set in action. Gina is the new love interest who is a humanitarian that is forced into working with the villain. Crain is our main villain pulling the strings on the jobs that he wants Arthur to do for him, he has previous with Arthur too. Max Adams is one of the hits Arthur is assigned to do, the most difficult one at that.

PerformancesThis is Jason Statham’s strength, an emotionless killer that can fight, he shines in this type of role and you can see why he always gets picked for these roles. Sam Hazeldine is good generic villain while Jessica Alba is just a generic damsel in distress that any actress with sex appeal could have pulled off. Tommy Lee Jones only has a few scenes and does seem to have fun in his role.

StoryThe story is a by the book action thriller, our hero must kill a set number of people to rescue a loved one from the villain, well that is all we want in an action film. This does have a twist in the final act but in all honesty the story is thin but I am fine with that I don’t want a film that makes me think at times and that is what I get given here.

Action/CrimeThe action is big, mostly fight scenes that we know Statham can handle, it is the slow build action sequences that stand out in this film though, the crime side throws us into the world of the people Arthur needs to kill.

SettingsThe settings takes us all over the world, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Sydney and more, the settings are used to show how the jobs can take him all over the world because of the scale of the job.

Special EffectsCertain shots in this film are green screen and clearly that, which is disappointing but when it comes to the explosion etc they all look fine.

Scene of the Movie –
Sydney Job.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The green screen moments look weak.

Chances of Sequel: If the money was good enough we could get one.

Budget: $40 Million

Final ThoughtsThis film does everything you want it to, it’s an action film that lets you switch your brain off and enjoy.


Overall: Easy to watch action film.




Franchise Weekend – The Mechanic (2011)

Director: Simon West

Writer: Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino (Screenplay) Lewis John Carlino (Story)

Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden, James Logan


Plot: Follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Easy to Watch Action Film


Story: The Mechanic starts as we learn how skilled Arthur Bishop (Statham) a mechanic better known as an assassin, he gets the job done and is one of the best, learning from his mentor Harry McKenna (Sutherland).

When the latest assignment gives Arthur the task of killing his mentor he starts by questioning things but goes along with the job anyway as the boss Dean (Goldwyn) has the proof of the dirty deeds Harry has been involved in.

Feeling guilty for his involvement in Harry’s death, Arthur takes his son Steve (Foster) under his wing teaching him the ways of the trade.


Thoughts on The Mechanic


Characters/PerformanceArthur Bishop is a mechanic, a fixer, an assassin and he is the very best, he can make kills look like accidents or even frame someone else. After his latest job he takes the son of the victim under his wing breaking but teaching the skills he has learnt. Steve is the song of Arthur’s mentor, he has been a loose cannon through his life and now he gets focus as he learns under Arthur. Dean runs this secret group, setting up the jobs for the mechanics, he doesn’t click as well with Arthur.

Performance wise, Jason Statham is one of the easiest go to guys for this type of film and here you can see why, not many lines and action-packed performance. Ben Foster once again shows us he can become any character. Tony Goldwyn is fine, but it would be fair to say we don’t see much from his character.

StoryWe are thrown into a world of hitmen, boss and victims which is good for the film, we can always enjoy this type of film because all the characters are usually shady even if they live by codes. We get what we expect without it being too much but in the world now we have an elite version of this style of film in John Wick.

Action/Crime The action is all big like you would expect, we have plenty of shoot outs and a brilliant escape off the side of a building. The crime side is the world we have be placed into, we know these are criminal assassins which makes us understand how they could be in everyday life.

SettingsEach setting is uses as almost a level for the character to overcome, we know just where they are going and the next fight will become more difficult.

Special EffectsAll the effects make this a fine enjoyable watch throughout with nothing not suiting the world we are in.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that most action film fans will enjoy, it isn’t difficult to follow but does lack a villain you feel is menacing enough to challenge our lead.


Overall: This is late night action.




Mum and Dad (2018)

Director: Brian Taylor

Writer: Brian Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Lance Henriksen, Joseph D Reitman, Rachel Melvin, Olivia Crocicchia


Plot: A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Fun


Story: Mum and Dad starts as we meet the Ryan family father Brent (Cage), mother Kendall (Blair) and bratty children, teenager Carly (Winters) and young Josh (Arthur) who seem like a normal dysfunctional family as the parents must deal with their kids ignorance and poor behaviour.

Today is different as the parents for the whole town have become infected by a virus which causes them to go into a rage as they look to kill their own children, Carly must take her first steps of responsibility and protect Josh from their own parents who are hell bent on murdering them.


Thoughts on Mum and Dad


Characters – Brent is the father of the family, on the verge of a mid-life crisis, sports car and man cave in the works to go alongside the job he now hates but must continue you. Kendall is the mother of the family, becoming distant from her daughter, facing the reality she can’t go back to the job she once loved, waiting to just become old now. Carly is the teenage daughter of the family, she is rebellious stealing from her mother, getting high and sneaking out, not really someone you can support through the film. Josh is the youngest member of the family, he is always causing trouble, never seemingly going to school either. This is one of the problems of the film, the kids are pains in the arses and you find yourself rooting for the parents over their kids.

PerformancesNicolas Cage is fantastic to watch in this movie, he needs to be way over the top and he gets to go into full cage mode here. Selma Blair is good in her role, she gets the most conflicted during everything going on and you can see in her performance how she is reacting to each moment. Anne Winters is good, but never becomes the character we need to care enough about.

StoryThe story uses a mix of what The Crazies and The Purge has, while the crime isn’t legal, it follows the idea that this is a virus that only seems to last for a day causing people, parents to turn into murders after their own children. This does bring a nice spin onto plenty of genres and gives us an action romp without explaining everything going on, just watching how the kids must find a way to survive, nothing too difficult to watch.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes from the idea that parents are trying to murder their children, which works because if it being horrific to think about happening.

SettingsMost of the film takes place inside the home as the parents are trying to get to their kids to kill, it shows how home can become the dangerous place when parents snap.

Special Effects –  The effects work well for the film, used as and when with most of the kills or attacks happening off camera.

Scene of the Movie – Full Cage moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Brent attacking David doesn’t make sense to what is going on in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror comedy that pushes the limits of what we can show on film, but it works when you want to watch something so, over the top and mad.


Overall: Fun, Crazy and Completely bonkers.




Mute (2018)

Director: Duncan Jones

Writer: Michael Robert Johnson, Duncan Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Noel Clarke, Justin Theroux, Robert Kazinsky, Seyneb Saleh, Robert Sheehan, Dominic Monaghan


Plot: A mute bartender goes up against his city’s gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.

Tagline – He doesn’t need words.

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Tonally Confusing


Story: Mute starts as we meet Amish man Leo (Skarsgard), working as a bartender in a futuristic world, filled with technology, to make his life harder he is a mute, he is reluctantly being bought into the technology world by his girlfriend Naadirah (Saleh), a waitress at the club they both work in.

When Naadirah goes missing, Leo goes on a mission to learn the truth about what happened to her, this includes dealing with gangsters, the fetish fans of the world and secret surgeons Cactus Bill (Rudd) and Duck (Theroux).


Thoughts on Mute


Characters – Leo is a mute Amish bartender that falls in love with a waitress, he isn’t happy to embrace technology as the rest of the world, which only holds him back, but he has taken to some which goes against his Amish ways. When his love goes missing he dives into world of gangsters to learn the truth. Cactus Bill is one part of the underground surgery team, he is loud doesn’t care who he insults as he is preparing to leave. He does the talking to cover up the reality that Leo can’t. Duck is the partner of Bill that performers the operations, he has a bad vibe about his charming personality.  We have plenty of colourful characters here which only bring us moments which are meant to stand out.

PerformancesThe performances are hard to fault in this movie, the actors do the best they can do with what they have. Alexander Skarsgard plays the role that is shown with his emotions and body language well, while Paul Rudd does the fast talking character well. We don’t get enough of most of the colourful characters we meet which doesn’t give them the time to shine.

StoryThe story is a mystery needing to be solved by an outsider to a criminal world. This is the basic side to everything as the colourful characters make each meeting feel like a clue for Leo, but this ruins the flow of the tone of the film as none of these characters remotely feel like they are from the same world. The story does contain twists, but they are not difficult to figure out and it goes on for too long being over two hours.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in the film follows us as we see if Leo can figure out what happened to Naadirah in a futuristic look at Berlin.

SettingsThe film does have a good look, trying to be futuristic, but more about being eco-friendly for the look.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the most part without being used as often as you would imagine.

Scene of the Movie –
Final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many ends that just don’t need to be here.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing sci-fi movie that had all the interesting ingredients needed to make this stand out more, but it only ends up being basic with too many tonal issues.


Overall: Disappointing sci-fi film.