ABC Film Challenge – Action – T – Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge (2014)

Director: Wych Kaos

Writer: Nicole Jones, Steven Paul (Screenplay)

Starring: Kane Kosugi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rade Serbedzija, Gary Daniels, Kelly Wenham, Paige Lindquist, Charlotte Kirk

 

Plot: Suffering from amnesia, a young man trying to discover his true identity is kidnapped by an underground crime organization and turned into a ruthless assassin.


Tagline – Survival Is No Game

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Badly Acted, Miss Titled

 

Story: Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge starts when K (Kosugi) wakes with amnesia, he is kidnapped by the Minister (Serbedzija) who forces him into his program, it is here he is assigned the name ‘K’. trained to kill on command the group in Tekken city. Going along with the program K uses his time to learn his true identity and motivation behind the Minster’s program.

 

Thoughts on Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge

 

Characters – K or Kazuya is the man with amnesia, he has combat skills, weapon skills, but not memory of who he is, now forced into the Minister’s group of assassins he is killing people on command. He must follow orders or be killed until he learns he may not be working for the right side. The Minister is the man who runs the assassins, he picks the candidates up, forcing them to follow instructions to become the killers he knows they could become. Bryan Fury is key to learning the truth, though we don’t see him enough. We have a world filled with assassins, both deadly and misled.

PerformancesKane Kosugi is solid enough for the action sequences but when it comes to the rest of the cast well, there is a reason not many people saw this movie, most of the acting is poor with painfully delivered lines that make little sense to the characters.

StoryTekken is a fighting game right, yes, I have played them, the first film bought us into a fighting tournament which is what we would accept. This time we watch a man that can fight being trained into become an assassin in some sort of seedy crime-based film. This is a slow-moving story that is rinse repeat even while trying to show us a twist in the final part of the film. this isn’t the most engaging story and is easily one that could be missed.

ActionThe action is the only highlight of the film, we have good fighting sequences which show of Kane Kosugi skills in combat.

SettingsThe film is set in Tekken city, we mostly focuses on the different classes of people living in this city, none of which are involved in the story.


Scene of the Movie –
The fights.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the acting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that just doesn’t make us care about anything that is going on, it doesn’t even have fight tournament which is the whole point of the game.

 

Overall: Poor sequel to a weak first film.

Rating

 

 

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Truth or Dare (2018)

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Writer: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach, Jeff Wadlow (Screenplay)

Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Ali, Nolan Gerard Funk, Landon Liboiron

 

Plot: A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.


Tagline – Truth, Dare And Die.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea

 

Story: Truth or Dare starts when college friends Olivia (Hale), Lucas (Posey), Markie (Beane), Brad (Szeto), Penelope (Ali), Tyson (Funk) and Ronnie (Lerner) head to Mexico for Spring Break, when a stranger Carter (Liboiron) takes the friends for a last night party, he passes on a curse of a game of Truth or Dare.

Returning home Olivia starts to see strange thing around, which involves he needing to play a game of Truth or Dare, soon the rest of the friends get visited and must complete their truth or dare or face death, with each dare becoming deadlier.

 

Thoughts on Truth or Dare

 

Characters – Olivia is the sweet hardworking college student, she wants to do good in the world, before getting dragged on spring break. She ends up becoming one of the victims of the latest game of truth or dare, being the one that does start to figure out the bigger picture of what is going on. Lucas is the best friend’s boyfriend that Olivia does have a thing for, he becomes torn when Markie’s secret is revealed. Markie is the best friend for life to Olivia, only she has been cheating on her boyfriend that Olivia loves, she makes out that she is the victim which is confusing. Brad is the friend that is gay, he has been keeping this from his father in fear of being disowned. The friends do fit the stereotypes you would expect to see in horror films, but at least this gives us a body count.

PerformancesLucy Hale in the leading role is solid enough in the leading role, it is hard to see the chemistry between any of the cast because of the unrealistic, which doesn’t help any of the performances through the film. Tyler Posey, Violett Beane complete the main cast again not given enough time to do anything in their role.

StoryThe story follows a group of college student who find themselves caught in a deadly game of Truth or Dare, where if they don’t play they will kill themselves. Now this story does need to be broken down and looked at because there were certain moments of the story which are interesting. The concept of the game becoming deadly and supernatural does work. Where the story struggles is creating the characters we can actually support because most of them are just idiotic students. The rules and decisions can make sense, but the secrets they are keeping from each other are ridiculous to believe that they are real. The truths and dares can leave you scratching your head because they don’t seem to have racial side to them as they can be sleep with someone or kill someone, it should escalate rather than just jump around.

HorrorThe horror side of this film comes from seeing just how the game tricks the people into doing the truth or dare, then what will happen if they don’t. it not scary in the way it could be, but one that could work to keep your attention.

SettingsThe film is mostly set around the college after the trip to Mexico, it makes it feel like everyday locations these people would be forced into making their decisions.

Special EffectsThe effects are part of the questionable side of the film because they do us the snapchat like filter which just looks bad.


Scene of the Movie –
Using certain parts of common sense.

That Moment That Annoyed Me They are the worst best friends ever

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that I was expecting the worst from, but in the end enjoyed watching to see just what will happen, it has a smart concept even if the outcome isn’t on the levels of the best horrors.

 

Overall: Smart idea, not as scary as it should be.

Rating

 

 

Alan Tudyk Weekend – Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) Revisited

Director: Eli Craig

Writer: Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson (Screenplay)

Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McLaren

 

Plot: Affable hillbillies Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students.


Tagline – The perfect love story… with a high body count.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Hilarious

 

Story: Tucker and Dale vs Evil starts when Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) head into the woods to their holiday home by the lake, the same weekend Chad (Moss) leads his college house out to the woods for their own weekend of drinks and drugs.

When one of the students Allison (Bowden) gets injured, Tucker & Dale take her to rescue, this is where the miscommunication starts when Chad makes the rest believe Tucker & Dale are hillbilly killers and a series of failed rescue attempts get to see the body count only complicated for the rest.

 

Thoughts on Tucker and Dale vs Evil

 

Characters – Tucker is the smarter of the two friends, he looks over Dale when he is struggling with life decisions and talks the two out of trouble. Dale is the simply minded of the two, he does have the ability to remember an information he is told, he gets a crush on Allison and we follow how he tries to gain the confidence to speak to her, while trying to defend himself from the college students. Allison is the beautiful college student that doesn’t completely fit in with the rest of the group, she gets injured and rescued by the friends. She learns to accept people that look different which causes most of the confusing in this film. Chad is the leader of the college group, he has a tragic backstory which motivates him into his actions through the film.

PerformancesTyler Labine & Alan Tudyk show wonderful chemistry through this film as they show they have comic timing that fits the characters. Katrina Bowden fits the beautiful young woman roe well, the looks are important to make this character standout. Jesse Moss plays his character well become more psychotic as the film unfolds.

StoryThe story follows a pair of hillbillies that run into a group of college kids in the woods, we get to play into the ideas that are the typical traits within the horror, as the hillbillies are calm instead of bloody hungry killers and the students have played into the fears people can have for who people are. This is how the genre can turn the ideas on its head which plays into the comedy needed for the film and the story gets a chance to just play along with everything that is going on. We do go down the typical slasher genre, because we get the large group picked off, while most look like suicide it does falls into the ideas the slasher genre has.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy gets to turn the typical horror traits on its head, which is it what makes this film feel refreshing to watch and if you are a horror fans you will get most of the jokes being used.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly all the action in and around the wood area, with have no easy escape after the car leaves early on and the signal is gone, meaning the college students must think for themselves.

Special EffectsThe effects are very impressive when it comes to the deaths, we get original ones that manage to by funny as well as brutal.


Scene of the Movie –
The woodchipper.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The students are portrayed to be complete idiots.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best horror comedies out there, it will get laughs from the audience with the horror audience understanding nearly every joke being played out in the film.

 

Overall: Funny, entertaining, a must watch.

Rating

 

 

Alan Tudyk Weekend – Tell (2014)

Director: J.M.R. Luna

Writer: Timothy Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Katee Sackhoff, Jason Lee, Robert Patrick, Alan Tudyk, John Michael Higgins, Faizon Love

 

Plot: Ethan Tell is a small time crook who makes a big-time score when he steals 1 million dollars. Ironically, his life radically changes for the worse when he discovers that stealing the money was the easy part and he now must keep his partner, his wife, his parole officer, and two corrupt detectives from stealing it from him.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Con-man Playbook Passed

 

Story: Tell starts as a robbery Tell (Ventimiglia) is trying to get out off organised by Ray (Lee) his wife’s Beverly (Sackhoff) brother goes wrong, with Tell locked up for three years, with two cops Ashton (Patrick) and Morton (Tudyk) trying to get their hands on the money along with the parole officer Dwight (Love) as Tell is released from prison.

Out of prison Tell tries to get on with his life, but soon the familiar faces return to his life, Ashton, Morton, Beverly and Ray as he needs to stay one step ahead of them as he looks to collect the money before it is gone for good.

 

Thoughts on Tell

 

Characters – Tell is your standard crook, he always talks about having a normal life, but wants to steal his way to it. He isn’t likeable in anyway and even after getting shot and serving time in prison he still needs to stay ahead of the people that want the money he is meant to have taken. Beverly is the ex-wife of Tell that remarried when he was locked up to help raise their child, she wants to money because she dreams of the life of luxury. Ray is the partner in crime and brother to Beverly, he is left for dead at the crime scene and now has returned for the money, he feels like a loose cannon with crazy ideas. Ashton and Morton are the two cops that are hounding Tell for the money from the robbery.

PerformancesThe performances are mixed because of allowed screen time. Milo doesn’t give us a likeable character and feels like he is cruising through the film for the most part, Katee Sackhoff is solid enough as the wife figure, always after the money, for me it was Jason Lee who shines the best in this film as we just never know what he is going to do next. Patrick and Tudyk both seem to enjoy playing the crooked cops which is good to see.

StoryThe story follows a crook that is trying to collect the money from his previous heist though he has people from the heist, cops and an ex-wife that also want the money. This story follows the heist gone wrong paths well and the whole released from prison people will want what was never recovered, while never addressing the bigger issue, that Tell wants to live a normal life after his time in prison. This isn’t the most engaging story, be it the generic characters, by the books story or overly slow pacing.

Action/CrimeThe action we see in the film is a couple of shoot outs mixed with the punch or strike to get someone’s attention, the crime side of the film shows how the characters are mixed up in a world they shouldn’t be involved in.

SettingsThe film never uses the settings enough to make us understand where we are and even the backgrounds of the characters involved.


Scene of the Movie –
What happens after the opening sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offers nothing new to the genre of the heist movies.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard by the book heist film, it checks the boxes without being anything you will remember enough to suggest this to heist fans.

 

Overall: Heist movie that falls slightly flat.

Rating

 

 

Triple Frontier (2019)

Director: J.C. Chandor

Writer: J.C. Chandor, Mark Boal (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, Adria Arjona

 

Plot: Five former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Action Heist Film

 

Story: Triple Frontier starts military police officer working in South America Santiago (Isaac) is getting tired of the drug lord causing the pain and suffering to the locals, he comes up with a plan using local Yovanna (Arjona) to get back at him. Santiago returns to America to put a team together with his former squad Tom (Affleck), William (Hunnam), Ben (Hedlund) and Francisco (Pascal) to help him in South America.

The team look at the job with Santiago needing to talk them into completing a heist against drug lord, giving the war heroes a moment to have earnt the money they should have after their years of service, can they complete the job and escape, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on Triple Frontier

 

Characters – Tom ‘Redfly’ Davis is the captain of the unit, he is struggling in the real world trying to be a real estate agent, living in his ex-wife’s garage, he wants to be able to send his girls to college and however reluctant he is to complete this job, but when he sees the potential reward, he is the plan behind the heist. Santiago ‘Pope’ Garcia is the member of the team working in South America, he has been fighting this drug lord for 3 years now and has seen a window of opportunity to take on the drug lord. He brings his old unit together to help a local pushing them all into a job that they can do, but didn’t plan to do, but can do. William ‘Ironhead’ Miller has been giving talks to young soldiers about his experiences, in and out of the military, preparing them for life in both situations, he agrees to help just for some action in his life. Ben Miller is William’s brother, he has turned to MMA for money where he is a good fighter, but it is only a matter of time before he gets hurt. Francisco ‘Catfish’ Morales is the pilot of the unit, he has lost his licence in the real-world, this could give him he security he no longer has in life. Yovanna is the local that has made a deal with Santiago to get the job done, she is doing it for her brother who has fallen onto the wrong side of the law.

PerformancesBen Affleck is strong in the leading role, he does give us the most interesting of the five characters because he makes us see the subtle problems the war machine has on the soldiers. Oscar Isaac is the highlight of the performance because he is playing the character balancing the most. Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal complete the unit, but sadly we don’t see them do much more than being the rest of the unit soldiers.

StoryThe story here follows a former military unit who travel to South America to complete a heist on a drug lord, what they end up facing is a battle to survive against the locals and elements to make it out alive. This does start of with a simple idea of a heist, which surprisingly is done within the first hour or so, most of the film is the journey to escape which sees them facing different obstacles which become increasingly more difficult as the journey unfolds. We do have the themes of soldiers struggling to deal with everyday life here, which is why they go on the heist, this is important, but sadly we only see this in one of the four men that go on the mission. The drug lord doesn’t seem like that big of a threat either, which is strange if we are being honest. This does feel like one of the tried and tested stories we have seen before, which can be enjoyed, but never tests us.

Action/Adventure/Crime The action is all military based, the chase scenes, the formations everything feels very calculated in what we see. The adventure takes the men to a new country, one where they must try to figure out how to escape from, it will test them and their training. The crime is the heist they are looking to commit, against a drug lord.

SettingsThe film is set in South America, this brings us into the jungle environment for the journey and sees us take on the drug lords of the area. It does offer something new for the heist genre though.


Scene of the Movie –
The cliff top shoot out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about the rest of the unit.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard hitting heist movie, it does have a close unit, but it does seem to lack a presence of a villainous figure for the second half of the film.

 

Overall: By the Books military heist film.

Rating