Writer: Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett, Daniel Petrie jr, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr (Screenplay) Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett (Story)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig t Nelson, Reginald VelJohnson, Scott Paulin, J C Quinn, John McIntire
Plot: A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.
Tagline – The Oddest Couple Ever Unleashed!
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy
Story: Turner & Hooch starts as investigator Scott Turner (Hanks) is showing his replacement David Sutton (VelJohnson) to ropes around the city, with two days until he leaves, one of his locals Amos is murdered with his bull mastiff Hooch guarding his body.
With Hooch being almost uncontrollable the only person he will listen to is the ultra-clean Turner that takes him in as he searches for his owner’s killer.
Thoughts on Turner & Hooch
Characters – Scott Turner is a detective that is about to leave for highway patrol. He has great relationship with the people in his small town and when one of his friends is murdered he ends up being left in control of his dog Hooch, Hooch opens his world to new company and just maybe staying. Hooch is the French Mastiff (I think) that Turner takes in, he is the only witness to the murder of his owner, he is hard to control but has a heart of gold. Emily Carson is the vet that Turner first goes to but offers a relationship for Turner. We don’t learn much about the villains which is a big draw back.
Performances – Tom Hanks is fantastic in this movie showing his comic time through every scene, having great chemistry with Hooch and being the character who is meant to be leaving. It would be fair to say that Hanks is that good we don’t get enough time on the other characters to judge the performances.
Story – The story here is thin to say the least, we have a guy who has never looked after a dog needing to take one on to solve a case. The problem is we spend nearly an hour watching the two build their relationship leaving only about 30 minutes focusing on solving the crime. The story is what you expect and very simple to follow but still enjoyable enough.
Comedy/Crime – The comedy comes from nearly every scene with Turner and Hooch being the miss matched pairing, this is easily the strongest part of the film. the crime side does get forgotten for a large part and doesn’t feel like there is much investigating going on.
Settings – The small town setting does help us understand the situation we find ourselves in where nearly everyone knows everyone.
Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable comedy that has plenty of laughs through the film, Hanks shines in his role but we are lacking more from the crime side of the film.
Overall: Great enjoyable comedy.
Writer: R.J. Stewart, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Jon Gries
Plot: A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster’s son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.
Tagline – Bulls, guns, whips, gold and one sacred cat
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Blast!
Story: Welcome to the Jungle starts as we meet debt collecting enforcer Beck (Johnson) that is working to get buy his own restaurant. Getting pushed to his limits he gets offered one last job, he must travel to the Amazon to bring back his bosses son Travis (Scott) and his dream of chasing El Dorado.
In Brazil Beck finds Travis and believes this job is going to be easy until the owner of the land Hatcher (Walken) that wants the information Travis has in his head, which leads Travis and Beck needing to put their differences a side to make it out alive.
Thoughts on Welcome to the Jungle
Characters – Beck is a debt collector, he can find anyone and handles himself in a fight, being able to take on multiple enemies, he does want out of this world and dreams of having his own restaurant, he must do one final job which will put his outside his comfort zone and taking on an army forcing him to resort to guns, the weapon he doesn’t want to be using. Travis is the son of the boss that employees Beck, he has been treasure hunting in Brazil in the middle of a battle between ruler Hatcher and the rebels looking for freedom, he is wise cracking which has lead to him finding himself in trouble more often than not. Beck and Travis work well as they are different on many levels with their bickering offering the laughs, but they are both dreamers in their own way too. Mariana is the bar tender in the town, she keeps both sides in peace while watching as her town gets pushed around. Hatcher is the owner of the town, well he claims to be, he is working the residents into slavery searching for gold that he can make money, he will do anything to make his fortune.
Performances – Dwayne Johnson was still making his first few steps in movies with this role and you can see all the potential he had in the action genre, he shines like always in the fight sequences and while moments of his performance were still in need of work, you can see what he was working towards. Seann William Scott was fresh off the American Pie franchise and one of the hottest comical actors, this showed us that he knew the moments to go that little bit crazy and the moments to hold back, he does have great chemistry with Johnson too. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it does end up not being as strong of a character as it should have been while Christopher Walken enjoys his role as the villain, where he gets to break loose and have some fun.
Story – The story here plays out like one we have seen before, an enforcer for a criminal wants to do one last job before leaving the business behind, only this time it will be the most dangerous one of his career. This is a by the book story it works and plays into the comedy needed between the lead two characters while also offering us the fish out of water routine for the organised professional. We have elements of a treasure hunt which are fun to watch too. It would be fair to say this story is an easy to follow film that gets the kicks it needs without being anything too complicated.
Action/Adventure/Comedy – The action plays into the hands of Dwayne Johnson’s talents, plenty of combat sequences and the use of weapons to increase the peril level, the adventure takes Beck out of his comfort zone to deal with the battle he is about to face. The comedy for the film comes from the bickering between Travis and Beck.
Settings – The film takes place in Brazil for the most part, the Amazon to be more exact, this proves to be uncomfortable for Beck that is used to being in the cities, this adds comedy and unexpected moments to the film.
Special Effects – The effects are used well, not needed often but the team creates good moments when needed.
Final Thoughts – This is a good fun action blast that puts Dwayne Johnson in the position of action hero, a position he will carry for years to come, it had good laughs throughout and action sequences that are fun to watch.
Overall: Action movie fans will enjoy this one.
Writer: Nick Zephyrin (Screenplay)
Starring: Gina Vitori, Andrew J Katers, Samantha Bowling, Evan Sloan, Shawn McConnell, Lindsay Sawyer, Val Victa
Plot: Archaeologist, Alabama Channing, is recruited by a mysterious billionaire to help find an ancient Chinese relic. The same treasure that her mother was in search of before she went missing.
Tagline – Archaeology just got badass!
Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Asylum We Get You
Story: Tomb Invader starts as we meet tomb invader (tomb raider is copyright) Alabama ‘Ally’ Channing (Vitori) whose mother went missing when she was younger and away from the tomb invading she works in the university, after getting a phone call from billionaire Tim Parker (Sloan) she gets invited to China, join by friends Helena (Bowling) and Bennie (McConnell).
Needing to work with an enemy in the field Nathan (Katers) to finish her mother’s work, giving her a chance to learn what happened to her mother. Along the way they meet obstacles which put our characters lives in danger.
Thoughts on Tomb Invader
Characters – Alabama Channing is the tomb invader, she has been finding treasures for years now following in her mother’s footsteps. She is great in combat and can solve the clues with this latest quest given her the answers she has been looking for. Nathan is the rival explorer, who has a reputation for doing this for money and is clearly named Nathan after the Uncharted games series. Helena is a friend joining Ally on the quest, she doesn’t do much else and Tim Parker is financing the project.
Performances – When it comes to the performances Gina Vitori is good for the most part because she can handle the combat well. The rest of the cast could easily be changed even if Andrew Katers acts just like Chris Evans.
Story – The story follows a young tomb raider (yes, I called her this because invader sounds stupid) who goes on her latest quest which will give her answers about her long-lost mother. There is a loose side story with the team having different ideas of what treasure hunting is, but if you must pick between the two films story, Tomb Raider or Tomb Invader, Tomb Raider is head and soldiers above on story telling.
Action/Adventure – The action is very basic combat and trap dodging which is what we would be expecting from a treasure hunting movie as the character do go on a routine adventure of life and death.
Settings – The settings put us in random forest that leads to temple, they are what we need from this style of movie without being anything stand out.
Special Effects – Most of the effects are not the best because we know the budget of the movie and the company producing it don’t spend big on the effects.
Final Thoughts – This is a basic made for low budget tomb raider movie with a different name, we get basic action, adventure which should have stayed on the television setting we see.
Overall: Basic adventure film.