ABC Film Challenge – Action – P – Precious Cargo (2016) Movie Review

Director: Max Adams

Writer: Max Adams, Paul V Seetachitt (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Mark- Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani, Jenna B Kelly, Nick Loeb, Daniel Bernhardt

Plot: A crime boss tries to make off with loot that belongs to another thief.


Tagline – Never steal from a thief

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Precious Cargo starts as we meet conman Jack (Gosselaar) who is always looking to make more money from the criminals to get by without needing to working too hard. When Jack’s ex, Karen (Forlani) returns to his life with a surprise and a new job.

The surprise is being pregnant, with the new job being one Karen has stolen off crime boss Eddie Pilosa (Willis) and now he wants the reward for the job he prepared.

Thoughts on Precious Cargo

Characters & Performances – Jack is a conman thief that has been dealing with arms dealers knowing how to plan a job with ease. He will end up getting a surprise visit from a former partner in need of help, drawing him into the biggest heist of his career. He will put together a team for the job, people he trusts. Mark-Paul Gosselaar does try to bring us the charming thief but does seem to struggle to give us the most convincing one we have seen. Eddie Pilosa is the crime lord that is hunting down Karen for the double cross, he wants the money and will do anything to make sure he gets it. Bruce Willis gives us a basic performance where he barely needs to do anything but talk on the phone. Karen is the ex-girlfriend that comes back into Jack’s life, looking for him to help him with her latest job, she always seems to be in control of the situations, but we never know what she is meant to be doing, who she is playing or is she being honest this time. Claire Forlani does a solid enough job in this role, which is the strongest of the main cast. The supporting cast will get a couple of laughs along the way, but don’t make much of an impact.

StoryThe story here follows a conman thief that gets drawn into a job by a former partner only to find himself getting involved in the middle of the battle between two thieves. This will get involved in the idea that someone will be drawn into needing to escape a life they are in by doing one more job and never knowing who to trust outside of this own team. It is a basic heist movie that doesn’t get too involved in planning, being more interested in doing the battle between the characters deciding who to trust.

ThemesPrecious Cargo gives us the basic action sequences, with a fun boat chase, but is dragged down with the basic ideas of comedy that do seem to miss more often than not. With location is used to show the beauty of the bright sunlight world of the beach resort.

 

Precious Cargo is a basic heist film, with basic action and a bored Bruce Willis.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – The Old Guard (2020) Movie Review

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Writer: Greg Rucka (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Plot: A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.


Tagline – Whatever it takes.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Old Guard starts as we meet the group of mercenaries, Andy (Theron), Booker (Schoenaerts), Joe (Kenzari) and Nicky (Marinelli) who are called for any job, which will play into their own hands, being immortal. Their latest job is for Copley (Ejiofor) who double crosses them, exposing their secret, while gives the group a connection to a new immortal Nile (Layne) a soldier who is killed in action.

Andy brings Nile into the team, as they look to find Copley who has bigger plans for the mercenaries, knowing what they could bring the world, if they are able to capture them and keep their secret safe from the world.

Thoughts on The Old Guard

Characters – Andy is the oldest member of the group, she has found other immortals through the years, taught them a code and prepared them to fight in a world which would capture and destroy them if they could, she never makes the same contacts, while trying to avoid any footage of her existence have become the latest challenge for her. She must teach Nile the ropes as she looks to clear up the betrayal the team has faced. Nile is the marine that gets killed in action, who somehow survives, she doesn’t understand what is happening to her, and isn’t willing to go quietly with Andy, until she starts to learn the truth about what she is. Booker is the other lonely figure of the group, he saw his family die, while he lived on, usually the second to Andy when on any mission. Joe and Nicky complete the original unit, often played more for laughs. Copley is the man that others up the immortals, believing they could help fight disease, his actions lead to the group being hunted by the money hungry Merrick who will do anything to make more money.

PerformancesCharlize Theron is wonderful in the leading role, which is everything you would expect from the queen of the action roles. Kiki Layne brings the grounded side to the film, with the conflict skills to give us the same entry into the world. Matthias Schoenaerts does well through the film as the second in command living multiple lifetimes in regret. Chiwetel Ejiofor brings the misguided character who believes they could be right, while Harry Melling is fun as an over the top villain.

StoryThe story here follows a group of immortal mercenaries that find themselves targeted by a medical company that want to use their blood to help fight disease and make money, while the group looks to welcome in their newest member. This is based of a graphic novel, which will explain the over the top nature to certain things, mostly the deaths the immortals are going through. When it comes to the deeper meaning behind the actions of the group, it would have been even more entertaining to learn more of the overall discoveries, when it comes to dealing with the idea of being hunted down, it seems like it is something they would have experienced before and is generic for what we know about these movies. We are left wanting more from these characters, which is what we get with the story, which is a good introduction to them.

Action/FantasyThe action involved is fight sequences that are all choreographed well through the film, each going for a unique kill, which plays into the graphic novel stylings going on through the film. With the fantasy coming from the immortal characters, only not diving enough into the true meaning behind their immortally.

SettingsWe do see the characters head around the world, showing us how they will help people in need and fight against the people in power.


Scene of the Movie – London Fight Scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The impact the group have made on the world only seems be glimpsed at.

Final Thoughts This is a fun action movie that does seem to be the beginning of a bigger world, which we can’t wait to see more from.



ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – Never Grow Old (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ivan Kavanagh

Writer: Ivan Kavanagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Emile Hirsch, John Cusack, Deborah Francois, Molly McCann, Quinn Topper Marcus, Sam Louwyck, Danny Webb

Plot: An Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family comes under threat as the death toll rises.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow

Story: Never Grow Old starts as we head to a small frontier town, where carpenter and undertaker Patrick Tate (Hirsch) with his family Audrey (Francois), Emma (McCann) and Thomas (Marcus) live, with the Christian beliefs, without alcohol or trouble in the town.

When Dutch Albert (Cusack) and his men arrive in the town, they challenge the religious beliefs by reopening the bar, bringing the sin back to the town, giving Patrick a chance to start making big money with the increased death rate, this is until his own family comes under threat.

Thoughts on Never Grow Old

Characters – Patrick Tate is an Irish immigrant living in this town, he has a family, but is struggling with his carpenter trade, as well as his undertaker business, this is until Dutch arrives, seeing the death rate increase, leaving him wondering if he is still doing the right thing or not now. Dutch Albert is an outlaw that roles into town, he looks to bring the sin back to the religious town, which sees the crime and death rates rise, though none of the deaths are at his hands. Audrey is Patrick’s wife that doesn’t approve of the new money that has been coming their way, knowing it is coming from the death of the neighbours, while Emma and Thomas are their children, he must protect.

PerformancesEmile Hirsch and John Cusack are the biggest two names in the film, they are both fine in the film, they don’t reach the levels they have in the past, but are above the rest of the cast in the film.

StoryThe story here shows how one town is turned upside down when an outlaw decides to make it his own, with the local undertaker making a profit from the new criminal actions in the town, pushed to the limits when his own family gets targeted by what happens. This does fall into the story we have seen before, with the small town getting turned upside down, with people not standing up because of fear, only for everything to get out of hand and the person who is making money out of the greed being the one that gets the most conflicted by everything.

ActionThe action is the typical frontier experience, showing us how the guns fights were shot, with the quickest draw getting the kill.

SettingsThe film is set in a small frontier town, which has a close community, it looks like the strongest part of the film, with the designs makes us feel like we are in the time period.


Scene of the Movie – The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is so slow.

Final Thoughts This is a slow action western that just never gets going, it doesn’t have much going on once it does, leaving us feeling like we aren’t watching much of anything.

Overall: Painfully slow.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – M – Montana (2014) Movie Review

Director: Mo Ali

Writer: Jeremy Sheldon, Peter Lowe (Screenplay)

Starring: Lars Mikkelsen, Ashley Walters, McKell David, Adam Deacon, Brad Moore, Darrell D’Silva

Plot: In the mean streets of London’s East End, a former Serbian commando and a fourteen-year old boy plot revenge against a powerful crime lord and his ruthless lieutenants.


Tagline – Raised in the streets, trained by an assassin.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Montana starts as we meet streetwise Montana (David) a young man that helps deal get completed for the local drug lord Lazarus (D’Silva), he isn’t high up in the organisation, with the guys seeing him as disposable.

When Lazarus looks to eliminate Montana, a stranger Dimitrije (Mikkelsen) comes to his aid, an assassin who has been watching, waiting for his chance to get revenge on Lazarus, he trains Montana, with the two of them going on a clean up mission around the streets of London.

Thoughts on Montana

Characters – Montana is the streetwise kid who has been dealing for the local drug lords, his reputation will give him protection, until the drug lord wants to get rid of him, leading him to learn how to become an assassin to get back at the people who tried to leave him dead. Dimitrije is an assassin that has arrived in London looking to finally get his revenge on the person that killed his family, he takes Montana under his wing to learn more of the system, looking to pass on his skills. Lazarus is the drug lord that is continuing to look to grow his empire, cutting loose ends and looking to stay on top. Pitt and Ryan are the two connection to Montana, they know they will need to kill him, but know the money he brings in is too high to risk right now. We do see the different sides of the police that are trying to stop or working with drug dealers.

PerformancesMcKell David in the leading role is strong, showing the tough image that is needed to survive the streets. Lars Mikkelsen brings the aging hitman to life, showing how his character has been beaten down in life. The rest of the cast fill the roles well through the film, making us see just how the drug world is operating.

StoryThe story here follows a young drug dealer that gets left for dead by his gang, only for him to be taken in by an assassin looking to get his revenge on the drug lord that took everything from him. This is a by the book idea of a drug dealer being taken out of the system, before being thrown back into the world to get the revenge on the people that tried to out him. We have the different levels of the people involved, which will constantly change, only it does seem to focus on trying to get to the top without having the stability about the operation.

Action/CrimeMost of the action is saved for a couple of sequences, which do have moments of style in them, while we are inside the crime world of drug dealers, assassins and corrupt cops.

SettingsThe film is set in a London estate which will show us how the streets operate, with a drug culture through the gang’s behaviour.


Scene of the Movie – Training montage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – That drug lord never feels in control.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book style crime movie, it puts us into a world where the drug dealers are looking to keep control, while an assassin is looking for revenge.



ABC Film Challenge – Action – K – Killerman (2019) Movie Review

Director: Malik Bader

Writer: Malik Bader (Screenplay)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Emory Cohen, Diane Guerrero, Zlatko Buric, Suraj Sjarma, Nickola Shreli

Plot: Two friends launder money in NYC. They make a quick drug deal. Things go wrong as dirty cops are involved. One gets amnesia during escape with the drugs and money.


Tagline – Nothing is as it seems
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Crime 101

Story: Killerman starts as we meet two money launders Moe (Hemsworth) and Skunk (Cohen) who take a risker job involved drugs, using their connections around New York, they know the risk they would be taking to make this happen.

When the deal happens, it doesn’t go as planned with Moe getting amnesia, with Skunk needing to help keep things together for the pair, as now they need to escape the city, with the drug lord wanting the money, a dirty cop after them and the rest of the cops looking to bring them down.

Thoughts on Killerman

Characters – Moe has been a money laundry for years, he has a smart business which never sees attention come his way, his best friend knows his business and wants to get him involved in a bigger job, one that involves drugs, one that could set them for life, only it goes wrong and he loses his memory, he needs to piece together his life, if he is going to get his life back and escape before it is too late. Skunk is the best friend and partner of Moe, he comes from a family that is involved in the drug dealing side of the city, which gives him a chance to get involved, he wants to impress the family and whatever cost. Lola is the girlfriend of Moe, she has been searching for him and is left wondering what has happened to him. Perico is the man that offers the deal, the chance to impress the family, he isn’t going to let him fail, even if he is family.

PerformancesLiam Hemsworth is at his best in this role, in the past he hasn’t managed the criminal characters well, but here he shows he is ready to step up, Emory Cohen is great as the partner desperate to impress, while Diane Guerrero does seem to get waste for the most part, by not having enough screen time.

StoryThe story here follows two criminals who decide to move out of their comfort zone to get involved in drug deals, only for things to go wrong and them needing to make up for the mistake or escape before it is too late. This does follow the crime story ideas of two people who risking more find themselves dealing with bigger consequences for their actions, while we do get the amnesia side to the problems, it still shows the two men being loyal to each other. We are left with plenty of twists along the way, not knowing who to trust when it comes to completing the deal.

Action/MysteryThe action side of the film shows the brutality that is being caused by the criminals to each other, with the mystery being about who can be trusted.

SettingsThe movie is set in New York, which always works as it shows us just how the criminal world operates in the biggest city in the world.


Scene of the Movie – The kennels.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lola seems like a wasted on screen character.

Final Thoughts This is a dark crime drama based on a real man, it is filled with brutality not holding back going for violence instead of a steadier story.

Overall: By the Books.