The Suicide Squad (2021) Movie Review

The Suicide Squad – Badass Action Film

 

Director: James Gunn

Writer: James Gunn (Screenplay) John Ostrander (Comic Book)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Mikaela Hoover, Taika Waititi, Sylvester Stallone, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Rooker, Alice Brage, Nathan Fillion

Plot: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.


Tagline – They’re dying to save the world.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Suicide Squad starts when Amanda Waller (Davis) puts together the latest edition of Task Force X under Colonel Rick Flag (Kinnaman) to go and take down a threat from a small island country of Corto Maltese. Flag is joined by Harley Quinn (Robbie), Bloodsport (Elba), Peacemaker (Cena), Ratcatcher 2 (Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (Dastmalchian) and King Shark (Voiced by Stallone).

The group head to the island and looks to complete the mission, which will be filled with action, blood, gore and everything they need to satisfy their twisted needs.

Thoughts on The Suicide Squad

Characters & Performances – Bloodsport is forced into this mission by Waller, threatening to send his daughter to the same prison, he takes the led on the mission, with his deadly shooting ability and more gadgets that Batman, he will look to put himself back on the right path for the mission. He does have plenty of things he needs to fix about himself, which he will get a chance to, while being the most down to Earth member of the team. Idris Elba is brilliant in this role, filled with the reluctant leadership skills, as well as the deadly side to his character, with a heart of gold buried in him. Harley Quinn in on the team, bringing her colourful look to the violent world, from the tortured soul deep down inside of her, always excitable throughout the adventure, she gets her own side adventure to let her shine too. Margot Robbie continues to be the perfect casting choice for this role be as flawless as we know she is in it. Peacemaker believes anything he does is for the greater good of America, he doesn’t care who, how many and how he kills people, doing it in all the name of liberty. He is always looking to outshine Bloodsport believing he is the greatest soldier in the world. John Cena brings this deadpan figure to life, delivery all the best lines while keeping a straight face. Ratcatcher 2 is the youngest member of the team, she has the ability to communicate with rats, filled with a tragic backstory, even if she does feel like she shouldn’t be anywhere near this team, because she isn’t pure evil or even bad. Daniela Melchior brings us a mix of the unwilling younger generation, to the tragic figure that wants to do the right thing character to us here. King Shark is a walking talking shark that is still trying to learn, he is lonely and once he learns about friendship and teamwork, becomes the strongest member of the team. We do get to meet plenty of members of Task Force X who will have their own skill set, with Colonel Flag being the man assigned to keep them in line on the mission. Amanda Waller is the woman that has put to the team together, with Viola Davis being a demanding presence on screen. The characters are lacking a villain though, with most of the threat being a generic Spanish speaking country with a dictator running it, with the largest villain not getting enough to explain what is happening with them.

StoryThe story here follows Task Force X as they look to gain some time of their sentences to complete a deadly mission for the American government to bring down the leader of a small island country before they unleash an unknown threat on America. This side of the story does sound like a Rambo or Expendables story, but adding the ‘supervillains’ doing good adds the colourful tactics behind getting the mission done. The story does keep contained with the missions taking place on the singular island, which will keep the story flowing nicely. The biggest weakness comes back to what I said about the first Suicide Squad, none of the supervillains feel like they would be a threat to any of the superheroes in this world, with certain members of the team, feeling like they have just come out of an X-Men film rather than ever doing anything wrong.

ThemesThe Suicide Squad is a comic book action film that doesn’t hold back on a violent action we see throughout the mission, it goes against everything we would see the superheroes doing, with bodies piling up everywhere thought the film, the special effects are great to with the different abilities each character has to make them stand out in the film. The island is used to show a generic small nation that hates America wanting to fight back, with each location on the island giving us a different environment to fight in.

Final ThoughtsThe Suicide Squad is a big badass action film, filled with laughs, gore and everything you would expect from villains taking the leading roles.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – V – Stuber (2019) Movie Review

This is under V because of main character Vic Manning.

Director: Michael Dowse

Writer: Tripper Clancy (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Mira Sorvino, Natalie Moraels, Iko Uwais, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan

Plot: A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure.


Tagline – A little driver with a huge cop.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bautista & Nanjiani Are Excellent

Story: Stuber starts as Vic Manning (Bautista) is trying to take down Oka Tedjo (Uwais) a known criminal, which sees him losing his partner, 6 months later Vic needs laser eye surgery and on this day, he receives information on Tedjo whereabouts. Needing an Uber, Vic finds himself being picked up by Stu (Nanjiani) an over friendly nervous uber driver.

The unlikely pair need to travel around the city to locate Tedjo before his latest deal, the one that could finally bring closure for Vic, even if this ends up letting his own daughter Nicole’s (Moraels) big moment.

Thoughts on Stuber

Characters – Vic Manning is a detective that has been tracking criminals for years, he loses his partner which has made him dive into his work more than ever, becoming distant from his daughter, risking his career, he uses his connection to try and take down the man that killed his partner, despite having laser eye surgery the same day. Vic will run into problems head first, use force instead of brains when dealing with criminals, which often leaves him in more trouble than it starts with. Stu is the nervous overly friendly uber driver that is trying to make ends meet, tell the woman he loves how he feels about her and dealing with troublesome passengers. He is reluctant to help Vic, but offers him a chance to become a better man, while learning to stand up for himself during their time together. Oka Tedjo is the criminal that Vic has been tracking, deadly in combat ruthless in his action. We have Stu’s love interest in Becca, who spends most of the film on the phone to him, not sure what she wants in life. Nicole is Vic’s daughter who has always been left disappointed with his actions and not supporting her art projects.

PerformancesDave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani are excellent together they bring both their comedic chops to the table here and never make a single scene feel awkward. While these two are excellent together, with a villain in Iko Uwais, we barely get to see this ultra-talent martial artist have great scenes, only we don’t get to see enough from him. This also affects the rest of the cast, who simply don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story here follows a cop that must turn to an uber driver to crack the case he has been working on for years, one that took his partner’s life, the two are completely different and working together will see them go on a wild adventure around LA to take down the criminal once and for all. This is the old buddy comedy storyline, which does get everything right when it comes to the odd couple, while the villains feel lacklustre. Everything is highly entertaining and told in a way that gets to poke fun at uber and overly masculine men.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is held up for a couple of notable fight scenes, with the opening one being the best of the lot, showing Iko Uwais full abilities. The comedy comes from the excellent chemistry Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani have to get all the laughs away from the action.

SettingsThe film uses LA as the settings, which does take us around the city for different moments of the film.


Scene of the Movie – The opening action sequence, which does highlight Iko Uwais.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough Iko Uwais.

Final Thoughts This is a fun action comedy that has two leads that show excellent chemistry, even if we don’t get enough of the villains, we can still have a lot of fun with this film.

Overall: Highly Enjoyable.

Out of Death (2021) Movie Review

Out of Death – Nice Action Film

 

Director: Mike Burns

Writer: Bill Lawrence (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jaime King, Lal Kent, Kelly Greyson, Tyler Jon Olsen, Megan Leonard, Michael Sirow, Kayla Eva

Plot: A corrupt Sheriff’s department in a rural mountain town comes undone when an unintended witness throws a wrench into their shady operation.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Out of Death starts as Shannon Mathers (King) is on a remote trip in the woodland area to say goodbye to her father when she witnesses deputy Billie Stanhope (Kent) commit a murder to cover up a deal gone bad.

With Billie trying to track Shannon down, retired officer Jack Harris (Willis) stumbles upon the situation and lends the helping hand against the corrupt cops covering up for the wannabe mayor Hank Rivers (Sirow).

Thoughts on Out of Death

Characters & Performances – Shannon Mathers is a photojournalist who has come to the woodland area to spread the ashes of her later father and come to peace with his passing. She witnesses to incident which sees the deal go wrong, leading to her needing to go on the run in the woods to survive. She proves to have more fight than the officers believed, but she will look to fight back to survive. Jaime King does well in her role, showing the emotion of losing a loved one, with the determination to make the most of her future. Jack Harris is the retired police officers looking to relax to the country after losing his wife, with his niece giving him somewhere to stay. He ends up coming across the hunt, looking to help Shannon find safety using his years of experience to do the right thing. Bruce Willis does the basics right, but is in his making a movie for money mindset through the film. Sheriff Hank Rivers has been running the operation in the mountain town, where he is calm with how he handles things, while planning his time to become mayor soon. Michael Sirow is by far the best part of the film with his calm calculated delivery in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that witnesses the corruption within the local sheriff’s department and must go on the run through the local woods with the help of retired police officer looking to have a quiet life. The story will give us a battle of cat-n-mouse in the woodland area, showing us how the person who looks like they could be a helpless victim has more fight than expected. The survival battle will take twists, with the villainous sheriff doing everything you would expect to clean up the position he finds himself in, while the experience officer will look to stay ahead of the game. You will be kept guessing through the film, as not everything goes the way you would expect.

ThemesOut of Death is a survival action movie that will see a woman needing to try and survive against the sheriff’s department looking to keep things quiet. The woodland area outside of the small mountain town will add into the survival environment we see, while most of the action is chasing with brief fights.

Coming to Digital Download from August 2nd & DVD from October 4th

Final Thoughts Out of Death is an action film that will having the intense moments, even if the film follows the basic survival action.

Riders of Justice (2020) Movie Review

Riders of Justice – Brutal

 

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen

Writer: Nikolaj Arcel, Anders Thomas Jensen (Screenplay)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Gustav Lindh, Roland Moller

Plot: Markus, who has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems like an accident until a mathematics geek, who was also a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up.


Tagline – Someone is going to pay.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Riders of Justice starts when solider Markus (Mikkelsen) agrees to remain deployed for a further three months, leading to his wife and daughter Mathilde (Gadeberg) deciding to take the day off where they end up on a train, one that is involved in an accident, leaving Mathilde to watch her own mother die.

Otto (Kaas) who was also on the train during the accident, believes there is no way it was an accident and sets out to prove to Markus that this could have been a terrorist attack, targeting a certain person. Markus agrees to help the men investigate the story against a group known as the Riders of Justice, while trying to maintain the relationship with his daughter.

Thoughts on Riders of Justice

Characters & Performances – Markus is a soldier that is happy to remain deployed away from his family, only for him to get drawn back to his home after an accident kill his wife. He struggles with connecting with his daughter, as he wants to deal with grief his own way, until he learns it might not have been an accident, joining forces with the men who believe it wasn’t. he will use all his training to make himself the heartless killer created in the military, drawn by revenge and justice of his own. Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic in this leading role, being completely emotionless throughout everything happening in the film, just how he needs to be. Otto is one of the other victims on the train, he believes the accident was more of an attack, but nobody will believe him until he meets Markus who offers him a chance to get revenge on the people behind it. He will use his skills to put together his work team to help Markus get to the bottom of what happened. Nikolaj Lie Kaas goes a brilliant job too, with his role being opposite to Mikkelsen’s emotionless one. Mathilde is the daughter of Markus that witness the death of her mother on the train, wanting to turn to help, she finds herself struggling to remain connected to her father, as their processes are different. Lennart and Emmenthaler complete the group helping Otto, each will have their own ways of being part of the team. Kurt is the leader of the group of Riders of Justice, he is cold-hearted with how he conducts his business with the group, not wanting to let anyone get the upper hand on him or his group. Roland Moller makes this one of the more disturbing villains of the year here.

StoryThe story here follows a group of men that believe an accident was a terrorist attack, which will see them use this as motivation to get revenge on the people that were behind the attack, while showing the struggling moments in life between a father and daughter after losing a mother and wife. When it comes to the revenge stories, we get the basic ideas of a soldier figure wanting to fix their pain with violence against those who hurt them, this is no different, with how Markus uses his grief to drive him on his revenge mission. The idea that four everyday people will look to get revenge for a terrorist attack over any law authority does make this a very interesting story, that will give us the ups and downs you would expect along the way.

ThemesRiders of Justice is an action comedy that will give us the brutal action moments, as Markus gets involved in conflict, which is full of the military side of things. The film uses the settings for the encounters, while the home of Markus is used for the training and preparing for the world outside.

Final Thoughts Riders of Justice is a brutal action film that will bring a fresh approach revenge film.

Black Widow (2021) Movie Review

Black Widow – Entertaining Throughout

 

Director: Cate Shortland

Writer: Eric Pearson (Screenplay) Jac Schaeffer, Ned Benson (Story)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Keira Armstrong, O-T Fagbenle, Yolanda Lynes, William hurt, Ray Winstone

Plot: A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Black Widow starts when Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) looks to escape after the events of Captain America Civil War, returning to Europe and Budapest, where she meets her younger sister Yelena Belova (Pugh). The pair find themselves being hunted down by their old trainer Dreykov (Winstone) who is out for revenge after what Natasha did in the past.

Natasha and Yelena must reunite with their family Alexei (Harbour) and Melina (Weisz) who got them into this world, to go up against Dreykov and his legion of Widows.

Thoughts on Black Widow

Characters & Performances – Natasha Romanoff must go on the run after the events of Captain America Civil War, this will see her escape the American threat, but will see her past come back to catch up with her, with her sister and parents sharing one common enemy, the man that created her. We do get to learn more about what made Natasha the way she is, the past she is running from for films before, showing her in the more spy skills, over the superhero side of things. Scarlett Johansson does get the most to do in any of her outings in the franchise, showing her true talent in this role. Yelena is the younger sister of Natasha, she was taken through the brutal training to become an assassin too, the pair reunite to expose the training methods they once went through. She does bring a lot of comic dead pan relief to most of the scenes in the film, using the comedy as a means to mask the pain her life has been. Florence Pugh continues to wow Hollywood by being the star of the show here, stealing each and every scene she is involved in. Alexei and Melina are the couple that raised the girls in hiding, both living in different parts of the world after what happened, waiting for their chance to become spies again. Both David Harbour and Rachel Weisz are strong in these roles, with Harbour understanding how over the top he is meant to be as the character. Dreykov is the man that has created the widows, he will eliminate anyone who tries to leave him and has the complete control over anything they do, while mostly just a generic villain, we never get to see the truly evil nature of his behaviour. One of the weakest parts of all of the performances is the random levels of Russian accents, they do seem to be all over the place for consistency.

StoryThe story here follows Natasha Romanoff as she looks to escape from the events of Captain America Civil War and ends up reuniting with her old family that have been fighting their own wars against the people that forced the young girls into the training. This does bring Natasha her first leading role in a film, which will give her a chance to return to her spy roots, which is something the character has needed for a long time, as she doesn’t always fit in the superhero world. The reunion side of the film is an entertaining watch with everything that is going on around them, being the most interesting side too. While the villain is painfully generic, he could easily have been portrayed as a much more evil presence with what he does and wants to do to people.

ThemesBlack Widow is action thriller that takes us back into the Marvel franchise with another approach to what we are going to see, taking us into the spy action thriller side of the film, which Natasha will fit better in. the action sequences are more grounded for the most part, not diving into superhero world, rather more tactical fights going on. The settings are used to make us understand the world we are entertaining, one we haven’t seen before for Natasha.

Final Thoughts Black Widow is an entertaining addition to the Marvel world, one that grounds the action back to the spy world Natasha Romanoff comes from.