Mortal (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andre Ovredal

Writer: Geoff Bussetil, Norman Lesperance, Andre Ovredal (Screenplay)

Starring: Nat Wolff, Priyanka Bose, Iben Akerlie, Arthur Hakalahti, Ania Nova, Oddrunn Valestrand

Plot: Fantasy adventure origin story about a young man discovering he has God-like powers based on ancient Norwegian mythology.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Electrifying

Story: Mortal starts when lone traveller Eric (Wolff) is confronted by a group of locals in Norway, with the incident resulting in the death of one of those boys, with no clear explanation on how it happened, the police turn to psychologist Christine (Akerlie) who is dealing with her own terrible news, as she looks to try and get answers from Eric.

When Eric accidentally releases his uncontrollable powers, he sees his transport helicopter crash, while he saves Hathaway (Bose) the lead agent, he escapes returning to Christine for help, as the two go in search of answers.

Thoughts on Mortal

Characters – Eric has been living off the grid for years after a tragedy in his family home, when a group of strangers sees him wondering alone, he warns them about his powers, which show how uncontrollable he actually is, he finds himself being hunted down, while he does start to learn about controlling his powers and return to the world he once left behind. Christine is a psychologist that has been called to ask to help get through to Eric, she has her own tragic news and sees this as a chance to help one more person with her kind nature. She helps Eric try and allude the authorities, while working to try and learn his story. Hathaway is the lead agent trying to help Eric and use his powers for their own good, she leads the team tracking him down, needing to make the difficult decisions.

PerformancesNat Wolff in the leading role does a strong job bringing to life a reclusive character trying to decide the right or wrong thing from his life. Iben Akerlie is the star here with her performance bring to life her character that is always trying to do the right thing. Priyanka Bose does well with her role, only we could have seen a lot more from the character.

StoryThe story here follows a once lost lone survivor of a fire that reappears around a mysterious death going in search for answers to why he has gained these dangerous powerful abilities. The story does dive into Norse mythology with trying to unlock a fresh new approach to how the powers are created and used. This does create the balance of good and evil that could come from the powers. We do get to have a good investigation into the mystery about what happened to Eric’s family, as we learn small parts along the way, but we do seem to waste the full investigation into Hathaway’s reasoning behind why is around and what she wants from Eric.

ActionThe action in the film is great with most sequences in the film being around the electric abilities Eric seems to have, with the bridge sequence being the highlight of everything.

SettingsThe film uses the Norwegian countryside to show the beauty of the landscape and how easily Eric could disappear from the world for years.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with the lightening strikes being battled with by Eric, showing the destruction they could bring when they hit.

Scene of the Movie – The bridge sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Hathaway seems like she should be a more important character than we see.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining fantasy movie that does give us the same vibes as Chronicle, X-Men and Brightburn, showing us what could happen with powers in an everyday life.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Mortal on Digital HD August 3rd and DVD August 24th

Taxi (1998) Movie Review

Director: Gerard Pires

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gourary, Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy

Plot: To work off his tarnished driving record, a hip taxi driver must chauffeur a loser police inspector on the trail of German bank robbers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun

Story: Taxi starts as slick pizza delivery man and scooter racer Daniel (Naceri) finally gets his dream job, as a taxi driver in Marseilles, his driving skills means he can complete the fares which others wouldn’t get completed. Police officer Emilien (Diefenthal) is still struggling to pick up driving, which is making his own position a problem, when the latest job is to stop German thieves.

When the two meet, Emilien sees a chance to redeem himself, while letting Daniel off the misdemeanours he has been committing behind the wheel, as the unlikely duo look to capture the German thieves.

Thoughts on Taxi

Characters – Daniel is a speed demon, he races scooters and once he gets his taxi licence, he uses this passion for racing as a challenge to get fares to destination on time, only this sees him speeding with Emilien in his car, needing to make up for his mistake, he offers to help Emilien crack the case he is working on, as the two become friends. Emilien is a clumsy cop, he can’t pick up driving, with his actions leading to more problems, he knows his time is limited and uses his new found friendship to crack the case that will impress the super intendant. The pair work well together showing they can fill the weaknesses they both have. Lilly is Daniel’s girlfriend that is always missing the chance to spend time with him. Camille is Emilien’s mother that is the only person he has in his life, with her ever positive mood reflecting onto him.

PerformancesSamy Naceri and Frederic Diefenthal together are great to watch, with excellent chemistry together through the whole film. Marion Cotillard in the supporting role is fun, but we don’t get to see enough of her character.

StoryThe story here follows a speed demon taxi driver that reluctantly joins forces with a down on his luck cop to try and take down a group of German thieves in France. This is a buddy comedy, with two different people working together for the greater good, the pair get laughs as they plan for the next robbery. It does show us how sometimes you must find a way to outsmart the criminal and is designed to get more flash out of the car chases, with the comedy in the partnership. We don’t need to get much deeper with everything, letting the simple idea shine through.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is very entertaining, with flash car chases all the way through, with the comedy coming from seeing how the two as they get through the days together.

SettingsThe film is set in Marseilles, which does bring together a couple of tighter streets and a different location for the car chases, that we would have seen before.

Scene of the Movie – The final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough of Lilly.

Final Thoughts Fun action comedy that doesn’t hold back on the action, while letting the comedy flow nicely.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Taxi on Digital HD July 31 and on Amazon Prime August 3rd

Renegades (2017) Movie Review

Director: Steven Quale

Writer: Richard Wenk, Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton, Charlie Bewley, Sylvia Hoeks, Joshua Henry, Diarmaid Murtagh, Dimitri Leonidas

Plot: A team of Navy SEALs discover an underwater treasure in a Bosnian lake.

Tagline – $300 million. 5 Navy SEALs. 1 impossible heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bland

Story: Renegades starts as we meet the five Navy SEALs Matt (Stapleton), Stanton (Bewley), Ben (Henry), Kurt (Murtagh) and Jack (Leonidas) who work on extracting enemies from danger zones, with the latest area being in Bosnia and the latest escape causing major damage to the city, much to their boss’s Levin (Simmons) anger.

With Stanton dating a local woman Lara (Hoeks), she has planned to use the men’s help to uncover stolen gold from World War II, only for the previous mission to leave the men in hot water with the local military looking to hunt them down, can the team pull of the heist before it is too late.

Thoughts on Renegades

Characters – Levin is the commanding officer that is constantly criticising the SEALs, even though he does respect the work they do, he is always fair, while being strict towards them. When it comes to the SEALs we get the young one, the one with a tragic past and the generic rest of them, none of the five main characters really stand out in anyway. Lara is the local woman that is dating one of the SEALs, who brings them the idea of the gold, wanting to make sure that her people get what is theirs.

PerformancesWe have J.K. Simmons in this film, he is by far the best part of the performances, because of how much he demands the screen. Sylvia Hoeks does well, while it is the actors playing the SEALs that struggle to bring their characters to life.

StoryThe story here follows a group of navy SEALs that team up with a local woman to unearth gold which was lost during World War II, even though the city is crawling with soldiers looking to kill them. This is an attempt to put a spin on the heist film, which could have worked if the characters had something about them, but in the end it is just a story we have seen before, offering very little else to the genre. It is largely forgettable in everyway, you know how it will unfold and by the end you just will be left with a feeling of we have seen this.

Action/Crime/WarThe action in the film is basic war scenes, in the 90s street conflicts, no scenes stand out, while the crime world is how people will always look to profit from someone else’s misfortune.

SettingsThe film is set in Bosnia, through a war torn city, while the underwater scene does pose a couple of problems for the heist, we don’t get anything new when it comes to the locations.

Scene of the Movie – First escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The SEALs are bland.

Final Thoughts This is a very basic action heist movie, it offers nothing new to the genre and by the end of the film, you most likely have forgotten most of it.

Overall: Forgettable.

Die Hard (1988) Movie Review

Director: John McTiernan

Writer: Jeb Stuart, Steven E de Souza (Screenplay) Roderick Thorp (Novel)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White, William Atherton, Alexander Godunov

Plot: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Tagline – He’s the only chance anyone has got.

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Absolute Classic

Story: Die Hard starts when John McClane (Willis) heads to LA to spend Christmas with his wife Holly (Bedelia) during a work party at the Nakatomi Plaza, this is one last chance to hopeful rekindle their marriage.

The party takes a turn for the worst when Hans Gruber (Rickman) and his highly trained team crash the party, holding the guests hostage, only John gets away unseen, John hides in the building trying to lower the odds to save the guests including Holly from the terrorist that simply won’t stop.

Thoughts on Die Hard

Characters – John McClane is a New York police officer that is spending Christmas in LA with his wife, trying to save his marriage, he isn’t the guy that goes to business parties, but he gets his chance to shine when the terrorists take over the building, he shows his ability to evolve to the situation to stay ahead of the terrorists. Hans Gruber is the leader of the terrorists who have taken of Nakatomi Plaza, they are in control of the hostages, with their plan in motion, he sees McClane as a pain, rather than a problem expecting his men to be able to solve the situation, he always has a plan for the different situations he could be expecting. Holly is John’s wife who works in the building, she becomes the leader of the hostages not revealing her identity to the terrorists.

PerformancesBruce Willis is fantastic in the leading role, it was the role which made him a superstar as he gives us one of the most iconic figures in cinema history. Alan Rickman on his debut in film is truly brilliant too, bringing one of the most iconic villains in film history too. The rest of the cast do bring us characters we will remember through the film, which is something most action films struggle with.

StoryThe story here follows a cop that finds himself needing to overcome the odds to rescue a large group of hostages from a group of terrorists. This story keeps everything simple with the terrorists having their plan, the cop having to think on his feet and the supporting characters given enough development to make us care about what is happening. This story is great to watch because of the fact it doesn’t make anything more complicated than it needs to be and become one that nearly everybody knows.

ActionThe action is filled with shoot outs, explosions and fights, everything you would to see in this style of film.

SettingsThe film keeps all the action in the tower, it keeps everything feeling contained which only adds to the hunt for McClane by the terrorists.

Scene of the Movie – Welcome to the party Pal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is easily one of the greatest action films of all time, it brings us two of the biggest icons in film history and will leave forever in the memories of the audience.

Overall: Classic.

Survive the Night (2020) Movie Review

Director: Matt Eskandari

Writer: Doug Wolfe (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Lydia Hull, Tyler Jon Olson, Shea Buckner, Jessica Abrams

Plot: A disgraced doctor and his family are held hostage at their home by criminals on the run, when a robbery-gone-awry requires them to seek immediate medical attention.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Late Night Action

Story: Survive the Night starts as two criminals Mathias (Olson) and Jamie (Buckner) are looking to see out the night before heading to Mexico get involved in a shooting. They turn to disgraced doctor Rich (Murray) who has seen his career ruined, working in a small clinic, while decided what to do next, with his father Frank (Willis) trying to guide him).

The brothers break into the house, forcing Rich to perform surgery, while the family look to fight back and survive the night.

Thoughts on Survive the Night

Characters – Rich is a disgraced doctor whose mistake has put a strain on his relationship, where he is looking for a new direction in his life and after this night he will need to try and help a criminal who is threatening his family. Rich is the man with the biggest character development through the film. Frank is Rich’s father that is there to support him, but when the family is in danger he shows his stronger side. Mathias and Jamie are the criminals that are looking for medical help and will do anything to make sure they both get to travel to Mexico after to committing the crime.

PerformancesBruce Willis is on his getting better stage, when he does get to show his action side, he looks ready to go, only he doesn’t seem to have much of a character to work with. Chad Michael Murray has the most to work with, only he doesn’t seem to let his characters regret hold him back enough. Tyler Jon Olson and Shea Buckner don’t make for the best villains, as they try to bring an edge to their characters.

StoryThe story here follows a couple of criminals who break into a disgraced doctors house, demanding medical attention, threatening his family, only the family looks to fight back. This is a story that we have seen before, with a family needing to fight back against a couple of criminals holding them hostage, this however doesn’t bring us the most interesting side of the events, with the family dynamic not being as strong as it could be, by having a big issue going on, only it does seem to focus more on mistakes, rather than getting into the big impact of everything. The criminal side of the story does feel borrowed from ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ with brothers who have a plan, only one is trigger happy and causes more problems for them. The story does have moments that does feel flat, with a lot just not feeling as connected as it could do, when it comes to the battle between the two sides.

ActionThe action is mostly close combat, or random shooting that usually sees people missing a lot of shots.

SettingsThe film keeps the action in the film in one location, the house, which away from the main roads, creating isolation from help.

Scene of the Movie – Car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of the characters don’t have much about them.

Final Thoughts Flat action film that doesn’t have the spark is so desperately is trying to bring, with the attempted edgy criminals and family dynamic.

Overall: Flat Action Film.