Franchise Weekend – The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (Screenplay) Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Alonso

 

Plot: Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California’s pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) — and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) — to take action.


Tagline – This Fall, adventure begins with a Z.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Become a Parody of Itself

 

Story: The Legend of Zorro starts as Don Alejandro (Banderas) is still riding under the mask of Zorro, his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) wants him to retire the mask and be the father to their son Joaquin (Alonso), with his desire to continue to help California prepare for the statehood, has put a strain on their relationship.

When the two go through a divorce, Elena starts dating Armand (Sewell) from Spain looking to make a vineyard only he has other plans which only Zorro could stop.

 

Thoughts on The Legend of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro is Zorro, he has been working on trying to retire, but America needs him, he is left with a hard choice on whether to protect the land or be there for his father. He choices wrong and ends up falling back in the same circle he once did, before needing to put the mask on again to save California. Elena is the wife of Alejandro that wants him to give up the life, when he doesn’t, she divorces him to go under cover with an old family friend that has moved to the area, who has his own ideas. For some reason this character goes in a different direction from the stronger figure we met in the first film. Armand has moved to California to open a vineyard, he has stolen Elena from Alejandro and now he has bigger plans for America, which brings Zorro out of his retirement.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas has all the right parts to make this character legendary, he just struggles to make the impact we know he can this time, this follows Catherine Zeta-Jones who disappoints too as we know she could lead the film with ease. Rufus Sewell does a solid enough job in the villainous role, though he never makes his character feel like a threat.

StoryThe story takes place 10 years after the first movie, this does work for the film because it takes us to a time where the couple have a child and must decide what to do (following in the Mummy’s footsteps here) with their future adventures. The decision-making process shows us just how important the figure of Zorro has become to the people and just how difficult walking away from it would be for the city. The problem comes with the tone of the story which seems to just spend more time watching the couple bicker it just takes everything out of the life of the story.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action continues to bring us the sword swing fights we are used to seeing from the Zorro character, with a stronger final chase, this doesn’t seem to offer much new to the western action genre, with the adventure that we go on, never seeming like it will go anywhere new for the characters. the romance is the most annoying part of the film because it just focuses on the bickering between the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in the early stages of California which never looks out of place for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Train chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The bickering.

Final ThoughtsThis is not on the same level as the previous film, it feels like it wants to be taken seriously, only for it to become somewhat of a parody of itself.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel.

Rating

 

 

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The Mummy (2017)

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Writer: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman (Screenplay) Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet (Screen Story)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B Vance, Marwan Kenzari

 

Plot: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: American Mummy in London

 

Story: The Mummy starts as we get the traditional history lesson about what Princess Ahmanet (Boutella) did to become the cursed woman from Ancient Egypt. Roll forward to present day Iraq where treasure hunting soldier Nick Morton (Cruise) and his partner in crime Chris Vail (Johnson) move in on an insurgent controlled town. In this town they make a discovery which bring archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Wallis) to work with the army to bring the discovery back.

When the discovery of Princess Ahmanet selects Nick as her latest choice to raise Set the God of Death to life to reign terror on Earth, Jenny brings Nick to Dr Henry Jekyll (Crowe) to find a way to stop this ancient terror from rising once more.

 

Thoughts on The Mummy

 

Characters/PerformanceNick is a solider that enjoys treasure hunting for his own profit, he is a selfish man but once he works with Jenny we see a different side to him as he also gets to cheat death. Dr Jekyll is a character we know from history but this time he seems to be a leader of an organisation that fights evil. Jenny is the archaeologist that has searched for Princess Ahmanet for her whole life and now she gets to fight something she never thought. Princess Ahmanet is our ancient Egyptian that has been raised from the dead to bring her terror back to Earth, this character is the highlight of the film but you still want more from her. Chris Vail is basically the friend from American Werewolf in Paris.

Performance wise, Cruise disappoints here, he is miss-casted because he doesn’t pull of the confused out of his depth to the level we are used too in these films. Russell Crower, well as a supporting character he does struggle to make an impact. Annabelle Wallis is fine but you just don’t believe must of her characters decisions. Sofia Boutella once again shows she is very capable of these roles which need unique body movement. Jake Johnson tries the comic relief but it doesn’t click every time.

StoryYou know the Brendan Fraser Mummy, well this is incredible similar story just in modern times, we have one very well-designed moment and that is showing how the extremists are destroying monuments which can cover Nick’s tracks. Otherwise this is one of the most painful origin attempted stories of recent years, we have a villain which should be one of the most interesting of the year but almost becomes second fiddle to the bigger universe that the film wants to create. Nothing here is overly memorable, original or worth seeing again.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action sequences are a mixed bag, we have the plane crash which we all saw in the trailer but otherwise it is Tom Cruise 101 with running, sand storms and losing fist fights. The adventure side get sucked out of the film once we hit London and the fantasy side of things just doesn’t come off believable.

SettingsThe Iraq setting was fine for me, but we don’t focus on that area long enough which most of the film taking place in England and mostly London and seriously how many times can we destroy London on film?

Special EffectsThis is yet another mixed bag for me, certain moments look great but other moments come off painfully CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is a failed attempt of a Universe builder, it is miss-cast with Cruise, this should have gone to a younger name that could work in the universe for years to come and a character in Nick that is remotely interesting. I will accept that this was needed to bring the modern era for this bigger picture which does clash the ancient world with the technology world but we don’t focus on that enough.

 

Overall: Disappointing action film that focuses on Easter Eggs over producing us a story.

Rating

 

 

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

logoDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (TV Creator)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence Fishburne

 

Plot: Ethan Hunt comes face to face with a dangerous and sadistic arms dealer while trying to keep his identity secret in order to protect his girlfriend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best Mission Too Date

 

Story: Mission Impossible III starts with Ethan Hunt (Cruise) being interrogated by Owen Davian (Hoffman) as he is looking for ‘The Rabbit’s Foot’. Owen has Hunt’s girlfriend Julia (Monaghan) hostage at gunpoint and we get a fully in your face intense start to this Impossible Mission.

Flashback to us seeing Ethan & Julia announcing their engagement we get to see how Ethan is finally living a normal everyday life. Ethan has taken up a new role with IMF where he trains the next agents but when he gets a call from John Musgrave (Crudup) he gets a chance to go into the field once more to save one of his own Lindsey Farris (Russell) who they believe has been kidnapped by Owen Davian. The mission seems to go off a success but Davian places an explosive chip inside Lindsey’s head which they are unable to stop her death.

Ethan goes back into the field to solve the problem with Owen Davian teaming up with an old friend and a new team to search for ‘The Rabbit’s Foot’. Ethan has to put his personally life at risk before going back into the field to face his deadliest opponent to date.

Mission Impossible III has to go down as the best storyline in all of the Mission Impossible films so far, the story shows how Ethan is trying to live a normal life but continue to work for the agency. This works well because all we have seen before is Ethan turn up complete the mission and walk away. I also feel the pure brutality of Owen Davian makes everything much more intense than previous outing and with that opening scene we get to anticipate how the story ends up there. On the negative we get the old used up storyline that shows someone on the inside helping the terrorist which we see too much in these films because no one can be trusted. This is though the slickest, most enjoyable Mission Impossible in the original trilogy. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt is our hero again, this time he trains the recruits and is looking to settle down but when one of his trainees is captured he ends up getting back into the field against the ruthless Owen Davian. Tom continues to show why he is a great action star with this outing but he also gets to show his emotional range when it comes to his wife. (8/10)

 hunt

Philip Seymour Hoffman: Owen Davian is the arms dealer who is devastatingly brutal to anyone who gets in his way and after Ethan has him killed off for show he comes back with a vengeance focusing everything on Ethan. Philip made for a brilliant villain and you literally feel every word that comes out of his mouth and just how much he means them. (9/10)

 owen

Michelle Monaghan: Julia is the wife of Ethan who ends up getting dragged into the criminal underworld where she will become a pawn in Owen Davian’s game. Michelle does a solid job as the damsel in distress but doesn’t get much else to work with. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Mission Impossible III has a supporting cast much like the previous two films with Ethan’s team, Davian team and the IMF agency questioning Ethan’s motives.

 

Director Review: J.J. Abrams – Mr Abrams does manage to bring the franchise back down to reality with one of the most entertaining action films of recent years that didn’t include a superhero. (8/10)

 

Action: Mission Impossible III has a large amount of action along with its trademark wacky stunt. (8/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible III manages to pull you in from the opening sequence until the final conclusion. (9/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible III keeps up the idea of using iconic landmarks for the settings to help identify how difficult the missions will be. (8/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible III is a must watch for all action fans out there because the best action films have the deadliest villains. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bridge attack.

Worst Part: It sometimes pokes fun at itself with the lines.

Action Scene Of The Film: Bridge attack.

Funniest Scene: Simon Pegg’s scenes.

 

Believability: No (/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two more sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $398 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Trivia: After the success of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Simon Pegg was asked whether he was going to be pursuing a career in Hollywood, to which he laughed and replied “it’s not like I am going to be in Mission Impossible III”.

 

Overall: Mission Impossible III is easily the best of the Mission Impossible film that is all action packed pure entertainment.

Rating 83

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

logoDirector: Marc Webb

Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Marvel Comic Book)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott

 

Plot: We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. It’s great to be Spider-Man. For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.

 

Verdict: Spider-Man Growing Up

 

Story: This follows up from the first one so we have to remember unlike the Avengers and Dark Knight we are dealing with a teenage superhero. He has different problems like whether he wants a girlfriend or whether to go to college, you know the serious stuff. We have him putting out all the cheesy lines against the person he fights not taking anything seriously. While Peter is trying to figure out what his life holds next, the people against him start their own stories. We have the generic loner scientist who ends up having an accident, gaining powers and using them for evil, been there seen that in every Spider-man film. We also have the Harry Osborn who wants Spider-Man’s blood to cure his sickness and when he can’t have it he goes on a rampage against Spider-Man. It would be fair this is a slow moving film and it really is building up for the next chapter. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Andrew Garfield: Spider-Man/Peter Parker while trying to figure out what to do with his life he carries on fighting crime, he has to decide whether to keep with his girlfriend when her father’s dying wish was to leave her so she couldn’t get caught up in trouble. He does ends up having to face the biggest battle of his life after his battles with Electro and Green Goblin. Good performance in a character that develops as the film unfolds. (8/10)

 spide

Emma Stone: Gwen Stacy ambitious girlfriend of Peter, who wants to excel in her studies and gets that chance to but with Peter in her life she will always be in danger. Good supporting performance, but I always find relationships for superheroes only get in the way and annoy. (7/10)

emma

Jamie Foxx: Electro lonely scientist who has helped the city design a better power source. He feels like everyone is against him but when Spider-Man saves him he gets a boost of confidence. Just when things look good for Max he ends up having an accident at work and turning into Electro, who starts off just wanting help but when he feels betrayed by Spider-Man he wants to take out the web-slinger and the city. Good performance playing a very difficult character that really looks the part. (8/10)

 eletrco

Dane DeHaan: Green Goblin/Harry Osborn an old friend of Peter who wants him to find Spider-Man so he can use his blood to cure his terminal illness. After both Peter and Spider-Man refuse for safety reason he finds out his company secretly has some stored away and he uses it and becomes the Green Goblin out to stop Spider-Man. Good performance from the always solid Dane. (8/10)

harry

Director Review: Marc Webb – Great direction creating a story that really is building to something bigger, creating some very memorable fight scenes and a villain in Electro like nothing we have seen before. (8/10)

 

Action: When the action happens it is all very good, with some great camera spinning shots of Spider-Man in battle. (8/10)

Superhero: A solid entry in the superhero genre. (8/10)

Settings: New York makes a great setting because without all the building Spider-Man couldn’t swing as much. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Great special effects used throughout the film. (10/10)

Suggestion: This must be watch by all the superhero fans out there, it is creating a big picture without having to use separate films to add to one of franchise. (Superhero Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Spider-Man battles Electro round two.

Worst Part: It does start slow, nearly an hour before we meet Electro.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battles

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one planned

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $708 Million

Budget: $200 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

Tagline: His greatest battle begins

 

Overall: Solid Addition to Spider-Man Franchise

Rating 76

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star trek into darknessDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof (Screenplay)

Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Annton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke

 

Story: Kirk (Pine) returns along with his crew to take on a smilingly unstoppable man John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison starts a war against star fleet but can Kirk stop a terror from within before it is too late?

 

Verdict

 

Action: From the opening chase sequences to the in space classic Star Trek battle scene. Fills all the check boxes in action pack sci-fi (10/10)

 

Sci-Fi: Everything a Star trek fan will want and plenty to keep a casual sci-fi interested without full blown ‘geeking’ it out. (10/10)

 

Special Effects: top draw special effects all round (10/10)

 

Settings: Teasing the inclusion of the kligons and one of their home worlds is a very good touch. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: A top draw sci-fi film that continues a franchise and can easily draw in a casual viewer. (9/10)

 

Best Part: The build to the final battle plays out brilliantly

 

Worst Part: Lens flares

 

Star Performance: Zachary Quinto

Favourite Character: Bones

 

Poor Performance:  Alice Eve (not so much her fault just a needless character)

 

Least Favourite Character: Carol

 

Favourite Quote: John Harrison ‘You think your world is safe? It is an illusion, a comforting lie told to protect you, enjoy these final moments of peace, for I have returned to have my vengeance, so shall we begin?’

 

Overall: A blockbuster that will leave you out of breath, The film is full of everything you would like in a action sci-fi film and adding in Bones one liners to lighten the mood adds a lot. The big reveal of the villain was one of the worst kept secrets in the build, but doesn’t need to be in their in all fairness as Harrison being an unknown makes him come off extra evil. In the end just cause Star Trek is classed a geek or nerd followed film tv show J.J Abrams has turned into a more main stream film that should be enjoyed by all.

 

Rating 90%