The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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Pandemic (2016)

casting ardDirector: John Suits

Writer: Dustin T Benson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Nichols, Alfie Allen, Missi Pyle, Mekhi Phifer, Paul Guilfoyle, Danielle Rose Russell, Pat Healy, Robert Lewis Stephenson

 

Plot: Pandemic is set in the near future, where a virus of epic proportions has overtaken the planet. There are more infected than uninfected, and humanity is losing its grip on survival. Its only hope is finding a cure and keeping the infected contained. Lauren (Rachel Nichols) is a doctor, who, after the fall of New York, comes to Los Angeles to lead a team to hunt for and rescue uninfected survivors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action Thrill Ride

 

Story: Pandemic starts as we follow in first person Lauren (Nichols) who is about to go on her first mission searching for survivors in a virus hit Los Angeles. Lauren is the doctor who can discover who is infected collecting all of her instruction from Doctor Greer (Guilfoyle) as we learn all of the different stages of infection before the ravenous stage.

Lauren joins driver Wheeler (Allen), gunman Gunner (Phifer) and navigator Denise (Pyle) as they look for a large group of potential survivors that are not infected, a journey that will take them through the devastated streets with different levels of infected.

Pandemic is a fresh take on the outbreak subgenre of sci-fi, the film never enters into the idea that we are dealing with zombies but focuses on stages of infection. The time period which the film is set works because it is well after the outbreak but before it is all safe. The story being shot mostly from inside the helmets gives us the point of view as if we were dealing with the event unfolding too. While these are all positives the actual story is very routine and feels like a video game with the go to point A but get distracted into side missions. I do like how this has moments of coming bleak with most moments getting fully answered by the end of the film.

 

Actor Review

 

Rachel Nichols: Lauren is the former CDC doctor who has just arrived on the compound of survivors during a virus outbreak. Her new assignment is to go into the field to help search for survivors but her judgement becomes a problem when she wants to find her own daughter and that she isn’t prepared for the world outside the barrier. Rachel is very strong in this role showing strength when needed but weakness from the early stages.

Alfie Allen: Wheeler is the driver on the crew, he is the always out to make sure he lives. He is honest it how he treats the mission being the only one who can drive the bus too. Alfie is good in this role which is a very different role to the Game of Thrones character we know him for.

Missi Pyle: Denise is the navigator on the mission, she has lost her child before the outbreak which keeps her grounded during all of the events around the outbreak. Missi is good in this role very different to the normal quirky characters we are used to seeing her in.

Mekhi Phifer: Gunner is the muscles on the crew he takes care of all of the deadly encounters but wants to locate the previous mission that has his wife was part of. He doesn’t take any shit from anyone but will keep the team together for as long as he can. Mekhi is good in this role that shows him in a different light to his previous outing in a virus film from Dawn of the Dead.

Support Cast: Pandemic has a small supporting cast with Paul Guilfoyle being the only real stand-out character we meet with most of the rest just being infected characters all involved through different scenarios.

Director Review: John SuitsJohn gives us a brilliant vision of being involved during the outbreak.

 

Action: Pandemic has some of the most breath-taking action sequences involving surviving the infected.

Sci-Fi: Pandemic takes us into a world where a virus has taken over the population leaving the uninfected being outnumbered by the infected.

Thriller: Pandemic does keep us on edge from start to finish wondering where the film will go next.

Settings: Pandemic uses LA as the setting which shows us a heavily populated area being overrun with infected.
Special Effects
: Pandemic uses the first person for the effects in the film along with all of the kills being used.

Suggestion: Pandemic is one I do think the action sci-fi fans will enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: First person idea.

Worst Part: Some people might not like certain shaky cam moments.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Tunnel because it shows what we will be getting.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel:

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: You Are Humanity’s Last Stand

 

Overall: Heart-pounding action thriller

Ratingcard

 

 

John Wick (2014)

logoDirector: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

Writer: Derek Kolstad (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, Omer Barnea, Toby Leonard Moore, Daniel Bernhardt, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane

 

Plot: An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Action Thriller

 

Story: John Wick starts by introducing us to an injured John Wick (Reeves) as he watches videos of his wife Helen (Moynahan) before flashing back to flashbacks of her dying in hospital. John’s old friend Marcus (Dafoe) shows up make sure his old friend is doing ok through his difficult time even with Marcus questioning his appearance. John gets one final gift from his wife to help him continue to love, a puppy called Daisy.

John quiet life is shattered when a group of men including Iosef Tarasov (Allen) son of Viggo (Nyqvist) break into his house to steal his car only to leave him in a bloody mess and Daisy dead. The men take the car to the best man to change car details Aurelio (Leguizamo) who refuses to help because he knows who the car belongs to. Viggo is furious and knows what will come his way because of his son’s action before filling us in on just what John once was ‘The Boogeyman’, the deadliest assassin to work for Viggo who got even the impossible jobs done.

John suits up once more, ready to take out everyone who gets in his way or points a gun in his direction. We know now that John is going to create a huge body count and simply take no prisoners as he takes out his frustration once and for all. John must not just worry about Tarasov’s men as Viggo puts a bounty out on his head with all his known assassins going after John.

John Wick gets put into the revenge category of action thriller and easily follows the tried and tested formula. We always seem to get lonely character who seems like they have lost everything get the finally part of their life taken away by someone who doesn’t know what they are getting themselves into. We get the traditional idea that this victim is actually a deadly assassin who will get revenge and the villain literally won’t stand a chance. The idea works and is told at a very good pace with a few laughs in situation you wouldn’t expect them including a personal hotel for assassins. I think because we have had a lot of lazy versions of this story this one comes off very well and is enjoyable form start to finish. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Keanu Reeves: John Wick is a former assassin that managed to get any job done, he is out of the game but when his wife dies he is left a puppy. Things continue to go badly for John when a son of a former associate breaks into his house killing his puppy and stealing his car. John sets out on a one man revenge mission against everyone involved. Keanu does a good job in this lead role especially when he usually get heavily criticised for his roles. (7/10)

 john

Michael Nyqvist: Viggo Tarasov is the crime boss who has to protect his son from John Wick and by doing so he puts a bounty out on his head. Michael does make for a good but generic villain for this type of film. (7/10)

 

Alfie Allen: Iosef Tarasov is the son of Viggo who is always out to try and prove himself but his latest idea leaves the whole criminal empire his father created in danger. Alfie makes for a good cocky arrogant son of a gangster. (7/10)

 ioesf

Willem Dafoe: Marcus is a fellow assassin and friend to John, who gets hired to take him out, only Marcus decides to play guardian angel getting involved just when John needs him. Willem does a good job in the supporting role keeping his character filled with mystery for the most part. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: John Wick has a supporting cast that includes the people that help John and the people that get in John’s way each one of them makes the body count build up.

 

Director Review: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch – This is a well-directed thriller that keeps coming at you until the very end. (8/10)

 

Action: John Wick is filled with gun battles with absolutely brutal head shots from Wick on every single one. (9/10)

Thriller: John Wick keeps you watching until the very end waiting to see who will be John’s next victim. (8/10)

Settings: John Wick keeps the settings very traditional to the idea of being in the criminal underworld. (7/10)
Special Effects
: John Wick uses good effects to show how brutal the head shots are with every single John Wick kill. (8/10)

Suggestion: John Wick is one for all the action fans to enjoy, it never lets up so you will enjoy this one. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: John Wick’s kills.

Worst Part: Being picky the villains are all generic.

Action Scene Of The Film: Night club scene.

Kill Of The Film: The assassins unite against one that turns.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one and is meant to be part of a trilogy.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Taken

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $43 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: Don’t Set Him Off!

Trivia: Director Chad Stahelski was Keanu Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix movies.

 

Overall: John Wick is a pure hard hitting action film that never lets you take a breath.

Rating 80