ABC Film Challenge – Action – K – Killing Gunther (2017)

Director: Taran Killam

Writer: Taran Killam (Screenplay)

Starring: Taran Killam, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cobie Smulders, Bobby Moynihan, Hannah Simone, Aaron Yoo

 

Plot: A group of eccentric assassins are fed up with Gunther, the world’s greatest hitman, and decide to kill him, but their plan turns into a series of bungled encounters as Gunther seems to always be one step ahead.


Tagline – They’re Out to Change the Killing Business

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Silly Fun

 

Story: Killing Gunther starts as assassin Blake (Killam) hires a documentary crew to film himself putting a team together to hunt down the most famous assassin Gunther (Schwarzenegger). Blake’s team includes Donnie (Moynihan), Sanaa (Simone), Gabe (Brittain) Izzat (Talai) Young (Yoo), Mia (Tolman) and Barold (Gaul), each has their own reason to go after Gunther.

It doesn’t take long before things go terribly wrong as Gunther learns of the hit on him and starts picking off the members of the team, until they are left whether to continue on this mission or walk away.

 

Thoughts on Killing Gunther

 

Characters – Blake is the hitman that wants the title of the best in the world, one that Gunther has, he believes that if he can take out Gunther, he will get that position and he puts together the team. It is his plan even though it does have personal motivation for this too, which he doesn’t let the rest of the team know about. Donnie is the explosives expert that tends to be part of an on running joke going through the film. Sanaa is the daughter of a previous deadliest assassin, he still follows her around trying to protect her, she wants to prove herself to be better than him and does seem to be the deadliest of the group. Gunther is the assassin that has the biggest reputation within the world, he has become the target and has decided to have some fun at their expense.

PerformancesTaran Killam directs and stars in the leading role, the best way to judge the performances go down to just how you read the comedy, if you make sure this is just a bit of fun style, you will like the performances. This film revolves around just how committed Arnold Schwarzenegger was willing to be poking fun at himself, he isn’t afraid making this work with the final acts being the funniest.

StoryThe story follows a group of assassins that go on the hunt for the most legendary assassin in the business, things don’t go well for the team as the learn the hard way just how dangerous Gunther is. This story is sent in documentary style which sees the camera crew following the team around with interviews going on between scenes. This does add to the comedy in the story and prepares us not to take anything too seriously. We do get foreshadowing leading up to certain deaths too which works out well.

Action/ComedyThe action comes from the different situations where Gunther is almost caught and the explosions going on through the film. the comedy works because we get to poke fun first at assassins we have seen in films before and then at Schwarzenegger can laugh at his previous roles.

SettingsThe film takes our team to different cities in the search for Gunther, this leads to different moments through the film which again adds to the comedy.


Scene of the Movie –
Meeting Gunther.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly hard to see these assassins being considered the best let alone good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a silly fun comedy that will get the laughs required as long as you don’t go in looking for anything serious.

 

Overall: Simple and silly fun.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Movie Weekend – Jingle All the Way (1996)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Randy Kornfield (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull

 

Plot: A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, however, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Christmas Movie

 

Story: Jingle All the Way starts as we see how businessman Howard (Schwarzenegger) is constantly letting his son Jamie (Lloyd) down because he works late, after missing his latest karate class Howard knows he needs to make up for everything this Christmas by giving Jamie and Turbo Man doll, but they are sold out everywhere.

Christmas Eve comes and Howard joins the race with other parents including mail man Myron (Sinbad) who becomes a rival in the hunt for Turbo Man action figure which takes them across town in a way to hopefully make up for all the promises he has broken.

 

Thoughts on Jingle All the Way

 

Characters – Howard is a hard-working businessman but this has caused problems with his personal life as he is neglecting his time with his son Jamie. He has once again forgotten to buy Jamie Christmas present and must go on a desperate chase to find one before Christmas but learns along the way he needs to just be there for Jamie. Myron is the mail man that is also after a Turbo Man action figure and becomes involved in a battle with Howard to locate one. Ted is the neighbour of Howard’s family that acts like a better father figure to Jamie because he has learned to take time for his family after his divorce. Jamie is the son that is getting let down by his father, we don’t learn much from him over than the disappointment he feels towards his father.

PerformanceSchwarzenegger does seem to enjoy this role, he gets to poke fun at himself even if he does at times look slightly out of place as a suburban businessman father. Sinbad brings all the comedy to this film and echoes the frustration of all mail men in America. Phil Hartman does a good job in the supporting role which does also get a lot of laughs but usually away from Schwarzenegger.

StoryThe story is watered down to being very simple and does have heart that is needed to tell everything. we have the traditional father that has been letting his kid down that needs to step up and that is the story, one event can change how a child will see his father. This has good heart and Christmas feel good idea as it brings the family together.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy is in parts slapstick but does also have adult jokes meaning the whole family could get laughs out of different parts of the movie.

SettingsThe settings are used to show the calm family life he could have and the hustle and bustle he faces while trying to get a present in the big city.

Scene of the Movie – The parade.

That Moment That Annoyed Me At times you would have like a natural looking leading man.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable Christmas film that you can relax, get a laugh and just enjoy at Christmas.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Aftermath (2017)

Director: Elliott Lester

Writer: Javier Gullon (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers, Scoot McNairy, Hannah Ware, Mariana Klaveno, Glenn Morshower

 

Plot: Two strangers’ lives become inextricably bound together after a devastating plane crash.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Gut Punch of a Thriller

 

Story: Aftermath starts as construction worker Roman (Schwarzenegger) is looking forward to the arrival of his wife and pregnant daughter from Kiev for Christmas. Making himself extra smart with flowers at hand he arrives at the airport to find the flight delayed but there is no good news, the plane was involved in a tragic accident killing both his wife and daughter.

On the other side of the story flight controller Jake Bonaos (McNairy) leaves his wife and son to arrive at work that very same day, on a night shift where he finds the himself distracted trying to fix a phoneline as two planes collided mid-air, the same flights that had Roman’s family on.

Both men’s lives are completely shattered, Roman broken, alone and spending days and nights at the cemetery. While Jake is branded a murderer by the public finding it impossible to function or being the husband and father he needs to be.

With the airline company waving money in Roman’s face to stop them being sued and Jake on the verge of suicide brings us to one year later where both are still living in the tragedy but both are attempting to move on.

 

Thoughts on Aftermath

 

Characters/PerformanceRoman is a hard-working construction worker, he has work long hours to make sure his family can move to live with him in America, when he loses them his life is shattered but all he wants is an apologise not the airlines money. Jake is a flight controller who makes an honest mistake that cost the lives of everyone on the flights, his life is ruined, he loses his family, his job and must change his name and start again, living the rest of his life with regret.  

Performance wise, Schwarzenegger is brilliant in this role where is he no action hero, he is an everyday man that loses everything, this is by far one of his best acting performances of his career. Scoot McNairy is also fantastic in this role showing just how capable of an actor he is.

StoryThe story is based on a real incident that followed a mid-air collision but turned into an American story for it to unfold in. This story is very powerful because you are now left to wonder just what would happen if you were in either of these men’s shoes. The story also isn’t just a revenge film it follows these two men trying to rebuild their lives after what happened and mostly just wanting a human response from somebody involved.

ThrillerFrom the moment this film starts you are left to wonder from the edge of your seat to where this film will go.

SettingsThe settings used through the film focus on making both our main characters feel like everyday people whose lives have been ruined by the events which is all you need from the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best and most intense slow burning stories you will see this year. The performances are fantastic as well as being one of the most interesting stories out there.

 

Overall: One of the most powerful stories you will see this year.

Rating

 

 

Red Heat (1988)

redDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: Harry Kleiner, Walter Hill, Troy Kennedy-Martin (Screenplay) Walter Hill (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O’Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon

 

Plot: A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Crime Comedy

 

Story: Red Heat starts as we follow Ivan Danko (Schwarzenegger) a Russian police officer trying to crack down on the war of drugs in Russia, but when his partner is killed by Viktor Rostavili (O’Ross), Ivan must travel to America to get his on revenge. Over in America Chicago we meet cocky police officer Art Ridzik (Belushi) who is on his last warning and not helping himself.

The two have to work together to track down Viktor on the streets of Chicago as the two become the unlikely partners with very opposite personalities.

Red Heat is an action crime comedy that follows the traditions of the opposites having to work together to achieve a common goal. It isn’t the most original storyline wise but does the job to the best of its abilities. The settings are all good for Chicago being used with the reputation it has. The comedy misses in places as they don’t let Belushi free to do what he is best at.

As for the acting Schwarzenegger and Belushi do work well with each other even if the accents come of slight strange in places. The villain is pretty much generic performance and the police chief will we all know how they turn up to be the same in these films. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty generic for the genre but again nothing special.

 

Overall: Odd couple action crime comedy that hits in place and misses in others and just doesn’t bring the heat.

Rating

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The Terminator (1984)

terminatorDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller

 

Plot: A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Terminator starts first by the traditional introduction to our three main characters, first we have the cyborg Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who along with Kyle Reese (Biehn) have both been sent back from the future where robots control the Earth. Both are on a mission to find waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton) who is key to the resistance against the robot battle.

When the Terminator starts tracking down all the local Sarah Connors he starts merciless killing them while Kyle is out to protect her from the cyborg. Sarah must work with Reese to survive and defeat this Terminator as she learns the truth about her own importance to the future of mankind.

The Terminator is one of the most iconic films from the 80s that has become one of the most talked about film franchises of all time. This role turned the fresh face powerhouse Arnold Schwarzenegger who has only been the good guy taking a cold-hearted killer role which was a huge risk but works to perfection. We get Linda Hamilton being the reluctant hero that evolves through the film to become the kick ass action lead we all know from the second film. We finally get a great action hero performance from Michael Biehn. We see this early film from James Cameron show all his potential to go on to make bigger projects with this still being one of his greatest achieves because of the budget this one had.

The action through this film is great because of how raw it all looks as it feels like it could easily be happening on the streets at any the present time while the special effects still stand the test of time. The concept behind the story comes off feeling so original for the time even if elements of this have been copied in recent years that this truly is one of the classics of the genre and film history.

 

Overall: Easily one of the most icon and brilliant films ever put to film.

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