Bright (2017)

Director: David Ayer

Writer: Max Landis (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Jay Hernandez, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz

 

Plot: Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. A human cop is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Action Blast

 

Story: Bright starts as we enter a universe where humans live side by side with orcs, fairies and other fantasy creatures. Human cop Daryl Ward (Smith) is near his retirement after a new death moment recently, his partner is the only Orc on the force Nick Jakoby (Edgerton) in a world where people treat other species like different citizens.

With the tensions rising within the force to get rid of Jakoby, even Ward doesn’t want to work with him, but he doesn’t want to treat him as an equal unlike the rest of the force. When the Dark Lord is set to return with the help of Elf Liela (Rapace) a Bright and her dark magic, that is forbidden, Ward and Jakoby are going to need to put the tension and differences between them behind them and stop the end of the world.

 

Thoughts on Bright

 

Characters – Daryl Ward is a human cop, married with a daughter, he is returning to duty after being shot by an Orc, that his partner an Orc lost in pursuit. Ward is put to the test on this night, as the force turns against him after they get in possession of a wand that the police and criminals want. Nick Jakoby is an Orc cop, the first of his type to get the role, hated by both humans and orcs alike. He is an honest character and tonight we see how he will fight for any species of innocence. Liela is the Elf that wants her wand back, so she can bring the Dark Lord back to take over the world, she kills anyone who gets in her way with her two assassins by her side, she is the deadliest enemy that the cops will face, though she is a safe villain for this film.

PerformancesWill Smith is the best he has been for years now, he has part wise cracking, part all or nothing which he was always the best at in the late 90s. Joel Edgerton gives us a great performance too, he is the deadpan humour which connects for the film and his character. Noomi Rapace is good even if her villainous character is by the book, she does well with what she needs to do in her role. Lucy Fry does a great job and deserves praise because her role gets us a laugh with her reactions to what happens on the life or death battle.

StoryThe story does follow two cops battling for their lives to stop a wand getting into the wrong hands, the pair must do the right thing to save the world. This happens all over one night which keeps the story flowing smoothly, it does turn into a buddy cop feel to it without being a comedy, where two people from different backgrounds must put aside their difference to do the right thing.

Action/Crime/Fantasy There is plenty of action in this film, we have hand to hand combat, weapons, gun battles and even car chases, this is an action film you can enjoy. The crime world we take throws the fantasy characters into the generic gangs we would see the cops needing to face, this includes moments of talking about the histories of the species and the envy between the species.

SettingsThe film takes place in LA which shows the different environments that our characters have come from and dislike.

Special EffectsThe effects used to create the different species come off great as we see how each species fits into the world seamlessly through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Pop-culture references don’t work and turning to a Mexicans being treated differently doesn’t seem to make sense in a world where it is species that discriminate over the human races.

Final Thoughts: This is a film that I had only heard bad things about, but I did find myself enjoying, the one night gives the film the edge of your seat feeling needed and this is easily the best I have seen Will Smith in years.

 

Overall: Great enjoyable ORIGINAL fantasy action movie.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Fast of the Furious (2001)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, David Ayer (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Story)

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Begins

 

Story: The Fast and the Furious starts as we meet Brian (Walker) a want to be street racer trying to find his way into the good books of street racing icon Dominic Toretto (Diesel). Earning the respect of Dom after saving him from the police, Brian finds himself welcomed into the world.

This opens the door for us to meet Dom’s enemy on the street, Johnny Tran (Yune) before we learn the truth about Brian’s involvement as an undercover police officer trying to uncover who is behind the crime spree behind the street racing thieves.

The deeper Brian gets into the family the greater the respect both sides have towards each but with his superiors running out of patience Brian must learn what is really going on before Dom’s crew get hurt.

 

Thoughts on The Fast and the Furious

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters we have all come to love start here with Brian the undercover police officers trying to up his ranking in the police force while growing the respect of the underground street racers. Brian fits this world as the outsider as the way in for us the audience too. Dom is the alpha male of the group that everyone respects and once you earn his you become untouchable. He is the best racer, the loyalist friend and brother. Johnny Tran makes for a good starter villain who is just a racing rival to Dom. Letty is the girlfriend of Dom that does have control over him but we don’t see too much from, Mia is Dom’s brother that becomes a love interest for Brian. The rest of the characters are all small parts to the big world Dom controls.

Performance wise, you can see the draw of Paul Walker to this role where you can argue his is the bigger name for the time and he is great, in this film you can see how early into his career Vin Diesel was and he just doesn’t have the screen presence we know from him now. The rest of the cast all do well playing the parts how you would expect them to be.

StoryThe story side of this movie is easy to follow, uncover cop gets drawn to the world he is investigating because of the excitement it gives him. We have the checklist for story here offer us just flashy races to make this different than for example Point Break.

Action/Crime/ThrillerThe races are all good to watch, as well are the heists being pulled off which show us both the crime sides of the story because of the illegal racing and they keeps us all on edge for the thrilling side of the story.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in LA which makes for the style the film has because it is away from the glitz and glamor of the world we know.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all here for the races and showing how certain elements of the engine work to increase speed.

Final ThoughtsThis franchise is the go to for nonsense action, but it didn’t start that way and this film shows us the street racing, beginning of a friendship and just how far these guys would go.

 

Overall: The true fans will always love this one over any sequel because of the importance this film gives us to the future franchise.

Rating

 

 

Suicide Squad (2016)

squadDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Common, Ezra Miller, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Scott Eastwood

 

Plot: A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Complicated

 

Story: Suicide Squad starts as we see Amanda Waller (Davis) putting together her elite squad of criminals with Deadshot (Smith) The Joker (Leto)’ girlfriend Harley Quinn (Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Courtney), Diablo (Hernandez), Killer Croc (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Enchantress (Delevingne). After being green lighted the squad is ready to get to work.

With this team put together it is the Joker himself that starts to search down his love while the team sets out to try and clean the streets for Amanda Waller and stop a brand new evil from taking over the world.

Suicide Squad ends up being a film which just adds the comic book characters to the world of dysfunctional bad guys needing to do the good job. This adds comic book characters that only the diehard fans would know because even after playing the first Arkham game we only meet Killer Croc that is involved in this film. The evil is basic and levels with RIPD and the almost non-existence of the Joker sucks most of the excitement out of this film because Deadshot is such a generic anti-hero character. Harley Quinn is quirky but not as bonkers as we need her to be and most of all this just ends ups feeling like a piss poor attempt at The Raid with comic book names.

 

Overall: This film lacks the violence required it lacks the humour required and now I find myself wondering what is next for the DC Universe because this is yet another bland addition to the universe.

Rating45

 

 

End of Watch (2012)

endDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera, Cody Horn

 

Plot: Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raw Intense Crime Story

 

Story: End of Watch starts as we follow film studying Brian (Gyllenhaal) a police officers that works with Mike (Pena) on the streets of LA. Brian sets up cameras to follow the two on duty as they get stuck in the middle of drug battle as the two races clash for dominance on the streets.

We see the officers getting themselves into the middle of a string of events as we also watch both sides of the war play their cards as they become more deadly each time.

End of Watch is a crime thriller that does everything it can to show just how intense the battles on the streets of LA can be. We get to see just how divided both sides are and how the cops do their best to deal with the situations. On the negative side of this we have the film shot like a documentary which means we get a lot of shaky cam which takes us out of the story too much to enjoy this one. I can see how people will enjoy this as it does come off different to the normal but setting most of the film from within the cameras of the cop we randomly end up with the criminals too which shows we weren’t set for a found footage style either just a random set of handheld shots.

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Brian is studying to be more than just a police officer and one of his fields of studying is film. Brian along with his partner Mike record their time together in the LAPD dealing with different drugs gangs and crimes. We get to see how he sees life as he wants to find the perfect woman but can’t always find her until Janet turns up in his life. Jake is strong in this role working off Pena really well.

Michael Pena: Mike is the partner to Brian who is a family man, he has great chemistry and his heritage helps dealing with Mexican problems they find on the street. Michael is good as he always is with a partnership film.

Natalie Martinez: Gabby is the wife of Mike who stays at home to raise their family, she has been with Mike her whole life after marry young and supports him in each decision he makes. Natalie is only really used as a supporting character never getting enough time to shine.

Anna Kendrick: Janet is the new woman that comes into Brian’s life she helps make him want to settle down being the woman he has always been searching for. Anna also struggles to the same was as Natalie but she does actually look out of place in this role.

Support Cast: End of Watch has a supporting cast which includes all the fellow members of law authority as well as all the different criminals the two officers run into on their duties. Each one offers something new for them to deal with.

Director Review: David AyerDavid does try to give us a raw feeling crime thriller and that all works great its adding the shaky cam which takes away from this film too much.

 

Crime: End of Watch puts us in the middle of a crime war building up between a rising gang and the police.

Thriller: End of Watch does try to drag us into where the men are going with their job but not enough.

Settings: End of Watch keeps nearly the whole film within the rougher neighbourhoods of LA where the two cops stand duty, this does help us understand the situation the men will find themselves in.
Special Effects
: End of Watch has solid effects when it comes to the gun battles going on in the film.

Suggestion: End of Watch is not an easy watch but I do think the crime film fans out there will enjoy this one. (Crime Film Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Jake and Michael.

Worst Part: Shaky cam doesn’t seem necessary.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $41 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Watch Your Six September 28 

Trivia: After Taylor and Zavala pull over the male in the pickup who tries to shoot Zavala, Taylor holds up four fingers to Orozco when she asks, “Are you good?” This is often used by police to signal “Code Four,” meaning “I’m okay; no additional assistance needed at this time.”

 

Overall: Difficult to watch crime thriller that is raw and intense but shaky cam doesn’t work.

Ratingcard

 

 

Fury (2014)

logoDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack, Brad William Henke, Xavier Samuel, Jason Isaacs

 

Plot: April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened Army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the best modern war films

 

Story: Fury starts by informing us that during World War II American tanks were outgunned by the advancing German tanks and that the US tanks suffered staggering losses. April 1945 Hitler has sent every man, woman and child out to battle. We start by meeting Wardaddy (Pitt), Bible (LaBeouf), Gordo (Pena) and Coon-Ass (Bernthal) the unit in the tank known as Fury. Returning from their latest mission one man down they get a fresh young blood Norman Ellison (Lerman) who has only been part of the army for 8 weeks.

New mission orders come down and Wardaddy leads a platoon on the next mission which is to meet up with another platoon and take over the next town. Captain Waggoner (Isaacs) gets the platoon ready for the next mission which is a rescue mission, this goes down well but it is already taking its toll on Norman. Moving onto the town we see just what the Germans will do to the people who wouldn’t fight, while our unit slowly takes over the town.

The unit take the town and Wardaddy and Norman get a chance for a quiet moment during the reality of war that shows the true character of the 5 man unit. Receiving orders to intercept a German squad targeting the supply train we get bought back to the true reality of war. The next mission leaves the tank alone to complete and the five men must face impossible odds against nearly a full squadron of German soldiers.

Fury manages to show the true horror of war with this story, it puts the battles scenes together to what we expect but the brilliant peaceful moment in the middle really is the highlight to me. The characters each show the difference in the people who go to war as well as show that a lot of it is how they are dealing with the situation. I do feel we have a slightly weak point in the Norman character as we watch his start not willingly, slowly turn into a fighter only for him to want to surrender at the end, to me this doesn’t make sense to his character evolution. Taking that away we get what you would expect in a war film but this time we are all about the tanks which is slightly different to what we are used too. As I am not the biggest war film fan I was surprised by this one and thought I enjoyed the whole thing. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Brad Pitt: Wardaddy the leader of the platoon who clearly has been affected by his time in the war but can’t let his men see his weakness. He is very reluctant to have the new blood in his tank but knows that he to support and force him to become a soldier. Wardaddy will also stand up for his unit and is even willing to sacrifice himself to save them. Brad gives a great performance but even though the characters are different I think this will still be his second best war film performance. (8/10)

 wardaddy

Shia LaBeouf: Bible the trademark religious member of the unit, who always gives final rights to anyone he kills but is also an effective gun man. Shia is an actor I really don’t like but this is one of the best performance I have seen from him. (8/10)

bible

Logan Lerman: Norman Ellison the fresh recruit sent to Wardaddy’s unit who clearly has no experience fighting in the war and only signed up as a typist. He finds himself horrified by what he sees in the first moments of war and can’t pull the trigger on the Germans. As the story unfolds we watch how he becomes part of the tank team and finds it in himself to fight for his unit and country. Logan gives a good performance stepping away from some of his audience friendly roles. (8/10)

 norman

Michael Pena: Gordo driver of the tank who tries to be the first friend of Norman but also knows that his hesitation could end up getting him killed. Michael gives a good performance as we know he is a great supporting actor. (8/10)

 gordo

Jon Bernthal: Coon-Ass the engineer of the tank who makes sure everything runs smoothly from the inside but doesn’t have the most combat time. Jon manages to return to his Walking Dead days here and you feel like he has taken the Shane character to the next level. (8/10)

shane

Support Cast: Fury has a supporting cast that includes the support tanks and soldiers as well as the enemy trying to hunt them down. They all help but none get a chance to shine as well as the main five.

 

Director Review: David Ayer – David goes a great job directing and making this film make a real impact on the war genre in film history. (9/10)

 

Action: Fury uses great combat scenes and takes risks with them too, relying on the tanks battles to feel intense with plenty of explosions. (8/10)

War: Fury uses the war element very brilliantly and uses the effects of war between the battles and the quiet moments to show how easily things can change. (9/10)

Settings: Fury uses what would look like real locations for the battles making you feel like you are travelling with the unit. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Fury has great effects with how brutal the kills are throughout the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: Fury is one to watch but I do feel that some people might find it too violent so been warned. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The peaceful attempt at dinner.

Worst Part: The forced kill.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Kill Of The Film: Head explosions.

 

Believability: The idea could have happened but how things happened is less likely. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Saving Private Ryan

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $212 Million

Budget: $68 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

Tagline: War never ends quietly.

Trivia: During filming, Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf almost got in a real fight with Scott Eastwoodwhile the cameras were rolling. Eastwood, riding on the back, kept spitting tobacco juice on the tank. Pitt and LaBeouf felt this was disrespectful to their “home”, and exchanged words with Eastwood. Things grew pretty heated until Pitt and LaBeouf found out the script actually called for Eastwood’s character to spit his tobacco juice on the tank.

 

Overall: Fury is easily one of the best war films I have seen, this to me puts it in the same league as Platoon, Saving Private Ryan and Inglorious.

Rating 89