ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim (Television Show)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

 

Plot: Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?


Tagline – There will be consequences

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Slow Action Film

 

Story: The Equalizer 2 starts as we see how Robert McCall (Washington) driving around helping people when he learns they have been mistreated, just being a good guy around the neighbourhood. Robert still has his connection with the agency in Susan (Leo) who gives him the information to help with problems she can’t deal with.

After she is killed investigating a case, Robert reveals himself to his former partner Dave York (Pascal) who has believed he has been dead for years, to help get the people that killed their friend, all while trying to be a mentor to young man Miles (Sanders) who is being drawn into the gangster life.

 

Thoughts on The Equalizer 2

 

Characters – Robert McCall no longer works at Home Depot, he is a driver for hire around the town and he listens to the people’s stories and where he sees fit to step in to solve the problems. This time somebody makes it personal and he must come out from the shadows to get revenge. Dave York is the former partner of Robert’s who believed he was dead, he sees his new partner killed and is looking for answers to why his friend stayed away so long. Miles is a streetwise teenager on the brink of making a terrible decision to join a gang, Robert aims to guide him to make the right decision. Sam is an elderly client who Robert wants to help out, he is here to show just how good natured Robert is. Brian and Susan Plummer are the only connections with the agency Robert has, he will do anything to help them, as they help him with little matters he has.

PerformancesDenzel Washington is an actor that will always give us good performances, this is no different because we get to see the calm character and the deadly which he can switch between without blinking an eye. When we look at the rest of the cast, they are good without being anything overly memorable, with the villain being forgettable and the supporting arcs of the story not being given the time to truly focus on.

StoryThe story here continues to show how deadly, but fair Robert McCall can be, he wants to help people out, give them a chance to better their lives or admit to their mistakes. This time the story becomes personal after one of his friends in the agency is killed, sending him on a warpath against anybody involved. This side of the story is easy to watch, the more intense side of the story which is good to watch. The sentimental side of the story is interesting because we see how the problems in the world can be solved with moments of kindness which Robert shows different generations of people in his life, trying to teach people how to treat people, this is nice to watch, only for the two sides of the story struggling to connect to each other.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is good when we get it, the final sequences being the highlight of the action, the crime side shows how one man can use his connections to get a job done to clean up the streets.

SettingsThe film shows Robert operating in a normal big city, this shows us how stories can be found in most corners for most people.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing between the serious side stories and the action heavy main story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that does everything you would imagine, it isn’t going to be one of the greatest just one you can enjoy without worrying too much about what is going on.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable action.

Rating

 

 

Denzel Washington Weekend – Roman J Israel Esq. (2017)

Director: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, Hugo Armstrong, Sam Gilroy

 

Plot: Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defence attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action.


Tagline – All rise.

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Lawyer Heavy Movie

 

Story: Roman J Israel Esq starts as legal defence attorney Roman J Israel Esq (Washington) who doesn’t attend the courtroom and helps his partner win his cases with his legal mind. When his partner falls into a coma, George Pierce (Farrell) takes over the business, looking to close the firm, but he sees something in Roman, believing he could be hired to help with his own case load.

Roman agrees to help with a charity with young lawyers, run by Maya Alston (Ejogo), while needing to learn how to be part of a team, rather than using his knowledge to put people down, being one of the few people that wanted to be a lawyer for the right reasons.

 

Thoughts on Roman J Israel Esq

 

Characters – Roman J Israel Esq is a genius in the law field, he can memorise every case, knows how to solve the case with logic before getting into a courtroom, only he doesn’t go to court, he helps his partner do the lawyer side of the cases. This does make him come of anti-social at times too, he does want to help people when other people don’t listen to their voices. He goes through his own Epiphany which will see him changing, because of one incident, this will see him facing a conflict in his head about his future. George Pierce is the lawyer for the big firm assigned to close the small firm, he sees the skills Roman has, deciding to hiring him to help with his own cases. Maya runs a charity for people who can’t afford lawyers, she is happy to let Roman help out, she sees the good he has to offer people and in him.

PerformancesDenzel Washington was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film, he doesn’t really shine on the levels we know he could, he handles the character well though, considering he is in nearly every scene of the film. Colin Farrell as the lawyer for the rich firm is strong as always in the supporting role, while Carmen Ejogo completes the main cast well.

StoryThe story follows Roman J Israel an attorney that works for a small firm only to see that one close down and him getting a chance in a big law firm, where his own good natured mindset can be left behind when temptation comes his way. The problems with the story are clear, because we don’t get to see Roman doing any real courtroom lawyer work which seems like why he is hired, the mindset he has isn’t bought forward soon enough to see his change for enough of an impact either. We are meant to be dealing with one man going to far which just doesn’t end up being as interesting as it should be.

CrimeThe crime side of this film comes from what Roman does, leading up to his crime before showing us the consequences.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would expect to see a lawyer operate, we see the small firm, the big firm and the charity firm he could work for, where he is driven to make his own choices.


Scene of the Movie –
The homeless man.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We didn’t believe how good-natured Roman was meant to be.

Final ThoughtsThis an interesting if not slow moving lawyer based movie, it tries to do something different which should be praised, but it never reaches the potential it had.

 

Overall: Doesn’t hit the required marks.

Rating

 

 

Denzel Washington Weekend – Antwone Fisher (2002)

Director: Denzel Washington

Writer: Antwone Fisher (Screenplay)

Starring: Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Leonard Earl Howze, Kente Scott

 

Plot: Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.


Tagline – Inspired by a true story. 

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Moving Biopic

 

Story: Antwone Fisher starts as we pick up with the incident which caused navy officer Antwon Fisher (Luke) which saw him on the last chance situation, this brings him to psychiatrist Dr Jerome Davernport (Washington) that wants to help Antwone get to the root of this anger problems.

As Antwone starts to get his feet back on track he meets the beautiful Cheryl (Bryant) just before his latest leave where the anger erupts again, until Davenport gets to the bottom of al the problems that Antwone has been dealing with.

 

Thoughts on Antwone Fisher

 

Characters – Antwone Fisher is a real man, this is his story about his connection with a psychiatrist that helped put his life back on the right track after a troubled and abusive childhood. There was always a good man inside him, but the anger of abandonment haunts him. Dr Davenport is assigned to Antwone to see if he is going to be fit to return to duty in the navy. He struggles to get through to him at first, but pushes him to tackle his past to help him move on, unlike anyone before. Cheryl is the fellow navy officers that Antwone falls in love with, the one person that he opens up to and supports him.

PerformancesDerek Luke was an unknown actor at this point of his career, he took this role and made himself a star with his performance. Denzel took directing duties on this film too, where he is the supporting role and shows the level of performance that knows how to let the lead take control. Joy Bryant is good even if she is only given the role of supportive love interest.

StoryThe story here is one man’s life, Antwone Fisher, the abuse he dealt with in a foster home which has caused him to hold in plenty of anger. We follow the one doctor who helped Antwone get through these troubles to confront his past to make him the man he is today, a good man. This story is hard to believe, but is hauntingly as real as they come when telling the true story of one man, this could easily explain a lot of problems in the world, where are people do need to accept each other more, not use or abuse them.

Biopic The story of Antwone Fisher is one that ends up feeling incredible, the suffering he faced as a child to the levels he gets in the navy.

SettingsWe are shown where Antwone is now living, where he is from and how this moment has guided him from location to make him stronger.


Scene of the Movie –
Reunion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could learn more about where Antwone goes next.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good biopic that shows one man’s troubles in life that needed to open up about them to move on.

 

Overall: Good biopic throughout.

Rating

 

 

The Pelican Brief (1993)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) John Grisham (Book)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, John Lithgow

 

Plot: A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.


Tagline – Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Political Thriller

 

Story: The Pelican Brief starts when two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated, bring the country to a stand still in shock. Law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) puts together a theory of who was behind the assassinations, which she presents to her boyfriend and professor Thomas (Shepard), one theory that has turned his head.

After the theory is presented to the people investigating, Darby and Tom start getting targeted, when journalist friend of one of the victims Gray Grantham (Washington) start investigating a bigger conspiracy going on within the government, one that will put both their lives in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Pelican Brief

 

Characters – Darby is a law student having an affair with her professor, after the assassinations, she comes up with a theory about who was behind them, which sees her become a target for the people behind it, she doesn’t know who to trust seeing anybody she does get killed, her last resort is Gray. Gray is a journalist that has worked with the victims in the past, he is willing to dig for the truth, he does become Darby’s last resort and works with her to expose the truth which will become the biggest story of his career. Thomas Callahan is the connection between Darby and the people involved, he is a professor, with her theory interesting him at his own risk. We do go through many different political figures in search for the truth here, each one has their own agenda and could be involved.

PerformancesJulia Roberts in the leading role is strong as she gives us a strong independent figure that has been running for her life trying to expose the truth. Denzel Washington was a growing star at the time of release, here he makes us believe that he is a star in the role which is filled with the determination and skill to start ahead of the game. The rest of the cast are all strong with them each getting the moments to shine with them all having the importance to the story.

StoryThe story follows a law student and journalist that must team up to investigate the assassinations of the two members of the supreme court that puts both their lives in danger as it could bring the political system down. This story does give us plenty of swerves along the way as it does keep us guessing just to where everything will be going, it does show us how a political system will be used to gain an advantage and can be used to cover up anything that will incriminate them. The idea of the cover up shows just how corruption can effect so many lives and is ready to be exposed.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film shows just how the laws can be bent to help the people who want to make the most money, how much they will do to cover up their secrets and how corrupt they will become. The mystery side of the film show just how the corruption needs to be investigated, how far up the chain it could go too.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of major cities in America Washington and New York mostly, which show just how the big companies will use the political power to make the most money.


Scene of the Movie –
The video.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long, with too many characters at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a political thriller that does keep you guessing, it shows how far up the chain corruption can go and how covering it up can be the only option.

 

Overall: Political thriller 101

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – R – Remember the Titans (2000)

Director: Boaz Yakin

Writer: Gregory Allen Howard (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst, Donald Faison, Craig Kirkwood, Ethan Suplee

 

Plot: The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Sports Drama

 

Story: Remember the Titans starts as a typically white American Football team gets assigned a new African American head coach Herman Boone (Washington) even though he is replacing highly successful coach Bill Yoast (Patton). The two have different approaches which involves bringing both the races together for a mixed Football team.

Julius Campbell (Harris) represents the black captain, while Gerry Bertier (Hurst) represents the white captain, the two must learn to put their racial differences behind them and accept themselves as equal and take the league by storm.

 

Thoughts on Remember the Titans

 

Characters – Coach Herman Boone has been breaking boundaries in the racial divided in American Football high school coaching career, not he comes to a white school to continue to break his boundaries bringing the two different races together to try to become champions. Coach Bill Yoast was the coach that ran the team who has championships behind him, but gets drop to assistant coach under Boone, he continues to show his skills running the defence side of the team and learns along with Boone to improve their coaching. Julius Campbell is the black captain that works with the white captain to get rid of the divide between the races to win his own championship. We have plenty of different characters in the team that have their own opinions on the racial divide between the players.

PerformanceDenzel Washington in the leading role is fantastic as the coach that inspires a team to put their differences aside to try and win a championship. Will Patton is great too standing toe to toe with Washington on the side lines with the powerful scenes when needed. The rest of the young cast are great too because we have a lot of stars who went onto have huge career too.

StoryThe story is based on the true story of the African American coach that overcame a racial divide in a sport to turn a team that clashed over their skin colour to become a unit and a force in the league. This story shows how the younger generation who were raised to believe one thing can be taught the right thing when it comes to treating other people, by using sports to put those differences behind them.

Biopic/SportsThe biopic shows the strength this team and coaches had to become fighters when everyone else wanted them to fail. The sports side gives us good moments of American Football, but nothing we haven’t seen before.

SettingsThe settings show us how America was still riddled with racial difficulties during the 70s and different states act differently towards everyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The night they played the titans.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The whole girlfriend of Gerry seems tacked on.

Final ThoughtsThis is another one of the brilliant inspirational story that shows sports can bring people together through the hard times.

 

Overall: Wonderful inspiring sports drama.

Rating