Franchise Weekend – Ripley’s Game (2002)

ripleyDirector: Liliana Cavani

Writer: Charles McKeown, Liliana Cavani (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Chiara Caselli

 

Plot: Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Sequel

 

Story: Ripley’s Game starts as we see an older Tom Ripley (Malkovich) trying to make a deal that his partner on this case Reeves (Winstone) has ruined the full amount on. 3 years later Tom is back in Italy in his mansion.

Trying to live a quiet life Ripley’s old partner is back Reeves wants Ripley to help him with a problem back in Germany with Ripley looks at his neighbour Jonathan Trevanny (Scott) to do the dirty deed as a final attempt to help Jonathan financial future with his sickness.

When Jonathan does the job, he has to deal with the consequences that has Reeves continue to contact him to do other jobs for him but has he found himself in the middle of a deadly game that only Tom can save him from.

 

Thoughts on Ripley’s Game

 

StoryThis is a follow up to the 1999 film taking place years after the events in that film. Ripley is in full control of his abilities now and his ability to complete any job required. The problem I have with the story this time is that it feels like a heist film gone wrong rather than a smart slick con-artist film. I just don’t think this film clicked on the levels of the first film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of the story does in fact feel bigger throughout this film it just doesn’t balance with the thrilling side of the story leaving the crime elements feeling average because Ripley is designed to be slick with his actions.

Characters/PerformanceMalkovich is always an interesting performer and his grabs this role and makes it his own but when it comes to both the performance of Scott and Winstone they feel out of place to the world created making it hard to be pulled into the world we are watching this time around.

SettingsThe first film captured the background if Italy perfectly this time around everything just feels slightly messy with not a single scene being iconic when it comes to seeing what we do with the character’s decisions.

Final ThoughtsThis is really a sub-par sequel that never reaches the heights of the Talented Mr Ripley.

 

Overall: Heads in the wrong direction for what the film had created.

Ratingcard

 

 

Advertisements

The ReZort (2015)

rezort

Director: Steve Barker

Writer: Paul Gerstenberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann, Claire Goose, Elen Rhys, Jassa Ahluwalia

 

Plot: The ReZort, a safari park, offers paying guests the opportunity to kill as many zombies as they please following an outbreak.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Fun Zombie Action Horror

 

Story: The ReZort starts in a world that overcame a zombie outbreak with the world rebuilt apart from one small island known as the ReZort where you can pay to shot the undead, but something has gone wrong that has the world on the edge of their seats.

Rewind 10 days and we meet Melanie (De Gouw) who has struggled with survivor’s guilt following the outbreak as she turns to her boyfriend Lewis (McCann) to head to the ReZort as a form of therapy. Joining them on the trip we have mysterious Archer (Scott), left at the alter Sadie (Rhys) as well as two thriller seekers and a business group looking to make their own ReZort.

When one of the guests hacks into the system the heavily controlled zombies get released leading to Project Brimstone being ordered which is a countdown before the island gets levelled, the remaining survivors must find a way to get off the island before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on The ReZort

 

StoryHow has the idea of having a zombie Jurassic Park hybrid not been done before? Well this finally give us that film and sure the film is easy enough to read but it is so much fun to watch in the zombie genre that is always looking to go for super serious we get something that is easy to follow and plays into the conspiracy idea too. I do have my own personal complaint and that is make up your mind which type of zombie you want because one minute we have the slow-moving ones the next they are the sprinters and it doesn’t add up for a zombie fan. If you want an easy to watch fun zombie film look no further.

HorrorWe have all the basic zombie scares going on through this film as the film balance between action horror going on.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all what you would come to expect from a zombie film, we have the wildly happy to kill character, the people over their head, the hero that hiding a secret with the only fresh feeling character being Melanie who doesn’t want to kill but wants to use it to help her overcome her personal problems. They are all good and play out their part perfectly.

The performances are all good without anyone stealing the show, Dougray Scott does feel like the biggest star in the film with how he plays out his character with Jassa Ahluwalia and Lawrence Walker boarding on either great or annoying.

SettingsHaving a whole island for a zombie killing holiday is all good for the setting, it is strikingly familiar to the Jurassic Park concept as well as Westworld but it does offer yet another fresh approach to the zombie genre of horror.

Special EffectsWe all know the zombie special effects by now and this doesn’t give us anything new on that side of everything but does live up to the standards you need from the genre.

Final ThoughtsI feel this film has some beautiful shots of the zombie attack, we have one that follows over a zombie’s shoulder which I haven’t seen in film and the final shot I think is one of my new favourites in zombie film.

 

Overall: This is a really fun film, just imagine Jurassic Park with Zombies while also mixing the games of Dead Rising and Dead Island you get this wonderful mix of action horror fun.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Last Passengers (2013)

lastDirector: Omid Nooshin

Writer: Omid Nooshin, Andy Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, Iddo Goldberg, David Schofield, Lindsay Duncan, Joshua Kaynama

 

Plot: A small group of everyday passengers on a speeding London commuter train battle their warped driver who has a dark plan for everyone on-board.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tidy Thrill Ride

 

Story: The Last Passenger starts as we see single dad and doctor Lewis (Scott) taking his son Max (Kaynama) home on a train journey where he meets recently single lady Sarah (Tointon) as they find themselves being the last passengers on the train to Tonbridge.

When the train fails to stop at the train stops Lewis has to work with Jan (Goldberg), Peter (Schofield) and Elaine (Duncan) to get the train to stop when it appears the drive has gone rogue and the 6 people face a race against time to save themselves.

The Last Passenger gives us everything we need for a thriller because we have our heroes stuck in a position where there is no easy escape a speeding train. We do get the typical characters involved with a heroic leading character with a tortured soul, a potential new love interest, the selfish one and the cocky one with the innocents of a child. I feel like this film has a twist waiting to happen from early on but it doesn’t come. I will say the kid is very annoying from start to finish but the film does keep you on edge till the final act.

 

Overall: A Thriller that keeps you on edge till the final scene.

Rating60

 

 

The Vatican Tapes (2015)

vaticanDirector: Mark Neveldine

Writer: Christopher Borrelli, Michael C Martin (Screenplay) Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli (Story)

Starring: Michael Pena, Olivia Dudley, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, Alison Lohman, Kathleen Robertson, John Patrick Amedori, Michael Pare

 

Plot: A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Different Twist to the Possession Film

 

Story: The Vatican Tapes starts as we learn Vicar Imani (Hounsou) is being assigned the latest case of a potential anti-Christ coming through Angela (Dudley), and we have to rewind 2 months to meet Angela a happy young lady from America. While celebrating her 25th birthday Angela suffers a cut to her hand and over the next few days he starts to act very different to how her boyfriend Pete (Amedori) and father Roger (Scott) are used to.

When Angela is involved in an accident she ends up in a coma and Father Lozano (Pena) is bought in to look for answers that could explain the non-medical problems she is suffering from. Angela finds herself in a mental home where the demon inside of her starts to take over bringing in the Vatican to solve the situation.

The Vatican Tapes comes off like a standard exorcism possession case as we follow from early stages to medical investigation, mental home before entering into the exorcism side which I will say is good. The final twist is excellent but for the negatives I have found this sub-genre something that is difficult to find a fresh approach and this ends up down the same road. Well about my favourite part I do think you get a reward with the final outcome though.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Pena: Father Lozano is the local Priest that is looking over Angela, a former soldier turned Priest start suspecting something unusual but nothing prepared him for his first possession case. Michael is good and well restricted from his normal comic tone we get through his performances.

Olivia Dudley: Angela is the young lady that finds herself being possessed by a demon, it all starts with a small cut before she starts having powers unlike any human acting out of character but can she fight the demon inside her? Olivia is good as the victim in this film.

Djimon Hounsou: Vicar Imani is the man that learns about the Anti-Christ coming to the Earth and must find a way to stop him taking over. Djimon is barely in this film which is a huge disappointment really.

Dougray Scott: Roger Holmes is the father of Angela who has raised her himself and is still very protective of her even after she has started to live her own life. Dougray is very much a supporting character that I don’t understand why we have such a known actor in.

Support Cast: The Vatican Tapes has a supporting cast which are all about wondering what is happening and are trying to solve the problem.

Director Review: Mark NeveldineMark gives us a good couple of twists to the story we are used to seeing.

 

Horror: The Vatican Tapes has all the horror elements need for a possession based movie.

Thriller: The Vatican Tapes does try to keep us guessing throughout which works throughout.

Settings: The Vatican Tapes tries to keep the settings looking like an everyday location to try and show how easily it can happen.
Special Effects
: The Vatican Tapes has good effects to show what is happening with the possession side of the events.

Suggestion: The Vatican Tapes is one for the horror fans to try if you are a possession based fan this is good choice for you. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Final twist.

Worst Part: We have seen most of this before.

 

Believability: It’s you want you want to believe

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8,405,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline:  For 2,000 years the Vatican has recorded evidence of evil. May God have mercy on their souls.

Trivia: The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

 

Overall: One of the stronger possession based films.

Ratingcard

 

 

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

logoDirector: John Woo

Writer: Robert Towne (Screenplay) Ronald D Moore, Brannon Braga (Story) Bruce Geller (TV Creator)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Serbedzija, William Mapother, Dominic Purcell

 

Plot: A secret agent is sent to Sydney, to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called “Chimera”

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not As Slick As It Should Be

 

Story: Mission Impossible II starts yet another iconic city this time Sydney. Here we watch as Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is running a mission to capture biological weapon transfer in mid-flight but it turns out that Sean Ambrose (Scott) and his men have been undercover to take the weapon for themselves. IMF track down the real Ethan Hunt to give his latest mission which means he will have to assemble a new team which has to include Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Newton) a master thief.

When Hunt has finished recruiting Nyah he gets the details for his latest mission with an old friend. Ethan’s mission is to retrieve the stolen information from Ambrose and use Nyah to get close to him. The story follows as Hunt tries to cover the transportation of the virus while Ambrose tries to keep one step ahead of him.

Mission Impossible II really tries to add a spark to the solid and enjoyable first chapter in the Mission Impossible saga, the problem is that everything goes way too overboard making nearly every scene feel very much unbelievable and losing what looked like it would be a previously believable storyline. The idea behind the story is very simple and easy to follow but the unmasking and disguises get boring quickly now, yes it is a surprise when they do it but come on how many times can you really do it in one film? Out of the four Mission Impossible films I find this one has the weakest storyline that never manages to pull you in like the rest do. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt who gets his holiday interrupted to go on his latest mission impossible, where he has to talk mastermind thief into going undercover with former IMF agent trying to sell a virus on the black market. Tom continues to show his slick style in the film but he gets too many mad jumping shooting scenes that make very little sense. (7/10)

 hunt

Dougray Scott: Sean Ambrose is the former agent who turns on the agency to get rich selling a virus on the black market, he keeps one step ahead of Hunt as he knows how an agent would think. Dougray makes for a good villain and to say he plays the character in a way we wouldn’t usually see a villain where he will kill the hero given half a chance. (7/10)

ambrose

Thandie Newton: Nyah Nordoff-Hall is the mastermind thief who agrees to go undercover with her ex-boyfriend Ambrose but ends up getting caught up in the middle of the battle between Hunt and Ambrose. Thandie plays the beautiful almost Bond girl figure in this film very well and convinces along the way. (7/10)

 nyon

Support Cast: Mission Impossible II has a supporting cast that includes Hunt’s team, Ambrose’s team and the mystery buyer, all of which help the story get to the next chapter by giving us characters to be killed off.

 

Director Review: John Woo – John puts his trademark staples on this film with flying shooting scenes and plenty of doves but doesn’t reach the levels we would expect form him. (6/10)

 

Action: Mission Impossible II has plenty of over the top action sequences with bullets flying everywhere. (7/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible II doesn’t manager to pull you in as much as the previous instalment of the franchise. (5/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible II has the most part of the film set in Sydney which works for the threat being used by Ambrose. (8/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible II is still going to be one for the action fans to watch even if it isn’t as good as the rest of the franchise. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Motorbike chase.

Worst Part: Too far over the top.

Action Scene Of The Film: Motorbike chase.

Favourite Quote: Mission Commander Swanbeck ‘Mr. Hunt, this isn’t mission difficult, it’s mission impossible. “Difficult” should be a walk in the park for you.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 3 more sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $546 Million

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Expect the impossible again

 

Overall: This lacks the edge the first one had and ends up feeling very much over the top and out of place next to the rest.

Rating 60