ABC Film Challenge – Action – U – Under Siege (1992)

Director: Andrew Davis

Writer: J.F. Lawton (Screenplay)

Starring: Steven Seagal, Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones, Patrick O’Neal, Glenn Morshower, Erika Eleniak

 

Plot: An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.


Tagline – It’s not a job…It’s an Adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Film

 

Story: Under Siege starts as the USS Missouri is planning a party in honour of the captain Adams (O’Neal) who has had a successful meeting with the President. The cook of the ship is Casey Ryback (Seagal) who hasn’t always seen eye to eye with his superiors including Commander Krill (Busey).

When Krill is joined by the entertainment William Strannix (Jones), their plan is revealed as they take over the battleship leaving the only person that can save the day being Ryback, the loyal soldier.

 

Thoughts on Under Siege

 

Characters – Casey Ryback is the former Navy Seal that has taken the role of chef on the battleship, he is a decoration officers and soon becomes the one leading the fight back against the terrorists who have taken over. Commander Krill is the officers that has snapped, tired of being second in command, he arranges the takeover of the ship with Strannix, he is a loose cannon that should have been taken off duty years before. William Strannix is the mastermind behind taking the ship, he has planned for the moment as an act of revenge against the government who betrayed him in his eyes.

PerformancesSteven Seagal is always going to be known for being a certain type of action star, this plays into his strengths, not needing too many lines, bit of fighting and of course a lot of shooting. Gary Busey as an unstable villain, well this sounds like the perfect choice, while Tommy Lee Jones can always be picked for a villain role to look the part.

StoryThe story is terrorists take over a US battleship and one man must use his skills to get it back before they can do too much damage. It is nice to see it domestic terrorism rather than just slapping any nationality in the role. There isn’t anything overly original in this story, but it is a tried and tested formula that works on every level.

ActionThe action is everything you would have come to expect from the movie, we have fights, gun battles and explosion, what more do we want?

SettingsThe film takes place on the US Battleship, this keeps everything contained and with little or no place to run and with the weapons on board to make them a threat.


Scene of the Movie –
Taking on the Submarine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is easily too much by the book.

Final ThoughtsThis is everything an action fan will enjoy in a movie, it is easily one that can be enjoyable by all the fans of the genre before Seagal became a parody of himself in his later films.

 

Overall: Action fans will be enjoying.

Rating

 

 

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Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

Director: Michael Cimino

Writer: Michael Cinimo (Screenplay)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Catherine Bach, Gary Busey, Jack Dodson

 

Plot: With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.


Tagline – Thunderbolt… the man with the reputation. Lightfoot… the kid who’s about to make one!

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Comedy Heist Film

 

Story: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot starts as we meet car thief Lightfoot (Bridges) as he stumbles into wanted criminal Thunderbolt (Eastwood) who happens to be on the run from Red Leary (Kennedy) and Eddie (Lewis) from a previous job.

When the unlikely pairing decide to work together to collect the money from Thunderbolt’s big heist they become friends and start to plan their latest heist with the original crew getting back together.

 

Thoughts on Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

 

Characters – Thunderbolt is the seasoned criminal, that reluctantly takes Lightfoot on his latest heist, he knows how the plan ahead and get away with hiding in plain sight. Lightfoot is the rookie criminal that falls into the connection with Thunderbolt as he helps him escape trouble, he talks his way into the next heist even if his mouth can get him in trouble. Eddie and Red are former partners in crime of Thunderbolt out to get their share from their last job, they have the history with him and will trust him to help get the next job done.

PerformancesClint Eastwood was one of the biggest stars in the industry when this movie was made, he works in the lead role shining next to the younger talent. Jeff Bridges showed us here that he was going to be a huge star, he has great chemistry with Eastwood too.

StoryThe story follows two new partners working on a heist together, in fairness there isn’t too much more to look at here, it plays out like you would imagine and sends the characters o a road trip adventure at times too. It is easy to follow and doesn’t offer many twists which makes this one that could be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film does work well without being needed too often which shows that the crime is the focal point of the film as most heist films should do.

SettingsThe film takes our characters on a road trip adventure as they look to escape the bad heist and head towards the next heist.


Scene of the Movie –
The first meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too by the book.

Final ThoughtsEasy to watch and enjoyable heist movie with a great cast that gives us a road trip adventure.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – U – Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms (1998)

Director: Jeff Woolnough

Writer: Peter M Lenkov (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Battaglia, Andrew Jackson, Eric Bryson, Kevin Rushton, Desmond Campbell, Michael Copeman, Gary Busey, Burt Reynolds

 

Plot: The Universal Soldiers are used to smuggle diamonds for a CIA Director, but Luc Deveroux continues to cause him problems.


Tagline – No memory. No emotion. No mercy… Until one of them decides to become human again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ouch!

 

Story: Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms starts as Luc Devreaux (Battaglia) has escaped with reporter Veronica (West) the only known living members of the universal Soldier project run by Otto Mazur (Busey). Wanting Luc back they set out his programming to return to base where Veronica must track him down while avoiding the law.

When Veronica reaches the base, she must sneak in (as you do) and work with Luc’s long lost brother Eric (Wincott) another member of the program to rescue him and stop Otto’s plans.

 

Thoughts on Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms

 

Characters – Luc Devreaux is the universal soldier, one of the last ones standing and now he has been reprogramed, but can his memories be stirred to bring back the human side from inside him. Veronica is the reporter that has found out the secret about the program and now she wants to expose it with Luc, she will do what it takes to save Luc from the base. Eric is the elder brother of Luc’s he has been missing for years, but he is one of the original universal soldiers now he works to save his brother. Otto is the recruiter for the program, he finds the dead soldiers, or he makes his own to keep the program filled for his bosses.

PerformancesDo I want to talk about the acting, well no because most of it is almost painful to watch through the film, Matt Battaglia doesn’t come close to Jean-Claude Van Damme and for the rest they are better but nothing overly convincing.

StoryThe story follows the idea of the universal soldiers being developed and how the government want it kept a secret. The story lacks the punch that the first one had, it does feel like the pilot for a television show which was the point. The story doesn’t have the twists but does want to continue to world build.

Action/Sci-Fi The action is also messy, we get too many cuts with not enough pure fighting which you would have had with Van Damme. The idea of enhanced soldiers works for the story, but we don’t get enough time to see everything going on with the project.

SettingsThe settings do feel almost pointless, we don’t get much happening with knowing as the we have plenty of random roads and no iconic buildings.

Special EffectsThe effects continue to show the weak points off the film which doesn’t connect the way they should.


Scene of the Movie –
Karaoke time

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just the acting in general.

Final ThoughtsThis is a pretty poor to terrible action sequel, the film just doesn’t hit the marks the other films in the franchise have and you will be left disappointed by the end.

 

Overall: Universally Bad.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Predator 2 (1990)

predator2Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Glover, Kevin Peter Hall, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin, Kent McCord

 

Plot: Amidst a territorial gang war in 1997, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran L.A.P.D. officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Predator 2 starts by taking us to LA in the middle of a drug war with Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Glover) leading his team Danny Archuleta (Blades), Leona Cantrell (Alonso) and new member Jerry Lambert (Paxton) who has to start taking answers from FBI agent Peter Keyes (Busey).

When the crime bosses start getting killed as well as one of the men in Harrigan’s team it appears that the Predator (Hall) is cleaning up the streets using the same style of selecting its victims as we see how the Predator continues to collect trophies.

Predator 2 continues the idea from the original with an alien killing for trophies. The predator is only killing people he sees as a threats which we do learn from the original and this story continues to build on it. I will say having the Predator almost be the good guy does work because it does open the Predator universe to new possibilities in the future.

 

Actor Review

 

Danny Glover: Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is the hard working determined and rule breaking cop that gets the bad guy every single time but always finds himself in trouble from the higher ups. When his team start getting picked off he has to go against orders to find the killer who is also cleaning up the streets leading to a final showdown. Danny does a good job in this role showing how you didn’t need all muscles to take on the Predator.

Gary Busey: Peter Keyes is the FBI that comes into take over the investigation only to find himself having Harrigan following him around getting involved with the truth about why he is there. Gary does a good job but never truly make the character his own.

Kevin Peter Hall: The Predator is different one from the first film and this time he is stalking the streets of LA. It seems to be studying its victims making sure only to target the armed ones but when it kills one of Harrigan’s men it becomes the main target off his rage. I like how this film opens up the universe of the Predator character giving us a different direction in which it could go in the future. Kevin fits the bills for this character perfect with his imposing screen presence.

Ruben Blades: Danny Archuleta is Harrigan’s closest friend and partner on the force the two have been loyal to each other for their whole careers. Danny finds himself having to keep Harrigan calm whenever he would start to lose the plot. Ruben does well with the character that is not developed as well as it should.

Support Cast: Predator 2 has a bigger supporting cast than the original with Bill Paxton as fast talking charming detective being the star attraction on them.

Director Review: Stephen HopkinsStephen does a good job expanding the Predator universe.

 

Action: Predator 2 has plenty of action with a larger body count helping have wilder action scenes that original.

Horror: Predator 2 does use the horror element by showing all the different kills the Predator does.

Sci-Fi: Predator 2 throws the alien into LA as we see man versus alien coming through again.

Settings: Predator 2 is set in LA which works for the motives of the Predator wanting to only kill the threats with weapons.
Special Effects
: Predator 2 uses the special effects really well throughout.

Suggestion: Predator 2 is one for the action horror fans to enjoy as this is a good sequel. (Action Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: LA is a busy setting.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Pull over, park, and pray.

 

Overall: Good sequel to quality original.

Ratingcsrd

 

 

Point Break (1991)

pointDirector: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: W Peter Iliff (Screenplay) Rick King, W Peter Iliff (Story)

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C McGinley, James Le Gross, John Philbin

 

Plot: An FBI agent goes undercover to catch a gang of bank robbers who may be surfers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Film

 

Story: Point Break starts when fresh out of Quantico FBI agent Johnny Utah (Reeves) gets bought into the bank robbery department where he works with harden detective Pappas (Busey). The group of thieves known as the ‘E-Presidents’ have been robbing banks and Pappas is laughed at about his theory that the thieves are surfers, Johnny works with the idea and goes undercover as a surfer.

Undercover Johnny uses Tyler (Petty) to get in with the most respected surfers lead by Bodhi (Swayze). The deeper he gets in with these surfers the more it enrages his superior Ben Harp (McGinley) who wants to pull the plug. When Johnny learns who is involved and his new personal friendship gets put in jeopardy.presidents

Point Break must go down as a perfect fun action film, it isn’t too serious, it isn’t too action packed, it isn’t too comical, it just works as a fun film. Entering into the surfing world works for the film as it is something different for the crime world. The negatives would be obvious and that would be lack of professional behaviour from Johnny during the film, we never really learn the true motives of the Presidents unless it is as simple as just wanting to part all the time. This really is a guilty pleasure movie for the fans of action.

 

Actor Review

 

Patrick Swayze: Bodhi is the respected surfer who takes Johnny under his wing as he learns how to surf, but he is really the one leading the robberies. He is at one with the waves and his carefree life style is what draws respect from others. Patrick gives us a good performance and something different to what we would be used to seeing.

 brobhi

Keanu Reeves: Johnny Utah is the fresh FBI agent who goes undercover as a surfer to figure out if they are the Ex- Presidents. He is willing to take a chance to impress his experienced partner and make his boss pissed but can he figure out who the criminals are. Keanu showed here he was ready to step into the action genre giving us a good performance.

 johnny

Gary Busey: Pappas is the experienced partner who gives Johnny the idea about the thieves being surfers, he plays the comic relief really because he is wildly over the top with his reaction and ideas. Gary gives us a good performance in this supporting role playing the opposite to the role we all know him for in Lethal Weapon.

 pappius

Lori Petty: Tyler is the lady who helps Johnny get close to the rest of the surfers but while doing that he ends up becoming closer to her. Lori gives us a good performance even if she ends up falling to the back ground as the film unfolds.

 

Support Cast: Point Break has a supporting cast that includes the generic hot headed head of the authority, and the typical members of the crime ring, they all work for what the film is doing.

 

Director Review: Kathryn BigelowKathryn gives us a fun action film that still has it nearly 25 years on.

 

Action: Point Break has basic action with the chase after the robbery being the highlight.

Crime: Point Break brings us into a crime world without having it be all mob boss just a clever group of robbers.

Thriller: Point Break does keep you wondering how things will end up and the parachuting scenes bring you right to the edge of your seat.

Settings: Point Break creates basic settings where you would find the type of characters required in the film.

Suggestion: Point Break is one I think everyone should watch just for the fun factor involved in the film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Robbery chase.

Worst Part: Everything wouldn’t happen with the technology we have now.

Action Scene Of The Film: Robbery chase both car and foot.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $43 Million

Budget: $24 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 2 Minutes

Tagline: 100% Pure Adrenaline.

 

Overall: Adrenaline ride that never stop

Ratingcard