The Bank Job (2008)

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays, James Faulkner, Alki David, Michael Jibosn

 

Plot: Martine offers Terry a lead on a foolproof bank hit on London’s Baker Street. She targets a roomful of safe deposit boxes worth millions in cash and jewelry. But Terry and his crew don’t realize the boxes also contain a treasure trove of dirty secrets – secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and illicit scandal.


Tagline – Based on a true story

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Busy Heist Film

 

Story: The Bank Job starts when former lover Martine Love (Burrows) turns to Terry Leather (Statham) to do a bank job which can get him out of his debts and start a fresh life, Terry puts together a team including Kevin (Moore), Dave (Mays), Guy (Faulkner), Bambas (David) and Eddie (Jibson) for a Foolproof plan.

The job does seem easy, but Terry doesn’t know that Martine is working for the government who are trying to get condemning evidence back and that Terry is just a pawn in this game, can they get the job done without being caught?

 

Thoughts on The Bank Job

 

Characters – Terry Leather is a car salesman in London, he has amounted debts which will see his business go under if the loan sharks don’t get to him first. He has worked on small crimes before, but a former lover offers him a job he can’t turn down, one that can get him out of his problems once and for all. Martine is the former lover and model who has been assigned to steal the photos from the safety deposit box in exchange for charges being dropped, she picks Terry and his team to get the job done, not giving away her own side of the deal.  Kevin and Dave are two members of the team doing the robbery, the two closest to Terry which gives us the friendship being put on the line between the men.

PerformancesJason Statham as a wise talking Londoner this sounds like something he can do well, he looks the part, you could see him in the underworld without needing to use his muscles either. Saffron Burrows can make herself the model figure that uses her looks to get a job done. When we look at the supporting cast, they all handle their roles well through the film.

StoryThe story follows a group of Londoners that get offered a chance to commit a bank robbery to get out of the area only to find themselves in the middle of a much bigger operation to retrieve photos which can be used to bring down important political figures. This is a heist story which does have an extra edge because it isn’t just about the job, it is about the bigger picture which puts the rich and famous live into chaos. While we do have a lot going on, which is part of the idea because the chaos is meant to be getting out of control once the robbery is complete, though it does feel like we see too much to keep up on at times.

Crime/RomanceThe crime is set-up to work perfectly well and goes well, it is the aftermath which shows us just how chaotic the crime world can become for the people who commit the robbery or have been robbed.

SettingsThe film is set in London which shows us just how corrupt certain parts of the city can be at times and if you are the right person, you can get around like nothing is happening.


Scene of the Movie –
The robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much going on post-robbery.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very busy heist movie, it does work with just how much is going on which is good, though it isn’t as relaxing as a lot of heist film can be.

 

Overall: Heist film that keeps everything going on.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – W – War (2007)

Director: Philip G Atwell

Writer: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J Bradley (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki, Luis Guzman, Saul Rubinek, Ryo Ishibashi

 

Plot: An FBI Agent seeks vengeance on a mysterious assassin known as “Rogue” who murdered his partner.


Tagline – One wants justice, the other wants revenge.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Twist Filled Film

 

Story: War starts when Crawford (Statham) and his partner Tom (Chen) are trying to locate the known assassin for hire Rogue (Li) the investigation takes a turn, when Tom and his family are murdered by Rogue. Joining a task force in hunt for Rogue, while watching over the two rival gangs the Triads and Yakuza, with Chang (Lone) and Shiro (Ishibashi) leading each side.

When Rogue starts playing both sides, Crawford sees the war coming, can Crawford finally get his hands on the man that killed his partner or will he become the latest victim of the mysterious assassin.

 

Thoughts on War

 

Characters – Rogue is the mysterious assassin that killed Tom’s whole family, he has been working for the Yakuza for years, but now he has switched sides to the Triads, he hasn’t been caught and is know for getting facial reconstruction to hide his identity. Rogue does have his own plans for his latest job which sees him going head to head with Crawford. Crawford is the FBI agent that is sees his partner murdered, he has been chasing Rogue for years and now he will do everything he can to final catch him and end his reign of terror, which has cost him his own wife. Chang is the leader of the Triads that has been able to keep business from persona life, he easily trust a former enemy though. Kira is running the operations for the Yakuza in San Francisco for her father being the only person he can trust.

PerformancesJet Li was in his prime during the mid-2000s, this shows he could be the cold-hearted killer, just as deadly with a gun than his fists. Jason Statham continued to make an impact on the action genre, he works well in this role being the detective we need for the film. John Lone, Devon Aoki and Ryo Ishibashi complete the supporting cast with effective ability doing what is needed for the film.

StoryThe story follows an FBI agent tracking a mysterious assassin who killed his partner, which sees him reappear when two rival gangs are about to go into full blown war. This does seem like a story that is going down one simple line, it is very busy with four different people planning their attacks to stay on top of the game. This is an action story that does get elevated by the final act which does turn everything on its head, making you want to go back and see if you can pick up on the clues being laid.

Action/CrimeThe action in War is combat based, be it the hand to hand fights or the gun flying around making the body count rise. We are completely in the criminal underworld of the Triad and Yakuza war.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which shows us how America has become overrun by international gang wars looking to expand their businesses.


Scene of the Movie –
Shiro versus Rogue fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain flashbacks are annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great action packed movie that is well worth a watch, it does have a killer twist which will make it stand out from the rest.

 

Overall: Wonderful action packed film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – S – Snatch (2000)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Alan Ford, Lennie James, Ewen Bremner

 

Plot: Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.


Tagline – Stealing stones is hazardous.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Wonderland

 

Story: Snatch starts as we meet Turkish (Statham) an underground boxing promoter who is on the biggest business with Brick Top (Ford), but when he loses his fighter to gypsy Mickey O’Neil (Pitt), he must work on a new deal to get Mickey to enter the fight.

When the fight doesn’t go as planned Turkish must make amends for the mistake, putting him where he never wants to be in debt to Brick Top, while we follow the gangsters in this world as they get themselves into a string of trouble.

 

Thoughts on Snatch

 

Characters – We have plenty of characters in this film, Turkish is our narrator telling us everything going on, he is a boxing promotor that gets himself in the bad books of the head gangster in the city. Mickey O’Neil is a gypsy that just so happens to be an amateur boxer that ruins the plans of Turkish. Brick Top is the gangster running the city, he keeps everyone in fear and promises to feed anyone that crosses him to his pigs.

PerformancesJason Statham broke out with this role, he had done a couple of supporting roles, but this made him the star we know he is today. Brad Pitt gives us a performance we didn’t see coming from him as he showed us he can bring us a supporting role that wants to break away from the Hollywood main stream. Alan Ford seems to enjoy playing the villainous gangster role too not holding back in anyway.

StoryThe story follows the many different members of the crime world on a serious of miss-adventures during a week long time, this takes us through robbers, thieves, gypsy and gamblers that are all trying to pull something off as things are unfolding. I will say at times it does feel like one too many things are going on, but they do all come full circle by the end of the film. as for gangster style movies this story is one of the more enjoyable without taking itself too seriously.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from things that do go wrong for the characters, with the dog having a squeaky toy instead of a bark is funny. The crime side of the film comes from every character that is from different places in the crime world.

SettingsThe settings keep us seeing everything coming from the different locations you would expect to see gangster films to take place.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog and the toy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is one too many stories to keep up with at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good gangster film that doesn’t want to take itself too seriously, which helps bring the colourful characters to life.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

The Meg (2018)

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber (Screenplay) Steve Alten (Novel)

Starring: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Jessica McNamee, Rainn Wilson, Bingbing Li, Cliff Curtis, Masi Oka, Winston Chao

 

Plot: After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.


Tagline – If you see her coming…It’s all you’ll have time to say.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Massively Entertaining

 

Story: The Meg starts as we learn just how skill and how many difficult decisions expert rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) has made leaving him out of the water. On the other side of the story 5-years-later billionaire Morris (Wilson) has assembled a team run by Dr Zhang (Chao) including marine biologist Suyin (Li) Mac (Curtis), Jaxx (Rose) DJ (Kennedy) Heller (Taylor) The Wall (Olafsson) Lori (McNamee) and Toshi (Oka) to see if there is anything below the bottom of the ocean.

Once they breach the line they believed to be the bottom the submersible comes under attack and is in need of rescue, the only man to have rescued people that far down, Jonas Taylor, now he must rescue them crew and face the monstrous megalodon which ruined his career before it becomes a threat to anybody or anything in the ocean.

 

Thoughts on The Meg

 

Characters – Jonas Taylor is the expert rescue diver, disgraced for a job he made the right decision on, forced to come back and save a new crew which includes his ex-wife. The reluctant hero is this character and the only that will do anything crazy enough to protect human lives. Suyin is the marine biologist who also has her daughter Meiying on the research base, this research could help define her career and she will play to the side of nature rather than shooting first. Morris is the billionaire financing this research, it just so happens to be his visiting day when they break through, though when the Meg is loose, he sees everything as a potential PR opportunity or disaster. Mac runs the operations on the crew, an old friend of Jonas’ he pretty much just relays the instructions for the film. Dr Zhang has worked his entire life on the theory of the bottom of the ocean only being layer that can be crossed to go deeper, the discovery would change how the world see him, though he would never risk human life for science. Jaxx is the computer expert, she designed the base and like DJ is here for moment of comic relief. Meiying the daughter of Suyin just roams the base, unlikely most children in films this is one of the strongest and best characters in the film.

PerformancesJason Statham a former Olympic diver turned action star, could you have written a more perfect role for him? He is great as the action lead and this is easily one f his best solo roles in years. Bingbing Li is our leading lady and she is great to watch, gets put in just as many action sequences as Statham never looking out of place, while handling the emotion moments too. Rainn Wilson is good for a laugh, the occasion good idea and showing us just how crazy billionaires can be. The rest of the cast are good, they give us good moments to laugh for the most part with Page Kennedy taking over large part with his normal person reaction to everything.

StoryThe story here comes from the popular novel of the same name, we have a crew that must try and stop a megalodon from causing problems to the rest of the world after they discover it and accidently release it. Did we really think this was going to have the deepest story, no, did we just want to watch a megalodon eat stuff while human try to stop it, yes. This sums up the story perfectly, we never get anything complicated, we do touch on the idea of science versus survival which is important, but also gets answered rationally. We are saved a lot of the science talk which could have clouded over moments and even though most of the character are generic they fit the pieces together for all we wanted in the story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action, well this is big, the shark is 70-foot long, we know we are going to have destruction and what we got in the final sequence is just what we wanted. The horror is difficult to get work in this movie, partial because of the rating 12a in England, and you can’t really build suspense when the shark is that big. The sci-fi side of the film shows what would happen if we found a real megalodon being released in the eco-system.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the wide ocean, this makes sense, you won’t bump into the shark at the supermarket, the idea this megalodon would out swim most boats adds to the idea running isn’t going to help and for the feeding ground we know we are in for a treat, or it is.

Special EffectsWhen you have a budget this big you expect the effects to be top of the level, for the most part they are, the scale of megalodon makes everything seem life or death and the crafts created feel fresh for the underwater experience.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act of the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Parenting question most, while Meiying isn’t an annoying kid, surely with the money this family has it would be better to keep her on land or a nanny.

Final ThoughtsThis is everything you wanted for a giant shark versus Jason Statham movie, you know moments are going to be dumb, but they are fun.

 

Overall: Big, dumb and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – G – Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Director: Kelly Asbury

Writer: Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Emily Cook, Kathey Greeneberg, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kelly Asbury (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham

 

Plot: The neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.


Tagline – An epic tale on a tiny scale.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy

 

Story: Gnomeo & Juliet starts as we learn about two rival gardens, the Montagues and the Capulets, one has blue gnomes the other has red gnomes and they are at war when the humans are not around. Gnomeo leads the assaults from the blue side while Tybalt attacks for the reds.

When Gnomeo goes out on a solo mission he meets Juliet, a red that has been sneaking around only for the two to fall in love. Can their love bring an end to the war between the two sides.

 

Thoughts on Gnomeo & Juliet

 

Characters – Gnomeo is the leader of the blues he is doing everything to fight for his garden, until he meets Juliet and falls in love, he must continue his fight while trying to stay on Juliet’s good side, risking everything. Juliet is the daughter of the reds, she is forced to stay safe even though she wants her own adventure, she meets Gnomeo and the falls in love wanting to end the war from her side. We do get plenty of Shakespeare based characters with the aggressive Tybalt being the most interesting of them all.

StoryHere with this story we get another example of Romeo & Juliet being told, the waring families and forbidden love, only with gnomes and garden ornaments. The love story is fine, one we know and can learn from no a problem, the bigger problem comes with the idea of this wanting to be Toy Story with garden ornaments, but they just don’t seem to care if they upset their humans, even though when humans see them they stop.  You need to focus on one side and this just felt like something we have seen before with too many puns.

Comedy/Family/RomanceThe comedy is mostly garden puns, which can work at times, but like most puns has you groaning at times. We could see families learning from this which is good to see a proper message to people and the romance is what we know from Romeo & Juliet, you can find love in unlikely places.

SettingsThe film takes place in the gardens which have their own designs, this works for the film and makes this enjoyable to see the different designs people have for their gardens.

AnimationThe animation can’t be faulted here, everything looks the part with no problems for the audience to see.


Scene of the Movie –
That Pixar moment. Though this isn’t a Pixar movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters not caring about the destruction to the gardens while also not wanting to be seen moving by humans.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable family film, it tells a simple story with moment soft peril and puns all around, it is generic in its telling of the story and has a few funny characters.

 

Overall: Family film night sorted.

Rating