Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Director: Jan de Bont

Writer: Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Jan de Bont, Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Brian McCardie, Christine Firkins

 

Plot: A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker.


Tagline – Rush hour hits the water.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Passable Action Film

 

Story: Speed 2: Cruise Control starts as we meet Annie (Bullock) still trying to get her driving licence back, long past dating Jack (Because Keanu was smart enough not to come back) and has moved onto what she thinks is a quiet cop role of Alex Shaw (Patric) who is actually a SWAT officer too.

To break the tension, Alex takes Annie on a cruise, which happens to have John Geiger (Dafoe) onboard that has his own plans for the cruise. As John takes over the boat, he plans to evacuate the passengers which will leave him the ship, but Alex will get to the bottom of this and try to save the day.

 

Thoughts on Speed 2: Cruise Control

 

Characters – Annie is back, she still can’t drive and now she has fallen for another risk-taking cop in Alex, this is a character that strangely feels iconic for the genre, while not being bad character or being weak, she doesn’t do much over than panic. Alex is the risk-taking cop, this sounds familiar doesn’t it? He will do anything to save the day. John Geiger is the villain of the piece, he has made his plan and wants to operate through his plan, though he didn’t plan for Alex. Strangely he never plans to kill anyone.

PerformancesSandra Bullock is fine in her role here, she works for these films. Jason Patric just lacks the charisma Keanu had in the first one which doesn’t make you care about his character. Willem Dafoe is one of the most reliable villains in Hollywood, it is strange that he is good, but the character is largely forgettable.

StoryThe story is just like the first Speed, it has a criminal that takes a vehicle with the promise to kill everyone if demands aren’t met. This is the old tried and tested formula without being overly impressive and never reaches the levels of the first film. it does everything it needs to do while being easy to watch from start to finish.

Action/Crime/RomanceThe action sequences for the most part are entertaining even if they are overly long at times, like the sequence crashing into the island, just seems to go on and on. The romance involved is just more of the same mostly tagged on too.

SettingsThe film being set on the bottle, tries to do something different, but it just lacks the tension the first one has.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are terrible and even in places laughable.


Scene of the Movie –
While long the boat crashing into the harbour is fun watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The random dog sequence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that gets a lot of bashing, it does everything it needs to for an action film, that just isn’t on the same level as the first film.

 

Overall: Sequel that works well enough.

Rating

 

 

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orland Bloom, Keira Knightley

 

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge starts as a young Henry Turner visiting and promising to break the curse on his father Will Turner (Bloom) against his father’s wishes because it means finding Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Move forward nine years and Henry (Thwaites) in part of the British Navy hunting down pirates in search of Jack Sparrow, when his ship heads into the Devil’s Triangle they find themselves attacked by the ghost Captain Salazar (Bardem), a man in search for Jack Sparrow who cursed his crew.

Finding himself locked up, Henry learns he is on the same island as Jack Sparrow and sets out on finding him as well as an astronomer Carina (Scodelario) who gets treated like a witch because of knowledge. The three team up with Jack’s crew to search for Poseidon’s Trident the one object that can break all curses in the ocean.

With Captain Salazar terrorising the ocean he joins the current ruler of the ocean Captain Barbossa (Rush) in the hunt for Jack as the pirates do battle to break the curses over the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Jack is back, but this time we get a mix of what we expect from the style of the character at times being fun and over times feeling like a parody of himself. Captain Salazar is a good additional villain to this franchise because he was once a man doing the right thing but now hunts the seas for any victim. Captain Barbossa does have the best story arc in this film as we see how he has become the wealthiest pirate at sea and always stays one step ahead of everyone else. Henry is good for this film because it brings us back into the original characters origins learning about Will Turner and now his son, even if the character feels just like a copy of his father, Carina is written to be a strong independent woman in the time of the film which she is but she does also turn into the normal damsel in distress when it comes to conflict moments.

Performance Wise, Johnny Depp does feel like he is doing what you expect but does have moments of parody. Javier Bardem is good and enjoys the villainous role. Rush continues to be good without excelling, Brenton and Kaya are good addition but they do feel like they were just creating a new version of Bloom of Knightley.

StoryOne of the strongest points of any pirates movie is being able to tell us a continuing story, Black Pearl entered us into this world very nicely and the next two chapters continued the story along building on the characters legacy, when it came to Stranger Tides things went off the rails and the film came off boring. This story brings us back to the original arcs and continues to build on them like we enjoy seeing. This isn’t the overall best but it certainly isn’t the worst of the Pirates films and if you enjoyed the stories in the first couple you will enjoy this one.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is all fun, we get a couple of rip off ideas from bigger action franchises, most notable the bank heist, the sword fighting is fine but does become inconstant by the end of the film as ghosts can’t have sword fights. the adventure is the highlight here because this time you do feel like you are back where you want to be. The fantasy side of the film continues on nicely as we dive into the myths of the ocean.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for a pirates film as we can continue to enjoy the visual experience of a pirates movie.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good, I did like how the deliberate slow flow of Salazar’s hair almost becomes a characteristic of its own too.

Final ThoughtsSure this film will get slammed but it doesn’t need to be, if you just go in look for some fun you will find yourself enjoying this one enough.

 

Overall: Sit back, switch your brain of and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Rush Hour 3 (2007)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Characters)

Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada

 

Plot: After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads’ secret leaders.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Decline Starts

 

Story: Rush Hour 3 starts with Carter (Tucker) back on traffic duty, while Lee (Chan) is now head of security for Ambassador Han (Ma). After the Ambassador is shot it becomes clear that the Triads are trying to keep their secret safe once and for all. Lee chases down the shooter Kenji (Sanada) who has a connection to his past. Lee and Carter promise to track down the people responsible for the shooting and have to team up after the altercation following a holiday away together.

Lee and Carter find out they have been marked for death and fly to Paris to find answers for who is after them. After arriving in Paris they try to figure out what is going on and the revelation that Kenji is actually Lee’s brother and the fight is on a new level of personal for Lee.

Rush Hour 3 follows very similar ideas from the first two with Carter always talking himself into trouble and Lee having to do most of the fighting to get them out. We have the personal side to the story on Lee’s side and Carter trying to make light of it again. We have the clearly simple location choice to let us know that we are in a certain country and the villain twist that has happened every film so far. If you don’t mind having much of the same this is a tried and tested formula but I would have liked to have seen something different potential on Carter’s side for once. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Chan: Lee getting his promotion to head of security for Ambassador Han, he must go in search of his brother after he tries to kill Han. Jackie does what we expect from him and does so well. (7/10)

 chan

Chris Tucker: Carter demoted to traffic cop he joins forces with his old partner to take down the criminals taking part of the Triads. Chris falls back into the annoying category after losing it the last one and this is the worst of the lot. (5/10)

tucker

Max von Sydow: Reynard leader of the world criminal court who tries to push our heroes into locating the Triad leaders. Max gives a standard performance in a role with twists. (5/10)

 

Hiroyuki Sanada: Kenji Lee’s brother who is part of the Triads who have marked our heroes for death. Hiroyuki does make a good villain as he does poses  good mysterious side to him. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Rush Hour 3 has a supporting cast that is very similar to all of the ones we have seen before but this time we have a few more laughs from them.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a solid job a making the final part of a trilogy but doesn’t live up to the first two. (5/10)

 

Action: Rush Hour 3 has more over the top action scenes which takes away and real side to the story. (6/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour 3 has comedy mainly the same jokes, but the supporting characters do get a few laughs. (7/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour 3 loses all the thrills this time around. (3/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour 3 doesn’t seem to have as such smooth chemistry as the previous two. (6/10)

Settings: Rush Hour 3 uses Paris as its primary setting this time around which is bringing in the French jokes. (7/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour 3 is one for the fans of the franchise, if you haven’t seen the rest you will not be a fan of this. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: Opening chase.

Worst Part: Same old story.

Funniest Scene: Waiting for the master.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is talk of a fourth but nothing confirmed as of yet.

Post Credits Scene: Credits with bloopers.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $258 Million

Budget: $140 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: They’re rushing through the hours quick

Trivia: Brett Ratner tried getting Tony Jaa to do the film, who turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Ong-bak 2 (2008).

 

Overall: All Good Things Come to an End

Rating 55

Rush Hour 2 (2001)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Characters)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Ziyi Zhang, Roselyn Sanchez

 

Plot: Carter and Lee head to Hong Kong for vacation, but become embroiled in a counterfeit money scam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Sequel

 

Story: Rush Hour 2 starts by having a mysterious lady deliver a parcel to an US Embassy in Hong Kong leading to an explosion. Lee (Chan) & Carter (Tucker) are on vacation in Hong Kong this time and end up getting involved in the case. Turning the first film on his head Lee takes Carter around his city treating him like a tourist while trying to solve the case of the bombing believed to be committed by Ricky Tan (Lone). The two investigate at Ricky Tan’s club leading them to get caught up in a chase with his Hench lady Hu Li (Zhang) leading to the two to get fully involved in the case.

When the case turns out to be larger than first thought Lee is asked to back away and leave Ricky Tan out there as bait. After an explosion at the police station Lee believes that Carter was killed he goes after Tan on his own, while Carter exploring Hong Kong is completely oblivious of what is going on ends up following Tan to the same location as Lee. The two find out they are investigating the same thing and that not everything is what it seems in the Triads leading to the couple heading back to Los Angeles for the answers.

Rush Hour 2 I believe picks up right where the last one finished with the unlikely couple on the vacation. The added personal storyline for Lee’s character does help make this one feel a lot more intense, it also has a couple more twists that make sense and works towards uses a more mainstream known crime gang. On the down side we do get the same sort of incidents that leave our character getting into fights against large numbers of opponents. It feels a lot more well-rounded this, in a way that the first one worked well and they knew what worked and built on it more. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Chan: Lee Hong Kong based detective whose past rivalry with the man who killed his father will lead to the true identity of the criminal mastermind, he also has to deal with Carter getting him in trouble with his mouth. Jackie does a good job mixing his action and comedy here again. (8/10)

 chan

Chris Tucker: Carter who is on vacation with Lee in Hong Kong but ends up getting caught up in the middle of the investigation and constantly putting his foot in it. Chris does seem to dial down the annoying level this time but his mouth never stops working. (7/10)

tucker

John Lone: Ricky Tan leader of the Triads and man responsible for Lee’s father’s death. He is suspect number one after the bombing but it becomes clear he isn’t involved as much as we thought. John makes for a solid villain and his personal touch adds to the story. (6/10)

 

Ziyi Zhang: Hu Li the main lady hench person whose martial arts skills get the upper hand on Carter, she is young ambitious and most importantly deadly. Ziyi makes for a good supporting villain and her battles with Carter make extra comedy. (7/10)

 hu li

 

Support Cast: Rush Hour 2 has a good supporting cast including an undercover agent who works with our heroes and plenty of henchmen for Lee to fight with.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a good job directing this improve on what we saw first time out. (8/10)

 

Action: Rush Hour 2 has plenty of action scenes with Lee getting into plenty of fights. (8/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour 2 uses the comedy very well starting with the rolls reversed at the start before Tucker pulling on the one man joke act during the second half against Chan’s much more serious side. (8/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour 2 uses a much more personal story for Lee giving us a much higher level of thrills than first time out. (7/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour 2 Chan and Tucker show off their chemistry again here to good levels. (8/10)

Settings: Rush Hour 2 uses Hong Kong, LA and Las Vegas for its settings letting us know how iconic the location for the action really is. (9/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour 2 is one to watch if you like the first one, I personally would recommend it but I do understand people not liking it. (If You Like The First Watch)

 

Best Part: Massage room fight.

Worst Part: Same jokes.

Action Scene Of The Film: Casino break in.

Funniest Scene: Massage Room fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 1 More sequel

Post Credits Scene: Bloopers in the credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $347 Million

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Get Ready For A Second Rush!

Trivia: Ziyi Zhang could not speak English, so she had to take direction via the combination of an interpreter (often Jackie Chan himself) and Brett Ratner essentially performing “charades”. Her character only says three English words in the movie: “Some apple?” and, later, “Out!” In an interview, Roselyn Sanchez said that Ziyi Zhang tried learning English from her, but tried to discourage her as she would have ended up speaking it with a Puerto Rican accent.

 

Overall: Fun Filled Buddy Cop Film

Rating 78