Glass Jaw (2018)

Director: Jeff Celentano

Writer: Brandon Espy, Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Michael Testa (Screenplay)

Starring: Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Jaime Camil, Reynaldo Gallegos, Mark Rolston, Vernon Wels, Steven Williams, Boosie Badazz, Brandon Sklenar

 

Plot: Glass Jaw is the redemption story of Travis Austin, a one time champion boxer who goes to prison and loses everything. After his release, he experiences the trials and tribulations of redeeming his reputation, his belt, and his true love.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Boxing Redemption 101

 

Story: Glass Jaw starts as we learn about Travis’ rough childhood, where his parents got into financial trouble and abandoned him to be raised through the foster system. This never stop Travis (Kholafai) who went on to be Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion, though tragedy happens at the celebration party as his trainer Eddy’s (Gallegos) daughter dies under his care.

Travis filled with guilt takes the blame and serves time in jail, he loses his house, but his girl Dana (Rico) never leaves his side. Once out Travis must put his life back together, search for a job and reclaim his reputation and title.

 

Thoughts on Glass Jaw

 

Characters – Travis Austin has always fought to be a top boxer, from his difficult childhood to the moment he became Light Heavyweight Champion. His life takes an instant turn for the worst when a family friend dies at his party, he takes the blame, loses his title, goes to prison, loses everything, once released he wants to redeem himself and regain everything he has lost. Dana is Travis’s girl, she stays loyal when he is in prison, but her own mistake causes the biggest problem between the two. Sam is the father that left Travis, he has reconnected with him now he is on top, Travis’s doesn’t want him back, but learns he is one of the people he can turn too.

PerformancesLee Kholafai in the leading role gives us a good performance when it comes to any of the boxing and fitness side of the film, when it comes to the serious side of things, he does struggle to reach the levels required to get complete performance. This is a weakness throughout the cast, everyone is good, but never at the very top that is required to make things a true stand out moments.

StoryThe story follows a champion boxer that takes the fall for a crime, who must rebuild his life and reputation once he is released from prison. When it comes to boxing redemption stories, we have seen many different ones over the years, the most recent notable one would be ‘Southpaw’. This story follows the same sort of lines as that one, without any major crime being committed, or any crime being committed by the boxer who must redeem himself. This is the biggest confusion about this movie because it’s not or could never be proven it was his fault for the death. we do get to see how the celebrity status can cause just as many problems in a personal life.

ThrillerThe thrilling side of the film happens when we are in the ring, we get to see just how intense the boxing can get.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the main settings in the locations you would imagine a boxing film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
The final match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I don’t understand why Travis would need to take any blame for the events of the death.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film for boxing fans to watch, it has the standard redemption story we know and is one that does everything it needs to.

 

Overall: Boxing Fans to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – W – Welcome to the Jungle (2003)

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: R.J. Stewart, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Jon Gries

 

Plot: A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster’s son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.


Tagline – Bulls, guns, whips, gold and one sacred cat

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Blast!

 

Story: Welcome to the Jungle starts as we meet debt collecting enforcer Beck (Johnson) that is working to get buy his own restaurant. Getting pushed to his limits he gets offered one last job, he must travel to the Amazon to bring back his bosses son Travis (Scott) and his dream of chasing El Dorado.

In Brazil Beck finds Travis and believes this job is going to be easy until the owner of the land Hatcher (Walken) that wants the information Travis has in his head, which leads Travis and Beck needing to put their differences a side to make it out alive.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to the Jungle

 

Characters – Beck is a debt collector, he can find anyone and handles himself in a fight, being able to take on multiple enemies, he does want out of this world and dreams of having his own restaurant, he must do one final job which will put his outside his comfort zone and taking on an army forcing him to resort to guns, the weapon he doesn’t want to be using. Travis is the son of the boss that employees Beck, he has been treasure hunting in Brazil in the middle of a battle between ruler Hatcher and the rebels looking for freedom, he is wise cracking which has lead to him finding himself in trouble more often than not. Beck and Travis work well as they are different on many levels with their bickering offering the laughs, but they are both dreamers in their own way too. Mariana is the bar tender in the town, she keeps both sides in peace while watching as her town gets pushed around. Hatcher is the owner of the town, well he claims to be, he is working the residents into slavery searching for gold that he can make money, he will do anything to make his fortune.

PerformancesDwayne Johnson was still making his first few steps in movies with this role and you can see all the potential he had in the action genre, he shines like always in the fight sequences and while moments of his performance were still in need of work, you can see what he was working towards. Seann William Scott was fresh off the American Pie franchise and one of the hottest comical actors, this showed us that he knew the moments to go that little bit crazy and the moments to hold back, he does have great chemistry with Johnson too. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it does end up not being as strong of a character as it should have been while Christopher Walken enjoys his role as the villain, where he gets to break loose and have some fun.

StoryThe story here plays out like one we have seen before, an enforcer for a criminal wants to do one last job before leaving the business behind, only this time it will be the most dangerous one of his career. This is a by the book story it works and plays into the comedy needed between the lead two characters while also offering us the fish out of water routine for the organised professional. We have elements of a treasure hunt which are fun to watch too. It would be fair to say this story is an easy to follow film that gets the kicks it needs without being anything too complicated.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action plays into the hands of Dwayne Johnson’s talents, plenty of combat sequences and the use of weapons to increase the peril level, the adventure takes Beck out of his comfort zone to deal with the battle he is about to face. The comedy for the film comes from the bickering between Travis and Beck.

SettingsThe film takes place in Brazil for the most part, the Amazon to be more exact, this proves to be uncomfortable for Beck that is used to being in the cities, this adds comedy and unexpected moments to the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well, not needed often but the team creates good moments when needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain parts are not subtitled, which is annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good fun action blast that puts Dwayne Johnson in the position of action hero, a position he will carry for years to come, it had good laughs throughout and action sequences that are fun to watch.

 

Overall: Action movie fans will enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

Taken 3 (2015)

logoDirector: Olivier Megaton

Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Characters)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Don Harvey, Dylan Bruno, David Warshofsky, Jon Gries, Sam Spruell, Dougary Scott

 

Plot: Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Someone Took Too Much

 

Story: Taken 3 starts when Malankov is trying to collect money leaving a message for somebody when he finds nothing in a safe. We finally get to meet Bryan Mills (Neeson) who is still looking after his daughter Kim (Grace) who started to continue her life after the ordeals of the first two ‘Takens’. Bryan is still trying to rebuild his relationship with his wife Lenore (Janssen) whose second marriage isn’t running as smoothly as it once did. Bryan is asked to stay away from Lenore by her new husband and he accepts but after receiving a message from her he goes around only to find her dead and police waiting for him.

Bryan escapes and goes on the run looking for the person or people responsible as well as warning Kim that he will look like the guilty party. Franck (Whitaker) is the lead investigator on the murder case and shows why by picking up on a couple of clues that the other officers missed. Bryan has to use all his certain skills to prove that he is innocent and find out who is responsible while eluding the police who have set out a man hunt for him.

Taken 3 rounds of the trilogy well, it brings the fight back home (well America, not my home) and also ditches all the ties from the previous Taken’s. it does flow the same as the previous ones but decides to tone down the body count as a lot of the people Bryan is running from are actually cops.  The fact it went for the personal side once more showed it need to go that bit further which it did. The fact the twists keep coming kind of ruins it because the final twist doesn’t really make that much sense. The cops are rather stupid because even the lead Franck believes him to be innocent but won’t just say ‘hey I know you’re telling the truth lets work this out together’. In general it is a solid finish to the trilogy but just no more please. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Liam Neeson: Bryan Mills our man with a particular set off skills that he likes to use who becomes suspect number one after his ex-wife is murdered. Bryan must go on a one man mission to prove his innocence and find out who is responsible. Liam does give a good performance but his age is starting to show through the film. (7/10)

 neeson

Forest Whitaker: Franck Dotzler the detective who is after Mills but throughout the investigation he starts to think he could be innocent and also knows that he could be dangerous and should be treated differently to a normal suspect. Forest does give a solid performance but really isn’t too important to anything that happens. (5/10)

 

Maggie Grace: Kim Mills the daughter of Bryan who knows the innocence of her father and has to continue her normal day while being followed by the police. Maggie gives a solid performance and shows more young adult traits this time around. (6/10)

 maggie

Support Cast: Taken 3 has a supporting cast that will at some point have Bryan Mills kick their arses but it is the true villain that is the mystery throughout.

 

Director Review: Olivier Megaton – Olivier does give us a good conclusion but fails to offer anything truly new to the series. (6/10)

 

Action: Taken 3 has plenty of action be it hand to hand combat, car chases or shoot offs. (9/10)

Thriller: Taken 3 doesn’t pull you in as much as previous encounters. (7/10)

Settings: Taken 3 bring the action back to America works well because Bryan has to play by different rules. (8/10)

Suggestion: Taken 3 is one for the fans of the series to enjoy, action fans will also enjoy but just don’t expect to get tested just enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Police Escape.

Worst Part: Liquid store fight.

Lessons Learned: Simple don’t mess with Bryan Mills.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown with the car and the plane

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully Not

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $92 Million (to Date)

Budget: $48 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Trivia: Reportedly, Liam Neeson stipulated to the movie’s producers that he would only do this third instalment if “nobody gets taken”.

 

Overall: Solid Conclusion to the series

Rating 70