The Lone Ranger (2013)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Russo (Screenplay) Fran Striker, George W Trendle (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale

 

Plot: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.


Tagline –  Never Take Off the Mask

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Long

 

Story: The Lone Ranger starts with Tonto (Depp) telling the story of how he met the Lone Ranger John Reid (Hammer) the district attorney of Texas, we see how Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) killed John only for Tonto to bring him back from the dead to get their vengeance on the outlaws.

The journey takes the two men across the wild west to expose the truth behind everything that has been going on between the outlaws and the native Americans.

 

Thoughts on The Lone Ranger

 

Characters – John Reid is a district attorney in Texas, living in the shadow of his brother, but this time he gets to go on an adventure with his brother only to be murdered and bought back to life by Tonto. He must work with Tonto to get the people behind his brother’s death. Tonto is the native American that shows John the way as his own past makes him the colourful character that does things in his own direction. Butch Cavendish is the villainous outlaw not afraid to kill anyone who gets in the way of what he desires.

PerformancesArmie Hammer in this leading role is good through the film, he must play the straight-laced character and pulls this off. Johnny Depp is going on one of his stranger character missions again here and at times is fine, but at others gets annoying. William Fichtner as a villain is something we always want to see.

StoryThe story follows the origin of The Lone Ranger and Tonto as they faced their first enemy together in the wild west. The story plays out nicely just how you would imagine any Disney related material to, as an unlikely hero is born, even if it does follow elements of the Pirates beginning. This does have an adventure across the west feel which is nice to see and the twists and turns do seem to be easy to see unfolding, with a villain that knows the danger the two heroes pose to him.

Action/Adventure/WesternThe action sequences do come off feeling like the highlight of the movie, with an amazing opening train sequence. The adventure side of the film is written all over the idea of going across the wild west to stop the villainous characters. The western feel comes through strong too, while not the most serious we do see both sides of the law.

SettingsThe settings take us all over the wild west fitting into nearly ever typical location we know about.

Special EffectsThe effects are good too in the film while only being used to cover up certain moments of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ladder trick.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lot of fun even if it is too long in places, the cast do a good job and this one will be a film that you can switch off and enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action adventure.

Rating

 

 

Red Sparrow (2018)

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Jason Matthews (Novel)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons

 

Plot: Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.


Tagline –  I Know Your Secrets.

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Espionage Movie

 

Story: Red Sparrow starts when CIA agent Nate Nash (Edgerton) blows his cover in Russia just as brilliant ballerina Dominika (Lawrence) breaks her leg during a performance, 3 months later her Uncle Vanya (Schoenaerts) offers to help with the new financial crisis her family would be facing, by bringing her into the Sparrow school.

The Sparrow program teaches the subjects to use their bodies to seduce the enemies of the Russia as Nate is forced back into the field as he is the only contact to a source within Russia. Dominika’s first assignment is to track down and seduce Nate bring stopping him from getting the security information he is after in Hungry, the cat-n-mouse chase is now on.

 

Thoughts on Red Sparrow

 

Characters – Dominika was once a brilliant ballerina, destine to be one of the top stars of the dancing world, after an accident her priorities change as she is desperately trying to keep the roof over her sick mother’s head. She is recruited to become a Sparrow, an agent that seduces the enemy in hopes of getting secrets, she isn’t like the other sparrows though, she has a way about getting the job done. Nate Nash is a CIA agent undercover in Russia, he does blow his cover landing him back home, but when his source will only talk to him he enters the field again, he uses his skills to get the information and stay ahead of Dominika. Vanya is the Uncle of Dominika, he recruits her with his government position believing that her family connection will help get results.

PerformancesJennifer Lawrence is good even if her accent comes in and out way too often for a consistent level required in the film. Joel Edgerton is good throughout, we can always count on his to give us strong performances throughout any film though. Matthias Schoenaerts is the best performer in the film in the supporting role and to say how many big names we have in the supporting roles we get to see some of the best actors in the industry here.

StoryThe story takes us into the espionage style movie where we follow a reluctant young Russian woman being forced into working for the Russian government and an American CIA agent looking to finish a case he should have been removed from. This does fall into the cat-n-mouse style story which will try to keep you guessing along the way and shows how both sides of the intelligence war are operating, leaving you to figure out who is the mole for the Americans. It should have higher levels of suspense for the subject matter, but just doesn’t suck you into the film on the levels you are expecting.

Mystery/ThrillerThe film uses the mystery side of the story to keep us guessing to who the contact in Russia is, what are the secrets that are being released and which side will get the upper hand, the Russians or the Americans. The film doesn’t feel like the highest tension level that it should though.

SettingsThe film does have some beautiful shots as we learn where the film is being set, we do move around Europe for the film though, which takes away moments of suspense we could receive.


Scene of the Movie –
The weapon of choice for the assassin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has slow pacing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced spy thriller, it does try to keep us guessing throughout only to end up failing to give us any suspense or use any of the sexual skills we are forced to watch the training side of things.

 

Overall: Thriller that just doesn’t hit the suspense levels required.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski (Story)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie

 

Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa’s treatments are not what they seem.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extended Mystery Horror Thriller

 

Story: A Cure for Wellness starts young executive Lockhart (DeHaan) is sent to a remote wellness centre in Switzerland to bring the CEO Pembroke (Groener) back to help close a merge in New York. After being involved in a car accident Lockhart finds himself with a broken leg and now a patient of the Wellness Program.

Still searching for Pembroke, Lockhart makes a deal with the director Volmer (Issacs) to stay for a couple of days to finish up the treatment for Pembroke. In this time Lockhart meets a mysterious young woman Hannah (Goth) the only other young patient who he tries to unlock the secrets of the program, which will test his own sanity.

 

Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness

 

Characters/PerformanceLockhart is the driven ambitious young man who has nearly reach the peak of his career at such a young age, he is haunted by his past which does include his father’s suicide and his mother’s death, this leaves him alone but in search for answers once he becomes the latest patient in the program. Volmer is the director of the clinic, he constantly remains calm through any incidents that occur and does have his own motives for the clinic. Hannah is the mysterious young woman also in the clinic, she is the only young patient there and she is Volmer’s main project but we are left to wonder about her past.

Performance wise, Dane DeHaan is good in this leading role and you can clearly see why he is tipped for a great career. Jason Isaacs always makes for a good doctor figure and this is no exception, while Mia Goth continues to make a name for herself in these stranger roles.

StoryThe story is filled with questions which always makes for a good story, I will have to point out that this is a long film nearing the 2 and half hour’s mark and even at that you can see how the pace can be questioned but it doesn’t feel long. We get a new look into the asylum genre which I feel is something we needed but the weakness is that we never hit the full levels of any of the genres involved.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy elements of this film come from the world we are placed into, this also comes for the sci-fi side of everything too. The horror comes from see what happens within the walls which is quite shocking at times but the best use of the genres comes from the mystery element which keeps us guessing from start to finish as we simply don’t know where it will go.

SettingsWith most of the film taking place in the clinic we find ourselves trapped just like Lockhart in a place which doesn’t have an escape because being there means you don’t want to leave.

Final ThoughtsThis is one long mystery thriller that doesn’t stop you wanting to see where the film will go and then it will leave you shocked by the end.

 

Overall: A rewarding mystery thriller

Rating

 

 

Snitch (2013)

logoDirector: Ric Roman Waugh

Writer: Justin Haythe, Ric Roman Waugh (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Michael K. Williams, Rafi Gavron, Melina Kanakaredes, Nadine Velazquez, Benjamin Bratt, Lela Loren

 

Plot: Construction company owner John Matthews (Johnson) learns that his estranged son, Jason (Gavron), has been arrested for drug trafficking. Facing an unjust prison sentence for a first time offender courtesy of mandatory minimum sentence laws, Jason has nothing to offer for leniency in good conscience. Desperately, John convinces the DEA and the opportunistic DA Joanne Keeghan (Sarandon) to let him go undercover to help make arrests big enough to free his son in return. With the unwitting help of an ex-con employee, John enters the narcotics underworld where every move could be his last in an operation that will demand all his resources, wits and courage to survive.

 

Verdict: Undercover job, well done

 

Story: Following one man as he risks everything to save his son, we see it isn’t just his life, his son’s life it also will risk his new wife’s life and daughter as he goes undercover. We get to see how a rookie drug mule ends up tricking some of the biggest names in drug dealing. It fails to offer anything new to the genre it does offer an insight to a based on true events. Everything turns out to be very simple to watch that plays out smart without challenging the audience too much. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Dwayne Johnson: John small time truck transportation business owner who risks everything to make sure his son gets off prison after being wrongly framed as a distributor. Good performance from Dwayne showing that he can perform in a much more serious role. (8/10)

 rock

Barry Pepper: Agent Cooper the lead agent trying to take down the drug lords. Good performance from Pepper who creates an unrecognizable character. (7/10)

pepper

Jon Bernthal: Daniel the reluctant ex-con who helps John enters the criminal underworld. Trying to save himself from his past he ends up making everything more risky for himself by helping. Jon gives a good performance and makes a good reluctant hero. (8/10)

 jon

Susan Sarandon: Joanne the DEA who will help John but only when she gets what she wants. Good performance from Susan who never needed to push herself. (7/10)

 susan

Director Review: Ric Roman Waugh – Good direction putting together a well-paced film. (8/10)

 

Action: Simple action sequences that work well with the timing of the story. (7/10)

Thriller: Creates a tense build up to the final moments. (8/10)

Settings: The settings are the usual for the genre and don’t make any special memorable ones. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is something to try, it is a well-paced film that will entertain the thriller fans out there. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The final chase.

Worst Part: It is a bit slow.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final chase

Believability: Based on a true story. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel:  No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $42,930,462

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: How far would you go to save your son?

 

Overall: Good action thriller

Rating76