American Assassin (2017)

Director: Michael Cuesta

Writer: Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshal Herskovitz (Screenplay) Vince Flynn (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Scott Adkins, Shiva Negar, Taylor Kitsch

 

Plot: A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.


Tagline – Assassins aren’t born. They’re made.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Action Blast

 

Story: American Assassin starts as normal American Mitch Rapp (O’Brien) sees his fiancée gunned down by terrorists and himself left for dead, 18 months later he has trained himself to eliminate the men responsible but little does he know that CIA agent Irene Kennedy (Lathan) has been watching his action.

When Kennedy arranges to save Mitch from a certain death, she recruits him for a special section of the CIA working under Stan Hurley (Keaton) who trains agents to go undercover but if caught or killed no one will come for them.

The first mission is to locate nuclear weapon components before former agent Ghost (Kitsch) can use or sell them giving somebody in the world a nuclear bomb that can wipe out millions.

 

Thoughts on American Assassin

 

Characters – Mitch Rapp is an American that loses everything at the hands of terrorists, he learns combat and language skills to go undercover in the terrorist cell for revenge, he gets recruited by the CIA where he must learn discipline but this is where he struggles because he always wants to go after the criminal. This character does feel like a young Jack Bauer because of his rule breaking attitude for the right reasons. Stan Hurley is the off the grid trainer who takes Mitch as part of his unit, he gets tired of the Mitch’s lack of discipline but knows he needs him to capture his former student. Irene Kennedy is the deputy director of the CIA, she sees the potential in Mitch forcing Hurley to take him on, but also falls into the standard CIA director figure that will risk their reputation to prove others wrong. Ghost is the former trainee of Hurley that is using all the skills gained to stay one step ahead of him while collecting the nuclear components.

PerformancesDylan O’Brien is an actor that got into the young adult films but this role showed an adult character, showing he could go onto action films without looking like the complete actions star. Michael Keaton looks like he did enjoy the mentoring role while also getting the action role he isn’t known for. Sanaa Lathan is good in her role even if the character is very generic. Taylor Kitsch does seem to be on the recovering his career tour showing everyone just how talented he is in the villainous role.

StoryThe story does play out like an origin story for Mitch Rapp in the CIA, we see what motivated him to accept the offer, we see what makes him different from other potential agents. We have the standard level of threat, potential nuclear weapon and a story of needing to learn discipline to become a top agent while keeping his unique traits. This is an easy to watch but could easily be an over the top pilot for a television show.

Action/ThrillerThe action starts out brutal with the terrorist attack, we also fall into the car chases, fights and shoot outs which are fun to watch, the final action sequences is just popcorn wow.

SettingsThe settings take us on a tour of Europe which is fine and is giving us an iconic location moment, which is easy to locate for us.

Special EffectsThe effects in the opening sequence are brutal but then it just becomes by the book stuff.


Scene of the Movie –
Speed Boat fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it started with violent level, it did turn into Jack Bauer origin feeling.

Chances of Sequel: Easily could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that is fun but not one of the greatest of the year.

 

Overall: Fun action packed blast.

Rating

 

 

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Director: Jon Watts

Writer: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic Book)

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover

 

Plot: Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easily the Best Spider-Man Movie

 

Story: Spider-Man: Homecoming starts as we learn how Adrian Toomes (Keaton) has be learning to develop the alien technology from the first Avengers battle in New York City, he has learnt how to make highly powerful weapons which he sales on the black market. Peter Parker (Holland) on the other hand must return to his quiet life in Queens after his work fighting Captain America for Tony Stark (Downey Jr), with Happy Hogan (Favreau) reluctantly looking over him.

Peter builds his weapons at school and turns into Spider-Man out of school to fight off small time criminals, when Peter stumbles upon Adrian’s men and weapons he tries to get help but no one would listen to him so he tries to stop him, himself, here is where Peter must learn the responsibility of being a superhero all while trying to get good grades at school.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

 

Characters/PerformancePeter Parker is the geeky high school student who has shone through classes, getting heckling like bullying from Flash but is easily a background student. Outside of school he gets all of his excitement fighting crime waiting for the call to be part of the Avengers. Peter has one of the better superhero arcs in recent years he learns about responsibility, friendship and sacrifice to become the masked hero. Adrian Toomes is a man who knows how to make the most of a difficult situation, he takes his demolition/removal men and turns his enterprise into an arms dealership that produces the most high tech weapons on the streets from the alien technology. The best thing about this character is, that he is human, there is no superhero abilities he has just mastered the technology to be the threat, he wants money over destruction which is refreshing. Tony Stark is mostly used as the mentor and is there for all the important decisions Peter must make. Aunt May is younger than before but is mostly used as the concerned parental figure in Peter’s life. Happy is also in like a reluctant guardian role mostly on the other end of the phone. In the school we have Ned the best friend he always puts Peter’s foot in it, Michelle the quiet one that stays out the way, Liz the one Peter has a crush on and Flash the bully like character but it is mostly whittled down to heckling.

Performance wise, Tom Holland is excellent at Peter Parker, his enthusiasm shines through but we also get to see the range of emotions Peter goes through during the film, he does also make a great Spider-Man being original enough after the previous two actors turns at him. Michael Keaton makes a devilish villain and one you can enjoy watching because of the simple desire he has. Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei and Jon Favreau are good through the film giving us the comic timing we need at times but also the serious talks when needed. Jacob Batalon gets the most laughs, Zendaya, Laura Harrier and Tony Revolori also are great in the roles they play.

StoryThis is the third first solo chapter of Spider-Man, we have been introduced to this version in Civil War so, we can skip he got bitten and slowly learn he is mutating which is great. We know have a young superhero (15) that has been giving a glimpse of the battles he could be having, (See Civil War) but must return to a normal high school life. The best way to describe this feeling is traveling to a beautiful country only to need to return to a dead-end job. The story focuses on the growing up process, if you want this is a coming of age superhero film because Peter must learn his place in the world, not every day is going to be battle the save the world and most of all enjoy the youth he currently has. We have strong elements of a high school comedy coming through here and people will all say if John Hughes made a superhero movie, well this would be it.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is good with each battle increasing in size, starting with a small car chase before escalating up to the ferry scene which we saw in the trailer and beyond. The adventure comes from seeing how Peter tries to solve these crimes by himself learning about his enhanced suit. The sci-fi element of the film comes from the idea that Toomes has learnt from the alien technology left from the battles that destroyed the city.

SettingsThe settings are mostly New York but we do also end up in Washington because we need big landmarks for the battle or saving people scenes to take place in.

Special EffectsIt would be hard to fault a single side of the special effects being used in this film, that all make the action sequences look fantastic.

Final ThoughtsThis has been a brilliant year for comic book movies and we seem to have learnt the formula, give a small introduction in an ensemble film before stepping out giving us the solo film instead of origin this origin that. I would say this is know the best Spider-Man film I have seen and I would be happy to suggest people to watch and even watch again myself.

 

Overall: Marvel throws us the best teen comedy superhero movie to date.

Rating

 

 

The Founder (2016)

founderDirector: John Lee Hancock

Writer: Robert Siegel (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson

 

Plot: The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: McDonalds Advert

 

Story: The Founder starts in 1954 as milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc (Keaton) is performing his sales pitch around the diner scene. His luck is about to change when Dick (Offerman) and Mac (Lynch) the McDonald brothers order eight machines which grabs Ray’s attention as he visits to hear the story of the first ever McDonald’s and how the service revolutionary idea behind 30 seconds’ food service.

Seeing the operation Ray wants to franchise the idea against the brother’s wishes. When Ray finally gets his way he makes McDonalds the fastest growing business in America but the backlash falls when the brother’s want their share of the business they created leading to a law case getting everything messy between the two sides.

 

Thoughts on The Founder

 

StoryThis is an interesting story of where McDonalds came from which is fine but my issue is the lack of a real-time scale of the events, I also didn’t like how the end credits show certain important elements of the story which barely get touched on in the film. in the end the story is just another story about a ruthless business man who took advantage of the real brains behind the idea.

Biography/HistoryThis is a good look back at how McDonald’s is founded and it shows part of the history where a business man took advantage of the real workers.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all based on real people with Ray Kroc coming off as the ruthless businessman who just doesn’t give up, while thee brother’s being portrayed as the suckers who wouldn’t believe his business mind. The rest of the characters are all only bit parts in the film with them only being part of Ray’s life.

Performance wise Keaton does shine with Offerman and Lynch both being great as brother’s, it is hard to say a bad thing about any of the performances in this film.

SettingsThe settings used all reflect the time the film is set in, with the iconic McDonald’s logo being the most iconic moment in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is could easily have been just a documentary that would have been a lot more interesting as an all-round story.

 

Overall: We have seen this before and in the end it brings very little new.

Ratingcard

 

 

Beetlejuice (1988)

betleDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: Michael McDowell, Warren Skaaren (Screenplay) Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson (Story)

Starring:  Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Winona Ryder, Glenn Shadix

 

Plot: A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a “bio-exorcist” in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated Classic?

 

Story: Beetlejuice starts when married couple Adam (Baldwin) and Barbara (Davis) suffer an accident leading to them to both getting killed only to find themselves in a purgatory in their own home. When the new family moves into their house Adam and Barbara try to use their ghostly side to scare away the Deetz’s Delia (O’Hara), Charles (Jones) and Lydia (Ryder).

Trying to learn how to scare the family out of the house Adam and Barbara must learn how to scare people but they eventually turn to Betelgeuse who doesn’t play by the same rules. Adam and Barbara must look to stop Betelgeuse from taking over the situation while getting their house back to the way they want.

Beetlejuice is a film I only have ever heard good things about but going into watching it I couldn’t help but wonder what all the hype really is. The film comes off feeling like it goes against the traditionally ghost haunting where certain ghosts don’t understand how to haunt and don’t want to be terrifying but in the end now we have had many other film have done similar styles to what I think is a better standard. The comedy seems very forced and in the end I will not be giving this the hype other people give it.

 

Overall: This just doesn’t live up to the hype anymore.

Rating40

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Robocop (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Done

 

Story: Robocop starts with Pat Novak (Jackson) showing off the abilities of a range of different robotic defence systems in other countries and calling for people to follow Raymond Sellars (Keaton) ideas to bring these defences to the street of America and Detroit. We move on to meet hardworking honest cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) who has recently got his partner Jake Lewis (Williams) injured as they try to take down local crime boss Antoine Vallon (Garrow).

We see how Raymond if struggling to pass pure robots being used in America so he turns to Dr Dennett Norton (Oldman) who has been working on giving disabled people a new chance. Where Murphy has gained unwanted attention he becomes a target leaving him fighting for life and make him to prime candidate for the first Robocop.

Returning home Murphy enters the streets to tackle to crime and take out all of the people that are responsible for leaving him the way he is.

Robocop is a remake of the classic 1987 movie which is always going to be questioned by fans. This time we get a very similar storyline with badly injured cop gets turned into Robocop while a company is trying it’s hardest to get robotic police onto the streets. The negative for this is lack of overall crime being seen because from what we see nothing seems to threatening unlike how the original depicts the time. Taking that side of the story away the creation side is looked at in a much brighter light as we see how Alex knows what is going on this time which does offer plenty of morale questions. We do get a few throwbacks to the original with the ‘I’ll buy that for a dollar’ and ‘dead or alive your coming with me’ lines. This takes a nice fresh approach to the story without being too far away from the original.

 

Actor Review

 

Joel Kinnaman: Alex Murphy is the honest cop that tries to take down criminal boss only to find himself the targeted by the men who leave him as good as dead. He gets a second chance by becoming the first Robocop but this time he can keep the emotions but can he control himself when it comes to the men that left him almost dead. Joel is good but never as strong as Peter Weller.

Gary Oldman: Dr Dennett Norton is the man that has been working on giving disabled people their lives back and gets bought in by Raymond to make the first ever Robocop and the subject is Murphy. He does push the boundaries to make this happen but also knows there are limits. Gary is good and going up with and against Keaton we see the two heavyweights doing great scenes.

Michael Keaton: Raymond Sellars is the CEO of OmniCorp that has been pushing the senate to make the use of Robotic cops on the streets without much success. When he teams up with Dennett they create the first Robocop to make the streets safe. Michael is good in this role where he comes off strong in this businessman.

Abbie Cornish: Clara is the wife of Alex who gives permission to allow Alex to be used to create the Robocop but once he is finished she finds herself being pushed away by Alex’ programing. Abbie is solid in this role without being used in the side we need to see her in.

Support Cast: Robocop has a big supporting cast, we do have a couple of twists on original characters but most importantly this time we have strong side characters in the development of Robocop.

Director Review: Jose PadilhaJose gives us a remake that brings a classic into the modern era of cinema that works with modern times of paper work too.

 

Action: Robocop has the action you would expect to see only tamed down with Robocop only Taser people rather than just killing.

Crime: Robocop puts us in a crime heavy world but seems to keep a lot of the story within the science and business ideas of the creation of Robocop.

Sci-Fi: Robocop brings us into the future world where the police would need help from a Robots but have to start with a Robocop.

Settings: Robocop keeps us in Detroit but this time does travel around the world which does take away part of the originals best moments.
Special Effects
: Robocop has very good effects being used to create Robocop especially when we see the deconstruction of his real self.

Suggestion: Robocop is one you really should give a go even if you are a fan of the original. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Oldman v Keaton is great to see.

Worst Part: Not dark enough.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: We’ve got the future under control.

 

Overall: Solid remake that could be given more time than it got.

Ratingcard