The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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Mortdecai (2015)

logoDirector: David Koepp

Writer: Eric Aronson (Screenplay) Kyril Bonfiglioli (Novel)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jonny Pasvolsky, Michal Culkin, Ulrich Thomsen

 

Plot: Juggling angry Russians, the British Mi5, and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai races to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Boring

 

Story: Mortdecai starts by introducing himself and explaining how he is searching for something that will make him complete. Mortdecai (Depp) is an international antiques dealer who is no broke and after a deal goes wrong his muscle Jock (Bettany) has to help him escape. Mortdecai like most rich men who think they can have everything but he is being controlled by his wife Johanna (Paltrow). Mortdecai will have to continue to sell his possessions to help raise the money he need.

After an art restorer is murdered the work she is working on is also stolen leading to Inspector Martland (McGregor) leading the investigation which means seeing Mortdecai to learn about any deals in the works. Mortdecai agrees to help but only to keep the file about his closed. We watch how Mortdecai investigates who could have taken the painting while other interested parties also look into finding out who has it.

Mortdecai tries to enter into the world of a heist film and uses all the generic trademarks of one too. The problem is that it tries to be a comedy heist and simply put there are no laughs leaving everything coming off very hard to watch. The on running moustache jokes gets boring very quickly but they keep returning to it every five minutes and when you have to resort to vomit gags you know you ran out of ideas. This ends up being one of the most boring films I have seen in years and with such star power you would expect a lot more. (1/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Johnny Depp: Mortdecai an eccentric millionaire who gets caught up in trying to find out who took a famous piece of art. His adventures are weird and wild as he doesn’t have a true understand of the world outside his rich circles. Johnny really needs to stop trying to play weird characters because it just doesn’t work anymore. (2/10)

 depp

Gwyneth Paltrow: Johanna wife of Mortdecai who has to try and sale work to regain the family fortune while dealing with a potential love interests from long term friend Martland. Gwyneth did look the part for this role but can’t pull off the comedy. (4/10)

 

Paul Bettany: Jock the muscle and man slave of Mortdecai who solves all the problems he finds himself in. Paul is the only one that gets any sort of laugh with his womanising ways but such a waste of talent in this role. (5/10)

 

Ewan McGregor: Martland MI5 agent who is looking for the missing art work along with Mortdecai. Ewan doesn’t make the impact his character should and ends up being a boring cop. (3/10)

 

Support Cast: Mortdecai is filled with different parties who want to art or Mordecai himself they all come off very generic and offer nothing new.

 

Director Review: David Koepp – David gives us one of the worst films of the year already. (2/10)

 

Comedy: Mortdecai doesn’t have any quality laughs. (0/10)

Settings: Mortdecai uses well known settings to tell us which country the events are happening in. (5/10)

Suggestion: Mortdecai just avoid like the plague, even diehard Depp fans will think this is terrible. (Avoid It)

 

Best Part: Not one.

Worst Part: Depp performance.

Improve Ideas: Make it funny.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please God No.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely

Box Office: $10 Million first weekend.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Sophistication has a name

 

Overall: I have seen a few stinkers in my time but this actually makes Ocean’s 12 look like it should have won best picture.

Rating 5

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

logoDirector: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman (Screenplay) Ralph Sarchie, Lisa Collier Cool (Book)

Starring: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Chris Coy, Dorian Misssick, Sean Harris, Joel McHale, Mike Houston

 

Plot: New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Law & Order: Exorcism

 

Story: Deliver Us From Evil starts by telling us it is inspired by real accounts from Ralph Sarchie. We move to Iraq 2010 where we see a group of soldiers who discover something, we don’t see what. We are now back in 2013 and Officer Sarchie (Bana) who is on a case where he finds a dead baby. Things take a turn when Sarchie and his partner get a call about a domestic disturbance of a war veteran. Sarchie is in for an eventful night when he and his partner get called to the Bronx Zoo where they search for a lady who pushed her own baby into one of the habitats. Mendoza (Ramirez) a priest is helps with her potential issues with the lady at the zoo. Sarchie continues to have an interesting week where he takes the strange cases with his latest being noises from a family’s basement.

The case seems easy to wrap up but when it becomes apparent something outside the normal realm is occurring Sarchie and his partner have to look deeper into the case. Finding out the people are all connected and supernatural things happening around him he starts acting differently around his own family. What Sarchie finds is the occult might be involved in what is going on so he teams up with Mendoza to uncover what is going on.

Deliver Us From Evil first needs to be seen as a based on real accounts idea, so that means no over the top silly scares, we do have some well-constructed ones which could easily be real. I like how some of the situations do get explained while others do mix the supernatural, because a lot of horrors only go for the supernatural while this shows that certain things can be explained. In the most part we do have to watch a lot of people watching, searching and talking about what is going on, which does distract us from the lack of action on screen. It does come off very well as a story because you do get the feeling this guy just had a very bad week indeed. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Eric Bana: Sarchie Detective who starts getting a string of unusual cases that all add up, he has to face the truths of supernatural while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. He teams up with priest to try and uncover the truth of what is going on. Eric does a good job as the non-religious cop who must learn to believe. (7/10)

 bana

Edgar Ramirez: Mendoza priest who studies demonology and along the way he has learnt plenty of things along the lines of the way learning about plenty of different religions. He has to teach Sarchie about different ideas about demonology. Edgar does a good job as the priest who speaks slowly and stays very calm through all the situations. (7/10)

preist

Olivia Munn: Jen is Sarchie’s wife, he doesn’t open up to her enough leaving them both feeling distant as the supernatural starts taking over his own house. Olivia does a solid job but doesn’t get enough screen time. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Deliver Us From Evil has fellow officers who investigate the goings on, who all help the story flow. The main supporting cast is actually the possessed characters who keep us guessing to what they will be doing next.

 

Director Review: Scott Derrickson – Scott does a good job directing making this feel like a real investigation film mixed with a supernatural theme. (7/10)

 

Horror: Deliver Us From Evil uses the horror elements very nicely but doesn’t go for over the top scares, it shows you the horrors that could be a reality though. (8/10)

Thriller: Deliver Us From Evil does keep you guessing to what will happen next and final half of the film turns into very much edge of your seat. (8/10)

Settings: Deliver Us From Evil uses its settings very well to identify how it might not be the smooth cover of a normal life with the occult very much in the city. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Deliver Us From Evil uses his effects well with the possessions and during the exorcisms. (8/10)

Suggestion: Deliver Us From Evil is one for the horror fans to try, it might also appeal to fans of investigation films. (Horror or Investigation Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Exorcism

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

Scariest Scene: Sarchie little girl and her haunted bedroom.

 

Believability: Whether you want to believe or not, it is based on real accounts depends how much you think really happened. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $88 Million

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: You haven’t seen true evil

 

Overall: Good Look at Exorcism

Rating 70