ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – B – Blood Father (2016)

Director: Jean-Francois Richet

Writer: Peter Craig, Andrea Berloff (Screenplay) Peter Craig (Novel)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, William H Macy


Plot: An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 17-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

Tagline – A Father Makes His Own Justice

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Easy to Watch Action Film


Story: Blood Father starts as John Link (Gibson) who has recovered from his own substance abuse problems to be a tattooist while being parole. He has been searching for his daughter for years but when Lydia (Moriarty) calls him in need of help he races to her aid.

Link finds out that Lydia is in over her head which leads him into going on the run breaking his parole to protect her and locate the people who are trying to kill his daughter, using old connections along the way.


Thoughts on Blood Father


Characters – John Link is a former alcoholic convict, he has cleaned himself up but when his daughter finds herself in trouble he must go back into the routes that left him in prison, he must go after the men trying to kill his daughter, while stopping himself going off the bandwagon. Lydia is the teenager daughter runaway, she finds herself in too deep with the drug cartels but now she needs to trust her father to keep her safe. Jonah is the boyfriend of Lydia that she believes she killed cause the effects of the film. Preacher is one of the people Link turns to for help while Kirby is his support while trying to stay off the drinks.

PerformancesMel Gibson might have had troubled times recently but he shows us here the talent he holds to lead a movie in the action genre. Erin Moriarty is good in this film too because she shows us a street wise character beyond her years. Diego Luna is solid as the villain but we just don’t get enough from his character. This is a problem through the film, we don’t give the support characters enough time.

StoryThe story is good, as it follows a distant father daughter relationship needing to rebuild after she finds herself in trouble with the law. This works for the story because we know how the aging hero is the new thing now, as an actor that can easily be the new one that saves his child and this gives us everything we want, we have moments of comedy as the two come from difference backgrounds but overall this is everything you would expect it to be

Action/Crime The action is fire fights between Link and anyone that gets in his way, this does work well as the crime side of the story takes us into.

SettingsThe settings show us the underworld that works for the hiding from potential trouble using no iconic landmarks which makes this fully believable.

Scene of the Movie –

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t learn enough about the villains.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good action film that is enjoyable, short sweet and gives you everything you want.


Overall: Action film 101.




12 Strong (2018)

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Writer: Ted Tally, Peter Craig (Screenplay) Doug Stanton (Book)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill


Plot: 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down for the Taliban.

Tagline – The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Pulse Pounding Action Film


Story: 12 Strong starts on the day of 9/11, Captain Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth) witnesses the horrors of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, returning to his military base, he wants to lead her unit into battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Once receiving permission and earning the right, Mitch is joined by Hal Spencer (Shannon) and his 10 other trusted soldiers that head into Afghanistan to work with the Afghan Warlord General Dostum (Negahban) as they unleashes the first attack in retaliation after the 9/11 attack.


Thoughts on 12 Strong


Characters – These soldiers are real people, Mitch Nelson is the unexperienced combat Captain that takes his driven man into battle, he must use his own smarts to be given the opportunity to be the first in the retaliation, he uses his knowledge to work with General Dostum as the two different cultures and ideas must come together for the battle. Hal Spencer is the second in command of the unit, he is older and offers the advice he soldier needs to get himself to the right answers. The rest of the unit all have their moments through the story and by the end you will believe you are watching a real unit.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth in the leading role is fantastic, he keeps himself looking like the star even though he needs to work with a unit to get the right answers, showing he can handle the serious roles once again. Michael Shannon in the supporting role shines even though it is strange seeing him in a good guy role after his recent run as a villain. The rest of the cast are great, they all have wonderful chemistry which the unit needs to pull this off.

StoryThe day of 9/11 shocked the world, America the most and this shows the plan to retaliate after the attacks, the first men to go into combat against the Taliban as they risked everything to get a strike back and prevent what was believed to be another big attack. This is a true story, this could easily have been a fictional story because after the mission starts, you are pulled into seeing just what the men will do to get the job done and of course it is an against the odd style mission.

Action/History/WarThe action sequences are shot in a brutal style that doesn’t hold back with what happens, we are left shocked by certain moments and on the edge of our seats the next because of the war time battle sequences.

SettingsThe settings look the part, we are mostly just in and around caves and canyons which is where the Taliban would be hiding and preparing.

Special EffectsThe effects for the battle sequences are flawless, looking brutal and the stunt team need praise for the work they have put into this movie.

Scene of the Movie –
The final surge, wonderfully shot moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is ‘we are America, we are great’

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best war movies or recent years, it shows the brutally of the war, the thin line between good and evil between the Afghan units and just how bringing together two cultures can unit for a same enemy.


Overall: Must watch action movie.





The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

hunger gamesDirector: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Peter Craig, Danny Strong (Screenplay) Suzanne Collins (Novel)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Sam Clafin, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright


Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Finally, it’s Over


Story: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II starts right where the last outing finished as Peeta (Hutcherson) is starting to recovery after trying to kill Katniss (Lawrence). President Coin (Moore) along with her advisor Plutarch (Hoffman) are playing a strike back against President Snow (Sutherland).

We follow Katniss along with a recovering Peeta and her other love interest Gale (Hemsworth) along with a group of rebels to enter the capital and take out Snow once and for all.

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II is a film that I wasn’t really looking forward too after seeing the last one which only disappointed. I was let down one more time in a film that should be incredibly dark when the film finishes especially with how this ends. The film focus way too long on who Katniss will choose for the romantic angle and not giving us enough time to deal with the political side of the story. This all tries to give us a rise against the government story but from the wrong side because no one cares what is going on with Katniss and her stupid love interest.


Actor Review


Jennifer Lawrence: Katniss is back still deciding who she wants as her boyfriend while wanting to kill President Snow for causing all the problems in the world. She is a pawn in a much bigger game but if she has a boyfriend who cares? Jennifer does a solid job but you do feel like she is just seeing out her contract.

Josh Hutcherson: Peeta tried to kill Katniss but is now cured, well sort off, he some how goes on this mission to kill Snow and ends up being a problem because he isn’t cured. He is also a romantic interest for Katniss. Josh does a basic job but can’t pull off brooding very well.

Liam Hemsworth: Gale is the soldier who looked after Katniss’ family while she was in The Hunger Games, she was her boyfriend and goes on this mission to kill Snow. He starts making decision that Katniss doesn’t like as he knows what will win the battle. Liam gets buried in this film, you can see he was talent but they don’t let it out in this film.

Donald Sutherland: President Snow is the target for all of the offence in the film, he is who Katniss wants to kill and he has to use all his brains to stay ahead of any plans. Donald does well but this time he doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II has such a big supporting cast barely any of them get enough time on screen to make the impact they should.

Director Review: Francis LawrenceFrancis closes of the saga in a plain way where we just are not pulled in enough to enjoy this one.


Action: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II as standard action scenes which won’t be remembered in a few years’ time, but they are too dark for how the film is played out.

Adventure: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II doesn’t feel like an adventure film like it I being advertised.

Sci-Fi: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II I in the dystopia future but this time you can almost forget that you are in it.

Settings: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II keeps everything inside the city this time which doesn’t seem to suit what the whole world that was created in the first film.
Special Effects
: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II has basic effects that don’t really come off too strong when needed.

Suggestion: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II is one you should watch to finish the saga but otherwise you can skip it. (Finish the Franchise)


Best Part: The execution scene.

Worst Part: Where do I start? Finn.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing can prepare you for the end


Overall: Lacklustre conclusion to a franchise that seemed to go off track after the first film


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

logoDirector: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Peter Craig, Danny Strong (Screenplay) Suzanne Collins (Novel)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone


Plot: Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: What the Hell Happened?


Story: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 starts Katniss (Lawrence) giving us a very quick update of how the last film finished, she is in a hospital now recovering from the last games. Katniss along with fellow survivors of the game Beetee (Wright( and Finnick (Claflin) are taken to the forgotten District 13 where President Alma Coin (Moore) and her second in command Plutarch Heavensbee (Hoffman) are trying to use Katniss in the revolution against President Snow (Sutherland). As she always has been Katniss is the reluctant heroine and along with her boyfriend Gale (Hemsworth) looks for proof of the changes happening.

District 12 Katniss’ home has been completely destroyed with the remains left there as an example to the power President Snow has. Peeta (Hutcherson) now part of the President Snow fight against the rebellion turns out to still be alive and calls for peace between the Districts. After Katniss agree to lead the revolution she makes very strong demands to have the captured tributes released and along with Effie Trinket (Banks) and Haymitch (Harrelson) who help Katniss in preparing herself to be the leader.

After well over an hour of talking and filming Katniss getting prepared for the revolution we literally just end up watching a massive game of chess between all the different Districts as they try to get into the winning position against each side in the war.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is nothing more than a giant game of chess and I am not kidding by saying all we see is two sides of a battle putting their pieces in the best place to win only for us to not see anything happen. The hate for this isn’t helped because we have other films out there doing the same thing, making a whole film that is nothing but builder at least Amazing Spiderman had a fight scene, this is easily one of the most disappointing films you will ever see especially after liking the first two Hunger Games. I am going to stop before this turns into too much of a rant. (2/10)


Actor Review


Jennifer Lawrence: Katniss Everdeen the reluctant heroine that has become the symbol of the revolution and through this film we watch how she is being prepared for more public appearances and that is all she does in the film. Jennifer has an Oscar to her name, but I guess she needs to make silly money and this gives her the chance. (2/10)


Josh Hutcherson: Peeta Mellark captured by the Capitol and used as a pawn against Katniss and her revolution. Josh literally records all his scenes here so doesn’t get a chance to do any real acting. (2/10)


Liam Hemsworth: Gale Hawthorne the hunky boyfriend of Katniss who saved her family and always stood by her side when it comes to the revolution, he will go into battle to keep her happy. Liam continues to get stuck in the friendship zone here and is the only character that seems interesting in this film. (5/10)


Support Cast: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 has an amazing supporting cast that includes Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Harrelson to mention a few and somehow they don’t get a chance to show all the potential they all have.


Director Review: Francis Lawrence – Francis gives us the annoying builder film and the only way he can now redeem himself is to make the last one great. (3/10)


Adventure: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 loses all what the first two film gave this franchise will one of the dullest adventure films ever made. (1/10)

Sci-Fi: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 does show how desperate people can become in a future conflict. (7/10)

Settings: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 uses basic war settings and no Hunger Game fields. (3/10)

Suggestion: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is a film I am really struggle to suggest even trying, I am going so far as saying watch together with the final part.  (Wait for the final part and watch as one)


Best Part: I can honestly say there isn’t a good thing in this film.

Worst Part: Everything.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has part two and that is it.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $751 Million

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: The courage of one will change the world


Overall: If I wanted to watch chess I would have, just don’t sale it as a action adventure film next time guys.

Rating 20

The Town (2010)

logoDirector: Ben Affleck

Writer: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard (Screenplay) Chuck Hogan (‘Prince Of Thieves’ Novel)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Slaine, Owen Burke, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper


Plot: Welcome to Charlestown a place with the highest number of bank robberies in the world. Robbers Doug (Affleck), James (Renner), Albert (Slaine) and Desmond (Burke) do a job which runs smoothly but when James takes it into his own hands he takes a hostage Claire (Hall). After discovering she lives in the town things start to get complicated. FBI S.A. Adam Frawley (Hamm) is in hot pursuit on the robbers as well as Doug having to split in Fergie (Postlethwaite) the local crime lord.


The Team

The Team

Doug trying to make up for her kidnapping strikes up an unusually relationship with Claire, which could end up causing him and his team problems if they want to go onto any new jobs. Doug trying to get out of the business and town agrees to one more job, but Fergie won’t let him walk away until the job is done and the trigger happy James could stop his plans to escape the life of crime.


Verdict: Slow Moving Crime Thriller


Story: A lot of films that are based on similar content are only about the cat and mouse chase between the good guy leader of the crimes and the determined authority figure chasing him down. This part is similar the leader of the crime unit will follow rules and won’t let people get hurt but has to deal with a hot head who will. Adding the romantic relationship between a victim and criminal works to its advantage showing how he really is stuck in a situation because of the neighbourhood. This is a very interesting story that does follow traditional themes but comes off very well. (9/10)


Actor Reviews


Ben Affleck: Doug the leader of the criminal unit that ends up in a relationship that could end his criminal career as well as putting his life and friends lives at risk. Good performance from Affleck who managed both leading and directing the film. (9/10)


Rebecca Hall: Claire the bank manager who ends up being taken hostage and while dealing with what happened meets Doug who keeps a few secrets about how they really met. Good performance from Rebecca in what is a growing reputation in Hollywood. (8/10)


Jon Hamm: FBI S.A. Adam Frawley who is on the case trying to find out who is reasonable for the robbery and once he sniffs a bone he just won’t let up. Good performance playing the determined authority very well. (8/10)


Jeremy Renner: James Doug’s old friend who is more tripper happy than Doug which is what causes everything to start going wrong for the team, but he goes out the way he wanted too. Oscar nominated performance here; Jeremy is solid and perfectly reflecting difference to Doug. (9/10)


Director Review: Ben Affleck – Great direction showing that Ben’s future is behind the camera, this was his second feature film direction and it shows how he has grown and learnt. This led to his Oscar winning film Argo. (9/10)


Crime: The organised crime all feels authentic and the authority works to make everything piece together. (9/10)

Drama: Solid drama that gives each character a chance to develop as the story unfolds. (9/10)

Thriller: With the heists going on you really get into them wanting to know who will make it out. (9/10)

Settings: set in Charlestown makes everything have a very touching unity. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one to watch, it could be the best crime thriller of the modern era. It has everything for all fans so sit and enjoy. (Watch)


Best Part: The heists

Worst Part: Slightly stereotyped characters.

Action Scene Of The Film: The second heist car chase.

Kill Of The Film: James

Believability: The heists have a good believable feel about them, but the overall story is harder to believe. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $154,026,136

Budget: $37 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America.


Overall: Modern Day Crime Masterpiece

Rating 90