ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – S – Stealth (2005)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: W.D. Richter (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Richard Roxburgh, Joe Morton, Ian Bliss

 

Plot: Deeply ensconced in a top-secret military program, three pilots struggle to bring an artificial intelligence program under control before it initiates the next world war.


Tagline – Fear The Sky

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long Sci-Fi Actioner

 

Story: Stealth starts as we meet the three elite pilot squad leader Lt Ben Gannon (Lucas), risk assessment calm team member LT Kare Wade (Biel) and hotshot Lt Henry Purcell (Foxx) who under Captain George Cummings (Shepard) control have become the leading choice in aerial combat.

When the three person team get assigned a fourth member, an artificial intelligence unit things don’t go to plan, when the AI is studying plans it gets the idea to go on its own mission which could bring on World War III, now the human pilots must stop this from happening before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Stealth

 

Characters – The three pilots do have their own personalities, Ben Gannon is the leader that struggles to follow orders, but will die for his crew, Kara Wade is the one that assess the danger the crew might find themselves getting into. Henry Purcell is the hotshot that will show off for any excuse just to do so. Captain Cummings runs the operations trying to do the right thing for his country. We don’t really learn too much more about these characters other than they are considered the elite of the elite of pilots, they should have made Kara a much stronger character than what we get with her.

PerformancesJosh Lucas trying his luck in a leading role, well this didn’t work, be is such an average and forgettable leading man, saying this I do feel if you had swapped him and Jamie Foxx around the performances would have been better because Josh is better at cocky support over leading man. Jamie Foxx can pull off all three of the male roles in this film and is the only one that seems like he is doing a good job. Jessica Biel is written to be strong, but she must show her damsel in distress for the second half of the film, which isn’t her fault though.

StoryThe story follows Americans best pilots needing to fight against an AI unit which was meant to be supporting them but has turned to their programming for answers. This is another be careful what you ask for when it comes to technology film which will soon become one story that doesn’t hold much weight and is all about the explosions, aerial duals and quick cuts.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is shot in such a bad way it is nearly impossible to keep up with, because the planes are going at such velocity it is like watching blurs on the screen at times, this is a side effect of having the ultrafast planes involved in dogfights. The adventure side of the film shows what Ben must go through to win, the sci-fi side of the film shows us how the technology in the planes could bring the next level of aerial combat, the way they would look to stay ahead of the radar and enemy weapons.

SettingsThe most part of the film takes place in the skies with an American crew above their enemy nations, Russia, North Korea which shows how deadly the combat it going to be.

Special EffectsThe effects beings used in the film are for the most part weak, this is because the action sequences have terrible camerawork and feel like we are just watching them in a greenscreen.


Scene of the Movie –
Well this is awkward, to pick anything I did enjoy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action scenes.

Final ThoughtsThe is all action, badly shot and no substance behind everything going on, it is too long to get away with this mad action to keep us interest and turns into a bog standard AI turning on humans.

 

Overall: Bog standard.

Rating

 

 

John Leguizamo Weekend – Moulin Rouge! (2002)

moulinDirector: Baz Luhrmann

Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald

 

Plot: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Flamboyant Musical Stunner

 

Story: Moulin Rouge starts as a young English writer Christian (McGregor) moving to Paris for dreams where he finds himself having to work on a play Spectacular Spectacular, but he needs to be passed off as a famous writer to impress Satine (Kidman).

When Christian gets mixed up with The Duke (Roxburgh) the two fall in love but when the Duke discovers them they must arrange a new play to prove they are just rehearsing for the latest play throwing Christian into the biggest show in town.

As The Duke becomes jealous he forces the director Harold Zidler (Broadbent) to sign a contract where he has exclusive rights to Satine and the Moulin Rouge, this throws the love between Satine and Christian up in the air because her chance to become the next big actress could be ruined.

Moulin Rouge is a flamboyant romantic musical that opens with all singing and dancing and never holds back from the over the topness of the songs being used. Going in completely blind I was left shocked with the choice of songs which include versions of Nirvana, The Sound of Music and David Bowie which all work apart from the creepy version of ‘Like a Virgin’. The setting is beautifully re-created with each performance embracing the location perfectly. The love story starts with the tragic ending which is against the normal as we are leading to find out what happened.

Kidman and McGregor are both brilliant in the leading roles but it is the supporting character which in places get left behind as The Duke comes off strange with the rest all coming off letting the main to shine in this performance. This is big, bold and breath-taking in places with anybody with the love for these songs finding a way to enjoy.

 

Overall: This is one of the most over the top style films with glorious use of music throughout.

Ratingcard

 

 

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

logoDirector: John Woo

Writer: Robert Towne (Screenplay) Ronald D Moore, Brannon Braga (Story) Bruce Geller (TV Creator)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Serbedzija, William Mapother, Dominic Purcell

 

Plot: A secret agent is sent to Sydney, to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called “Chimera”

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not As Slick As It Should Be

 

Story: Mission Impossible II starts yet another iconic city this time Sydney. Here we watch as Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is running a mission to capture biological weapon transfer in mid-flight but it turns out that Sean Ambrose (Scott) and his men have been undercover to take the weapon for themselves. IMF track down the real Ethan Hunt to give his latest mission which means he will have to assemble a new team which has to include Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Newton) a master thief.

When Hunt has finished recruiting Nyah he gets the details for his latest mission with an old friend. Ethan’s mission is to retrieve the stolen information from Ambrose and use Nyah to get close to him. The story follows as Hunt tries to cover the transportation of the virus while Ambrose tries to keep one step ahead of him.

Mission Impossible II really tries to add a spark to the solid and enjoyable first chapter in the Mission Impossible saga, the problem is that everything goes way too overboard making nearly every scene feel very much unbelievable and losing what looked like it would be a previously believable storyline. The idea behind the story is very simple and easy to follow but the unmasking and disguises get boring quickly now, yes it is a surprise when they do it but come on how many times can you really do it in one film? Out of the four Mission Impossible films I find this one has the weakest storyline that never manages to pull you in like the rest do. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt who gets his holiday interrupted to go on his latest mission impossible, where he has to talk mastermind thief into going undercover with former IMF agent trying to sell a virus on the black market. Tom continues to show his slick style in the film but he gets too many mad jumping shooting scenes that make very little sense. (7/10)

 hunt

Dougray Scott: Sean Ambrose is the former agent who turns on the agency to get rich selling a virus on the black market, he keeps one step ahead of Hunt as he knows how an agent would think. Dougray makes for a good villain and to say he plays the character in a way we wouldn’t usually see a villain where he will kill the hero given half a chance. (7/10)

ambrose

Thandie Newton: Nyah Nordoff-Hall is the mastermind thief who agrees to go undercover with her ex-boyfriend Ambrose but ends up getting caught up in the middle of the battle between Hunt and Ambrose. Thandie plays the beautiful almost Bond girl figure in this film very well and convinces along the way. (7/10)

 nyon

Support Cast: Mission Impossible II has a supporting cast that includes Hunt’s team, Ambrose’s team and the mystery buyer, all of which help the story get to the next chapter by giving us characters to be killed off.

 

Director Review: John Woo – John puts his trademark staples on this film with flying shooting scenes and plenty of doves but doesn’t reach the levels we would expect form him. (6/10)

 

Action: Mission Impossible II has plenty of over the top action sequences with bullets flying everywhere. (7/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible II doesn’t manager to pull you in as much as the previous instalment of the franchise. (5/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible II has the most part of the film set in Sydney which works for the threat being used by Ambrose. (8/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible II is still going to be one for the action fans to watch even if it isn’t as good as the rest of the franchise. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Motorbike chase.

Worst Part: Too far over the top.

Action Scene Of The Film: Motorbike chase.

Favourite Quote: Mission Commander Swanbeck ‘Mr. Hunt, this isn’t mission difficult, it’s mission impossible. “Difficult” should be a walk in the park for you.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 3 more sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $546 Million

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Expect the impossible again

 

Overall: This lacks the edge the first one had and ends up feeling very much over the top and out of place next to the rest.

Rating 60