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

 

 

Matthew Fox Weekend – Alex Cross (2012)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Marc Moss, Kerry Williamson (Screenplay) James Patterson (Novel)

Starring: Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Carmen Ejogo, Cicely Tyson, Rachel Nichols

 

Plot: A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled hired killer who specializes in torture and pain.


Tagline – Don’t Ever Cross Alex Cross

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fox Shines

 

Story: Alex Cross starts with homicide detective Alex Cross (Perry) and his team Thomas (Burns) and Monica (Nichols) needing to show their skills when a new hired killer nicknamed Picasso (Fox) uses his torture and pain techniques while eliminating people.

When the team learns of the targets they must work with who they think is the main target Giles Mercier (Reno), but this has made his team the newest targets for Picasso, who makes the killings personal.

 

Thoughts on Alex Cross

 

Characters – Dr Alex Cross is a homicide detective, we have seen this character before, but this time we meet a younger version of him, before he becomes the FBI agent we know. Alex has a family and is on the way to making his big career decision, when Picasso comes into his life, Alex will need to balance his skills and rage to stop him. Picasso is a hired gun, he is one of the very best in the world, he enjoys the pain he gives and receives, he makes his mission personal and drives Alex to limits he has never been pushed before. Thomas is the partner of Alex, he is shorter tempered, but loyal to Alex. Giles Mercier seems to be the main target of Picasso mission, he is the rich man that gets what he wants.

PerformancesTyler Perry was considered a strange choice for the leading role in this movie, known mostly for comedy and taking over from Morgan Freeman, he just doesn’t reach his levels, but is good through the film. it is Matthew Fox that shines the most as the cold calculated killer that enjoys the pain. The commitment Fox showed to this role needs to be praised because of the physical change he put his body through makes him an unlikely looking threat. Edward Burn is good as the partner while not being anything special and Jean Reno will always be good in the role he takes.

StoryTo step into another Alex Cross story is always going to be interesting, picking up before he became an FBI agent helps us understand what drove him to be the determined man we know. Making the story personal for Cross shows how he can balance the law and revenge in his attempts to solve the crime. The story might not reach the level of intensity is could have for a personal story, it does everything we need for an entertaining crime mystery thriller.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action involved in the film is good, even if moments of the effects used are weak. The crime is an interesting one to watch unfold, but it takes away from the mystery because we are always on the same level of the cops, we are not feed anything to solve.

SettingsDetroit makes for a good setting, it always feels like it is a place known for the crime rates.


Scene of the Movie –
Picasso introduction fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Rocket effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch crime thriller, it does everything it needs to do and is carried by a wonderful villain performance from Fox.

 

Overall: Crime fans watch.

Rating

 

 

The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Scott Windhauser, Jeff Dixon (Screenplay) Anthony Fingleton, Carlos Davis (Story)

Starring: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona, Ben Cross, Jamie Andrew Cutler

 

Plot: Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.


Tagline – The ultimate storm for the perfect heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Special Effects Mess

 

Story: The Hurricane Heist starts as two brothers Will and Breeze witness their father killed in a hurricane as children. Present day Will (Kebbell) work on providing the earliest possible detection for storms, Breeze (Kwanten) is an engineer for the treasury and a drunk.

When a new storm looks likely to hit, it just so happens to be when a group of bank robbers plan to rob the treasury, leaving only Casey (Grace) to fight back, with the brothers helping in their own way.

 

Thoughts on The Hurricane Heist

 

Characters – Will is the younger of the two brothers, he wants to figure out how to save lives with his science to predict storms, he reluctantly agrees to help Casey when the robbery happens and will need to face his past and over come his fears. Breeze is the older brother of the two, he has become a drunk even though he served for his country, he never left town and uses his skills to fight back against the thieves. Casey is the officer that is forced into taking on the criminals trying to take the money, determined to do the right thing after making a mistake in her past. The crooks and criminals are generic as the come, either hackers who believe they know it all, tired employees and opportunists.

PerformancesI hate having to say bad things about these actors, I feel they do the best they can, Toby Kebbell gives us one of the most generic American accents you will ever hear, Maggie Grace handling the combat is the highlight of the acting in this film if we are being honest.

StoryThe story on paper should be fun, a heist with a hurricane in the back drop, this is like Hard Rain when it comes to this concept. The problem is the film does take itself too seriously and falls into a generic heist movie mixed with a confusingly painful disaster movie, what sort of hurricane is this? The story isn’t even the biggest problem with this movie.

ActionThe action tries to be very big, but only ends up feeling laughable for the most part leaving you losing interest in the action set pieces.

SettingsThe film is set in a town in America, it seems to be generic town 101.

Special EffectsWhen people laugh at Sharknado, the film knows it has bad CGI, this movie thinks it has good effects and they are barely on the same level as Sharknado.


Scene of the Movie –
Speed bump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me CGI is awful.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie you will need to be wasted to get any enjoyment out off, it is dull, boring and a CGI mess.

 

Overall: This is why we can’t have nice things.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Fast of the Furious (2001)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, David Ayer (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Story)

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalty really lies when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Begins

 

Story: The Fast and the Furious starts as we meet Brian (Walker) a want to be street racer trying to find his way into the good books of street racing icon Dominic Toretto (Diesel). Earning the respect of Dom after saving him from the police, Brian finds himself welcomed into the world.

This opens the door for us to meet Dom’s enemy on the street, Johnny Tran (Yune) before we learn the truth about Brian’s involvement as an undercover police officer trying to uncover who is behind the crime spree behind the street racing thieves.

The deeper Brian gets into the family the greater the respect both sides have towards each but with his superiors running out of patience Brian must learn what is really going on before Dom’s crew get hurt.

 

Thoughts on The Fast and the Furious

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters we have all come to love start here with Brian the undercover police officers trying to up his ranking in the police force while growing the respect of the underground street racers. Brian fits this world as the outsider as the way in for us the audience too. Dom is the alpha male of the group that everyone respects and once you earn his you become untouchable. He is the best racer, the loyalist friend and brother. Johnny Tran makes for a good starter villain who is just a racing rival to Dom. Letty is the girlfriend of Dom that does have control over him but we don’t see too much from, Mia is Dom’s brother that becomes a love interest for Brian. The rest of the characters are all small parts to the big world Dom controls.

Performance wise, you can see the draw of Paul Walker to this role where you can argue his is the bigger name for the time and he is great, in this film you can see how early into his career Vin Diesel was and he just doesn’t have the screen presence we know from him now. The rest of the cast all do well playing the parts how you would expect them to be.

StoryThe story side of this movie is easy to follow, uncover cop gets drawn to the world he is investigating because of the excitement it gives him. We have the checklist for story here offer us just flashy races to make this different than for example Point Break.

Action/Crime/ThrillerThe races are all good to watch, as well are the heists being pulled off which show us both the crime sides of the story because of the illegal racing and they keeps us all on edge for the thrilling side of the story.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in LA which makes for the style the film has because it is away from the glitz and glamor of the world we know.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all here for the races and showing how certain elements of the engine work to increase speed.

Final ThoughtsThis franchise is the go to for nonsense action, but it didn’t start that way and this film shows us the street racing, beginning of a friendship and just how far these guys would go.

 

Overall: The true fans will always love this one over any sequel because of the importance this film gives us to the future franchise.

Rating

 

 

Daylight (1996)

dayligthDirector: Rob Cohen

Writer: Leslie Bohem (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Jay O Sanders, Karen Young, Claire Bloom, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Renoly Santiago, Danielle Harris

 

Plot: Disaster in a New York tunnel as explosions collapse both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic 90s

 

Story: Daylight starts as we see a busy New York evening filled with rush hour traffic piling into the tunnel which connects Manhattan and New Jersey. The normal night turns into a nightmare when illegal toxic waste is being transported and ends up exploding causing both sides of the bridge to become blocked.

When taxi driver and former emergency response analysist Kit Latura (Stallone) brings all his experience to the situation enters the tunnel to find a way to rescue the survivors before their air runs out or the people making the decisions make the wrong ones.

Daylight gives us what we saw a plenty during the 90s, a good enjoyable disaster film. This time we find our survivors trapped in a tunnel after an explosion blocking both ends. When it comes to disaster films you really don’t need the deepest stories going on and this doesn’t give us too much to think of either. The hero is a fallen hero looking for redemption, the leading lady is struggling with her own life and the string of genetic supporting character could go on for a while. The thing that makes this good that we don’t see many bad decisions being made only panicking ones which work for the character designs so by the end of the film you do root for all of the survivors to make it. This film sums up the 90s action disaster craze nearly perfectly.

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Kit Latura is now a taxi driver but used to work with the emergency services finding as many possible mistakes or correct decisions when dealing with disaster like situations. When he sees the tunnel get closed he jumps into action as he has studied this tunnel for years. Kit must lead the survivors to safety against all the odds. Sylvester does a good job in this leading role which you would expect from Stallone in the 90s.

Amy Brenneman: Madelyne is a struggling theatre writer who finds herself stuck inside the tunnel when cover a friend’s work shift. She can analysis a problem which comes into great help during the struggle within the tunnel. Amy is good as this leading lady in the action film.

Viggo Mortensen: Roy is a rich businessman about to make a deal of his career and he has never back away from a challenge in his life. Roy is quickly thrust into the human villain in this story but unlike most we don’t have him hanging around long. Viggo is good but doesn’t get enough time for this character’s purpose.

Dan Hedaya: Frank Kraft is the former friend and partner of Kit who has to make the right decisions from the outside but can his former friendship cloud his judgement. Dan is a solid supporting performance in this role.

Support Cast: Daylight has a supporting cast that do all have the genetic stories to make you care for the good characters against the ones who are outside the tunnel who we are not meant to like as much. This all helps when the battle for survival continues.

Director Review: Rob CohenRob gives us an action disaster we saw plenty of during the 90s and this is one that gets everything correct.

 

Action: Daylight has plenty of action with the actual explosion being the highlight of the action side of the film.

Adventure: Daylight puts us into a story where the adventure is survival against the odds after a disaster.

Settings: Daylight has most of the film set inside the tunnel as we see how the survivors will make it through the disaster.
Special Effects
: Daylight has great effects for the time it was made that haven’t really dated with the only negative being able to see the dolls in the cars during the explosions.

Suggestion: Daylight is one for all the action fans out there to enjoy and if you like a disaster film you will also love this one. (Action Disaster Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Explosion.

Worst Part: While I could see it being a good thing but the Roy character isn’t involved enough.

Favourite Quote: Chief Dennis Wilson ‘The person who says it can’t be done is always interrupted by the one who just did it!’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: On December 6th, Universal Pictures dares you to take on the tunnel

Trivia: One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights.

 

Overall: Classic 90s action disaster movie.

Ratingcard