ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – H – Hot Pursuit (2015)

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writer: David Feeney, John Quaintance (Screenplay)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Robert Kazinsky, Richard T Jones


Plot: An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

Tagline – Armed and sort of dangerous.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Laughless Comedy


Story: Hot Pursuit starts as the up-tight career driven police officer Cooper (Witherspoon) that doesn’t get to leave the station much because of a previous misunderstanding. Now a massive case to take down a cartel boss, calls for Cooper to go out into the field and help escort Daniella Riva (Vergara) the wife of one of the key witnesses.

When the husband of Daniella and the FBI agent working with Cooper are both killed, Cooper must prove herself as a police officer as she needs to learn who she can trust to bring the cartel boss down.


Thoughts on Hot Pursuit


Characters – Cooper has been riding in the back of police cars for years now, following in her father’s footsteps to be a police officer, she is currently behind a desk after a mistake, called into the field for what should be a routine escort of a witness job, she is forced to show her skills to keep the witness alive and bring her family name back to the positive spotlight. Daniella Riva is the feisty wife of the witness in question, she needs to be protected and shows all the stereotypes about Latin women, while she is loud, fast talking. The two clash because they are very different from different backgrounds which plays into everything we see in the film. everyone else we meet are police officers and cartel members that are after Danielle.

PerformancesReese Witherspoon was once one of the biggest names in comedy, though she doesn’t managed to get this to work on any level, this is mainly because of the lack of chemistry between the two leads, Sofia Vergara sure looks sexy, but she doesn’t handle the comedy in anyway.

StoryThe story follows the unlikely cop that must transport a witness that is completely different to her, in what is an attempted buddy comedy. We have seen the outline of this before with different types of people trying to capture or kill the person being transported. The weaknesses are heavy here because the villains are almost non-existent. The idea is too basic and offers nothing new with nearly everything turning into an argument about not understanding the fast talking Latino or look she is short.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action is a couple of car chases and basic shoot outs doing nothing fancy, the comedy is the same joke on repeat which just doesn’t work which gives us the crime world we enter, which is drug cartel needing to be kept quiet.

SettingsThe film takes us across Texas though this doesn’t feel like it at all.

Scene of the Movie –
You have been Coopered.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy gets boring quickly.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak comedy that just doesn’t hit any times which only leaves us feeling bored through the most part of the film.


Overall: Mainly boring.




Mute (2018)

Director: Duncan Jones

Writer: Michael Robert Johnson, Duncan Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Noel Clarke, Justin Theroux, Robert Kazinsky, Seyneb Saleh, Robert Sheehan, Dominic Monaghan


Plot: A mute bartender goes up against his city’s gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.

Tagline – He doesn’t need words.

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Tonally Confusing


Story: Mute starts as we meet Amish man Leo (Skarsgard), working as a bartender in a futuristic world, filled with technology, to make his life harder he is a mute, he is reluctantly being bought into the technology world by his girlfriend Naadirah (Saleh), a waitress at the club they both work in.

When Naadirah goes missing, Leo goes on a mission to learn the truth about what happened to her, this includes dealing with gangsters, the fetish fans of the world and secret surgeons Cactus Bill (Rudd) and Duck (Theroux).


Thoughts on Mute


Characters – Leo is a mute Amish bartender that falls in love with a waitress, he isn’t happy to embrace technology as the rest of the world, which only holds him back, but he has taken to some which goes against his Amish ways. When his love goes missing he dives into world of gangsters to learn the truth. Cactus Bill is one part of the underground surgery team, he is loud doesn’t care who he insults as he is preparing to leave. He does the talking to cover up the reality that Leo can’t. Duck is the partner of Bill that performers the operations, he has a bad vibe about his charming personality.  We have plenty of colourful characters here which only bring us moments which are meant to stand out.

PerformancesThe performances are hard to fault in this movie, the actors do the best they can do with what they have. Alexander Skarsgard plays the role that is shown with his emotions and body language well, while Paul Rudd does the fast talking character well. We don’t get enough of most of the colourful characters we meet which doesn’t give them the time to shine.

StoryThe story is a mystery needing to be solved by an outsider to a criminal world. This is the basic side to everything as the colourful characters make each meeting feel like a clue for Leo, but this ruins the flow of the tone of the film as none of these characters remotely feel like they are from the same world. The story does contain twists, but they are not difficult to figure out and it goes on for too long being over two hours.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in the film follows us as we see if Leo can figure out what happened to Naadirah in a futuristic look at Berlin.

SettingsThe film does have a good look, trying to be futuristic, but more about being eco-friendly for the look.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the most part without being used as often as you would imagine.

Scene of the Movie –
Final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many ends that just don’t need to be here.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing sci-fi movie that had all the interesting ingredients needed to make this stand out more, but it only ends up being basic with too many tonal issues.


Overall: Disappointing sci-fi film.




Warcraft (2016)

warcraftDirector: Duncan Jones

Writer: Duncan Jones, Charles Leavitt (Screenplay) Chris Metzen (Story and Characters)

Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu


Plot: The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Game Adaption


Story: Warcraft starts by addressing the war between humans and orcs but also from a time before they knew they were enemies. We meet Durotan (Kebbell) an orc warrior about to be going through the portal to the human world created by sucking the life out prisoners.

From the human side of the story we meet the great warrior Anduin Lothar (Fimmel) who has to turn to the King Llane Wrynn (Cooper) to summon the Guardian Medivh (Foster) to learn what they are up against.

With the Orcs starting to take control Lothar joins forces with the mages who use magic to defeat a small attack capture Garona (Patton) as the battle between the two comes down to two fathers trying to find safety for their families.

Warcraft is a fantasy film that will always be a problem having to Game of Thrones as a big fan favourite. I will say I have never played the game so my judgment is only based on what I know from the South Park episode. The drawing lines are set up for something bigger in this film which is a big hate towards the young adult genre so that doesn’t help. The story does tell both sides of the story well though because we get to understand both sides of the conflict. I do also feel that if you haven’t played the game you might struggle to understand certain parts of the film. In the end this just doesn’t each all the potential it could have.


Actor Review


Travis Fimmel: Anduin Lothar is a great human warrior one of the most feared of all of the men when it comes to combat. He has to lead the battle against the orcs being the first they see as combat. Travis is good in this role showing he could be an action star in the main stream for the future.

Paula Patton: Garona is the cursed orc treated as a prisoner only to be freed by Durotan. She is the communication between the two sides helping the humans while trying to impress the orcs. Paula is good in this role too.

Ben Foster: Medivh is the Guardian of the land who has to push his limits to the mage skills that almost take his life. Ben is an actor I do love watching in films but you do know he will always be the villain of the piece.

Dominic Cooper: Llane Wrynn is the king of the human realm trying to keep everyone protected during this reign. He isn’t afraid to get involved with combat side of this either. Dominic is solid but I do feel like he gets held back too much in this role.

Support Cast: Warcraft has a large supporting cast with Toby Kebbell as the orc hero and Ben Schnetzer as the comic relief early on only to get all serious for the second half. The rest of the supporting cast are solid but we just don’t get enough of them all.

Director Review: Duncan JonesDuncan a solid job with this big budget but the world of fantasy is such a difficult one to get something every single fan will enjoy I do feel certain parts miss.


Action: Warcraft has plenty of fantasy action going on with epic like battle sequences.

Adventure: Warcraft throws our characters into an adventure that could be similar to the actual game.

Fantasy: Warcraft creates the fantasy world that only the players of the game wold understand.

Settings: Warcraft makes us believe that we are part of the game with the settings created.
Special Effects
: Warcraft does use great effects to create the mix of humans and orc along with the creates in the world.

Suggestion: Warcraft is one I do think you can only watch if you are a fan of the original source material otherwise large amounts will be hard to fully translate. (Game Fans Watch)


Best Part: Visually it is very good.

Worst Part: Hard follow.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It could.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: It might get a few effects related awards.

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Two worlds. One home.

Trivia: Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions (Horde and Alliance). after signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story.


Overall: One of the better video game adaptions which could work out to be a franchise.




Siren (2015)

logoDirector: Jesse Peyronel

Writer: Jesse Peyronel (Screenplay)

Starring: Vinessa Shaw, Robert Kazinsky, Bess Wohl, Ross Partridge, Christian Winsor, Stephen O’Neil Martin

Plot: Leigh has lived a reclusive existence in a secluded old home on the outskirts of town for her entire adult life. You see, Leigh has excreted extremely potent pheromones.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Strong Drama

Story: Siren starts with a secluded house where Leigh (Shaw) lives away from the world where she starts to look back on previous events in her life. She get two visits while looking like someone else where we see the power she has on the men but when a mysterious stranger Guy (Kazinsky) comes into her life but unlike all men before hasn’t instantly fallen for her.

When Guy fates Leigh nurses him back to health mostly because she is interested to figure why he isn’t affected by her like all other man are. As we learn more about Leigh’s life we learn that she works for some dangerous people who want to use her for their own gain. As both Leigh & Guy get to know each other they learn that their medical conditions have put them in a position hasn’t been able to let them live their own lives but together they could start something special, but the true motives behind each of the characters could leave everything ruined.

Siren is a film that offers up a few questions as well as leaving you to wonder just how people would really react to Leigh in real life. I feel this is an interesting story that does have fairy tale elements but is one for adults. It also has elements of thriller and romantic where we watch two people come together. I feel this was very enjoyable from start too finish. (8/10)

Actor Review

Vinessa Shaw: Leigh is the young lady who has an extremely potent pheromones that makes every guy she has met fall for her instantly, but when she meets Guy a man who isn’t effected by the pheromone she starts to think about a potential romantic involvement. Vinessa does a good job in the leading lady role. (7/10)

Robert Kazinsky: Guy is a drifter without a sense of smell who ends up meeting Leigh where he stays as works on her electrical system while starting a romantic story with her, only he has a secret from her that will show his true colours. Rob does a good job in the leading male role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Siren has a supporting cast that are all effected by Leigh and we see how they all react differently to her power.

Director Review: Jesse Peyronel – Jesse does give us a very interesting film that really keeps you attention from start to finish. (7/10)

Drama: Siren used the basic elements of drama to show human nature. (8/10)

Settings: Siren creates an isolated setting because Leigh can’t be around people. (9/10)

Suggestion: Siren is one to try I do feel fans of the idea in the story will enjoy. (Try It)

Best Part: Concept.

Worst Part: Lacks supporting characters.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Overall: Siren is an interesting film that really does flow nicely to make it enjoyable.

Rating 70

Pacific Rim (2013)

logoDirector: Guillermo Del Toro

Writer: Guillermo Del Toro, Travis Beacham (Screenplay) Travis Beacham (Story)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Ron Perlman

Story: When monstrous creatures known as Kaiju appear from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean the world has to come up with a defence to protect its people. The plan is to create massive robots controlled by two humans called Jaegers, but when the Kaiju’s start getting smart and stronger the governments of the world pull the funding and placing it onto building giant walls around the coasts. The leader of the Jaeger project Stacker Pentecost (Elba) brings together all of the jaeger fighters to do one final assault on the rim where the Kaiju’s enter through. To do this he must bring back Raleigh Becket (Hunnam) after the tragedy of his last mission. Stacker has to let his adopted daughter Mako Mori (Kikuchi) become Raleigh’s partner in the Jaeger, but can they sync before they go into battle.


Jaegers readying for battle

Jaegers readying for battle

Verdict: Giant Monsters, Giant Robots don’t always work as some of the recent years have proven with the over confusing messing battles in the Transformers and the heavily criticised Godzilla. Pacific Rim managers to pull everything together and with a tried and trust direct in Del Toro you knew that it would. Del Toro has proven himself with large battles scenes in both the Hellboy films. It isn’t just the action that is great here it is also the story of the characters with past and overcoming challenges people would elsewhere give up. Having a full range of likable characters and using some of Del Toro’s trusted actors in supporting roles.

Action: Epic fights with a range of weapons and monsters. (10/10)

Sci-Fi: A massive sci-fi aspect showing a future that every day will be a challenge against an unforeseen enemy. (10/10)

Special Effects: incredible special effects throughout (10/10)

Settings: Having destruction of major cities along with massive water based battles show the real threat the world could have faced if the scenario was true (9/10)

Suggestion: Sometimes you need to sit down and switch your brain of and watch a simple story unfold on front of you, this is that film. If you are looking for something serious you need to look elsewhere but it is fair to say this is a breath taking experience for all. Action junkies enjoy this will be one you will remember. (9/10)

Star Performance: Idris Elba – brilliant leader throughout  stacker

Favourite Character: Dr Newton (Day) – eccentric doctor who pushes the limits of his science as well as having an encounter he would have never imaged.

Best Part: Dr Newton & Hannibal Chau (Perlman) encounter with a monsterhannibal & newton

Worst Part: Sometimes the battles can be hard to follow but they are easier to follow than the Transformers ones.

Favourite Quote: Stacker ‘Today we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them. Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!’

Trivia: Kaiju is Japanese for Strange Beast, while Jaeger is German for Hunter.

Similar Too: Godzilla, Transformers

Overall: An Epic battle between man, machine and monster.

Rating 93%