Franchise Weekend – The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (Screenplay) Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Alonso

 

Plot: Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California’s pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) — and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) — to take action.


Tagline – This Fall, adventure begins with a Z.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Become a Parody of Itself

 

Story: The Legend of Zorro starts as Don Alejandro (Banderas) is still riding under the mask of Zorro, his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) wants him to retire the mask and be the father to their son Joaquin (Alonso), with his desire to continue to help California prepare for the statehood, has put a strain on their relationship.

When the two go through a divorce, Elena starts dating Armand (Sewell) from Spain looking to make a vineyard only he has other plans which only Zorro could stop.

 

Thoughts on The Legend of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro is Zorro, he has been working on trying to retire, but America needs him, he is left with a hard choice on whether to protect the land or be there for his father. He choices wrong and ends up falling back in the same circle he once did, before needing to put the mask on again to save California. Elena is the wife of Alejandro that wants him to give up the life, when he doesn’t, she divorces him to go under cover with an old family friend that has moved to the area, who has his own ideas. For some reason this character goes in a different direction from the stronger figure we met in the first film. Armand has moved to California to open a vineyard, he has stolen Elena from Alejandro and now he has bigger plans for America, which brings Zorro out of his retirement.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas has all the right parts to make this character legendary, he just struggles to make the impact we know he can this time, this follows Catherine Zeta-Jones who disappoints too as we know she could lead the film with ease. Rufus Sewell does a solid enough job in the villainous role, though he never makes his character feel like a threat.

StoryThe story takes place 10 years after the first movie, this does work for the film because it takes us to a time where the couple have a child and must decide what to do (following in the Mummy’s footsteps here) with their future adventures. The decision-making process shows us just how important the figure of Zorro has become to the people and just how difficult walking away from it would be for the city. The problem comes with the tone of the story which seems to just spend more time watching the couple bicker it just takes everything out of the life of the story.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action continues to bring us the sword swing fights we are used to seeing from the Zorro character, with a stronger final chase, this doesn’t seem to offer much new to the western action genre, with the adventure that we go on, never seeming like it will go anywhere new for the characters. the romance is the most annoying part of the film because it just focuses on the bickering between the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in the early stages of California which never looks out of place for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Train chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The bickering.

Final ThoughtsThis is not on the same level as the previous film, it feels like it wants to be taken seriously, only for it to become somewhat of a parody of itself.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Mission: Impossible III (2006)

logoDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (TV Creator)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence Fishburne

 

Plot: Ethan Hunt comes face to face with a dangerous and sadistic arms dealer while trying to keep his identity secret in order to protect his girlfriend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best Mission Too Date

 

Story: Mission Impossible III starts with Ethan Hunt (Cruise) being interrogated by Owen Davian (Hoffman) as he is looking for ‘The Rabbit’s Foot’. Owen has Hunt’s girlfriend Julia (Monaghan) hostage at gunpoint and we get a fully in your face intense start to this Impossible Mission.

Flashback to us seeing Ethan & Julia announcing their engagement we get to see how Ethan is finally living a normal everyday life. Ethan has taken up a new role with IMF where he trains the next agents but when he gets a call from John Musgrave (Crudup) he gets a chance to go into the field once more to save one of his own Lindsey Farris (Russell) who they believe has been kidnapped by Owen Davian. The mission seems to go off a success but Davian places an explosive chip inside Lindsey’s head which they are unable to stop her death.

Ethan goes back into the field to solve the problem with Owen Davian teaming up with an old friend and a new team to search for ‘The Rabbit’s Foot’. Ethan has to put his personally life at risk before going back into the field to face his deadliest opponent to date.

Mission Impossible III has to go down as the best storyline in all of the Mission Impossible films so far, the story shows how Ethan is trying to live a normal life but continue to work for the agency. This works well because all we have seen before is Ethan turn up complete the mission and walk away. I also feel the pure brutality of Owen Davian makes everything much more intense than previous outing and with that opening scene we get to anticipate how the story ends up there. On the negative we get the old used up storyline that shows someone on the inside helping the terrorist which we see too much in these films because no one can be trusted. This is though the slickest, most enjoyable Mission Impossible in the original trilogy. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt is our hero again, this time he trains the recruits and is looking to settle down but when one of his trainees is captured he ends up getting back into the field against the ruthless Owen Davian. Tom continues to show why he is a great action star with this outing but he also gets to show his emotional range when it comes to his wife. (8/10)

 hunt

Philip Seymour Hoffman: Owen Davian is the arms dealer who is devastatingly brutal to anyone who gets in his way and after Ethan has him killed off for show he comes back with a vengeance focusing everything on Ethan. Philip made for a brilliant villain and you literally feel every word that comes out of his mouth and just how much he means them. (9/10)

 owen

Michelle Monaghan: Julia is the wife of Ethan who ends up getting dragged into the criminal underworld where she will become a pawn in Owen Davian’s game. Michelle does a solid job as the damsel in distress but doesn’t get much else to work with. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Mission Impossible III has a supporting cast much like the previous two films with Ethan’s team, Davian team and the IMF agency questioning Ethan’s motives.

 

Director Review: J.J. Abrams – Mr Abrams does manage to bring the franchise back down to reality with one of the most entertaining action films of recent years that didn’t include a superhero. (8/10)

 

Action: Mission Impossible III has a large amount of action along with its trademark wacky stunt. (8/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible III manages to pull you in from the opening sequence until the final conclusion. (9/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible III keeps up the idea of using iconic landmarks for the settings to help identify how difficult the missions will be. (8/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible III is a must watch for all action fans out there because the best action films have the deadliest villains. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bridge attack.

Worst Part: It sometimes pokes fun at itself with the lines.

Action Scene Of The Film: Bridge attack.

Funniest Scene: Simon Pegg’s scenes.

 

Believability: No (/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two more sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $398 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Trivia: After the success of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Simon Pegg was asked whether he was going to be pursuing a career in Hollywood, to which he laughed and replied “it’s not like I am going to be in Mission Impossible III”.

 

Overall: Mission Impossible III is easily the best of the Mission Impossible film that is all action packed pure entertainment.

Rating 83

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star trek into darknessDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof (Screenplay)

Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Annton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke

 

Story: Kirk (Pine) returns along with his crew to take on a smilingly unstoppable man John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison starts a war against star fleet but can Kirk stop a terror from within before it is too late?

 

Verdict

 

Action: From the opening chase sequences to the in space classic Star Trek battle scene. Fills all the check boxes in action pack sci-fi (10/10)

 

Sci-Fi: Everything a Star trek fan will want and plenty to keep a casual sci-fi interested without full blown ‘geeking’ it out. (10/10)

 

Special Effects: top draw special effects all round (10/10)

 

Settings: Teasing the inclusion of the kligons and one of their home worlds is a very good touch. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: A top draw sci-fi film that continues a franchise and can easily draw in a casual viewer. (9/10)

 

Best Part: The build to the final battle plays out brilliantly

 

Worst Part: Lens flares

 

Star Performance: Zachary Quinto

Favourite Character: Bones

 

Poor Performance:  Alice Eve (not so much her fault just a needless character)

 

Least Favourite Character: Carol

 

Favourite Quote: John Harrison ‘You think your world is safe? It is an illusion, a comforting lie told to protect you, enjoy these final moments of peace, for I have returned to have my vengeance, so shall we begin?’

 

Overall: A blockbuster that will leave you out of breath, The film is full of everything you would like in a action sci-fi film and adding in Bones one liners to lighten the mood adds a lot. The big reveal of the villain was one of the worst kept secrets in the build, but doesn’t need to be in their in all fairness as Harrison being an unknown makes him come off extra evil. In the end just cause Star Trek is classed a geek or nerd followed film tv show J.J Abrams has turned into a more main stream film that should be enjoyed by all.

 

Rating 90%