ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois


Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for. 

Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Overly Long War Epic


Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.

Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.


Thoughts on The Patriot


Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.

StoryThe story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.

Action/History/WarThe action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.

SettingsThe film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.

Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Being overly patriotic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.


Overall: Patriotic 101




Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

independenceDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Nicolas Wright, James A Woods, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay) Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Nicolas Wright, James A Woods (Story)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Patrick St Espirt, Vivica A Fox


Plot: Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Horrendous


Story: Independence Day: Resurgence starts by taking us to a world 20 years after the first one where we have embraced and uses the alien technology. We then have to meet the returning faces and this will take a while because we have so many characters. David (Goldblum) who has spent the 20 years learning the technology preparing for a return, Dylan Hiller (Usher) yes this is a grown up version of Steve Hiller who is dead being an elite pilot who is best friends with Patricia Whitmore (Monroe) who works for President Lanford (Ward) while caring for her father the former President Whitmore (Pull) who is slightly paranoid now. Continuing the character introduction because there are this many we have bad boy Jake Morrison (Hemsworth) who is stuck on the moon, we also have a string of other characters who are easily forgettable.

When we move into the actual story the humans are now in a position in which they believe they can defend the Earth from any alien invasion but when a strange orb turns up, an attack on that brings the aliens back to finish the harvest of the planet and the humans must face off against the aliens once more but this time the old tricks no longer work on the aliens who have wised up.

Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to the hugely popular 90s movie and tries to follow in the reboot sequel trend we have been getting later. The problems for this story start very early, we have way to many character to either catch up on as well as a host of new ones to introduce us too. We get the aliens returning more prepared and the usual battle to save Earth. We have pointless sacrifice of characters whose death are non-actual sacrifices. The story comes off very boring as we jump between too many characters that we don’t actually care about now.


Actor Review


Liam Hemsworth: Jake Morrison is the bad boy soldier that is stuck on the moon, he has caused an accident with Dylan which has left him on the moon while his fiancée Patricia is back on Earth. He is the closest to a Will Smith we get. Liam is no 90s Will Smith, hell I was more entertained by his brother in the Ghostbusters Trailer.

Jeff Goldblum: David Levinson is back studying alien technology which he has worked on to help defend Earth. He finally gets a chance to get into an African Warlords base who have never let any outside world enter their base. Much like the first one we get to see David to try and be the voice of reason in any decision. Jeff should have just stayed away from this one because the character just ends up being a boring scientist losing what made him fun.

Jessie T Usher: Dylan Hiller is the stepson of Steven Hiller the Will Smith character who has followed in his step-father’s footsteps becoming a fighter pilot. He leads the attack back against the aliens putting aside his differences with Jim. Jessie is no 90s Will Smith and feels like just a background characters considering he is meant to be a leading man.

Bill Pullman: President Whitmore is struggling with his nightmares from his connection he had with the aliens. He knows something bad is coming but no one wants to believe him but can he finally get through to the people. Bill has the most interesting character in the film but doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: Independence Day: Resurgence has a huge supporting cast who are a mix of returning characters and new who all don’t get enough screen time because there are just so many to remember what is going on.

Director Review: Roland EmmerichRoland seems to have lost the fun aspect the first film had which turns this into an overcomplicated mess.


Action: Independence Day: Resurgence has plenty of mindless action going on throughout making it almost impossible to know what is going on.

Adventure: Independence Day: Resurgence, no it is not an adventure film.

Sci-Fi: Independence Day: Resurgence has the alien invasion and alien technology going on to which we have no embraced.

Settings: Independence Day: Resurgence moves onto the moon for parts of the film but I found myself confused that the world rebuilt the same landmarks over homes first.
Special Effects
: Independence Day: Resurgence has the special effects that are nearly all CGI which doesn’t help because the first has a few practical effects we could relate to.

Suggestion: Independence Day: Resurgence is one to just miss it really is a mess. (Skip Avoid Run)



Worst Part: Too many characters.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: NO WAY

Budget: $165 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: They want only one thing . . . DESTRUCTION!


Overall: Terrible mess really.




Universal Soldier (1992)

logoDirector:  Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin (Screenplay) Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch (Story)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker, Ed O’Ross, Jerry Orbach, Leon Rippy, Tico Wells, Ralf Moeller


Plot: An elite team of soldiers has been used against terrorists where they use astounding physical capabilities to overcome them. Veronica, a reporter, follows them and discovers a part of their secret. When one of the team kills her cameraman she tries to escape. Luc, one of the soldiers begins to have flashbacks and turns sides and helps her as the remainder of the team follows to protect their secrets.


Verdict: Relaxaction Time


Story: This starts promising with the idea of elite team of soldiers who complete missions that would be too risky to send living men on. The soldiers are all fallen men bought back to life with a twist that they are programed to listen to commands without question. Things change when an idea never really got tested leaving progress in the operating system leading to two wartime enemies fighting each other one being good the other bad. Add in the reporter who will do anything for a story we get a basic action film about uncovering the truth while trying to survive an onslaught from the military. It is easy to watch and will tick all the boxes for a fun action film. (7/10)


Actor Review


Jean-Claude Van Damme: Luc the fallen hero that starts to remember what happened when he died, he understands good and bad unlike the rest of the recruits. He uses he skills to help elude capture and help Veronica uncover the truth. Good performance from Jean-Claude showing why he was great as a strong silent type with excellent fighting skills. (9/10)


Dolph Lundgren: Andrew a sergeant who snaps during war killing everyone before being put down by Luc. He is selected to be used in the program along with Luc but when things start to come back to him he starts to go back to his old way, collecting ears and killing everyone. Great villain performance and easily one of the most underrated of the 90s. (9/10)


Ally Walker: Veronica a determined reporter who will do anything for a good story, but this time she gets more than she bargained for, when she gets involved with the military program and goes on the run with Luc. Good performance helping fill in blanks and being a helpful teacher for Luc. (8/10)


Ed O’Ross: Colonel Perry the leader of the Universal Soldiers, whose job is to keep them following orders and achieving their missions. With plenty of leadership skills this very generic Colonel who wants to take more risks before research has a temper. Good standard performance here. (6/10)


Director Review: Roland Emmerich – Good direction to create the fun action film which is now what he is known for. (8/10)


Action: When the action happens it is great long battles, long fight, plenty of explosions and tons of bullets used. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Good look at what the military could be up to. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting offers a chance to have fun watching how Luc gets out and learns the ways of the world again. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for all the action films out there, you will love this one and it offers everything you want in an action film. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Motel battle

Worst Part: Generic support characters.

Action Scene Of The Film: Prison bus chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Became a franchise

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $36 Million

Budget: $23 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Robots runs amok


Overall: Classic Action Film

Rating 81

White House Down (2013)

logoDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: James Vanderbilt (Screenplay)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joel King, James Woods, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick


Plot: When John Cale (Tatum) has an interview to be part of President James Sawyer’s (Foxx) secret service team he gets rejected, not wanting to let his daughter Emily (King) down he takes her on a tour of the White House. Whilst on the tour Stenz (Clarke) and his team take over the White House. Having inside help the team all with alternative motives secure the White House. It is down to Cale to save the President and his daughter before world war three breaks out.


Verdict: Action pack thriller

Story: Part action part conspiracy we get everything to make a fun action film. WE get more twists than we would be used to in an action film as well as plenty of over the top action. It is another story that involves making the President the ultimate good guy like Independence Day, Deep Impact and Olympus Has Fallen. It also makes the lone hero dodge every bullet even from trained soldiers. For a film that is two hours long it keep you entertained from start to finish. (9/10)


Actor Review: Channing Tatum – John Cale the man with all the potential to be a great secret service agent but with bad CV and not the best education he doesn’t get a chance. Channing is proving to be one of the few young action stars making an impact in Hollywood and this role continues to help him shine in the role. Kick Ass Award (9/10)


Actor Review: Jamie Foxx – President James Sawyer the leader of the free world who gets betrayed by the people he trusts the most. Foxx joins the ranks of Pullman, Freeman and Eckhart with a memorable President role. (8/10)


Actor Review: Maggie Gyllenhaal – Finnerty second in command of the secret service has to help Cale from the outside as well as trying to keep the other powers from taking over. Good supporting performances trying to keep everything calm even after what emotional trauma she struggles to go through with her mentor turning on his Country. (8/10)


Actor Review: Jason Clarke – Stenz leader of the team that take over the White House. Good supporting role with motivation and a psychotic side all make up for a great soldier for the cause. (8/10)


Actor Review: James Woods – Walker head of the secret service that turns on his President to get revenge for his son’s death. Good villainous role from the acting legend creating the very real terror of a home invasion on the White House. (8/10)


Director Review: Roland Emmerich – We all know Roland can make a fun action film this continues that trend. (9/10)


Scene Stealer Award – Donnie The Guide & Tyler the Hacker – Both great roles in which a smaller supporting role steals the scenes.


Action: Plenty of action throughout. (10/10)

Thriller: Keeps you sitting at the edge of your seat from start to finish. (9/10)

Special Effects: Good use of special effects but a couple of shots you can tell are blue screens. (6/10)

Believability: The neutral mark to say you make of it what you want to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: I think there could be a few. (2/10)

Settings: With all the action taking place inside the White House gives a great setting matching up to Air Force One and Die Hard. (10/10)

Suggestion: Action films can have selective audience but once you hit a side of fun you can get a lot more people behind a film. This is one that is enjoyable from start to finish with all the action being over the top so you can just sit relax and enjoy. (Watch)


Best Part: Plenty of twists and turns

Worst Part: The lawn car scene

Action Scene Of The Film: The roof scene

Kill Of The Film: Killick

Funniest Scene: The Tour guide takes the hostages to freedom

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Similar Too: Olympus Has Fallen


Overall: A great Action thriller

Rating 89

Godzilla (1998)

logoDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (Screenplay) Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Arabella Field


Plot: When an enormous radioactive monster Godzilla comes to Manhattan it wreaks havoc on the island city. Doctor Niko Tatopoulos (Broderick) to help identify the creature and its weaknesses the military try to neutralize the situation but lose the creature in the city. Add in a hungry want to be news reporter Audrey (Pitillo) and fearless cameraman Victor ‘Animal’ Palotti (Azaria) trying to expose the truth as well as French secret service Phillippe Roache (Reno) who has to try and cover up all the details of what is going on.


Verdict: A fun creature feature with mega destruction

Story: The idea in the story is made plenty of times with Godzilla being in many films over decades sometimes on its own other time with another monster. This time Godzilla is on its own just trying to hide and make a nest. We have unlikely heroes alongside idiot soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. They have a feebly attempt at a love story which takes away some of the fear in the creature side of it. Most of the other characters have been made into stereotypes which take away individuality in the characters. (7/10)


Actor Review: Matthew Broderick – Doctor Niko who investigates worms and gets hired to help identify a giant monster. His character feels like it should be a smaller part rather than the hero of the story. Matthew does an ok job but doesn’t shine too much in the role. (6/10)


Actor Review: Jean Reno – Phillippe French secret service who has to cover up the creature invasion of Manhattan. Jean is the funniest character in the film be it his hate of American coffee and missing French food as well as his Elvis impression. Best performance in the film. (8/10)


Actor Review: Maria Pitillo – Hungry reporter looking for her big break who takes advantage of her old boyfriend Niko. Doesn’t give the best performance very annoying character who makes the film more of rom com than action feature. (4/10)


Actor Review: Hank Azaria – Daredevil cameraman who has one of the most memorable scenes in the film. Good performance as always seems to come off lucky to escape the situation left in. (7/10)


Director Review: Roland Emmerich – King of the mega destruction films and this is no different delivers a good action film with light comedy to break the serious side of the story. (8/10)


Action: Some excellent action scenes. (9/10)

Thriller: Some good build but not to a level we would be expecting to get in this sort of film. (5/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects creating the creature which have dated a bit now. (7/10)

Believability: Radioactive test could have caused anything but this is a bit farfetched but you never know. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: Potential very few people may get a tear. (1/10)

Settings: Manhattan has many iconic locations that we get to see and most get destroyed but create a good setting for the film. (8/10)


Suggestion: I would suggest this as it is a good action film that will be in the category of switch off your brain and enjoy the film. (Try It)


Best Part: First invasion of the creature.

Worst Part: Love story is poor.

Action Scene of the Film: Final chase scene with creature.

Funniest Scene: Niko in the elevator.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No sequel but reboot

Similar Too: Independence Day, Cloverfield


Overall: Fun Monster feature


Rating 70