Detective Pikachu (2019)

Director: Rob Letterman

Writer: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) Satoshi Tajiri, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Nicole Perlman, Ken Sugimori, Junuchi Masuda, Atsuko Nishida, Tomokazu Ohara, Haruka Utsui (Original Content)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Karan Soni, Rob Delaney, Kathryn Newton

 

Plot: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cuteness Can Only Get You So Far

 

Story: Detective Pikachu starts when Tim Goodman (Smith) a young man living in a small town where he is content with his job not wanting to leave like most of his friends, until he gets news of his father’s death in the big city. Once in the big city Tim meets a talking Pikachu that was his father’s partner and the two go in search for answers to what happened to his father and why Pikachu can’t remember a thing.

 

Thoughts on Detective Pikachu

 

Characters – Tim Goodman is the young man that once dreamed of being a Pokémon trainer, he has settled with the idea of insurance for his job, his mother died when he was young and his father has become distant. When his father is killed in an accident, Tim travels to the big city in search for answers and closure only to find himself involved in the big mystery with a new Pikachu partner. Tim feels like a character that is trying to connect to the audience of the people that once loved Pokémon that got hit by life as they grew up. Pikachu is the partner of Tim’s father, only for an unknown reason he can talk to Tim, he is snappy his lines which sees him trying to remain confident as he wants to learn what he happened to his partner and his memory. Lucy is an intern that dreams of being a reporter, she gets the heads up on the story and starts diving into trying to solve the story with Tim. Howard Clifford has built the city where Pokémon and humans can work together and is involved in a power struggle with his son for his company.

PerformancesJustice Smith is the stronger performer in this film, he does show the held in grief his character is feeling, while showing his character is on the verge of coming out of his shell. Ryan Reynolds lends his voice to Pikachu which does work for the most part, he gets the jokes, while handling the serious moments too. Kathryn Newton is strong, though it would have been nice to see more from her character. Bill Nighy is one that brings the calming presence to everything being the typical brains for change into the world.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that teams up with a talking Pikachu, to figure out what happened to his father only to learn about a bigger conspiracy that is going on in the world. The story does easily take a back burner for large amounts of time because we want to focus on the cuteness of the Pokémon. We do get a standard investigation story, which is meant to have twists and turns along the way like all mystery films. We do cut over smaller stories around the supporting characters which disappoints in Lucy’s mostly. We do get a few moments that just don’t make sense though because they go against other rules created in the film.

Action/Comedy/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action sequences are fun to watch which are mostly Pokémon battles which look brilliant, the comedy is fun enough, though we did get most of the best moments in the trailer. The mystery is everything you would expect without being anything new or need to be. The sci-fi world created shows us just how the human and Pokémon can live together in one world.

SettingsThe film creates a wonderful location for the big city which looks nature throughout the scenes there, outside the big city we get to see how the Pokémon would live in our own world.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are truly amazing, to create the world which sees Pokémon living next to humans, everything looks nature when they appear on screen.


Scene of the Movie –
The Pokémon in life.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story is pretty basic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun easy to watch film about Pokémon, it gets everything it needs to right without trying to test the audience with the lengths of the story.

 

Overall: Fun and Over Cute.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – C – Criminal (2016)

Director: Ariel Vromen

Writer: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Alice Eve

 

Plot: In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission.


Tagline –  Take me to the Dutchman.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Action Thriller

 

Story: Criminal starts when CIA agent Bill Pope (Reynolds) is working on bringing The Dutchman (Pitt) to America in exchange for closing the wormhole on the dark web that he has created, the problem is Xavier Heimdahl (Molla) also wants the Dutchman and kills Bill before getting the answers.

Turning to Dr Franks (Jones) for an experimental memory transfer Quaker Wells (Oldman) the head of the CIA operation uses death-row inmate Jerico Stewart (Costner) to learn where the vital information is, but letting a killer lose becomes harder to control than believed.

 

Thoughts on Criminal

 

Characters – Jerico Stewart is the dangerous death-row inmate, we don’t learn what he has done, but anyone that crosses him usually ends up in a body bag. He is forced into receiving Bill’s memories in a hope that he can save a major release of secure information, he doesn’t want to work with the CIA and is happier to operate in his own means. Quaker Wells is running the CIA operation which goes wrong, he will go at any lengths to get the answers he needs to stop the information leak, company man who does go too far. Dr Franks has been working on transferring memories for 18 years, this is his first human attempt which shows how he wants to help with the new memories. Important to the story but lacking the impact he should have on the story. Bill Pope is the family man and CIA agent, it is his memories which hold the answers after he is killed. Xavier Heimdahl wants to bring an end to governments across the world, he will go public with his speeches while also having his darker side coming out when getting what he wants.

PerformancesKevin Coster is in the middle of his recovery/mid-life crisis roles in action movies, he knows how to make his performance work keeping everything entertaining throughout. Gary Oldman as a company man CIA agent, well this always works as he never needs o do anything challenging. Tommy Lee Jones likewise does what he needs to without bringing anything unique to the role. Reynolds is hard to judge because of the smaller part in the film. Jordi Molla does make a good villain showing the calmness needed for the character to feel calculated. Gal Gadot is solid in her supporting role without needing to do much.

StoryThe story gives us the idea that vital information is about to be leaked by a hacker if he doesn’t get a passport and immunity, but things go wrong when the agent with the connection is killed. The experimental idea of transferring memories is put in motion as the candidate doesn’t follow orders the way they had hoped and different agencies from around the globe want the information. This plays out like an action film, but in reality it should have been a tense thriller with the characters we have here. It is an easy to watch and enjoy even if the premise does seem wildly over the top for a simpler idea.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiWhen we look at the themes being used action gives us the shoot out we have seen before with a couple of car chases, nothing overly memorable though. The crime world we are placed into shows how the CIA are trying to protect the world from a new threat in London, it seems weird the British intelligence agency are not involved in this. The mystery in this film doesn’t work too well as the only thing needing to be solved is where the package was left. The sci-fi side of the film does come from the idea of transferring the memories, it is only used here though.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the surrounding area, it does feel weird that an American operation happens in England though.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed without being over used for the action scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Ambulance chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have a tonal problem with the action and thriller side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid easy to watch action thriller that doesn’t test the audience too much, throws in a wild sci-fi idea and big-name actors hoping it will be a classic.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Director: David Leitch

Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds (Screenplay) Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza (Comics)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgard, T.J Miller, Terry Crews

 

Plot: Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.


Tagline – Prepare for the second coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh a Minute Comedy

 

Story: Deadpool 2 starts when Deadpool (Reynolds) gets forced into helping Colossus back at Xavier’s mansion, his first mission to calm Russell (Dennison) a tortured mutant about to cause chaos with his fire ability. When things go south Deadpool ends up needing to protect Russell from the time travelling warrior Cable (Brolin) that has come from the future to kill Russell, along the way Deadpool puts together a team, the X-force with Domino (Beetz) using her ability to help in ways Deadpool doesn’t understand.

 

Thoughts on Deadpool 2

 

Characters – Deadpool has gone international with his crime fighting ways now, but when he suffers a life changing moment he goes in search of a purpose, he spends most of the film trying to save Russell from Cable with one liners coming out his mouth in nearly every scene. Cable has come from the future in search of a mutant that has killed his family, he will use his technology advances to get to him and fight to stop the mutant before he could clash with his family in the future. He is the opposite to Deadpool, cold hearted killer, but broken too. Vanessa is back and gives Deadpool all the motivation he needs to complete his tasks. Domino is the new-comer most people will enjoy, her ability is luck, she is super laid back and everything just seems to fall her way. Russell is the teenager with fire ability, he has been abused at the home for mutants, which has made him the enemy when he wants to kill the people that abused him. When it comes to the rest of the characters we get good moments with them throughout the film, but none of them become the centre of attention.

PerformancesRyan Reynolds shines once again in the role he was destining to play. Josh Brolin makes for an excellent Cable, they even throw the short jokes about him not matching the comic book Cable’s size in too. Zazie Beetz is the breakout star of the movie, having never seen her in anything, she handles this laid-back role very well. Julian Dennison, you might remember him from the Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he brings that level of performance here which adds to the comedy in the film. The rest of the returning cast do a good job as the new faces, but none reach the level of the previous mentioned performers.

StoryThe story here does follow similar path to the original Deadpool, where Deadpool must take on a villain using the friends both old a new while adding comedy into the revenge premise. This keeps everything simple, gets to poke fun at the genre of superheroes and does bring a turning point for the Deadpool character and his actions. There are shocks in the storyline, but I felt like I was watching a superhero version of Looper for the most part.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action gives us plenty of fights between the characters, we get to see how the director has used his past experience in the John Wick films to make the action scenes feel more intense, the inclusion of the Cable character gives us more sci-fi elements with the time travel and weaponry. It is the comedy that we have come here for though, it would be fair to say barely any jokes miss, and while some are reference heavy, the target audience should understand them all.

SettingsThe film gives us settings like a Fast and Furious movie, we have point A for one action sequence, point B for the next and part C for the final act, it is by the book and for the most part they check off action picks well.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film look brilliant too, even when they is a reference to a CGI battle, it works for the film and makes you laugh along the way.


Scene of the Movie –
Healing time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain characters don’t get as much screen time as you feel they should.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sequel that brings us more laughs, more enjoyment and great new characters.

 

Overall: Funniest film of the year.

Rating

 

 

The Captive (2014)

Director: Atom Egoyan

Writer: Atom Egoyan, David Fraser (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand

 

Plot: Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she’s still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intenseless Thriller

 

Story: The Captive starts as we see the teenage Cassandra (Fast) locked in a room by her kidnapper Mika (Durand), she hasn’t left this room for 8 years. She gets to watch over her parent’s life in this twisted game Mika plays.

Flashback 8 years and we see the events leading up to this event of her disappearance as her father Matthew (Reynolds) is left feeling helpless as she is taken from the car, his wife Tina (Enos) blames him and the detectives Nicole (Dawson) and nearly appointed officers Jeffrey (Speedman) start looking into the case.

We then get to follow how Tina, Matthew, Nicole and Jeffrey have spent the next 8 years with the yearly arrival to meet and see if any clues have come up regarding her whereabouts, can the truth come out and the family know the truth or will they be left in the unknown forever.

 

Thoughts on The Captive

 

Characters/PerformanceMatthew is the father of the missing girl, he searches on every journey making sure any young girl he sees is safely returned home while also checking they are not his long-lost daughter. Tina has continued to work with the police as they search for clues to what happened, all while trying to continue her own life. Nicole is the lead detective working on searching for children who are put in danger and trying to shut down paedophile rings. Jeffrey is the new detective to the case but has been working on it for the full amount of time as he goes overboard at times. Mika is the one that has Cassandra, we learn this in the opening sequences so not spoilers with this information, but he is the one involved if the bigger picture.

Performance wise, Ryan Reynolds is good in this role because you can believe him as the desperate father, Rosario Dawson also is good in her role as we see how both known for light-hearted roles performing very well. Speedman is fine through the film without being likable and Mireille Enos does control to show she can be a leading role in a film. it is Kevin Durand however that is the true star of the show, being creepy throughout.

StoryThe story is told with a mix of flashbacks and current time events which can be very difficult to keep up on, it also doesn’t help that the film does follow a similar idea of parents and police officers searching for a missing child which is clearly much more intense in Prisoners. By jumping around all over the time line we are left just feeling lost following a story that should be intense from beginning to end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story is something that is very dark which should be one of the more intense and shocking crime stories of recent times but the storytelling process loses that but we are kept wondering how big the mystery is behind everything going on.

SettingsThe snow filled setting shows us just how hopeless the search for a missing child would be during the winter and how easy it would be to hide people too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that should have been a classic but in the end, it doesn’t reach all its potential because of the awful storytelling process.

 

Overall: Missed on too many marks.

Rating

 

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

Director: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Tom O’Connor (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman, Selma Hayek

 

Plot: The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Watchable Fun

 

Story: The Hitman’s Bodyguard starts as we see how our triple A bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) lose his reputation after losing a client, we learn that Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman) the former President of Belarus is being charged with war crimes but his witnesses keep going missing but now Darius Kincad (Jackson) a hitman comes forward to seal his fate with Sonia (Hayek) a deal to get his wife released from prison.

When the transport goes wrong Michael gets bought in to become the bodyguard for Darius but the history between the two brings us the comedy as the enemies must work together to get from Manchester to the Hauge to being Dukhovich down once and for all, as we learn the skills both men have.

 

Thoughts on The Hitman’s Bodyguard

 

Characters – Michael Bryce might as well just be Van Wilder grown up as he likes the perfect plan but feels free like it comes together naturally, his by the book style clashes with Darius which adds to the comedy as he believes he can manage this job alone if Darius can follow instructions. Darius Kincaid is the hitman that has racked up a lot of kills, he has crossed paths with Michael before and now he wants to help set his wife free from jail, his is deadly with a gun and reluctantly works with Michael to make everything work even if his style is carefree. Dukhovich is the tyrant dictator bring charged with the crimes, he does seem to believe he has ultimate power but spends most of the film just in the court room being evil looking. Sonia suffers the same fate, she is in prison most of the film just ranting about Darius and wanting to be free.

PerformanceRyan Reynolds gives us the fast taking character we know he can here with Samuel L Jackson also give his more aggressive fast talking style. Oldman is always a great villain but here he almost feels wasted as is Salma Hayek.

StoryThe story is a by the books two men from different worlds must come together for the greater good but things don’t go as planned along the way, we have generic characters that offer little to the bigger picture and in the end the story does feel flat at times, but we do get arcs to the Michael and Darius characters similar to what we saw with Hobbs and Shaw in Fast & Furious 8 but outside this we have nothing new.

Action/ComedyThe action does come off great, we have designed chases that have bullets flying all over the place but then lose the comedy in these moments, the comedy is fine but does feel like it is just the two shouting at each other most of the time, and if it was more action based it could have been a lot more enjoyable.

SettingsThe settings bring the film to Europe, well England and Holland which is fine, the chases feel more compact which the highlight being in Amsterdam.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well at times, most are used for comedy moments or flashbacks.

Scene of the Movie – Amsterdam chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It felt like it wanted to be a comedy when it seems to play out better as just an action film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action comedy that is fine but doesn’t take any awards for best action or comedy this year.

 

Overall: Fine but nothing overly special.

Rating