The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

kissDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black (Screenplay) Brett Halliday (Novel)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok, Larry Miller, Rockmond Dunbar

 

Plot: A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Comedy

 

Story: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starts as we meet Harry (Downey Jr) who is once a thief but ends up finding himself hired as an actor in LA. We also meet aspiring actress Harmony (Monaghan) and private eye Gay Perry (Kilmer) who are all at the same party in LA. For the role Harry accidently lands himself he has to spend some time with Gay Perry learning how a private investigator works.

When the two find themselves in the middle of a cover up that ended up having to find out who murdered Harmony’s sister.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a crime comedy that only Shane Black can bring us, we get a unique way of telling the story. we get the almost odd couple having to work together but that is more along the lines of a who dun it which could easily fit in any comedy mystery show. It is the creation of the characters and their interactions which makes for all the laughs throughout the film with the overreaction to things that have happened years before.

Downey Jr and Kilmer are excellent together really getting all of the laughs throughout and Monaghan is great completion to the leading trio. When it comes to the villain side of the story we don’t get very strong characters on this side of the story. this is a fun alternative Christmas comedy mystery film but you will have to be used to the style of Shane Black.

 

Overall: Enjoy comedy that will only work if you are prepared for the style of comedy being used.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Predator (1987)

predDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall

 

Plot: A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: Predator starts as a team of American Commandos led by Dutch (Schwarzenegger) are joined by CIA agent Dillion (Weathers) to go into the South American jungle to rescue hostages taken by guerrillas.

Dutch finding out his team were used to complete a different mission he orders an immediate evacuate only to find themselves having to fight an invisible enemy with weapons stronger than anything they have seen before.

Predator has one of the simplest stories for action sci-fi with it being man versus unknown enemy. When it comes to the story the film really doesn’t need anything more than this because anything that over complicates the story taking away from the action.

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Dutch is the tough leader of a group of lit commandoes that get assigned to the South American jungle for their latest mission, working with former friend and CIA agent Dillion he finds himself facing off against an alien creature that is picking off his men. Arnold is a perfect choice for this role, strong, tough and able to handle himself in a fight in what could be one of his most iconic roles.dtch

Carl Weathers: Dillion is the former soldier who served next to Dutch but now is a CIA agent, he knows Dutch’s skills and recruits him into helping with the mission in the jungle but he does have other motives. Carl is good in this role even if the character comes off feeling genetic.

Elpidia Carrillo: Anna is found in the jungle with the enemies, she gets captured to be taken back by Dillion but she knows what the men are up against in the jungle. Elpidia is good but also really just the damsel in distress figure.

Bill Duke: Mac is one of the soldiers in Dutch’s unit, he is the first to come face to face with the enemy where the others can’t believe what they are actually up against. Bill is good in this like all of soldier characters.

Support Cast: Predator has a small supporting cast with most just being the different members of the unit who all do a good job throughout.

Director Review: John McTiernanJohn gives us one of the best action sci-fi films ever made with perfect casting and a simple story that works so well.

 

Action: Predator has great action sequences happening throughout.

Adventure: Predator throws our characters into an adventure style survival story.

Sci-Fi: Predator puts our humans against aliens to create the battle arena.predator

Settings: Predator is set entirely within the jungle which help show the isolation the characters face against the predator.
Special Effects
: Predator has brilliant special effects for the time that have mostly all stood the test of time too.

Suggestion: Predator is a film I think all film fans should have seen at least it once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Pointless dialogue in the final showdown.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar

Box Office: $60 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: It came for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man to hunt.

 

Overall: True classic of the genre that shows just how to make a simple story so much fun.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Nice Guys (2016)

niceDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Beau Knapp

 

Plot: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: The Nice Guys starts as we meet Jackson Healy (Crowe) who does the dirty jobs for people, we also meet PI Holland March (Gosling) who is a single father to Holly (Rice). The two end up crossing paths when Holland’s latest case sets him in search Amelia Kuttner (Qualley) who has a connection with pornstar Misty Mountains (Telio) who has famously died.

The unlikely duo must use both their skills to find Amelia as they learn of a bigger case going on as they find themselves being hunted down by John Boy (Bomer).

The Nice Guys is an action comedy crime mystery that we get an odd couple having to work together to solve the case. We get great moments between the Jackson and Holland as they both approach solving the crimes. The story is one you will have scene before with the conspiracy style without being something overly original but it does help make the characters feel like they fit into the world created. The story balances the comedy and action well without going too heavy on either and none of the jokes are forced.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: Jackson gets hired to beat people up, he doesn’t ask questions he just does the job and gets paid. When his latest job finds him having to send a warning to Holland only to find himself getting stuck in the middle of the case and having to work with Holland. Russell nails the comedy perfectly while going against certain character traits people see in Russell.

Ryan Gosling: Holland is a PI and single father who has been searching for Amelia, he has his own problems with alcohol and has to work with Jackson to solve this latest case. Ryan shows another side to his skills in this role where he shines.

Angourie Rice: Holly is the teenage daughter of Holland’s who joins the odd couple on their adventure to solve the crime. She is wise beyond her years becoming key to the outcome of the story. Angourie stands toe to toe with the big names in this movie.

Matt Bomer: John Boy is called for to deal with the problem of Amelia, he is a deadly hit man that has to come to finish off the job. Matt is good in this supporting role as we don’t see him until late into the movie.

Support Cast: The Nice Guys has a supporting cast that all come into the story working very well with the main story.

Director Review: Shane BlackShane does give us one of the smash comedies of the year that will be making many people’s favourite for the year.

 

Action: The Nice Guys has good action moments with the over the top style the film gives us.

Comedy: The Nice Guys has great moments of comedy without trying to be laugh a minute.

Crime: The Nice Guys puts us into the crime story where we join the odd couple solving the crime.

Mystery: The Nice Guys puts us into the mystery of why Amelia is being hunted down by everyone.

Settings: The Nice Guys is set in the 70s where we follow the story and everything work very well.

Suggestion: The Nice Guys is one of the films I do think everyone should be watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Gosling and Crowe.

Worst Part: Couldn’t see one.

Funniest Scene: Party scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could easily have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely but could easily be an outside shot for screenplay.

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

Tagline: They’re not that nice 

 

Overall: One of the most enjoyable comedies of the year.

Ratingcard

 

 

Last Action Hero (1993)

logoDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Shane Black, David Arnott (Screenplay) Zak Penn, Adam Leff (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney, Charles Dance, Frank McRae, Tom Noonan, Austin O’Brien, Ian McKellen

 

Story: Danny Madison (O’Brien) an action film junkie spends most of his time at his local cinema while skipping school. When his favourite action star Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger) new film is getting released, Danny gets a chance to watch the film in an early showing. After getting a special ticket from the owner of the cinema he gets transported into the film.

Once inside the film Danny and Jack must team up to stop drug lord who murdered Jack’s favourite second cousin. The hit man Benedict (Dance) is cold and calculated and along with his different glass eyes adding character to along with showing of his mood. Once Benedict gets hold of the ticket he learns it is a path to the real world leaving Jack and Danny with the mission to stop him from killing the real Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

Jack & Danny returning to the real world

Jack & Danny returning to the real world

Verdict: It is always good to see a genre-busting film and this really opens up all sorts of doors in the film industry, mixing action, comedy and fantasy in a real world twist.

Story: The story is really something great, never taking itself too serious but still telling a good story. The good points for the story would be just how smoothly the story flows between the real world and the cinema world. The chemistry between Jack and Danny works well creating the good odd couple. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Arnold Schwarzenegger – This is when Arnie was at his prime every film he did was a hit, everyone loved to watch his films. Be it for his over the top action or cheesy one liners. This film fits into his casting perfectly as he also shows his comic timing is still there. Star Performance Award (10/10)

 

Jack Carter

Jack Carter

Actor Review: Austin O’Brien – Good performance from the young man who goes toe to toe with Arnie and never looks out of place. His character provides great enthusiasm which stands out to keep the film on a lighter note rather than being as dark as it could have been. Favourite Character Award (10/10)

 andy

Actor Review: Charles Dance – Excellent as the cold hearted villain showing his ability to dominate a scene with his calm persona. Much like many British actors he plays a well-educated villain who always comes off very calm on screen and this is no different, even showing hints of cold comic tones especially with his time in the real world.  (10/10)

bendict

Director Review: John McTiernan – With Die Hard, Predator and Hunt For Red October to his name you know you can trust this guy with action films. Having the ability to create perfect comic relief in his characters, works to his credit in this film. (10/10)

 

Action: Great action sequences plenty of gun fights car chases to keep the action junkie fans happy. (9/10)

Comedy: Great comic timing to lighten the mood of the action. (9/10)

Music: Watching fresh in 2013 the classic tunes are great reminder of the music in the early 90s. (9/10)

Settings: Set in a mix of two worlds, first we have a fictional California next to the real bleak New York City. The two worlds work for this film because the fictional one shows of people in the dream world of the film poking fun at how films are cast, while the New York is bleak dark and scary one we all have to face up to. (10/10)

Suggestion: Action film fans will love this film; it will appeal to Die Hard fans and all Arnie fans. Nothing in this film is over serious so if you can looking for a film like that you are looking in the wrong place. The film is one where you can just switch off and enjoy (9/10)

 

Best Part: Benedict in the real world learning about the lack of crime prevention.

Favourite Quote: Benedict ‘If God was a villain, he would be me’

 

Overall: Slick Stylish Action Adventure

Rating 87%