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.




Chef (2014)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Jon Favreau (Screenplay)

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Lequizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr


Plot: A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Food Adventure


Story: Chef starts as we meet a once hotly tipped chef Carl Casper (Favreau) working for Riva (Hoffman) in his high-class restaurant. When a critic is due to attend, Carl wants to go big but gets talked down by Riva, this leaves him with a negative review. Carl finds himself becoming an internet sensation with this review by Ramsey Michel (Platt) going viral.

Carl finds himself out of a job but with a chance of big money, but his ex-wife Inez (Vergara) pushes him join her and their son Percy (Anthony) on a trip to Miami hoping to see Carl recapture his love for cooking. Looking to reclaim his reputation Carl gets a food truck to bring his flavours around Miami and this brings him closer to his own son and his true passion cooking.


Thoughts on Chef


Characters/PerformanceCarl is a chef that had a reputation of being edgy and brilliant but over time he has fallen into a normal routine in a restaurant, he now needs to prove he is still edgy and a food truck will help prove this. Inez is the ex-wife that still supports Carl in his decisions and understanding his problems. Martin is the loyal friend of Carl that gives up his job to follow him on the food trip. The rest of the characters include the boss who is more interested in money that fresh food, the film critic, the son that is feeling left out and the other people that help Carl redeem himself.

Performance wise, Favreau is good in this leading role as well as being great of director, John Leguizamo is always great in supporting roles and this is no different. Emjay Anthony is good in what is an all-star cast to. The cast are all good through the whole film.

StoryThe story shows how one man can lose his reputation but regain it by returning to his routes, so basically like any actor or director in Hollywood. There is obviously more to this film too as we get a father and son bond growing after years of a distant relationship but the food element shows if you are passionate about anything you can enjoy it from any position.

ComedyThe comedy is light and when needed as the film is more of a road trip adventure drama.

SettingsWe get plenty of iconic locations through the film as we learn the different foods that make different parts of America famous.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable food based road trip learning about different famous dishes from around America.


Overall: One that is enjoyable for all.




Wild Card (2015)

logoDirector: Simon West

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay) William Goldman (Novel)

Starring: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Hope Davis, Mile Ventimiglia, Max Casella, Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander, Sofia Vergara, Anne Heche


Plot: When a Las Vegas bodyguard with lethal skills and a gambling problem gets in trouble with the mob, he has one last play…and it’s all or nothing.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Statham Action Thriller Stamp


Story: Wild Card starts with a last December timeline where Nick Wild (Statham) is drinking in a bar where he gets mixed up with Osgood (Casella) and his girl DD (Vergara). We see a girl beaten up and dumped outside a hospital and her only word is Nick after being asked who did it. Nick is a security consultant for attorney Pinky (Alexander). A young man Cyrus Kinnick (Angarano) wants to hire Nick to bodyguard him during a night in the casino. We see that the opening fight was just a play to make Osgood look good for the girl.

Holly (Garcia-Lorido) was the girl from the hospital and while released she turns out to be friends with Nick and calling out was for his help. She recounts that story of what happened with three guys raping and beating her up, Holly wants Nick to find the guys responsible so she can sue them. Nick has connection all over town apart from the hotel where the incident happened but he does find out who it was Danny DeMarco (Ventimiglia) but he is warned away.

Nick takes Cyrus on the night around Las Vegas while being conflicted about what happened to Holly, leaving Cyrus in his low stakes gambling Nick goes to Holly and ends up getting involved with helping her get her revenge. Nick pays Danny a visit leaving all three of them laying giving Holly her chance at revenge. Roll credits, wait we have only had 45 minutes so far.

Nick heads to the casino to try and kill some time with his croupier friend Cassandra (Davis) as Nick knows this will be his last night in Vegas. Nick hits an unbelievable streak on the table making the money he wants so he can leave the city once and for all. Nick’s gambling problems come back to hit him when he decides to risk it all to make enough so he will never have to return to Vegas, but blows it all. Cyrus final reveals why he has made contact with Nick and wants to learn how to lose his fear of the world but Nick has to deal with the DeMarco’s.

Wild Card gives us what we are used to from a Jason Statham film, we know he will end up in a fight against multiply opponents while trying to do the right thing. Taking that away we do get elements of the film which take on a more serious note, like his gambling addiction. Unlike certain films touching on the same subject matter we get to see people come and go from the story early than we would expect. When it comes to the base story it works out nicely for an enjoyable action thriller but don’t expect anything ground breaking. (7/10)


Actor Review


Jason Statham: Nick Wild specialist who knows the right people at all the levels of Vegas who ends up helping a friend get revenge on a guy who beat them up. After he does this he ends up having to fight his own demons with addiction while showing a young man around the city. Jason does what he does best, acting moody and kicking ass. (7/10)


Michael Angarano: Cyrus Kinnick young man who hires Nick to show him around town but it turns out he might have a different motive. Michael does a solid job but his character seems to get buried in all the action. (5/10)


Milo Ventimiglia: Danny DeMarco gangster who abuses a woman leading to Nick helping get revenge against him. Milo does a good job with him continuing to take the weasel like villainous role. (7/10)


Support Cast: Wild Card has plenty of supporting characters who mostly only appear in cameo like performance from the better known stars, Stanley Tucci, Sofa Vergara to mention a couple.


Director Review: Simon West – Simon does a solid job directing this to make an action thriller than works with Statham in the lead. (7/10)


Action: Wild Card has a couple of fight scenes that all come off very good in the end. (7/10)

Thriller: Wild Card doesn’t manage to pull you in as much as it could because each chapter of the story seems to get put together very well that is closes it before making us wonder what will happen next. (4/10)

Settings: Wild Card uses Vegas as the setting which is always a good setting for the subject matters involved. (9/10)

Suggestion: Wild Card is one for the action fans to enjoy, it won’t test you too much but can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Final fight.

Worst Part: It feels like it could end after the revenge scene.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Fight.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Unlikely

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Never bet against a man with a killer hand

Trivia: Remake of The Heat (1986)


Overall: This really is just another action film that can be enjoyed but won’t add too much to the genre in the long term.

Rating 67

Machete Kills (2013)

logoDirector: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Kyle Ward (Screenplay) Robert Rodriguez, Marcel Rodriguez (Story)

Starring: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Carlos Estevez, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas


Plot: Machete (Trejo) gets a chance to make up for a bust that goes wrong. The President (Estevez) offers him a chance to go back to Mexico to stop a revolutionary Mendez (Bichir). When the plan goes wrong Machete must bring Mendez to Voz (Gibson) the mastermind behind everything to disarm the bomb while ever hit man in Mexico and America are hunting him down.


Verdict: A fun over the top action film

Story: What plays out as an over the top Bond film the term original story doesn’t come close to this. We have seen all of this before but maybe not to the extremes of this. We have an unlikely hero who lets actions speak louder than words and plenty of twists and turns. Cameos a plenty too, you will see a familiar leading performer in nearly every scene. In the end the story is easy to follow and just fun don’t expect anything serious or you will hate this. (8/10)


Actor Review: Danny Trejo – Machete the lone hit man who doesn’t’ seem to be able to die and will kill anyone who gets in his way with anything he can get his hands on. Trejo is a great fit for this role and continues what he started with the first Machete film. Action Star Award, Kick Ass Award (8/10)


Actor Review: Mel Gibson – Voz a criminal mastermind who claims he can see into the future and has planned to save the people who believe him but destroy the world. Gibson does great in this cold calculated criminal. (8/10)


Actor Review: Demian Bichir – Mendez a man with a split personality where one is a revolutionary while the other is a Cartel kingpin. Demian is brilliant in this role and clearly steals the show. Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)


Actor Review: Carlos Estevez – The president but the normal Charlie we are used to seeing. Using his real name adds to the comical idea of Charlie Sheen being the President. (8/10)


Director Review: Robert Rodriguez – We know Robert can give us action that is way over the top that you just have to sit and enjoy and this keeps up the trend. (9/10)


Action: Nearly every scene is action based, involving shoot out or fights. (9/10)

Special Effects: Great special effects for most of the death scenes. (10/10)

Believability: Way to over the top to be believable. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Many different settings between Mexico and America all work well for the story one of the highlight locations is Mendez hideout being an ancient pyramid.  (9/10)


Suggestion: I think this film really will only be for the people who are fans of the genre and anyone who goes to watch this with a serious hat on will be very disappointed. Just go and watch, enjoy and switch your brain off. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Machete kills are hilarious

Worst Part: Not Very serious.

Action Scene Of The Film: Machete versus the henchmen clones.

Kill Of The Film: A henchman and helicopter.

Trivia: The first film Charlie Sheen as used his real name and the first film Mel Gibson has played a villain.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: It is open for a sequel.

Similar Too: Machete


Overall: Fun, Over The Top Just Enjoy

Rating 75