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

Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letita Wright, Sterling K Brown

 

Plot: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.


Tagline – The Avengers have a new king.

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Specular Visual Superhero Movie

 

Story: Black Panther starts after the events of Civil War, T’Challa (Boseman) returns Wakanda to claim his throne as the king of Wakanda after his father’s death. going through the ceremony with the rest of the people including his ex-love Nakia (Nyong’o), most trusted general Okoye (Gurira), little sister Shuri (Wright) and leaders Ramonda (Bassett), Zuri (Whitaker) and W’Kabi (Kaluuya).

Being the new king of Wakanda his first mission is to track down former enemy Ulysses Klaue (Serkis) who is planning to sale a Wakanda weapon which brings back an old friend Everett Ross (Freeman) and a strange who believes he has the right for the throne in Erik Killmonger (Jordan), can this battle be the one that shows T’Challa his rightful place as the king and the Black Panther.

 

Thoughts on Black Panther

 

Characters – T’Challa is the new king of Wakanda, he wants to continue the calm peaceful reign like his father, but will need to face his father’s past to bring the new future for the technological advanced society. He has the expert combat skills, the calmness to be a leader and following rituals like the leaders of his past have. Erik Killmonger is a mercenary that knows he has a right to the throne and will go to any lengths to take the throne. He has an impresses kill count in battle which makes him a deadly enemy. Nakia is the former partner of T’Challa, she returns to support him and wants to see him open the technology of Wakanda to the world after her work as a spy around the world. Okoye is the greatest warrior in Wakanda, she must stay loyal to the throne regardless of if she believes in the leader of not. Shuri is the younger sister of T’Challa, she works on the weapons being the bubbly gadget lady that makes the most jokes and easily steals the scenes she is in. we have plenty of other characters with some being inside Wakanda, others being enemies and others being friends in waiting.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is wonderful in this leading role, he bought us everything we got from Civil War and made us only want more from his character. Michael B Jordan gives us a great villainous performance that is as complex and he is deadly. Lupita is good in her role as she offers Chadwick a difficult set of decisions. Dania gives us the kick ass character and one we know she can play well. For me Letita Wright is the breakout star from this movie, being able to steal nearly every scene is something that will get people talking. In fairness the whole cast is great throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows T’Challa and his rise to be the king and the next Black Panther, he must come to face the new challenges of being a leader, be it the conflict within or the conflict from the outside world. He must make the difficult decisions which could bring his people to a new stage to the world. This is a good introduction to this character and his world, which does have moments which you will have seen in other movies, but works enough to make this stand out on its own.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action sequences are wonderful to witness, we have brilliant camera work which will make one certain moment truly seem original and stand out. The adventure takes us to this new world, technology advanced from the rest of the world. The sci-fi world we enter isn’t like anything we could imagine seeing in the middle of the rain forest.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to make every location feel different from the last, this helps us enjoy the environments we are entering.

Special EffectsThe effects can’t be faulted once, they all look spectacular making this one of the best visual experience of the year so far.


Scene of the Movie –
South Korea fight sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I felt moments of comedy missed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful addition to the MCU, we get to learn more about The Black Panther character and the world he is from, which only makes us want to see more of this in the future.

 

Overall: Brilliant addition that still stands out as one.

Rating

 

 

Marshall (2017)

Director: Reginald Hudlin

Writer: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Koskoff (Screenplay)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K Brown, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell

 

Plot: About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.


Tagline – Live Hard. Fight Harder.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Insightful Biopic

 

Story: Marshall starts as we learn about Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) a lawyer that works on prevent African-Americans from facing unfair trials, now for his latest case Marshall gets a case of Joseph Spell (Brown) accused of raping a white woman. Marshall must assist Sam Friedman (Gad) in the trial which shows strange occurrences that don’t make sense for a typical trial.

While Marshall is forbidden from taking the case by Judge Foster (Cromwell), Marshall must guide Sam through the case because he lacks the experience as they go against hot shot lawyer Loren Willis (Stevens) family friend of the judge. Can the two put aside their differences to win the case for Joseph or will he face life in prison.

 

Thoughts on Marshall

 

Characters – The characters are based on real people involve in and around the case. Thurgood Marshall is a black lawyer that has been travelling around America to defend African-Americans from unfair trials, he has reached the supreme court level in cases before, which is why he has taken this case. This case is unlike anything that he has taken on before, against the odds to prove the innocence. Sam Friedman is small insurance lawyer that Marshall recruits to lead the trial because they won’t allow a man of colour to be a lawyer. His inexperience could cost them the case, but learning as he goes through the trial will help him learn. Eleanor Strubing is the woman that claims to have been raped by Joseph, she comes from a wealthy family and her story is convincing. Joseph is the man accused of raping Eleanor, he doesn’t have much of a chance in a court of law and only Marshall can give him the hope. Loren Willis the opposition lawyer, he comes from a good family that has supported him his whole life, while being friends with the judge too. Judge Foster is taking the case, he does his best to favour one side, but can he keep the law intact while the case unfolds.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is Mr biopic, this is his 4th one in his early career, he once again showed his talent as one of the best stars in the business, showing the skills needed for roles like this. Josh Gad has had a fantastic year in 2017, he has shown his range as an actor where he shines in this role. Kate Hudson continues her movement away from rom coms with another performance in a drama that shows the skills she has. Sterling K Brown, Dan Stevens and James Cromwell round off the cast here and all give great supporting performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows lawyer Thurgood Marshall a man that stood up for the fellow African-Americans that don’t get fair trials during the time when America was still riddle with racial discrimination. This is just one of his many cases he took, this is told through the trial unfolding, which does keep us on the edge of the seat wondering what will come from the case next, just like the best of the courtroom drama, which is something it needs to be. The film doesn’t get into a big racial battle outside of the courtroom which other films have done in the past, this helps because we don’t need to have this forced into the story either.

BiopicThurgood Marshall was the first African-American supreme court justice, this shows us one of his career-defining cases, the helps understand his ability, while it would have been nice to see the biggest case he was the lead lawyer on.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the courtroom, which is a location we love to see the tension filled moments in any movie, we do have other scenes which show the moments the film gets to with the planning the defence.

 

Scene of the Movie – Joseph on the stand.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a pretty much cut and dry style of case for a film, it would have been nice to see a more challenging one for him to take on.

Final ThoughtsThis is another brilliant addition to the courtroom drama genre which keeps us on the edge from the opening moments to the end of the film. it also shows us how one man was trying to make a difference when others weren’t given the chance too.

 

Overall: Wonderful courtroom drama

Rating