Breakdown (2016)

Director: Jonnie Malachi

Writer: Jonnie Malachi (Screenplay)

Starring: Craig Fairbrass, Emmett J Scanlan, James Cosmo, Mem Ferda, Tamer Hassan, Olivia Grant, Bruce Payne


Plot: A professional contract killer, haunted by visions of his violent past, spirals out of control. His work compromised as he reaches breaking point, he is forced to defend his family from his ruthless employers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Burning Crime Thriller


Story: Breakdown starts as we see how contract killer Alfie (Fairbrass) starts getting visions of his previous kills, this compromises his life and family time when he shows this weakness on front of his boss Albert (Cosmo).

Needing to prove himself to Albert and one of the best clients they have Iraz (Hassan), Alfie must complete a cold-hearted execution on his daughter’s 16th birthday. The test is just the beginning as Alfie wants out of the crime life but his boss isn’t as happy to let him go.


Thoughts on Breakdown


Characters – Alfie is the contract killer and family man, he has balanced the two lives well but now he starts to get nightmare visions of his previous kills, Alfie now wants out and his family is the reason that he must go through on final mission to kill to end the threat to them. Connor is the partner of Alfie, he is younger and seems to have learnt from Alfie over the years. Albert is the crime boss living in a mansion turning to the few men he trusts for the more difficult jobs.

PerformanceCraig Fairbrass is fine in the leading role working around his weaknesses to look the part, Emmett makes for a good partner in crime but doesn’t shine the way he could have and James Cosmo is good as the gang leader.

StoryThe story is a tried and tested formula, hit man wants out of the business but the boss won’t let him, this time we do get a slight twist on why he wants out but otherwise this doesn’t offer too much on the fresh side.

ThrillerThe film does try to keep you on the edge of the seat but the slow pacing holds everything back for the most part.

SettingsWe have the settings that you would have come to expect as we see the two lives the kill works in, but no iconic scenes to be had here.

Special EffectsThe effects are used for the most part in the visions side of things and are fine when they are used.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the books hitman wanting out of the business film that doesn’t offer enough fresh but is still going to be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.


Overall: By the book crime thriller.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Hike (2011)

Director: Rupert Bryan

Writer: Rupert Bryan, Ben Loyd-Holmes (Screenplay)

Starring: Jemma Bolt, Stephanie Siadatan, Lisa-Maria Long, Zara Phythian, Barabara Nedeljakova, Tamer Hassan, Ben Loy-Holmes, Shauna Macdonald


Plot: This film is about a group of women who go on a camping trip in British countryside after one of them (Kate) gets back from doing a tour in Afghanistan where she witnessed her boyfriends death. While out in the bush area they come across a group of guys who are also camping out. But it all goes from having a good time and enjoying themselves to a fight for their lives as they are soon being hunted by someone in the forest. Who will survive?


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Boring at Best


Story: The Hike starts as five friends Kate (Phythian), Torri (Nedeljakova), Ellie (Long), Leanne (Siadatan) and Charlie (Bolt) head off into the countryside for a weekend away to help Kate get over the loss of her boyfriend while she was serving in Afghanistan.

As the girls hike goes on they meet a string off different characters also out in the woods but when one of their own goes missing, it is up to Kate to protect her friends and make it out of the woods alive using all her training.


Thoughts on The Hike


Characters/PerformanceKate is meant to be a soldier that is grieving the loss of her partner but soon must go back into soldier mode to save her friends from the enemy within the woods. The rest of the girls are all very painfully generic and never look like they would ever go into the woods camping. The villains are also generic and while we get a tease of who it could be either way would not surprise.

Performance wise, this isn’t the best acted movie all around, we get what feels like completely fake conversation between the girls, and villain performance that just comes off boring. We also have two bigger names thrown into the mix to sell the movie who are barely even in a scene.

StoryThe story is an easy follow, girls go down the woods and find themselves fighting for their lives from twisted rapist and murders, all in England, well I never. My problem with the story is we go for shock here by having member of the group killed without being able to put up a fight while the strongest member Kate is preparing herself for the battle, the story tries to force us into watching uncomfortable rape sequences that just don’t shock like ‘I Spit on your Grave’ and ends up just becoming forgettable.

HorrorThe horror does work in places when you look at how people could find it hard to watch the subject matter we are seeing but otherwise it is just girls running in woods and guys looking to rape and murder them.

SettingsWe are in the middle of the woods which is great for creating the isolation needed within the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used when it comes to the kills all look good for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that feels like they put the wrong characters in the middle of a survival horror that also offers us nothing new.


Overall: Forgettable Horror.




Layer Cake (2004)

layer cakDirector: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: J.J. Connolly (Screenplay) J.J. Connolly (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Jamie Foreman, Tom Hardy, Sienna Miller, Tamer Hassan, Kenneth Dranham, Michael Gambon, Ben Whishaw


Plot: A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slick Thriller


Story: Layer Cake starts as we meet the guy (Craig) we never learn his name who has taken advantage of being a business man within the drug world, he keeps everything strictly business with a plan to get out of the business with his latest deal completed. When his boss Jimmy Price (Cranham) sends for him to find his daughter Charlie (Lunghi) while also working with loose cannon Duke (Foreman) on the latest job. The problem is the Duke has started an international war with his latest attempt to get a score. Can our guy get through all of the troubles and out of the business with his life?

Layer Cake enters into the type of film I personally don’t enjoy too much and that is the drug crime world ones, that isn’t going to judge whether I think this is a god or bad film. I liked how the usage of drugs was minimal to no existent in the film. The story is filled with twists and turns along the way which really does keep us guessing as we see where the final outcome of the film will take us. I did find myself enjoy this one and would suggest to people to watch.


Actor Review


Daniel Craig: We never learn the name of this character but he is our leading man through the story, a smart business man in the world of drugs. He finds himself stuck doing one last job before trying to get out of the business but this job leads him into going against all of his business plans. Daniel is good in this leading role showing he was ready for the next step up.

Colm Meaney: Gene is the second in command to Jimmy who has always been the middle man between the guy and Jimmy until the two have to work together to clean up the mess. Colm is your always reliable supporting character.

Kenneth Cranham: Jimmy Price is the supplier that the guy works for, he hires him to find his partners daughter and deal with the Duke a loose cannon. He is loud and will do anything to make sure he makes extra money. Kenneth is solid as this gangster character who has too much for their own good.

Sienna Miller: Tammy is a mystery girl that comes into the guy’s life that seems to have a plan that should be keeping her ahead of anyone else. Sienna is good and bursts onto the big screen with this role.

Support Cast: Layer Cake has a big supporting cast that does have a lot of familiar faces in that all become part of the bigger picture with our leading man, all giving good performance throughout.

Director Review: Matthew VaughnMatthew shows off all his style in this film showing how he can handle multiple story branches around the main one going on.


Crime: Layer Cake puts our characters in the middle of the drug world where we don’t know who to trust.

Thriller: Layer Cake does keep us guessing to what will happen next through the story.

Settings: Layer Cake keeps nearly all of the settings being what feels like the criminal underworld location which works out nicely for the film.
Special Effects
: Layer Cake has good effects when needed but only uses them for the occasions needed.

Suggestion: Layer Cake is one I do feel or the gangster fans will enjoy. (Gangster Fans Watch)


Best Part: Craig shows he is ready to a leading man in this role.

Worst Part: Slightly too much going on.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes


Overall: Slick crime thriller from start to finish.




Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead (2009)

logoDirector: Declan O’Brien

Writer: Connor James Delaney (Screenplay) Alan B McElroy (Characters)

Starring: Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Gil Kolirin, Christian Contreras, Jake Curran, Tim McKay, Charles Venn, Tamer Hassan, Jack Gordon


Plot: When the transfer bus crashes somewhere in West Virginia forest, a group of convicts and a corrections officer meet a rafter while on the run from cannibalistic hillbilly freaks.


Verdict: Poor


Story: We start by following four friends travelling down river, when they get attacked by the cannibals, with one surviving the attack. Switching straight to the correctional facility we meet out next group of convicts and guards who are transferring a dangerous criminal along with some run of the mill criminals. After the bus gets run off the road by the cannibals both the guards, prisoners and lone survive from the first attack have to team up to

This one ended up giving me mixed feelings; first we have the opening attack which does include the most graphic kill which is good. The idea I have to maybe cheer for criminals doesn’t help, along with the cannibals I feel this is overweighed with villainous characters. The lack of cannibals takes away what was created in the second which showed us we could be seeing a community rather than just a couple. It is rather easy to predict who will get picked off next which disappoints as the rest have always left us wondering which it will be. In the end I feel this is a step back from the improvements the second one gave us. It turns into a very bog standard horror that uses CGI to try and shock with the kills. (5/10)


Actor Review


Tom Frederic: Nate on his last day before he gets to go onto law school, he is in control of the transfer and the only one who knows the true identity of the undercover officer. He tries his best to be the hero and not let the prisoners escape, while the group try to survive the cannibals. Tom gives a solid performance but never convinces in the lead role. (5/10)


Janet Montgomery: Alex lone survivor of the opening attack before running into the prison bus group, guiding them to potential escape. Janet does ok with what little her character has to work with. (5/10)


Gil Kolirin: Floyd one of the criminals on the transfer working for Chavez. He becomes the aggressive member of the team but Chavez keeps him under control. Gill gives an ok supporting performance as the stereotypical aggressive prisoner. (5/10)


Jake Curran: Crawford loud mouth quick talking prisoner on the transfer. He is a car thief that believes he can steal any car. Jake does a solid supporting performance as a disposable character. (5/10)


Tamer Hassan: Chavez the high profile criminal being transferred after he plans his escape during the transfer, but when it gets changed he has a back-up plan. Perfect roles for Tamer as he can play gangster in his sleep. (7/10)


Tom McKay: Brandon a wrongfully convicted criminal or so he says, he is the voice of reason for the trigger happy Chavez but will he prove more important by the end. Tom gives a solid performance as the man of mystery in the team. (6/10)


Support Cast: Be it the cannibals or the other victims in the crash they all perform well and offer disposable character to help keep our hero alive.


Director Review: Declan O’Brien – Doesn’t give the franchise the direction it was heading in and in the end disappoints with an average horror. (5/10)


Horror: Blood and gore continues to flow throughout, but it turns into hunted film rather than a survive battle. (8/10)

Thriller: You don’t get invested in the characters as much as you could. (5/10)

Settings: Isolation created and the lost feeling works for the horror genre. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Nearly all the kills are CGI and you can see it, what happened to the practical effects? (3/10)

Suggestion: If you are a fan of the franchise than give it a watch otherwise, don’t bother watching it as a solo film. (Franchise Fans Watch)


Best Part: The end is funny and out of place but does surprise.

Worst Part: Bad CGI

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Still has 3 more sequels to come

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Which Detour Will You Take?


Overall: Down the Slope or Quality we go

Rating 55

The Double (2011)

logoDirector: Michael Brandt

Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen, Tamer Hassan, Stephen Moyer, Chris Marquette, Odette Yustman


Plot: Starting off with the mysterious murder of a senator bearing the marks of a Soviet assassin, who was long thought of be dead. To hunt down the killer a retired CIA operative Paul (Gere), who spent his career going toe-to-toe with his Soviet nemesis, is teamed with a young FBI agent Ben (Grace).


Verdict: Simple Tidy Thriller


Story: I saw a lot of people moan about the trailer ruins everything with the Cassius being Paul, well let’s look at that. This happens within the first twenty minutes of the film and it makes the film a damn sight more interesting. We get to see how he has to keep the truth a secret but he doesn’t want to hurt the people trying to uncover it. We see how a young FBI agent tries to prove himself in his very first field case. Add in a mysterious known terrorist who secretly entered the country for a mission we don’t know anything about. All together it sounds like a weak episode of 24 but this comes off nicely showing a human side to a ruthless assassin. (6/10)


Actor Reviews


Richard Gere: Paul or Cassius a former assassin for the Russian who got his way up the ranks in the CIA, before retiring, but when someone kills the same way as he did, he sets out to uncover the truth. Good performance playing for once a villainous role but with a good side too. (7/10)


Topher Grace: Ben the young FBI agent who has been hunting down Cassius and will finally get his chance to prove himself by working with his idol and be the one to stop Cassius. Good performance but you still feel he can be out his depth with action films. (6/10)


Martin Sheen: Tom the Director of the CIA who gets Paul to help with the case without knowing his true identity. Good supporting role but nothing too hard to handle. (5/10)


Tamer Hassan: Bozlovski an assassin who has come into the country and taken Cassius’ attention, he is ruthless and has a trail of bodies left behind him. Good performance but we never learn enough about this job he is on. (5/10)


Stephen Moyer: Brutus one of Cassius’ flocks of assassin who never saw him, one that Cassius went after and thought was dead, but could his presence cause problems. Only a small part but gets to play crazy well.  (5/10)


Director Review: Michael Brandt – Simple direction but puts one too many twists into the story. (6/10)


Action: Standard action with a few fights. (6/10)

Mystery: You will have to wait to see the real reason behind Cassius and try and figure it out yourself before we are shown. (7/10)

Thriller: You know who Cassius is, but his motives will keep you guessing. (6/10)

Settings: The settings fail to add anything major to the story. (4/10)

Suggestion: I would say try this, it got a lot of bad reviews but it actually isn’t that bad. (Try)


Best Part: The first twist

Worst Part: The second twist

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown

Believability: The idea of moles yes, but the rest seems too much. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3,696,232

Budget: N/A

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Keep your enemies close.


Overall: Simple Revenge Thriller

Rating 65