Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Director: Jan de Bont

Writer: Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Jan de Bont, Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Brian McCardie, Christine Firkins

 

Plot: A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker.


Tagline – Rush hour hits the water.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Passable Action Film

 

Story: Speed 2: Cruise Control starts as we meet Annie (Bullock) still trying to get her driving licence back, long past dating Jack (Because Keanu was smart enough not to come back) and has moved onto what she thinks is a quiet cop role of Alex Shaw (Patric) who is actually a SWAT officer too.

To break the tension, Alex takes Annie on a cruise, which happens to have John Geiger (Dafoe) onboard that has his own plans for the cruise. As John takes over the boat, he plans to evacuate the passengers which will leave him the ship, but Alex will get to the bottom of this and try to save the day.

 

Thoughts on Speed 2: Cruise Control

 

Characters – Annie is back, she still can’t drive and now she has fallen for another risk-taking cop in Alex, this is a character that strangely feels iconic for the genre, while not being bad character or being weak, she doesn’t do much over than panic. Alex is the risk-taking cop, this sounds familiar doesn’t it? He will do anything to save the day. John Geiger is the villain of the piece, he has made his plan and wants to operate through his plan, though he didn’t plan for Alex. Strangely he never plans to kill anyone.

PerformancesSandra Bullock is fine in her role here, she works for these films. Jason Patric just lacks the charisma Keanu had in the first one which doesn’t make you care about his character. Willem Dafoe is one of the most reliable villains in Hollywood, it is strange that he is good, but the character is largely forgettable.

StoryThe story is just like the first Speed, it has a criminal that takes a vehicle with the promise to kill everyone if demands aren’t met. This is the old tried and tested formula without being overly impressive and never reaches the levels of the first film. it does everything it needs to do while being easy to watch from start to finish.

Action/Crime/RomanceThe action sequences for the most part are entertaining even if they are overly long at times, like the sequence crashing into the island, just seems to go on and on. The romance involved is just more of the same mostly tagged on too.

SettingsThe film being set on the bottle, tries to do something different, but it just lacks the tension the first one has.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are terrible and even in places laughable.


Scene of the Movie –
While long the boat crashing into the harbour is fun watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The random dog sequence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that gets a lot of bashing, it does everything it needs to for an action film, that just isn’t on the same level as the first film.

 

Overall: Sequel that works well enough.

Rating

 

 

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Moana (2016)

moanaDirector: Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker, Chris Williams

Writer: Jared Bush (Screenplay) Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk

 

Plot: In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of Their Best

 

Story: Moana starts with the ancient tale of Chieftain’s heart that could give life and who Maui stole the heart with the ability to transform with his magical fishhook but when others leave Maui defeat and both the heart and fishhook lost forever. This is a story for Moana and her people where she is destiny to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the Chief of their people.

Desperate to help her people Moana risks her own life to search for a new fishing location but only finds the dark side of the ocean before her grandmother also known as the crazy lady on the island shows Moana the final secret of her people and that is Moana’s destiny, to restore the heart of Chieftain to restore the peace within the waters with the help of the one that disturbed the peace in the first place the demi-god Maui.

Moana is an adventure family comedy that brings us the next Disney leading female character that is part princess but not in the love angle. This is huge plus because we are tired of the princess stories now. The story focuses on believing in yourself be it for your people or that the stories about yourself are not what are going to define you. The fallen hero side to Maui is excellently done to go opposite the soon to be chief character makes for an unusual partnership but one that works on the levels needed.

It wouldn’t be a Disney animation without wonderful songs and this is now different but I can’t help but find myself not getting them stuck in my head like others (Let it Go, for example) and I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. ‘I Am Moana’ is easily the headline song from the film and captures the character perfectly though.

Going into the characters with the voices behind them now Auli’I gives an amazing performance as Moana with her beautiful singing voice and of course we need to talk about the biggest name in the film Dwayne Johnson and Maui who again is brilliant in his role where he nails the singing and charisma the character needs. We do get great comic relief from a mix of Heihei the chicken and Pua the piglet but otherwise this is a very grounded film that doesn’t introduce too many characters.

Disney could have restored the magic it has been losing with certain recent releases and this sure as hell gets back to what once made them great enjoy the songs, the story, the adventure for it will be special.

 

Overall: Disney is back and with a boom, move over lazy Pixar sequels the original masterminds are back.

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Tracker (2010)

trackerDirector: Ian Sharp

Writer: Nicolas Van Pallandt (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Temuera Morrison, Gareth Reeves, Mark Mitchinson, Daniel Musgrove, Andy Anderson, Mick Rose, Jodie Hillock

 

Plot: An Afrikaner veteran of the Boer War has just immigrated to New Zealand and is hired to track a man accused of killing a soldier. While hunting through the countryside he captures his fugitive, only to learn that he’s innocent of the crime. When faced with the life changing decision to turn him in or set him free only one man will walk away alive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow but Solid

 

Story: Tracker starts in the aftermath of the Boer War where we see Major Carlysle (Reeves) trying to keep the peace between both sides. When Arjan van Diemen (Winstone) arrives in New Zealand he gets recruited to find Kereama (Morrison) a local man accused of killing a soldier that we all see Saunders (Mitchinson) really killed.

When Arjan catches up with Kereama the two men realize they are not so different as they try to outsmart each other and return to the British soldiers.

Tracker show how honour between men can be the beginning middle and end of where the characters end up going. Everything does play out slowly but complete between the characters who all believe in their own way they are doing the right thing which is a good thing. If this was cut down slightly we could have got the same message without having all the side tracked visuals though. This is solid for what it is trying to tell though.

 

Actor Review

 

Ray Winstone: Arjan van Diemen is a South African soldier who has moved to New Zealand to start a new life after losing his family. He is an expert tracker that Major Carlysle recruits to find a wanted criminal only to find himself bonding with the native who share a similar enemy in the British. Ray is good in this role that is filled with regret throughout.

Temuera Morrison: Kereama is the native who gets falsely accused of murdering a British solider, having to go on the run he gets tracked down by Arjan but he uses all his tricks to keep his safety on his native land. Temuera is good in this role and works really well of Winstone.

Gareth Reeves: Major Pritchard Carlysle is trying to keep the peace between the two sides after the conflict in New Zealand, when he sees the aftermath of the crime he searches for the man to get an honest answer to the crime. He does come off the most reasonable of all the soldiers in this film. Gareth plays a good honest character but comes off overly genetic.

Mark Mitchinson: Saunders is the drunken soldier that gets into a fight with Kereama leading to him killing the soldier and putting all the blame on Kereama. Mark is solid enough in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Tracker has a small supporting cast with most just being the fellow soldiers searching for the wanted man.

Director Review: Ian SharpIan does a good job directing this getting s beautiful shots of the landscape to let the story unfold within.

 

Action: Tracker is filled with action that is mostly chases and hand to hand combat moments.

Adventure: Tracker throws our character into an adventure where they must adventure across the New Zealand landscape.

Western: Tracker plays out like an old school western.

Settings: Tracker uses the landscape to fully immerse us into the film.
Special Effects
: Tracker has solid effect when needed but never ends up turning to them.

Suggestion: Tracker is one I do think is worth a try but it does have moments of being very slow. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The two leads come off nicely.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $6,5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Never Stop Running!

Trivia: After the first day of pursuit, Arjan van Diemen is in his camp site. He is seen holding his pocket watch in his right hand. From his viewpoint, his fingers point from 6 to 12 on the watch face. viewed from the front, he holds the pocket watch so that his fingers point from 3 to 9 on the clock face.

 

Overall: Solid little action western showcasing the beauty of New Zealand.

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