Franchise Weekend – 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Director: John Singleton

Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas (Screenplay) Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Gary Scott Thompson (Story)

Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris, Thom Barry, James Remar, Devon Aoki

 

Plot: Former cop Brian O’Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Sequel

 

Story: 2 Fast 2 Furious starts as Brian (Walker) is now a wanted man, he leaves LA heading for Miami to start a new life on the street racing scene. Getting his races from Tej (Ludacris), Brian has built up his own reputation on the streets.

Once Brian is captured by the FBI Agent Bilkins (Barry) and Agent Markham (Remar) who want Brian to go undercover once more but this time investigating Carter Verone (Hauser) who is recruiting street racers through fellow undercover officer Monica (Mendes), Brian one rule to make this happen is he gets to bring in Roman (Gibson).

The drop that Brian and Roman must make points them in a hard position but with friends around the town, they make their own plan to stick it to Carter and Agent Markham.

 

Thoughts on 2 Fast 2 Furious

 

Characters/PerformanceBrian fresh on the run enjoying the street racing scene, he gets dragged back into the undercover world but this time as an informant bringing in a friend from the past as we learn about his actions in the first film. Roman is the friend, who has suffered from the effects of Brian’s actions before we met him, he is rash, but brilliant behind the wheel and always talks himself into trouble. Villain wise we have Carter a rich criminal who is in need of drivers, he is deadly when you cross him but otherwise nothing unusual for the villain scene. Monica is the eye candle involved in the film who is the Brian character to the world.

Performance wise this is all good, Paul Walker is of course the highlight of the film with Mendes bringing all the sex appeal you need from her. Gibson does add a comical tone to the film which we do see get built on through the franchise. Cole Hauser is fine as a villain but you never believe he would be a threat for anyone.

StoryMuch like the first film this is a heist movie at heart, we have the street racing needed to build the team and respect but otherwise this is in the same vein as the Transporter movie. This is all fun easy to follow but tries to build the characters within the universe.

Action/Crime/ThrillerThe action is all what you would expect from the first film but offers nothing new, the crime world is now Miami but again isn’t too different either if you are left wondering what will happen next.

SettingsMiami does make for a great setting as the franchise looks to expand to new locations.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few and far between and all work well without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good second chapter of the Brian character, it is a shame that we didn’t see Vin Diesel return because we did see the franchise revolving around him. This isn’t anything new but is easy to follow.

 

Overall: Solid sequel is all good but not great.

Rating

 

 

Paul Bettany Weekend – Legion (2010)

legionDirector: Scott Stewart

Writer: Scott Stewart, Peter Schink (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S Dutton, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Dennis Quaid

 

Plot: When a group of strangers at a dusty roadside diner come under attack by demonic forces, their only chance for survival lies with an archangel named, Michael, who informs a pregnant waitress that their unborn child is humanity’s last hope.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Horror

 

Story: Legion starts as we see Michael (Bettany) a fallen angel find himself on Earth, losing his wings he arms up for what looks like a big assault. We learn Michael has gone against orders before escaping. We move to Paradise Falls where Jeep (Black) (yes that is the name) and a pregnant Charlie (Palicki) in a small diner in the middle of nowhere.

The diner owned by Bob (Quaid) is filled with guests including family Howard (Tenney), Audrey (Holland) and Sandra (Walsh) and Kyle (Gibson) who is trying to get to court. We also have the loyal chef Percy (Dutton) making everything set with our characters to meet Michael who is there to protect Charlie.

Michael has to prepare the people in the diner for battle against something they don’t know anything about but soon turns out to be angels sent to take Charlie’s baby, we are left to see who will survive these waves of the undead lead by Gabriel (Durand).

Legion is a film that is very much based on the another look at how the world could end when a God figure decided to end his creation. Well that is what I can take from it but while the film is unfolding we get to see how the fantasy world of angels and demons came from. It feels like it could be just a fun film that is easy to watch without being overly serious. The story isn’t the most original but works well.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Bettany: Michael is a fallen angel going against the orders of God to protect the pregnant Charlie. He is prepared for the fight and has to bring the people in the diner together to fight his fellow angels. Paul is good in this role showing he can handle an action genre well.micharl

Adrianne Palicki: Charlie is the pregnant woman working in a diner in the middle of nowhere, the father is nowhere to be seen and she us just thankful to Bob and Jeep for support. She becomes the target of the angels as the baby is the only thing that can save mankind. Adrianne is solid in this role where most of the supporting cast are very much average.

Lucas Black: Jeep is the slightly slow young man working for his father as a mechanic. He is in love with Charlie and is always trying to find a way to supporting her. This fight will give Jeep the chance to finally step up to be the man he could become. Lucas is solid in this role.

Dennis Quaid: Bob is the owner of the diner and Jeep’s father, he has no faith as we have seen his wife leave him. He will do anything to make sure his son is safe though. Dennis is solid in this supporting role where you would have liked to have seen more from.bob

Support Cast: Legion has a very average supporting cast with mostly generic characters being used throughout.

Director Review: Scott StewartScott gives us an easy to watch action horror that is fun to watch once you suspended your disbelief.

 

Action: Legion has plenty of action throughout with fights, gun battles and car chases being used.

Fantasy: Legion enters us into the world of fantasy between angels and demons.

Horror: Legion does have the elements of horror with how the enemies are created for our heroes.

Settings: Legion keeps most of the action within the diner making it have an isolation feel while dealing with a siege.
Special Effects
: Legion does use some good special effects when it comes to dealing with all the threats coming to attack the diner.

Suggestion: Legion is one you can watch if you are looking for something easy to watch giving you nothing to worry about when it comes to being overcomplicated. (Easy Watch)

 

Best Part: Petrol Pump bullet.

Worst Part: Slightly predictable.

Funniest Moment: Having a character question that Charlie is a strange name for a girl while one of the characters is called JEEP.

Kill Of The Film: Percy

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: When the last angel falls, the fight for mankind begins.

 

Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

 

 

Fast & Furious 7 (2015)

logoDirector: James Wan

Writer: Chris Morgan (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Characters)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey

 

Plot: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Rollercoaster

 

Story: Furious 7 starts by firstly filling in between the end of Fast & Furious 6 and that telephone call between Dominic (Diesel) and Deckard Shaw (Statham). The opening scene shows Deckard in a hospital standing over his still alive brother Owen (Evans) before showing how many people he has taken out to see his brother. We get to see how Dom is still trying to help Letty (Rodriguez) find her memories. We also see Deckard pay Hobbs (Johnson) a visit finding out who nearly killed his brother leading to Hobbs ending up in hospital and the Toretto’s house being blown up.

Having everything in place we can say goodbye to Han with the whole family Brian (Walker) Mia (Brewster), Roman (Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) back together for the funeral. This leads to the first face to face meeting between Dominic and Deckard before the mysterious Mr Nobody (Russell) to get involved. Mr Nobody wants to retrieve a device created by hacker Ramsey (Emmanuel) but she has been kidnapped by a terrorist unit run by Jakande (Hounsou) with his second in command Kiet (Jaa). Ramsey has created a device called the God’s Eye which can locate anyone, anywhere in the world by hacking into camera.

Dominic’s crew is assigned to retrieve the device which Mr Nobody willing to allow him to use to find Deckard. The crew set out on their mission which includes plenty of action and travelling all over the world and each time everything looks under control Deckard turns up with things escalating once Deckard joins up with Jakande. This leads to an all-out assault with Dom and his crew having to outsmart the terrorists and retrieve the God’s Eye.

Furious 7 is a film I want to talk about in different sections, first I will look at the overall story and I will follow it up with how the franchise deals with Paul Walker’s exit. The story itself is what you would expect from the franchise, we get a bigger villain but one that is still connected to what happened much like what ‘Die Hard 3’ did the Gruber’s brother. Where this film gets extra points is by not making it a two way battle which we could have had with Deckard versus Dominic, we get two extra parties involved one on the good and one of the bad. These teams do actual have their own motives and when all four clash we get the chaos. Remember you will need to suspend your disbelief to a whole new level while watching this. One aspect I did enjoy was the Deckard is willing to go to war alone, no army of soldiers he wants to get everything done alone.

Paul Walker’s departure is always going to be one of the big talking points about this film. The whole film hints at the idea that Dominic wants Brian to stop risking his life and start raising his family. We get told this will be his last ride and after they finish we get a simple goodbye, we and Dom get to say goodbye with the haunting line from Brian ‘You think you could leave without saying goodbye?’ (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Vin Diesel: Dominic Toretto is our alpha who takes responsibility for his action after Deckard decides to come for revenge on everyone who took out his brother. Dominic makes deals with suits to make sure he can get to Deckard where he ends up having a showdown fans have wanted to see for years. Vin does a great job in this role showing that he isn’t just a fancy driver he is also bad ass when it comes to hand to hand combat. (8/10)

 dom

Paul Walker: Brian O’Connor is the family man struggling to adjust to his new life all while driving a minivan. Brian misses the action but ends up getting drawn back into it when his family gets put in danger by Deckard. This being Paul’s final role it is hard to say anything bad, we get what we expect from the character and we all get to say goodbye. (8/10)

brian

Jason Statham: Deckard Shaw is the brother of Owen, he wants to clean up the mess his brother has created and is unlike anybody the crew has come up against before. Deckard is a one man wrecking ball and doesn’t need men to get the job done, ex black ops we know that he has all the skills to kill anyone whenever he wants. Jason does a great job as the villain of the piece but he is really only fighting for his brother. (8/10)

 deckard

Michelle Rodriguez: Letty is still struggling with memory loss but with Dominic’s help she is trying to remember just who she once was. Letty goes on the mission getting some of the best driving scenes and fight scene against UFC Ronda Rousey. Michelle does a good job giving us what we expect from the character. (8/10)

 letty

Tyrese Gibson: Roman is clearly the comedy side of this story where he gets to have so many funny lines and scenes; he takes away all the serious side of the story. Tyrese does what you need him to do becoming comic relief. (7/10)

 roman

Ludacris: Tej is almost the double act with Roman but he does have skills the team needs, Tej is the hacker of the team who can make anything work to help the missions. Ludacris does a good job and works well with Gibson. (7/10)

 tej

Dwayne Johnson: Hobbs is the agent who gets first fight with Deckard before ending up in a hospital, he brings Dominic in to finish Deckard off and only turns back up in the film with the final act. Dwayne does a good job with the scenes he is in but it is disappoint just how little he really was used. (7/10)

hobbs

Kurt Russell: Mr Nobody is a mysterious government man who recruits Dominic to retrieve the God’s Eye with the promise of taking down Deckard; this is a very shady role that we don’t know how it will go through the film. Kurt does a good job and gets a glimpse of what he can do in an action film with his Snake memories. (8/10)

 nobody

Nathalie Emmanuel: Ramsey is the hacker and creator of God’s Eye, she is the one who needs to be rescued before working with Dominic and his crew as they use the God’s Eye to get Deckard. Nathalie does a good job joining the franchise which is always going to be hard but she fits in nicely. (7/10)

 ramswey

Tony Jaa: Kiet is the second in command to Jakande who leads the henchmen on the ground, he is also an expert in hand to hand combat leading to fights with Brian. I was disappointed with how little Tony was used because his fighting style is something very special to watch. (7/10)

 

Djimon Hounsou: Jakande is the leader of the terrorists who have Ramsey, but he ends up going up against Dominic and his crew to get the device even if it means teaming up with Deckard. Djimon does a good job in this role playing the role you would expect to see. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Furious 7 still has plenty more characters we could talk about, we have cameos from the cast Tokyo Drift which would have been nice to have a longer part. We also have many soldiers who offer good fights and many more familiar faces only in the odd scene here and there.

 

Director Review: James Wan – James steps out from the horror genre very well, we get to see how he uses his horror ideas on the action genre to give us one of the easiest films to watch in many years. (8/10)

 

Action: Furious 7 is filled with action, be it the skydiving planes, the tower to tower flying or the helicopter, cars and drone back on home turf. There are so many different types of over the top action going on here. (9/10)

Thriller: Furious 7 really keeps you guessing to what will happen to the characters next be it the good or bad. (8/10)

Settings: Furious 7 uses all the settings to make everything look like it has finally gone global but going to Tokyo, Adu Dhabi, London, Afghanistan or back in LA. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Furious 7 uses great effects to make every single mad looking scene look realistic. (9/10)

Suggestion: Furious 7 is one for all the action fans to watch, it will be one the franchise fans will have to watch too. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Mountain action scene.

Worst Part: The lack of the Tokyo casts involvement.

Action Scene Of The Film: Skydiving cars.

Funniest Scene: Most of Roman’s scenes.

Oh My God Moment: Ambulance versus the drone.

Favourite Quote:  Deckard ‘Dominic Toretto. You don’t know me, but you’re about to.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: Only with the goodbyes with Brian. (4/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could easily have another one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

Tagline: Vengeance hits home

 

Overall: Furious 7 is adrenaline fuelled action with a touching final tribute

Rating 82

 

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

As part of the Paul Walker focus weekend here is my review of one of Paul’s portrayals of Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious series. I hope you enjoy, Aled from SofaWatch

Title – 2 Fast 2 Furious

Year of release – 2003

Genre – Action/Crime

Length – 1 hour 47 minutes

Rating – 15

Director – John Singleton

Writer(s) – Gary Scott Thompson and Michael Brandt

Who is in it? – Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes, Cole Hauser as Carter Verone plus many more
What’s it about? – Brian O’Conner (Walker) is an ex cop and along with his partner Roman Pearce (Gibson) they set on a job to transport dirty money for a shady Miami criminal Carter Verone (Hauser). However O’Conner and Pearce are working undercover for the police and are on a mission to bring Verone down.

Equipped with high powered cars and their wits they take on the challenge and work together to bring this criminal to his end.

Is it any good? –  Loved this film and the combination of Paul Walker
and Tyrese Gibson worked a treat. The lovely Eva Mendes was as pleasing
to the eye as always. The story line was fantastic. Go undercover and
work for the drug exporter and then bring him down whilst saving the
girl. Plus doing all this in a modded Mitsubishi Evo and Mitsubishi
Spyder, amazing cars and the exhaust tones were pleasing to he ear.

Why should I watch it? – Any fan of fast cars will love this film. It is full of awesome cars, awesome driving and of course Eva Mendes!!

How do you rate it overall? – 8/10

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

faast 6Director: Justin Lin

Writer: Chris Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gabot, Ludacris, Luke Evans, Elsa Patasky, Gina Carano

 

Story: When Hobbs (Johnson) is struggling to stop a ruthless criminal mastermind led by Shaw (Evans), he turns to Dom (Diesel) with a chance to get a full pardon on all crimes committed. His piece of bait is Letty (Rodriguez) still being alive. Dom brings the team back for an adventure all over Europe.

 

Verdict

 

Action: A full-blown action film once an action scene starts it draws you in and will leave you in amazement. (10/10)

 

Thriller: edge of your seat chase keeps you completely entertained through out. (10/10)

 

Sound: Great sound effects all the way through, lots of fancy engine sounds. (10/10)

 

Settings: London was a great location choice with its tight streets adding to the suspense of the chases. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: Car junkies will simply have to see this and all action fan will be able to consider this one of the best out this year. (9/10)

 

Best Part: The tank chase

 

Worst Part: The story doesn’t require much thinking.

 

Star Performance: Luke Evans

Favourite Character: Roman Funny all the way through

 

Favourite Quote: Shaw ‘I can reach out and break you whenever I want’

 

Trivia: David Tennant was considered for the role of Shaw

 

Similar Too: Fast Five

 

Overall: A thrill ride that will leave you wanting more and more, the best in the franchise which just seems to get better and better. Very much Ocean’s Eleven on wheels this is a major contender for action film of the year and shows that Dwayne and Vin can hold their own in action films. An end credits scene which opens the door to an even bigger film next time out. Sit back and enjoy.

 

Rating 97%