ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – B – Big Game (2014)

Director: Jalmari Helander

Writer: Jalmari Helander (Screenplay) Jalmari Helander, Petri Jokiranta (Story)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Onni Tommila, Ray Stevenson, Victor Garber, Mehmet Kurtulus, Ted Levine

 

Plot: A young teenager camping in the woods helps rescue the President of the United States when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Little Action Film

 

Story: Big Game starts as Oskari (Tommila) is entering his right of passage as a 13-year-old that must go into the woods and hunt alone, like his father and his grandfather. Over his time in the woods Air Force One is overhead with President William Alan Moore (Jackson) on board, but it is shot down leaving Moore (I am going to call him this from now on) stranded in the woods while the traitor Morris (Stevenson) works to recover the Moore.

Oskari rescues Moore and uses his skills to help him out of the woods while Morris and his business partners treat this as a hunting trip with the CIA running operations back in states to figure out who has targeted the President and who has betrayed him.

 

Thoughts on Big Game

 

Characters – President Moore is the man losing approval rating, not used to being in the wild but brave enough to take anyone who would get in his way, he shows the inspiration, selfless nature you would expect from the leader of the free world. Oskari is the teenager sent into the woods to prove himself as a hunter, even though people doubt him, he stands up for what he believes in making him the President’s only hope of survival. Morris is the secret service agent that has betrayed the President for money and he leads the plans to keep the President away from rescue. We do also have the officials trying to find the President back in America all using their own set of skills and the billionaire trying to kill the President.

PerformanceSamuel L Jackson looks like he does have a lot of fun in this role where he understands he is playing the mentor figure to Oskari. Onni Tommila is great as the young man looking for his right to passage. Ray Stevenson is good as the main villain but you do feel we could have had slightly more from the character.

StoryThe story is about a terrorist plan to kill the President but a boy on his right to passage is the only one that can save him, this side of the story I found entertaining enough with a couple of moments that show both facing their own weaknesses to improve themselves. With that being positive we most look at the negatives, first I don’t really understand the motives of the villains and you just gloss over the war room politics of what was going on which seems like it should be a lot more interesting than we are shown.

Action/AdventureThe action is big when we see it, mostly CGI with the big plane crash and mega explosion at the end, the adventure side of things show Oskari learning the important lessons to become a man in the woods showing he is just like the villagers he is from.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the woods showing how the hunting side of the film is going to become the clear point of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are CGI for the action sequences, we get plenty going on with the moments and the final explosion feels like one of the biggest I have seen in a pure action film.

Scene of the Movie – Final explosion is shocking impressive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We spend time in the war room with the Americans trying to fine the President and it is a mix of pointless additional storyline or not involved storyline going on there.

Tagline – The President has one small chance of survival

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch action film, it does have a weak side story which does feel out of place at times but away from that you can enjoy this one.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action film.

Rating

 

 

Sicario (2015)

sicarioDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julio Cedillo

 

Plot: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Sicario starts when a FBI SWAT team bust a house where Kate Macer (Blunt) discover the walls are filled with dead bodies. After impressing the higher ups in the FBI Kate gets assigned to work on a task force under Matt Graver (Brolin) to track down the Cartel along with the expert Alejandro (del Toro).

On this task force Kate discovers not everything is going by the book as she tries her hardest to fight to get this done the legal way but even her higher ups want this done the illegal way to stir the pot and expose the criminals.

Sicario is a tense thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats, it has plenty of twists and turns that keep us guessing to where things are going and who people are. This is slow moving as we only really follow the preparation, execution and questions about each mission without getting to in depth with anything else. It will go down as one of the best thrillers of the year.

 

Actor Review

 

Emily Blunt: Kate Macer is a highly respected leader of a FBI SWAT unit that gets a chance to get revenge on the Cartel that have been causes the deaths of her unit. She ends up on a special task force where she questions every decision being made for being unethical compared to the usual by the book style she works under. We find Kate trapped in a world she doesn’t fully understand but in a place she wants to be in too where she learns how to take down a Cartel. Emily is brilliant in this role showing all her skills through the performance.kate

Benicio Del Toro: Alejandro is the Mexican helping the special unit, he will do the dirty jobs without blinking but still keeps mystery about him from start to finish. Benicio is great in this role which is filled with mystery.alejandro

Josh Brolin: Matt Graver is the leader of the special unit, he is very laidback and doesn’t care what rules they break to get the job down, he also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to getting the job done but would rather leave it up for Alejandro. Josh is good in this role with his style working for the role.matt

Victor Garber: Dave Jennings is the head of the FBI who gives Kate the chance to be part of this task force, he is happy with things being done off the book as long as it gets results. Victor is good in this supporting role without being a major part of the film.

Support Cast: Sicario has good basic supporting cast that all work for the story.

Director Review: Denis VilleneuveDenis brings his own style to this thriller that all works for where the story needed to go.

 

Action: Sicario has good tactical action from start to finish.

Crime: Sicario brings us into the crime war against the Cartels as we see the intense side of the story.

Mystery: Sicario adds the mystery as we just don’t know what the overall plan is, as well as wondering who Alejandro really is.

Thriller: Sicario keeps us guessing to what will happen next and to who throughout.

Settings: Sicario takes us to the location you would expect to see in the world we are a part of for this journey
Special Effects
: Sicario uses great effects to create the kills used throughout.

Suggestion: Sicario is one for all the thriller fans to enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension from start to finish.

Worst Part: Slow moving.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Will most likely appear on the lists

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 Minute

Tagline: The border is just another line to cross.

Trivia: The thermal vision shots in the film were shot with a thermal vision camera and they were not added in the post-production.

 

Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing from start to finish

Ratingcard

Self/less (2015)

logoDirector: Tarsem Singh

Writer: David Pastor, Alex Pastor (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Melore Hardin, Michelle Dockery

Plot: A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Sci-Fi Body Doublling

Story: Self/less starts with ruthless business man Damian (Kingsley) who runs the city and has connections in every corner of business, he weakness is that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will dead within a year. Damian has been researching a process called Shedding that his long time friend and confidant Martin (Garber) has never heard off.

Dr Albright (Goode) is the man behind the Shedding process and the idea has been pitched to Damian who has to make up his mind about making it happen. After going through the process Damian wakes up in a younger body (Reynolds), Damian now has to learn to adapt to his new body with the likes of walking needing to be learnt all over again. Damian has to start a new life though, with money put on the side along with a new name Edward.

Everything seems to go well with the new body, parties, girls booze all the things he never got a chance to do in his first life, but Damian can’t help but miss his previous life with daughter Claire (Dockery) as well as vision he has no idea about.

Damian decides to investigate this vision he has which leads him to discover where the new body really cam from and what the Shedding company has really been getting up too.

Self/less brings another twist to the double swapping idea, sure we only see one side of it all but that doesn’t mean we don’t see the effects. We have the people who knew the body side while he tries to convince the mind side, so that all works nicely. I liked how the film tries to bring in the idea of becoming immortal and the people it would effect. The idea give us the old cause against effect concept and all works really well. Overall this does plan out simple but also gives us the moral questions. (7/10)

Actor Review

Ryan Reynolds: Young Damian is the new body that Damian gets, he gets to live for fun until he starts getting vision of a life that wasn’t his. After he starts researching it turns out the body is of a man called Mark who made a deal to save his dying daughters life. He know has to expose the truth before he loses control. Ryan continues to show his range in a leading role. (7/10)damia

Natalie Martinez: Madeline is the wife of Mark who thought her husband had died, but when Damian turns up she gets to learn how much he sacrificed to give his daughter a new life. Natalie does well but never really excels in this role. (5/10)

Matthew Goode: Albright is the doctor taking care of the Shedding process, he is very careful to keep his own identity secret to protect what is really going on. Matthew gives us a calm villain which all comes off very well but also ends up feeling rather generic. (6/10)

Ben Kingsley: Damian is the successful business man who is dying, he uses his money to go through the Shedding process thinking it is all legit, he leaves his daughter to his money but himself a back up once he has changed. Ben does well in his early role in the film. (7/10)

Support Cast: Self/less has a supporting cast that is either helping Damian or trying to capture him, they all do well without doing too much.

Director Review: Tarsem SinghTarsem does a good job directing a sci-fi action film. (7/10)

Mystery: Self/less does create a mystery but doesn’t give you many clues to what is happening. (5/10)

Sci-Fi: Self/less uses the idea of advanced technology being used to change human mortality. (7/10)

Thriller: Self/less gives us the thriller side by making us want to know what will happen until the end. (7/10)

Settings: Self/less doesn’t us any special location during the film. (3/10)

Suggestion: Self/less is one to really give a chance to, I think this is one people will enjoy but I understand it might be slightly long for all. (Try It)

Best Part: Car chase.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Island

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $12 Million

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: God created man. Man created immortality.

Overall: Good sci-fi film that asks moral questions.

Rating 70