ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – S – Salt and Fire (2016)

Director: Werner Herzog

Writer: Werner Herzog (Screenplay) Tom Bissell (Short Story)

Starring: Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon, Gael Garcia Bernal, Volker Michalowski, Lawrence Krauss, Anita Briem


Plot: A scientist blames the head of a large company for an ecological disaster in South America. But when a volcano begins to show signs of erupting, they must unite to avoid a disaster.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow and Dull


Story: Salt and Fire starts as three scientists representing the United Nations Laura (Ferres), Dr Cavani (Bernal) and Dr Meier (Michalowski) are on their latest mission but find themselves taken hostage by Matt Riley (Shannon) in South America, but not everything is what it seems as Matt explains the actions of his team to Laura and the goals they are trying to reach.

Laura’s team is bought together for a reason, to study an ever-increasing Salt plain which could bring around a volcanic explosion that could end the world as we know it.


Thoughts on Salt and Fire


Characters – Laura Sommerfeld is the lead UN doctor on the latest mission, but she gets taken hostage by a radical group that want to take down a cooperation that has accidently started the end of the world, she must learn about the salt plain that could end the world. Matt Riley is the man behind the hostage taking as he knows about the potential threat to the world. Doctor Cavani is the loud mouth of the team that is also cowardly, he works with Laura but is sick for most of the film. we don’t get very much from any of the supporting characters in this film.

PerformancesVeronica Ferres is the main actress, she is in every scene as we see how she learns about the story unfold, she is solid in the leading role but never enough to hold our attention. Michael Shannon is good in his role but we just don’t get enough from him character, this can be said for most of the cast we just needed more from their characters.

StoryThe story follows one doctor that must learn of an impending disaster which needs solving even though it is considered unsolvable.  This story is dull and slow, but it does have meaning when you look at the message trying to be sent, other than that it is too preachy for its own good. It tries to make us feel guilty for a new threat to the world that is manmade but is slowly becoming too much.

ThrillerThis film tries to keep us on edge but in the end, you just don’t hit the edge of your seat by a long way.

SettingsThe film is set in an unknown location in South America, it is designed to make us feel like it could be anywhere in the world that this could happen.

Scene of the Movie –
Photo time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Overly preachy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that doesn’t hit the marks it should, it could be breath-taking but in the end just sends you to sleep.


Overall: This movie was just painfully boring to watch from start to finish.




Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

nosDirector: Werner Herzog

Writer: Werner Herzog (Screenplay)

Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Walter Ladengast


Plot: Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula’s castle.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Dark Dracula


Story: Nosferatu the Vampyre starts when Jonathan (Ganz) must travel to Transylvania to meet the reclusive Count Dracula (Kinski) who wants to buy a home in Jonathan’s village of Wismar.  When Dracula gets drawn to Lucy (Adjani) Jonathan’s wife he heads to Wismar leaving Jonathan battling his own health but also wanting to save Lucy from the evil country Dracula.

With Dracula in Wismar we see how the people of the town start coming down with the plague like symptoms as it is up to Dr Helsing (Ladengast) to try and stop Dracula taking Lucy away.


Thoughts on Nosferatu the Vampyre


StoryWe all know the Dracula story right, well this is the same only that they travel back to Wismar rather than London, it is a classic tale but I found myself disappointed because I watch the wrong version of this film.

HorrorWe get a lot of horror like images thrown towards us through this film which is fine but you never find the Dracula character as scary as he could have been in this world.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all known from the books with the main focal point being on Count Dracula who is obviously the most famous part of the film. The performances are all good making you believe in the peril throughout the film.

SettingsWE have excellently created settings used throughout the fil which put us in the time in question as well as seeing the different worlds Dracula is from to where he ends up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very good version of Dracula with some very dark imagery throughout but in the end it is just another version of the story that has been told way too many times.


Overall: The darkest and most twisted version of Dracula that I have seen.




Jack Reacher (2012)

logoDirector: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Lee Child (Book ‘One Shot’)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Vladimir Sizov, Joseph Sikora, Robert Duvall


Plot: In an innocent heartland city, five are shot dead by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, and build a slam-dunk case. But instead of confessing, the accused man writes the words, ‘Get Jack Reacher’. Reacher (Cruise) himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defence is immensely relieved, but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked at the accused’s request, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man’s guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for.


Verdict: Good Action Thriller


Story: While trying to create itself an anti-hero in Jack Reacher, the story though solid is not the most original. It comes from a series of books and they have a good following, I am unaware of whether they did cover everything from the books and whether any key parts are missing. We get almost like a lawyer like case being solved to completely disprove everything that has been left to use as evidence and the deeper into the case we get the more we find out about the truth. Very entertaining the story is but in the end the perfect score fails to be achieved due to the unoriginal storyline, but why change something that works well? (8/10)


Actor Reviews


Tom Cruise: Reacher, the man who settles debts his own way, he will find out the truth and will not take any prisoners. He is your typical anti-hero who makes doing the right thing look bad but he gets results. Good performance from Tom with a strong lead performance that he is known for. (8/10)


Rosamund Pike: Helen the defence lawyer as well as the DA daughter, she reluctantly recruits Jack to help, but after she puts her own life in danger she ends up having to put all her faith in Jack. Good supporting performance showing to be a strong independent woman. (8/10)


Richard Jenkins: Rodin the DA who only picks cases he will never lose, but once Jack turns up his record could change. Good supporting performance but not enough screen time. (7/10)


David Oyelowo: Emerson the detective who puts the case together and wants an easy win, but Jack changes that for him. Good supporting role but like Rodin not enough screen time. (7/10)


Werner Herzog: The Zec the mysterious ring leader of the organisation involved in the crime, full of horrific ideas to test people desire to live. Good villain but it needed more screen time to show his absolute true nature.(7/10)


Jai Courtney: Charlie the sniper who commits the crime, don’t worry not a spoiler as it is the opening scenes, he is a cold calculated killer. Good performance showing that you need a cold killer against a good guy. (8/10)


Director Review: Christopher McQuarrie – Good direction to create a tense thriller throughout.(9/10)


Action: Be in fist fights or fire fights the film really has some solid action scenes when it happens. (9/10)

Crime: Good crime to solve throughout trying to figure out the real truth. (9/10)

Thriller: Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings but only the quarry for the final scene really makes an impact for the story. (7/10)

Suggestion: If you are a fan of the genre this is really one to watch, but if you don’t like the idea involved this isn’t for you. (Action Thriller Fans Watch)


Best Part: The car escape.

Worst Part: I would say the lack of potential twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final showdown.

Believability: The crime has happened but the framing and solving seems too much. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is talk and with the series of books we can have one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $218,340,595

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: The law has limits. He does not


Overall: Tough Action Thriller

Rating 80