AMERICAN ASSASSIN – REVIEW

 

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch
Director: Michael Cuesta
Running Time: 111mins
Cert: 18

Last night I went to the movies after a long while and saw the patriotically titled, American Assassin starring Dylan O’Brien.

I’ve been a Dylan O’Brien fan since small roles in The Internship and then  of course The Maze Runner and was excited to see what he would offer in the way of a more ‘adult’ role.

Before I go into his performance however which is well done in my opinion; this film in a lot of ways is not the best in terms of release time. There are a few who may agree with the opposite as the content is current and thought provoking and to witness the destruction near the end was actually quite emotional for me. Its not the best content to have been released in such tumultuous times for America when relationships with Muslims are strained and this film plays heavily on that animosity.

When his fiance is killed during a random terrorist attack, Mitch Rapp (O’Brien) takes it upon himself to exact revenge against the man/terrorist group who killed her. While this dedication to revenge brings him to the attention of the CIA; the dedication is overshadowed by what seems to be his hatred of ALL Muslims which isnt a good thing to watch. It plays out that his reckless and impulsive behaviour is rewarded by top authorities when he is hired to work for them to bring down a terrorist group.

Moving on from this, O’Brien’s performance is commendable although for future reference Dylan – growing a beard does not a grown up make – although it does suit him!
He embodies the character really well and you believe his passion for wanting to go after the terrorists even when the fight is no longer his to fight.

The negatives? A bit too much globe trotting for my liking. One minute we’re in Roanoke, then we’re in London then we’re in Turkey then Greece! I gather its the nature of a ‘spy’ but it was a bit much to keep up with! The characters, though played well by all involved are quite 2 dimensional: tough ex Army vet, tough as nails Black female at the head of the operation; loose cannon rookie that has exceptional skill.

On the plus side, there are some decent fight scenes especially one in an apartment that has one entire wall made of glass which makes for good viewing. They’re not overly done and believable in the technique and skill. There are a few Easter eggs in terms of ‘the real enemy’ but not too obviously so.

I liked that it was brought together in the end that things were not as they seemed which helped with the general impression of the film.

Definitely enjoyable and thought provoking as to what is going on around us right now.

American Assassin is out in UK cinemas Sept. 14

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*NEW* BLACK PANTHER IMAGES

The excitement levels for the release of Black Panther has just gone up a notch as new character images have been released. Have a look below at the images provided by Entertainment Weekly feature a star studded cast including Angela Bassett, Forrest Whitaker and Lupita Nyongo!

They all look amazing and i cannot wait for the film!

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD – REVIEW

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Honsou
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 126mins
Cert: 12A

Aaaand, we’re back!

This time with the legendary/fantasy epic-cum-East End Gangster film; that is Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword!

As the title suggests, this take on the King Arthur legend; focuses on the legendary sword Excalibur and the power which it possesses. In this rendering; the powers of Excalibur have been linked to the blood line of Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana); father to Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and brother to the jealous and vengeful Vortigern (Jude Law).

Now, think of the movie baby of Troy, Green Street and The Lion King and you can get an idea of the feel of this film as well as see the initial story; jealous uncle takes out the noble King and sets his sights on the rightful heir to the throne. However, that my friend; is where the cliches end and where the real fun begins.

Ritchie has managed to take the Arthurian legend and adapt it in a way that it is both modern ridiculously entertaining. Arthur for example, lives in Londinium a few days ride from Camelot which gives the whole thing a time frame that was never really established before. Magic is explained as a contained entity that is manifested through powerful individuals called Mages and while the infamous Merlin is mentioned; he plays no major part. Instead, Ritchie has focused on the sword’s power as well as the devil-may-care but good natured soul of Arthur, which Hunnam executes perfectly.

While Arthur, in the beginning has no understanding of who and what he is; by the time he comes into his own and accepts the power of the sword (this scene is probably the best part!); he does so in a way that is believable and current. The character that was built up prior to his ascension; is maintained throughout the film and you are able to sympathise with his reluctance as well as rejoice in his acceptance of his birthright.

The only let down of the film is probably the heavy use of SFX in a few of the fight scenes. While I realise that these were used to highlight the magnitude of the sword’s powers; the final battle for example goes very quickly and is hard to follow. While SFX are used well in some parts; at one point it looked weird like when Neo had to fight all the Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded and his body went all funny looking! Other than that, everything else works amazingly well.

While I’m not a huge fan of Jude Law, he plays a decent villain in this film. Quiet and refined though innately petty and cruel; he does very well. There is a scene in which there are some cleverly placed props and gestures that remind you of a certain German dictator. While creepy; so so good! The supporting cast of British talent including Aiden Gillen aka Peter Baelish from Game of Thrones; encompass the Kray era/Merry Men attitude to the film and make it an incredibly hilarious and entertaining watch. Arthur’s advisor and link to his royal lineage in Sir Bedevere (Djimon Honsou) provides copius amounts of banter that will have anyone giggling. The soundtrack is spectacular and the use of alternative camera angles and SFX takes you on an a exciting journey that has you hooked from the very beginning.

Lastly, if all the reasons above havent made you want to see it then the fact that David Beckham is in it should do the trick!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is out May 8th.

FAST AND FURIOUS 8 – REVIEW

 

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham
Director: F. Gary Gray
Running Time: 136mins
Cert: 12A

 

Hey guys!

It has actually been a hot minute since i’ve reviewed a film but of course, the one film to bring me out of hiatus is the newest instalment to the the Fast Franchise; Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious!

I went to a 00:01 showing of the movie with my brother just so i could see it has soon as possible and it was definitely worth staying up for!

F8 initially takes us to the picturesque setting of Havana, Cuba where we meet up with the Torettos who are living happily in wedded bliss. When Dom is cornered by a mysterious beautiful woman we learn is Cipher (Theron); things get a little interesting. Told not to involve his team in the task she has given him to do – for which he had clear reluctance until she shows him a picture of something – Dom gets the team together to complete the mission and within moments of completing it; betrays them.

From this point on, there are stunts and spectacles of epic proportions that are done in such a ridiculously elaborate way, that you cant help but love it! The villain in Cipher is clearly a force to be reckoned with, as she has a calm-before-the-storm element to her that is a lot more effective in keeping Dominic under control than some of her more aggressive predecessors.

Providing the laughs throughout is of course Roman (Tyrese Gibson) who while you can question his usefulness in the franchise as a whole, definitely makes his mark in this instalment by proving he can be more than a loud mouth of one liners. He is of course joined by the Brain to his Pinky, Tej who has finally found a tech companion in newest team member Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). The team wouldn’t be complete of course without the much more womanly Mrs Alpha (Rodriguez) and glistening muscles, Mr Baby Oil himself, Luke Hobbs (Johnson)

Lastly, joined by fan favourite Deckard Shaw (Statham), Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell) and his sidekick, newbie Scott Eastwood, F8 sets itself up as the instalment with probably the best storyline in terms of depth and surprises. The stunts are tame in comparison to Furious 7 or Fast 5 for example, but are definitely a thrill to watch. Statham makes us Brits proud with the way he kicks ass and takes names all over that place and his banter with Hobbs is up there with epic bantery! I realise this isn’t a word but i’m sticking with it!

Needless to say this was always going to be an interesting project for the people involved in that they wanted to continue the world of Furious without the late Paul Walker but they do a great job in keeping his memory alive.

The Fate of the Furious, is up there with the best of the fast bunch and is just over two hours of non stop action, emotion, banter and of course, family.