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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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.

FAST 7 – REVIEW

Review

furious-7-poster

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham
Director: James Wan
Running Time: 140mins
Cert: 12A

As i type, i am currently on my way to Venice so we shall keep it short and sweet. 

My dedication to this film was as such that i chose a later flight just so i could see it first thing this morning and im so glad i did. 

Fast 7 is quite frankly perfect. It was always going to be intriguing how they were going to handle the sensitive subject that is Paul Walker’s death but it was done, dare i say beautifully. 

All sentiment aside and a genuine and general love for the franchise, Fast 7 is just over two hours of unstoppable action, comedy, stunts and of course family. 

The running theme of family is evident in the film making all the referneces to it and losing the ones you love all the more potent because of Paul’s departure. The fact that the entite crew are back including Tokyo Drift’s Lucas Black and even Hector from The Fast and the Furious make this an incredible trip down memory lane filled with the intensity and action that the new instalments are now famous for. 

The stunts are fantastic and in no way over the top. I mean, who else but Dom and his crew/family would drive out of an aeroplane with parachutes attached to the vehicles!? The fight scenes between Dom and Shaw, Hobbs and Shaw, Brian and this absolutely lethal Kung Fu type guy as well as Michelle Rodriguez versus UFC Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey are all incredible to watch. The banter between Roman and Tej provides the necessary giggles and comrarderie we’ve come to expect. 

I could rattle on forever but the underlining point  wouldnbe that Fast 7 is the jewel in the crown of the Furious franchise. Bringing in the elements of all previous films and blending with new faces and thrills is amazing. The use of technology to create Walker in scenes hewas unable to complete, show the dedication and care that went into this film to make it the best if the bunch. 

Paul would have undoubtedly been proud of the project and it does his Fast legacy justice. I cried like an absolute baby but it was worth it to experience this amazing film and its goodbye to a wonderful actor, father and friend to all who knew him.

RIP Paul ❤️