Venom

The Movie

Venom (2018)

The Director

Ruben Fleischer

The Cast

Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate

IMDB Synopsis

When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.

Screen-Shot-2018-04-24-at-17.02.37

My Thoughts

I say this quite a lot but I went into this with absolutely no expectation, except that Tom Hardy would be fit. I left pleasantly satisfied and that’s because he is perfectly cast as the slightly loser-ish Eddie Brock. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, basically.

Is it anywhere are groomed as Infinity War or Black Panther? Of course not – but there’s a place for it and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Mr Hardy is a dream, an actor that sometimes makes you ponder whether he’s that technically talented – but it hardly matters, he has something a lot of other leading men don’t have and that’s the special something. And obviously I would climb him like a tree.

Tom-Hardy-Venom-2018
Hey babe

Riz Ahmed is also very good as evil Carlton Drake, a slick criminal mastermind who slowly but surely transforms into Venom’s ultra strong arch enemy, Riot. In the beginning, I had some reservations about Michelle Williams as Eddie Brock’s love interest Anne, who starts off pretty simpering. Luckily for everyone concerned, she claws it back and is actually great in the end, a heroine not afraid to get her hands dirty in a bid to make sure Eddie’s okay, even though he gets her sacked.

Support from Slate (whose character, Doctor Dora Skirth deserved better) and Reid Scott as Anne’s new boyfriend Dan is also good – but the supporting star has to be the lovely Mrs Chen (Peggy Lu).

The CGI can be a bit much to keep up with at times because there is so much going on and I don’t really know about all the symbiote science but ultimately I’m not mad at Venom at all.

My Rating

3.5/5.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Audrey and Morgan are best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

*Minor spoilers*

I loved this stupid film. I’m in love with Mila Kunis, sue me. Pair her with Kate McKinnon and as far as I’m concerned you’re onto a winner. It’s a very silly romp sure but a very good, girl power one.

When Audrey gets dumped over text by her elusive boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux), her BFF Morgan is on hand to help her through it. After attempting to burn his stuff, he gets in touch and tells her he’ll be home soon to explain everything. Unfortunately, before this happens she is accosted by the feds who reveal his true identity.

Audrey is shocked to learn that her boyfriend is actually a spy. Well, I’ve been out with much worse tbf. When Drew finally makes contact again, he gives her instruction to travel to Europe with a secret package which Morgan encourages her do because why not? Neither of them have ever been. And the rest is a blur of spy activity which the girls quickly discover they’re actually pretty good at.

But who are the good guys, who are the bad guys – and who the hell is Drew really? Via a backdrop of glamorous European locations and elaborate disguises, our girls get to the bottom of just what the fuck is going down – which they find is easier said than done.

Hot on their heels is nimble super assassin Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno) and the feds themselves, led by their boss Wendy (Gillian Anderson). There might be a new love interest in the mix too in the form of pretty Sebastian (Sam Heughan), one of the agents on Drew’s case.

Well it’s a romp alright and I laughed my arse off. McKinnon is always good but sometimes suffers for the material she’s given while Kunis has tremendous comic timing. Together I totally bought their chemistry as best friends – and I found it refreshing that there’s no side story in which the two of them fall out. Their friendship remains intact to the end.

I hope they turn this into a franchise because I haven’t had this much fun with female spies since well, Spy. But also Charlie’s Angels.

My Rating

4.5/5.

The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer 2 (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?

*Minor spoilers*

McCall (Denzel Washington) is what my brother once called me: a groupie for the underdog. Not that he goes around sleeping with them you understand, it’s more that he has a very specific recipe for vengeance on behalf of those who have been wronged and might not be in a position to dish it out themselves. Among his assignments are a trip to Istanbul to recover a kidnapped child and a little light rape revenge.

Fans of the first Equalizer film (2014) probably remember it better than I do but this follows a similar pattern. Where back in ’14 McCall was just starting his new ‘quiet’ life, he is now quite settled in a nice block with good neighbours and a community that knows his face. He is well-loved and just ticking along doing his thing when things get real quick and this time, it’s fucking personal.

image2
“Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man…”

This sequel focuses also on Melissa Leo‘s Susan Plummer, long-time friend of McCall’s and all round boss bitch. When she uncovers too much about a certain crime and something nasty happens, it’s up to our boy Robert McCall to put two and two together and fight for his friend – will he? Of course he bloody will.

Meanwhile closer to home, will McCall also keep his pal and neighbour Miles (Ashton Sanders) on the straight and narrow? I’ll always be here for action, the more elaborate the better so I don’t mind when McCall puts down the bad guys without breaking a sweat, he’s a hero after all – but sometimes it does get a little bit laughable. Like, Denzel babe you’re in your sixties, have a little break.

However, the final action segment shot by the beach during a raging storm really conjures up an atmosphere and I think that’s the element that lifted this film from simply okay to very good.

5b4fb5605cdcb.image
“I’m sorry you lost that fight with The Mountain buddy…”

This was, like Mission: Impossible – Fall Out, a well crafted caper and I enjoyed myself. Denzel is always top-notch, even in films I really don’t care for (Fences) so no shocker there – but his support in the form of Leo, Sanders and The Prince of Dorne himself, Pedro Pascal is pretty excellent too.

Roll on Part 3.

My Rating

3.5/5.

The Meg

The Meg (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

*Minor spoilers*

Flippin’ heck. I feel like I’ve waited a lifetime for this movie, the premise and execution of which could have been lifted directly from my own fantasies.

Jason Statham, in a wet suit at his frowny best? Hell yes. Ginormous prehistoric shark with an insatiable thirst for anything unlucky enough to get in its way? You got me. There’s nothing else I need really but I do get more bang that I could ever have wished for. Welcome to my review.

Jonas Taylor is something of a maverick, because of course he is. He is also haunted by past decisions that may have cost a lot of people their lives. Though he stands by what happened that fateful day he lead a semi-successful rescue mission to safety – the sub they were in was attacked by something HUUUUGE and mysterious – he still feels hella guilty about the ones he couldn’t save. So guilty he’s now a drunk chilling in Thailand. Nobody believes his ramblings about a giant sea creature because why would anyone? I would but that’s me. I want to believe. 

“I loved you in Furious 7…”

Meanwhile and fast forward five years, billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) is collaborating with Doctor Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) on a project on underwater facility Mana One. Along with his daughter Suyin (Bingbing Li) and a rag-tag bunch of fellow scientists and oceanographers, Zhang is exploring the contents of the Marianas Trench, financially backed by Morris.

You know, just poking around to see what’s what… like you do.

I’m not going to wow you with science here and I’m not going to say anymore apart from when shit goes down – and boy does it – Jonas is called to save the day. When his theory is proven right and he is exonerated as a delusional whack job – it is left up to him to keep the team safe and protect the world from Meg, a sassy and beautiful prehistoric Megalodon.

the-meg-film-summer-horror-jason-stathem
Swish swish, motherfuckers

Is it any good though? Well, I am highly biased but I say HELL YES it is great. It’s exactly what I wanted, needed and expected – the dialogue is shaky and cheesy as hell – but it’s a fun ride. You can’t go into something like this expecting an Oscar worthy movie – that’s not what anyone is here for. It’s fun, it’s stressful, it’s awe-inspiring on the big screen and it’s funny where it needs to be.

As for the performances, I’ll stand by Statham ’til the end. The guy knows his limits and he plays very well to them. His comic timing is good and he look fitter with every passing year. He might not be Sir Laurence Olivier but he’ll always get me off my arse and down to the local multiplex because he gives it everything he’s got. As Jonas he gets to display his trademark furrowed brow a lot and I love him for it.

I was also impressed by Ruby Rose for a change, who still plays the same character she has in everything I’ve ever seen her in but she’s getting better as an actress. Plus, I feel there is an unspoken chemistry between her and Jonas’ ex-wife (and crew member) Lori (Jessica McNamee) – and I want more of that.

Ruby-Rose-The-Meg

Finally, I’m just fucking glad we’re seeing more Asian characters and actors on the big screen – it feels like 2018 has been the year for giving us more of this and it’s so important. Perhaps we can stop white washing things and start hiring appropriate actors to play characters as they were intended?

My Rating

4/5.

Mission: Impossible – Fall Out

Mission: Impossible – Fall Out (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

*Minor spoilers*

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and pals (Ving RhamesSimon Pegg) accidentally bungle a mission, something to do with three stolen plutonium cores and believed-to-be-dead super villain Soloman Lane’s (Sean Harris) terrorist group “The Apostles”.

I mean, they only fuck up because they value friendship but the result is a pissed off CIA Director (Angela Bassett) and a new operative sent to shadow them and keep the team in check (a mustachioed Henry Cavill). As the gang, including their new mate Superman take action to make up for their mistakes and get hold of the damn plutonium, they’re forced to come face to face with Lane again. There are also tonnes of other spy scenarios and honestly, this is the film of the Summer, hands down.

166504107.jpg.gallery
I’m not going to go into the intricacies of the narrative here, all I can say is that it’s tight AF with double crosses for dayzzz. We meet new characters, get to chill with familiar ones – all while Ethan wrestles broken helicopters, leaps off high-rise buildings and proves that Tom Cruise may be a fruit loop IRL but is still firmly in the top three action movies stars working today. And you can quote me on that, I actually love to watch him on the big screen and yes, I know he’s problematic.

Support is strong in the hands of Rhames and Pegg, while the women do not disappoint (obviously). Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa Faust (she first appears in Rogue Nation) while Bassett is the Queen she always is. Vanessa Kirby is a lot of fun as The White Widow too. 

I loved this ride and I’m excited to see where it goes next. Not only is it one of the strongest in the series (Mission: Impossible III is my fave because of Philip Seymour Hoffman), it’s also one of the best films I’ve seen this year. 

MV5BMGNlY2Y3MWMtNTc4NC00YjVjLWFiN2ItMDlmOTk1ZGQzZDc5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjAyNzI2OTY@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,872_AL_
I’m ready for the all-female remake

Don’t sleep on this if you’re into action – try to catch it if you can.

My Rating

4.5/5.

 

Skyscraper

Skyscraper (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

A father goes to great lengths to save his family from a burning skyscraper.

*Spoilers*

This film does exactly what it says on the tin. Dwayne Johnson is Will Sawyer, a security expert (with a past) who is currently consulting in Hong Kong for ambitious Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) on the tallest skycraper in the world. It really is well tall.

His family are with him and staying in a luxury suite in the as yet not open Pearl tower. Sarah (super babe Neve Campbell) is a former military nurse and the couple have two adorable rugrats, Georgia and Henry (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell).

All is looking good until über-villain Kores Botha (Roland Møller) decides to fuck shit up and Will is forced to rescue his loved ones from the burning skyscraper, while also being accused of the terrorist act in the first place. What’s a guy to do though but roll up his sleeves and scale the building?

5b480408695bd.image

It’s ridiculous of course but in the hands of The Rock it would be impossible not to enjoy the ride. Some of the lines are laugh out loud terrible and there is literally no realism to be had anywhere but that’s so overrated anyway.

The scale is awe-inspiring and the scenery looks great – so grab the popcorn and enjoy this bad boy for exactly what it is: pure, unadulterated, unabashed escapism.

My Rating

3/5.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.

*Spoilers*

This film has a crazy cool cast which doesn’t hurt it one bit.

While our leads, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are supported by the mighty Catherine Keener, some of the best performances come from the younger cast members, namely Isabela Moner and Elijah Rodriguez (both of whom I suspect we may see again in this very franchise).

I enjoyed this movie so much more than I thought I would and I think that’s because this time around it takes us under the skin of Del Toro’s Alejandro, who we first met in Sicario

Where Sicario focused on the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico, Day of Soldado examines the evolution of drugs trafficking into smuggling terrorists over the border. Which is distressing to watch anyway but in the current climate, it is brutal. One of the first scenes follows a handful of ISIS suicide bombers as they enter a supermarket and let’s just say the scene is devastating.

As a result of this particular bombing, the US government enlist the services of CIA Agent Matt Graver (Brolin), who is given permission to use any means necessary to combat the Mexican drug cartels (who are the ones doing the smuggling). AMN really means extreme measures and who better to call on for help than Black Op Alejandro Gillick (Del Toro) himself?

Isabel-Sicario-620x400-1024x661
Graver and the Department of Defense figure the best way to solve their problem is to start a war between the cartels, and Gillick is just perfect for the mission. First he murders a high-profile cartel lawyer in Mexico City, then the team kidnap the daughter of a rival kingpin (played by Isabela Moner) – and man does it all kick off from there.

Not everything goes according to plan though (go figure) and we follow both sides as the tale unravels. Gillick finds himself in a protective role as he and Isabela (the daughter) are accidentally separated from Graver and team.

As relations between the US and Mexico reach breaking point (following an explosive head to head between the team and Mexican police), the US government grow keen to distance themselves from the whole operation. Graver is forced to put Gillick in a tough position, and as choices are made and lines are drawn, the friendship is tested to the extreme.

sicario-2-soldado-josh-brolin-image

While all this pans out, we also follow Miguel Hernandez (Rodriguez) as he becomes more and more embroiled in his role as a Mexican-American “coyote” (people smuggler). What will become of Graver, Gillick and the rest of this crazy bunch?

Sicario: DotS may not be technically as brilliant as Denis Villeneuve‘s Sicario (it’s not very far behind though) but I found myself enjoying it just as much. While we don’t witness the war through the eyes of Emily Blunt‘s idealistic FBI agent this time around, we do have Isabela, whose peepers are forced firmly open when she learns of the crimes of her father.

I’ve got a theory that we’re going to meet Isabela in the next installment and that her story will run parallel to Miguel’s. Good and bad, if you will – the light versus the darkness.

I can’t wait. 

My Rating

4/5.

I fancy Brolin and De Toro SO MUCH. Damn, boys.