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Recent Movie Reviews#8931
This is a sequel to the successful movie "Olympus Has Fallen." The story begins in London, where the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances. Leaders of the G7 attend his funeral.
Group of Seven (G7), international organization officially established in 1985 to facilitate economic cooperation among the world's largest industrial nations; summit meetings of the member nations began in 1975. Members are Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
However, what starts out as the most protected event on Earth turns into a deadly plot to kill the world's most powerful leaders, devastate every known landmark in the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. Only three people have any hope of stopping it: the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), his formidable Secret Service head (Gerard Butler), and an English MI-6 agent who rightly trusts no one.
5/10 . It need more action scenes and a stronger plot.
I will say all the good things first, then I can rant. This film was visually stunning. It was also pretty well acted especially by Jude Law, although he is obviously too young to be Watson. Robert Downey Jr. is also pretty good and his natural charm makes me want to like his character. I also quite enjoyed Stephen Fry's part as Mycroft, it was a nice surprise. I'm a little dubious about the casting of Moriarty, but he wasn't awful I guess. In fact I feel that the same actors with a different director and script would have made this film top-class.
OK now the bad bits. It is trying to be FAR too cool for it's own good. And you know what happens when people try to be cool - they come off as posers and losers. I'm all for a bit of action, and yet this film just ruins Holmes by making him a martial artist, super slow mo, extra cool, thug. Holmes could box and he was a cane fighter. Why not just put that in??? It would have been great.
Another major gripe is the complete lack of any real deduction, questioning or intelligence. I know, let's just make him dress in about 4 different silly outfits and every now and then he can jump to some conclusions! Then the final nail in the coffin was the over-the-top story which reminded me of the absurdity of 'the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'. I'm all for suspending belief in a plot line, but there is a limit and I reached it about half way through this film.
If you want a decent modern take on Sherlock Holmes I highly recommend 'Sherlock' the BBC series. The setting is modern, but the acting and characterisation are just the right temperament to transcend the classic stories into a modern setting. It depends how much of a Holmes puritan you are! For many, Jeremy Brett IS Holmes simple as that.
This is a Comedy/Drama/Romance Movie, that is, a "chick flick." I'm not generally into chick flicks, but I watched it anyway, intrigued by the fact that it was written, as well as starred in, by Peter Facinelli, the head vampire in Twilight.
Having watched it once, I watched it again a couple months later... and then I recommended it to my adult daughter, who is into chick flicks, and we watched it together. And you know what, I will likely watch it again sometime. Yes, I feel it is that good. In fact, any project with Facinelli's name attached to it will garner my immediate attention from now on.
Since he wrote it, I guess he knew exactly how he wanted to play the guy who has yet another in a long series of one night stands. The woman is played by Jaimie Alexander, and he is unusually fascinated by her (that's almost a pun). He struggles with leaving her his contact number, but can't decide yes or no...
Well, he seems to forget the encounter, but then she suddenly shows up to tell him she's pregnant with his child. She reminds him her name is Lucy (another almost pun). He is a pick pocket who has no kind of life style for anything but consequence free living. Actually, he is a pick pocket slaved to the man who his father owed a significant monetary debt to, so I guess he's not actually so free living.
Anyway, the depth of the movie is what all happens next. No spoilers here so all I will say is that if you watch it, you will likely not be disappointed.
This action movie junkie (and his daughter) rate this as a movie well worth a watch or three.
In all fairness, I had been warned. A movie review show said this was less than impressive and the write-ups in print were "luke-warm" but when the missus said lets go watch a movie, I wanted to give it a try because the cast was impressive and come on, who doesn't like magic tricks???? Let's begin with the positives. It runs for 115 minutes which compared to The Long Ranger and anything Peter Jackson hands in is almost preview length so that was good. Unless the result of decent editing is a lack of character depth then perhaps it wasn't.... but we'll get to that shortly.
The cast were good. The Four Horsemen actors were solid while Mr Freeman, Mr Caine and Mr Ruffalo just don't know how to put in a bad performance. Ms Laurent was also quite good too.
Now, the negative. Whilst I liked the actors I don't like any of the characters... actually that's unfair, I don't dislike them I just don't know them. The film makers spent ten seconds giving us a back story for the main protagonists therefore giving me no cause to support their scheme. BUT THEY WERE RIGHTING A WRONG FROM A LONG TIME AGO I hear you scream!!! And this is true but we're not meant to know this until the final reveal......unless you worked it out as soon as Morgan Freeman mentioned it, in which case the whole movie failed as a mystery and you were left to decide whether to finish your coke before your popcorn or keep a little to wash out those annoying bits that get stuck between your teeth....but I digress.
I had also hoped to enjoy some magic tricks but these were all achieved with CGI so like Star Wars I,II, & III I'm left wishing the director refused to take the easy way out of disguising a less than competent script with colour and movement.
A couple of quick lessons from this film. One, when you pretend to kill off a character in a car accident get at least one of their friends to look like they're upset, distressed or just annoyed that they have to feed their cat while they're in hiding. No one cared when the young bloke was blown up in the car crash so we knew he had to turn up again.
The second suggestion is to paraphrase Mr Eisenberg's line during questioning "the first rule of movie making is don't try to be smartest person in the room if you're not." It just turns into a shallow mess.
I also read with some interest that the film makers were working on a sequel, which unless it's just the director and writers apologising for this effort then I won't be attending. Now you see me....now you don't.
If this film were total fiction bearing no relation to reality, it would still be worth seeing for the fine acting and production values--even if some of the young white women approached "Southern Gothic."
But it wasn't fiction--at least, the depiction of Southern society wasn't. As I watched I kept drifting back to small-town South Carolina in the 1950s, where I grew up. It was moving and disturbing to be reminded how black people were treated then--loved and yet "kept down in their place." Our neighborhood was all middle-class and every family had a maid. There were plenty of boys my age, we visited in each other's homes, and called every maid by her first name. One even started a baseball team for the little white boys, for which her reward was a visit by the Klan.
Our maid helped my mother cook and clean. One of my parents picked her up and took her home every day--and she rode in the back seat. She ate her lunch in our kitchen--without being allowed to use our utensils. I remember her eating with her fingers. I do not remember ever seeing her use our bathrooms. I thought about that during the movie and truly cannot recall what she did, an embarrassing gap in memory.
I do remember when my father was out of work and our maid had to be cut back to three days a week. I actually cried; she was a member of our family. When talk about civil rights began in the late 1950s, my mother became annoyed at our maid for getting "uppity." And so it went. We moved to central Florida in 1961, where there were no maids.
Travel back in time with this film. It's quite real, and I highly recommend it.
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