Category: movies

American Assassin (2017)


American Assassin | 2017

I saw this last week Thursday and thought I’d write about it. I also just accidentally posted a YouTube video. Ignore it!

Spoilers ahead!

There seems to be mixed feelings about this movie but… I’m not sure why. No, it’s not going to set the world on fire (well…) and maybe a movie about terrorism isn’t what we need (but were any of the others needed?) but it’s called American Assassin. People get shot. Shit blows up. There are car chases. That’s all you can expect.

Anyway, the plot was fairly standard:

Mitch Rapp and his girlfriend are on vacation in Basque, Spain, when a radical Islamist jihadist cell lands on the beach and begins to attack the civilians with assault rifles. Amid the carnage, Rapp frantically attempts to find his girlfriend, but is unable to prevent her death at the hands of the terrorists.

Eighteen months later, Rapp, now consumed by his desire for vengeance, frequents an internet message board where the terrorist responsible for his girlfriend’s murder quizzes Rapp on aspects of Islam and jihad. Having secured an invitation to meet him face to face, Rapp prepares to take his vengeance on the man responsible for his girlfriend’s death.

When Cold War veteran Stan Hurley takes CIA black ops recruit Mitch Rapp under his wing, they receive an assignment to investigate a wave of random attacks on both military and civilian targets. After discovering a pattern of violence, Hurley and Rapp join forces with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative who wants to start a global war.

Thoughts:

The opening scene.

What. The. Fuck.

I’m torn between it being absolutely recklessly realistic and it being well, realistic. It definitely hooks you into the movie.

Even if I was slightly uncomfortable by that and what came after, it was interesting to see the terrorist cell stuff. If the entire movie had been about that, then, I’d complain but it was over fairly quickly. We moved onto the usual someone wants to build a nuclear weapon schtick blah, blah, blah and actually the movie sort of fell flat after that point.

The middle. Basically the CIA turn up and Rapp is trained into a super spy assassin kind of thing. His test scores are off the charts etc. Anyway, once we move off that we’re introduced to Ghost, a former protégé of Michael Keaton (who leads some kind of special ops team or something). Ghost has just obtained some plutonium for some Iranians.

Sigh.

Anyway, the action moves to Italy and we discover that Ghost is really angry at the US and Michael Keaton because he was left behind on the battlefield. Something about him not following orders.

After a gratuitous scene in which fingernails are extracted and an ear is bitten, it transpires that he has built a nuclear bomb in order to take out some kind of warship in the ocean. Ooookay.

Anyway, the build up to that scene was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. Rapp somehow finds a car underground, drives it through a tunnel in order to break open a gate. And the the car gets stuck and causes a huge fireball…. WHILE THE PLUTONIUM IS METRES AWAY. That entire building should have been toast. Anyway, somehow, they manage to switch between a housing project to the ocean in about two minutes.

It was very confusing.

Rapp and Ghost have this really odd fight on a boat. I could see that they repeat he same sequence a few times. The fight was also oddly anticlimactic. However, it was what came next that was really baffling. Rapp throws the nuclear bomb into the water and it goes off. Everyone should have been toast. Instead there was a huge water vortex that lasted for a minute and a helicopter was blown about until it wasn’t. Everyone lived! Except for Ghost.

Okay then.

The ending shows Rapp going after another Iranian who was also involved in the plutonium deal. I wonder why the director included that. Or the writer. It’s not like the sequel (if any) is going to pick up there. Minor issue, though.

The main issue with the movie is the lack of character progression. We know Rapp is messed up, but we don’t see it. It’s all tell, tell, tell with little showing. I personally would have made the whole terrorist cell thing a very minor backdrop and focused on seeing his life after his girlfriend died and in general after the attack (he was shot several times but made a full recovery!). Watching him punch someone excessively wasn’t enough. With regards to the villain – Ghost is just plonked in the movie and boom, this is the bad guy. It was, well, bad. The Turkish agent also had some stuff going on but by that point, the plot was so convoluted that when she killed herself I forgot that she even existed.

Anyway, Michael Keaton is always a delight. I don’t care that all he did was yell a lot. IT’S BATMAN! Sanaa Lathan did her best with the limited script. Dylan O’Brien is definitely one to watch. I thought he was really good, probably the best part of the movie even though he was limited by the unadventurous script. And I’m glad to see he’s doing okay after his accident on the Maze Runner set. Taylor Kitsch… well, at least he’s still getting work?

Verdict: 6/10. Entertaining but predictable. However, it wasn’t overly long or worse than your typical action movie. There are some really nice scenes in terms of the cinematography and fight/action scenes. Also – Dylan O’Brien isn’t hard on the peepers. 😝

I’m also going to check out the books as well now, so there’s that. Yes.

Thank you for reading!

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Bad Moviethon #7 – The Perfect Guy


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON #7

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

The Perfect Guy | 2015 | IMDB

Plot:

With a fulfilling career and a loving relationship, lobbyist Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) seems to have it all. Things come crashing down when Dave, her long-term boyfriend, questions her future plans for marriage and a family. The resulting breakup leaves Leah heartbroken, until she meets the charming and handsome Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy). Soon, the budding romance turns dangerous as Carter reveals his volatile nature, forcing Leah to turn the tables on the man she thought was Mr. Right.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

Review excerpt:

The unsure tone screams that this is a director embarrassed by the film he’s making.

First of all, Michael Ealy.

Secondly, Sanaa Lathan’s hair and wardrobe were on point.

The movie begins with Leah being all domestic with her boyfriend before she breaks up with him because he’s not ready to propose. Sometime soon, she bumps into some guy callee Carter at a coffee shop. Well. More like she turned around and he was grinning at her creepily. It was like he was paid by smile and crazy eyes because there was a lot of that in the opening half an hour. Although, Michael Ealy’s smile and crazy eyes would probably work on me too. Anyway, there’s so iced coffee related flirting stuff (I think that’s what it was supposed to be).

Anyway, after that, Carter saves her from some douche at a bar. They have dinner and things progress. They go dancing and they end up hooking up in the bathroom (recipe for disaster and also unsanitary) and they begin dating. Carter charms her parents, her friends, her cat. Everybody in nearby distance.

At one point I’m sure that someone dreamily says that he seems too good to be true. 

(more…)

Bad Moviethon #5 – Daredevil (2003)


Daredevil | 2003 | IMDB

Synopsis: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.

Rotten tomatoes score: 44℅

Review excerpt: 

Torn between moody grandiosity and cartoonish mayhem, Daredevil tries to have it both ways, and succeeds at neither.


Batman & Robin continues to elude me but I caught this on TV last week was inspired to blog about it. Sort of. 

I don’t even need to recap. This movie is garbage

I used to think that people were being unnecessarily harsh about it, but no, it’s bad. The only thing I liked was hearing Won’t Back Down by Fuel in the closing credits. That’s my song! Teenage me probably loved the movie’s soundtrack but overall, the film itself was a mess. It was boring and somewhat nonsensical. Colin Farrell was really cheesy as Bullseye. I have no idea what that first ninja battle scene with Elektra and Daredevil was. Or whichever one happened near that kids playground. I was just shuddering due to the cringe. Not to mention the whole ‘stay‘ thing as it’s raining buckets. UGH. 

The movie is basically like one long Evanescence music video, complete with the soundtrack. 

I don’t even know how Daredevil managed to survive after Elektra almost killed him. Or how he managed to catch up with the Kingpin. It was like time slowed down for me but not the movie? If that makes sense. It barely held my attention.

On the flip side, I suppose it isn’t completely worthless. The visual effects weren’t bad. It makes for good background noise/minor entertainment and there are probably worse movies out there. Like Playing It Cool (I’m still processing just how bad that movie was). 

Anyway, based on this, I can only imagine how bad Affleck’s Batman is. I haven’t seen Batman vs. Superman but I hear that it wasn’t great. How surprising. I suppose the upside is that Affleck still has the perfect jawline for the role.