Tag: Action

Twist

I often post interesting stories on how I ended up finding about a movie if it ends up being a more obscure piece. The story for Twist is rather unique for me given the circumstances.

You see, the director of Twist is Martin Owen. Martin Owen also directed a film last year called Max Cloud that I was given a screener for. But, I also interviewed Martin Owen, which is a shame, because I disliked Max Cloud a lot. It made my worst of the year list.

But in preparing for the interview, I looked up his past and future work, and also briefly talked about his upcoming movie Twist which had some actual famous people in it and a bigger budget. I wasn’t looking forward to Twist, because I disliked Max Cloud so much, but I was still curious on how it would end up.

PARKOUR
It would end up in parkour-land, apparently. 

Oh boy oh boy, our young Oliver, who is going to just go by Twist (Rafferty Law) (that’s the movie name!), is a criminal! Well, he doesn’t have a family, so that might as well be illegal.

But no, he is also a graffiti artist. He likes to spray paint the sides of buildings or whatever, illegally, because he considers himself to be an artist. And he often has to run from the law due to this fact, but the good news is, is that he is really good at parkour. Climbing up and down walls. Jumping over roofs and alleys. Shimmying up ladders. Whatever.

This gets him discovered by a gang of thieves! And they want him to help with the heist of a century. It is going to involve parkour, a lot of parkour. Also it is an art heist, so that keeps the theme in tack. But he is a new guy on a team. Can they trust the little bastard?

Also starring Noel Clarke, Lena Headey, David Williams, Jason Maza, Sophie Simnett, Franz Drameh, Rita Ora, Jade Alleyne, and of course, Michael Caine.

Michael Caine is in this movie
There is no parkour here, there isn’t even parcheesi. 

You may be asking yourself, is Michael Caine actually in this movie? Or is that a thing where he has about two scenes and that is it, so highly billed and advertised but not really in it? Nah…he is actually in it many times, as the head of the orphan art thieves. Go figure. But Michael Caine has said for years he doesn’t mind being in shitty movies, as long as he gets his pay day. That quote is paraphrased.

Twist, and let me remind you I really have no clue what the plot of the original is about, outside of an orphan wanting more food, tells a pretty dull tale. It is a heist film, and a secure painting must be found, stolen without anyone knowing, and brought back to the hideout. So a lot of shenanigans, and red hearings will be in the way, and probably some, oh what is that work, twists?  Ahh. Is that a pun technically? I hope not, because of course a heist movie will have some twists.

Twist is definitely better than the previous work, Max Cloud, and it might just be due to the budget. It looks nicer, there is some unique camera shots, and the acting isn’t as bad (although cheesy over the top acting was part of the point for Max Cloud). Twist is still overall a dull, and boring movie but at least it isn’t trash trash.

It is also quite forgettable. It took me almost two months to write this review, and who knows how long I will take to actually publish it as well.

1 out of 4.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla. King Kong. Lizard. Ape. Will buildings get destroyed? Yes. Buildings will get destroyed.

The attempts to combine these franchises (well, one recent Kong Movie and two recent Godzilla movies) into one ultimate destruction battle was a lofty one, but clearly not one unheard of in our connected universes strategy of films. It was a guarantee, I imagine, to one day occur. I tried to come in ready for it, but honestly, I still never saw Godzilla: King of Monsters from two years ago, and at this point, I can’t imagine I will.

I was hoping that seeing the other two intro films would be enough, but it looks like this film made mostly throw backs to that last one, versus the other two. Damn it.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the director promised there would be an obvious winner and not some bullshit tie overall. That is an important claim to make and really one of the main reasons I decided to even watch this one.

blast
Oh, Rave Godzilla has to be one of my favorite Godzillas. 

Rawr! Let’s get it on! Wait, no, not yet. First of all, Godzilla has been firmly established as some sort of Alpha Predator, whose sole purpose and existence is meant to make sure no other threats ruin the world. Godzilla doesn’t want to destroy, it wants to keep the balance and go back to the depths.

Kong though is another alpha predator thing. So some people are worried that this means Godzilla is going to come and destroy him at some point, so they have him in hiding, sort of.

There are also some corporations doing corporation things. There is a theory of a Hallow Earth where these beasts must have come from, that is likely to have huge power sources. So some companies want that power. Some want to just return Kong to his home. Some want to destroy all the monsters. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, they are going to have to fight, multiple times, and we are going to have to see things get fucked up along the way.

Also starring some humans like Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Shun Oguri.

kong
Is this his “fuck around, find out” face?

Hey? Do you like monsters fighting? Then this film has some of that! Honestly, I did think there would be more fighting overall, so I am surprised that there wasn’t even more. But I guess only two main monsters can wail on each other for awhile. There are some minor monsters in the Hallow Earth area too, but they don’t do much for the action or the plot.

Of course the plot is weak. And again, I am disappointed about how much of it is based on the King of Monsters film, just because I hadn’t seen it. Literally any returning characters (outside of the giant ones) were from that movie. It did have some surprises in store, which helped keep things interesting. But at least early on, the slowness of the plot, and even the first battle, failed to keep things super interesting for me.

Now one major plus is that the fight scenes were all incredible visible and detailed, and I loved that. Giant monster fights and CGI have usually meant a lot of dark fights, or messy blurs, where your mind has to put in the action, but that only happened a little bit in the first major fight, due to the underwater aspect. The major fights that mattered where very clear and that added a huge amount of awesome to the film.

And what about the winner? Did the director lie? No. Not really. I can understand the moment they are saying that there would be clearly one winner, no takeaways. But we still had to fall into some similar versus film tropes that I also wanted out of my movie. From what the director said is the definitive answer, I agree with who was chosen, as it is the one that makes the most sense.  However, again, still, they make it super definitive either. It isn’t as final as I would have hoped based on the remarks, so really, the director remarks set up my expectations to be higher than they would have been otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Kong is still a lot of fun, especially in the last third. Just have to slog through the human stuff, and the early battles.

2 out of 4.

Cherry

The Russo Brothers and Tom Holland go together like Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Both of them have careers that sometimes intersect and sometimes produce good movies. Yes, I did come up with that comparison myself, why do you ask?

I have a big fan of the Russos since their episodes on Community, and honestly, don’t know if they have done anything bad up to this point. They have done basically all of the best Marvel movies, so it is good to see them move on to a different source material. A book I have never heard of before. And if they bring along someone hoping to break from their boyish and charming mold, then it would be hard to pick someone better than Tom Holland right now.

What is Cherry about? I bet it ain’t about fruit.

spooderman
I think the Russo brothers intentionally made him look like Tobey Maguire Spider-Man here.

Cherry (Tom Holland) (I can’t really tell you if that is his first name or last or what) is a young college student, a bit off, a bit popular or cool, but still a bit out there. And he sees a girl, Emily (Ciara Bravo, also hoping to lose her kids tv channel roots) and he wants her. He has a girlfriend back at home, but she is the past, Emily is the future.

They begin to couple, and they have a time, but Emily doesn’t know if he is good for her, and decides some forced time apart is important. She goes to Montreal, so he decides to enlist, having not left in his life.

The rest of the film deals with his basic training, his time overseas, the amount of fucked up shit he sees over there, his PTSD from those events, and of course, some nice opioid and heroin addiction leading to a life of crime.

Is that not enough for you? It should be. It is quite a lot of topics for our hero (?) to hit and endure, and it is over 2 hours to make sure it has some breathing room. But not much.

Also starring Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, and Damon Wayans Jr.

spooderman2
Oh shit, and now he looks like Uncle Ben’s killer?

I described Cherry as a thrill ride already, but it really is a wild movie. A Wild Cherry film, if you will. I stole that joke from another, but it is okay, because I set them up for it when I was delirious. If I was a smarter man on that day, I would have made it on my own.

This film feels like it definitely was meant to get people to not think of Holland as some sweet kid (And so was the point of The Devil All The Time, right?).  We need to see if Holland can be a mega movie star on his own without the backing power of Disney behind him, and I truly do think he delivers. His character is fast talking, crass, and absolutely in love despite showing it in a weird way. I couldn’t catch a break for this film because the characters in the movie can’t catch them either. Some of the war scenes just totally made my heart sink, and were put in just to show the absurdity of everything in life and how people can just suck.

This is a much better film than the also recently released Chaos Walking, also starring Holland. It is so hard to describe outside of just the topics presented. It feels timely and fresh though nonetheless. It didn’t give me the same feelings of angst as other recent releases like Greenland, but it is still up there in quality. Not for the feint of heart. They use naughty language in this movie. t

3 out of 4.

Nobody

Who is this guy? This Nobody. This comedian. This laugh em upper. This ambulance chasing lawyer. What is her doing in this action movie? Who invited him to the party?

I will admit that going in to see Nobody, I thought this was supposed to be an action comedy. You know, a slightly more funny John Wick. Because the star is goddamn Bob Odenkirk. He isn’t an action person, there is no way they can realistically pretend he is either…can they?

What I will say though after watching it is that it is definitely not a comedy. There are amusing action parts, but at no point are you going to go on a laugh riot. Hell, John Wick is full of amusing action parts as well, but it is not a comedy. It turns out that they never advertised this movie as a comedy either, I just assumed so based on its sort of ridiculous poster. And I guess that is on me.

bus
There is nothing more serious than this face right here.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) (What kind of name is Hutch Mansell?) (What kind of name is Bob Odenkirk?) (Fair point, moving on) is your typical family man. He has a wife (Connie Nielsen) and two kids (Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath). He goes to work every day. He rides the bus. He takes out the trash. He misses the trash. He sleeps. He jogs. It just goes on and on and on.

But one day Hutch finds himself to be the victim. A home robbery. Two people break into his house and demand money and valuables and he doesn’t have much to give him. And thanks to his son, there is a real good chance they can apprehend these criminals and keep their stuff, but Hutch misses his cue and he becomes a sort of laughing stock. Or at least everyone pities him. His family thinks less of him. Is he even a man? How dare he not do violence.

All of this makes him crack. He does seem to let on more than he knows about action stuff, but he wants to keep it contained. And after deciding to go after the criminals, he eventually gets himself into a bigger fight than he imagined. One that gets him involved with a dangerous Russian crime lord (Aleksey Serebryakov). Can this nobody still protect himself and his family? Is he actually a nobody?

Also starring RZAColin Salmon, and Christopher Lloyd as an 82 year old with a shot gun.

gun
And this is Odenkirk with a uhhh…. faster shot gun, idk guns. 

Do we have room in our world for another John Wick? Of course we do. After all, there have been plenty of movies before of seemingly normal guy (Who might secretly be abnormal) go on to do amazing feats of killing and vengeance. It isn’t something John Wick made up.

But with John Wick the actor was someone who we had seen in action movies before. Someone who knows Kung Fu. Not an actual regular looking joe who we know as a regular actor comedian. That is a plus. And also, the John Wick movies (2 and 3) got worse with each version, because the script blows, and they didn’t focus on the action enough.

So sure we have room for this movie, but is it good? Surprisingly yes.

It doesn’t feature narrative prose that one would look for in award winning films, it still has a weak plot. But the action is not only good, it is far more graphic and intense than I thought it would be (Watching people get stabbed and broken bones graphically, when I still thought it was a comedy, would do that). Odenkirk fucking brings it. And later on when he has help, they fucking bring it too, and it is just an amazing defense set with a spectacular finish.

I would be excited for more Nobody films, even if narratively it wouldn’t make sense for the character to continue. It didn’t make sense for John Wick either and it turned out gr — err, oh wait. It turned out bad. And will likely get worse.

Nobody was surprisingly fun and intense. A great action movie for those who want this sort of action genre. We don’t get a long one-take hallway scene, but the bus scene does feel almost just as good.

3 out of 4.

Boss Level

Alright, this is where I say things that are contradictory.
I am pretty certain, at this point, we need to calm the hell down with the “repeat a day forever” movie concept. Take an entire chill suppository.

Yeah, sure, Palm Springs came out last year and it made my top of the year list. But it tried something different, and we already got a similar movie to that one this year with The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

And now we have Boss Level, which is supposed to be like a video game? You know, like how Edge of Tomorrow was sort of like a video game.

We definitely have too many in the genre coming too fast, which means we are about to get a slew of bad repeat day movies. Like what happened to the found footage concept. Then people will automatically hate them without giving some a shot, and some of them will rise to the top and be good.

All of this to say, I did like Boss Level, so uhhh. I guess I am happy it came out.

 

sword
I normally put regular words here, but I kind of want to put s-words instead.

 

Every morning when Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) wakes up, it is because of an assassin standing over his bed with a sword, and a woman in his bed screaming. 

And after him, comes the helicopter. And after the helicopter, comes any number of other assassins. He has been doing this for over 100 days, he has no idea why people are going after him, he never really makes it that far in the day, and he is ready to give it all up. Unfortunately, giving it all up means just doing it again, a huge torturous shit hole.

What can he do to find the secret? What can he do to get stronger and survive? What can he do to find his ex (Naomi Watts) and see if her science shit is behind this whole thing?

Starring a lot of people, and more than I am tagging.  Rio Grillo, Rob Gronkowski, Ken Jeong, Meadow Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Selina Lo, Sheaun McKinney, Annabelle Wallis, Will Sasso, and unfortunately Mel Gibson

 

 

games
No, they don’t get to play the video game this one I guess pretends to be. 

 

The only way Boss Level works is through the charisma of the lead, Grillo. Without him, or an equally charismatic lead, this movie would be bargain bin trash.

Look. The plot is pretty low. It does explain the “why” this situation is occurring, for sure. But it doesn’t mean the explanation is that great. This is also a movie that wants classic Mel Gibson to be the big bad guy, but it feels like Gibson is barely in it. Is he the top of the bad guys? Sure. Do we need him in this movie? Not really, anyone could play that spot. And I’d definitely prefer someone who wasn’t anti-Semitic. 

Also, this film in no way feels like a video game at any point. The title implies it, the intro implies it, the screen they show when a new day implies it, but it never feels like a video game from the show of it. We don’t have…well, any video game aspects at all that one would expect. It feels a bit strange to imply it all while providing no actual video game elements in the story, and that is disappointing. 

But again. I still gave it a 3 out of 4 despite its many flaws because I had tons of fun. Grillo went full Grillo here. He was extreme, he was loud, crass, and somehow really deadly, until he died himself. I think a lot of the assassins could have been better given distinct personalities, but most are pretty basic. 

A fun movie. But hey. Stop doing these things. For a little bit. I don’t need to see trapped in a day films for some time. Let’s make it until the end of the year, okay? 

 

 

3 out of 4.

 

Cosmic Sin

To sin is divine and to err is human. Is that a quote? Probably.

Strictly speaking, sinning probably refers generally to doing bad stuff in the Christian religion that their god said was a no-no. Whether it is one of ten things or one out of hundreds is debatable. So what would a Cosmic Sin be?

Can you be a Christian on another planet? Does their god care if you keep the Sabbath holy if you are on another planet with different lengths in days? Do you have to keep track of Earth Sunday’s regardless of the time or day of your planet?

Or is a Cosmic Sin just a generic term to mean something so bad, that it is bad on a galaxy plus level? What could be that bad? A double forgetting of the Sabbath maybe?

bruce
Is wearing space armor after some space holiday a cosmic sin?

After some initial plot, it turns out we are hundreds of years in the future, the world united due to some past nonsense as a federation power. And now? Now there are aliens that we have to deal with.

Initially they don’t know if they are good or bad, but the aliens do start attacking our side, so of course, they must be bad. Ideally, this won’t start a big war between planets, that is costly and sucks. Can’t we just end the war really quick with a small force? That’d be nice.

That is why they get James Ford (Bruce Willis). They want him to un-retire so he can lead a small team of people to the planet and maybe put an end to this thing. And hopefully they don’t start an interstellar war by going, that would be the opposite of their planned outcomes.

Also starring Frank Grillo, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro, Perrey Reeves, Costas Mandylor, Eva De Dominici, and Adelaide Kane.

army
The good news about space armor is that you don’t have to protect your head.

That was probably one of the worst plot descriptions I have ever written. I definitely watched Cosmic Sin. But it is not a plot that sticks with me. The movie felt like a complete drag. Hours later, after I had seen it, I realized I forgot almost every aspect of the film. I remembered the ending in the bar, and one scene when the aliens first start attacking,  and that is about it. That isn’t enough for a great plot analysis.

But the gist is there. And hey, you know I was bored as all could be.

For a moment I did think this might be something where Grillo/Willis was noted as the leads, while also barely being in it. That is only partially true. They are for sure in it, and have main parts. But I will also say that that there for sure a lot of scenes, relatively long in length, where they are not present as all. They were probably limited in some amount for actual time to do shoots, but the film did the best they could around it, if I had to imagine any scenario.

Overall, Cosmic Sin is forgettable enough that I would probably forget to write the review if it came out a week later. I had high hopes, because damn it, this movie had Lochlyn Munro, and I like the guy. His part was limited too.

1 out of 4.

Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking is obviously not the only movie to be delayed recently, but it is notable that it was delayed before the Pandemic! It finished shooting in late 2017, but they announced it needed reshoots in mid 2018 due to people hating it, and they had to wait a whole year to do reshoots, thanks to the leads being in major franchises and having full schedules.

Then it was delayed March 2020, and you know the rest there.

It turns out this is based on a book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I really like that title though. It reminds me of Never Let Me Go. And it puts the future of this trilogy into question. Too many YA novels have an issue where the trilogy name is used for the first book, meaning future books/films have awkward naming conventions. And for this, they used the trilogy name instead of the book name.

Huh. Interesting. Okay. Well, future movie’s will worry about that issue then, if they get any.

running
Okay, this is Chaos Running actually.

Todd (Tom Holland) is just a kid living a world that has gotten pretty fucked over. First of all, no women! Boooo. Second of all, only men! Boooo!

Now this world isn’t our world, it is New World. And at some point a virus came and killed everyone on it called The Noise. The Noise was fatal to women, and for men it just made it so their inner thoughts were all audible to those around them, and creating a visible cloud around their head. Also there is some alien stuff.

Todd is set to being a new warrior or scout or whatever, as he gets older and learns to better control his thoughts. But then he discovers a crash landing on his planet and finds, a girl?! Viola (Daisy Ridley) and a crew crashed down, not good, but she is the only survivor, and they have no clue about this Noise stuff.

And a few plot shenanigans later, Todd and Viola are on the run from his city, who want to capture the girl, and look up settlements that are rumored to exist, even though Todd thought he was in the only real community left in the world.

Also starring Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter, Cynthia Erivo, Mads Mikkelsen, Nick Jonas, and Bethany Anne Lind.

thoughts
No, he is not thinking of the movie The Color Purple

Jeez, I wonder what they changes with this version versus their initial version? I hope it wasn’t adding in MORE ACTION because honestly, that was one of their weaker points. The action, and fighting, especially near the end. I was a much bigger fan of the drama and suspense before that. You can have a big fight between communities without needing to bog us down in the fighting.

I am not anti violence, it just felt like a lot more at the end versus any point earlier, even if the threat was already there. I was more curious about the mystery, and the aliens, and the virus, all of that, and it just never delved enough for me.

The acting is fine, but for a movie with stars like that, this is not good enough.  I do think Bachir probably did the best of the bunch, but he was also limited in his role.

This is supposed to be a fantastic book and trilogy, and honestly at this point, I can’t see how the book would be good for me. I feel like the movie not really being great, while also telling me about the secrets (unless they are different) would ruin the appeal of the book and I have no reason at all to seek it out. I certainly don’t read everything, and I try not to read things before movie adaptations, but I do get quite annoyed when a movie takes away my desire to ever read the story.

A potentially riveting plot line that is ruined with mediocrity and forgettableness.

1 out of 4.

Narco Sub

The tale of Narco Sub coming out is not longer or more arduous than other films, but it is still notable. It is just one of the many films that was set to come out early in 2020, hit some festivals, and then maybe get a wider release in theaters.

The director, Shawn Welling, was unable to release the movie in theaters, at a time when theaters are definitely hurting and wanting more and more new material. Instead, it ended up being released on Amazon, not as a part of Amazon Prime, but just a thing you can buy and rent for a pretty high price.

Pretty ballsy of an approach, given that the director has a ton of work that most people would say they haven’t heard about before.

main character
Look moody and mean. That’ll show them. 
Bruce Stryker (Tom Vera) is a narcotics officer, trying to bring an end to all this drug stuff coming in to our USA from the South Americas. He is good at what he does, and sometimes he has to go on ground missions to really help save the day.

His job has took him to literal Columbia, where he moved his wife (Sydney Ruddock) and daughter (Alexis Arnold) in order to combat the drug crisis. Seems like a strange idea, but okay. And sure enough, after helping put an end to a hostage crisis that involved a Senator’s daughter, he finds his own family in hot water.

Now the cartel has taken his wife and daughter and might kill him! But they won’t, if he totally gets on a sub full of drugs, and helps get it to America in one piece, to sell all of the drugs to the citizens. So I guess our agent now has to go against the law, good times.

Also starring Tom Sizemore, Lee Majors, Robert LaSardo, Jim Jimenez, and Jon Fiore.

runaway
I don’t think a single actor in this picture is noted in my tags. 
There is some bias here, I will say, because this is not the first Welling film I have seen. It is the first to get a review on the website, but not the first I have had to write about in other sources. This is maybe my sixth film of his. The others were all gigantic wastes of time, similar to how I currently find Terrence Malick films, except for at least Malick films I can see a reason why someone might enjoy them.

This one doesn’t feel the same as his previous work. Gone are the weird visuals and big music background numbers. It is an action film and going for that. Unfortunately, the film didn’t become good along the way with the change in directorial style.

This plot is absolutely terrible. From moment a to b to c, it has characters making strange decisions and a lack of payoff by the end. There are quite a few changes in the plot, so it was a bit hard to even type up the outline above, because it went a lot of places to get to the point in the story that the plot cared most about. The ending itself is so quick and disappointing as well. Not the worst ending of the year, but up there.

There is nothing positive about the film to note, and it is a waste of not just your own time, but frankly the people who were in it who had to wait for it to eventually come out.

0 out of 4.

The Marksman

For my (checks notes) second film of 2021, I was given a movie called The Marksman. I guess it would be about a guy who is good at shooting, or fond of shooting, or one who shoots occasionally?

Oh shit, it is a Liam Neeson action movie! That definitely has a bad track record from me. Ever since the first Taken, it has been either bad or ignored from my website. I can’t handle the cuts, the bad staging, any of that. I can have Liam Neeson as a serious star, I just can’t even have him as a serious action star, not anymore.

And honestly, I knew nothing going into this movie, so it didn’t surprise me that it was a January release.

little gun
Give a boy a gun, and he’ll gun for a day. Teach a boy to gun, and he will gun at least for a day.

Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson), former US Marine and current old dude, is living in Arizona near the Mexico border. He has been mostly working at a Ranch of his own the last few years with his wife. But when she got sick, the ranch didn’t do as well, the bills piled up, and then he eventually lost the light of his life. Now those foreclosing son-of-a-guns are going to take his house, and then what? Probably nothing great!

He is a pretty dark place in his life, unable to get extra work either, when he happens upon Rosa (Teresa Ruiz) and her son, Miguel (Jacob Perez) literally right after they crawl through a hole in the border fence. He wants to call it in, because Rosa was hurt, but after doing so, a few cartel members start firing on him, and now suddenly he is in jeopardy!

Jim is able to get out of there, but not able to save Rosa, and is now left not sure what to do with the kid. They were heading up to Chicago where there is family, and some bad dudes are apparently after him. Can he help the kid, or let the authorities just send him back to Mexico?

Also starring Katheryn Winnick and Juan Pablo Raba.

big gun
This gun is way bigger than the last gun, why did you not teach the boy this gun?

The Marksmen is not a classic, straight up Neeson action movie. No, it has dramatic components, and a plot here. A guy trying to get this kid to Chicago, with some people who want to kill him and take him back, for some reason. Occasionally they get close to stopping them, and then they get really close to stopping him, and then eventually it ends. By the way, the problems resolved at the end of the movie involve the kid, not the crimes committed, or the ranch money problems, but hey, that was just intro movie problems I guess.

Neeson’s acting is pretty average for what he has done lately. He has to play a stern older gentlemen technically way above his head, but also, with a certain set of skills that might help him out. He is kind of a dick for large parts of the movie, and I wouldn’t say that changes much by the end. It is like this movie was made for Clint Eastwood, but he didn’t feel like it.

I’m not sure what the overall message of the film is after seeing it, except that there isn’t one. Life can be difficult and strange some times, but you have to follow your heart? Hard to tell. I just know that if you want to see this movie for action, you will be disappointed. If you want to see it for a great story and acting, you will be disappointed.

However, if you want to see it for a quick shout out to Sierra Vista, Arizona (A city I lived in once before), you might get some glee out of it.

1 out of 4.

Max Cloud

Check out my interview with Martin Owen, the director, here!

What would you do if your son was at home, crying all alone on the bedroom floor because he’s hungry? And the the only way to feed him is to escape from a video game you got sucked into playing the part of one of the weaker side characters and really hoping you don’t die?

Alright, only some of that is relevant to Max Cloud. Max Cloud is a space hero. But he is also a video game character. And someone does get sucked into the video game. But don’t worry, no sons will be hungry tonight.

fight
Ah yes, heroes, ready to fight, and to eliminate evil.

Sarah (Isabelle Allen) is just a teenage girl living at home with her dad in the 1980’s. She loves video games and he (Sam Hazeldine) doesn’t love her spending too much time on them. He constantly has to tell her to get off of them to do something else. Sarah would rather play the space game all day, and try to win. She wishes should could play it all day! Enter game based space witch (Jason Maza). And sure enough, Sarah gets whisked away into the game! But she doesn’t get to be Max Cloud (Scott Adkins). She has to play Jake (Elliot James Langridge), the cook, one of the few survivors at the start of the game, with no skill set.

Being placed in a game is cool, but how is she eventually going to get out? The space witch was like an Easter Egg and she has no idea how to activate it. And what if she dies in the game?!

Sarah has some help in the game, with other NPCs, and her best friend (Franz Drameh) in her room to navigate her character closer and closer to the end game. But what happens if they win? Would it just reset?

Too much afoot for Sarah to figure out. Just have to hope that Max Cloud is as good as his box says he is!

Also starring John Hannah, Lashana Lynch, and Tommy Flanagan.

evil
You know you are a bad guy if you sit and laugh in the dark.

Max Cloud isn’t the first movie or book about being sucked into a video game and having to deal with the consequences, and it certainly won’t be the last. It is, however, a film that is incredibly uninspired and doesn’t offer much new into the “getting sucked into games” genre.

It takes place in the UK, and in the late 80’s, so maybe that is supposed to be enough of a reason to differentiate it? Not really. Most of Allen in this movie is just her voice, speaking through the TV to her her friend and dad. The scenes inside the game don’t feel like a game, just like a sci-fi broken ship. It was going for realism for the characters inside the game, but it also never felt really like a game at all, which is what I as a viewer would hope for. Outside of a few jokes or occasional reference, she could have also just been sucked into a campy sci-fi show and there wouldn’t be much difference.

The real world plot is simple, they are hoping to beat the game for her so that maybe she can escape. The plot of the Max Cloud video game is very bad though, and technically, most of the plot in the video game. If it was intentionally bad on purpose, for a campy reason, they should have made it more obvious, but it just drags the whole film down with it since it maintains a slightly serious tone for a comedy film.

I guess one of the biggest problems with the movie is it isn’t clear what it wants to be. It is a “Getting sucked into a game” movie that really would probably rather just be a straight sci-fi movie. It isn’t sure if it would rather be serious or a comedy, so it tries for both, giving the viewer not much of either. It had the potential to do more with its side characters and villains to make them interesting, but everything felt two-dimensional (heh). That could be the goal, if it was going for the bad video game vibe, but that goal can’t be achieved if the main real characters only talk about how awesome the game is. The bad video game plot just becomes bad movie plot, and the whole film suffers from it.

Max Cloud is messy, but not in a good way, and forgettable, in the worst way.

0 out of 4.