The Hitman’s Bodyguard

I remember when the first poster for The Hitman’s Bodyguard came out, everyone just naturally assumed it was a joke. There wasn’t prior knowledge of some mysterious Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson movie, just a poster and a lot of laughs. It was a parody of the poster for The Bodyguard, but you know, dudes. Hilarious.

And then a trailer came out and confirmed everyone’s worst or best fears. This movie was real, and it was an action comedy, and it might be amazing. It could be the next The Nice Guys for all we know, with two talented comedic leads who also know their way around an action movie. A perfect pairing, if you will.

Little did I know, technical issues would get in the way of a good laughing.

Gun
Joke about dicks and guns.

Michael Bryce (Reynolds) used to be one of the best bodyguards in the world. Dignitaries, foreign leaders, high CEO level people would hire him in dangerous situations to make sure they made it through safely, especially if someone wanted them dead. He was incredibly thorough with his work, always detailed, meticulously planning every job to ensure the best for his clients.

But eventually, one of his clients got shot despite doing everything right. This put him on the straight spiral downward. A bodyguard is only as good as his rating, and letting a client die puts a hamper on your rating. So now he is a mess of a man, doing shittier jobs. He still does them well, but his heart isn’t into it anymore.

An ex lover, Amelia Roussel (Elodie Young), who works for Interpol one day shows up at his door needing help. It turns out they have in their custody Darius Kincaid (Jackson), one of the greatest hitmen known to man, with incredible aim and very ruthless. He isn’t being charged with a crime, but he is being brought in as a witness against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), a tyrant being charged with crimes against humanity. Apparently Kincaid did a few jobs for him, so he has the inside scoop and is the only person alive who can testify to the deeds.

So of course people want Kincaid dead. And it is going to take an expert to get him there safely, while also dealing with his reckless behavior. Unfortunately, these two gentlemen are also bitter enemies, with Kincaid being the one who killed Bryce’s man those years ago. Oh how will they put this rivalry behind them?

Also starring Salma Hayek, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Tine Joustra, and Joaquim de Almeida.

Explode
The more explosions the better, I guess.

I’d love to give a real review of this movie. I’d prefer if I saw it in perfect conditions to really judge or appreciate the film, but alas, I did not.

The screening I saw had very jacked sound quality. Early on it was terrible. Everything that made a sound was louder than the dialogue, so it started off hard to follow. Later on it got better, but it turns out it was just due to less explosions. By the end, it was again an inaudible mess of just sounds and hard to decipher words. It was fucking pointless.

And I have to judge the movie entirely by this fact. Because I am not going out of my way to see it a second time to see if it was fluke. The people working didn’t say it was a mistake and try to fix it. We just got wrecked and they didn’t care, so I didn’t care either. I didn’t know when I would ever publish this review, because it feels pointless. But hey, I published my review of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which had even worse issues in my theater, so why not just rail against this movie?

Hayek was fantastic in this film though. She stole the show. Good on her.

1 out of 4.

Gods Of Egypt

As a ancient history major, I also love me some good mythology. The stories people used to tell are just as important as what those people actually did. They tell us so much about the culture, how they thought, what they valued, and how they were raised.

Gods of Egypt looks to not celebrate any of this and just go for an expensive CGI fest to tell a bastardized version of the mythology. Now, I have no problem with a movie making up its own stories from actual mythology. After all, if I don’t judge a film based on the book that inspired it, I should also be able to ignore the “real mythology” as well.

It is however quite well known from anyone who sees the trailers that barely any part of this movie is real. Just the actors, and honestly, probably barely at that. It was however one of the first of many new films to film in Australia. It had a budget of 140 million, but apparently thanks to tax incentives and many other offers from the Australian government, it only cost the studio overall 10 million to make. That means they will see profit. Maybe not in week 1, maybe not week 2, but by golly, at least by the DVD sales.

Transforrrrrm
In honor of this film, here is an image that is 100% CGI.

Way back in the day, way back. Pre-Greek stuff. Egypt was a rocking country, parties day and night all down the nile. And Osiris (Bruce Spence), God King of Egypt, was about to pass the kingship on to his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), God of the Air. But Set (Gerard Butler), God of the Desert and War and brother of Osiris, showed up a bit pissed off. He wants the crown, so he kills Osiris in front of everyone. He then challenges Horus to a duel, uses a few cheap tricks to win and secure his kingyness. He also pulls out Horus’ eyes, making Horus blind and unable to use most of his powers.

Now, a year or so later, Set is a very bad king. He is starting wars, he has reduced most of the population to slaves, and has changed the way the afterlife works! Under Osiris’ rule, you had to give a token after death to pass into the after life, big or small, it didn’t matter. Set made it so that only he very wealthy could pass on to the after life. Quite a dick.

Which brings us to Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and Zaya (Courtney Eaton), two poor mortals, now slaves, in love. Bek is a quick and nimble thief, Zaya is just smoking hot, but they make it work. Zaya even convinces Bek to break into Set’s palace to steal Horus’ eyes back. She loves the gods and want Horus to make a come back to rule the world. Bek does what Zaya says.

Needless to say, an eye is stolen, Horus gains some vision back, but Zaya is killed in the ordeal. Horus promises to bring Zaya back from the dead if he can get the eye and defeat Set, as long as this spry mortal continues to help him on the quest. But they have a time limit. Zaya is now walking the path of the dead, and if she gets to the end with no gold, her life will be lost forever.

Also featuring Chadwick Boseman as Ttoth, God of Wisdom, Geoffrey Rush as Ra, God of the Sun, and Elodie Yung as Hathor, God of Love. Also Goran D. Kleut as Anubis, Emma Booth as Memphis, Lindsay Farris as the narrator, and minor-ish roles by Rufus Sewell, Yaya Deng and Abbey Lee.

SPYNYHZ
Look! Real people! Or at least I think these are real people!

First I would like to tackle the white washing controversy. A big deal is made about Butler and Coster-Waldau being white people and playing Egyptian gods. Because Egyptians aren’t that white. And that is true, but they are playing Gods, that tower over the regular Egyptian people as completely separate entities. They could all be blue, as it is all completely fictional and irrelevant. Besides, it is a film that is no way historically accurate and based completely on fiction.

They should be mad that Thwaites is super damn white, because he plays an Egyptian unlike most of the cast. None of this controversy affected my rating.

Instead, what affected the rating was the overly bloated film, the over use of CGI, the terrible plot, and the mediocre acting.

My wife asked me how long the movie was, and I guessed that it surely must be only around 90 minutes or so given the trailers. But no, it is 127 minutes long, full of side plots and side characters with barely any resolution being worth your while. Thwaites is playing our mortal lead, who is spunky and surprises all the Gods who think this mortal man is beneath them. He is there to be for the audience to root for, but his character is incredibly one dimensional. His charm is pathetic and most of the audience by the end probably just want to see him get punched in the face.

The main “plot” of the film involves Horus and Bek going on a journey to extinguish the flames of the desert to weaken Set’s power, so he can be defeated. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, due to character stupidity, and they have to wing it all at the last minute to save the day instead. This is lazy writing. Twists and turns can and should exist in your story, but throwing away what everyone worked towards for bad reasons is only infuriating.

In fact, by the end, none of Set’s motivations make any sense. He wants to be immortal and to live forever. Somehow he will achieve that by ending all life as we know it. Go and figure that one out.

Morphing time
It is like a very CGI heavy Lord Zedd costume.

Anubis was in this movie! He was also the only God to be in his animal-esque form 100% of the time. For whatever reason, the other Gods (only Set/Horus) just change into their animal form when they feel like it, and everyone else is always human looking. So for Anubis they were just lazy I guess, and definitely inconsistent with how every other God acted.

And finally, the CGI. I can’t imagine any scene set on a real stage or outside. Even the desert scenes seemed to be completely CGI. Why the hell are you going to a desert country and not using its many resources? Oh yeah, tax breaks. The animation is bright, flashy, and ends up looking quite shitty most of the time. I enjoyed the giant snakes, if anything. Part of the craziness around Ra was also well done, but everything else is below quality.

Fun fact: Two of the women that Mad Max and Furiosa freed in Fury Road have parts in this movie.

0 out of 4.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra came out in 2009 and was a shit storm, just a big shit storm. I wasn’t reviewing movies four years ago, but if I was, I would have lampooned it so hard, in every orifice it had. It had some amusing parts, that red head was hot, but whatever. Not even Joseph Gordon-Levitt, right before his big claims to fame could save it.

So why did we get G.I. Joe: Retribution? Who knows. Can’t say it interested me at all to say it. What is with the cast overhaul? There is like, 2-3 characters the same in this movie. No Dennis Quaid, or Marlon Wayans, or Mr. Eko. All big parts of the first. I guess if you want to distance yourself from a bad movie, you should just replace basically everyone? I guess.

But no JGL to return as the Cobra Commander really irritates me. Hopefully they didn’t just try to fanservice this movie up with random shit.

MOAR NINJAS
NOW WITH EVEN MORE NINJAS! Fuck.

Hah, Duke (Channing Tatum) is still here! Now he leads his unit, along with his (clearly always been there) buddies of Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jane (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona).

Well, they decide to save the day again, but for some reason they get ambushed and most of their unit (a bunch of nameless people) die! What, how could this be!

Oh that rascally President (Jonathan Pryce) did it! But why would he? Must be some sort of nanobot doppelganger! How crappy.

Well, they are assumed dead now, and must go undercover, finding the original G.I. Joe (Bruce Willis) to help them. BUT LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT Snake Eyes (Ray Park). Ninjas are cool, and he is a Joe as well. But now he is with Jinx (Elodie Yung), the sister of Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) (What, you thought he died in the first film? Pfft!). They have to bring Storm Shadow to justice, because the “Blind Master” (RZA. Yep) said so. Something about family honor.

But oh yeah, President is not really the President! The Cobra Commander must behind this. Hopefully he doesn’t threaten to destroy every major world power and successfully take out London. What? He takes out all of London? Holy shit! That should have huge repercussions that they will definitely deal with in the movie or the sequel. Ugh.

The Joes better figure out how to stop this, and get themselves back into good grace, before they make a trilogy and kill off the one or two links left to the first film! Also featuring Walton Goggins as a hilarious warden, and Ray Stevenson as a not so funny bad guy named Firefly.

GI Lols
Channing is just wondering why The Rock and Bruce Willis are in every dang action movie now (and how can he get that honor).

To answer that above question, the Rock is actually a decent actor. It is just getting overkill.

Woo! I found this movie at least entertaining. Strange huh? Some of the action scenes were fantastic, and nicely spread out enough to be enjoyable. There was a lot that I disliked of course. Only one main woman (not including the other ninja), and they had to use her looks I think three times to advance the plot. How convenient. Flint was a useless character, and Jane’s background was pointless. The Storm Shadow backstory didn’t make any dang sense when you look at how time works. Too many ninjas just might spoil the bunch. (In the film, they go to a ninja factory basically).

Not to mention no Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Boo!

Really, a problem I was confused with is that the movie felt like it went entirely too quick. One of those films that takes a long time to build up and climax, and once it gets great, it is solved quickly and over. I hate feeling unfulfilled, but it was already 110 minutes long. I think it could have added an additional half hour to it (if they changed the movie around for an extra assault) to really enhance it overall. But if they added more time, they might have added even more bad plotlines. That would be the real shame in the end.

Okay action movie, definitely better than the first. But still has a long way to go!

2 out of 4.