Tag: Luke Bracey

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge, like most movies I saw in the month of October, I went in without knowing the actual plot and without seeing a trailer. I love it.

Here is what I did know, though. I knew it was about World War II. I knew it was directed by Mel Gibson, who hasn’t directed a war film in a long time. You know, Braveheart. And I naturally assumed it was at least 2.5 hours long and it would be unexpectedly graphic.

Oh and hey, it of course has Andrew Garfield. A generally solid actor, who has been solid post Spider-Man. 99 Homes was a surprising treat and I expect great things from him here.

Like I expect him to be able to take a hit from Private muscles over there.

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a weird guy. His dad (Hugo Weaving) served in WW1 and has never been the same, making him an alcoholic abuser of both his kids and his wife (Rachel Griffiths). After an incident where he almost killed his brother (Nathaniel Buzolic) in a fight, Desmond vowed to never hurt a soul again, going full Christian.

Years later, World War II is starting and his brother had left for the war. In fact, all of Desmond’s friends left for the war. It is his duty as an American Patriot to join his friends to help stop an evil threat right? But can he do that and NOT kill? Well, he has always been interested in being a doctor but didn’t even graduate high school. After he meets and falls in love with a nurse, Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer), he is able to gain some knowledge.

So he decides to sign up as a conscientious objector, refusing to even touch a gun, wanting to serve as an unarmed medic. And yeah, a lot of problems happen, in boot camp mostly, but he is able to metaphorically fight his way through and get sent to Japan to face horrifying conditions, with one goal: Save a few lives. Also featuring Vince Vaughn as the Drill Sergeant, Sam Worthington as their Captain, and Luke Bracey as fellow private and asshole.

You want your group of soldiers and commanders that also appear in this film? Well, hold on to your helmets. We got Michael Sheasby, Firass Dirani, Luke Pegler, Ben Mingay, Nico Cortez, Goran D. Kleut, Harry Greenwood, Damien Thomlinson, Ben O’Toole, Richard Pyros, Jacob Warner, Milo Gibson, and of course, Richard Roxburgh.

And countless more names play rag doll dying soldiers on both sides.

Gibson is a sunnova gun if there ever was one. Because Hacksaw Ridge is a movie that just seems to hit every note perfectly. It is cheesy and gory. It is loving and unforgiving. It is a few types of movies all rolled up in one.

The time just flew by as well. I was worried that the film would end right after he finished boot camp. Boot camp had so many issues and struggles for him to get through, after what felt like a very detailed introduction,
and also a courtroom scare. It had so much going on, and we didn’t even get him over to Japan yet! That is the main crux of the film!

Because he has to do something in order for his story to be told. They advertise he is the only person to win a medal of honor without ever firing a weapon, so he must have saved his entire division somehow in very difficult conditions. As to how difficult and what he did, well, that is what the movie is going to show. But the things he went through are basically awe inspiring to anyone who would watch, even knowing there must be some level of fib being told.

And yes, the main character is Christian. That is an extremely vital part of the film: his faith and his beliefs. We are told them again and again, but it never gets hokey, it never gets annoying. It feels real and earnest without rubbing it in our faces. This is what a Christian film should like. Something where someone’s actions speak louder than words without hearing Jesus every minute. It has been straight up probably decades since we have had an actual great movie with a strong Christian focus, and that is the most incredible fact about this film.

Desmond Doss is an amazing American hero, and Mel Gibson gave him an amazing movie for us to remember him with.

4 out of 4.

The Best Of Me

As promised mere days ago in my review of The Longest Ride, I present to you, my review of The Best Of Me.

It was released a couple of months ago, but I really had no reason to watch it. But I figured I should get it over with before my screening of The Longest Ride. So, despite watching this one first, the review came later, because who cares about this one at this point right? Old romances are stupid. Unless it is The Notebook, then instead, we must all love it forever.

Speaking of The Notebook, James Marsden got rightfully screwed in that movie. Poor guy. Women leave him all the time in movies. So I am glad to see he finally gets to star in a romance movie of his own!

Marsden: Losing the girl yearly since 2003.

In this romance, Dawson (Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) are our fate entwined lovers. You see, they actually used to date. Oh, 20 or more years ago. Yeah. True story. When they were in high school.

Young Dawson (Luke Bracey) was a bit of a problem child thanks to his rough family, but he was smart. Young Amanda (Liana Liberato). Young Dawson had to get away from his daddy (Sean Bridgers) and their crime ways, so he tried to set out on his own. Luckily, he met a neighbor named Tuck (Gerald McRaney), a loner. He trusted Young Dawson for some reason, so he let him stay if he helped out around the house. He was mostly lonely his wife had died of course.

Either way, the young couple were romantic, these older versions are not. They haven’t seen each other for a long time. Only reason they are together now is because they were given all of Tuck’s possessions when he past away and put in charge of it all. Now they have to deal with the fact that they had some falling out. That Amanda has a husband (Sebastian Arcelus) and kids. And you know. Other past demons.

But don’t worry. It isn’t entirely angst. Because about half of the movie is dang old flashback anyways, so sometimes you even forget that they became old and jaded!

The whole movie requires a suspension of belief. You have to assume that kid can grow up to look like Marsden.

The Best Of Me is not the best recent Sparks movie. I would say it is definitely worse than The Longest Ride, Safe Haven, and The Lucky One. That is not saying a lot about this film though, given the quality of those films already.

First main issue. So much fucking flashback. Like the first flashback felt like it lasted 15-20 minutes. Can he tell a good story without so much flashback? I don’t know, he has been using it a lot lately. The story was bad in the flashback. Typical teenage angst and a lack of plot where plot would have been important. We have this huge struggle with his dad and their crimes, but don’t actually give a lot of concrete details on either outside of them being bad.

Young Dawson looks nothing like old Dawson. What the hell casting department. Get that shit fixed. The girls were okay in terms of similar looks.

The flashback romance didn’t even feel that great, which explains why maybe the modern day part also feels forced. We had our token rain kissing scene, and it was terrible. They didn’t even try to conceal the fact that the rain wasn’t even really falling on our characters. The flashbacks in general just felt fake and unreal, compared to the rest of the movie. That could be on purpose, but I doubt it.

And then the ending. Such a shit fest. Let’s just say, I still feel sorry for James Marsden.

1 out of 4.

The November Man

Whoa, when did the first half of September turn into shit? Not making biases or anything, but there are not a lot of releases for Labor day weekend or the week after it. We don’t see big titles until mid September. What is this? January? Because even January has big titles, they are just usually big shitty titles. This is just…just nothing coming out for a couple weeks.

The November Man is the only real big release coming out for Labor Day Weekend, which makes it like an anti-Memorial Day weekend. There is a horror, but that is a lot more limited and didn’t really have a lot of advertising.

So, like it or not, The November Man, coming out in September, becomes the biggest release. Even if it looks like an awkward shitty spy thriller that might have gone straight to DVD, it gets to be the big draw to the theaters. Boooo. Booooo.

Full of generic action scene cliches, if we are lucky.

The November Man. Why is Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) called that? Well, according to the trailer, the CIA used to call him that because after he came through, nothing lived. Fuck. That has got to be the worst/cringe inducing reasoning for a nickname that I have ever heard. Seriously. Nicknames are organic things that are kind of on the spot based on a small reference. Does the nickname make sense? Sure. Can a normal person organically come up with that without a lot of thought? Fuck no. Even after describing that to someone, they might not get it right away.

So Devereaux used to be in the CIA and was, I guess, a killing machine. A few years ago, while training a young operative Mason (Luke Bracey), a kid got killed during an operation, and Deveraux decided to call it quits. He just wanted to retire in Switzerland, like any sane person.

But now, present day? His old handler, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), has called him back in. They have to extract a woman out of Russia. This woman has information on Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski) who is primed to be the next president of Russia. This information she has is a game changer. And she asked for Devereaux by name.

Factor in a Belgium social worker (Olga Kurylenko), some other CIA people (Caterina Scorsone, Will Patton), a reporter (Patrick Kennedy) and a Russian assassin (Amila Terzimehic), and you got yourself a political action thriller.

“Okay Pierce, can you give us a grimace?”
“Can I?!!?”

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t hate all of the the movie. Despite the beginning of the films best efforts to make it look like a shitty Luc Besson movie, eventually the movie started to make some amount of sense. A little bit. It definitely has its shares of twists and turns, if you are into that sort of thing. And I guess, for the most part, they make sense.

That is a stretch. This film has a lot of plot holes. When there are too many twists, early character actions don’t always make a lot of sense. We can chalk it up to deception, but…people aren’t that smart.

Follow up to that. The main character is not a hero in anyway. He kills a lot of people. A lot of US citizens in the CIA, who aren’t bad guys at all, but don’t know what is going on and are just following orders. He feels no remorse either, just killing everybody on every side. It is terrible. Speaking of killing, the ending series of events was also bad because he could have killed one of the main legit bad guys and didn’t. It would have solved his problems and not put the people he cares about in harms way.

Just a mess of a movie. It had some interesting parts. But a cringey title, bad hero, and bad decisions for smart characters turn me completely off.

1 out of 4.