Tag: Thriller

Vanquish

What can a reviewer even say about a movie like Vanquish?

Not a lot it turns out, as I struggled at the end of this review. But when I saw the poster for the movie, it was one that immediately let me know it wouldn’t be that good. It is the kind of cover that you only see on a Redbox catalogue and choose to never watch it. It is the kind of movie that if you saw advertised on a billboard that you would assume has been up there for decades and forgot about.

Also, guns as wings? Is it some angel of death?

Oh just don’t hurt me too much, Vanquish film.

pew
Ah fuck, blue tones, my greatest weakness. 

Victoria (Ruby Rose) is just a single mom trying to make it in the world. She is doing the best she can, one day at a time. Until her daughter gets KIDNAPPED.

Okay, it turns out Victoria used to be drug smuggler or deliverer. She was involved with some bad people who did bad things, but not her, right?

So who kidnapped her kid? Well, Morgan Freeman of course! No not the actual one, a retired cop named Damon (Morgan Freeman) who apparently is jaded and angry and needs to threaten Victoria with kid-killing at this point in his life. What does Victoria need to do to get her kid back? Well, you know, just kill a lot of people.

A whole night of killing of bad people under a threat. Ah yes, what a night.

Also starring Patrick Muldoon, Nick Vallelonga, Julie Lott, and Hannah Stocking.

face
Let’s call this support for solid mask usage. Or at least visor usage. 

Not only is Vanquish forgettable, it is potentially website destroyable. I wrote this review earlier in the day and published it and saw it and it was on my computer, and now it isn’t. This is my second write through. This writing is apparently better, to be honest. It has more filler and more words because I gave that first version little attention, because the movie Vanquish was not worth my attention.

But here is goes again. Vanquish is not only bad, it is boring. It is not only boring, it was a waste of time. It was not only a waste of time, it was also bad.

None of the acting is good in this film. Freeman probably has a 10% good rate these last few years. He has phoned it in enough that he has a payphone booth up his ass. I barely know anything about Rose, but as a lead in this film I never cared about her character. It was just one bland and tasteless action scene after another. And occasionally the filter pissed me off too, for style reason.

If you want me to like your movie, make a good movie. I don’t care about your digital effects.

0 out of 4.

Without Remorse

Something surprising to me is that there are only six Tom Clancy films out there, with the first one being The Hunt for Red October in 1990. I have seen only one of them. I saw the last one before Without Remorse, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which I remember almost nothing about.

There are a lot of books by Tom Clancy, and they all have these same characters. And based on what I have seen in this film and in the last one, I still have no desire to watch any more of them, and certainly never read one of the books. A lot of pew pew spy action thrillers I guess. I am sure everyone get betrayed a dozen times and somehow gives a lot more bullet deaths than they end up receiving. Huge body counts. Catastrophic deaths.

This is all an assumption. Hell, maybe the first one was really tame.

But Without Remorse is going straight to amazon, probably because they have a successful Tom Clancy show, and now they want successful movies as well. Make money while you can, that is my motto.

action
Also to avoid old shrimp. That’s another motto. 
John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) is a Navy Seal, part of an elite team of soldiers, and is good at his job. He is good at the killing of bad guys and terrorists, while protecting the innocents, and going in and out of a job quickly with minimum damage. So, a normal movie soldier of a seal. You know.

Well, after a mission, that was quite a success, it turns out it secretly wasn’t a success after all! Months later, his team is assassinated by Russian soldiers on American grounds. They go after John too, but they can only get his pregnant wife (Lauren London), as John survives. A Russian attack on American soil is a pretty big deal. Especially if it was ordered by a Russian operative (Brett Gelman), who they thought was dead. Ahh, America fooled again.

Now John is going to have to go on a secret revenge mission, get them back without starting a new world war. He has to make them pay for killing his friends and PREGNANT WIFE, you know?

Also starring Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Jamie Bell, and Todd Lasance.

intrigue
A man in a hand is worth a gun in the other.

I don’t think I have ever cared less about the death of a fictional pregnant woman than in this movie. I am not saying she deserved it or anything. But we barely get to know her as a character before it happens. And it happens early in the movie. After that, there is some grief and determination to get revenge, but it isn’t too believable. Jordan is too good of an actor to not have him focus on that anger grief sadness more and use it to tear the bad guys a new one.

Okay, the bad guys are teared into a new one. But it feels plastic. It feels like a generic action movie, because that is all that Without Remorse ends up being. A generic action film. I guess it being based on a Tom Clancy novel should have given that away. Not that I have first hand experience with any of the source material, like I already said, but lets go on and assume the plots are normally weak.

Despite Jordan being a good actor normally, there is little here outside of the standard action. Is there conspiracy twists? Sure. But they don’t make things more interesting. I don’t care about things setting up for future films when they can’t bother to get the first one right.

Without Remorse has action in a lot of dark places, so you’ll get to use your imagination, alongside many bullets for those who just like the action to be mindless while pretending it is more than mindless. (Note, this is not more than mindless). The people excited for this movie due to the previous ones or the books will probably like it as well, let’s leave it at that.

1 out of 4.

The Virtuoso

When one thinks of the word ‘virtuoso’ they usually put it towards piano, but it of course can be used for any music. We all accept that. Hell, it could be for any art form. You can be a sculpting virtuoso, or a cross stitching virtuoso, but I can’t imagine anyone likes cross stitching enough to be a virtuoso at it.

And with The Virtuoso, we have a movie about hitmen for hire, killing people. I guess killing people, to make it look like an accident, and never be seen or heard from could be like an artform. They made a game called Hitman, and the ability to cause deaths accidentally is graded on points, I think. I only tried playing it once and I did a bad job at it. Please correct me if I am wrong about the game Hitman. I wouldn’t want such a storied franchise with terrible movies to accidentally have something said incorrect about it.

Back to The Virtuoso. Oh, yeah. The review.

bar
Some say I am food eating virtuoso. But I just think I’m a picky eater.

 

 

The Virtuoso is about a guy named The Virtuoso (Anson Mount). Awesome. Good plot. Head home.

We don’t get to know his name, or really any other names here. After all, we also get people with names like The Mentor (Anthony Hopkins) and The Waitress (Abbie Cornish). Our hero (?) doesn’t like to use names I guess, makes things too personal, everything is just a job.

He is a real detailed oriented person and secretive. It has a level of difficulty to hire him for a job, but that helps maintain his own anonymity and allows him to have a life outside of the job. And unfortunately, he gets “forced” into doing a rush job without a lot of proper planning, and that really throws him off balance in life, because extra people died who were innocents, and that is not okay.

Eventually he gets put on a new mission, that requires a lot of set up in a small area, and a lot of targets to take out. Maybe this will be his final one. He can’t get over the killing of innocents. Maybe this will be his swan song. 

Also starring Eddie Marsan, David Morse, and Chris Perfetti

 

 

graveyard
“Hey! Come back here Mr. Two-Time-Oscar-Winner!”

 

The Virtuoso is narrated by the lead character, but done in a very unique way. I guess we are to assume that we are also the virtuoso, and it is more like a stage summary of events. “You look around the room, and check the exits.” You line up your sights and hold your breath.” This sort of thing. Him describing the process and letting us know what is going on. It was very strange at first, but it definitely grew by the end as an interesting tool and didn’t feel unnatural anymore. And also by the end it has a fun little payoff as well, so it makes the journey feel worth it in that regard. 

The Virtuoso is also relatively slow. The beginning execution where the disaster happens that gives our main character regret is relatively quick, but the main plot after that is a much slower build. I don’t know a lot about Mount in other films (but he was in Crossroads which I keep meaning to watch…) but he seems to be trying to play a role similar to Timothy Olyphant in Justified, in terms of coolness, but a lot, lot, quieter. Maybe it is just because their faces are similar to me. He is a fine lead, extremely stoic, but the side characters do a job of making this story interesting.

And in case you are curious, Hopkins is actually in this movie several times, not just a quick one or two scenes. Not just a big name grab. I did like Cornish in this one as well. She has a much bigger role in this film than anything else I have seen her in, and adds some unique plot to the story. 

Overall, if you are looking for a quiet drama with a handful of twists about an assassin, you will end up enjoying this. If you want something with more elaborate deaths, or more action, or more twists, then this one will put you to sleep. 

 

 

2 out of 4.

 

Doors

You know what we need? More beautiful and glorious independent sci-fi film. I think Arrival counted as indie. Maybe it wasn’t. It felt indie at least.

And Doors, at least by cover art and plot, looks like something that could be confused with Arrival.

So I will go in expecting Arrival level quality, or else I riot and walk.

kids
Arrival had some kids in it, sure. 

Doors is actually a sci-fi movie with four related yet independent parts (the last one is very short). It involves suddenly these black alien entities that appear all around the world in random places. They get nicknamed as doors (even though they don’t look like doors), but you can walk into them and go somewhere. And they also talk to some people.

The first segment, Lockdown, is when they first arrive, and centers on some students taking a test. That one stars Kathy Khanh, Julianne Collins, Aric Floyd, Rory Anne Dahl, Christopher Black, and Saman Kesh.

Then a few weeks later, we have the Knockers segment, named after people who go into the doors to investigate. They have a limited amount of time to gather any intel to report back, before being trapped or losing their own minds. This one features Josh Peck and Lina Esco.

The third segment, 100 or so day after the doors, we focus on Jamal, a lone scientist who thinks he has figured out how to actual communicate with the doors. Hearing them and letting them hear him. Starring Kyp Malone, Kristina Lear, Bira Vanara, and Wilson Bethel.

The last segment is a quick zoom interview, with a conspiracy DJ and a famous alien scientist, featuring Darius Levanté.

knockers
Even got fun containment costumes. Will it make me cry? 

Doors was nothing like Arrival, of course, and I only have myself to blame for that. With four different stories though, unfortunately, it would require most of them to be good -awesome for the movie to be worth it. From my count we have two average stories, and two below average stories, which is a huge disappointment.

The first two were the okay ones. In the school, it had a couple nice moments, but that was about it. It kept up the mystery which is nice. The second story, with the knockers, had the potential to be fun. It had a lot of mind fuckery going on inside the doors. But mind fuckery for mind fuckery’s sake is not worth it if there is no real purpose behind it. I mean, maybe the purpose is evil aliens. It however still needs something to give it meaning or reason and it chooses not to.

What I am saying is, I can’t overall like it, if I don’t eventually find out a reason for what was going on. And they don’t give a good reason, besides Alien space magic tech and that is it, which is a sort of boring answer.

The last two stories? Well, one didn’t seem interesting. It had a guy be able to communicate back and forth with a door for others to hear. But we also already knew they could communicate in some way. Was that more interesting? Nope. More just silly door shenanigans. And the last one felt like it wanted to be a scene out of a Paranormal  Activity movie.

Doors could have been great. It could have tried to give any answers to it. It could have gone for some deep psychology. But it went for a couple of scares and a couple of snoozes instead. Yawn.

1 out of 4.

Voyagers

I don’t know how I can take seriously someone with the last name of Burger. Talkin’ bout Neil Burger that is, director and writer of voyagers. He has been around the block once or twice in movie land. I have reviewed a few of his films before. He did The Upside, Divergent, Limitless, and even The Illusionist way back ago, which he also wrote unlike the previous few.

None of his films I have loved, some of them I have disliked, but at least one I did like overall. It just didn’t go as far as I had hoped (but it did launch a TV show eventually, so good on him).

Now going into Voyagers, I knew nothing about it. Some movie set in space. So what? That isn’t special. Earth is in space, so everything set on Earth is also set in space. But seriously, I heard about this movie two days before watching it, only seeing a single poster, so going in almost as blind as possible to this one, and I hope this one will not muddle about and get me into that “love” territory for one of his films.

kids
Picture of me teaching how to love movies during the pandemic.

In the future, our Earth is gonna be fucked. We know this, and all the movies know it, because it is a popular topic. So we have to get off this rock and find a new rock that could support our life, but this time, try not to screw the planet up. But we haven’t gotten that sweet cryosleep technology figured out yet, so any travel to the planet would have to be real time, with those at the start not going to likely see the planet in their lifetime, with over 80 years of journey time.

So what is the human race going to do? Well, the plan is to send a big group of kids, slightly genetically picked to be smart and efficient. They will be test tube babies. They will under go schooling and training together. And then they will be sent in the rocket. And one adult (Colin Farrell) as a guide, so they can go earlier than planned, and he can help out, knowing he definitely won’t see the new planet.

And sure, things go well for a bit. But once a student discovers one of their supplements was a lie, and actually used to suppress their hormones to keep their emotions and sex drives very low, things start to get bad. Distrust begins to happen. And a death. And now with no trust, and factions, and SO MANY EMOTIONS, they are going to have to see if they even want to continue this mission at all.

Starring so many young actors and actresses! Like Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Archie Madekwe, Archie Renaux, Chante Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Madison Hu, Quintessa Swindell, Viveik Kalra, and Wern Lee.

bad touch
This is not a good touch, get your puberty off of her! 

Sure enough, this ended up being one of those movies where I really got into the story and dug it, and found myself along for the ride at several points. The beginning had a good chance of dragging on too long with the set up, but it zoomed through everything pretty quickly. Before and after sexy puberty time, the aura of the ship was noticeable and getting darker.

Is this movie saying sex emotions are bad?! Nah, it is just telling a story with some thrills (and just a little little bit of sex, it is just a PG-13 flick), on a very unique ride through space. I will say the movie got really close to making a really good point about growing up, or “society” or whatever, but never seemed to land that point just right, which is probably why a lot of people left this movie annoyed.

Basically, it feels like Lord of the Flies, in space. And honestly, I had to pause it multiple times just because I was getting  stressed out for some of the characters who couldn’t get out of their situation. They were literally trapped on the same ship, and I didn’t know if the movie would end on a good or a bad note.

And hey, maybe this movie is just an allegory for pandemics. A few selfish people who don’t want to listen to the rules can ruin things for everyone. Literally the future of our species too.

Oh yeah, come on director. Gonna have a lot of test tube babies and can’t get more diversity in this film? It has like the bare minimum, but we are talking about a future colony going to settle all the humans. I’d expect a bit more of an effort.

3 out of 4.

Crisis

There is a Crisis in America! And no, don’t go running to Ted Cruz, he won’t care.

But I should be more specific — there are a lot of active crisis’ in America. One crisis at a time is for small time nations. We have problems that span hundreds of years, so we are pretty good at having bad things happen, whether they are naturally occurring, or due to systematic issues.

Which crisis is this one going to tackle? Well, let’s just say that it involves the cops.

coppers
That literally narrows it down zero. 

See, drugs are bad, mmkay. And this is a movie that is going to talk about all of the badness of drugs, specifically, Opioid based drugs, since they are the hot commodity now that is fucking up things more than other substances.

What we have is three slightly interconnecting stories.

There is Agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), who has been undergoing drug stings and trying to get not just the local dealers, but the suppliers, which requires the long wait and time.

There is Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly), a mother, whose son, who wasn’t perfect, was found overdosed with the drugs, and she didn’t even know or he had drugs before in his life!

And of course, Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman) who is a professor of medicine stuff, and is helping do clinical trials for drugs as part of his research. And he is finding a new opioid, that is supposed to be less addictive, might not be as advertised.

Also, some other people and criminals and cops and more! Starring Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Veronica Ferres, Kid Cudi, and Lily-Rose Depp.

professor sad
Someone covering up science? Unheard of!

Ahhh drugs! We have to fight the drugs, the war on drugs is killing us!

That sentence is meant to sound extreme, because the war of drugs has been a big failure for many reasons that this review has no reason to get into. But that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t make good points, because it does. This opioid thing mostly sucks because the makers of it claimed it was great, without knowing the addictive properties (or maybe they did?!) and got a lot of people hooked on painkillers, doctor prescribed.

But I do have a hard time getting really annoyed at the real life aspects they want me to be pissed at, when also parts of it are made up. I know for legal reasons, they probably couldn’t name a real drug. But did this professor research story actually happen? Like for something else? If so, that does bring an extra level of fuckery to the mix. I know in my life opioids are addicting and not as advertised, but it is hard to draw that conclusion when it is also paired with exaggerated or potentially made up plotlines.

What truth should I go out and shout?!

Overall, the plot is okay. I do wish it had some more edited out of it, as it dragged in parts for me, and strangely, the cop parts were the weakest for me. I did get sort of lost before the end. I couldn’t remember who backstabbed or pissed off who. Is that on me? Maybe. But Crisis could have been more entertaining as well.

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.

The Toll

You gotta pay the Troll Toll, if you wanna get into that boy’s soul. Or something like that. I could have also went with the pop culture reference of, A toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll, and if we don’t get no tolls, then we don’t eat no rolls. Not sure if any other iconic toll related quotes.

The Toll is an upcoming horror movie that deals with the scariness of having to pay a fine to cross a bridge or use a highway. (That is also a joke). In reality, a toll can be anything. A price you have to pay for hopefully a safe journey is the goal really.

In this movie, the toll won’t be be a monetary thing though. No, it will involve some death instead.

uber
Death by Uber? That is a real thing though!
Cami (Jordan Hayes) is just flying in to her hometown, a late night flight. She hasn’t been here in a good long time. And because it is the modern age, she is just going to get an Uber or some similar service to take her to her home so that she doesn’t have to wake her parents. She didn’t put the destination in the app, so she has to do it when in the vehicle and it sure is a long way away.

The driver, Spencer (Max Topplin) agrees to do it, because hey, even though it is late, it is going to be a fat payday, and better to take the guarantee. He is a bit awkward, tries to make the small talk, but Cami doesn’t really want to. She thinks he is creepy, and he thinks she is creepy too.

Eventually, once they get more to the boonies, the GPS has him take a path that she is not used to, but she agrees that he can just follow it, should be no big deal. And then eventually, after some weird moments, they find themselves stranded. Cami doesn’t trust her driver, and thinks this is all a ruse to “get her” and her driver is annoyed at all of this and isn’t sure how to handle the situation either.

But eventually, there are going to be people or things in the dark, and if they want to get out of it, there will be a price to pay.

passenger
“I would give this trip zero stars if it would let me.”
Without knowing the plot of the movie as I went into it, the intro to the film was very interesting to me. It felt like a normal intro to a horror movie. One that would be 5 to 10 minutes top, then the scary bad guy or entity would get the kill, and then we would switch to the main characters to continue with the plot. A lot of films do something similar.

And this one didn’t. The intro the movie was the intro to our main characters and we just hop immediately into their story. It was a gradual realization, one that really finally hit me about 30 minutes in.

This is a film that really takes its time to build up the initial scares and weirdness. We get regular creepy Uber driver vibes early on, but when it transforms into something else, it is a good transformation for us to make.

The main two leads did a good job of really selling the situation they were in. I enjoyed it for at least two-thirds of the movie. I think it was very messy by the end of the movie. It didn’t make as much sense to me, although it did save a final twist when I was no longer expecting twists. So that is fun. That little bit saved the film for me, because the ending wasn’t pacing out to be that great of a movie. I disliked a lot of the parts of the movie when they left the vehicle and the mythos actually unfolded, but there was enough at the  end to keep things interesting.

Overall, the film is okay, but could have easily been terrible. It is thanks to the two leads, and the slow build up to really set the atmosphere right.

2 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 Mauritanian

I have had to google this title so many times since I received a screener for it. I cannot have my mind wrapped around The Mauritanian. When I try to type it without looking at the title, my mind goes to The Martian, and that damn The Manchurian Candidate.

Saying it isn’t that bad, while reading it, but then it goes through my brain and out the other. I hope I accidentally type this enough times with the posting of this review so that I will be able to remember the damn movie name.

Mauritanian. Mauritanian. Maurtanian. Mauritanian. Mauritanian. Martanian. Martian. Fuck.

Oh, this intro is rambling, I literally knew nothing about this movie going in to watching it, so let’s get on it with it.

 

shine
Yeah. Hurry up and shine a light on the movie’s plot. 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) is stuck in (had to google the spelling) Guantanamo Bay. He has been for years, despite no charges being placed against him. Everything they want him to talk about he denies, and he gives them info when he can, but he seemingly is not the high stakes Al-Qaeda member they think he is. 

Damn it. They need people to blame and punish for 9/11, and they are sure he is one of them. 

Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) is a lawyer who has been a defender of the constitution and often goes for clients who no one else  wants to touch. She doesn’t know if she can trust Slahi or if he is innocent. But she does know no one should be contained in a facility, and probably tortured, for any length of time without charges or a chance of a trial. 

So they will have to take on the American government, and George Bush, and the war machine driven by patriotism post 9/11 at the risk of basic freedoms for people who need help the most.

Also starring Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Levi, Corey Johnson, and Denis Ménochet.

stare
“Is that someone breaking the constitution I see?”

The (looks at the top of the review) Mauritanian would pair really well with The Report, which also dealt with finding out information about the torture that was taking place in (looks up earlier in review) Guantanamo Bay. We know it now, and honestly, it still doesn’t feel like a big deal, and that really sucks. In The Report, I walked away thinking that the methods were really gross and uncomfortable and my life didn’t change. After watching The (looks up again) Mauritanian, I am even more disgusted and disturbed and I fear nothing will change.

Like, parts of this movie are going to be extremely triggering for people. We have the standard stuff you might be imagining: Blinking erratic lights, sleep deprivation, food water/scarcity, lack of bed, loud metal music, long periods of standing.  But they did a whole lot more too. We have rape. We have threats of harm to family members. We have threats involving bringing family members to Guantanamo, frail old ones, who will then also be raped, and hurt. Just to get info out of someone who knows nothing. 

Oh, this is a true story by the way. The Guantanamo Diary tells the story of a prisoner’s life for 14 years, of his torture, of his lack of rights and his struggle to just stay alive. Fuck.

The acting from Rahim is top notch in this film, and its saving grace, because everyone else is forgettable. (I did enjoy Cumberbatch’s accent though). He is hard to hate and easy to love, and you hate that this is happening to a person on America’s watch. And we know a lot of this happened, to many people, good or bad. It is disgusting. 

I would say some of the camera work in the flashback scenes are something that almost dropped this movie another rating. But I like the story, and think it is important story worth seeing and experiencing. It is okay going into it knowing eventually he will be freed, but despite that, the struggles are still felt. 

The (damn it) Mauritanian might just be forgotten about over time, like The Report quickly was, and what constantly happens about torture. But for now, it is rough, and worth the watch. 

3 out of 4.