In Time (2011)

A film of Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, action, sci-fi, thriller. Brilliant. And what’s even better, is that it’s a film that’s very different to many others out there. Time is currency, time predicts death, time is stolen, time is given, time is the controller in their lives. Time is everything. The world is divided into time zones, time zones that are divided by the rich in time of New Greenwich and the “ghetto” as they call it, where time is stolen for people to survive, bodies dropping “timed out” constantly.

A sci-fi Robin Hood, where all Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) wants is to give time to those timing out in the poorer zones, stealing from New Greenwich where they roam around with centuries on their arms. This is where he meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfriend), one of those who have many years on their lives. A complicated character Sylvia seems, she’s not taken willingly but in the end has something to prove herself, she’s played great as an interesting character in the film. On the run in hoping to help the others from his time zone, they both find themselves running from the Time Keeper (Cillian Murphy) and also hiding from the stealers in the ghetto led by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer). Of course, all the actors and actresses are amazing, not forgetting Leonard from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (Johnny Galecki), playing Will’s best friend, Borel. In my opinion, the majority of Amanda Seyfried’s films are great though. Plus bring in Justin Timberlake! Need more?

In Time

The film is full of action and thrilling moments, I can’t say there is a boring moment. It kicks in straight away, bringing you into this world we know nothing about. It takes some while getting used to, and understanding everything that is happening, but soon you get to grips of everything. We bounce from time zone to time zone, which can get a bit confusing, there’s a lot of driving around. Suddenly, you’re in the richer time zone and then back in the poorer, back in the rich and then back again. It is a bit confusing how they get to many different time zones in no matter of time. But nevertheless, I don’t think this makes a difference to the film however. Just adds to the thrilling moments within the film.

I really loved this film, loved how different it was to so many other action films. I was absorbed into the film, it didn’t seem like I was watching it long at all. I love how clever a film can be in being so different to others but still contain all you want to get out of an action film. This film had it all. The intrigue, the multiple story lines, the brilliant actors, the thrilling moments, the fast-pace movements, everything. I would definitely recommend this film! Besides, Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, they make a great team. Although, they really missed out on not putting ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ by Queen in the credits…

Final Girl (2015)

So when trying to find a different film to watch, a flatmate and I came across this one. I have to admit the trailer looked good, sold on watching this film, but then sadly it didn’t really work. Feel a bit deflated after watching it to be honest.

The whole concept of the film, the plot and storyline was original and sounded great, sadly execution wasn’t there. It could have worked and could have been great, but something just didn’t work about it. Firstly, here’s a quick plot line. Veronica (played by Abigail Breslin – ‘Scream Queens’, ‘New Year’s Eve’, ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, ‘Definitely, Maybe’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ – she’s in a lot) is a trained, well we’re not entirely sure why or what for, but trained for some program to kill some murderers. From the beginning we find out she’s orphaned and incredibly smart, but other than that, her life is a mystery to all. Anyway, she’s sent on this mission to kill four males, Jameson (Alexander Ludwig – from ‘The Hunger Games’) the brains behind the murders, Shane (Cameron Bright – Alec from ‘Twilight’), Danny (Logan Huffman) and Nelson (Reece Thompson). These males like to take adolescent girls into the woods and hunt them down. So there’s the creepy murderers, the trained, almost assassin in a way, and a plot line ready to be picked and played out on screen. Yet it still didn’t work.

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Ok, so the beginning was rather slow, the film went into the training in much more detail than expected. The whole trailer only really being the end of the film, so you end up waiting for something which happens very close to the end, and that it doesn’t happen in the speed or thrilling suspense as the trailer upholds. Additionally, the film was a bit heavy on the romance element for some reason, I understand why some parts where there, but overall it was too much and affected the thrilling edge, taking away action and replacing an element that was unnecessary. Also, what was with the lighting? This film is definitely a fan of the harsh lighting and sort of spotlight moments, it all made it a bit unreal and you’re never transported to another film world.

The film had more of a psychological edge to it that the trailer doesn’t perceive. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but when you’re waiting to discover the deepest darkest fears of these psychotic murderers and one turns out to be panda men, it becomes a bit comical. There was no character building, which meant reasons behind things didn’t make much sense. There were moments that would have been perfect in finding out these backstories, but sadly they never came.

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Saying all this though, it’s definitely not the worst film I’ve ever seen. Abigail Breslin played her character well, very realistic and I did find myself routing for her when the plot finally kicked in. Also Alexander Ludwig played the creepy leader of the psychopaths well, his whole manner and personality was on point. The other three were also played well, they were all pretty creepy. Danny being very over the top but worked with his character. Shane needed more story too because I felt there was a lot to his character that just wasn’t portrayed enough. And Nelson held that uncomfortable silence and you just know he’s not the character to trust in a film. I just wished there was a bit more of a story to him. Additionally, like I’ve already said, the plot was great, it could have been amazing… Overall, I wouldn’t say I would watch it again, but not so awful!

Inception (2010)

A Christopher Nolan film and what a good one at that! We know one of Christopher Nolan’s aspects for his films is to mess with time and to create a confusion within the audience, but for the audience to get addicted and to have a need to figure out what is going on. I definitely felt this way at the beginning, extremely confused with the plot, but as the film continues more and more is realised. The film revolves around the aspects of dream and reality. As the audience, you’re not entirely sure whether you are watching a dream or in reality, of course there are parts were you definitely know, but not always throughout the film. The whole film is a build up to one mission, one dream that they plan to give three layers, meaning two other dreams inside that one. And when this part comes it is extremely intense, so cleverly done, especially with the music, it builds up tension to extremes. I spent the whole of this time, gripped into the film and unable to stop watching.

Inception 1

One of the best things about this film is that all the actors are amazing, ‘Inception’ really does have a great stardom. The film revolves around the main protagonist, Cobb (played by the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio), there is a lot within his story and a lot of the film is trying to discover his past. The other characters you don’t find out much about at all, the only character you’re invested in with his past with his regrets and guilt is Cobb. The other characters are all brilliant as well though. Firstly there is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Arthur, who is of course a recognisable actor, excellent as well. Including these previous two, there’s the other people involved with the mission to delve into this deep dream. The first is Ariadne (Ellen Page – ‘Juno’), her character is interesting, yet very curious and nosy to say the least. Next is my favourite, a fabulous actor, Tom Hardy playing Eames. As we know Tom Hardy is a brilliant actor – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Legend’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘This Means War’, so many! And of course he’s brilliant in this, he’s great in all action films, this one isn’t any different. Then there’s Yusuf (Dileep Rao) and Saito (Ken Watanabe). There’s also Michael Caine, who being one of the best British actors, I don’t really need to mention that he plays his small part well, sadly only a small part.

Like I’ve previously said, ‘Inception’ is one of confusion and mystery, mystery because you, as the audience, don’t understand what is happening all the time. But I would say that this film is predominantly action, within the dreams the subconscious mind tries to fight against to those dreamers who have entered the dreaming mind without permission, this, therefore, being all of our characters. The action is well done and thrilling as risks become higher in the mission they intend on completing. I have to mention the graphics as well, when there was no gravity it was brilliantly done, all of it was cleverly done.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this film. I thought it was cleverly tense and thrilling in moments, it grips in the audience and all the actors are great. Cobb’s back story is one that the audience just wants to know more of. Plus you have to watch the whole film in order to understand everything, even then, the ending isn’t the most conclusive end of them all. If you think this is a film you would think you would enjoy, I would definitely recommend. The beginning is confusing as it throws you in straight away unaware of everything, but soon you’ll be gripped and wanting to know more.

The Mummy Returns (2001)

In 2001, Stephen Sommers came back with this sequel of the classic ‘The Mummy’, an equally as good second film, ‘The Mummy Returns’. As the title says, the mummy returns… However, this time he’s not brought back accidentally by our heroes, instead he’s brought back for very specific reasons and by the bad guys of the film, the leader being Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez) reincarnated.

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It’s nine years later extending from the first film, and it’s the Year of the Scorpion; the plot of the film. Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) are married with an eight year old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). And thankfully, Jonathan (John Hannah) is also back, living with them, therefore getting caught in the action and joining the plot as well. All the characters are as great as the first film, all of them familiar for the audience to love. Jonathan is hilarious once again, his obsession and distraction to everything gold is familiar and comical for the audience, and also his absence of bravery is brilliant too. The romance between Rick and Evelyn is of course new to ‘The Mummy’ series, although should be loved by the audience, it truly is adorable! Alex is a great new addition to the film. He is a bright boy who is interested in the Egyptian past as much as his mother; but also is brave like his father. A perfect combination to create a believable son of the two main protagonists for the audience. He is also very cheeky, so he adds to the humour of the film. Even though, it’s not a comedy, but there are comedic moments like the first. Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) is also back as a protector of man again; he of course follows the family to try and stop the terror the Mummy plans to bring on the world. There are also some new characters for the audience to enjoy. Dwayne Johnson appears as the Scorpion King, even if hilariously animated at the end of the film, but remember it was done in 2001. Also introducing Izzy (Shaun Parkes), another comical addition for the audience to laugh with. Additionally, there’s a character for the audience to hate, especially at his constant want to kill poor little Alex, this is Lock-Nah (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), one of the bad guys.

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Things start to go epically wrong when the Mummy is brought back to life; the gang try to stop him from raising the Army of Anubis to end the world… Of course. The end of the world excuse. But I don’t care, he’s a Mummy, of course he wants to end the world! There are some similarities to the first film, which is a nice familiarity for the audience. However, not too many to make the films repetitive, it’s done in a perfect way between the two films. A difference to the first film, is that ‘The Mummy Returns’ tends to delve more into lives of Rick and Evelyn. Most significantly, Evelyn’s Egyptian past life. We witness many visions of Evelyn’s past going back to Ancient Egypt. The props, sets, costumes and make-up are really great during these visions to make her dreams come to life for the audience. We also discover more about the past of the Mummy and his love for Anck-Su-Namun, which obviously connects to the first film. But this significantly creates a human emotion for the audience to recognise in the Mummy; especially at the end where the audience almost seems sympathetic towards him. I really like this new addition to the Mummy.

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Alike to the first film, ‘The Mummy Returns’ is packed full of action. There isn’t a boring moment in the film, lots of gun, sword and fist fights for the audience to watch. Alike again, there are some jump scares, which I realised where skipped out when played on TV in the early evening; some parts are a bit too scary for younger ages. There is also a variety of tense scenes, or just full on action, but also some emotional scenes.

I would definitely recommend watching this action-packed mummy film. Preferably watch it after you’ve watched the first, I feel it’s needed for the love of the characters to grow; but it doesn’t make a huge difference. This really is a great film to escape into, so join the fight against the Mummy; again…

The Mummy (1999)

If you’re looking for a realistic, relatable film to watch, turn away from this one with a big no. However, if you’re looking for a film to throw you into some hectic action where Mummies are brought back to life and many die, then you’ve found yourself a perfect choice with this film. This really is a great action film to escape in.

The plot is very simplistic, not in a bad way though. But it’s not one to throw you about or get you confused. It isn’t complicated at all. It’s very easy to understand what is happening, and to kind of predict what will happen. But it’s an action movie, so it’s ok. Librarian Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) takes it upon herself to try and find the hidden city of Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Her brother Jonathan (John Hannah) tags along for the hope of finding some gold. And one other person is needed, a man who has made it to the City of Dead and came back alive… Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser). Small problem, he’s in prison… Finding a way round this, they make their way to the secret city. Once they arrive the curse is stubbornly read aloud, the Book of the Dead is found, and a mummy (who wants to bring death to the world) is accidentally revived. Apparently nothing bad can happen from reading a book… Things start to get a bit hectic as the mummy is set loose on Egypt and more things start to go wrong. Like I said a simple, yet action-filled, plot.

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Some people might find ‘The Mummy’ quite scary and jumpy. It is a 15 for a reason. I’ve also noticed from it being shown on TV in the early evening some scenes are cut out, I think the reason for this would be that it is a 15. I mean quite a few people get eaten alive by bugs… Don’t get me wrong you don’t actually see most of it, you occasionally see the bug inside someone where a lump of skin is crawling inside them… But I wouldn’t say this is a gory film, it isn’t a horror. The use of shadows or lighting (mostly the lack of), and sometimes the focus on other people’s faces gives the audience the drift of what is happening. Most predominantly this film is action. It is action-packed, right from the beginning. There are a lot of gun-fighting scenes, this being most of the film… But there are also fires and explosions, some sword fights. But like I said, mostly guns. A lot of action in many scenes; many where a lot is happening for the audience to enjoy watching.

‘The Mummy’ is quite a long film, lasting over two hours; however everything is necessary in it, and there isn’t a boring scenes! Additionally, keep in mind that this film was made in 1999, so the special effects are not as great as they would be now. However, I don’t think this distracts the audience from the action of the film and still makes it great. The music is very clever and great for the audience as well. Most significantly the use of music with no lyrics, which fits in well with the type of movie it is.

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The actors are of course amazing in this film. This makes the film so much more enjoyable. Brendan Fraser plays a masculine fighter, who truly is a character for the audience to love. Rachel Weisz plays the intelligent and enthusiastic Evelyn, who the audience will also love. But my favourite, is John Hannah playing Jonathan, even though it is a close first place. But Jonathan brings comedy to the film, his comments are executed brilliantly to make him a comical character for the audience to really appreciate. Well I do anyway.

Well overall, I would definitely recommend this classic action film. And if you liked this film, I would highly recommend the sequel to this film, my favourite, ‘The Mummy Returns’. But first join O’Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan in saving the world in what they accidentally unleashed on it.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The first Bourne film, ‘The Bourne Identity’ is a good start to the classic Bourne films. However, personally not the best of them, but still a pretty good start and introduction to brilliant Matt Damon’s character, Jason Bourne. Everyone knows Matt Damon is excellent anyway!

After being shot twice in the back and left for dead in the ocean, a boat of fishermen find Jason Bourne, surprisingly still alive, but he can’t remember anything. He has no idea who he is or how he ended up in the sea. The film follows Bourne, trying to piece together who he is. Finding he knows how to defend himself, speak multiple languages, and tie complicated knots. But he struggles on, following every lead, hoping it will eventually take him to the answers he is searching for and discover who he is. But while discovering, he starts to recognise many police officers tracking him and becomes a target by the US government. The audience is brought to Bourne and back to the government agency, therefore the audience knows more than Bourne does. On Bourne’s route he travels from Zurich to Paris, paying a lot of money to a random woman in the street who owns a car, this being Marie (Franka Potente), who is then dragged into the catastrophe that is Bourne’s life.

Bourne Identity - Bourne and Marie

‘The Bourne Identity’ is an action movie and definitely has many scenes of fighting, car chases and assassinations. Some people might consider the film to be a bit slow in some places as it isn’t no stop action, but I personally think the mystery and confusion at why Bourne is constantly targeted is intriguing enough to watch the whole film. Additionally, it can feel like quite a long film. But then again, I don’t feel like this is much of a problem. There are some great action scenes that I really do enjoy, from a confused Jason Bourne able to defend himself against two officers and unsure how he did it, to a hectic crazy, yet quite long, car chase scene. There isn’t action in every second, but then again the film is trying to discover who Bourne is most predominantly; but nevertheless there are some clever action scenes that get the audience able to understand the mind of Bourne and how he is able to escape some situations impressively, whether that be scaling down the side of a building, or avoiding a staircase full of people trying to kill him and not getting shot once. The film is a 12. It isn’t very graphic or gory, just some violence, and the very occasional swear word. So it’s an understandable 12.

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I would recommend this film, even though it isn’t as good as some of the other Bourne films, you have to watch the first one before you watch others as it’s a good introduction to them all and the inner-workings of Bourne himself. Besides Matt Damon is amazing!

Central Intelligence (2016)

‘Central Intelligence’, a film with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Two very well-known actors; like in the trailer and advertised, it’s a “Little Hart” and a “Big Johnson”. These two actors are brilliant and they bond well in the film and they just work well together overall. But the main thing is that these two are clearly chosen and important for their roles in this film. ‘Central Intelligence’ is clever in how they use the actors to add to the comedy of the film. Especially their heights, being such a drastic difference, Dwayne Johnson being pretty muscular and massive, yet Kevin Hart quite small, put them together and many comedic lines can be created and they definitely were. Kevin Hart definitely plays the most comical character, his whole persona and his acting is brilliant in creating Calvin Joyner who is thrown into a life he didn’t want, but has no choice in the matter, because they all think he’s “in” when he’s definitely “out”.

Compared to the trailer I have to say that I was a little let down. I still thought the film was great and I liked the story. But I felt the trailer portrayed the film to be more of a comedy than it actually was. This meant I watched the film having a perception of a good comedy film, but I would definitely say there wasn’t as much comedy in it as I would have hoped. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good film, it just was a misleading trailer and not what I expected at all. I also found that the best comedy parts were in the trailer as well, but there were still some others, but I wasn’t howling in laughter at the film at all. But on the other hand, as an action film, as it is about Bob Stone a CIA agent, it was good, cleverly done, and full of moralistic views.

Central Intelligence

So the film starts in high school, Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson), quite overweight, singing in the shower is bullied and thrown out in front of everyone naked. Laughed at and ridiculed, the only person that helps him is Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), the student of the year, the one who was going to go far in life, the “Golden Jet”. 20 years later just before the school reunion, Calvin is living as an accountant disappointed where his life is at now and feels that his life peaked in high school. Whereas Robbie Weirdicht, now known as Bob Stone, has lost all weight and has become a spy. Johnson plays Bob Stone excellently by creating a man that is still scared of his past yet has tried to change and fight for himself against bullies. Here is where the film gets more moralistic. Bob is a character that is trapped in that one horrifying moment in high school and grips onto the fact that Calvin was the only one to help him, this is the moment he has framed his whole life off. I didn’t expect this at all in the film, it was definitely hidden in the trailers. But I still thought it was a nice touch to the film.

Bob and Calvin

The moralistic side of the film pulls on friendship, faith and trust. This is shown through the fact that the film is from the point of the view of Calvin, who after 20 years doesn’t really know this Bob Stone and doesn’t know what is the truth. I don’t want to give too much away, if I haven’t already, but there are moments in the film which leaves the audience confused in who to trust, along with how Calvin is feeling. Although, I do have to say, I guessed the ending correctly, I won’t say what, but I was pretty proud that I was right. Anyway not the point… The point was that the film is clever in confusing the audience through the character Calvin as he is pulled from side to side being told different things, one thing from the CIA wanting to capture Bob Stone and then Bob Stone saying he’s innocent, yet Calvin struggles to discover which one to believe, therefore the audience feels the same.

Calvin and Bob

So even though ‘Central Intelligence’ was definitely not what I expected it to be, I still thought it was a good film. It was a good plot and is a good action film; there are comedic elements, even if not as many as I wanted. So I would recommend ‘Central Intelligence’, however just don’t get your hopes up massively that it’s funny, because it might be considered overrated. Although, I am saying I would recommend it, because I would watch it again. So I would join Johnson and Hart in this film, why not?