2 Guns (2013)

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Need I say more? Two crooks teamed together, living a life under the major Mexican drug lord, Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). When the time comes, they decide to take the drug kingpin’s money or so they thought. Have you ever heard the phrase: “Never rob a bank across from a diner that has the best donuts in three counties”? Soon, they discover the bank has plenty more than 3 million and more like 40 million dollars, this leads for them to gain a mass of enemies.

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I love Mark Wahlberg so much and I love him in this as well. He’s easily my favourite character of the film. He plays Michael Stigman or Stig. His comical wits and his loyalty shows no bounds. His flirty winks just show a cheeky side, but he stands up for the chickens buried in holes (you’ll understand if you’ve seen it). His cocky ways, but his impressive never misses in shooting is amazing. His heart is completely in the right place and all he wants is to fight for “his people”, the man standing next to him. This man? Denzel Washington aka Bobby Beans. Bobby is careful of everyone, wary to trust anyone and anything, even wary of Stig, where all Stig wants is some recognition of trust. But Bobby’s trust is hard to gain with his hard exterior. With a complicated love-life, he is a very secretive man. For Bobby is an undercover DEA Agent trying to take down Papi. Oh and did I mention, Mr Stigman? Navy Soldier on a mission he believes to be from the top of the Navy. Although, this is unknown to both as they as they both believe they are criminals. Stig is quick to find out Bobby’s place in life, however it takes longer for Bobby to suss Stig’s whereabouts.

Film Title: 2 Guns

From the very beginning the film is intriguing, it has a literal explosive start, then flies you back a week or so to fill in everything for you to understand. We’re quickly back to the start of the film and we watch from present then on. This is a film you need to keep watching, it’s not a hard watch, not it’s not an easy watch, you need to be paying attention because a lot is going on, and somethings are told through visual ques and one-off sayings rather than everything fully explained. There are many funny moments, especially the childish squabbling between Bobby and Stig. There are also a few tense scenes as the enemy tries to track down his money, through torturous ways (although not gruesome). This film has a bit of everything, it really is enjoyable and fun. With many action scenes and explosive tactics, there are many surprises you don’t see coming, for shock on the character’s face is shock for the audience.

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I would recommend this film. Both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are great. Tensions build as enemies grow, but their witty friendship not-friendship is comical and admired. James Marsden also makes an appearance, although as a character very different from ones before – extremely different from the loved Kevin in ‘27 Dresses’ and ‘Hairspray’s Corny Collins. ‘2 Guns’ is full of action and throws in comedic moments, there’s clever escape routes and impressive gun shots. Plans made, plans not made, but this should be a film to be planned to be seen. PS. It’s on Netflix.


The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The story of this action comedy (but mostly action), is one I didn’t expect. The trailer doesn’t really express the plot, and it was very different than I thought. The plot is: when Belarus’ dictator (played by Gary Oldman, by the way) is finally arrested for his violence and ruling, the opposing side find it difficult to pin evidence against this murderous man. The only key witness they have is Darius Kincaid, a contract killer, played by Samuel L. Jackson. The plot is for Kincaid to get to The Hague’s Court from Manchester Prison at Interpol. But it’s not that easy when the dictator’s men are trying to kill him so he can’t testify, and Interpol has an unknown leak (unknown to the characters, the audience is aware of who it is quite quickly). Therefore, he cannot trust anyone. This leads to the once Triple A Awarded Bodyguard to step onto the scene and protect this contract killer, much to his distain. This bodyguard is Michael Bryce, is played by the amazing Ryan Reynolds. Determined to gain his high-value status once again, Bryce follows his precise rules of efficiency and safety. Although, this turns not so easy when Kincaid doesn’t want to be helped and he just rolls with the punches as things happen.

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Sadly, I feel a bit deflated after watching this film, I expected so much more from it and instead it was a bit weak in places and surprisingly special effects were obvious, particularly some green screened effects. I’m not sure if these bad green screens where supposed to be a comedy element, if it was, I just didn’t get it. To me, it just reminded me I was watching a film, distracting me and ruining the escapism element any film is supposed to have. Because isn’t that why we watch films?

‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ was a lot more revolved around love than I thought it was going to be. This meant it was very talky, talky at times. Sometimes, a bit over the top with the talking, there’s one scene that lasted way too long. Plus the whole conversations were all the same thing, LOVE. Plus, there wasn’t much a build up of what’s going to happen, even though they really tried to push this as hard as they could. But the ending was clever, and alternate plans you didn’t expect did add shock and surprise to the film, because that was something I didn’t see coming. There is a definite overuse on swearing that was a bit unnecessary in every sentence, but to be fair, I think that was the point for Jackson’s character.

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Ok, so this sounds like a really bad review and it wasn’t as bad as I’m saying. There were some moments of comedy, particularly Bryce’s flying through a windscreen, that bit did crack me up. There were also some fun action scenes, some impressive ones. A lot of the action scenes were accompanied with contradicting music, which at some points worked and at others, clashed a bit too much. Otherwise, a lot of the music was very James Bond. Salma Hayek also appears in the film as Kincaid’s wife, although her story was confusing and I didn’t really understand why she was in prison if she was innocent, or what have you. She was a very angry character… She was mainly there as prop for reasoning of Kincaid’s capture and his dedication to her. The film has a lot of flashback scenes, that delved into the characters’ love lives, of course.

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Finally, this wasn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen, far from it! I just had a few issues with it, as you can tell. It is an enjoyable film, there are moments of action and comedy and that’s all you need in an action comedy, right? The actors are obviously great, with the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, you wouldn’t expect any different. I guess I was just expecting a bit more POW and cooler action scenes. But I do have to admit, I enjoyed the motorcycle scene and definitely when Bryce was protecting Kincaid quietly in the streets of Amsterdam. Overall, I didn’t hate watching it, but would I watch it again? I’m not so sure. It might become one a bit lost in the mass of action comedies to be honest.

Barely Lethal (2015)

Another high school cheesy film, because why not? Hailee Steinfeld from ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and ‘3’, Sophie Turner from ‘Game of Thrones’. Most importantly, Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba. But there’s a spin on this high school comedy, because chuck in a bit of action and you get the story of the young orphaned girl turned killing machine, but oh she doesn’t want to be this assassin, she had no choice in this life, she wants the ‘normal’ life, the life of high school.

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So, Prescott School for orphaned girls, a school teaching young girls to be assassins. Which means, no attachments, no friends, no family. But this separation never sat right with the one student who carries our plot, Hailee Steinfeld’s character, Agent 83, or otherwise known as, when she renames herself, Megan from Canada. I say this because when she gets an opportunity to leave the school, she fakes herself as a foreign exchange student from Canada and applies into the Larson family to live in Newton, USA. In which, this kicks off what she calls, “Mission High School”. The Larson family? Divorced mother of two (Rachael Harris), daughter, Liz (Dove Cameron) and son, Parker (Jason Drucker). To be honest, I really did like this family, and they seemed a great family to move into. Liz, in particular, is a great character, she envies the fact that her mother has taken in a new daughter, however she becomes a character to really like.

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The problem this film had, other than the blatant cheesiness and predictability level… But what else would you expect? Anyway… The problem was the narration had so much potential, there were elements that could have gone so much further, but they didn’t. It remained in the predictable light of a high school, throw in assassin, film. The enemy of the film wasn’t actually explained at all, it was someone called Victoria Knox, played by the brilliant Jessica Alba, but why was she even the villain? I don’t know! She could have brought so much potential to the film. Her character could have been so complex and her reveal they thought would be a twist in the film was expected and obvious. It could have gone so much further to bring her hatred of Prescott to reason, maybe even brought a better plot line that Prescott wasn’t the school it was. Regardless, it remained a teen movie, when it could have been so much more. Additionally, they really could have made Hailee Steinfeld’s character more badass, I mean seriously, she was a trained assassin, and there are hardly any moments this was even shown, plus she was supposed to be best in her class, but still, there wasn’t many great, fun action scenes.

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Overall, ‘Barely Lethal’ had a lot of potential, I really wanted to like it. But to be honest, it just wasn’t that great. I mean it wasn’t awful, far from the worst film I’ve ever seen. When it comes down to it, however, I won’t be watching it again and I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Which is really a shame, I just so wanted this plot to be a fab teen action comedy. But truth be told, I didn’t do much laughing, instead it was actually awkward in places and quite cringey. And like I’ve already said there wasn’t much action, the action there was was a bit pathetic, and some of it, odd. So there you go, ‘Barely Lethal’ doesn’t jump to one of the best teen films. Potential was definitely there though.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Pre-warning! There will be spoilers from the first ‘Kingman’ movie in this review.

This is second ‘Kingsman’ film and it has been widely advertised and been one of the films to watch this year. So of course after watching the first one two years ago, this one was on the list to watch next. Personally, I thought this one was actually better than the first film, it felt less of a piss-take and a little more serious, but of course there are still unrelatable and unbelievable things that happen, but isn’t that one of the important elements of this type of film?

Kingsman The Golden Circle - Eggsy and Merlin

Ok so, the trailer… I was a little irritated that they showed certain things, for example, the life of Harry aka Colin Firth’s character, who had a shocking death in the first movie by being shot in the face. Although, I do have to admit, it is the only thing that could have been delivered better during the film and kept secret through the trailer since his death was such a shock to begin with anyway. However, watching the first film two years ago I refused to accept he died, so it was nice to be correct about that! They couldn’t kill off Colin Firth!!

Kingsman The Golden Circle - Harry and Eggsy

The second ‘Kingman’ film and there’s a whole new plot (obviously) and new characters to love. And some great recognisable actors at that too! The main character is happily the same, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and he is as brilliant as ever. This time in a dedicated relationship but the world is depending on him saving it. This time, the Kingsman are targeted, blowing up pretty much everyone. Heading to America, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) meet their Secret Service cousins at the Statesman. This is where we meet a whole new cast, one that includes Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal. Where the Kingsman is set in a tailor shop, the Statesman is disguised as an alcohol distillery, so the names of all the agents are alcohol related, such as Tequila, Ginger Ale, Champagne and Whiskey. The new enemy of the film is played by Julianne Moore as Poppy the drug queen, who lives in a jungle in hiding. A psychopath whose ways in gaining trust from employees are a bit extreme to say the least, but that adds to the type of movie once again. Oh and I cannot forget to mention that the one and only Elton John is in this movie, yes they actually got Elton John! Ok, so he’s not the best actor, but he adds to the silliness of the film and makes it stupidly funny that’s similar to the style of the first film. For example, Elton John does look at the camera, which just highlights that this isn’t supposed to be a serious film, as it’s breaking one of the most important rules of film making.

The film is full of comical gimmicks, great lines and moments to make you laugh. But there’s also slow-motion action, the unbelievable advance in technology, and overall a good plot. The music is something that does have to be mentioned. It is brilliant. The music is contradictory to the scenes that you are watching. Popular songs rocket the sounds as the characters are trapped in action scenes. Just like directors such as Martin Scorsese. Before I forget, this is 100% a film for older ages, there are some rude scenes, one I think is a bit unnecessary, and it swears constantly.

Kingsman The Golden Circle - Tequila and Ginger

This film is still a piss-take but that’s the film you’ve chosen to watch if this one is the one to choose, however saying this it isn’t as much as the first film, there’s no theatrical colourful bursts of brains. The new characters are all great and different, bringing something new to the film that wasn’t there in the first film. Additionally, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ leaves the audience open to the possibility of a third film. If you have seen the first film and loved it, then I doubt this one would be a let-down. It is enjoyable and funny, plus the action scenes seem impressive yet unbelievable, but aren’t they all?

The Mummy (2017)

Firstly, if I’m going to be honest, I was going to avoid this film. I was going to refuse to watch it. But some part of me just wanted to know if it was different to the previous Mummy films. Thankfully it was very different. It did have some similarities, for example the accidental rise of an ancient Egyptian mummy, also the mummy then bringing so much destruction on the world and feeding off humans to gain their strength back. But other than that, gratefully it differs. Different characters and a different plot, a different mummy and completely different agendas on their minds. I have so much love for the first Mummy film which came out in 1999, that and the second one, I think they’re both great film, no brilliant films – nothing can beat Rick O’Connell and his relationship with Evelyn, nor can it beat the brilliantly comical Jonathan. I don’t know whether this 2017 Mummy is better than the first because they are so different, it’s hard to judge them off each other when they contrast so distinctly. But I have to say this is a good thing, 100% a good thing, if they even tried to remake the first Mummy it would be awful and never should be done. That film stands alone as brilliance and stands as that. Anyway, back to the 2017 one, because that’s what this review is about…

The Mummy 2017 - Nick

Another reason I wasn’t sold on the film beforehand, was Tom Cruise. I’m not a big fan, don’t really know why because in honesty I haven’t seen many of his films, but that’s just the way. Nevertheless, I put my hands down and admit he was very good in ‘The Mummy’. Besides, it’s not just Tom Cruise in the film. Yes, he does play the main protagonist Nick, but we also have Sofia Boutella, playing the villainous mummy, Russell Crowe playing the character of Dr Henry Jekyll (yes, they intertwined Jekyll and Hyde as the doctor of the science of evil, and yes it’s cleverly brilliant!), they also had Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey and finally, the best Nick Miller from ‘New Girl’ aka Jake Johnson as Vail. I have to admit it look me a while getting used to Jake Johnson calling Tom Cruise’s character Nick – I know that’s his name, but Nick will always be Nick from ‘New Girl’, and why would Nick be saying his own name to someone else? Sorry… Anyway, my point was, I’m not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise, but he did play his character well in this and that cannot be ignored. Additionally, the rest of the cast is also brilliant, all played excellently and you become absorbed into the whole film. Especially, the mummy, Ahmanet, she is brilliant (and obviously Jake Johnson – but I think I made that point with the obsession of ‘New Girl’).

The Mummy 2017 - Nick and Vail

This Mummy film is incredibly thrilling, actually quite scary at times, definitely some jump scares. Graphics are phenomenal, everything looks realistic and believable, even if it’s an ancient mummy returning from the dead. Well this mummy returning from a tomb in the ground, a pool of mercury and a sarcophagus, easy enough right? It is when Vail orders an airstrike which fires a missile into the ground above the tomb, and Jenny’s curiosity about ancient Egypt brings them into the tomb. Then Nick firing at the ropes keeping the mummy down, ultimately bringing her up. Then from there, to say the least, Ahmanet’s power extends to controlling Nick, as he is chosen to take the place of the God of Death. The film is full of action and thrilling moments – there were definitely moments I was scared, maybe I’m a wimp, but I was gripped into the film and couldn’t stop watching it. The best thing? I could never have guessed the ending, it wasn’t something to imagine, therefore the film went the way of the unknown for the audience. It was brilliant.

The Mummy 2017 - Ahmanet

In summary, this is a brilliant thrilling film. It was full of action and intrigue. It had so much too it, and the characters (and cast) were great. I was absorbed into the film, loving that it differed from the original Mummy. So in conclusion, thankfully this is not a let-down and don’t be worried to watch it if you’re a fan of the first ones like me! Go and experience the ancient life of Ahmanet and why she turned to the darkness, the depth of the villain is most definitely there to understand.

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!