Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hitman: Agent 47

Clean, sharp and fast-paced, this action-suspense film got it right -- despite the critics trashing it. As the sequel to the 2007 film the elements are similar; Agent 47, a girl, and two interested organizations.

The 2015 Agent 47 has everything you’d expect -- fight scenes and high speed car chases --, yet manages to keep you guessing throughout. Who is really trying to kill our heroine Katia, and why?

Director Aleksander Bach brings some artistic style to an adrenaline action genre that is often stale, and predictable. Rupert Friend carries off the role of cool killing Agent 47 well, but it’s Katia (Amanda Ware) that brings the script to life.

She’s been researching and tracking a man for years. She doesn’t know his name, what he looks like, nor why she is even searching. She is equally mystified as to why people are now suddenly trying to kill her.

But who does she trust, the man who shows up and apparently saves her life, or the man who appears to have tried to kill her?

Katia is beautiful yes, but not in the chisel-cheeked model mold; she has a smoldering beauty to her with a deep, rich rawness that radiates. We watch her awakened to who she is, and then witness the metamorphoses of who she becomes.  

An action film with subtle overtones of a spy espionage thriller,  Katia comes to learn that there are two entities tracking her, and she must avoid capture and /or death by either to attain her goal.

The film has its moments where the action pauses to allow the characters to evolve. Yet it does so without slowing it down or losing our attention.  

3 1/2 stars.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Man From U.N.C.L.E - A review

Straight out of the 1960’s to the big screen, Guy Richie’s film by the same name is a mix of espionage, humor, and action.  It is the mid-1960’s and the height of the cold war between the U.S.A. and Soviet Union, when an enterprising and stunning heiress to an Italian shipping company plots with an X-Nazi to build a nuclear device.

uncleFacing such a threat the two countries offer one agent each  (Napoleon Solo of the C.I.A. and Illya Kuryakin of the KGB) to work in tandem for their mutual benefit: prevent the device from being built, retrieve the German scientist working again his will, and recover all his data by any means necessary.
Our heros prefer to work alone, so a partnership doesn’t sit well with either of them. But they suck it up for national (and global) security. Throw in the beautiful Gaby (played by Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress known for Ex-Machina and A Royal Affair) as the bomb maker's East German daughter, and the stage is set for this fun triangle to unfold where we never really know Gaby’s true agenda.
The characters are likable: Henry Cavill (Superman - Man of Steel) as the calm and cool Solo, and Armie Hammer (Entourage) as the on edge ready to explode at the drop of an offensive phrase, Kuryakyn. Thrown into the mix is the East German daughter of bomb-maker
Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) is the evil femme fatale mastermind and carries the role off to perfection.
Hugh Grant makes an appearance representing British Intelligence, who will certainly be in any follow up installment.

The film was carried more by the well-timed humor and inter-play of the characters than high-intrigue suspense, or action. That is not to say that there aren't a few good action scenes. There were a few that were exciting and fun.

It was a good entertaining film, not a thrilling blockbuster; but a good foundation for a follow sequel. The key to whether you will like the film comes down to the characters. From my viewing tonight, the crowd enjoyed it and laughed out loud several times throughout.

RATING: 3 Stars

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Fantastic 4 reboot tripped and stumbled. It was stale, lacking humor and heart. The 2005 version had mood; Johnny Storm was a fun carefree, reckless charismatic character. The interplay between him and Thing was entertaining; the interplay with the public engaging.

In the reboot there is no interplay between any of the characters, or anyone else for that matter; they all seemed disconnected and uninterested in the film and/or each other.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pixels 2015

Fast-paced, fun, and ridiculous, the action is on-going from start to finish. There is plenty of action, humor, life-sized arcade game characters, and a subtle yet endearing love story to unfold.