Tag Archives: john leguizamo

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (2017) – My rating: 7.5/10

johnwick2John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action thriller sequel to the 2014 film John Wick. The plot follows the popular hitman after he goes on the run when a bounty is placed on his head.  There is so much fighting and killing in this sequel, it made me tired just watching.  John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is well connected and has everything he needs to get the job done.  The only thing he doesn’t have, that he really wants, is freedom.  After the first John Wick film,  John considered himself a former assassin who just, going forward, wanted to be left alone to live his life as a free man.  The sequel opens with John tracking down his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang, which he finds at a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare), brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef from the first film.  During the recovery of his car, it gets heavily damaged so he calls on Aurelio (John Leguizamo), the owner of a high-end chop shop to repair it. 

After a visit from Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), John learns he is not free until he fulfills an oath sealed by blood years ago as a commitment into the assassins secret society.  When John refuses to honor his commitment, Santino burns down John beautiful home using a grenade launcher as a warning.   Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental hotel in New York City, reminds John that if he rejects the Marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no killing on Continental ground, and the Markers must be honored. John accepts his duty and meets with D’Antonio, who tasks him with assassinating his sister Gianna D’Antonio (Claudia Gerini) so he can claim her seat on the “High Table,” a council of high-level crime lords. D’Antonio sends Ares (Ruby Rose), his personal bodyguard, to follow and keep an eye on John.

From here, the movie moves to Rome where John is expected to carry out his commitment.  Here he encounters Cassian (Common) an old colleague and bodyguard of Gianna’s.  There is much fighting, killing and counter plots as John fights to free himself from the Assassins underground organization.  Eventually, John seeks help from the underground crime lord Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne).  What ensues from this point is definitely a twist you won’t see coming.  John Wick is a killing machine — it’s all about survival and beating the odds.  The odds are bigger than any odds I’ve seen, which makes John’s journey seem pretty hopeless.  I wasn’t particularly fond of the sequel because of the endless killing and the hopeless plot.  John Wick: Chapter 2 has plenty of action and is not predictable.  If you don’t mind all the violence, check it out.



THE INFILTRATOR (2016) – My rating: 8.5/10

TheInfiltratorBased on a true story, The Infiltrator tells how in the 1980s, US Customs Service special agent Robert Mazur, (Brian Stranton) helped bring down the nefarious bankers who manipulated complex international finance systems to serve drug lords,  (including Pablo Escobar) corrupt politicians, tax cheats, and terrorists. It also chronicles the rise and fall of the world’s biggest and most intricate money-laundering operation, responsible for cleaning and moving hundreds of millions of dollars a year for several cartels.  The Infiltrator shows the hard work of many different law enforcement agencies, who together accomplished the arrest of over 100 corrupt individuals, as well as closed down the The Bank of Credit and Commerce International who secretly took illegal ownership of First American Bank shares in Washington, DC.    It also paints a vivid portrait of undercover life and its many sacrifices.  Flooded with lies, near misses, and exciting escapes, The Infiltrator is as thrilling as any fiction movie, only it actually happened.  Of course there are the usual embellishments for the sake of the movie but for the most part, it’s true to life.

The movie focuses on (Bryan Cranston) as Agent Robert Mazur/Bob Musella who was married with children and used Bob Musella as his uncover name and his partner (John Leguizamo) as Agent Emir Abreu who in real life was a street smart agent who had a gift for reading people.  (Diane Kruger) as rookie Agent Kathy Ertz was brought in to play Bob’s undercover fiancé.  (Benjamin Bratt) as Roberto Alcaino was a wealthy Chilean-born jeweler who was one of the main collectors of cash for the Medellín Cartel in the United States and had direct contact with Pablo Escobar.  (Amy Ryan) as Agent and Supervisor Bonni Tischler, headed up this operation known as Operation C-Chase.  (Juliet Aubrey) as Evelyn Mazur, Robert’s wife who put up with his undercover work that took him away for months at a time.  Olympia Dukakis as Aunt Vicky, Robert’s wealthy aunt who helped as a friend, convince Roberto Alcaino she was a successful real estate investor.  All in all, there were approximately 250 law enforcement personnel who worked on Operation C-Chase.

There were some changes from the real life story but not enough to significantly change the movie.  The Infiltrator was entertaining, suspenseful and well acted.  I don’t think it got the marketing attention it should have but it was still a good movie worth seeing.



AMERICAN ULTRA (2015) – My rating: 7/10

AmericanUltraWhat a crazy mess of a movie, but a likable mess.  Jesse Eisenberg plays Mike Howell, a stoner who is really a CIA Operative who was part of an experiment put on the back burner because there were too many problems to move forward.  He settles down to a nice cushy life of pot, music, a sexy girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kriston Stewart) and one huge problem.  He can’t seem to leave the small town of Liman, West VA, where he lives, without having an anxiety attack.  He appears to be a wasted pothead with no future and no ambition.  You have to wonder about his pretty girlfriend who sticks by him no matter what.  Drug dealer, Rose (John Leguizamo) and his crew really helps to make this movie a comedy.  Mike’s journey really begins when a women named Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) enters into the convenient store where Mike works as a clerk and recites a secret code over and over to him, but he doesn’t seem to understand it’s meaning.  She gives up in frustration and leaves the store.  Soon after, a couple of thugs appear to be dismantling Mike’s car, when all of a sudden he is able to use powerful skills he didn’t know he had to stop them.  This is as much as I can reveal of this story because anything more would surely spoil the remainder this crazy plot.  I can only say American Ultra is totally unbelievable but fun, entertaining, funny, and ridiculous.  It’s not slap stick, which I despise, it’s just someone’s idea of a CIA mission gone wacky.  It certainly is a refresher from all the hard core flicks we’ve been bombarded with lately.  If you find yourself with nothing else to do, check it out — but I highly recommend you wait for the DVD release!

RIDE ALONG (2014) – My rating: 6/10

RideAlongI’m not a fan of Kevin Hart however, my favorable feelings towards Ice Cube is the saving grace for Ride Along.  I deem most movies Kevin Hart plays in slap stick and I don’t like most slap stick comedy.  Take out all the ranting and high pitched whining Kevin does in Ride Along and you might have a descent movie.  Ice Cube’s character (James Payton) is a detective with a foxy sister name Angelia Payton, played by (Tika Sumpter.  James can’t figure what Angelia sees in Kevin Harts character (Ben Barber) who has recently joined the police academy.  James decides to take Ben on a ride along to show his sister what Ben is not made of.  Of course Ben starts botching up the investigation and street relationships immediately.  Thank goodness for  John Leguizamo’s character, Santiago who really gives this story some flavor.  Since Ride Along is a fantasy, anything goes.  The craziness being generated from Keven Hart dominates the film however, there are some heart felt lessons from Ride Along that can’t be ignored.  If you like this sort of thing or even if you’re a fan of Kevin Hart, see Ride Along which is now on DVD.  It’s not bad, just not my cup of tea.  I understand a sequel is in the works (Ride Along 2) which is scheduled to be released some time in 2016.