Tag Archives: ryan reynolds

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (2019) – My rating: 7.5/10

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (also known as Hobbs & Shaw) is an action film and a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise. The plot follows the unlikely marriage of the Hobbs & Shaw characters introduced in the main series, as they are forced to team up with Shaw’s sister when a genetically-enhanced terrorist and his organization threaten the world with a deadly virus. The film is directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce, from a story by Morgan.  For me, this was a must-see but soon became more of the same despite one of my favorite actors at the helm.

A crew of MI6 agents from the terrorist organization, Eteon, attempts to retrieve a virus labeled Snowflake, which can be programmed to decimate millions of people. Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), an Eteon operative with advanced cybernetic implants that allow him to perform superhuman feats, arrives and kills all agents except for their leader, Hattie Shaw, (Vanessa Kirby) who injects Snowflake into herself as a dormant carrier and escapes. Brixton frames Hattie as a traitor who killed her team and stole Snowflake, forcing her to go on the run.
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Hattie’s brother, are both informed of the missing virus by the CIA and are assigned to work together, against their better judgment, to track it down. Shaw leaves and goes to Hattie’s house, while Hobbs manages to find Hattie; after a brief scuffle, he brings her to the CIA office. Just as Shaw then returns, the office is attacked and Hattie is taken by Brixton, who Shaw recognizes as an old colleague he previously shot and killed before he was resurrected by Eteon. Hobbs and Shaw pursue and rescue Hattie during an ensuing car chase. They manage to escape from Brixton, who falls off his motorcycle and crashes through the second level of a double-decker bus, creating an opportunity for Brixton to frame the three agents. Hobbs, Shaw and Hattie manage to locate Professor Andreiko (Eddie Marsan) Snowflake’s creator, who informs them that to prevent Snowflake from eradicating humanity, Hattie has to either be killed or use an extraction device, which is located within the Eteon factory in Ukraine, an almost impossible mission.

Okay, I’ll admit Edis Elba’s character was a little different but the rest of the film was pretty much the same old stuff.  The special effects and acting were brilliant as was the flow of the story.  But how long can Hollywood keep making these types of movies and keep them fresh and interesting?  While they continue to be entertaining, the clock is ticking, something new has got to give.  Series star and producer Vin Diesel first said in 2015 that possible spin-offs were in early development. Hobbs & Shaw was officially announced in October 2017. Hobbs & Shaw has grossed $437 million worldwide and received praise for “the charisma of Johnson, Statham, and Kirby”, as well as its “visual style and action choreography finesse”, though some critics “had trouble getting past just how much the film was attempting to fit into its two-hour-and-15-minute runtime”. Personally,  if you are still thrilled by the Fast and Furious franchise, you will not be disappointed by Hobbs & Shaw.  The very least I can say is that it’s similar to other movies of this type.  I still recommend it — Check It Out!

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (2017) – My rating: 9/10

Surprisingly, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, a comedy written by Tom O’Connor and directed by Patrick Hughes, is very funny and very entertaining. The movie left me wanting more. The action was spot-on as it showed two know-it-all bodyguard/hitmen who protect as well as kill for a living, respectively battle it out between themselves. Each with their own set of personal issues, presented a hilariously dark look into their twisted lifestyles. Somehow, being brought together was the best thing that could have happened to them.

Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is hired to protect Takashi Kurosawa (Tsuwayuki Saotome), a Japanese arms dealer. All seems well but as Kurosawa is about to board a plane, he is shot in the head. Having lost a client, Bryce has fallen into disgrace and after two years is now making a living protecting drug-addicted corporate executives. Meanwhile, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), a ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator of Belarus, is put on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Court of Justice. The prosecution is unable to make headway against him, as they are unable to substantiate their allegations with physical evidence and Dukhovich assassinates any witnesses who could do so. The prosecution’s last hope is notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who agrees to testify against Dukhovich in exchange for the exoneration of his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek), who is currently incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.

Interpol Assistant Director Jean Foucher (Joaquim de Almeida), assigns Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung), a greenhorn agent who is Bryce’s estranged ex-girlfriend, to lead a squad of Interpol agents tasked with escorting Kincaid to The Hague to testify. However, the convoy is ambushed in Coventry and everyone except Kincaid and Roussel is killed. The two retreat to a safehouse, where they deduce someone in Interpol must have betrayed them to Dukhovich. Realizing that they need someone who is completely unaffiliated with Interpol and can remain trustworthy, Roussel contacts Bryce. Bryce is reluctant to help, as he has had multiple conflicts with Kincaid in the past and believes that Roussel was responsible for the death of Kurosawa two years ago, but ultimately agrees to aid them in exchange for the restoration of his good name. Roussel returns to Interpol to update them on the situation while Bryce and Kincaid escape an attack by Dukhovich’s men.

At this point, interaction between Bryce and Kincaid (the story of The Hitman’s Bodyguard) begins.  Lots of action, lots of funny one liners and brilliant performances by Ryan, Jackson and Hayek.  The cinematography was magnificent, as well as the special effects.  I really enjoyed the movie and the message was a profound lessen for all.  I highly recommend The Hitman’s Bodyguard to all.


LIFE (2017) – My rating: 8/10

An intense look at what can happen when meddlesome humans explore other worlds when their own world is far from perfected. I don’t mean to say we shouldn’t go where no man has gone before, I’m just saying beware of the consequences.  “Life” is an example of what can happen when you don’t know what you don’t know, when you don’t know!

A  six-member crew returning from Mars with a soil sample is tasked with studying the sample, which could prove to be the first evidence of extraterrestrial life. After extracting a single cell from the sample, British biologist Hugh Derry, an expert in exobiology is able to revive the dormant organism with atmospheric adjustments and glucose. It quickly grows into a multi-celled organism and reacts to stimuli. The crew discovers that each cell in the organism is a myocyte, neuron and photo-receptor, all at the same time. The Quarantine Officer Dr. Miranda North remarks that the organism is “…all muscle, all brain and all eye.” That should have been their first clue to abandon their research or leave it back on Mars but instead Dr. Derry tried to develop a relationship with Calvin (as it was named backed on Earth).  When Calvin appeared dormant, the doctor reached in the incubator where Calvin resided and gave it a mild stimuli which revived it but not before Calvin grabbed the doctor’s hand and crushed it.

From this point, “game on” — the crew started fighting for their lives.  Calvin grew bigger and smarter.  Life is a Science Fiction/Horror film with lots of intense scenes.

The six member International crew consist of:
Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), an American Senior Medical Officer

Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), a British Quarantine Officer

Rory “Roy” Adams (Ryan Reynolds), an American Pilot of the International Space Station

Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada), a Japanese System Engineer

Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare), a British Biologist

Katerina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya), a Russian, Commander of the International Space Station Crew

Life is a well acted, well written movie with a huge twist for it’s ending.  Personally, I thought Life was very good — my jury is still out on the ending.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  I’m leaning toward the downside of the hill.


DEADPOOL (2016) – My rating: 5.5/10

DeadpoolOMG!  I hated this movie.  Why oh why does everyone love it?  I can’t understand what all the brouhaha is all about.  I couldn’t wait to see Deadpool, given all the hype.  Okay, I’ll admit, I’m not a comic book person but I absolutely love most of the comic book action hero movies.  The only one I didn’t like before now is Fantastic Four.  I think that qualifies me as an honorary Action Hero, Comic Book, Club Member.  From everything I’ve heard, Deadpool is not for children and was given an R rating.  I thought, fine, this is really going to be good.  NOT!!  I didn’t find Mr. Pool’s, (Ryan Reynolds) cocky attitude and corny jokes funny nor entertaining.  His whole dialogue got on my nerves so badly, I just wanted the movie to be over so I could leave.  I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn’t.  It didn’t make since either, the whole plot sucked.  Wade spent so much effort on finding this guy, Francis Freeman/Ajax (Ed Skrein) who messed up his face so he could make him fix it but it wasn’t just his face.  His entire body needed fixing.  How would you control or make someone fix you if they really didn’t want to?  It just made no sense.  Why did this happen in the first place?  I have a million questions. I feel the dialogue was so stupid, I don’t really want an answer to the rest of the movie because its not worth the answers.  I didn’t like Deadpool, I will not be attending future showings and I wish I had gone to see something else.  You probably won’t take my word about this but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  I do not recommend Deadpool to anyone!


SELF / lESS (2015) – My rating: 8.5/10

SelfLessFantasy movies have rocked the screen this summer.  While Self / less is not about a super hero, it touches on a subject that we’ve explored forever, immortality.  I’m going to critique this movie in two parts.  The first part for those who have not seen Self / less and the second part those who have.  So part two not only will give away the story but basically be a huge spoiler.

Ben Kinsley plays a wealthy business tycoon named Damian Hayes who is dying of terminal cancer at the ripe old age of 68.  A business card discreetly leads him to a contact named Professor Albright (Matthew Goode) and company offering a procedure called Shedding that transfers your consciousness into a genetically engineered healthy body.  In Damian’s case, $250M will give him a second chance at life.  He must say good bye to his current life, friends and family and tell no one.  This concept is nothing new, it’s just presented differently.  As the movie forges on, we begin to see that Professor Albright and his company isn’t as it seems.  Many lies come to light, which makes for a very interesting film. As Damian, who is on heavy medication, begins to experience heavy hallucinations, he is sure that something is terribly wrong.  He discovers that he is being lied to and there’s no one who can help him because his death was staged and his new body has no identifying marks of his past.  He is now Edward Hale (Ryan Reynolds), a younger man with no ties to Damian Hale.  I found Self / less interesting but full of questions for which there were no answers.  Despite the obvious, I still liked this movie and would recommend seeing it.


Damian learns that his new body is a real person who sacrificed himself for money to save his dying, sick daughter.  After investigating, he discovers everything he needs to know about the procedure, Albright and his illegal company.  There are many twist in this movie that lead to many questions.  I am posting a few of the obvious ones.

These are some questions you might ask after seeing Self / less:

  1. How unstable of a person would you have to be to believe anyone has the technology to manufacture a body good enough to replace a human body that can fully function except the brain?
    If this technology did exist, why couldn’t they just make you look like you, only without being ill?
  2. What kind of person sacrifices a human being, including themselves or a loved one, for money.  Someone donated their perfectly healthy young son for some unknown reason.
  3. Since this procedure is contingent on a healthy brain, how can you offer a service that you can’t guarantee the outcome of your brain staying healthy and charge that kind of money?
  4. How long could Albright’s brain stay healthy?  What would be the contingency for his clients who continue to need his assistance?
  5. How long would it be before some of these people are recognized?

I don’t think the Company was well thought out.  There’s no way any plan this sloppy could survive.  Too many loose ends.

WOMAN IN GOLD (2015) – My rating: 8.7/10

WomenInGoldWhat a great story based on true events.  Helen Mirren is fantastic as Maria Altmann, the rightful heir to “Woman In Gold”, a portrait of her aunt Adele.  The portrait was stolen by the Nazis in Vienna just prior to World War II, during Hitler’s regime.  Together, Maria and her lawyer, E. Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) fought the Austrian government for 10 years to have returned what was rightfully hers. They even took their fight to the United States Supreme Court, who ruled in her favor.  Because of the exuberant amount of money it would take to continue her fight, she almost gave up.  I found Woman in Gold a little slow at first, however it picked up when the Austrian officials entered the scene.  From then on, it got very interesting.  Kathie Holmes played Schoenberg’s loving and understanding wife who gave birth during the 10 year process.  Also, Tatiana Maslany brilliantly played a younger Maria Altmann.  The painting is worth over 100 million dollars.  It was revealed that there are thousands of stolen paintings by the Nazis that haven’t been returned to their rightful owners.  It is also my understanding Helen Mirren will probably get an Oscar nod for Woman in Gold.  I must say, she is an awesome actress who deserves an Oscar and more.