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Showing posts from August 23, 2020

Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Maverick CIA operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) reteams with his seemingly unkillable ‘asset’, assassin Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) as they wage war on the drug cartels operating along the US-Mexico border. Meanwhile, we follow the separate plights of the kidnapped private school daughter (Isabela Moner) of a kingpin, and young Miguel (Elijah Rodriguez) an impressionable Mexican-American who idolises the wrong family member and ends up a drug mule. Jeffrey Donovan plays another op, Catherine Keener is the CIA head honcho, and Matthew Modine is a too-slick Secretary of Defence. This 2018 sequel from director Stefano Sollima (“A.C.A.B: All Cops Are Bastards”) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (the first “Sicario”, Oscar-winner for “Hell or High Water”) makes a smart move in putting the first film’s most interesting character into the lead role. It makes sense to remove Emily Blunt’s character, as she was kind of the audience surrogate, and we don’t really need her now that we’re famili…

Review: American Animals

Four young men (Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Jared Abrahamson, and Blake Jenner) plan a and attempt to carry out a robbery at the Transylvania University’s library, which houses several valuable rare books. Ann Dowd plays the librarian, whilst Udo Kier plays a European man one of the four would-be robbers supposedly met in Europe to act as a ‘fence’ for the stolen property. Documentary interviews with the real-life participants are interspersed with the fictionalised re-enactment of the incident. Just because you can do something a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the best way or something you should even do in the first place. So it is with this 2018 real-life heist film made simultaneously as fictional recreation with known actors and as a talking heads documentary by writer-director Bart Layton. Layton is a documentary filmmaker (His “The Imposter” is absolutely fascinating stuff that’ll drive you mad) and this story could’ve easily worked as either documentary or in fictionalised/cin…

Review: Mile 22

Overseen remotely by John Malkovich, the film concerns a team of top-secret U.S. Government tactical command ops led by Mark Wahlberg, and also featuring Lauren Cohan and Ronda Rousey. The main plot centres around Iko Uwais as a rogue foreign agent seeking asylum in exchange for valuable information. It’s the Overwatch team’s job to lead Uwais to safety and uncover the location of materials for a ‘dirty’ bomb. Easier said than done. Peter Berg has made some clunkers in his career as filmmaker (“Very Bad Things”, “Battleship”), but seems to have a good batting average when teaming with star Mark Wahlberg (“Lone Survivor”, “Deepwater Horizon”, “Patriots Day”). Unfortunately, this confusing and irritating mess from 2018 represents their first failure together. The opening sequence is tense and exciting, and star of “The Raid” Iko Uwais gets a plum role in which he doesn’t disappoint. He’s about the only thing that doesn’t, with Mark Wahlberg dialling up the obnoxiousness to such a level …