Monthly Archives: June 2015
Director: David Ayer
With any movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger you can always guarantee assurance. We, as the audience, are assured of an all-round, entertaining movie with fights, guns and explosions. After all, it’s an Arnie film, isn’t it? Such is that with Sabotage that it plays to the many strengths of Mr. Schwarzenegger. There are no signs of any Oscar winning performances at all, but there are guns and lots of them.
Arnold plays John “Breacher” Wharton, a maverick who heads up the DEA special tasks force given the job of taking out drug cartels and getting something back in return. During one particular raid, they uncover a pile of money and put aside €10million of that for themselves which they stash in plastic bags and quite unceremoniously plunge down the pipe from the toilet into the sewers. After the last of the bad guys are wiped out, the team head into the pipes to retrieve the money only to find out that it’s no longer there. To add to their woes, it seems the drugs cartel whom they thought they wiped out are aware they stole the money and slowly start picking off each member of the team one by one.
David Ayer, of Harsh Times and Street Kings fame, has handled and controlled a script that he co-wrote and directed it much in a similar vain to his previous work and you cannot criticise him for that as it works. The script, at times, can be up and down with dialogue often written for the sheer hell of it as each knuckle-headed member of Arnie’s task force has to have their say and get as many “muthafuckers” in as possible. Ayer’s co-written script has that roller coaster effect of starting well and then dipping somewhat as the story begins to struggle for pace, but then, unexpectedly, the final third rockets us upwards and we’re fired at speed through twists and turns as the story starts to pan out and what we are left with can be described as enjoyable and worth the wait.
One of the highlights of Sabotage is the appearance of an almost unrecognisable Sam Worthington, of Avatar fame, who sports shaven head (complete with tattoos) and a tiny goatee beard (complete with plait). Worthington looked to somewhat enjoy his portrayal of his character “Monster”, but there was clear evidence of his acting abilities as well as his rugged action feature to go with it. His wife, the drug riddled Lizzy, played by World War Z’s Mireille Enos showed signs of potential, but occasionally consisted of some over-the top acting that just needed reeling in slightly. Terence Howard supports with extra muscle from Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway and Kevin Vance. Olivia Williams (Hyde Park on Hudson & The Sixth Sense) is the detective assigned to work the case who ends up working alongside “Breacher”
When Arnold Schwarzenegger opted to take a break from movies to concentrate on his political career there was a void left in all of our action-loving hearts and since returning, despite the difficulties in succeeding the popularity of his 1980’s hits, we all agree that he has been missed.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
It has been 22 years since the original Jurassic Park movie was released, a franchise that spawned two sequels, yet a fourth movie had always been in discussion for many years. Rumours linked the previous film’s stars to having roles in the new movie. Both Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum’s names were mentioned. There was even the potential of a group of dinosaurs escaping from the island and running amok on the streets, a vision of pterodactyl’s swooping and attacking a group of school children in a playground had the internet awash with potential plot spoilers. In fact, the original draft of the script, simply entitled Jurassic Park 4 included, believe it or not, human dinosaurs. In a sort of mad professor style, a load of human guinea pigs were injected with a special formula to make them part human, part dinosaur and was an idea apparently green lit by the man himself, Steven Speilberg. Fortunately, like many other idea, it was quickly shelved and the rumours faded away. Fast forward a few years and the rumours came back again, only this time the cast would be entirely new (with one exception) and there would be a fully functioning park, the movie would be called “Jurassic Park: Extinction and it would include tame Raptors who would act as security guards – which is not that far from the truth.
Despite previous efforts and deleterious results, Ingen have still pushed forward with their goal to have a fully functioning Jurassic Park. This time, the “Park” has been replaced with “World” and John Hammond’s legacy lives on. Now owned by a multi-millionaire businessman, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) and with Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) left in charge, Jurassic World is performing at an even level. As quoted by Claire, the public are no longer impressed by seeing a dinosaur. Seeing a stegosaurus is just like seeing an elephant at the zoo. A statement which holds truth during one scene of a teenage boy looking on his mobile phone while behind him a T-Rex devours a goat left for him to eat. The only solution is to take it to the next level and create a new dinosaur. To play God. The brief was to create a dinosaur that would be bigger, louder and have more teeth and Jurassic World’s latest creation is about to do more than that. Genetically engineered from the DNA of other animals and dinosaurs, the Indominus Rex has been created ready for the public to see, but a monster, not just a dinosaur has been created who has heightened intelligence and soon, like all previous attempts, the worse happens.
The main plot of Jurassic World is very similar to the previous incarnations, especially with the inclusion of children. Zach and Gray are Claire’s nephews, with whom she rarely sees, who visit Jurassic World and become lost in the park with a rampaging Hybrid dinosaur on the loose. The writers have tried to develop character back stories in order to offer a moral, but it is inevitably the dinosaurs that once again steal the show. Chris Pratt plays Owen, a former Navy Seal who has been working hard with the Raptors in order to tame and control them, an idea that Ingen show great interest in. He is called in by Claire to offer advice on the new dinosaur enclosure, to ensure security is of the highest order. But, Owen has concerns as he quotes: “You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea…” Director Colin Trevorrow takes the helm of this next installment in his first major production (with Steven Spielberg returning in an Executive Producer role) and honors the franchise by producing an often dark, but terrifying movie. The same fear we have seen from the original is still there played as an homage to the first movie, but the scares are often and plenty with the action never stopping. Several references to the original movie are seen throughout, including original cast member, Henry Wu (BD Wong) who reprises his role and Trevorrow’s vision of this Jurassic Park is stunning, not just visually, but in periods of extreme intensity.
Both Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt take the lead roles in the movie to perfection. There is interesting development from Dallas Howard’s character whose persona changes throughout the course of the movie, a theme encouraged throughout by the script writers. Chris Pratt has become what Hollywood has been craving for years, an all American action hero. Reminiscent of a young Harrison Ford, Pratt provides the muscle, heroism and the sex appeal of a leading man, but delivering some of the movies funniest lines as part of the package.
Despite the plot having major similarities to its predecessors, Jurassic World is a piece of thoroughly entertaining cinema that brings back the thrill, excitement and the emotions of the first time we ever saw the dinosaurs back in 1993. It ticks every single box in terms of a blockbuster and the fans of the franchise will be not only satisfied with the results, they will be truly blown away.