6 Underground Review

In the beginning there was the Michael Bay and the Michael Bay was good and made films like The Rock, Bad Boys and Armageddon which are all films I’m happy for someone else to die on.

But then the Michael Bay turned from a director with promise into the Michael Bay director that you know of today. And a great wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard by everyone who wasn’t a brain-dead undemanding teenage boy and even then there was still some minor feelings that film and indeed should be better than what the Michael Bay was offering.

And then following the utter, complete, unwatchable,  debacle that was Transformers: The Last Knight, the Michael Bay, fled unto Netflix and there, chastened and haunted by what had become of him  returned unto his roots and made a film called 6 Underground which showed that….

He had learned absolutely noting.

Because 6 Underground is the most Michael Bay film I can possibly imagine. And whether or not that’s a good thing depends entirely on whether or nor you can take Michael Bay looking at everything he’s made in the last ten years and thinking ‘meh, that was too constrained. Lets get Netflix to give me 150 million dollars and an extra large pallet of Cocoa Pops and let me show you what I can really do.’

Sadly, I was sober when I watched this… thing and as a result feel that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind because, were I to have been been blasted and ’18’ again this would be the best film ever.

But I’m not.

So it isn’t.

Which is a shame as this seems like a really good idea. 6 people fake their own deaths so that they can go and take down an evil dictator without having to worry about red tape. If your thinking this sounds a hell of a lot like The Expendables then your on the right lines just lower your standards a lot.

A lot.

More than that.

A little too much.

Just right.

I mean i’m all for action films starting with a blast but I really don’t want that opening blast to go on for twenty minutes, have absolutely no internal logic or even make fail to make sense. Or have unending levels of generic guys in suits and cars chasing our hero’s around for… I have no idea.

And from that start the film picks up and never slows down for a second. We have character introductions that even Guy Ritchie would call over the top, we (for the first half) have a timeline that won’t son’t sit still because this is a film that won;t sit still as if it’s terrified that if it pauses even for a second to develop character or even allow us to take stock of what’s happened or form any type of mental map as to what the location our hero’s are currently blowing up might look like, what number of goons are currently in the process of being unalived or even if their supposed to pose a threat or not.

Example, one of our hero’s was drowning to death and, where a film like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation made it a tense and thrilling highlight of the film, here it’s just another thing that’s happening. No tension, no dread, no desperate attempt to rescue them as the air runs out, it’s not even the films primary focus at the time! I’m not entirely sure what the primary focus was, (aside from yet again pouring it’s female stars into yet another gratuitous slow-mo shot) it just wasn’t the desperate race against time that I feel really should have been.

But that would have required the film to actually to something that wasn’t an explosion, fight scene or car chase and as such had absolutely no chance of happening.

Which just means that after a while I got bored. I mean yes, there loads of practical effects which I liked but this film never found a reason for me to care about anything or anyone. Our villains never seem to pose a threat to the hero’s, there’s plot holes everywhere, and just for once I would like Ryan Reynolds to not play Deadpool. Because if he had donned his ladybird pajamas I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest. I know you can act mr. Reyonolds. I saw you in Buried and Woman in Gold so I know that you can act and that not doing so is making you a lot of money but it’s just so tired now.

Everyone else is fine. I didn’t dislike anyone because I didn’t know anyone enough to care which is a shame as developed they could have been really interesting. I mean you had the regretful hit-man, the spy with a past that she regrets, the new kid trying to settle in and the others that were there!

The trouble is though, I still have enough 18 year old left to enjoy this film.

A bit.

I liked all the practical effects, I Reynolds has charisma to burn and Bay knows how to shoot an action film. But that’s all this is. The ultimate Michael Bay action film and whilst he’s toned down his product placement that’s about all the changes he’s made. The plot still needs working on. He still needs to develop his characters, he needs to understand that action scenes are tense and exciting when you have the first clue whats going on, take a breath every now and then.

Because if there’s a 6 underground 2 then I’ll be watching it but somehow I expected more from Michael Bay does The Expendables.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to re-watch that time a morally complex villain was defeated by Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery.

My Score- Skip It

The Hitmans Bodyguard Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably have to say it again.

The United Kingdom has severe anti-gun laws. Whilst it is not impossible to acquire a firearm in London it would take you a long time to build up the trust required to be given access to a single pistol. Getting hold of enough rifles to launch a small coup? Not going to happen. There’s a reason that London’s gangs use knives and acid instead of guns.

Also, if your trying to get from the UK to Amsterdam in a very short time frame, maybe taking an 9 hour ferry ride isn’t the best idea? Even if you are getting a lift with a bunch of singing nuns.

But, if I started applying logic to this film then it’s going to fall apart completely. Because this film is a blast from start to finish, it’s a live action cartoon not meant to be taken seriously in any way shape or form. Could I sit here and pick hole after hole after hole in it?

Yes, yes I could. But why would I want to?

After months of CGI filled ‘blockbusters’ it’s so refreshing to see a film with actual stunts, actual explosions and a complete knowledge of the fact that it is what it is.

The plots very, very simple.   Ryan Reynolds has to get Samuel L. Jackson to the Hague so he can put Gary Oldman in prison for appearing in Robocop. But Oldman has unlimited access to people who flunked out of Stormtrooper academy for failing their marksmanship tests.

Well, either that or our two main characters are so indestructible that the bullets are hitting them and their just patching up faster than the human eye can see. Because after about 20 minutes I figured out that there was absolutely no danger in any of the fight scenes and from then on whilst I enjoyed the film it did get a slight downgrade.

Call me old fashioned but I like my heroes to have a chance of being killed when their being shot at by a million bullets. Because after a while it an start to get a little bit tedious. And the run-time could do with 15 minutes being chopped off as towards the end I was starting to feel slightly bludgeoned.

But Reynolds and Jackson have amazing chemistry and some of the best scenes are just them, sitting in a car throwing barbs at each other. And I wished that they were longer as they represented a chance for the headache I was starting to develop to start going away.

I would also like to recommend for a knighthood whichever genius decided to hire Salma Hayek for her role which is little more than a glorified cameo where she either sits in a cell hurling some very creative and funny abuse at anyone unlucky enough to wander into her eye-line or wrecking stuff up in a low-rent bar.

And  Élodie Yung is there as well. She gets a nice participation trophy as well as another thank you from me for giving me a break from the relentless action.

Look, this film is not some deep think piece on the human condition, it’s Shoot ‘Em Up blended with The Nice Guys and The Blues Brothers. The films plot twists  which it thinks are so amazing and unforeseen could all be predicted in the first ten minutes. But I mustn’t fall into the trap of over-intellectualising. This is just instantly disposable, artistically worthless, expertly crafted trash, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Just don’t take your mum, this film has Tarantino levels of swearing.

My Score- See It 

Deadpool Review

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Reynolds Ryan Reynolds
Karan Soni Karan Soni
Ed Skrein Ed Skrein
Michael Benyaer Michael Benyaer
Stefan Kapicic Stefan Kapicic
Colossus (voice)
Brianna Hildebrand Brianna Hildebrand

Plot- A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.

Review– Deadpool  is full of sex, graphic violence, and so much profanity that China has banned it, under the reasoning that the cuts needed to make “Deadpool” into a general audience picture would make it incomprehensible, and thus decided not to have the film in Chinese cinemas at all.

I loved it.

Its not perfect, I would have trimmed about ten minutes from the running time- probably from the slightly too long flashbacks that set up Deadpools Origin. Not every ‘pun’ is the comedy gold that the actors clearly think they are. And Marvel still cant make a decent villain.

A bigger budget would have been nice as well.

But for what this film was I adored it.

From the opening slo-mo shots, to a soundtrack that mixed rap, Ray Charles and Wham!, to the sheer number of lines that made me laugh (again, not a perfect hit rate) to the constant fourth wall breaks and to the fact that a lot of the actors were actually trying! (except for Ed Skrein who plays the villain, he simply tried my patience.) Ryan Reynolds can actually be a pretty solid actor when he tries (see Buried if you don’t believe me.) and here he’s trying his all. And its always lovely to see Morena Baccarin as a feisty character in her own right. (But no Firefly references? Really?)

At the end of the day, I really, really loved this film and can’t wait for the sequel.

My Score- See It