Jerry Maguire Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.
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It’s time to look at one of the oldest Tom Cruise films. This was back before he was climbing towers and taking down whole organizations in the MI series. It’s definitely very different from his other movies. This is a fun one but a film that also has its share of flaws. It’s time to look at a day in the life of Jerry.

Jerry is a great sports agent. He’s always been able to snag his athletes and get them to sign him on for the big money. Thing is, his company helps so many people that they don’t get quality face time with their agents. Jerry decides that things need to run a little differently around the office and releases a memo that they should treat the players better. He is quickly fired as a result and Jerry decides to start his own business in response. One girl from the office, Dorothy, decides to go with him. Can they succeed against such a big company?

The sports part of the film is definitely its strong suit. The montage of Jerry trying to contact a bunch of players was a lot of fun even if most of them wouldn’t come through for him. It’s so well done that you even don’t mind the rival who is definitely the antagonist here. The guy makes for a pretty solid villain overall. He has a lot of confidence and certainly a good amount of connections as well. Deciding to fire Jerry at a cafe was also a smart move to endure the lead wouldn’t fight back. It’s under handed for sure, but I’d expect nothing less from corporate.

Meanwhile Jerry is just a fun character to have in the lead as well. He is great at bluffing and acting confident even when that is certainly not the case at all. He certainly made a memorable exit when he was leaving the company and lived up to his own memo about giving his players a lot of face time. Jerry did his best to be fair. Where he falters is in the romance angle. He was already with someone prior to the film starting so you know that she is going to lose out to Dorothy. Usually the films either make the old flame super mean or super nice depending on if they want you to be sympathetic or not. In this case I think they were going for the former but it didn’t work. The lady was brutally honest at times but she was also dependable and just seemed like a solid character. She was also willing to make the relationship work but Jerry was adamant about them breaking up. Keep in mind that later on he talks about the exact opposite since he is apparently no quitter. It was hard to believe him by that point. At least she hit him with a nice combo before leaving.

As for the romance with Dorothy I naturally couldn’t go for it. Of course they couldn’t simply be professional co workers who were friends without taking it a step further right? It had to be a cliche romance. It’s unfortunate because it continues the narrative that you can’t stay friends in such a scenario. It also escalated quite quickly and the actual scenes take way too long. They drag and drag as they pull down the film’s score.

Then we have Dorothy’s kid who is super annoying. He is basically just around to get everyone in trouble and/or guilt trip them. He hangs up the phone on Jerry’s biggest client which turned out to be okay of course but if he client had taken offense and left that would have been it for Jerry’s career. Everything works out for the kid of course but he puts himself into a lot of bad situations so it’s hard to really feel bad for him. His emotional scenes also don’t work so basically any scene with him out the film to a halt.

Meanwhile with Dorothy herself she wasn’t a bad character but not a particularly good one either. On one hand I do appreciate the fact that she stuck up for Jerry by leaving with him even if it wasn’t the most financially responsible thing to do. She made a stand and stuck by it. She was supportive through the company’s tough start and put in the work. Then the romance set in and that was that.

Let’s talk about the best character here, the football player. He is very loud and always talking but the important thing is that he speaks his mind. No one ever has to guess what he is thinking because he will spell it out for you. He is trying to make sure he secures a good future for his family while at the same time working on his game so it’s tough. He is taking a gamble on Jerry the same way that Jerry is getting everything on him. Both characters have a mutual benefit here so naturally they stick together quite closely. Jim is a good friend to have and without him Jerry would have been doomed right from the start.

It was also nice to see the Cowboys dominating the competition in the climax as well. The movie quickly cuts away before the Cowboys steal the win to spare Cardinal fans the tragic flashbacks but from the scenes in screen you can probably tell that they seem to have the edge. The Cowboys were a very intense hard hitting team back then and didn’t lose many games.

Overall, This was a pretty fun film but the romance did hurt it quite a lot. Those scenes would be quite painful and take away from the really fun first half. Considering that this film was handling a lot of genres I’d say that it did pretty well. If it took out the romance drama and focused on the sport comedy part it would have been a lot better. As it stands I would still recommend checking the film out. It does feature the iconic Tom Cruise run near the end which I was starting to think actually would not make it.

Overall 5/10

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Mission Impossible: Fallout Review

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After re watching all of the Mission Impossible films I was definitely ready for the latest one. Seeing it in theaters is always a rush and it’s the perfect way to end the summer. It was always going to be a tough sell trying to top films 4 and 5 but if anyone could do it Mission Impossible could. Fallout is definitely a great film although ultimately I would probably go with the last 2.

The movie starts out with Ethan assembling a team to try and recover the three plutonium balls that the Apostles are planning to use to blow up chunks of the world. The plan goes pretty well but the villains do escape with 2 out of 3. Ethan now has one last chance to catch them before a catastrophe occurs but this won’t be easy since the CIA has decided to pull rank. They are adding Agent Walker to accompany Ethan and he will be around to complete the mission at any cost.

A pretty impressive part of the movie is how misleading the trailer was without making stuff up. Sure the Truck scene in the forest didn’t happen but beyond that everything else was on point, the scenes were just shuffled around quite a lot. Most of the scenes in the trailer happened early on in the film so the second half was basically brand new. Walker is a far different character than I imagined him to be. While he may not be quite as good as his trailer version he is still a solid character brought and through. More on him in a bit.

As expected the best fight scene is the bathroom one. The fact that this guy is able to put up such a good fight against both Ethan and Walker at the same time is incredibly impressive. Especially when you consider that he was easily beating both of them. This guy is easily the best fighter we’ve seen in the series and his fighting style was quite lethal as he kept hitting them in the neck. Walker is definitely luck that Ethan was around to protect him. Even besides the fight the scene was just pretty epic as the two leads walk in and start surrounding the villain.

As always the film has exceptional pacing as well. The film is very action packed and something is always happening. Ethan really gets a workout as he runs a marathon, gets in a car crash, helicopter crash, gets hit by a building, etc. He sustains quite a few injuries over the course of the movie so it’s good for him that he usually gets 2 years to recover before the next one. It is unfortunate that Ethan is always injured for the final fight so we can’t see him at his peak but I suppose that’s the point of the early fights anyway. Additionally the visuals are also really good here as we get a lot of great backdrops. Whether the heroes are in a building or outside everything just looks so colorful.
We also get the classic MI theme a few more times which is always hype. It’s just such a great theme and it works for pretty much any epic scene. As always I will give the film’s soundtrack a thumbs up. It definitely does not disappoint.

While the film was excellent it still had 2-3 things it could have done better. For starters, it does gonthe cliche route of squeezing in one f word just because the film can. It’s really forced and unnecessary. The other installments didn’t have to add in such a thing and neither did this one. It’s a relatively minor issue and hopefully they don’t bring it back for next time. The rest of the writing was quite sound as you would expect though with a lot of good planning everywhere.

The other area where I’d say the film dropped the ball is with Ethan’s wife from film 3. The films have been pretty vague with her character from that point, but we know that Ethan faked her death so she could finally be safe. This film goes further into that and basically the two can’t even see each other anymore. Sure, Ethan could easily put on a mask and meet with her like everyone else, but they’ve decided that this life was way too intense. So they split up and Julia quickly went on the rebound. I don’t have anything against the replacement husband. The guy seems nice enough and is a good sport, it’s just that this plot absolutely shouldn’t have happened.

It’s such a tragic twist for Ethan. He gets to keep putting himself in harm’s way to save the world and now he’s also lost the person he cared about forever. Sure, the film hints that he will go on the rebound as well, but I wouldn’t even call that a consolation since I’ve never been able to agree with the rebound train. I have to stress that the film doesn’t paint this in a tragic light. Both people moved on although Ethan still gets dreams where he regrets marrying her in the first place. I’d say that it’s still tragic though and it would have been best if Julia had simply not appeared to be honest.

I can’t say that I have any other negatives for the film, it was just a blast. It’s difficult to even say where the halfway point is because there are so many action scenes and moments that feel like the climax. Still, I dare say that the first half probably beats the second as it just had the most memorable scenes. Any scene with Hunt and Walker being forced to team up was pretty fun. Walker was always lagging behind Hunt but he made up for it with bravado. I also liked the scene where Ethan has to escort the broker out of the gala. It showed how talented Ethan is against the average crook as you may have had some second thoughts about that when he was getting wrecked in the bathroom. Don’t worry, he’s still one of the best agents in the business.

Ethan Hunt is as great as always so there isn’t much to say about him. He always makes the right choice like moving in to save Luther instead of worrying about the plutonium. He’s the kind of hero that you want on your side. I also really liked his boss in this film as well. The heroes should be glad that he moved to the IMF since he understands their cause and does his best to back them up. Even if he doesn’t totally understand what is going on he always defends the team. He also looked really good in the brief fight scene that he was in.

Walker is the big rival figure in the film and as mentioned he was a little different than I expected. He got a lot of hype for being Ethan’s equal and everything based on the trailer, but he spends the whole movie getting one upped at every corner. The film makes sure to let you know that Ethan’s still the best, but Walker is a tough fighter. It’d be fun to see him go up against Agent Brandt. Walker’s a fun character though and definitely one of the better ones in the series. His CIA boss was also decent, but she could get a little annoying. She never actually helped the heroes out and instead got in their way at every turn.

Luther and Benji are solid characters as always. Their roles are very similar throughout all of the films, but they are consistently solid. You can count on those two to back Ethan up. Ilsa also returns and she looks pretty good. Her motive is pure revenge and she acts as a wild card to both sides. At times she is shooting left and right at everyone so it’s hard to know if she can be trusted. She’s also a fairly good fighter as well. Assuming that she will now be a main character I think Ilsa will fit right in with the gang.

Solomon returns from the last film, but I can’t say that I am able to take him all that seriously. He can fight so don’t get me wrong there. It’s not as if he’s powerless or anything. It’s just that his voice isn’t so menacing and he does spend most of the film being tied up so there is that as well. He gets out shined by one of the other villains here, but the fact that he is Ethan’s smartest villain has not changed. He is usually one step ahead.

Overall, Fallout is a great Mission Impossible film and continues the series on the path of greatness. It was close to getting a 9 and just barely fell short. It has a ton of replay value and the fight scenes are top notch. They are easily some of the best in Hollywood right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as you can expect a film to get. Aside from Infinity War it’s probably film of the year. Hopefully we do get a 7th film at some point since as long as the film continues to deliver we should keep it going. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then you should fix that ASAP!

Overall 8/10

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol Review

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It’s time to look at the next installment in the Mission Impossible series. This one was the big return to greatness for the series and just brings together all of the good things into one package. The film starts out great and just continues on that path for the whole duration. It is certainly a little funny to see Tom Cruise’s name pop up 3 different times during the opening credits, but I guess they have to show that he is the main character here somehow. While it just barely gets edged out by film 5 for me the two are almost indistinguishable.

The film starts off with Ethan Hunt in prison as the IMF work to break him out. This also involves letting a bunch of prisoners free as well so you’ll probably feel bad for the guards who weren’t exactly prepared for this. The group lets Ethan know that someone is trying to steal a bunch of nuclear codes and is looking to end the world. Ethan quickly gets on board and the best way to find the villain is to break into the deal that Hendricks is having with professional assassin Sabine. Sabine knocked off the IMF agent who had the codes and she wants some diamonds for it. The heroes will take part in both meetings to confuse the two parties, but will the situation go as planned?

Plan A always fails in these kind of thrillers so you always want a plan B. Ethan is good at adapting on the fly at this point since he’s an old hand by now. He’s been on a ton of missions and does as well here as in the previous missions. He did a great job of following Hendricks through the sandstorm even if the villain got away in the end. His fights throughout the film were solid and you never feel like he is in over his head. You may wonder why he is back in the field permanently instead of retiring, but I’ll assume this was the price for the deal that he made with the IMF. Definitely not a very nice deal, but one that I wouldn’t put past them.

This is the first Mission Impossible film where the rest of the cast is really helpful as well though. Jane knows how to fight which is certainly good since she ends up fighting Sabine. Sabine didn’t do quite as well in that scuffle as I thought she would, but that speaks to Jane’s ability. Considering that her character may not return, she did a good job here. If I had one complaint about her plot it’s that naturally the team had to use her charms to get intel on the villains. It seems as if this is a curse that happens to all female agents at some point or another. Fortunately the scenes weren’t too long or drawn out as they would have been in a different film. Benji also gets a big role but as always he tends to cut everything very close. The heroes were nearly thwarted thanks to him. He’s a good comic relief character and I don’t mind him. It would be nice if Benji would eventually panic less and get used to the whole thing though.

Then we have William who is a new character and easily the best addition to the series. The mystery around him is enjoyable since the guy is a top notch fighter yet he’s kept in the background for desk work. I’d definitely volunteer for the latter though since the field agents keep dying left and right. William may be a little more by the book than the others which causes him to doubt their risky plans at times, but his heart is always in the right place. If he had decided to go against the heroes and sabotage everything then that would have destroyed his character. I don’t fault him for having doubts though.

The villains aren’t quite as memorable as some of the others, but they aren’t bad. It was nice to see an assassin get thrown into the mix because I imagine that they would be tough for the IMF to handle. You never know when they will pop up and they should have a good amount of skills as well. Sabine made for a fun antagonist. Then we have Hendricks who can’t really fight as well as any of the other villains, but he is dedicated to his cause. He certainly did everything he could to keep the case from Ethan even if it was all futile in the end.

As you’d expect from the series Mission Impossible is full of nonstop action. The characters are constantly running or driving around the place. It’s what makes the franchise so fun since there is rarely a dull moment. The only times the film slows down is when the heroes decide to discuss a plan or in this case for William to reveal memories from his past. The whole story behind Ethan’s plot and why he was locked up was pretty interesting. I’m glad there was a twist about that since it would have been needlessly tragic, but it’s certainly a story that would be very believable either way.

The soundtrack is nice and fast as well. While it’s not quite as rock solid as Mission Impossible II’s, it still has the classic tune and fitting themes for whatever scene is occurring. None of the themes will ever take you out of a theme and if the film gets quiet then it is certainly intentional. The movie doesn’t miss a beat and all of the technical aspects are on point. The special effects are solid and it’s nice to see how high tech the equipment gets during these films. I do feel bad for the masks though as they never seem to work anymore.

As mentioned earlier this film gives the complete IMF team more to do than the previous ones. While it is cool to see Ethan take out whole armies on his own, it does make sense that his teammates should be equally talented to be a part of such an outfit. Seeing everyone get to contribute is good and it never feels cheesy since their tasks fit their abilities. At the end of the day Ethan will still be performing his crazy stunts and engaging in a lot of fights so those aspects won’t change. Now he just has to share the spotlight a bit.

Overall, Ghost Protocol is a really fun film. It definitely won’t come as a surprise to you that the government is once again shutting the IMF down though. The group has had a tough time of keeping its organization free of traitors in the past so it could be a liability at times. Since they have to keep disavowing everyone as well it probably looks suspicious from the outside as well. It’s good that the group are so good at their jobs though. I highly recommend this film whether you are a fan of the franchise or are just looking for a solid action film. Between the great writing and the rapid pacing there is something here for everyone. I’m definitely looking forward to the new film that just came out!

Overall 8/10

Mission Impossible III Review

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It’s time to look at the end of the first trilogy. It was definitely not as consistent a trilogy as the current one is so far, but it was still a fun ride. This movie is basically right in the middle of the other two as it manages to start its comeback tour towards being the best, but still isn’t quite up there yet.

Ethan has finally left the IMF at least when it comes to active duty. He recruits cadets, but for the most part he’s on his own. Unfortunately John brings him back for a mission when one of their agents is captured. Ethan tries to save her, but the lady dies. This all seems to be related to some kind of big conspiracy so Ethan tries to bring in Owen, the mastermind behind this. The thing is, Ethan isn’t alone anymore, now he has a family which the villains can use to get the upper hand on him.

This one does have the weakest intro out of all the MI films though. The first film had an excellent mission that quickly got serious when the heroes all started getting bumped off. Mission Impossible 2’s had a cool mountain climbing segment although depending on how far you go for the first scene then it loses after all. I’m never big on interrogation scenes so of course this one wasn’t really an exception. It’s always an interesting choice to have the film start off near the end as well since it really gives away quite a lot of what is going to happen next. It starts the film off on a much grittier tone than the other two which clashes with the happy opening theme that plays afterwards.

It’s time for Family Trope 101, the wife gets kidnapped. It’s always a shame that it has to be this way, but when a hero or a big secret agent with enemies gets a family, things don’t tend to go well. The wife/kids are always taken and then the villains have some power over the hero. Up til this point Ethan has been untouchable because he doesn’t really have anyone he cared about. Yes, there’s Nyah from film 2 who was dumped off screen, but that’s slightly different as they specifically sent her to the villains.

Lets also not forget that so far the IMF always tends to have leaks everywhere. Once Ethan gets a family the villains are all going to know about it. Since he didn’t even tell her about any of this, she can’t even prepare herself for how this is going to play out. Ethan is also surrounded by agents who don’t seem to give it enough thought either as Luther yells out Ethan’s name in front of the villain. Sure, Owen would have gotten the name anyway, but why make it easier for him?

Of course, Julia is a good character though. She seems like a very nice person who is very supportive of Ethan. She chooses to trust him instead of creating drama about his secrets which is definitely really nice to see. She also looks good in the climax where she grabs a gun. As Ethan says, it’s just about pointing and shooting. So long as you’ve played a good amount of Call of Duty you should be fine. It’s just still an annoying trope when we have Julia captured.

Interestingly the film uses this as an excuse to basically skip the “Mission Impossible” stuff this time around. Ethan’s break-in of the hero base this time is completely off screen as we have the side characters chat a bit instead. I don’t really understand the thought process behind this since I imagine that most viewers came in for the fun planning right? Well, if not then I guess that may not be something too many people cared about, but it certainly stuck out to me.

It’s good to see that Ethan has advanced so far that he is now an instructor rather than in the field. He’s definitely a solid character here and still hasn’t lost his skills. He does a good job of fighting off everyone here and always keeping the upper hand when hostages aren’t involved. The climax fight can be a little annoying since he takes quite a beating due to the bomb in his head but at least he adapted by the very end of it. I can definitely see why he is ready to go on a honey moon instead of another mission.

Owen is the next villain of the series and he wants to be rich! The guy thrives on plot convenience and the moles having every possible edge on the heroes. Ethan should have shot him down before running out of ammo if you ask me. Owen definitely likes making sure to destroy as many followers as possible. He’s pretty generic as far as villains go, but I suppose I’ll give him some credit for actually being able to fight.

John is one of the big characters from the IMF and he’s a fun boss. While he is a very layered character where you can’t take his words at face value, he can be handy at times. No matter what his end goal was, it would have been curtains for Ethan without his help. He always tries to talk back to his overconfident boss even if it doesn’t always end very well. Points for effort right?

Luther is still around and he is still the expert on all things I.T. He has a squad at the ready as well with several other characters. None of them seem to be very important though so I wouldn’t count on them returning. They’re all okay, but the movie never bothers to give them any character. They all end up missing the climax as well which speaks volumes. At least Luther spends the whole movie trying to give Ethan a bunch of advice even if the lead doesn’t really pay it any mind.

The soundtrack is still pretty solid even if the remix isn’t quite as inspired as the second film’s. It’s all still pretty action packed and the main theme is already good so the remix would have to be downright bad to make it sound poor. There’s not much to say about the effects in particular here as it all looks pretty sharp. The films pick really good backdrops to have the scenes in.

Overall, Mission Impossible III is definitely an improvement over the last one. It does forget the actual espionage part of the film quite a bit, but it’s still an interesting film from start to finish. The film could get a little dark like with the opening scene’s interrogation which pops up again near the end, but it doesn’t get as dark as you may fear. The film also has a happy ending for Ethan which they always do, but this one certainly feels very final. It would have been a reasonable way for the series to conclude although of course I’m happy that it ended up continuing since the next 2 films would be really good. I’d recommend checking this film out if you’re in the mood for a good action story. This film’s the complete package.

Overall 6/10

Mission Impossible 2 Review

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It’s time to look at the next Mission Impossible film. Unfortunately this is the weak link of the series as it lost its way and became your average James Bond film. No worries it’s still classier than that series but even going to that level at all is unfortunate. I suppose it would probably have been tough to follow up such a strong first film in general though.

The film starts with Ethan climbing a mountain as part of his vacation. Unfortunately the government finds him and tells Ethan that they have a new mission for him. Someone has stolen a bunch of military items and is planning to do something big. Ethan has to recruit a thief to help him break into the villain’s lair. After he brings her to the team the IMF reveals that they actually just need Nyah because she is the villain’s ex and she will be in change of recovering the documents. Ethan isn’t thrilled about this but because he has lost his edge in his film he agrees to his corrupt plan. Too bad it was super obvious and the villain knew from the start. Can Ethan find a way to turn the tables?

This film went south right away so let’s talk about the negatives. For starters the film really focuses on the 007 angle as I mentioned with Ethan quickly going past the friend zone with a lady he has only known for about an hour. Seems a little out of character if you ask me. Then Nyah is ordered to use her charms on the villain as well and is stuck with him for a very long time while the heroes twiddle their thumbs. The IMF makes it clear that she is expendable and up til now they had at least been portrayed as relatively heroic. Too bad they turned out to be just as villainous eh? It really comes out of left field because up til now they had been reasonable. (One film, but still) Mission Impossible cycles through the bosses very quickly as they change in almost every film. It makes sense because the bosses tend to be evil or at least someone inside is a mole. I think they should all be checked a little more thoroughly at this point. Back to the film though. The whole situation is too bad because Nyah seemed like a reasonable character but the film completely dropped the ball with her. Most of her screen time ends up just being completely unnecessary fanservice. That’s basically the entirety of her first scene despite it being a way to supposedly show you how skilled she is. This doesn’t change throughout the film.

Then we have the constant slow-mo scenes and zoom ins. These scenes don’t add anything to the film and if anything they are just distracting the whole time. If you’re going to use those techniques then use them wisely at select moments to really make the experience more memorable. If you start using this everywhere then it loses the point. Almost every time it was used incorrectly and so this film easily has the worst camera work. We get some decent cuts like Ethan walking through the fire, but on the whole it just dropped the ball as well.

Due to the terrible plot even the characters suffered. As I mentioned, Ethan doesn’t look good here since he was on board with this plan. Naturally he talks tough about how he doesn’t support it, but that doesn’t mean anything if he’ll allow it to happen anyway. He also has a lot more trouble with all of the villains here than usual as his attacks just don’t seem to have their normal weight behind them. It takes him probably around 30 hits to take out his final opponent. While this was most likely just a cinematic excuse so we could see him pull off those moves, it’s still something that you can’t help but notice. Ethan gets the job done, but he’s a shell of his former self.

I’ve already discussed Nyah quite a bit so there is not much more to say about her. Good concept for the character, but the execution just wasn’t there. Luther is still a fun ally like in the first film. In comparison he doesn’t get a whole lot to do here but he’s around as always to help out. He is probably the only guy that Ethan can really trust so if I was the lead I’d definitely do my best to keep that guy out of harms way.

Then we have the main villain Ambrose who is pretty generic. At the end of the day he’s just a normal guy who sad that he got rejected by Nyah and doesn’t take it too well. The film does its best to show us what a mean fellow he is by giving us several scenes of him making life miserable for everyone. The scene where he clips someone was definitely a bit much though and the kind of scene that the film should skip. Ambrose always comes across as more petty than likable. Even when he comes up with a counter plan to Ethan’s which was actually handled well, it’s too late for him to really rank with the better cinematic villains.

As far as the positives go, the film’s pacing is air tight as usual. While it does slow down a bit for the romance scenes, they don’t pop up enough to really derail the film. For the most part there is always something happening here and we do get many fight scenes. There’s even a prolonged motorcycle chase scene at one point where we see Ethan take on quite a few fighters at once. This might be the best moment to quickly point out that Ethan’s hair style did not age well here at all though. It’s just really bad tbh, but it could have been worse. Back on topic, the fight scenes are solid. The film is definitely going for a slower, more martial arts type approach than Ethan’s usual quick barrage style. It works pretty well.

The soundtrack is still good as well. I really enjoyed the opening theme remix when the film’s opening scene concluded. It’s more rock based which is always a good thing and gets you pumped for the film. In general the soundtrack is very high energy and it works well for this film since that’s the approach that the movie was going for as well.

Overall, It’s just a shame that this film wasn’t better than it was. It just lost focus as to what makes the series so great. It tried to add a lot of extra gusto to the series which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it targeted all of the wrong demographics here. The series doesn’t need to be edgy or have Ethan Hunt be over the top suave as he gets everyone to fall for him. What made the first film great was the writing and the interesting plot. This one basically ditches all of that. Considering that this film is basically the definition of filler as nothing of importance happens here, you’re probably better off jumping from the first film to the third one and bypassing this entirely. It’ll keep the series in a positive light for you.

Overall 4/10

Mission Impossible Review

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It’s time to take a look at the classic Mission Impossible films. First up is the original one of course. This started the long streak of success for the films and holds up quite well. It’s still a great action film with tight pacing and good writing. It also has the most memorable “Impossible Mission” set up with the heroes trying to break into the room that has so many different sensors.

The film starts with Ethan Hunt and his team heading into a big gala event to stop someone from stealing a list with the names of every operative who is in the field. Unfortunately it seems like the villains were waiting for them as all of Ethan’s friends are murdered one by one. Ethan is now suspected of being a traitor to the cause so he goes dark. Ethan realizes that he will have to infiltrate the villains circle of trust in order to find the guy who framed him. It seems like he will be alone in this mission but Claire shows up later and says that she managed to get out of the car before it blew up. That’s suspicious but Ethan has bigger things to worry about like revenge. He hires two former operatives to help him and the team prepares for their mission.

One of the big ironies here is that to gain the trust of the villains Ethan Hunt actually ends up breaking into the CIA himself to steal the very list he had been trying to defend earlier. Talk about a full reversal of roles here right? It reminds me of how annoying it always is to see the villains pull off a heist like this in films like White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen and naturally you don’t feel the same way when the heroes do it. It just goes to show how important the roles are here although the guards should have known better than to allow the firemen inside. Seems like a very suspicious setup…at least follow them right?

The main Impossible theme is catchy as always. It’s a tune that is easily remembered and has become very iconic over the years. It shows up multiple times here and even gets a remix at the end. Whenever music pops up here it is definitely fitting, but of course this was the highlight. Mission Impossible also has a lot of great visuals in the film like when the explosion propels Hunt onto the train or when he escapes from the restaurant with water exploding behind him. It could easily pass for a 2010 era film.

Ethan is pretty much the ideal main character. He’s a great field commander who always gets the job done. Even when everyone else is getting bumped off he tries to get in on the action to try and at least save someone. It doesn’t quite work out so well though. Then he quickly gathers his wits and moves in to find the real culprit. Unlike many other leads who freeze or start to panic when things go wrong, Ethan never has a moment of weakness like that. Even when he was talking to the CIA commander early on he immediately realized that something was off. It was the same when someone showed up from the grave trying to plead that he was innocent. Most main characters actually buy this for a moment but Ethan didn’t even entertain the notion. He’s certainly not perfect as he doesn’t see through another deception as quickly as he should have. He let his emotions get the better of him there which was unfortunate, but for the most part he made no mistakes. I also liked the masks he wore in this film as I forgot he used to do that.

Claire is the main heroine. She somehow managed to survive the initial sabotage which was certainly nice I suppose. Her character goes through a route that is a little predictable nowadays, but certainly much less so when this film originally came out. She’s a reasonable character I suppose, but one that can seem a bit sketchy at times. Her husband was murdered so you’d think that she would keep her distance from Ethan a little more of give him the cold shoulder. We have to keep this professional right?

Jim was Ethan’s boss before he was murdered. It’s easy to see why he typically wouldn’t be a field agent since the guy is just so old. The moment someone started tailing him you knew that the guy was doomed. He’s a bit of a generic character, but a reasonably good one I guess. He certainly enjoys living in fancy hotels but claims that he hasn’t lost his edge. I wonder about that, but the bosses in these kinds of films don’t typically end up doing all that well.

Luther is one of the two agents that Ethan hires to help him out on this mission. He’s definitely very well equipped to handle the data hacking and I can see why he became a fan favorite character by the end. He’s pretty confident and also has his morals unlike the other guy. Luther wasn’t going to let the villains actually leak out the codenames while Franz didn’t really care. Franz is the more annoying agent who isn’t always great at his job and only cares about the money. He even comes close to actually murdering someone. You’re definitely not meant to root for this guy.

One character who is an antagonist here, but still a fun character is Kittridge. Of course he isn’t correct in his hunch that Ethan is the mole, but at least the guy is trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. He’s fairly intelligent and comes up with a good plan to try and lure Ethan out. He’s also at the ready when he notices suspicious activity during the climax. Cutting a deal at the end may have been morally dubious, but it did seem like the villains would get away otherwise. He’s not exactly a hero, but he’s a very interesting character and a guy who is quite good at his job. If he wasn’t up against Ethan then he may have had a shot here.

Overall, This film was definitely a lot of fun. It’s probably got the biggest stealth aspect to it compared to the sequels as they became a lot more action oriented. Here we even get a lot of mystery aspects as players keep changing sides and you don’t know who to trust. The mystery angle is played quite well and the writing is always engaging. If you haven’t watched this film yet then now is the perfect time to do so since the new film is coming out soon. You’ll want to see for yourself why this is considered the best secret agent film series at the moment.

Overall 8/10

The Mummy (2017) Review

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It’s time for the first film in the Dark Universe cinematic universe. Unfortunately it starts off with a complete flop. Mummy hits all of the wrong notes throughout the film and negates whatever presence and intensity it may have had. I can respect its reliance on jump scares as it has well over a dozen of them, but none of these moments were actually effective and it just goes to show that relying on horror tropes won’t get the job done. It’s also unsure whether it’s an action or horror film which adds to the confusion. Ah well, this isn’t one for the history books and you should stick to the last Mummy series.

The film’s about a thief named Nick who releases Princess Ahmanet from her prison. He doesn’t believe in Egyptian curses or anything like that and just saw it as a way to get rich very quickly. Unfortunately, this leads Ahmanet to pick him as her chosen vessel who will be possessed by Set and help her rule the world. Nick’s partner is destroyed in the process and becomes a ghost who blames Nick for his death and loses his mind half the time. Seriously, the guy can never decide whether he wants to be friends with Nick again or just destroy the guy. Meanwhile, an archaeologist named Jenny is in danger since Ahmanet doesn’t want Nick to have any friends who could become rivals. Can this human take on the Mummy? There’s also an Illuminati led by Henry that specializes in destroying supernatural forces. Hopefully they can help out a bit…if they’re not evil or super shady.

This movie has a long list of problems so lets start going through them. One of the biggest problems is..you guessed it…animal violence. I had to shake my head here since we start with Crows being tied down and end with masses of them being forced to suicide by the Mummy. I don’t think these scenes added to the movie and were just here as shock value. It’s a shame that it already started the film out on the wrong note, but things continued from there.

Ahmanet’s main attack is that she’ll kiss people to death. Is this what the Mummy has been reduced too? See, this is the problem that Hollywood keeps making. Why does the female Mummy have to attack this way instead of through sand attacks like every other Mummy? She also happens to be a very weak Mummy as she loses to a few stun guns and a net towards the middle. In the climax, she goes down in one hit. Did I mention that the climax is very anticlimactic and there is no actual fight? It’s a shame since the film hinted there was going to be a cool fight with super speed and epic effects but no, the kiss of death was activated. Ah man, a certain action hero better not keep that as his main attack. That’ll be brutal.

Ahmanet’s not a bad character, but she really wasn’t used well. I’m honestly not a big fan of the design myself as I’d prefer a normal look, but that she has the ability to turn to sand at will. Think Sandman or Crocodile. (One Piece) Her sand abilities were fun though so I wish she had gotten to use them more. She’s a total villain despite the film practically begging you to root for her at times. There just aren’t any real heroes in this film.

Another issue I had is that the Illuminati is clearly evil. I expected the movie to go this route, but they went as far as possible with them deciding to punish Ahmanet with a living, very long drawn out process of mummification. Basically they’ll fill her with mercury which sounds like a pretty painful way to die. Henry is also insane as the leader and the film doesn’t hide this at all so I may as well say that he’s the famous Mr. Hyde. If he doesn’t have his drugs constantly, he gains very mild super strength and poorly handled effects. It reminded me of an old film I saw a while back where the main character’s hair changed for when he’s evil. It’s very similar and poorly handled as well. Henry is the worst character in the series. If you have to choose between an evil organization or an evil Mummy, it’s probably best to just choose yourself and fight everybody. I’m on Team Cruise in this case.

The Mummy also couldn’t resist throwing in some poorly handled romance and dialogue. The banter between Nick and Jenny is painfully bad and played out. It’s all dialogue that we’ve seen before and doesn’t add anything to the film. We don’t need to see Ahmanet constantly throwing off her robe or stripping just to make deals or give people dreams of the future. We don’t need the same flashback a million times of her about to stab someone and then get stabbed herself. Murdering the baby once was enough, we don’t need to repeat that. All of the repetition just made each scene worse and worse as if they weren’t poorly handled enough the first time. We should stray away from child violence and baby violence as it is. No need for any of that here. So, to get this straight, Ahmanet was used for romance and fanservice a lot and was fairly weak for a Mummy. Like I said, the character wasn’t used well at all.

Then there’s Nick. He’s not very heroic as he was close to ditching Jenny a few times and he did steal from her after their hotel fling. Nick also decided that riches were more important than stopping the rebels or investigating the area like he was supposed too. Don’t worry though, Jenny tells us that he is a good man at heart so we’re supposed to believe that. His personality was also a little intriguing as he had the classic Cruise wit and fast talk down like you’d expect, but then he’d also get shaken a little easier. His conversation with Henry was just weird in that sense as he started stammering a lot like “Cure me right Doc? I I I’m ready….cure. You’re gonna cure me? Right? Lets do it. Lets do it Doc. Doc?” The lines were just really weird and scrambled during that scene and I thought it was because Set was starting to control him or something, but we learn that he had no influence until Nick was stabbed so…it was just random.

I didn’t care much for Jenny either. She wasn’t much of a fighter and her lines of “Get him off me” when the zombie broke into the car just illustrated that she wasn’t going to do anything about it. It was Nick’s job to get them away and she only “helped” by kicking him in the face for it. She sold Nick out to the evil organization as well and just never became likable. I actually preferred Nick’s partner which is saying something since his whole role was to panic constantly until he died. He was also odd to me as I mentioned before. He seemed to lose his mind when he tried destroying everybody but then he got it back. Somehow he kept his free will I guess after he had settled down, but why? Everyone else was a crazy servant and then he almost got Nick run over by a car. Nick just shouldn’t trust this guy, but it seems like he’ll be sticking around for the long haul….great.

This is a modern movie, but it doesn’t really have a modern soundtrack. There’s not much to it this time so the film fails on that account. The scenery isn’t bad when the characters are in the city. I do like cities for action films like this one and the underwater caverns weren’t bad either. The desert scenes hold it back to an extent though along with the flashbacks. Not to keep grating on this point, but 3 random guards were able to hold the Mummy down after she was given her powers? I dunno about that. Maybe the powers hadn’t sunk in yet, but I would have expected her to win that round.

That’s not to say there were no positives to be found here. The film is reasonably fun. Fun doesn’t go a long way when it comes to the score, but I don’t think you’ll really be bored. Something is usually happening at the very least. While the chase scenes aren’t very inspired, you do get to see Nick take down a bunch of zombies. There are some fun parody moments as well like when Nick tries to approach the Mummy and gets slapped or punched through a few walls. People got a chuckle out of it the first time. The film made sure to use that scene a few more times, but it was met with deafening silence on the re runs. Usually you don’t want to re use a joke more than once. It was good that the film showed the Mummy had super strength…it’s just too bad that it vanished when it counted. I am glad that the film didn’t cop out though and the Mummy had the edge over Jenny. I would have had a hard time believing that she could last very long against the Mummy at all.

Finally, I have to take another shot at Henry’s plan. His big plan…is to give Nick unlimited power and then destroy him before he takes them down. That’s such a flawed plan that it hurts. The instant Nick gets those powers, he could probably use super speed to get away or just activate some mystical ability to blow them all away. It just seems to risky, wouldn’t the better plan be to just destroy the jewel? It’s apparently very delicate as a quick bump can break it. There’s not much that the Mummy or Nick could do without it so that’s the optimal plan. No risk and the day is saved. That’s why if Henry is supposed to be this world’s Nick Fury, then we’re doomed. He’s just not all that intelligent.

Overall, I’m a little worried about the Dark Universe. The premise of it still has a lot of potential. Nick should play a big role and that should be interesting as he is a charismatic guy. That being said, most of the monsters haven’t aged well. I can’t imagine the Werewolf, Frankenstein, or Dracula even being all that interesting. Maybe the films can change my mind but based on how they handled this one, that could be a long shot at best. You should definitely skip this film and stay far, far away. It’s just not a good movie.

Overall 3/10

Legend Review

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It’s time for an old Tom Cruise film. Unfortunately, this is easily his worst and you know that a film is going to be dicey when he isn’t at least an entertaining character. How do you get Tom Cruise wrong? This film is old so it couldn’t have taken notes from Jack Reacher or Mission Impossible, but even so….I don’t know what they were thinking. This is a fantasy film that takes the fun right out of itself and instead plays out like a very low budget drama. Stay away…stay far away!

The plot starts off with Lily going to see Jack. Jack is a wild man who lives among the trees and wilderness like Tarzan. He can talk as we see later in the film, but acts like he cannot. He has virtually 0 listening comprehension and just gazes on with his mouth open for the entirety of the film. He warns Lily that she should pet the Unicorns or bad things might happen. She laughs and pets them, not realizing that as she distracts them, the villains shoot one with a poison dart. The villains take away the Unicorn’s horn, which basically stops time and bring about a snowy end for them all. Jack must stop the incarnation of darkness now before it’s too late.

The story isn’t half bad, but the execution is absolutely terrible. Again, I can’t stress enough just how bad Jack was. He’s one of the worst main characters out there when we only count ones that technically should not be bad. It’s not as if he’s a bully, villain, flirt, or anything like that. It’s just that his Tarzan imitation is taken way too far and it didn’t add anything to the film. Whatever the writers were going for simply didn’t work. It made him very unlikable and he also lost all of his charisma. Considering that Jack is the main focus of the journey, this didn’t bode well for the film.

Lily was also not a likable character. Not only did she disobey Jack’s instructions intentionally, but she just didn’t seem to care. Tossing the ring into the ocean just to see if Jack could get it wasn’t her best move either. While Lily did good in freeing the Unicorn, any seen with her and Darkness was pretty painful. Her lack of will power was certainly exposed here and it didn’t do wonders for the villain’s credibility. He had a pretty nice shadow cloak I suppose. Darkness had a great design, but the actual character could not live up to it. Not only is he too infatuated with romance over actually taking over the world, but you never really get what his goals are. I suppose he just wants to make the world a dark place, but that’s not a goal that you can easily get behind. He’s just there to be the villain, but never does all that much more.

There are other side characters, but they’re all pretty bad. You’ve got Oona the fairy, but she’s pretty annoying. Her only big moment in the film is when she tries to use her illusion magic to get together with Jack, but this luckily failed and she just flew away. There were a bunch of trolls and elves as well, but they didn’t add much to the story. The problem is that this film wanted to be a fun little fantasy adventure that would get a cult following at some point and revisits for years, but this just didn’t happen.

The film hasn’t aged well at all and ends up feeling very dated. It looked old right from the start and I didn’t even have to wait to see the effect. The scenery just looks so bad and while the snow is always fun, the film felt more like an 80’s film than a 90’s one when is comes to effects. If only it could have had the 80’s strong writing and charisma. That would have definitely gone far to help this title out. There just isn’t all that much to say about the film when it comes to positives. There isn’t really anything that the film does right and it only doesn’t get a lower score because it didn’t do anything super wrong that would warrant such a verdict.

Unfortunately, time will only make this film appear to be worse and worse. Some titles only grow stronger as your nostalgia goggles form and your old experiences of watching the film cement it as a legend. Others have the reverse effect. I have a feeling that I’ll still dislike this film just as much in 5 years and maybe more so since I’ll have no positive associations with it. What the film needs to do in order to save itself is get a reboot. Maybe it can’t save the 80’s adaption, but a 2020 remake with updated graphics and a complete script overhaul could change things quite a lot. As I said earlier, it’s not so much the plot that is the problem here, but everything else.

Overall, Legend is one of those films that you can definitely live without. Seeing Tom Cruise in one of his younger roles may make you want to see this film so that you can see if he was always a great actor, but it’s not worth it. It’s better to just keep on wondering if maybe he had a bad film back in the day, than to watch it and dispel any doubt that you had. I doubt that anyone involved with this film ever looked back and decided that it was a great film. It’s just boring and with no likable characters, that’s just not going to end well. If you want a pretty solid film with a lot of adventure and action, check out Final Fantasy: Advent Children. That one’s the ticket!

Overall 3/10

Jack Reacher Never Go Back Review

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It’s time to take a look at the recent Jack Reacher film. Critics have not been very kind to it and neither has the box office. While Reacher may be a tad generic, it does a good job of hitting the tropes in a way that does them justice. I’ve always said that reusing an old plot is not a bad thing so long as it is executed well. The film does a good job and in the end that’s all that matters. Naturally, it does have its pitfalls though.

Jack is enjoying his retirement from the government. He is a free agent now, which means that he can tour the country and just stop crimes whenever he feels like it. It’s going fairly well, but then learns that one of his friends has been framed and is probably going to b murdered very soon. Jack breaks her out and the two of them must now find the real villains and take them to justice before things get out of hand. Does Jack still have what it takes?

The size of the cast is actually pretty small for a thriller. Although, I suppose thrillers have small casts in general. Jack makes for a great lead and he reminds me a lot of Kirito from Sword Art Online. Jack is an expert fighter and he seems to be good at just about everything. Even his rare moments where it seems like someone has gotten the better of him are suspect as you may just think that he was pretending. Either way, get ready to see Jack just knock everyone out. He spends a great deal of the film just knocking out every villain that comes his way. I dare say that he may look more impressive than Bourne did in the latest film since Reacher never really takes a loss. The only time that he was basically defeated is suspect since Susan distracted him. Had it been a 1 on 1 fight, I like to think that Jack would have claimed victory.

Susan is the main heroine and she’s a good character for the most part. The only time where she was a bit grating is when she gets upset at Jack for deciding that he should go fight the villains on his own. Jack has a point since leaving Samantha by herself wouldn’t be wise and if they’re being honest, Jack’s a better fighter than Susan. I don’t think she would have been able to have taken down all of those fighters on her own. She’s skilled, but there are very few individuals who can pull off what he did. When they did leave Samantha on her own later on in the film, it did not end well. Still, for the most part Susan is good aside from that scene. She performs well in the fights and is fairly quick on the uptake.

Finally, we’ve got Samantha. She’s definitely the biggest limiter for Jack since she doesn’t know the first thing about spies and apparently doesn’t watch many movies. How else can we explain the fact that she didn’t know phones could be traced? It was pretty odd since that is basically common sense at this point. They also warned her repeatedly, but Samantha made the mistake anyway. It was almost hard to believe since she is supposed to be the street savvy character. She gets her big moment towards the end of course, but her character is only good for the Jack Reacher banter. Beyond that, the film didn’t really need her.

As you’d expect, one of the main positives in the film are the fun fight scenes. They’re very stylized and flow smoothly from scene to scene. Jack really doesn’t have a lot of competition in the fights so they’re one sided, but are still fun. The pacing is fast and the film never drags on. A lot gets to happen during the 2 hours. The villains don’t get a lot of development, but they’re the villains so it doesn’t make much of a difference. They want to stop Jack and that’s basically all that you really need to know. The main hunter was decently tough and he talked a good game, but Jack was always one step ahead. I may have said this a few times now, but seriously, there wouldn’t have been much of a movie if Jack’s partners weren’t around. He would have run rings around the villains if he didn’t have to stop and help his teammates from time to time.

There’s one interrogation scene in the film by the villain, but most of the violence is implied instead of shown. That’s definitely a good thing although I’m still not really a fan of torture showing up at all. The film did its best to make it as nerfed as possible so that helped quite a bit. The film was very tame with the violence and it also managed to avoid any random one night stands and romance plots the whole time. There is some mild flirting, but that’s about it. Never Go Back did a good job of avoiding the obvious land mines like animal violence and other such stuff. There is definitely a bit of language here, but certainly nothing too iffy or maybe it’s less noticeable since you’re more engaged to the film than usual.

I didn’t care all that much for the ending though. I can’t say much without spoilers of course, but I feel like someone could be in a potentially dangerous position. Sure, the villains have all died or been kidnapped by this point, but all it takes is one more guy to really make things tricky again. That’s about all I can say on that. There isn’t any big after credits scene for this film so once it is done, you can just walk out of the theater.

Overall, Jack Reacher Never Go Back is a real solid film. I’m tempted to say that it beats the original, but it has been quite a while since I saw that one. Reacher’s portrayal in particular is quite awesome and more exaggerated than you’d expect. Reacher just takes names the whole time and he’s one of those guys who really fears nobody. It’s a good level of confidence to have. What is lacks in originality, Jack Reacher makes up for in quality. It was a real close shave when deciding if this film should be an 8 or a 7. On one hand, there really aren’t very many negatives here at all. On the other hand, it just felt like the film was lacking something in order to take that plunge to the next level. I guess it’s slightly closer to an 8 so that’s what it’ll get, but this film is right on the edge. Either way, I definitely recommend it.

Overall 8/10

Collateral Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film and all thoughts below should be addressed as such. A review of the unedited version would be more negative and may have a different score
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It’s time for an action film where Tom Cruise is actually the main villain. It’s definitely an interesting switch to see him play the antagonist and it is handled very well. Typically, you’d expect the film to purposefully make the character as evil as possible to show us that the actor can handle different roles, but Collateral allows Cruise to still play himself…he’s just on the side of evil this time. Collateral certainly destroyed my expectations and proved itself to be a great film. I dare say that it may just make my top 5 non franchise films when it comes to live action. It would lose to The One, but that’s pretty much all that comes to mind and it’s been a while since I saw that film so…who knows.

Max is a cab driver who one day wants to open his own business. Working as a cabbie is just something that he is doing to earn some money first. Unfortunately, his plans are thrown for a loop when he ends up carrying a dangerous assassin by the name of Vincent. After being tricked into driving Vincent to his first target, Max quickly realizes that there is no easy way out of the situation. If he tries to leave, he’ll die along with his mother and anyone else that he knows. His only chance is to take Vincent out, but Vincent seems to be a complete pro at anything relating to violence. Can Max make a move before Vincent targets someone that he knows?

From the start of the film it is shown that Max is a nice guy. He’s the kind of cab driver who will have fun holding a discussion with the passenger and ensure that he gets you to your destination as soon as possible even if that isn’t economically preferable to him. Max helps a prosecutor out with some advice and also visits his sick mother regularly. He’s not used to violence and panics quite a bit once Vincent shows up. The situation is handled fairly realistically as well as there isn’t a whole lot that Max can do to escape. His best bet would have been running as soon as they hit the second target. Max halfheartedly tried, but that was it for him. Vincent took more extreme measures to ensure that the driver wouldn’t get away. Max stepped up when it counted though and the whole time he did his best to put a dent in Vincent’s plans. The film did a good job of not making it cheesy when Max started to actually resist more and more.

Vincent’s easily the standout character here though. He has the confident personality that most of Cruise’s characters possess. Vincent is great in a hand to hand fight and a crackshot with his gun. He takes out normal joes and professional gangsters alike. One of his best scenes is when he walks into a night show and takes out multiple gangsters, cops, and random joes. Vincent is just very good at his job to the point where he is typically very relaxed. He makes jokes and quips and even tries to give Max some life advice. The film still makes you wonder how serious he is about this though. On one hand, it is hinted that Vincent was always going to destroy Max once he finished off his targets as a similar case happened in the past. On the other hand, he does say that he will let Max go and acts like your average protagonist at times. Personally, I believe the former. I think it’s all just a big act and he’s a lot more cruel than he lets on. Vincent is just really good at keeping the mask on at all times. After all, who says that a villain can’t have a sense of humor and a positive disposition? If anything, it helps Vincent blend into the crowd more.

Annie is the prosecutor that Max helps out at the very beginning of the film. Naturally, the film wouldn’t have had her appear if she wasn’t going to return right? Initially, I was expecting a very different film. I thought she had appeared because Vincent was going to escape or die and then Max would be framed for serial murder. Annie would then help him out in court. Instead, the film goes in a very different direction and one that is just as effective. The writers also did a great job in avoiding the cliched romance between her and Max. Instead, they acted as competent partners in the end. If I had a minor gripe, it’s that the incident shook Annie up a little too much. Of course, who knows how I would act in a similar situation. It’s an extremely minor nitpick and Annie’s still a good character. Ironically if Max had followed her lead, the heroes would have made it out of the climax a lot sooner.

Ray is a police officer who talks a good game and acts like he is going to be a major player in the film. The writers certainly had a lot of fun with him and the way that his plot plays out is perfect. Seriously, Collateral had a fun time destroying the usual cliches and giving out red herrings. Ray’s definitely a likable guy and his role was direct and to the point. There were a few other cop characters who showed up, but they were mostly just bit roles to give Vincent someone to shoot. Ray was the only one who really felt like a full fledged character.

The film had a good amount of night scenes. The camera settings were definitely solid though as it was never hard to see what was happening. The only scenes that were fairly dark were typically for suspense reasons. For example, Vincent looked as if he was Wesker from Resident Evil at times with his dark shades and mysterious attire. I’d say that he probably draws quite a lot of attention that way, but maybe it’s one of those “So obvious, nobody would ever suspect” kind of things. I can roll with that.

I don’t really remember the film having much of a soundtrack. Whatever tunes were there fit well with the scenes though as I definitely don’t remember any moments where I would need to shake my head. The violence in the film never gets too gruesome. People are shot and they die, but it never goes out of its way to be all that graphic. It may be thanks to the TV version, but regardless, I’ll chalk that up as a positive here. Restraint is always a good thing for an action thriller.

Collateral moves at a great pace and is anything but dull. As I mentioned earlier, it’s easily one of the best thrillers. You can feel the tension whenever Vincent is around and especially after he subtly threatens Max’s mom. That’s when things get a little more serious for Max. The film’s action scenes are great, which almost goes without saying. The gun fights are handled well and it makes you wish we could have a Bourne vs Vincent match someday. I think Vincent would actually have the edge in a gun fight although Bourne could win a fist fight.

Overall, Collateral is a great movie. There is almost nothing negative to say about it. The characters are all likable for a change and the fight scenes are great. If you’re looking for a good action film, then this is definitely the one for you. I don’t know why it isn’t more popular, but maybe it’ll eventually be known as an obscure classic. The ending has some mild plot hax, but don’t most thrillers? You can also make the case that someone’s heart wasn’t in it by the end. The film gives you a lot to think about so it’s fun to come up with your own deductions.

Overall 8/10