Monday, August 21, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Director Patrick Hughes’ The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a wonderfully inventive and irreverent odd-couple thriller in which a failed protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is given a chance to revive his reputation by getting a hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) to the International Court in The Hague in time to testify against a ruthless dictator (Gary Oldman).
If you can handle the language and love violent (but, often, humorous) action, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this film.
I couldn’t help thinking that this film represents a way of bridging the gap between Trumpians (minus the rat-boys) and humans (minus the girlie-boys), as it plays across the political spectrum. 

The women, too, are strongly represented with Elodie Yung as Reynolds’ FBI girlfriend and Salma Hayek as Jackson’s foul-mouthed, imprisoned wife.

Except for an unnecessary scene in which Reynolds’ by-the-book character throws a hissy fit in Amsterdam, I found The Hitman’s Bodyguard wonderfully entertaining and give it a 4.2 out of 5.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Dark Tower

Writer/Director Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower suffers from too many screenwriters, including Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinker and Anders Thomas Jensen.  The result is a convoluted story that is distasteful for young viewers even though the principal character is an adolescent admirably played by Tom Taylor.
Adolescent Jake Chambers (Taylor) has psychic visions from which he creates drawings that make everyone think he is crazy and should be sent to a school for the mentally impaired. 

Jake  escapes through a portal to Mid-World and learns from Roland, the Last Gunslinger (Idris Elba), that The Dark Man (Matthew McConaughey) is having gifted children kidnapped and is draining the energy of their brains to try and bring down the Dark Tower that protects several parallel universes from the Darkness beyond them. 

The film is not as bad as some of the other science fiction drivel that’s been out this year, but you have to be a real fan to enjoy it.  I give The Dark Tower a 3 out of 5.

Ingrid Goes West

Writer/Director Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West opens with Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) crashing her supposed best friend’s wedding, to which she was not invited, and pepper spraying the bride.
After her stint in a mental institution, Ingrid becomes fixated on Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram celebrity and, taking the $60+ thousand dollars she inherits from her mother’s recent death, heads west to Venice Beach, California, where she stalks the woman and copies her every habit.

Returning Taylor’s “lost” dog, which Ingrid has kidnapped, she ingratiates herself into the life of Sloane and her husband (Wyatt Russell) until Taylor's psycho brother (Billy Magnussen) unveils Ingrid for whom she is and, ostracized from her new “friends,” Ingrid, eventually, attempts suicide.

This film may resonate with some American Millennials, but the rest of humanity…not so much.  It’s the only film I’ve ever seen that, after which, I felt I had to go home and shower to wash off the vapid energy.

The acting and production values were good, but I can only give Ingrid Goes West a 2.8 out of 5.