There have been so many awful revenge thrillers lately that we've almost forgotten that it's possible to make a good one, and this is a rare example of striking the right balance of exhilarating action and dark emotion. Yes, there's a high body count, but this isn't a mow-them-down romp: there's a real sense of pain at all of the senseless bloodshed caused by one idiot's inability to conceive that his actions might have repercussions.
The film also gives Keanu Reeves yet another chance to cleverly reinvent himself on-screen as John Wick, a still-feared former mob hitman who left his job to have a happy life with his wife (Bridget Moynahan). But her untimely illness and death have left him a broken man. His only glimmer of hope is her deathbed gift of an adorable puppy to keep him company. Then even this is taken from him, when cocky Russian thug Iosef (Alfie Allen) steals his vintage Mustang and kills the puppy. In need of closure, John resurrects his past, which is a problem because his ex-boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) is Iosef's dad, and he knows that John is unstoppable. So Viggo reluctantly offers a massive bounty on John's head, taken up by John's former fellow assassin pals (Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki). But it's doubtful that anyone can stop the legendary John Wick from bringing down the entire Russian mafia.
Intriguingly, everyone in the film knows this legend except the dim-witted moron Iosef, who blithely keeps on carousing while everyone around him prepares for Armageddon. Writer Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski set the story in a fantastical criminal underworld that uses solid gold coins as currency in shimmering underground nightclubs, lavish spas and a mob hotel in which "business" is strictly prohibited. All of this is fiendishly inventive, with a striking visual atmosphere and an even stronger moody tone. At the centre, Reeves gives John a jagged sense of humour as he braces himself wearily for the inevitable carnage, all while trying to control his much deeper emotional pain.
Continue reading: John Wick Review
Critics are slightly uncertain about Keanu Reeves' latest movie 'John Wick', but audiences have voted with their feet as the movie made over $5 million on its opening night.
John Wick was released in US cinemas on Friday (24th October) and has already been hailed as a financial success, making $5.45 million on its opening night. So if you fancy seeing Keanu Reeves back where he belongs - in full action mode - here's what John Wick is all about and what the critics have to say.
Watch the Movie Trailer for John Wick:
Keanu Reeves stars as John Wick, a retired New York hit man who returns to his old ways when a gang of thugs destroy the last reminder Wick has of his late wife. Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) star alongside Reeves as the film's protagonists. They are joined by the likes of Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Dean Winters (P.S. I Love You), Adrianne Palicki (Red Dawn) and Ian McShane (Deadwood).
The film has been well received by critics who have largely commented on its violent nature. It has been described as the archetypal action film which offers impressive fight scenes and a relatively simplistic storyline. As Vulture's critic wrote John Wick is 'a beautiful coffee-table action movie.' However, others have also criticised the violent element of the film, with one critic remarking John Wick 'is a film where every human being is a sack of meat waiting to be tenderized' (Globe and Mail).
John Wick was one of the criminal underground's finest hitmen until the untimely death of his beloved wife. Now he's living a relatively solitary life with his pet dog, retired from that world and living peacefully. That is until his car gets recognised by some former enemies responsible for his wife's death and he is beaten half to death in his own home, his dog brutally killed in front of him. Unfortunately for the perpetrators, they have no idea who their messing with, and when they are warned by a major crime boss of his uniquely gifted fighting abilities, they are forced to recruit their deadliest men (and women) to take Wick down. But now, with nothing left to lose, Wick is more dangerous than ever before.
Continue: John Wick Trailer
Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her family over Memorial Day in 1980s rural New England. She brings her partner, Peter (Christian Camargo) to meet her brother, Herb (William Hurt), her son, Eric (Ben Whishaw) and his girlfriend, Eva (Juliet Rylance, and the family doctor, Louis (Jean Reno). Throughout a whirlwind weekend, Stephen (Mark Rylance) tries to keep calm across the land where a majestic bald eagle is trying to raise its young, with the help of his wife, Alex (Katie Holmes). The dysfunctional family battle against each other as they struggle to find true happiness and unity before their personalities tear them apart for good.
Continue: Days And Nights Trailer
A bracingly original approach to both science-fiction and the found-footage genres makes this eerily realistic thriller well worth a look. Director Cordero may indulge in a variety of gimmicky and manipulative tricks, but he keeps everything grounded, as it were, and his expert cast makes sure that we are drawn into the story as it progresses. Which makes the conclusion startlingly intense.
After six months in space, the feed from the Europa One mission suddenly went blank, leaving Earth to wonder what was happening in humanity's first deep-space voyage. Unknown to the mission commander (Davidtz) in Houston, the six-person crew has continued on course to Jupiter's moon Europa, where they plan to explore whether there are conditions that could support life. When they arrive, their landing doesn't go quite as planned, and their experiments reveal things they couldn't possibly have expected. They also finally get a chance to send their video footage back to mission control.
What we're watching is an assembly of this footage, taken both inside and outside the ship as they travel, intercut with the commander's comments. Cordero directs all of this exactly like scenes we've seen from Space Shuttle missions, so it looks all too real, complete with a crew of complex experts. Marinca is terrific as the soulful pilot, with the charismatic Camargo and the curious Wydra as scientists, and the cheeky Copely and the intriguingly shaded Nyqvist as mechanics. This cast of acclaimed actors really raises the bar, adding layers of interest without ever seeming to act at all.
Continue reading: Europa Report Review
With the 21st century world revolving around the it, people are becoming gradually more and more dependent on the internet, and it isn't without consequences. Derek and Cindy's marriage is on the rocks as he struggles to curb his online gambling habits and she enters into an extramarital affair with a stranger on a social networking site. Unfortunately, their secrets are forcibly uncovered when they realise that money is going missing from their accounts, due to an alarming case of identity fraud. Elsewhere, a teenaged social outcast is delighted when a girl online becomes seemingly interested in him leading him to send her some intimate pictures on her request. However, when the pictures show up around school, he is devastated to learn that he has been the victim of a cruel joke at the hands of a cyber-bully who created a fake account. Meanwhile, an ambitious journalist is curious to learn about young teenagers being intimate via webcam with strangers and sets out to get the scoop on the shocking practise despite ruining lives on the way.
Continue: Disconnect Trailer
Ethan (Cruise) is broken out of a grim Russian prison by old colleague Dunn (Pegg) and new IMF agent Carter (Patton). But why was he in there to begin with? And why does his next mission result in a bombing of the Kremlin that's blamed on the IMF, which is now in Ghost Protocol mode: dissolved and vulnerable. To clear his name, Ethan, Dunn, Carter and analyst Brandt (Renner) head to Dubai and then Mumbai to stop megalomaniacal peacenik Hendricks (Nyqvist) from triggering a nuclear war.
Continue reading: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Review
Nathan (Lautner) is a lively Pittsburgh teen with even livelier parents (Isaacs and Bello), although he sees a shrink (Weaver) to keep his anger issues in check. While working on a school project with childhood crush Karen (Collins), he stumbles across a missing-child website with a picture of him at age 3.
Suddenly he doubts who he really is, and indeed he and Karen have uncovered a secret involving a foreign agent (Nyqvist) and a CIA boss (Molina) who are both desperate to get their hands on some important information.
Continue reading: Abduction Review
A terrorist attack on the Kremlin in Moscow causes the President of the United States - believing that the Impossible Mission Force is behind it - to issue Ghost Protocol, thereby shutting down the entire force. Agent Ethan Hunt and his team are being sent to Washington, where they will be charged with the terrorist attacks but escapes - as part of a plan to allow him to work outside of the IMF - by assaulting fellow agent, Brandt, who he then has to work closely with in order to clear the IMF's name. Hunt is told that if he or any member of his team is caught or compromised, they will be charged as terrorists trying to start global nuclear war.
Nathan Harper is a popular kid, he's on the school wrestling team and like most teenagers, knows how to party but he's also always had a feeling of doubt in his life, just something in the background telling him something wasn't right. Delving a little deeper into his past, Nathan discovers a childhood photo of him posted on a missing persons website.
Continue: Abduction Trailer
As Lisbeth (Rapace) recovers from her injuries, Michael (Blomkvist) and the Millennium magazine team (Endre, Ericksson and Ledarp) are finalising the special edition about her, which they hope to publish before her trial starts.
But a secret network of spies is doing everything they can to stop them, and Lisbeth's murderous half-brother Ronald (Spreitz) is still on the loose.
Continue reading: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest [Luftslottet som Sprangdes] Review
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest is the concluding part to the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson. Like the first two films (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest stars Noomi Rapace.
Which makes it more subtly involving for us as well, even though it's the middle chapter.
It's a year later, and journalist Mikael (Nyqvist) has lost touch with young hacker Lisbeth (Rapace). Suddenly she's in the news as the suspect in a double murder that's connected to his work as an editor at Millennium magazine. As the cops look for her, Mikael tries to get to the bottom of the story. But a ruthless, gigantic goon (Spreitz) is also after her, and he's working for the elusive Russian mobster Zala (Staykov) who seems to be behind everything that's happening.
Continue reading: The Girl Who Played With Fire Review