It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming up Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn on-screen is a stroke of genius. These two comic actresses have impeccable timing, and throw everything into this madcap jungle adventure. Yes, the dialogue could have been a lot sharper, the story more coherent and the themes more resonant. But as a guilty pleasure, it's a lot of fun.
It opens as Emily (Schumer) decides to continue with her plans to take a luxury holiday in Ecuador, even though she's just split from her boyfriend (Randall Park). Although taking her mother Linda (Hawn) wasn't her first choice. As they settle in at the beach resort, they meet Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and her ex-military friend Barb (Joan Cusack), who warn them about gangs of drug dealers who kidnap tourists. Sure enough, Emily and Linda are grabbed by Colombian criminal Morgado (Oscar Jaenada) and taken to the Amazon, where they escape and go on the run with the help of a rugged but pompous explorer (Christopher Meloni). Meanwhile back in America, Emily's oddball brother (Ike Barinholtz) is pestering a government official (Bashir Salahuddin) to find his missing mother and sister.
Instead of working out a clever story or writing something witty, the filmmakers rely instead on the skills of Schumer and Hawn. This leaves the movie feeling like a series of random set-pieces in which the actresses improvise a lot of goofiness, which is shaped into something vaguely sensible in the edit. The overall narrative is flimsy at best, but there are hilarious moments scattered through every scene, and Schumer and Hawn thankfully underplay most of it.
Continue reading: Snatched Review
Emily is left completely broken-hearted when her musician boyfriend breaks up with her in favour of a life of groupies as his band takes off. They were meant to be vacationing to Ecuador together, and she refuses to give up an excuse for fun at this stage in her 30s so Emily decides to take her slightly reluctant mother instead. She also wants to help her mom revisit some of the fun she had in her youth. Unfortunately, they find themselves kidnapped by a mysterious man they meet in a restaurant and only manage to escape with difficulty. By now they are in the middle of nowhere with no knowledge of their wild surroundings and they're definitely starting to wish they'd never come to South America in the first place.
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Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Duran was fierce in the ring, his poor upbringing on the streets of Panama all contributed to the man he became. He's extremely tough but his wild streak stops him from becoming the champion he ought to be.
Enter Ray Arcel, Arcel was an old pro, the best of the best and had taken many boxers into the ring and seen them come out the champion. Arcel could clearly see that Duran had a gift and though technically the trainer was retired, Duran's talent made him take his place back at the side of the ring.
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With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes the audience on a terrifying odyssey involving a lone woman and a menacing shark. What emerges is a gruelling one-woman show, as Blake Lively throws herself into a ferocious cat and mouse game that's relentlessly suspenseful.
She plays Nancy, a young medical school drop-out on a pilgrimage to a mythical beach her mother told her about before dying of cancer. So she has very personal reasons to visit it. And with the help of nice-guy guide Carlos (Oscar Jaenada), she finds it on a remote stretch of Mexico's coastline. After video chatting with her father and sister (Brett Cullen and Sedona Legge), she paddles out to join a couple of local surfers. Then when she decides to stay for one last wave on her own, the great white pounces. Injured and alone, she takes refuge on a tiny rock that will disappear when the tide rises. And in order to survive, she'll have to get creative.
Shot in Australia, the film is carefully assembled to ratchet up the intensity right from the start. Collet-Serra gleefully stirs in plenty of creepy Jaws-like insinuation, hinting at what's coming long before he reveals the enormous single-minded shark. The combination of digital effects and rubbery models never quite looks real, but the film is so sharply well-made that we never mind. And besides, Lively does a great job at convincing us that she's in proper peril. This is a full-bodied performance, so grounded and authentic that Lively is able to take the audience through the ordeal right with Nancy. Her experience in the water is bolstered through visions and flashbacks that add a surprising emotions. And her banter with Carlos offers some insight into her feisty personality.
Continue reading: The Shallows Review
The trailer for the fourth instalment from The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has arrived! Captain Jack Sparrow once again takes to the high seas in an adventure that's sure to be immensely entertaining. When a beautiful yet deadly woman from Jack's past appears once again, he's unsure of her intentions but once she forces him to join her on the ruthless Blackbeard's ship called Queen Anne's Revenge asking to find the infamous fountain of youth, he knows there's sure to be plenty of danger ahead. Not only that but the captain also finds himself in the much colder climates than he's used to when his quest takes him to London.
On a mission in Bolivia, a five-man black-ops team is betrayed by their power-mad CIA boss Max (Patric) and left for dead. But they embark on a mission to get revenge and clear their names, with Clay (Morgan) leading techie Jensen (Evans), demolition expert Roque (Elba), driver-pilot Pooch (Short) and sniper Cougar (Jaenada). They also enlist the help of a sexy-but-shady woman (Saldana) as they track Max and his vile henchman (McCallany) from Miami to Los Angeles and try to stop his nefarious Bond-like plan.
Continue reading: The Losers Review
Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar are The Losers, a small team but some of the best special forces operatives the USA have to offer. When you sign up to work in the special forces, death and serious injury is a huge risk which you come to live with, what you might not expect is to be betrayed and double-crossed by your employers.
Continue: The Losers Trailer
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