Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice (2021)

Director (and writer): Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, Chris Diamantopoulos

An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief. – IMDB

Directed and written from Rawson Marshall Thurber and the third collaboration with Dwayne Johnson, Red Notice is simply a popcorn flick. Its nothing too novel from the heist film and cops chasing bad guys and the bickering between the unlikely duo. Its an action comedy packed with some decent star power that probably makes it more attractive than the film actually is. Perhaps it is knowing that this director collaborated on previous films like Skyscraper (review) and Central Intelligence (review) before, that its not hard to feel very similar to those films for Red Notice. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed their previous collaborations very much as they each had their own dangers and dynamic between the main leads. It might not be anything deep but it does fulfill what it intends: some mindless fast-paced entertainment.

The story and execution of Red Notice is nothing too different or surprising overall. The film does move through different cities swiftly from their starting location in Italy and finally ending up in the tropical South America and they make a good few stops in between. The whole thing is a mix of a heist and treasure hunt film but also adds in a decent amount of action whether melee or weaponry. All of which are constructed fairly well. The whole film plot feels like its nothing too special but the ending was decent when it all comes together. While it never feels like there’s any crazy danger around the corner, it keeps the whole process fairly all light-hearted and fluffy but the whole story is glued together by its main cast.

There is really no doubt that when you look at the main casting roles that the dynamic and banter between the characters will be the highlight of the film. Dwayne Johnson always has that very fun one-liner goofy tough guy sort of role which has this toughness but also has this entertaining element. Much like after Ryan Reynolds did Deadpool where his ability to toss out those funny lines has crafted a lot of this roles now making this one as a world class thief also have a fun appeal especially when he pairs up with Dwayne Johnson as a cop-thief duo who has the same goal of chasing after The Bishop for their own reasons. They bond together throughout. Their encounters with The Bishop, played by Gal Gadot also adds a lot of sassy dynamic as Gal Gadot doesn’t only have the beauty but also has this really entertaining element to her character as she seems to always be ahead of them and setting them up in impossible situations. The three mesh together really well in all their banter and encounters throughout.

Overall, Red Notice isn’t really anything too special but its also is a decent entertainment. Of course, I’d really only recommend it to people who don’t mind a normal flick. At this point, its easy to know what type of films Dwayne Johnson makes and his other collaborations with this director and the enjoyment of those films might be a good hint whether you’d enjoy this one as well. For myself, I did have fun with those two so this one was suitably entertaining.

Wonder Woman (2017)

This week and the next one will be mainly focused on all the reviews that I haven’t got around to and hopefully along with other fun things. I could do these 2017 movies in double feature but as an effort to catch up and not just wave it off quickly, it is worth a full review, although I am sure that everyone else has said it all.

Wonder Woman (2017)

wonder woman

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Elena Anaya

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. – IMDB

Wonder Woman is my first full experience into the DC Universe. I’ve never made it past the first ten minutes of Man of Steel and not particularly willing to fork out a ton of money for Batman vs. Superman because it doesn’t have the rental option apparently and well, I flat out missed Justice League because I have never caught up with any of the others so why now, right? Wonder Woman got some incredible reviews and because its such an empowering character and I personally like Gal Gadot a ton and thought she would make this role great, I ended up renting it. As with Marvel films, I have never read the DC comics so I don’t know about the source material and have no comparison.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is an exhilarating and exciting experience. Visually, it starts off very beautiful in the matriarch hidden island of Themyscira. This island is beautiful along with its lady warriors who are competent and strong. The mood changes complete when Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) goes to London and from there, the World War 1 has taken its toll and its grim and dark. The setting drives the atmosphere and ton and this one does that pretty well.

Wonder Woman

The cast also does a great job. The dialogue is decent and they manage to crack a few lighter moments in with Steve Trevor’s assistant and the drunk sniper hired for their expedition and Diana not knowing how normal people dress and act. I love films which use adapting to and learning a new environment as comedic moments and have a really soft spot for it. Wonder Woman does that very well. The standout role here does go to Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She is strong and powerful and most importantly, very righteous. The ladies from the island was an interesting look at the protected life of Diana Prince as she was growing up and how she fought to be different and strong to one day fulfil her destiny if they were ever found by the God of War. When she does leave, the team that Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) puts together to find the God of War turns out to be quite the talented and strategic but somewhat of a ragtag team altogether.

Wonder Woman

Do I think that Wonder Woman is amazing? Maybe less than some of the other reviews out there. This was a competent movie and very entertaining. There was a lot of great moments both comedic and emotional ones. There was some great content here to be had. It definitely exceeded my expectations. However, I did find some pacing issues. And forgive me when I can’t quite take seriously that as amazing as I think Wonder Woman is that she was the one that crossed No Man’s Land and defeated the war. But then, I feel slightly contradicting saying that when I can accept all that Marvel Universe superheroes have accomplished in their movies. It was a great scene and triumphant but we did have a good laugh out of the thought of it. Just a minor sidenote about the thought I had when I was watching it. Other than that, the villain here wasn’t exactly standout but still was decent. I’ve seen less prominent villains before.

Overall, Wonder Woman is an entertaining DC addition that was a nice first step into this universe. Gal Gadot does a great job. There’s a nice balance between comedy and emotional elements here. There’s a good bit of action which works for the most part. I had some issues with it but nothing that made me feel like it took away too much from the entertainment value. I’d really like to see another Wonder Woman film though. Probably as this movie took time to set-up Wonder Woman’s origin story, the next one will  give it a deeper plot.

Fast Five (2011)

Moving right along with the Fast and the Furious franchise. Here is the Fast Five review written in 2013 in anticipation of Furious 6 movie! I fixed up a little bit of the mistakes here and there. Overall, this is one of the posts I’ve liked the most that I’ve written. Fast Five is also one of my favorite movies in the franchise. Its just pure fun and awesome! 🙂

fast five

What did you think of Fast Five?

Tranquil Dreams

I’m a huge fan for (most of) the Fast and the Furious movies! This comes when you date a guy who is crazy about anything related to cars.  Fast & Furious is just all about adrenaline and cars and whatnot.  Its nothing to be raving about sophistication but its usually a fun ride, although there are a few exceptions in the franchise that I’m not exactly a big fan of but whenever I hear of a new one coming out, it always gets me all excited! With Fast Six just around the corner, my boyfriend gave me a choice to rewatch Iron Man 1 &2 or this…and I guess I was more into this at the moment 😉

fast five posterDirector: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar

After rescuing Dominic…

View original post 743 more words

Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious was the first one in this series that I went to go see at the theatres.  It probably also marked the time when I actually watched those previous 3 for the first time in a mini marathon to prepare for this.  I’ve always liked racing car games because of Gran Turismo so this appealed to me, its just my family was never into these sorts of movies before my boyfriend came into my life in 2008.

After the mega disappointment of the third one, excuse me when I was a little worried about how the 4th one would go.  I’m more of half cup full type of person, so I went to this with hopes that it would at least measure up to the first one. Did it meet my expectations? How about on this rewatch?

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Fast & Furious (2009)

fast & furious

Director: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Don Omar, Tego Caldaron

After their last heist, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) leaves everyone by himself because the heat was a little too much and he worried about causing dangers to his loved ones.  Thats until, he gets a call from Mia (Jordana Brewster) that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was murdered.  Without another thought, he comes back to find out who killed her and to avenge her death.  This is when reinstated FBI, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) crosses his path again both learning that a drug trafficking lord, Braga is behind all this and they both try to get into their crew with their own end goals.

fast & furious

If you ever want to reboot a series, this is exactly how you do it: Make it into an adrenaline pumping, high energy action film with the original cast doing what they do best.  There’s familiarity, fun, excitement and intensity all wrapped into one fantastic film.  I mean, fantastic in terms of the Fast and the Furious franchise, of course.  The love for this franchise is in its own category and it all starts with this one as Justin Lin, much to my surprise takes the series into a whole different style but with the original cast, it brings back exactly what was needed to make this film crazy.  It was crazy ridiculous.  Just the opening scene was enough to know exactly what tone this movie was aiming for. And I like it.  I like it a whole lot!

fast & furious

I’ve said it in the previous reviews for this franchise and I say it again.  Vin Diesel is the cornerstone of what makes this franchise good. He’s just a monumental man that honestly brings in his own style.  Sure, he doesn’t have a whole lot to say and its all emoted in his face and reactions, the one-liners here and there but somehow it works for him.  This time around, Brian O’Conner’s character gets a lot more depth because he has to deal with who he wants to be and to be honest with himself.  There is no doubt that Dom is a character that we love and respect. I have to admit, this was the movie where I really started loving the character of Brian O’Conner because he seems perfectly happy even if it meant breaking out of the good guy path because maybe he was just a pretending to be the good guy (paraphrasing a line in the movie said by Jordana Brewster’s Mia).

fast & furious

Fast & Furious also brings in a new lady here, Gisele (who we see in later movies in the franchise).  She’s not a bad character.  Although she does ride with Braga’s crew.  Still, she adds a little balance to the spectrum because she isn’t a bad character and there’s space for her to develop.  Its pretty fun because she really is attracted to Dom and it adds a little chemistry there.  I mean, Fast and Furious franchise probably has the best bromance chemistry ever but love isn’t all that abundant, not that its a fault.  It works to keep the situation simple and just enjoy the crazy action sequences.

Overall, Fast & Furious is our first step into suspending our disbelief in this franchise.  Things didn’t always make sense in the last three but this one is where you know that its going over the top and just high adrenaline fun. Turn your brain off and enjoy the story.  It adds a little drama with Letty being gone and the reuniting of Mia and Dom then Mia and Brian and of course, the bromance between Brian and Dom.  There’s flashy cars and great races.  Its a little vengeful and some new characters.  The villain, Braga is alright because he’s pretty much a mystery throughout the whole flick.  There’s a lot that I love about this one and it has to do with how it made me start falling in love with this franchise and Paul Walker’s Brian.  Not my fave but definitely somewhere on the top.

Have you seen Fast & Furious? What do you think about it? How would you rank it in the franchise?

Remember to check out the previous reviews if you haven’t and drop by again for Fast Five coming really soon (probably later today)!

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

My boyfriend and I finally got to the last movie of May that was on our hit list.  its one that is the top one on my list for the summer, Fast & Furious 6.  Being at the theatre almost every week makes all the commercials feel long, but then the previews were different with the new World War Z trailer and the new Pacific Rim trailer.  Nothing beats the moment Fast & Furious 6 started and we pick up right where Fast Five ended 😉

fast and furious 6 posterDirector: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, Joe Taslim

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) start off this movie almost like how this last one ended up with a race.  Except this time, we see them settle down as Mia (Jordana Brewster) has her little baby.  Good times can’t last forever and just when they had decided to not go those crazy projects again, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) comes by with another assignment for them but this time with a bigger bait to reunite the family.  Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) was spotted as part of a major group lead by ex-military Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) who had bigger plans except he had already taken down a whole military convoy.  With the exchange of giving Dom and his team pardon for everything they had done, he employed them to gather together and help him with this assignment. The team was the same as last time save for the two Mexican drivers with Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris). As the assignment gets further, the situation gets bad to worse when Owen Shaw is a lot more than they had ever encountered before.

fast and furious 6 hobbs co

I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible.  That plot could be full of excitement! I’m going straight out to say that I LOVE THIS ONE! If you have read my Fast Five review (or if you haven’t, its right HERE), these movies are loud, explosive, intense and fun.  Its something you walk into and just watch action over and over again. The story is usually really basic and there’s always one objective to everything.  This time, we get a bit more.  The story is still straight forward but we bring in some more slowed down moments to incorporate the story of Letty and what happened.  She is an important part of this group and is part of the family so it was worth the time to put that part in and I appreciated them for doing that.

fast and furious 6 letty owen

The last few Fast and Furious and made us acknowledge that Justin Lin has got this franchise so well in his mind. Its his baby that he picked up from a low point and brought it to its full potential. In this one, he doesn’t hold off one little bit.  He throws us everything in the playbook.  We get back our street racing and then the team has a surprise fight with tanks.  We get weirdly modified supercars with some crazy technology that makes them change the way their cars are made.  We get the crazy ending scene with a plane. Lots of gunfight or just close hand combat.  Its packed with a lot of awesomeness!

fast and furious 6 dom

They keep their funny dialogue from mostly Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris that usually makes everyone laugh a bit in between all the loud explosions and action-packed moments.  The team is the same as before so if you’ve been following the franchise, it feels like home because we know them from the past few flicks already. However, I’m not exactly sure if there are people that would see this if they haven’t seen the previous one at the bare minimum.  This one links a lot of the past ones together and I felt all nostalgic in the opening credits sequence.

fast and furious 6 group

I never talk much about the bad guys in this one because the focus is the team themselves.  This time, we have Luke Evans playing the cunning and smart Owen Shaw.  His team is one that is tough and a match to Dom’s.  Shaw is somewhat cold-blooded because he doesn’t really care much about the sacrifices of his team but at the same time, he is extremely confident in his plans as they are almost always impenetrable.  This one is a tough cookie and his team really does kick some serious ass.

fast and furious owen

Fast & Furious 6 is on par with Fast Five for me.  I took a night to think about it before writing this up.  This one is loud and explosive.  The ending hour at the minimum was intense like crazy.  This movie is a 2.5 hours movie and it does not feel like that at all. It feels absolutely awesome to get into such an anticipated movie and get exactly what I wanted and maybe even more.  I loved every minute of it and its a definite Blu-ray purchase when it comes out 🙂 Plus, stay just a little bit to see the actual ending that’ll lead us into the pre-producing Part 7, because it blew my mind!

As much as I’m a bit skeptical of James Wan being the new director to do Fast 7, and I’m wondering what else could he possibly do to make it any more than this one was? With what I saw at the end, I’m still really excited!!!

Fast Five (2011)

I’m a huge fan for (most of) the Fast and the Furious movies! This comes when you date a guy who is crazy about anything related to cars.  Fast & Furious is just all about adrenaline and cars and whatnot.  Its nothing to be raving about sophistication but its usually a fun ride, although there are a few exceptions in the franchise that I’m not exactly a big fan of but whenever I hear of a new one coming out, it always gets me all excited! With Fast Six just around the corner, my boyfriend gave me a choice to rewatch Iron Man 1 &2 or this…and I guess I was more into this at the moment 😉

fast five posterDirector: Justin Lin

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar

After rescuing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) while on his way to jail, Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and his girlfriend/Toretto’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) are set to meet at their friend Vince’s place in Rio de Janeiro.  While there they get in on a job with Vince’s connection to steal some cars from a train. When they realize that that it isn’t a simple job, Mia drives off into hiding and meets up with Brian and Dominic to end up realizing that it has to do with a rich and powerful criminal in Rio de Janerio called Reyes. While they are being hunted down by Reyes and his men, the FBI’s special team also sends out Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) who teams up with a rookie Rio policewoman to capture Dominic and O’Connor. As things get to the point of no return, Dominic and Brian whip up a plan to gather their best and trustworthy friends to build a team that can perform the most epic heist to steal all of Reyes’ money in one shot in order to get their freedom.

Fast five 1

There really is no end to Justin Lin’s increasing awesomeness in these fancy car stunts, heist, action.  Justin Lin took over this franchise with the 3rd one doing Tokyo Drift which to me was the worst in the Fast series.  This one easily is very much the best.  I love Fast & Furious to bits and I got to see that one in theatres.  Unfortunately for this one, due to work and whatnot, my boyfriend ended up seeing it with his friend instead so I only got to see it at home. Fast Five is enjoyable and thrilling to watch.  Its action-packed and keeps our adrenaline rushing during the whole duration!

Fast Five crew

What I truly enjoy about this movie is how the relationship of the audience and Dominic and Brian and the core team has made us familiar with those characters and their personalities.  It makes for a level of continuity and that we follow through the dangers that they encounter.  It gives us the adrenaline rush and intensity that makes everything work and fall into place.  The story never has to be complicated and it never has to more than the sole desire for everyone to stick together and have each other’s back and just to get their own form of freedom.   Aside from the familiarity of the team, they have impeccable chemistry.  Sung Kang’s Han always makes me laugh with his normalcy but coolness.  We have the Mexican guys who are the drivers and always playing the clowns of the operations.  Tyrese Gibson’s Roman and Ludacris’s Tej Parker makes us laugh with their talk and interaction.  Of course, other than Mia, we always need to have a hot available but tough chick and we bring in Gal Gadot’s motorcycle riding weapon expert Gisele Harabo.

fast five the rock vs vin

No franchise could succeed with just the same cast doing similar brainless entertainment, so this time, we throw in The Rock’s Hobbs as a dangerous federal agent who has one thing in his job description is to not ask questions and catch the guy on the wanted list.  In this case, its Dominic Toretto.  Of course, he gets caught in more and this brings him to think and decide on what he needs to do next.  The challenges between these two characters adds a lot more than expected.  Its two big guys in the industry and they just have so much power and toughness and machoism.  Look at that scene up there, its possibly one of my fave scenes of them.  Now imagine when they actually fight…LOVE IT!

fast five rock

Fast Five is adrenaline pumping, (almost non-stop) action-packed fun! Something to just shut your mind off and enjoy to the max.  If that doesn’t work for you, we have two crazy big guys that match up to each other with Vin Diesel  and The Rock.  Now if even that doesn’t even do it for you, there’s a lot of funny dialogue that goes on.  It’ll get you to have some pretty good laughs. Just remember, you’re not here to look at impeccable acting or sophisticated plot.  If you had fun with this, thats what counts 🙂 You like cars, heists, chases, crashes, loud and out of the world stunts, then I’d say there isn’t much better than this!

Maybe I’m crazy or I’m just SO EXTREMELY PUMPED UP for the next one! Or I’m both…I don’t know! Definitely check this one out 🙂