Cell : Review

Cell is an apocalyptic horror novel published by American author Stephen King in 2006. The story follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(novel))

Based on the novel of the same name, the director takes on an ambitious project with the help of Stephen King himself. The star studded cast, with John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson is sure to make a haunting and memorable movie, right?

Not this time, nowhere in this film did I personally have my mind blown. The film starts off with a heart racing scene in the airport, something that you would be quite frightened to witness, but John Cusack just doesn’t deliver in his acting – I’m not personally a fan because he doesn’t seem to show any emotions in any film. The story is not explained properly and we are dropped into the action straight away, as if we are all meant to have read the book. The special effects were not great for a blockbuster either, the plane crashing through the terminal was extremely laughable. Soon though the story sees Samuel Jackson introduced, whom is a great actor, but doesn’t come close to showing it sadly. Yet again, we are supposed to understand things that are just introduced with no explanation. The characters also seem flat and are seriously underdeveloped.

Along the way to find his son, the pair are frequently met with strangers along their road trip. These appearances actually seemed to show an improvement in the story, especially the scene where they burn the people in the stadium. But still, more questions are asked and little is answered. So up to now, we have the entire population of people turned into mad killers, and no explanation as to why, and a group with no character.

It soon gets even more tense though as they battle their way closer to a mysterious signal tower, where the killer people are apparently being controlled from. The appearance of the the man in the red hoodie is good, but doesn’t – yet again – explain anything. He appears multiple times until the end where there is some kind of stand off. The climax is not very good, and the ‘zombie’ like people can be seen moving in a clearly computer animated way (CGI), which is so poor I wanted to cry. It then sees the father and son united, and seem to walk off after destroying the tower, only for a cut scene of Cusack walking among the crowds of zombies to show. It is all very confusing.

I want to write about the film in a good light, so will give credit to the road trip style throughout, and the sudden moments of terror, and perhaps to the opening scene and subsequent stadium scene. Other than that most of the film is forgettable, sadly. The story was poorly explained for an adaption, the acting wasn’t great – even from so-called expert actors – and the action and CGI were very limited. Considering King himself worked on this project, I cannot understand why he didn’t have the characters lives explained, or their background.

Therefore I award the film :

2.5/5

John Wick 2: Review

Legendary hitman John Wick is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

Rotten tomatoes – ‘Average Rating: 7.2/10′ (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/john_wick_chapter_2/

Imbd – ‘8.2/10′ (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4425200/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

Keanu Reeves is back, and bolder than the first as he takes to the streets and underground of Rome. The film certainly delivers on the action and stunt front, but leaves a lot to be asked about the character development and story line itself, which seem hollow and lacking in depth. It’s hardly a masterpiece to use the theme of revenge in a movie as the main drive for the protagonist, which has been done countless times. It exercises no part of the actor’s ability, nor does it show any real skill from the director. Although the reviews have been largely positive, I can’t help but feel it’s due to the degrading of the film industry standard, which is now nothing but violence and bad acting.

At first, John Wick seems to be enjoying his retirement, much the same as the first movie, so already there is the same story arc and boring predictable outcome. But only after an explosive opening sequence do we get to the main story line.

Wick soon bolts into action in one of the most intense car crash derby’s I have personally seen in an opening to any movie. It was however, hard to determine the relevance of this, as it does not in anyway relate to the rest of the film. The directors may have wanted to show of Wicks skills, but after the first movie, fans should be pretty aware of this, making the initial action practically pointless in terms of plot. It also threw John Wicks love for his car out the window, and had some close combat, but in terms of quality, it was something I’ve seen ten thousand times before.

After a slow start to the movie, taking something like 30 minutes to actually introduce the main mission, Wick is visited by his gangster type boss, whom blows Wicks house up because Wick refuses to be bound by a blood oath, something that is half crucial to the film. Unfortunately, the acting by Keanu Reeves was poor,and ultimately made it seem like a cheap b movie. The dialogue was mundane and the was Reeves pronounced it just sounded god awful, as if he was trying too hard. Thankfully, he wasn’t talking much and most of the movie was centered on shooting, with impressive accuracy, and some good fight scenes, showing the strength of the film – the choreography.

As Wick battles through the first half of the movie – to assassinate the sister of his boss – the film soon leaps into another explosive action sequence set in the underbelly of Rome. It was an intense and a somewhat unrealistic set. Wick appears to take multiple hits to the chest from hand guns and machine guns alike, and although the jacket is bulletproof, it takes absolutely damage, having no basis in reality. He is the equivalent of superman, and that in turn makes it impossible to die, and also makes his enemies redundant. This sort of thing is constant throughout the movie, so prepare for the most outright ridiculous survival situations. He can shoot enemies in the head with 100% accuracy, which makes you wonder why he shoots the torso first, why not just shoot them in the head first?

Soon he is escaping the underground, and finds himself in a long and drawn out fight against an equally skilled opponent. The fight itself is good, with good choreography and talent by the men involved. However, when they are fighting in close quarters on the train, the director must have fell asleep because the extras sitting on the train simply looked on, as a bloody fist fight broke out followed by a knife fight. That was not realistic, for one, they would have been cowering for life and phoning police. Instead, the train arrives at the station an it is empty. For a moment, you get the feeling he is human when fighting. The fight comes to a cease in the most politically correct manner and deters from the killer instinct of John Wick. Wick and his opponent casually have drinks in a bar, really bringing the mood of the fight to a sad  close.

Wick soon finds himself in the second part of the movie: the survival from the 7 million hit for which it seems 90% of the population can take part.

I won’t go into detail on the entire movie, but it concludes with Reeves battling it out in a very creepy all mirror reflection chamber. It has tension, it has reason, it does not though seem likely that Wick will survive the multiple assassins set on him. But Wick prevails and trails back to the hotel, where all the hit men women seem to congress throughout the film making it seem too administrative. It ends just as suddenly as it started. But sadly, his unrealistic skills and accuracy of shooting make the idea of a third film ridiculous, as no doubt he will kill everyone AGAIN.

The strong points in the acting were the appearances of Ian Mcshane and Laurence Fishburne, who acted very well but were let down by Keanu Reeves lack of emotion and character.

Overall the film delivers on only mindless violence and action, so absurd it is laughable. Couple that with Keanu Reeves terrible acting and lack of character development, and you have a one off film, never to be indulged again, unless you like to live in fantasy land and watch delusional directors direct garbage.

Action/fighting – 3.5/5

Acting – 2.5/5

Story – 2/5

Overall – 3/5