Tag Archives: David Leitch

Deadpool 2 (2018) Review

Time: 119 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Contains graphic violence, sexual references & offensive language
Cast
Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool
Josh Brolin as Cable
Morena Baccarin as Vanessa
Julian Dennison as Russell Collins/Firefist
Zazie Beetz as Domino
T.J. Miller as Weasel
Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Jack Kesy as Black Tom Cassidy
Director: David Leitch

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities (Julian Dennison) from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable (Josh Brolin).

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Deadpool 2 was one of my most anticipated movies of 2018. The original Deadpool released in 2016 was quite a surprise, with it somehow managing to bring Deadpool to the big screen in an effective way and has now become the most financially successful R rated comic book movie to date. I wouldn’t say its like one of the best comic book movies made and it is straightforward and simplistic (the impact also wears off the more you rewatch it) but it is still solid. With John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch taking charge of the sequel and introducing major comic book characters Cable and Domino (and with the addition of Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz to play them), I was really hyped to see what the end result would be. Deadpool 2 doesn’t disappoint and does well to not just be a copy of the original, it improves and does some different things, and I do think that this movie it is better than the original.

Deadpool 2 benefits from the fact that it’s not stuck having to present an origin story, as a sequel it has more freedom, so it can introduce more characters, go in more insane directions, and thankfully that’s what they do here. Although I liked the movie from the start, it really picked up for me at the halfway point, particularly an action scene which takes place inside of a prison. Prior to that point the movie was pretty decent but I wasn’t really fully into it up to that point. Something that is quite noticeable is that Deadpool 2 is much more action and story oriented than the first movie. There are some surprises here, so I recommend not looking too deep into spoilers because although the plot may be fairly predictable (despite being less conventional and by the numbers than the original), there are some moments that are best experienced not knowing they are going to happen. The movie is overall more story oriented and there is a noticeable amount of emotion put into the story. Although I didn’t really feel the emotion as much as the film was intended to, I do appreciate the effort and it worked well enough. I’m also surprised that most of the emotional scenes weren’t killed with a poor joke or anything like that. Most of the jokes landed and the movie overall is pretty funny, even if some jokes didn’t land fully, it didn’t stand out poorly or land terribly. There is particularly one joke which did work and I get the joke, but at the same time it also felt like a wasted opportunity. As this a Deadpool movie, it constantly breaks the fourth wall and there are a lot of references (to pop culture and other comic book universes, etc) which really worked. There are also some nice cameos here, some of which can be easily missed. All I can say is to keep your eye on ‘The Vanisher’. The mid credit scenes are funny but when you consider that they are apparently canon, it really makes you question if it actually makes sense at all. I won’t spoil what it is but you’ll know what I mean when you see it.

Ryan Reynolds continues to prove that he’s fantastic as Wade Wilson/Deadpool. Something wise that both Deadpool movies have done is to give more to Deadpool’s character than the comics have given him. The first Deadpool movie, while maintaining his well known personality and charm, also gives him more human and relatable aspects so that you actually care about what he’s doing, instead of just seeing him as a walking meme. They continue that in the sequel with Wade Wilson trying to protect a young mutant from a futuristic killer. Reynolds like in the first movie manages to be funny, fourth wall breaking and potentially annoying but also manages to make you care about what’s happening with him, and makes him a well rounded character. Josh Brolin is great as Cable, who really is a force of nature, him and Ryan Reynolds play off well against each other. Unfortunately, he really doesn’t show up much until the second half but he steals the scenes that he’s in. A scene stealer was Zazie Beetz as Domino, who’s mutant ability is luck (the film does a great job of showing off her powers). This is the first thing I’ve seen Beetz in and I have to say that she’s a fantastic actress. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Cable and Domino in future films. Julian Dennison plays a pretty significant role as the mutant that Deadpool is trying to save from Cable. I hope Dennison gets more and more roles because he’s proven himself once again to be a very talented young actor. Other actors/characters from the first Deadpool like Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapicic as Colossus and Karan Soni as Dopinder aren’t in the sequel as much but they are good enough in their scenes.

The first Deadpool movie had a reasonable budget at about $58 million, overall feeling like a smaller superhero movie. The sequel has about double the budget and they seemed to put it to good use, Deadpool 2 is a bigger movie. Director David Leitch is great with action, as shown with John Wick and Atomic Blonde and the action is definitely more superior here than the original had, with more bigger and memorable action sequences. The CGI admittedly isn’t always great, whether it be some of the larger action sequences or CGI characters, however it wasn’t so poor that it distracted or bothered me. Overall Leitch’s direction here is better than Tim Miller’s in the first movie. Tyler Bates’s score is pretty solid, an improvement over the first film’s score.

If you didn’t like the original Deadpool movie, there’s a strong likelihood that you won’t like the sequel. However if you are a fan, I think you’ll be very satisfied with this movie. Deadpool 2 was funny, entertaining, and I liked the emphasise on action and story this time, I had a great time with it. I personally think it’s better than the original and I can’t wait to see more of Deadpool, Cable and Domino in the future Deadpool/X-Men/X-Force films.

Atomic Blonde (2017) Review

Time: 115 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Contains graphic violence, sex scenes, offensive language & nudity
Cast
Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton
James McAvoy as David Percival
John Goodman as Emmett Kurzfeld
Til Schweiger as The Watchmaker
Eddie Marsan as Spyglass
Sofia Boutella as Delphine Lasalle
Toby Jones as Eric Gray
Bill Skarsgård as Merkel
Director: David Leitch

Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent who’s willing to use all of her lethal skills to stay alive during an impossible mission. With the Berlin Wall about to fall, she travels into the heart of the city to retrieve a priceless dossier and take down a ruthless espionage ring. Once there, she teams up with an embedded station chief to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

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While one half of the directors of John Wick continued with the sequel, the other half (David Leitch) worked on an adaptation of a graphic novel titled The Coldest City which resulted in Atomic Blonde. With the talent of the director, as well as the talent of actors involved such as Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, how could I not be excited? And it lived up to expectations. The actors were great in their roles (particularly Theron and McAvoy), the story was interesting enough and David Leitch’s direction were all great.

Atomic Blonde’s plot isn’t anything special but it works for the movie. There is enough twists to keep you invested in what’s going on from start to finish. Whether all the twists will hold up on a second viewing remains to be seen. The plot kept me pretty interested throughout and I was consistently entertained. One last thing I want to address, I know a lot of people will go into Atomic Blonde expecting Jane Wick but don’t, Theron’s Lorraine Broughton is not like John Wick, and the world that this film is isn’t the criminal underworld from the John Wick universe. The only thing similar in both the John Wick films and Atomic Blonde is the excellent direction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different. No, Atomic Blonde doesn’t have the fascinating world that John Wick has, but it doesn’t need to. For what the movie that it was aiming to be, Atomic Blonde succeeded very well.

Charlize Theron absolutely owns her role as Lorraine Broughton, she’s fantastic in her action sequences and actingwise she is fantastic as well, she really does have a screen presence. She steals every scene she’s in. However another showstealer is James McAvoy, who is also great in his role as a very wild, shady and morally ambiguous character. There were times when both McAvoy and Theron were on screen and I couldn’t tell who stole the show more. McAvoy was definitely one of the highlights of the film. Other actors like Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones, John Goodman and Eddie Marsan were really good in their roles.

David Leitch’s direction naturally is great. This movie like John Wick is very stylised and was one of the highlights of the film. Unsurprising the action is great with the cinematography capturing all the action clearly, the stunts and choreography looked genuine especially from Charlize Theron and they were very entertaining overall. Probably the most standout action sequence is inside a apartment and at a stairwell later in the movie, it is brutal and unrelenting. It is also a long 7 minute unbroken take (or at least appears to be). That was the best action sequence in the film, so incredibly done. I guess maybe the only negative I can say that its not consistent as to whether the action scenes are stylistic or realistic and brutal and they feel distinctly different from each other but that’s a minor issue. The soundtrack is also really great, along with Tyler Bates’s score, there is a bunch of classic songs that play very well in the film.

Atomic Blonde is a really good action movie, the actors was good, Theron and McAvoy stole the show and it had some truly great action sequences. For those wondering, no, I wouldn’t quite consider it at the level of quality of the John Wick movies but honestly it doesn’t need to be. I actually wouldn’t mind a sequel to Atomic Blonde if it actually happens, I would love to see more of Lorrain Broughton in action. To repeat a point I said before, don’t go in expecting Female John Wick, maybe expect the similar action but that’s it, Atomic Blonde is its own thing, and I’m glad it is.

John Wick (2014) Review

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Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence & offensive language
Cast:
Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Michael Nyqvist as Viggo Tarasov
Alfie Allen as Iosef Tarasov
Adrianne Palicki as Ms. Perkins
Bridget Moynahan as Helen Wick
Dean Winters as Avi
Ian McShane as Winston
John Leguizamo as Aurelio
Willem Dafoe as Marcus
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

After the sudden death of his beloved wife, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) receives one last gift from her, a beagle puppy named Daisy, and a note imploring him not to forget how to love. But John’s mourning is interrupted when his 1969 Boss Mustang catches the eye of sadistic thug Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) who breaks into his house and steals it, beating John unconscious and leaving Daisy dead. Unwittingly, they have just reawakened one of the most brutal assassins the underworld has ever seen.

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With the sequel coming sometime soon, I thought I should give my thoughts on the original John Wick. John Wick was one of the most surprising movies of 2014. It wasn’t just a standard Keanu Reeves action flick, it was actually something special, garnering a strong reception and following. It is an entertaining and thrilling action movie.

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The story really isn’t anything special. It’s a revenge story, just with the main character being a former hitman. It’s the execution of the story that makes this movie work so well. The story is set out well, the pace never feeling too fast or too long. The world of John Wick is one of the stand out parts of the movie (which is saying a lot). The world is absolutely incredible and interesting, laid out well. I can’t wait to see how the sequel explores this world. This movie is engaging and riveting, it really never lost my attention once.

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This is the best Keanu Reeves has ever been in a movie (it’s also probably the best movie that Keanu Reeves has ever been in). He is really is believable in this role, and not just in the action scenes, he does actually act well in this movie, he’s not just playing Keanu Reeves like he has in certain other movies. It really does help that Keanu Reeves does his own stunts, it is much easier to buy him as this character. The supporting performances were also great. Michael Nyqvust was quite effective as the main villain as Iosef’s father (and a mob boss), completely owning every scene he’s in. Also, Willem Dafoe, Alfie Allen, Ian McShane and even John Leguizamo were good in their roles (however I would’ve liked if we saw more of Willem Dafoe).

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The action is absolutely fantastic. It doesn’t have a lot of shaky cam or unnecessary quick cuts like most action movies nowadays have. The stunt work was also fantastic (it helps with both directors being stunt men), the fights are intense and don’t feel fake at all. Another thing I liked was that although John Wick is incredibly good at what he does, he’s still human, he doesn’t always win perfectly against people just because he’s John Wick. That makes the action a lot more riveting, he’s not just Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando or something. In terms of the standout action scene, there’s a sequence that takes place in a nightclub (which reminded me of the nightclub scene in Collateral). In terms of flaws, I guess maybe the last action sequence was slightly underwhelming but that’s probably because everything else in the film was so great that it just paled in comparison.

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John Wick has a fantastic world, solid performances, entertaining action, everything you want from an action movie. As I said, the concept of the story itself is nothing special, it’s the execution that makes this film so excellent. If you haven’t already, definitely see John Wick when you can, especially before seeing the sequel which comes out (or already came out depending where you are in the world).