Tag Archives: Dwayne Johnson

Jungle Cruise (2021) Review

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Jungle Cruise

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Captain Frank “Skipper” Wolff
Emily Blunt as Dr. Lily Houghton
Jack Whitehall as MacGregor Houghton
Édgar Ramírez as Aguirre
Jesse Plemons as Prince Joachim
Paul Giamatti as Nilo Nemolato
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) enlists the aid of wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to take her down the Amazon in his ramshackle boat. Together, they search for an ancient tree that holds the power to heal — a discovery that will change the future of medicine.

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I heard of Jungle Cruise in the lead up to its release, I knew that it was going to star Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, and that it was based off the theme park ride of the same name in Disneyland. Initially I wasn’t that interested in it, at the very least I found an adaptation of this to be quite a strange idea since all it pretty much is just a jungle ride with not much of a plot to really adapt. However some early responses were fairly positive, and the trailer looked fun enough. So I checked it out for myself and I’m glad I watched it.

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I haven’t been on the Jungle Cruise ride in quite some time so I don’t know if the movie contains many references to it. However from what I can tell, having the movie being based off the ride is just an excuse to have another adventure movie, definitely a throwback to those kinds of film. You definitely get the vibes of Indiana Jones, The Mummy, as well as National Treasure to a degree. If you enjoy those kinds of movies, then you’ll probably have a fun time with this. The plot itself is nothing unpredictable, you can tell what kind of movie you are in for, and as that I found it enjoyable. The first third is a bit slow but once the main characters are on the boat it was a smooth and fast paced ride. There are plenty of jokes throughout and most of them land. Tonally it is mostly consistently light and fun, and the movie knows what kind of film it is. At the same time, it does play around with the tone and gets surprisingly dark at points. One of the most standout yet confusing moments is a flashback sequence that has Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters playing, that makes it feel like it came out of a completely different movie. Definitely a memorable scene, but I can’t figure out whether I liked the inclusion, or whether it shouldn’t have been in it. Although the script is fairly straightforward, at times it can get a bit too convoluted. Also while it always shines whenever its following the main trio, some aspects of the story aren’t the most interesting. There are two villainous storylines, one is more relevant to the story but isn’t as interesting. The other involves Jesse Plemons and is less relevant to the story, but is a lot more fun because of his performance. The finale itself was pretty fun but a bit lacklustre when compared to the rest of the movie.

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The cast were good too and they added a lot to the enjoyment of the movie. Dwayne Johnson once again plays Dwayne Johnson, however for what its worth, he is entertaining, and his familiar personality and charisma works for this film. Emily Blunt was really the star of the whole movie, she’s really good and has a lot to work with in the film. She and Johnson has good chemistry. Jack Whitehall is the third main character as Emily Blunt’s brother and while I wasn’t sure about his character when it started, he actually grows on you as the film progresses. Jesse Plemons plays one of the main villains as a German aristocrat, and he is having a ton of fun here. The character isn’t interesting or memorable, but Plemons adds so much with his fun on screen appearances to make him stand out in the movie.

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Jaume Collet-Sierra being the director was one of the more interesting parts of the movie going into it. He previously made 4 Liam Neeson action movies (Unknown, Non Stop, Run All Night and The Commuter) and some horror movies (including Orphan and The Shallows). I think his work as a director added a lot to the movie. A lot of the action is fast paced, well filmed, and was fun to watch. Where the technical elements falter a little bit is the visual effects, which are a bit of a mixed bag and ranged in quality. I do think that they could’ve afforded to use more practical effects and rely less on CGI, and the CGI itself could be a little unpolished at times.

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As far as Disneyland theme park rides turned into movies, it is no Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was still fun. Jungle Cruise is nothing special when compared to the type of movies it taking inspiration from, but its nonetheless entertaining for what it is and better than it had any right to be. Its directed pretty well, the cast are good, and I was enjoying the experience from beginning to end. If you go in expecting a fun adventure, then that’s what you’ll get.

Fast & Furious 6 (2013) Review

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Fast & Furious 6

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker
Sung Kang as Han Lue
Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar
Luke Evans as Owen Shaw
Gina Carano as Riley Hicks
Elsa Pataky as Elena Neves
John Ortiz as Arturo Braga
Director: Justin Lin

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is tasked with catching a team of mercenary drivers who manage to evade him every time. However, he enlists the help of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team in exchange for full pardons for their past crimes.

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Fast Five injected some much needed life and energy into the Fast & Furious franchise. It was a street racing action series, but its fifth movie made the switch to being a heist action movie and that worked really well. Not only was it the best film in the series at that point, but critics and audiences alike really enjoyed it. Director Justin Lin, who made Fast Five (as well as Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious) directs the follow up with Fast & Furious 6. Whether or not its better or worse than the previous instalment, I think it’s around the same level, and I really enjoyed it.

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While I’m not sure on the whole it’s a better movie, I do think that the story of Fast and Furious 6 is more engaging than Fast Five. Rather than it just being another heist, it does take a slightly different story direction. It is definitely still in the heist/crime tone established with Fast Five, which is definitely to its benefit. However what makes it interesting is the way it changes it up. They team up with Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs this time instead of being chased by him. They are also up against another team of criminals led by Luke Evans, and as its pointed out in the movie, his team is like an evil mirror to Dom’s team. While you really only remember a couple of them, they do make for memorably formidable antagonists. Unlike the villain of 5 who’s just a guy they need to rob, you really feel that they are on the level of Dom’s team. And of course family is a notable part of the movie, this time the big family draw is the fact that the character of Letty (played by Michelle Rodriguez) is not only back from the dead after being assumed dead in the 4th movie, but is also in Luke Evans’s team and doesn’t appear to remember anything. This is a key reason why Dom decides to work with Hobbs and so it is a key part in the plot. I will say though that some of the reasons behind her return are very convoluted and farfetched to say the least. That aside, both aspects come together to make a story that I was interested in. Once again it is the strange but nonetheless effective mix of an approach that doesn’t take things too seriously, while being endearing in how it handles the story and characters and of course family. It also has a good mid credits scene that leads into Furious 7, well worth sticking around to watch.

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The main cast of Fast Five return, with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot. They come into their own here, with great chemistry between them. I’d actually say that they are better here than they were in the last movie. The newcomer of the main cast in the last movie was Dwayne Johnson has Luke Hobbs, and as mentioned earlier is working with Dom and his team instead of pursuing them, he makes a great addition with them and they play off each other really well, as can be expected considering it’s The Rock. One of the main aspects of the movie is Michelle Rodriguez returning as Letty, and she’s a welcome returning player. The villain of Owen Shaw played by Luke Evans works quite well. He’s not great and isn’t that interesting of a character, however he’s definitely a step above the villains in the previous Fast and Furious movies. He isn’t intimidating and imposing especially when he’s put up against Vin Diesel or Swayne Johnson, but he is nonetheless shown to be ruthless and a different kind of threat that wasn’t in the past movies.

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Director Justin Lin returns from Fast Five for this, at this point he’s pretty familiar with the franchise. It mainly comes down to the action, and there’s not much to complain about there. There are some great set pieces and clearly a lot of thought went into them. They really benefited from energetic camerawork, solid editing and good practical effects. The action is even crazier and sillier than Fast Five, not at all worrying about the laws of physics, yet you are constantly focusing on what’s happening and entertained throughout.

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Fast & Furious 6 is around the same level of Fast Five for me. The action might not be quite as memorable as the action scenes in Fast Five, but here the story is a little more interesting, and the cast actually worked better. It’s a solid follow up to Fast Five and was quite enjoyable, among the better entries in this franchise.

Fast Five (2011) Review

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Fast Five

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains violence & offensive language
Cast:
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker
Matt Schulze as Vince
Sung Kang as Han Lue
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar
Joaquim de Almeida as Hernan Reyes
Elsa Pataky as Elena Neves
Director: Justin Lin

Ever since ex-cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of custody, they’ve traveled border to border to evade authorities. In Rio de Janeiro, they must do one final job before they can gain their freedom for good. Assembling their elite team of car racers, Brian and Dom know they must confront the corrupt businessman who wants them dead, before the federal agent (Dwayne Johnson) on their trail finds them.

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Up until Fast Five, the Fast and Furious was a rather okay but entertaining action franchise based around street racing. Some of the movies were reasonably fun but that was sort of it. Fast Five changed that with a much larger blockbuster direction very much for the better, also changing the series as a whole.

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The plot is simple enough: main characters decide to pull off heist on a drug lord while they are being chased by a DEA agent. They don’t make it needlessly complicated, they know what this movie is, with just the right amount of self awareness and witty humour throughout. With Fast Five, they increased the scale and scope of the series. They replaced the street racing formula with elements of a heist thriller, effectively resurrecting this franchise and makes it go in a new direction that actually works quite well. What also works is that they reunite the whole crew with characters from the past movies, making this a sort of soft reboot. If you haven’t seen any of the previous movies, you really don’t have to. You might miss some details with backstories and other characters that are mentioned in passing, but you can pick up on those easily easily. On top of the original Fast and Furious team with Dom, Brian and Mia, there’s characters introduced from 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious. While that could seem a bit overwhelming to have all these characters brought in, they actually work quite well together. Despite the over the top action, the screenplay does place more emphasis on its story and characters, to the film’s benefit. Then there’s the ever present theme about family, and as much as this has been made fun of, it is something that is throughout these movies. One of the things that I like most about these movies is that for as over the top they are, they are genuine and endearing with the characters and their journeys. So it’s just the right mix where they don’t take it too seriously and don’t let anything like physics get in the way of the action, while actually caring about the story and characters.

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The movie has a stellar ensemble with the actors playing to their advantages. Returning main cast members Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster come back, as does Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Suan Kang and more from the previous movies to reprise their roles. All of them work together well in the team and have great chemistry together. It’s no coincidence that the series really found itself after Dwayne Johnson joined it. His personality and charisma adds a lot to this movie as well as the following movies. In this movie, he’s going after Vin Diesel and his group (before teaming up with him later on) and its fun watching them face off.

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Fast Five is directed by Justin Lin, who directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious prior to it, but he seemed to have improved over these movies. He has such a sleek direction, the action scenes are particularly great. This movie obviously is far from being realistic but it’s all shot, edited and filmed well. The third act is the standout, and there’s particularly an insane final setpiece involving a giant safe, which is particularly strong. Brian Tyler’s score packs some intense tracks that adds a lot to the action.

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Fast Five is one of the best entries in the franchise, this is really where the series took off and it’s easy to see why. Even looking back at it now 10 years later, it still holds up despite its ever present flaws. It’s entertaining while caring about its characters and story, it’s silly and over the top while being endearing, it’s just the right blend of elements. If you’ve never seen a Fast and Furious movie, you could jump right in with this movie.

Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Review

Time: 135 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Idris Elba as Brixton Lore
Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw
Eiza González as Madam M
Eddie Marsan as Professor Andreiko
Helen Mirren as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw
Director: David Leitch

Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Jason Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down. But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.

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I like the Fast and Furious movies, ever since the 5th movie they’ve really found a formula that works well, with each entry being rather entertaining blockbusters, if very similar (almost exact). It’s pretty much a given that I’ll be watching each of the following movies in the series in the cinema, but I was particularly looking forward to Hobbs and Shaw. One of the biggest highlights of The Fate of the Furious were the scenes between Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw), who played off each other very well. That dynamic was so popular that the studio was more than willing to have a team up movie with just the two and not featuring any of the other Fast and Furious series characters. So I was somewhat interested in the movie already. However you add on top of that the casting of Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby, and it being directed by David Leitch (who co-directed John Wick and directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2), I was definitely looking forward to it more than I initially thought I would. Hobbs and Shaw pretty much delivered exactly what I was expecting it to, a really dumb yet entertaining romp held together by the leads and the action.

If you’ve watched a Fast and Furious movie, you basically know what you’re in for. There aren’t really any twists that surprise at all, but they make it simple and not needlessly convoluted, so it works well for what it is. If you really wanted to pick apart the plot you could, but there wouldn’t be much point doing that considering the movie it’s attached to. However they’ve taken an even bigger turn for the ridiculous, yes that’s somehow possible. The movie is about some shadowy organisation who gives their soldiers cyber enhancements and have super futuristic technology. People joke about the Fast and Furious series ending up in space but at this point it’s a certainty that they’ll end up there. It’s pretty close to becoming a full on superhero movie franchise. As per usual with this series, there’s a theme about family (for both Hobbs and Shaw), just this time you don’t see Vin Diesel give a big speech about it, and it still fitted reasonably well within the movie, even with his absence. The Fast and Furious movies (at least since the 5th movie) had a pretty good idea of what they are, while having some level of seriousness to how they approach the characters and plot. However Hobbs and Shaw absolutely knows what it is and isn’t really that serious at all. It’s by far the funniest movie in the series, mostly due to the banter between the two leads. One legitimate problem I guess I have with the movie is that it’s too long. Granted these movies have been growing in length but 2 hours and 10 minutes is at least 5-10 minutes too long. It’s more to really do with some of the action scenes being a little too long, as entertaining as they are.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as the titular characters, and the pairing is one of the main reasons why the movie works so well. Hobbs and Shaw are basically just the actors playing themselves, or at least very similar to the characters have played before, and I get the feeling that the movie knew that. They really do get to shine when the two get to verbally spar with each other, they share great chemistry and are hilarious together. Vanessa Kirby, fresh off her scene stealing role in Mission Impossible: Fallout, is one of the highlights of Hobbs and Shaw. Even among the duo, she shows herself as being very capable and gets to do a lot, especially in the action scenes. I’m glad to see that Kirby is getting to star in more prominent roles in these bigger movies. It is more than a little distracting that she and Statham are supposed to be siblings around the same age considering that there’s at least a couple decades age gap between them, still she’s a more than welcome addition to the series. Idris Elba plays the villain, Elba is always good in everything he’s in, so I was looking forward to seeing him in the role. Unfortunately, he’s not really that great of a villain, really just a generic super soldier who occasionally spouts out monologues about humans evolving that we’ve heard plenty of other villains deliver. However Elba definitely knows what kind of movie he’s in and plays up the role well, and his character of Brixton is threatening enough to actually pose a threat against both of the lead characters combined. There are also some really hilarious cameos which I will not spoil, but needless to say they were hilarious to watch.

One of the things that got my hyped for the movie was director David Leitch involved, I really like the movies that he worked on, the fight scenes in those movies were particularly great. Unfortunately, the fight scenes in Hobbs and Shaw don’t really feel like those featured in John Wick, Atomic Blonde or even Deadpool 2, likely because of the PG-13 rating that he has to keep to. Nonetheless they are still quite entertaining, and possibly amongst the best in the series. As I said earlier, some of the action sequences, notably the prominent action scenes in the second and third acts. However they are still really entertaining and overblown as they should be.

If you don’t like any of the Fast and Furious movies, Hobbs and Shaw definitely won’t change your mind. It’s dumb, it makes no sense, and is absolutely ludicrous. However if you like any of the recent movies in the series, I think you’ll have some fun with it. The people who willing pay to see this movie generally know exactly what they’re going in for, and more than likely they’re going to get it. The ridiculous action scenes, as well Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Vanessa Kirby all make it entertaining from start to finish. I don’t have an official ranking of the Fast and Furious series but it’s more than likely one of the best entries.

Skyscraper (2018) Review

Time: 102 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Will Sawyer
Neve Campbell as Sarah Sawyer
Chin Han as Zhao Long Ji
Roland Møller as Kores Botha
Pablo Schreiber as Ben
Noah Taylor as Mr. Pierce
Hannah Quinlivan as Xia
Matt O’Leary as Skinny Hacker
Byron Mann as Inspector Wu
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford (Dwayne Johnson) now assesses security for skyscrapers. He’s on assignment in China when he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family, which is trapped inside the building, above the fire line.

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I wasn’t expecting much from Skyscraper. I like Dwayne Johnson and I enjoy some of his action movies but they aren’t that great and Dwayne Johnson just feels like he’s playing the same character over and over again. I was expecting another simple and dumb action flick like San Andreas. However, Skyscraper was actually pretty decent, it was entertaining, it was good for what it was, and Dwayne Johnson was once again effortlessly solid in his role.

With Skyscraper being quite similar with Dwayne Johnson’s other action movies, I didn’t pay attention to the physics at all. So I wasn’t really taken out of the movie at all when some stupid and implausible things happened, like some other Dwayne Johnson movies like San Andreas (even though I knew what kind of movie it was). It’s silly but not too silly that it’s distracting. There are some exposition dumps about the setup and it felt a little lazy at times, but its very early on and it’s not that much of a problem really. Speaking of the setup, I really liked the idea about a tall building in Hong Kong and how the DJ is stuck there, it’s got a somewhat similar setup to Die Hard. However I feel like the movie doesn’t utilise enough things as it should’ve with the setup of the tallest building in the world. To be fair though, there are a couple of sequences which do take advantage of the setup. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes long and it’s pretty well paced. After the first 15 minutes, this movie moves at a fast and constant rate. I was rather entertained throughout and I had a good time with it.

Many people say that Dwayne Johnson keeps playing the same character, and I’m one of those people. However I think he’s a good actor and he is good at what he does, he just needs to branch out and try different roles to show that he has range. Johnson plays another similar character here again but once again he’s good at it, he’s likable, effortlessly entertaining and is good in the action scenes. His wife played by Neve Campbell is also pretty good, one thing that I like is that she actually does some things, she’s not just a damsel in distress who needs constant rescuing. Other actors like Chin Han who plays the owner of the building are pretty good in their roles. The terrorists characters are very underwhelming, one dimensional and just aren’t good. They work well enough for the plot but they are distracting and a lesser aspect of the movie.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber is surprisingly more of a comedic director, with DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, We’re the Millers and Central Intellegience. I have to say he did a pretty good job with directing an action movie (and a less comedic movie) for the first time. The fights scenes are good and aren’t edited choppily, you can see what’s going on. Even the CGI is pretty good, not amazing but not bad like you might expect it to be.

Skyscraper won’t be ranked among the best action movies in recent years, or even this year, but for what it is, it’s good. It’s fast paced, you’re never bored, it’s very entertaining and Dwayne Johnson is as usual good. The flaws that it has weren’t enough to bring down the enjoyment I had with this movie. So if you are willing to watch a fun but implausible flick, Skyscraper is for you.

The Fate of the Furious (2017) Review

Time: 136 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Contains violence & offensive language
Cast:
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges as Tej Parker
Scott Eastwood as Eric Reisner/Little Nobody
Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey
Kurt Russell as Frank Petty/Mr Nobody
Charlize Theron as Cipher
Director: F. Gary Gray

With Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has found some semblance of a normal life. They soon face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) forces Dom to betray them all. Now, they must unite to bring home the man who made them a family and stop Cipher from unleashing chaos.

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I wasn’t sure about how I would feel about The Fate of the Furious. I liked all of the previous instalments of the Fast and the Furious franchise (haven’t seen the fourth though), especially the more entries in the series. However, the series has started to feel tired and forced, so I had no idea what I would think of the movie. Honestly, The Fate of the Furious surprised me, it’s one of the best movies in the series, with it being completely over the top, but also having a fitting story which tied everything together well.

What this movie did better than the past two Fast and Furious movies (which I still enjoy) is that it doesn’t focus unnecessary attention on other plot points. In Furious 7, while it’s a revenge story with Statham hunting down Diesel and his crew, it unnecessarily focussed on a pivotal device called ‘God’s Eye’, which it really didn’t need. Fate is a lot more straightforward and benefits a lot from that. I was never bored throughout the movie, the pacing of the movie was quite fast and at the same time it never felt rushed. As for the main plot point of the movie, the reason for Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto betraying his team (without spoiling anything), it is really well done and works for the movie. This movie does work on an emotional level surprisingly, it’s not just entertaining, there’s enough in this movie to actually care about what is going on. I was entertained from start to finish, Fate of the Furious was a very fun ride.

The acting is the same as it is in the other movies but some actual character development is here, meaning that these actors had more to work with than in other movies. Vin Diesel particularly is given quite a lot to work with emotionally and while he’s not that good as an actor, he did well enough in these certain scenes. The acting from the other cast works well enough (even though they aren’t great), there are some stand outs. Dwayne Johnson as usual brings his A-game and charisma, so entertaining to watch. I also really liked Jason Statham here, instead of serving as a villain like in the last movie, his character this time teams up with the main characters and it surprisingly works quite well. While I liked him in Furious 7, the film didn’t use him to his full potential. Here though he gets a lot to do. He is particularly fun in his scenes with Dwayne Johnson, those two verbally sparring were so entertaining to see. However the most stand out performance is Charlize Theron, who without a doubt plays the best villain in the franchise’s history. Not only is she smart, she is also very threatening and scary, making a real impression. Definitely an impressive character and performance for the franchise.

The action is even more over the top than the previous movies, and that’s saying a lot. All the action is completely entertaining. There were two stand out sequences to me, one of them was the Manhattan sequence, in which Theron’s character hacks cars. The other was pretty much the entire final act, which involves cars driving on ice as well as an submarine firing torpedoes at them, and its absolutely insane. It does go on for a little too long but I still enjoyed every moment of it. The laws of physics are defied completely, so of course do not go into this movie expecting any form of realism. If there’s any criticism I had, some of the fight scenes were filmed a little shakily but that is it.

If you don’t like any of the Fast of the Furious movies, you won’t like this movie. If you don’t like the recent movies in this series and prefer the street racer focussed movies, you won’t like this movie. However, if you enjoyed the movies 5-7, you will probably like this movie. It’s not a great movie but it knows what it is, and is endlessly entertaining. I do feel that it would be unnecessary to have more movies in this series, and Fate of the Furious would be a good way to end the main series, but I would like to see spin off movies, especially if its with Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson, it has a lot of potential.

San Andreas (2015) Review

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San Andreas

Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Chief Raymond “Ray” Gaines
Carla Gugino as Emma Gaines
Alexandra Daddario as Blake Gaines
Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben Taylor
Art Parkinson as Ollie Taylor
Ioan Gruffudd as Daniel Riddick
Archie Panjabi as Serena Johnson
Paul Giamatti as Dr. Lawrence Hayes
Director: Brad Peyton

In San Andreas, California is experiencing a statewide earthquake that goes on record as easily the biggest earthquake in history. Dwayne Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a helicopter rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department, who is trying to find his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is in San Francisco amidst the chaos. Ray’s estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), is forced to turn to Ray for help, as he is her last resort. Together they journey to save their daughter.

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Disaster movies have practically become a genre in itself. Some of them are entertaining, others are painfully bad. As disaster movies go, San Andreas is one of the better ones but it’s still pretty dumb. The characters are one dimensional, the story is cliché and predictable and the action while good, at a point gets a little tiresome. Still, you know what you are going into, and you’ll probably get all the destruction and action that you want.

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You should know that the plot really doesn’t matter. If you have a hard time following what’s going on, it’s because not much of this movie makes sense. There isn’t any character development here either, all the characters are one dimensional and cliché. You don’t really care about the characters, you only care about Dwayne Johnson’s character because he’s The Rock. The plot is also predictable, from the get go you know exactly how the plot is going to go, you know what characters are going to live and what characters are going to die. There are also some really cheesy lines, there’s a scene where Paul Giamatti figures out what’s going on and someone asks him “Who should we call?” and he says “Everybody”. Moments like this make me wonder whether they are intentional cheesy or not. However if you’re watching this movie, you probably aren’t expecting a good plot.

Dwayne Johnson once again is a likable lead, he can add credibility to anything and elevate the films that he’s in. The supporting cast is pretty good with what they have, consisting of actors like Alexandra Daddario and Carlo Gugino. Paul Giamatti was good in the movie but his entire purpose in the film is to deliver exposition, I felt like he actually didn’t do that much in the movie. As I said before though, all the characters are one dimensional and you don’t particularly care about them. The only reason you care about The Rock’s character is because he’s played by The Rock.

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If you are going into San Andreas, you are going for the action and destruction. The effects for the most part work but at times it can look really fake. For example in the first scene of the movie a car flips down a mountain many times and it looked like a scene from the SyFj channel. The special effects most of the time do work but after a while, it gets kind of boring. Maybe it’s because there’s so much of it at once and after a while it doesn’t feel as impactful. Also the characters survive unbelievable destruction that there is no tension, like in the case of the aforementioned flipping car, when the car stopped flipping, the driver was still alive. It was like the film is running on Die Hard 5 logic.

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San Andreas is not that good of a movie but if you want to see destruction, you’ll definitely get that, if you want to see The Rock being awesome, you’ll get that. The story is predictable, the characters are one dimensional and cliché and the plot is really dumb. However I do think that if you want to see a mostly entertaining movie, you’ll get that with this movie, but I think there are better movies out there.

Furious 7 (2015) Review

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Furious 7

Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Michelle Rodriguez as Leticia “Letty” Ortiz-Toretto
Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto-O’Conner
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker
Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Director: James Wan

The sins of the past seem to be catch up with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and his crew, when Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) shows up to seek revenge for the travails of his younger brother. When a young unknown hacker who claims to have developed ‘God’s Eye’ is also thrown into the mix, things go haywire and Toretto & his crew need to save the hacker and also settle their scores with Shaw.

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The Fast and Furious is a long running action franchise, starting 14 years ago with The Fast and Furious. Today it is one of the best action franchises today due to its change from street racing to heists in Fast Five. Its latest sequel had the misfortune of Paul Walker’s unfortunate death during production. Despite this, Furious 7 ends up being one of the best movies in the franchise and I have a good feeling that many more films that will follow will be great as the ones before it.

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Horror director James Wan takes over from Justin Lin and I thought he did a pretty good job, surprising seeing as this is an action movie. The plot is simple enough and it isn’t made more convoluted than it needs to be, no one is really going into the Fast and Furious movies for the plot. One thing that each of these movies must do is to up the ante of what how big the action scenes can be over the previous movies. That definitely happens and the scenes without action are done quite well and don’t feel unnecessary or long. One thing I will say is that they could’ve used Jason Statham a little more. He was great in the movie but a lot of the time he just pops up every so often during whatever they are doing. However the biggest thing that most people will want to know is how Paul Walker’s last appearance would be handled. Without spoiling anything I will say that he is sent off well and led to the best possible ending that this movie could’ve had.

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All the surviving cast from the previous movie returns and they do quite well in their roles. They aren’t Oscar worthy performances but they aren’t supposed to be. Dwayne Johnson is as usual great in this movie, however he’s not in it as much as the previous movies. I would’ve liked to have seen more of him in this movie but he’s awesome in the scenes he’s in. Jason Statham was really good as the villain and I’d even go so far as to say that he’s the best villain in the franchise. Also a mention should definitely go to Kurt Russell as a government agent, this is his best role in years and hopefully he’ll appear in future Fast and Furious movies.

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Despite James Wan mostly being a director of horror movies he’s managed to direct action very well. The action scenes are done excellently and as I said before, they even go more over the top than the scenes in the previous movies. Whether it be cars parachuting from a plane or cars driving around in skyscrapers, everything is filmed really well. The fight scenes are also well choreographed and filmed as much as possible. Due to Paul Walker’s death, the film had stunt doubles and CGI to replace him in the scenes he hadn’t filmed, some people saw it but I personally didn’t notice it.

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Furious 7 is one of the best movies in the Fast and Furious franchise. If you didn’t like the direction these recent movies have gone in, or if you’ve never liked any of these movies than this film won’t change your mind. I’m open to the idea of more Fast and Furious movies (it’s been recently announced that there will be an 8th film) but if this series ended with this film, it would’ve been a suitable movie to end on.