Tag Archives: Sophie Cookson

Infinite (2021) Review

infinite-01

Infinite

Time: 106 minutes
Cast:
Mark Wahlberg as Evan McCauley (Treadway 2020)
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Bathurst 2020
Sophie Cookson as Nora Brightman
Jason Mantzoukas as the Artisan
Rupert Friend as Bathurst 1985
Toby Jones as Bryan Porter
Dylan O’Brien as Heinrich Treadway
Director: Antoine Fuqua

Haunted by memories of places he’s never visited, a man (Mark Wahlberg) joins forces with a group of reborn warriors to stop a madman from destroying the endless cycle of life and reincarnation.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

I hadn’t heard about Infinite until the day it was released on Neon (a New Zealand streaming service)). It was quite surprising really, considering it is directed by Antoine Fuqua (whose work I like) and stars Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. As it turns out, Infinite was going to have a theatrical release, but it was dumped onto Paramount+ at the last second. I usually have a different opinion on situations like this, but after seeing Infinite, I actually feel like they made the right decision. It really does feel like another average and forgettable action movie with big stars dumped onto a streaming service. Even as someone who didn’t have any expectations going (in aside from the people involved), I was still disappointed with what I saw.

50847784-b88b-4ffe-973e-58dc77f1feee-tpl-movinfinite1

To get this out of the way, Infinite is very derivative of other similar sci-fi action movies, definitely taking a lot from The Matrix and Wanted at the very least. Being derivative isn’t inherently bad though, in fact I thought the movie had an interesting premise. It’s essentially about a war between 2 groups of people, believers and nihilists, who both reincarnate endlessly while retaining memories of their past lives. When it begins, it’s not great by any means but it seems promising. However it’s not too long before the movie manages to take its somewhat interesting premise, and execute it in the most boring and forgettable way. Despite everything, the movie is very uneventful. Much of it is Mark Wahlberg going on a mission to discover himself and realise that his dreams are memories, not dreams. He begins to remember his past lives, and this organisation of believers is trying to help him remember so that they can find a particular important item. It really does feel generic and uninspiring throughout, even shockingly boring. The script feels like a first draft at best, and the movie does a lot of telling rather than showing. There is so much exposition dumped on you, explaining characters, the world, etc. The dialogue itself is very awkward and tonally confused as well. It’s impossible to get invested in what’s going on. The worldbuilding isn’t anything to ride home about either, you’ve seen these types of stories done many times before, and done a lot better. The movie feels longer beyond its 106 minute runtime, and for much of it, it’s rather dull. Towards the end, my interest picked up slightly for the climactic action, but that was it.

MV5BZDQxMTZkMGItOTU2Yy00MWJiLTk4Y2QtMTFjY2NjNDY3ZjgzXkEyXkFqcGdeQWRvb2xpbmhk._V1_

There are some talented actors involved but the characters and writing doesn’t allow any of them to give good performances. This has to be one of the most uninterested performances I’ve seen from Mark Wahlberg. In all fairness, he feels very miscast, from the voiceover narration, to the attempts at humour, to the attempts at drama. In the movie, Wahlberg’s previous life is played by Dylan O’Brien, who has 5 minutes of screentime. He doesn’t get to do a lot outside of some action, but I wish he played the role throughout the whole movie, because he already seemed more fitting. Sophie Cookson was good in the Kingsman movies, but here she’s basically reduced to some passable action sequences and delivering a ton of exposition dumps. There’s really only two performances here that I liked, both of them play their parts in an energetic and silly way that it genuinely made the movie more enjoyable to watch. Jason Mantzoukas hams it up in a supporting role, and Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a very passionate and scene chewing performance as the villain. It is commendable that Chiwetel commits to this role considering how silly the character it is. The villain’s big scheme to end the world is just dumb and not well put together, but the performance made him enjoyable to watch.

f989eac81f59605c57abedb28b3a2ea7

I like Antoine Fuqua as a director, and him helming this movie is what got me interested in it. However this is by far his worst work, at least of the films I’ve seen from him. The visuals are very drab and grey, right out of a straight to DVD or streaming movie. There are some action sequences, and I will say that they aren’t bad. Some of them are well put together, however they do feel quite stale and the editing can be clunky. It is strange considering that Fuqua is pretty reliable when it comes to action. The only action scene that really stood out to me was in the third act involving a plane, which was genuinely quite fun to watch.

MV5BOGVhNjNjZTAtMTg1NC00MDcwLWIzYzAtZmUwNzliZmNkNDgzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_

Infinite is currently the worst movie from 2021 I’ve seen, and unfortunately by far the worst I’ve seen from Antoine Fuqua thus far. Even as someone who went into this movie literally the same day I knew of its existence, I was quite disappointed by the end result. It’s not memorable enough for me to really dislike it, it very much is a forgettable straight to streaming action flick. A couple of the performances are enjoyable and some the action is fun, but otherwise it doesn’t really get anything right.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) Review

KSS_JB_D27_02661.CR2

Kingsman The Secret Service

Time: 129 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin
Colin Firth as Harry Hart/Galahad
Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond Valentine
Mark Strong as Merlin
Michael Caine as Chester King/Arthur
Sophie Cookson as Roxy Morton
Sofia Boutella as Gazelle
Director: Matthew Vaughn

Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is the head of an elite secret spy organization called the Kingsman: The Secret Service. When he finds a regular street kid named Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Edgerton) down on his luck, he recruits him into the ultra-intense training program. Meanwhile, criminal tech mastermind Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is planning a mass genocide to wipe out certain DNA codes. When the Kingsman learn about the crime, Hart and Eggsy have to spring into action, track down the mastermind and his weapon and sift through a web of traitors to stop his plot.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Who better to bring to the big screen an adaptation of classic comic book series The Secret Service other than Matthew Vaughn? With movies like Kick Ass and X: Men First Class among his list of successes, he’s the right person to direct this kind of film. Once again, Vaughn brings us another great movie filled with great action, hilarious moments and is all around entertaining. It has been one of the most fun times I’ve had at the movies this year.

kingsman-04[1]

The film is entertaining from start to finish with never a dull moment. One thing I like is how the film is self-aware and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Kingsman is both a throwback to old spy flicks as well as parody of those movies. It also knows what tone to use each scene, sometimes it uses comedy and sometimes there really is drama, and they are used at the most suitable times and done greatly. The dialogue is also quite well written for each character, witty, snappy and funny. The final act of the movie delivers a great climax and like the rest of the movie, its well set up and written. I won’t spoil it but my favourite scene in the whole movie happens in the climax has the music of Pomp and Circumstance. That scene alone could basically sum up everyone I love about Kingsman.

KSS_JB_D22_02173.CR2

Colin Firth is excellent in this movie and it shows how versatile of an actor he is. He even did 80% of his own stunts and it really pays off here, and a good example is in the church fighting scene. Samuel L. Jackson was also entertaining as the villain, whether it be his lisp or his fear of blood, he was well cast. The cast also consists of Mark Strong and Michael Caine who are also great in their scenes. Early actors, Taron Edgerton, Sophie Cookson and Sofia Boutella are great in their roles and after watching this movie, I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing them in more movies pretty soon.

kingsman-the-secret-service-official-trailer-000[1]

The film is also great on a technical level. The action was very well done, and all of it so well-choreographed. One of the best action scenes takes place inside a church and it’s very well filmed. It has a lot of tracking shots, which would sound hard to pull off but Matthew Vaughn somehow succeeds in doing this. The soundtrack was well chosen, the score was well composed by Henry Jackman but the other music picks were well chosen. From the beginning with Dire Straits’s Money for Nothing to Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, all the songs fitted perfectly to what was going on. The film is quite violent, but like with Kick Ass, Matthew Vaughn puts the violence on screen brilliantly and often times, it is quite funny. The editing is also noteworthy and puts everything together perfectly.

pdc_kingsman3[1]

Kingsman: The Secret Service is overall a very entertaining movie, if you like having a good time at the movies, this is for you. Just know that this film may not be for everyone’s tastes. I hear that it may be getting a sequel and I do hope that it is the case, I can see a new and great franchise emerging from this movie. Kingsman: The Secret Service is one of my favourite movies of 2015.