The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.The Man from U.N.C.L.E. while not as wildly successful as it could have been was, in my opinion, an awesome movie that was truly underappreciated. No doubt for the intensely blatant innuendo of a gay relationship that, sadly, didn’t actually exist between the two main characters.

D4D_3324.dngStaring Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, the CIA and KGB’s best agents respectively in 1963. Both are known for dubious actions but are, for the most part, intensely loyal to their countries. They first meet in Berlin when they are sent after the same woman, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) for the same reason. Gaby’s father, an important person in the development of nuclear weapons, has gone missing and is believed to have been taken by the cunning villainess Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki). Both are told to do the same thing, reclaim the Dr.’s research and eliminate the other in order to make sure that it doesn’t fall into enemy hands.

I’ve mentioned, to many people, that this movie could have easily slashed Debicki and Vikander from the film and I would have been completely fine. Both women, while playing D3S_2026.DNGhugely important roles in the plot are simply negligible to the relationship between Cavill and Hammer’s characters. The sexual innuendo is ever-present and the sexual tension is practically palpable throughout the film. Aside from being the basis for the entire plot (Gaby Teller) and the one running the show (Victoria The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 8Vinciguerra) both women also serve to remind us that Solo and Kuryakin are one hundred percent heterosexual. Can you imagine a big budget film with two white male leads actually being heterosexual without sex having to be used to remind us? Oh you can? Oh that’s right, we use sex to make sure you understand that a character is not heterosexual! Aside from that, their relationship starts out hostile (as can be The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 1expected of enemy spies who have tried to kill one another in the recent past) but over time Solo and Kuryakin learn important, intimate really, details about one another that evolves their relationship over the course of the film. If it weren’t for that whole “I want to blow up the world for reasons that don’t make sense other than I’m certain it will somehow net me a profit” thing, than the relationship between the The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 10two spies would have been the entire plot. And I would have had absolutely no problem with that. I think the movie would have been far more satisfactory if that had been the case but it was still in awesome movie. It had high comedy points while at the same time it always was able to deliver on the drama of the situation that the trio were in. It pays direct homage to the television series it was based on and has a fantastic love affair with the sixties, especially fashion and style. All in all, this is a movie that you should sit down and enjoy without delay. I know I’m going to.

 

Catch That Kid

Catch that KidBefore you really even knew who the hell these three were, there was a little movie called Catch That Kid which featured young actors in main roles. Now, of the three of them, you’ll easily recognize Kristen Stewart and Corbin Bleu and some (like myself) will recognize Max Thieriot before their breakout roles in Twilight, High School Musical, and a slew of films for Max Thieriot. Catch That Kid is an entertaining movie that may not have impressed critics or filmgoers at the time it was released but then this movie was intended for the typical moviegoer. It was about preteens, who would invariably rather sneak into an R-Rated flick. It also doesn’t help that it was released during the dump months for movies (January through April, October unless you’re a horror movie, and September if you’re not good enough for the Summer or Winter), specifically it was released in February of 2004. But what it lacks in planning it makes up for in execution.

Maddy (Kristen Stewart) is the daughter of Tom (Sam Robards) who climbed Mount Everest and his success has imbued a love of climbing in his young daughter. However, Tom fell a rather large distance during one of his climbs, and the fear of something happening to Maddy has prompted Tom and Molly (Jennifer Beals) to demand that Maddy never climb again in order to protect her. This being a young adolescent, of course, entirely disregards her parent’s more than reasonable request.

Catch that Kid 3Her two best friends are Gus (Thieriot) and Austin (Bleu) and both of them have major crushes on Maddy as they come into that time of their lives were love triangles are entirely appropriate, possible, and unfortunately expected in a movie that could spend its time on… anything else. The three of them are avid go-carters and enjoy spending time with one another to the point that Maddy (as a step away from the norm) is well aware of their feelings towards her.

That fall that I mentioned earlier comes back to haunt Tom as it caused internal injuries that doctors were either too incompetent to find or he simply didn’t go to a hospital after falling nine stories, and will be left paralyzed from the neck down if he doesn’t get an experimental procedure costing around $250,000. Here in comes the plot, of which either adults are stupid, bank security is not up to code, or something that could scarily happen in real life.

Catch that Kid 2Maddy decides to rob the bank her mother works in so that she can come up with the money to save her father, her hero. It just so happens her mother has built a security system for the bank that she works for. Just so you know, Maddy’s mother did very much attempt to get a loan from the very bank she works at, only to be coldly dismissed by her boss Donald Brisbane (Michael Des Barres).

Catch that Kid 1Maddy is able to convince Austin and Gus into helping her and they, rather ingeniously, plan a heist that would make the IMF (Mission Impossible) proud. Like I said, this movie is entertaining and you might just need a bit of this in your life right now. Also, it is absolutely awesome to see some of these actors in roles long before they made it into something that would explode their careers.

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner 1I saw The Maze Runner in theaters without knowing much, if anything, about the movie or the book that it was based on. This can be a common occurrence if you haven’t caught onto the YA trilogy craze as this isn’t the first time I’ve stumbled upon a series without knowing anything about it (Twilight, The Hunger Games, Vampire Academy, and Divergent… basically all of them).

The Maze Runner 3The Maze Runner starts with a young man, played by Dylan O’Brien, who doesn’t know his name in the beginning, as he is raised up into a large courtyard that is almost entirely enclosed. As one of several dozen young men who are in a similar situation Thomas (O’Brien) starts to figure out that this simple, idyllic encampment is anything but. Beyond the strange metal doors is a maze (really a labyrinth since it changes its layout constantly but I suppose The Labyrinth Runner isn’t as succinct) with creatures that are callously efficient at killing people who aren’t named Thomas.

The Maze Runner, 2014This group is led by Alby (Aml Ameen) and includes notable members such as Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) Alby’s second in command, Gally (Will Poulter) an enforcer, Chuck (Blake Cooper) their fat friend, and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) a runner. Each of so-called Gladers have a specialized role within this rudimentary society as they try to survive it and find a way out of this nightmarish scenario.

It’s basically The Hunger Games without a legitimate competition and supposedly Divergent with the end of world as a plot point. It tries, and whether or not it succeeds is entirely up for debate, to take the YA dystopic trilogy and put a new spin on it. Unfortunately there are only so many ways you can do the same concept over and over again until they are all interchangeable. Is this a good thing? Only the next fad will give us any sort of insight.

The Maze Runner 2Eventually the men are joined by a single woman, Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), who remembers more than anyone else but still not much else. Things start to pick up before she shows up as Thomas proves his importance to the plot by surviving, and helping Minho as well, a Griever. He can run really well, but because we need a convenient way to inflict conflict there will always be someone who incites it by being disagreeable for no readily understandable reason.

The same tropes populate this genre, so you’d be hard pressed to find anything that is overly unique about one series. But it’s okay because it actually is an interesting film series.

Once the Gladers (their name not mine) finally decide to get proactive, things start to move rather quickly and characters (nameless or otherwise) are killed left and right to continue the illusion that our main characters are in any apparent danger in the first of a planned trilogy. Although with their luck they’ll decide to extend the third book into two movies just to spite us.

Men in Black

Who doesn’t love a good movie about aliens living among us? The media would have you believe that they’re all out to kill us or enslave us, but Men in Black has an important message to all of you. Aliens are among us and they can be friendly just as often as they can be murderous A-holes.

Men in Black

Meet the Men in Black, Agent K who is played by Tommy Lee Jones and his partner Agent D played by Richard Hamilton as they go on a mission to intercept illegal aliens, literally. During the mission, Agent D decides that he is too old for this any longer and asks to be neuralyzed into retirement, basically your memories are wiped and replaced with new ones to cover up the discrepancies. Because you aren’t ready to know about aliens, you know… just in case one wanders into your home and murders you, it’s still important that you don’t know they exist.

Agent K is tasked with finding a new partner and inexplicably (later explicably) chooses James Edwards, his memories are altered and he becomes Agent J the newest edition to the M.I.B. who is going to bring some different techniques to the collective.

Apparently aliens have been departing Earth en masse and it’s up to our Agents to discover why this is. Of course, coincidences are next to nil and everything is connected here for convenient plot reasons. Their mission leads them to a farm where an alien space ship has crashed and it is here where things pick up. Some aliens are killing and replacing people and Agents K and J must stop their plan before it grows too out of hand.

Men in Black 1

Men in Black was a successful film and it began a small franchise even though technically the movie was what made it a franchise, what with it being based off of a comic book and all. This is a comedy film to its core and it takes some serious concepts, illegal immigration (from a galaxy far, far away of course), the importance of secrecy, and the importance of team work and it plays them fast and loose for the most comedic value that it can get out of them all.

Edgar-men-in-black

The primary antagonist is played by Vincent D’Onofrio and it seems that D’Onofrio quite enjoys playing the villain as he so often does. Linda Fiorentino plays Laurel Weaver, who eventually joins up as Agent L despite never appearing in a sequel. And Zed, the head of the M.I.B., is played by Rip Torn. They round out the supporting cast and of course there’s the occasional alien here or there but the primary focus remains almost entirely on Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as they find their chemistry and work to stop this alien takeover.

Armageddon

ArmageddonMy family and I have a penchant for loving disaster films. Death and destruction cast out at a startlingly fast rate are an intense draw for us, probably more than it should be. The disaster movie has been around for a long time and in recent decades CGI has given way to even better looking movies. One of the most interesting disaster movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen it a lot, is Armageddon with Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler.

Armageddon is about an asteroid “the size of Texas” that is heading towards Earth and it is up to us to save the planet (after several cities have been struck by fragments of course… well someone has to die or it isn’t our problem…). The movie decides to cast logic aside, and if you listen to the BTS commentary you’ll hear some people wondering why they were ignored on certain aspects of the film. One glaring issue I had was when Bruce Willis’ character made it abundantly clear that the well trained astronauts would have a harder time learning to manipulate a large drill than the oil drillers would have in learning to operate… a SPACE CRAFT!

What.

Armageddon 1

That doesn’t make any sense, and when the director was called out on it, he ignored reason and went along with it. Granted we do love our everyday Joes’ being able to save our planet but… them… I don’t even know anymore.

Of course this is a film, so we can’t go very far without a little romance thrown into the mix. Liv Tyler plays Willis’ character’s daughter (respectively their characters are Grace and Harry Stamper and their relationship is awkward at best). Harry, as a father of course, is overly protective of his twenty-plus year old daughter’s sexuality and as such absolutely hates A.J. Frost (played by Affleck). But you know those daughters, always dating what daddies hate because he isn’t paying enough, if any, attention to you.

Armageddon 4

This particular love story presents us with one of the most interesting things in the film. Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck’s character are sharing an intimate moment together at one point and in the background is a song playing… a song being performed by Liv Tyler’s father Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Just let all of that sink in when you re-watch the film.

Because this is an ensemble film about saving the world, we are treated to a collection of quirky supporting characters. They are brought together by NASA guy Dan Truman who is played by Billy Bob Thorton and their team consists of several interesting characters. Will Patton is Charles “Chick” Chapple, Steve Buscemi is the crazy Rockhound, Michael Clarke Duncan is Bear, Ken Campbell is Max Lennert, Owen Wilson (yup that guy, in a bit role of course) is Oscar Choi, and the minor character of Fred Noonan played by Clark Brolly. Partway into the film they are joined by Peter Stormare’s Lev Andropov. They each have some sort of significance, unless they die before doing anything of note and a couple of them actually do. But this is a disaster film, who the hell expects the main characters to make it out of one of these films? Yes, sometimes a few members of the cast make it out alive before the credits roll, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that features the same characters from beginning to end without dying.

Armageddon 3

Armageddon is a good, old fashioned, fun disaster flick and I think it’s time to dust it off and slip it back in.

 

 

Spy

In this day and age comedies have a lot of ground to cover if they want to be taken seriously. This is because comedy is, as of late, almost always apart of other genre films in some capacity and so straight comedy films with nothing else to offer up aren’t always worth our time.

Spy

Spy, in my humble opinion, is the best movie Melissa McCarthy has actually done. With a splash of starts who I actually know and like in roles that seem designed to make fun of the roles they usually take or have taken in the past. Jude Law plays Bradley Fine the suave, debonair spy whom Susan Cooper (McCarthy) guides from the less than cared for CIA headquarters (many a joke goes into how the conditions of the building are god-awful, compared to the expensive tech they hand out like candy). But that’s the CIA for you, apparently in this film at least. The tech analysts who run the show for the agents on the ground aren’t given the same kind of consideration. Whether or not it truly bothers them is played for laughs, as they are able to sit through rats (at least I hope that was a rat) crawling on them, animal feces on goodbye cakes that look like chocolate sprinkles, and a swarm of bats coming out of the woodwork… Well, I’d call the place condemned but obviously it was budget cuts for the fancy tech.

Spy Slutty DolphinThings take a dark turn for Agent Fine when he accidentally sneezes and kills his mark, the only person whom they’ve confirmed that knows about the location of a nuclear bomb. Scrambling fast, they decide to try and learn something from the mark’s daughter, Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne, SQUEE!! She may or may not be a slutty dolphin trainer, we never really do get an answer on that one).

We are introduced to other agents, most notably Cooper’s friend Nancy B. Artingstall (Miranda Hart), Rick Ford (Jason Statham in what has to be a parody of Jason Statham in every role he’s ever been in), and Elaine Crocker (Allison Janey) their boss. With one more tragedy and all of their field agents exposed, Susan Cooper volunteers to watch and report on Boyanov’s movements so they might be able to recover the nuclear bomb before it’s too late.

Spy Characters

And because this is a comedy, Cooper is given progressively worse and worse covert identities with some of the lamest tech you’ve ever seen. Cooper, though, refuses to give up and knows that she can prove herself.

Spy is a comedy, and with Melissa McCarthy in the lead it really was a toss-up on the quality. Comedies already have a high journey to go for me, you have to be funny, entertaining, hold my attention, and not do something so outrageous that I don’t feel like finishing you (Even with Ted 2 coming out, one scene really rubbed me the wrong way in the original and I’ve never been in the mood to finish it even though I like the people in it and the concept is interesting). On top of that, the plot has to be either really engaging or a genuinely interesting excuse plot. Some comedies have it easier than others, Scary Movie was a parody of the horror genre in full and it’s debatable whether or not the other sequels ever met its caliber, and it wasn’t that high a bar. However, Spy was genuinely funny to the point where not all of the most hilarious bits were in the trailer. When it needed to be serious it was serious, if even with a hint of comedy to remind you that this is a comedy.

Spy 2015 poster

Take your time, enjoy this movie in theaters if you get the chance and be glad that it’s rated R.

Independence Day

Everyone has seen it, everybody knows it, and it kind of represents the day that we are celebrating right now.

Independence Day

Independence Day stars Will Smith as Ace Pilot Captain Steve Hiller, USMC in a role that is almost universally played by a white man. In a time where we have hundreds of movies coming out starring white men in lead roles, here comes Will Smith pointing out to the world that he’s here and he’s not afraid to play traditionally white male lead roles.

Before, I mentioned that everybody knows this film and that is absolutely true. The White House is blown up alongside the Empire State Building, the pyramids of Giza, and other miscellaneous buildings that people don’t really know about… killing thousands upon thousands of adults with absolutely no children present! Monumental destruction is taken to its logical extreme, because aliens clearly wouldn’t want to blow up an elementary school to make us feel worse about their attacks.

INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1996. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection
INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1996. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection

Watching this movie over again, the cheesy CGI, the dramatically bad acting, and the convenient escapes that action films are known for if you happen to have your name on the poster! This is actually a good thing, though, never forget what I have said about genre films. They have their place, a niche in our hearts that drives us to continue to shell out six to twelve dollars every week. Will Smith, back when he was a bona fide actor who didn’t have creative control over his work, is great in this role.

The supporting cast has their place, starting with Bill Pullman (Spaceballs) as our President, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as an MIT graduate and expert on stuff (because science absolutely has a place in our action movies), and Mary McDonnell (currently seen on Major Crimes and always in my heart) as our beloved First Lady. Add in dozens of nameless people acting in cabinet positions amongst a myriad of named armed forces members, reminding us the comparative importance based on who’s the lead.

Traditionally white male lead roles are still the norm, but it was a nice change of pace in the nineties to have something that steps away from the norm.

Check this out today, because it’s totally inappropriate every other day of the year! And with a sequel coming out, who knows what will happen?

Man of Steel

It may not seem like a deconstruction at first, if only because it manages to play many of its mythos straight, but at the same time it manages to change so many of them that adaptation just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel is a deconstruction of Superman, at its core. Everyone knows who and what Superman is. He is the pinnacle of good, he helps everyone he can, he has absolute control over his ability, and he is in love with Lois Lane for explainable reasons. Over the course of this film there are many aspects of Superman that are explored, and that we expect to be explored in an adaptation of Superman. For one, we expect Krypton to explode, for Kal El to travel space until he crash lands on Earth during a meteor storm, for the Kents to find and raise him rather than sell him for spare parts, and for them to raise ‘Clark’ (Henry Cavill)  as a normal human being.

Seeing as how they glossed over his years as Superboy and still managed to kill of an important person in Clark’s life, Man of Steel managed to hit all of the highlights of Clark’s youth. They just went about it a lot differently. Rather than supporting Clark from the beginning, Jonathan fears what might happen to Clark if anyone were to discover he was an alien and so even after revealing this information to Clark, he tells his son not to use his powers. Of course things conspire against the Kent’s and, because they live in Kansas, a tornado happens upon them one day and… oh, well there goes Jonathan Kent because he wouldn’t send his son who (mind you wouldn’t of needed his powers to move faster than Jonathan) to save the dog and then…. Then just stands there. At least Smallville had the decency to give him a heart attack after letting him win a Senatorial election.

From there Clark grows up as a nomad, when the U.S. military finds a Kryptonian space ship and, us being U.S., we investigate it! For some reason Lois Lane is here at a top secret military operation even though she’s a reporter and her job is to report on… well everything. Why would you have a reporter at a top secret military outpost…? Why? I mean seriously? I know Lois Lane (played by Amy Adams who, incidentally, was in episode of Smallville before Enchanted happened and fame became overnight for her) is a military brat but I really, really hope that personal string pulling doesn’t reach this far. I mean… this is the military and they can’t prevent the media from showing up?

Herein enters another change, Lois Lane meets Superman and, being a reporter manages to deduce precisely who he is by actually doing her job with some semblance of investigative skill and intelligence. Who would have thought? So falls away a typical part of the Superman mythos, the Lois Lane-Clark Kent-Superman love triangle is thankfully forgotten about.

Possibly one of the biggest changes, though, and the one most complained about, is the final battle against Zod (Michael Shannon) which results in untold casualties (by which I mean literally, we aren’t told the number of casualties in Metropolis alone, but considering how many skyscrapers came crashing down it’s clear that here were at least several hundred). Superman is known for not killing people, at all, and not only does he indirectly kill a lot of people, he directly kills Zod. It is an interesting change, and with a sequel on the way (which has managed to jam pack almost the entire Justice League) we’ll see how things go.

Batman V Superman

With Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent, Russel Crowe as Jor-El, Christopher Meloni as Colonel Nathan Hardy, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White the film features an ensemble of powerful actors in supporting roles that flesh out the film in different ways. Some were better than others, but all in all they helped make the film more interesting amidst the changes.

Wonder_Womanaquaman

At least Wonder Woman is finally going to debut in film and we’ll finally get to rub Aquaman from Super Friends from our memories!

 

 

X-Men (2000)

For many of you, your exposure to the slew of movies that have been coming out in excess since the year 2000 (because we’re ignoring EVERYTHING before then) has solely been with the film adaptation of one of my favorite mediums; The Comic Book Movie Adaptation!!

X-Men

X-Men started the resurgence in popularity (much like Scream did for slashers). It stared a slew of accomplished actors and who were just getting their start, and let’s be honest this made their careers SKYROCKET (Side note: Did you know Anna Paquin was in She’s All That as Freddie Prinze’s sister… cause I didn’t and I love that movie and I love her so…. Wow, some people have come FAR). But really, a lot of people know Famke Jannsen (Xenia Onatop) as the red-haired psychic Jean Grey, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart (both accomplished actors with decades under their belt) as 1960’s best frienemies Magneto (Erik Lesherr) and Professor Charles Xavier, Halle Berry (interestingly enough she would go on to star in another Pierce Brosnan James Bond flick) as famous weather witch Storm, and Ray Park (Darth Maul!!) as the… overpowered Toad. Of course then there are those lucky actors who have grown near and dear to my heart (who knows about yours?) in the ensuing fifteen years of films and television alike: Anna Paquin (best known these days for True Blood) as Rogue (who really is just an amalgamation of Rogue’s power and Kitty and Jubilee’s characterization, especially where Wolverine is concerned), James Marsden as Cyclops (Enchanted, Strawdogs, Hairspray – but here he might as well be a silent mook considering he’s underused and nothing like his comic book counterpart… we’ll just leave it at that), Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman (Notably NOT Smallville’s Jimmy Palmer as that was his twin brother Aaron, even though they often double for one another, and he was on Smallville as a villain so have at that as you will… no Shawn is notable for The Follownig with Kevin Bacon who would go on to play Sebastian Shaw AKA the White King in First Class), Tyler Mane as Sabertooth (who will later be known as the psychopathic serial killer who stalks his sister and kills all of her friends, Michael Meyers in the Halloween remake duology), Rebecca Romijn who would go on to star in a slew of tv shows like Ugly Betty and Eastwick, and who could forget Hugh Jackman our illustrious Wolverine who can steal the spotlight from the best of them (Famous for Les Miserables, but really just the X-men film franchise….).

See the characters you grew up with in wildly different interpretations in every regard except for their powers (leave that to Brett Rhatner and X-Men the Last Stand; I’m looking at you Callisto, Juggernaut, Psylocke, and… thorny guy?).

X-Men is an entertaining film but it was an adaptation of a comic book in the year 2000 and while it was impressive for its day, looking back on it there were a lot of flaws with it. Some aged well and others didn’t but in the end X-Men is still an entertaining film, just ignore everything you know about the comic books like I do when I’m watching an adaptation of a book and you’re golden!

What has always stood out for me in this series, though, is that for the most part the adaptations work (just ignore 3 and Wolverine Origins like Days of Future Past did and it’s all perfect). The characters are engaging when Hugh Jackman isn’t on screen, the plots can keep you guessing (especially if you’re apprised of the source material, the little changes make a huge difference and that can be a good thing if done properly). But most of all it did understand one thing that The Avengers will never have, a team film. For all of my jabs at Wolverine, he really is an integral character to the source material even if he debuted a decade after the series began. The X-Men films have always had a focus on team work, there aren’t any egos getting in the way of that and they trust one another implicitly. By the time you do reach the third movie, even with a roll of the eyes, their team is more a family than anything else.

x-men-days-of-future-past-the-rogue-cut-135733

As July 14th rolls up and Fox wants us to shell out more money for a sequence that was completed months ago but held back for the reason just listed, look forward to the more than likely much better version of X-Men Days of Future Past – X-Men Days of Future Past the Rogue Cut!

Furious Seven

Furious Seven 1Seeing someone’s final work of art, and even if other works come out after this one I’ll always see this as his final work of art, can be hard. Paul Walker left us too soon, as do so many other people in our lives. To be able to continue on with those who are still here is a blessing, and the magic of film can keep someone alive for decades to come.

Furious Seven was an incredible movie and in my personal (screw humble!) opinion it was the best of the series. Discarding heists, which had been the subject of four, and focusing on the familial connection (which has been the subject of them all) allowed this film to soar. The characters are grieving the loss of one of their own, as Tokyo Drift finally comes into continuity, Han is dead and it appears someone is now hunting them down in revenge for what was done to Owen Shaw in Fast and Furious 6.

Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, shows exactly why it is he has become a huge icon in the action film industry. When we see Jason Statham mow down through an army its believable not only because of the character’s credentials, which are explained in passing, but because this is what Jason Statham always does in his films. He is a walking reign of terror for anyone who happens to get in his way and each and every time the main characters come up against him there are bodies in their wake and some of them come dangerously close to joining the unfortunate extras around them. Whereas Owen Shaw (played by Luke Evans in a cameo from the previous film) had a small team that rivaled each character in personality, style, and attitude, Deckard needs none of this to propel him forward as a hurricane force of villainy with a singular goal in mind; kill Dominic Toretto and anyone he knows.

Once again the government comes to Dominic Toretto, and his team, for help and after Deckard Shaw comes dangerously close to killing off Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky). With targets on their back and their beloved home blown to smithereens, Dominic Toretto agrees to the shadowy groups’ help and he, Brian (Paul Walker), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Tej (Ludacris) set out to find a notable hacker known only as Ramsey who has a powerful program called God’s Eye that makes Thorngate from Scandal look like child’s play.

This film takes our team across the world in the pursuit of their goals and involves some of the craziest stunts I’ve ever seen performed on film. Seriously, dropping cars from an Antonov was freaking crazy!