Tag Archives: Charlize Theron

Fast and Furious 8

Fast and Furious 8

Otherwise known as The Fate of the Furious in the States, the eighth (!) installment in the franchise has already passed the one billion mark at the box office. This time around Dom (Vin Diesel) has seemingly turned his back on family (get used to this word being used a lot) and joined up with the evil Cipher (Charlize Theron). Can the team foil Cipher’s evil plot and bring Dom back into the fold?

Ah The Fast and The Furious movies, where logic and science goes to die. But the series is obviously doing something right with audiences scrambling to see the adventures of Dom and co. I admit the Fast and Furious movies starting from Fast Five have become something of a guilty pleasure of mine and this latest offering works best when it plays to the series strengths. One of it’s biggest strengths is Dwayne Johnson who brings charisma and entertainment as law man Luke Hobbs, Johnson looks like he doesn’t take any of the film too seriously and is having fun with the ridiculousness of it all. Trading insults with Jason Statham’s Deckard- the last film’s villain now possible good guy?-is one of the more enjoyable parts of the films. When the series has fun and goes from one insane set up to another it’s easy to get swept up in it all.

However the film gets bogged down with too much focus on Dom and Cipher- the least interesting part of the movie. Poor Theron does her best but Cipher and her monologues are a bore. The film suffers whenever it tries to play it seriously and an overlong climax also starts to wear any audience good will. Suspension of belief is already needed to get your head around the gang’s zany schemes but around the time Hobbs grabs a tornado with his hands you start wondering if the filmmakers ever reject an idea for being too ridiculous. Or maybe in the F&F world every idea is a good idea. Also the fact that Deckard murdered Han in the previous movie seems to be forgotten about. Justice for Han!

Not as deliciously bonkers as the 5th and 6th installments and lacks the emotional edge of the 7th. While the 8th will probably go down as the most profitable I doubt it will be the most popular one.

Rating 3/5 – Dom’s ‘family’ have still got it but the series will need to shape up for future installments

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The_Huntsman_–_Winter's_War_poster

Snow White and The Huntsman was a box office hit back in 2012. Then backstage scandal meant both it’s lead actress Kristen Stewart and it’s director Rupert Sanders would not return for the sequel. So a sequel instead was rebooted around Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. But will a sequel with such ropey beginnings be able to work?

Set before the events of the previous movie, Queen Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) sister Freya (Emily Blunt) finds her ice powers unfleshed after a tragedy. Powered by her giref Freya builds her her own kindgom and makes an army out of children who will grow up to be her Huntsmen. As years go by two of them Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) break Freya’s rules by falling in love with distasterous consquences. The film then skips seven years to after Ravenna’s death when Eric is sent on a mission to recover the lost mirror of Ravenna coming back into contact with those of his past.

Stewart’s Snow White was one of the more blandest characters in the previous film so her presance isn’t sorely missed (although her absence doesn’t really make sense), but Hemsworth’s The Huntsman wasn’t that much interesting either. So trying to set the sequel/prequel around him was perhaps not the best idea. The film is also so busy trying to fit around the fact that Snow White is not around that several characters have their backstory’s retconned from the previous movie such as Ravenna suddenly gaining a sister. Why didn’t she go to her for help in the previous film if she was around then?

Then there’s the film’s attempt to make this a lighter, funnier movie than it’s predessessor. Not a bad idea but most of it’s humour is hit and miss. The film also has three great actresses in Chastain, Theron and Blunt but Theron isn’t in it enough and Chastain’s Sara feels underdeveloped and lacks chemsistry with Hemsworth. Blunt fares better with Freya having a tragic backstory that powers the action and her scenes with Theron are great but there aren’t enough of them together.

Overall The Huntsman Winter’s War isn’t a terrible film just an uncessary one.

Rating 2.5/5 -a fine casting and some enticing visuals aside this prequel/sequel fails to ignite a new franchise to life

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Mad Max: Fury Road

At first the signs did not look good for this movie. After all it’s the third sequel to a classic movie, that has been stuck in development hell for years, so how good could the film be? But then strange things started happening. It got a load of rave review and wide acclaim. Despite all it’s problems getting here could Mad Max: Fury Road actually be a decent movie?

Set in the future after nuclear war has made the world a desert wasteland, Max (Tom Hardy) is drifting on his own, haunted by his past. He is soon captured by a group called the Wild Boys led by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrns). However when Furiosa (Charlize Theron) betrays Joe and takes his five wives away, Max ends up unwittingly involved in the women’s escape. But Immortan Joe won’t let his wives go without a fight.

I have a vague recollection of seeing Mad Max and Mad Max 2: Road Warrior, or at least I remember seeing the end of them. I haven’t seen the third movie, although I’ve definitely seen the Tina Turner music video for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. So while I’m not able to say if Fury Road lives up to its predecesories I can say that on its own merit it’s an adrenaline fuelled movie, that’s absolutely bonkers, and all the better for it. Whether it’s human blood bags being strapped to the front of vehicles or the villains’ crew including men playing guitars and drums on cars as they chase their victims across the deserts, this movie is appropriately quite mad. It’s also hugely enjoyable.

While Tom Hardy is strong and on brooding form as the title character its great that a testosterone full movie like this is not afraid of having strong female characters. Charlize Theron in particular is great as Furiosa. I was worried that the Five Wives (Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) were going to be useless baggage dragging the film down. While they are living McGuffins there to drive the plot along, they are actually interesting and make themselves useful. As the movie goes on you’re willing for them to make it away from Immortan Joe’s grip. Nicholas Holt as Wild Boy Nux is also great in this movie. He manages to be funny in one scene and then pitifully sad in another, even though he’s one of the people chasing after The Five Wives. The baddies are also appropriately grotesque and creepy.

It’s not a flawless movie. Max’s visions of his dead daughter are annoying, while I’m sure they provide the audience with Max’s motivations I still got irritated every time she appeared or heard her voice. But when a movie is as fun as this it’s a small quibble to have.

Rating 4/5 – over the top it made be, but it’s definitely the post apocalyptic-action blockbuster to beat

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