Personally one of the best “action” films to be recently released, Olympus was an immensely satisfying 2 hours that literally felt “non-stop” from beginning to end with only subtle pauses that were necessary to push the storyline. Never once feeling bored or like it was dragging, Fuqua did a an excellent job in keeping the pace continuous, constantly pushing the film and its characters from one climax to another, which is honestly what made the film feel so fresh. Taking certain moments and placing them in unexpected scenes where other films might have used in the end or in typical locations, Olympus seemingly didn’t hesitate to change that up, willing to push that envelope and its characters by placing them in immediate danger with no fear as to the consequences. Even during scenes that would have felt formulaic, Olympus still managed to even make those acceptable, in big part to its overall willingness to go “all out.”
Yet, a lot of the what made this film as appealing and enjoyable as it was, is its cast which superbly held it together, on all levels. With big names carrying the major and small roles, it was exciting to see some familiar faces confront imminent danger, not knowing who, if anyone was safe from what was happening, which only heightened the entertainment value. Though Eckhart and Butler, along with Freeman were the main characters of the film, it never once felt that either or all three were the only ones carrying the film as each supporting character played well off one another or contributed greatly to where the film was being taken. Thus making Olympus feel like a well rounded and exceptionally enjoyable film that even as it concluded made you want to watch it again.
With so many explosions, great action sequences, of which a lot of credit must go to Butler who handled this role with such ease and fluidity that personally is his best role since 300 (in the action genre) and Fuqua’s direction into making this a solid film, Olympus truly did not hold back on any level, taking all the elements that fans love from this genre and giving it an upgrade, with a storyline that may not necessarily have been new but never felt overcomplicated and still well grounded. Though it very unlikely that this will be a franchise, it still didn’t stop me from hoping we may see these characters again, as long as they stick to what they did right here.
Though the film as a whole was an upgraded experience from its predecessor and in many ways a reboot rather than a sequel, Retaliation personally still fell short from reaching what could have been a franchise with a lot of potential, Though many elements of the cartoon still found its presence within the film to make it feel nostalgic, the film in many instances seemed confined almost intentionally holding back what the characters and environment could have offered. Granted, part of that may be due to the fact that Hasbro wanted the film to still cater to a younger audience but creating a film with darker tones and then minimizing opportune moments hindered the overall pace and rhythm of many of the action sequences that at times abruptly ended with no really satisfaction in its climax or just felt forced that it was difficult to truly invest in.
Admittedly, Johnson and Willis were nice additions to the cast with the intention to push this film into a real “action” title, neither were really offered much to add that dynamic minus their names. Tatum and Johnson actually had great chemistry and created a good sense of what the film had the possibility to become in the beginning but with the story attempting to go in multiple directions, it unfortunately was unable to bring it all together nicely that it faltered in being something fresh, at times even resorting to typical clichés especially near its end. Though it was still enjoyable enough to watch it definitely did not live up to my expectations and one I would only say is a good rental, if that.
A lengthy film to say the least, “A Prophet” isn’t so much a unique story as it is one that revolves around a different viewpoint, taking two cultures many would not expect and placing them directly on opposite ends of a young man life, who is literally caught between both. After immediately being sentenced to six years in prison as an adult, Malik is initially found alone with no friends on the outside and even less on the inside but due to circumstances finds himself forced to do an act that will put him in the protection of the Corsicans who continuously belittle and view him as an outsider, due to his Arabic origins. Yet, it is Maliks willingness to neither fully accept or embrace either side, of which he is distinctly a part of in some way or another that puts Malik at a certain advantage as his progression begins to unfold through his incarceration.
Though, the film does take its time in laying all the pieces, some of which at first seem unessential, there is an intelligence hidden behind every scene as we witness Malik’s growth, not only as a man but also a leader. Progressively takes steps that are unexpected in order to protect and ensure his future, Malik is granted more freedom and accessibility with the prison walls.. Building new relationships and learning from those around him, Malik begins to find a balance and steadily begins to use that to his benefit. Though the investment is a lot more than some would want to give, considering the film is far more dramatic than intense with only a few scenes of actual violence, it is still a well told story that offers solid development with a nicely done ending. Its definitely a film for a selective audience and not one I would offer immediate recommendation to, but if considered I would say it’s a worthy choice.
After a “violent” incident occurs between two boys, their parents meet in order to discuss what happened and attempt to resolve the situation. At least that is the initial intent, as the discussion leads to other issues that begin to reflect more on the characters as parents and as married couples. Filmed mainly in one room, the cast is excellent and each are wonderfully allowed to impress their talents at various intervals. Being neither dramatic or comedic, the film somehow crosses between both lines as the dialogue resonates important matters about people and society yet also finds itself in between unexpected turn-of-events that its very difficult not to find a disturbing joy in watching these two couples literally fall apart. it’s a good film if you enjoy banter, back and forth dialogue that leads into emotional disarray, but otherwise one many could find boring or uninteresting. One additional thing I will say, watch the beginning and end scenes closely as they do amusingly put things into perspective.
Admittedly, I was hoping for a trip down memory lane, of when action films were different and Van Damme and Lundgren added their names to the additions at that time. Unfortunately, the film felt forced and very fragmented, attempting to be a twisted thriller with cinematic elements to create these psychological moments that just couldn’t measure up with the level of acting involved. Definitely not the Universal Solider I remember and as a result couldn’t even manage to watch in its entirety.
A film like this doesn’t need many words in order to be reviewed. It is a full out “end-of-the-world” non-stop action bonanza that is intensely fun with some of the best visual effects I have seen done for a film like this. Fortunately, the film has some good actors to make those cliché moments acceptable as well as an abundance of danger to make some of the most outrageous scenes still enjoyable. Nonetheless, it’s one of my favorite disaster films, especially when I don’t want to think and just watch the world consume us all.
How do you retell a story that has already been told countless of times? Blending all the elements that made it great but twisting it slightly to become something new yet still feeling as if nothing was taken away. Animation has allowed for such a possibility and in this case, “Dark Knight” succeeds in an exceptional way. Mainly in that it holds close to the revered comics yet also adds a new dimension from the film franchise that provided a resurgence and new love for the mysterious hero. However, don’t let the word “animation” in any way hinder your perception of this film as even I did not have an idea of what it would truly offer. A dark yet mature telling of a Batman that not only embraces the lore and essence of what has made this character such a captivating being to watch throughout generations but also expanding his story beyond what many would expect to see.
Following Bruce Wayne years later, as an older man, The Batman no longer exists, disappeared from Gotham so long ago that many have only come to think of him as a myth. Yet Gotham has changed for the worse and as it begins to fall deeper into this new darkness, an old Wayne is forced to not only question his part but also his responsibility. And that is where this story flourishes and is allowed to through animation, providing a flexibility that live film or television could not capture in the same capacity. Artistically highlighting the deeper shadows that Batman has become synonymous with, versatile fight scenes that seemingly make Batman feel more than human, and characters feeling even more sinister with its ability to exaggerate every line. Respecting the very pages it was derived from, breathing new life into an old character that has been unseen by many.
But once again do not let the film, made as an animation fool you. Along with its visual style, the film has some very strong and well thought out dialogue that does make it more mature than adults would come to expect, yet still void of any vulgarity that would force them to limit younger children from watching minus the violence which in some scenes does effectively become brutal. As such with a more adult themed and inspired storyline, “Dark Knight” is able to reach a much broader audience, much like the films have but also elevate itself to another level than the animated series. Though I cannot say yet if the second part also achieves what this first installment has; on its own, it is unquestionably one that should be viewed by fans and admirers alike.