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Avengement – A Raw Extremely Violent Revenge Film

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So…prison turned you into a stone-cold killer, did it?
Nah, prison didn’t.
You and my brother did.

I’ve just seen the Philippine revenge film “Maria” in which a beautiful woman beats up everyone she encounters. And before I know it, the next one presents itself already. This time it’s a flick from the UK and from a completely different level. Not only the story itself is acceptable. Also, the endless series of fight scenes will bring fans of action movies into ecstasy. Scott Adkins is a man with brutal force who crushes his opponents without mercy with his hammer blows. So expect a large amount of splattering blood, shattered bones, cracked skulls and wisdom teeth flying around. In other words, “Avengement” is a very brutal movie.

At first, I expected something similar like “We still kill the old way” or “Legend“. An English crime/action film full of violence but with that English politeness still present in the background. Well, that doesn’t apply to “Avengement”. Every kind of courtesy is being crushed into the ground here. You can compare it with “Brawl in cell block 99“, but on English soil. This film is a relief when you compare it to all the digitally created violence Hollywood produces lately. In this film, the physical prevails a bit more. When looking at Disney and Hollywood violence, you’d give a “wow” cry. With “Avengement” it’s rather an “ouch” cry. The physical violence is so realistic, you sometimes can feel the pain yourself. And not only Adkins’ opponents moan noisily. He too suffers and regularly has to take hits.

 

 

Avengement

 

Extreme brutal and cruel.

Not only does Adkins needs to show how extreme anger runs through Cain’s veins. That’s about 90% of the total playing time. You’ll also see how normal and fair Cain is at the start of the movie. A decent man who begs his brother to help him with the idea to start a gym. The transformation, however, is frightening when he’s in jail for a while. A punishment he got when a job he had to do for his brother went terribly wrong. It’s there that the fairly well-behaved Cain is slowly turning into a cruel hot-head. The constant attempts of fellow prisoners to kill him one way or the other ensures that he trains and practices every day. These confrontations are already very brutal and cruel. It’s also here that he gets metallic teeth. When he finally ends up in a private pub, Cain is a scarred man. Both internally and externally. The only thing that interests Cain is revenge.

 

Avengement

 

Who the hell is Scott Adkins?

To be honest, I didn’t know who Scott Adkins was in the first place. Completely unknown to me. Well, mega-fans of action movies will probably turn their nose up at me. And I admit that I don’t understand how it’s possible that I didn’t know this tough Englishman yet. For all I care, he can safely join “The Expendables” next time. He certainly won’t look out of place next to Statham and Van Damme. He certainly isn’t a person you want to bump into at night. That’s for sure. Not only does Adkins show in this film that he masters the necessary fighting techniques, but for once I didn’t have the impression that the I-wait-patiently-for-my-turn-to-be-beaten-up principle was applied here. A method that’s usually used in such action films. You’ll see someone waiting patiently on the side who, as soon as a colleague sticks to the wall, quickly takes his place. Something that nerves me immensely every time it’s used.

 

Avengement

 

Just watch it.

Avengement” certainly isn’t a first-class film and won’t win loads of film prizes. Maybe using flashbacks isn’t something that will get you excited. Me neither. But if you just want to enjoy a raw, extremely violent revenge film, then this is really suitable for you. I certainly enjoyed it intensely. Just watch the trailer, and you’ll agree instantly.

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review – Smith and Lawrence Deliver Explosive Entertainment.

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

Hollywood has been struggling as of late and a lot is riding on the success of the fourth installment of this beloved franchise. The directors Adil and Bilall have had a tough time after their last feature Batgirl was shelved, Sony is looking to move on from the Madame Web debacle and Smith is gearing up for his big comeback after the slap. Hollywood history also tells us that there aren’t a lot of franchises that are able to deliver blockbuster business in their fourth installments.

 

I went into this movie cautiously optimistic with Adil and Bilall returning to direct. They also directed the last entry, which turned out not only the highest-grossing movie in this franchise but also the highest-grossing movie of 2020, which are quite the achievements. This franchise is almost 30 years old now, but these two directors found a way to give it a modern touch while staying loyal to the legacy of these characters. In this entry, they take it up a notch and give us some of the most creative camera work and they never seem to run out of ideas throughout this movie.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

The main attraction of these movies has always been the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. Smith brings the style, and Lawrence brings the charm. As always, they are unreal together on screen and the movie is at its strongest when it is focusing on both of them. I was curious to see if the slap would affect Smith’s screen presence or his comic timing, but he seemed cool for the most part. Although, I did sense a hint of nervousness a couple of times. On the other hand, Martin Lawrence was having a blast.

 

Eric Dane is menacing as our main villain here, which is also thanks to the directors’ presentation of his character. Jacob Scipio is awesome in action sequences, while Alexander Ludwig and Vanessa Hudgens are great together. Rhea Seehorn and Ioan Gruffudd are our other new additions to this entry, but both of them seemed nowhere near their best. It was mostly due to the fact that they were portraying unlikeable, cliche, and predictable characters. But the real MVP here is Reggie. He gets his moment and it is awesome. There are also quite a few cameos which are all well-handled.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

The story is easily the weakest part here with not a lot of character development, especially for the supporting cast. The plot is thin and doesn’t have too many layers to it and even the twists mostly fail to surprise. But that doesn’t mean that the adventure that our characters are on isn’t fun. One can clearly see that the focus in the structuring of this movie was to make it as fun as possible. There are also some questionable editing choices, but the pacing of the narrative is really good.

 

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die delivers an explosively entertaining ride in one of the franchise’s best entries. It embraces its outrageousness and gives some wild action sequences. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry is unreal, while Adil and Bilall bring their A-game. Audiences will eat up this hilarious ride that will surely be one of the best movie-going experiences of the year. A treat for fans of the franchise. Hopefully, we get more of these.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFY_Fesa9Q&pp=ygUSYmFkIGJveXMgNCB0cmFpbGVy

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.

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I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_inKs4eeHiI&pp=ygUXa3VuZyBmdSBwYW5kYSA0IHRyYWlsZXI%3D

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