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Wrath of Man | Review

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After more than 15 years, Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie are teaming up again for action thriller Wrath of Man, their fourth collaboration after previously working together on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Revolver. Wrath of Man is a remake of the 2004 French film Le Convoyeur (Cash Truck) and is a thoroughly entertaining watch.

After an ambush on one of Fortico Securities’ armoured cash trucks, the company hires a mysterious employee known as H played by Jason Statham. At first H seems quiet and keeps himself to himself but after H and his partner Bullet (Holt McCallany) become the targets of an attempted robbery, H shows his true skills. He’s an expert marksman as he takes down all of the armed robbers. But who is H and what’s he doing at Fortico? Soon everything starts to take a turn as we discover who H really is and what’s actually going on with Fortico.

The film is much darker and less comic than many of Ritchie’s previous films and for a lot of the film’s runtime this works really well. The first 45 minutes or so are excellent as it sets the film up to be a much darker, gritty action thriller. But as the film goes on this originality seems to disappear and it starts transforming into a much more generic action flick. That’s not to say it’s bad, there’s some really great action scenes in Wrath of Man, it’s just that the first 45 minutes sets the film up really well and set it up as being something refreshingly different but as the film progresses that freshness fades away as the film goes down a very tried and tested route.

The opening is excellent as we see one of Fortico’s armoured cash truck’s being raided all from one single shot from inside the truck and already, within just a few minutes, the film has set up this incredibly mysterious and suspenseful atmosphere that it maintains for quite some time. We then get introduced Jason Statham’s H who continues to infuse the film with this mysterious and suspenseful feel. All the while the film’s score is very haunting and mysterious. It felt very reminiscent of Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Joker score. You don’t quite know the full story of who H is and who you can trust but you want these answers and for the first act of the film, Ritchie does a great job with setting up everything and creates a really great atmosphere.

The rest of the film loses this atmosphere though as the plot starts to jump around providing flashbacks and moving between different characters as the mysterious start to unravel themselves. It gets a bit tricker to follow as we’re shown title cards saying “5 months earlier” followed by “3 weeks later” and as we move from one set of characters to another the pace slows down a bit. There’s still lots of excitement and entertainment to be had in the rest of the film and there’s lots of good action scenes, it just doesn’t match what we’ve already seen at this point.  The film sports an impressive supporting cast including Scott Eastwood, Eddie Marsan, Josh Hartnett, Jeffrey Donovan and Niamh Algar to keep you engaged as the film moves around all its various characters.

Holt McCallany as Bullet, Jason Statham as H, Josh Hartnett as Boy Sweat Dave, and Rocci Williams as Hollow Bob in director Guy Ritchie’s WRATH OF MAN, A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved

The film develops and as it moves away into a more generic action film, it starts taking itself too seriously as the mysterious tone that the start of the film was setting up isn’t upheld to the same degree but it’s still there to some extent. The plot becomes a bit more contrived and there are a few too many things that just don’t quite make sense. Furthermore, the film is too long, clocking in at just 2 minutes shy of 2 hours and by the end it definitely feels ready to be over.

Wrath of Man is a very solid, entertaining film that establishes itself very quickly and sets a very good tone very quickly but as it goes on, it starts to lack that special Guy Ritchie flair leaving the finished product a very watchable and enjoyable film with good action but nothing too special.

★★★★☆

Wrath of Man opens in cinemas in the US on May 7 and in UK cinemas on July 23.

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Adventure

Arthur the King is an Epic Masterpiece

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Arthur the King movie poster (Lionsgate Films)

Here follows the review of Arthur the King, a story of deep connection between people and dogs. Not all heroes wear capes, some have wagging tails and would cross a river (and jungle) for you.

Plot

Desperate for one last chance to win, Michael Light convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team gets pushed to the outer limits of endurance, a dog named Arthur comes along for the ride, redefining what victory, loyalty and friendship truly means.

Arthur Foundation

Mikael Lindnord raced through a jungle in Ecuador and after feeding a few meatballs to a stray dog made a friend for life. The dog followed Mikael and his team through the rough terrain. Mikael named the dog Arthur and took him back home with him.

Arthur and Mikael Lindnord (Photo taken by Krister Goransson)

The Arthur Foundation collaborates with various organizations in different countries that work towards animal welfare.

Click on the following links to reach out to Mikael Lindnord.

Movie Review (no spoilers)

The movie is based on the memoir, Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord, who was the athlete who participated in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador. It is important to note in the movie they refer to him as Michael Light. Even though the original race took place in Ecuador, the movie changed the location to the Dominican Republic. The original race took place in 2014, while in the movie the race takes place in 2018.

Mark Wahlberg portrays the part of the Mikael and delivers an excellent performance alongside Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ali Suliman. Ukai, a stray dog, was a real champion portraying the role of Arthur. The film takes us through picturesque locations in the Dominican Republic. The suspense was felt at every turn and corner and you are kept glued to the screen with a gripping storyline. The story balances the journey of Mikael and Arthur and eventually joins their path like a jigsaw puzzle.

Mark Wahlberg as Mikael Light (Lionsgate Films)

A fictional backstory is provided of Mikael’s competitive journey as well as the journey that Arthur took to get to Mikael. The movie successfully tells a deep story of connection between dogs and people. If you want to know more about the real story, you can check your local bookstore or Amazon for a copy of Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home

This movie is a 5 out of 5 for me. The connection between Mikael and Arthur is brought to life in this epic masterpiece. Arthur found a home in the heart of Mikael and thanks to Mark Wahlberg and Ukai, this film adaptation of ‘Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home’ became a memorable movie.

The trailer doesn’t spoil any of the important scenes of the movie. Arthur the King has a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. There is no post-credits scene so no need to wait till the end.

Arthur the King Official Trailer (Lionsgate Films)

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Entertainment

A Must-See Satanic Panic Horror – Late Night With the Devil

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Written and directed by Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes, Late Night With the Devil follows a late night TV host Jack Delroy, fighting the plummeting viewership of his show by welcoming in people from the occult in order to change that, but of course, everything doesn’t go as smooth as planned.

David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy Late Night With the Devil (2023)

David Dastmalchian has appeared in a lot of films however always in smaller roles including The Dark Knight, Prisoners and more recently The Suicide Squad. This film allows Dastmalchian to take on the lead role of Jack Delroy, the host of the late night show at the centre of this film, and he genuinely does a great job. There’s a real range of emotions which his character goes through during the course of this film and he depicts them so well.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you’re going to really appreciate the use of practical effects in this. There’s plenty of stretchy and gooey gore for all of the horror fanatics that will have you shouting at the screen. 

From left to right: Laura Gordon, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, Ian Bliss

If you want to hear my full thoughts, check out my review over on YouTube and let me know your opinions in the comments.

Late Night With the Devil will be released in cinemas from 22nd March and on Shudder on 19th April.

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Reviews

‘I Love You, Guys’ Review | A Poignant Exploration of Celebrity Vulnerability and Human Resilience

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We are living in an era where celebrities are worshipped like deities and sometimes, people forget that he or she is also a normal human being. If we feel happy or sad at certain moments, they do as well and even though a lot of people always surround them, they get vulnerable too. Although a lot of filmmakers forget to show that aspect of their lives, Billie Melissa Rogan takes the bold approach of showing the truth. Her directorial debut, ‘I Love You, Guys,’ is a poignant story about a celebrity fighting her inner self to maintain her celebrity image. The result is a stunning piece of art that resonates long after the end credits roll in.

The short film opens with a profound close-up of the young singing sensation named Sky (Becky Bush). She has made a name for herself by making and singing really exceptional songs. As a result, she is adored by her fans. Even though it feels like Sky has everything she wants, viewers see her submerged in a bathtub as she tries to battle her anxiety. Just then, Sky gets a phone that she’d be performing state-side. Now, that’s where we get to know about her vulnerable state for the first time. Although she says that she is really happy with the above-mentioned news, her face tells a different story. Despite her impending stardom, Sky has not started to feel the massive weight of mounting pressure, a sentiment audiences get to see in her conversations with bandmate Ryan (Pedro Leandro) and girlfriend Taylor (Celi Crossland).

Becky Bush in a still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

As the story moves forward, we get to know that ‘I Love You, Guys’ is about the fragile nature of the human spirit as much as it is about celebrity culture. It not only navigates themes of depression, it also highlights the turbulent emotional journey of Sky. One of the best aspects of the film is how Rogan masterfully brings Cory Varney’s screenplay to life. She managed to capture every minor detail of Sky’s emotions with utmost precision. Despite the fact that it is her first-ever film as a director, we get a sense that we are watching a flick helmed by a seasoned filmmaker.

Another aspect that makes this film such a compelling watch is its cinematography. Jenni Suitiala has done a phenomenal in showing expressions through vibrant colors and Rogan has made full use of the settings to give viewers a visually striking film. Whether it is heated arguments or silent moments of despair, each frame feels authentic and draws audiences into Sky’s personal life.

Apart from Rogan’s direction, Varney’s script is this film’s biggest strength. The writer has undoubtedly done a stunning job of showing the humanity of these characters. There’s a reason why Sky’s struggles feel very personal and it is because we have endured such moments in life. Moments where we doubt ourselves even when we know we are more than capable of doing a particular thing. Not every smiling person is happy. Sometimes he or she is smiling just so that no one finds out about the tough times they are going through.

A still from ‘I Love You, Guys’ (Jumpcut Studios)

Acting-wise, Becky Bush has given a performance that is surely going to open several doors for her. She delivers a magnificent performance by infusing Sky with a beautiful balance of vulnerability and strength. The way she manages to convey an innumerable amount of emotions is spectacular. I believe this is one of the most apt depictions of mental turmoil. Meanwhile, Pedro Leandro and Celi Crossland are just as spectacular. Every interaction between the characters feels genuine and nuanced.

All in all, ‘I Love You, Guys’ is a testament to how resilient a human spirit can be. In just 15 minutes, Rogan, Varney, and Bush take viewers on a journey that’s thought-provoking and talks about a subject that no one talks about. The writing, direction, and performances achieve a lot more than just viewers’ attention. The film offers a compelling examination of the human cost of pursuing fame and success. A poignant story that touches on themes of ambition, relationships, and self-discovery.

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