A betrayed U.S. Navy Seal goes on the trail of vengeance after his wife, unborn daughter, and team members are killed by unknown gunmen.
The impressive trio of Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Guy Pierce isn't enough to save this movie from its own mediocrity.
Though based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, Without Remorse lacks everything that readers have come to love about his stories.
The script is poorly written, the characters are uninteresting (with the exception of Jamie Bell's), and the action is nothing out of the ordinary.
I saw the trailer and foresaw something lackluster. In the end, I was proved right. If there is one lesson to learn from here it's this; not every interesting book should be adapted to the big screen.
Jordan is John Kelly, a man who was set up with his team members after a major operation. His wife and team members are murdered by unknown gunmen and injured, he is the only survivor.
Upon regaining consciousness, John decides to find answers, using any and all means necessary. His journey takes him to Russia and back to his home country in a trail that leads to the highest echelon of power.
I love watching Jordan act; he is good at it. But here, his character is nothing more than a bitter, scowling man who is happy to just fight and fight.
Smith is anything but the character she portrays. Her performance is as unconvincing as it's uninspiring; a shame considering her award-worthy turn in Queen and Slim.
As for Guy Pierce, it doesn't take a genius to predict that he is the film's antagonist. It's easy to see through his facade of pretense. I didn't even bat an eyelid when he met his waterloo; that's how minute his existence was to me.
In all, Without Remorse is a movie better forgotten and not worth recommending to film enthusiasts.
A comedy revolving around several individuals who will do almost anything to maintain the fake life they live on social media.
With an impressive performance from a talented cast, Slay proves to a comedy that everyone should watch in this era of social media craze.
Thanks to its diverse actors (Nigerians, South Africans, Ghanaians, amongst others), this movie is fun from the get-go and once the viewer is able to keep up with the fast-paced plot, everything falls in place in this delightful thrill ride.
When it debuted on Netflix, it instantly became the number one Nollywood movie on the platform. There is a reason for that, and one I want audiences to discover for themselves.
Let me state clearly that Slay is not groundbreaking and neither does it have lofty heights. It just aims to please and in that, it succeeds quite well.
The visual illustration of the social media conversations is apt and helps to show the viewer more about the character's online avatar's activities.
The comic element is what helps to sustain the viewer's interest, although it seems to be a tad more than is required (Uchemba Williams is majorly to blame for that, by the way).
Ramsey Nouah as Richard, a guy who lies about being wealthy to get intimate with the ladies, is really convincing and unexpectedly more comical. The dude has range; he can be dramatic and also really funny.
The actress known as Simphiwe Ngema (who plays Lerato) also stands out. Her character happens to be the most interesting (to me) but isn't given enough screen time. Despite that, she makes a really good impression as perhaps the only main character who likes being herself.
The cinematography works well, the music is perfect and the characters just suck you in as you watch their adventures and misadventures play out with unexpected results.
Slay works well as a satirical look at a society obsessed with social media gratification. It's a film everyone should see and one I recommend for those who aren't looking to watch anything serious.
A washed-up martial artist must team up with a group of skilled fighters to defend earth from the evil Shang Tsung and his crew (led by Sub-Zero).
Mortal Kombat proved to be an enjoyable encounter for me, but I doubt those who aren't fans of the popular video games will say the same thing.
Real-life martial artist Lewis Tan plays Cole Young, the descendant of Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) who joins Sonya Blade, Jax, Lui Kang, Lord Raiden, and Kung Lao to fight for earth's survival in the tournament known as Mortal Kombat.
Easily outmatched, Cole and his new pals must reach down deep within themselves to find the secret to beat their evil opponents in what will be the fight of their lives.
Joe Taslim is simply amazing as the antagonistic Sub-Zero. Even though he is masked, his eyes reflect his villainy and he is a legitimate badass.
Among the heroes, for me, Kung Lao made the best impression. I loved the way his character used his hat during combat scenes; a real homage to the video games.
Making the film R-rated was the best decision as the gore was an apt nod to the source material and worked well in depicting the brutalities and fatalities.
I was expecting more from Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and Shang Tsung (Chin Han) but was disappointed that I didn't get to see them engage in a duel.
The action is commendable most of the time; only a few times was it less enjoyable as a result of the movement of the camera and the uneven editing.
The special effects also worked as well, but the CGI used to bring the gigantic Goro to life wasn't as realistic as expected. Despite the budget concerns, a lot more attention should have been paid to his character.
The score isn't bad at all but there were times I felt the music was too loud and distracting.
As I said earlier, those who are lovers of the action genre will have fun watching this reboot. Movie critics on the other hand will most likely pan it.
If you're expecting more than just entertainment and fun, then look elsewhere because I assure you that this movie will not give you that. But if you want to have a blast watching people engage in brutal fights then this is for you.
Lest I forget, the actor who played Kano (Josh Lawson) stole every scene he appeared in. The banter between him and every other character (especially that of Jessica McNamee's Sonya Blade) was just wonderfully humorous.
A lot of effort went into making this film and I commend the director and the cast and crew for giving it their all. Did the movie live up to expectations? In some areas, yes. In others, no.
In the end, Mortal Kombat packs a bloody punch but it's definitely not for everyone.
Bob Odenkirk stars as Hutch, a 'Nobody' whose boring life becomes filled with excitement and danger after he crosses paths with some notorious Russian gangsters. In his quest to defend his family from numerous gunmen, he reverts back to his old self; a merciless killer with the ability to beat the sh*t out of people.
This movie is an unconventional look at a seemingly conventional man whose unconventional way of doing things leads to an unpredictably bizarre outcome.
The talented Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) is Hutch, a man who is far more than his boring demeanor suggests. To his family, he is mediocrity personified, and to his teenage son, in particular, he is a coward who amounts to nothing.
Everything in Hutch's life points to him being an underachiever and a big-time loser, that is until his family is threatened by some Russian mobsters. Then Mr. Nobody becomes an unstoppable force of nature!
The fight scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat because you never know what will happen next. The protagonist is the kind of dude who will face an army of gunmen empty-handed, beat the crap out of them, get bloodied in the process, and walk away from the scene calmly.
Hutch is not the kind of guy anyone would want to tangle with. There is no method to his madness, he just keeps throwing kicks and punches, using anything in sight as a weapon.
I confess that I made the mistake of underestimating the film such that I didn't bother watching the trailer. What made me change my mind was when those who saw it refused to stop talking about it. I'm so glad I watched it cos it was a thrilling encounter from start to finish!
As the eponymous character, Odenkirk is phenomenally brilliant! He plays Hutch with so much gusto and perfection that the viewer becomes lost in the character.
The fight scenes, gunplay and gore add to the overall appeal of a movie that doesn't need your approval in any way. It is awesome in every ramification.
More than just a guy who kicks some major ass, Hutch has a code and abides by that code. He is not a mindless killing machine, just a killing machine with a mind.
The final showdown is definitely the highlight of the film (as it should be). While the protagonist is battling the baddies, he gets help from two unexpected sources; dudes so crazy that they could all be the trio of wacky lunatics!
Nobody is, in my opinion, one of the best action movies 2021 has produced so far. I look forward to a sequel and can't wait to see Odenkirk blow my mind again!
A hot-headed bike racer meets the son of the Dragon King and learns about being the reincarnation of the deity known as Nezha. He must quickly find a way to harness his powers before his adversaries destroy him and everyone he holds dear.
This is one heck of a great entry into the growing Chinese 3D animation known as the Donghua. Not to be confused as a sequel to the 2019 film titled Nezha, this is from a different company even though it's about the same eponymous character.
New Gods: Nezha Reborn sees the protagonist, a young man named Li Yunxiang, learn of his connection to the ancient deity known as Nezha; he is the reincarnation of the antagonistic god.
The thing about Nezha is that he has a very bad reputation among the pantheon of Chinese gods. He is known for wreaking havoc anywhere he appears and has a bad history with the people. So, Li finding out that he is one and the same superpowered being doesn't really help him.
When the Dragon King and his evil goons find out about Li's true identity as the fire-wielding god of destruction, they plan a way to eliminate him before he has a chance to develop his incredible powers.
First off, the animation of Nezha Reborn is beautiful beyond words. The attention to detail is stunning and CGI environments look awesomely realistic.
This is, first of all, an action movie, so there is plenty of that, and then some. Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon made me geek out. This movie, even more so. I could go on and on about how wonderful every single action scene is but animation fans will just have to see it for themselves.
The plot doesn't have anything special about it and apart from the hero's cathartic journey, none of the other characters really experience growth. That and the slightly underwhelming final confrontation are the only setbacks in this awesome work of art.
The special effects are mind-blowing (Chinese 3D animated films tend to have a lot of that, by the way) and the score is epic as well. This is one Netflix movie I will be watching again and again!
New Gods: Nezha Reborn is highly recommended by yours truly as animation buffs will get a kick out of it! The director Zhao Ji did a very good and I tip my hat to him!
Two middle-aged women are scientifically imbued with superpowers and must become the city's heroes, pitting them against the supervillains called Miscreants.
Thunder Force is a piece of laughable mess laced with cheap special effects, a horrible script, and a waste of two talented lead actresses.
I don't know much about the director, Ben Falcone, but I do recognize garbage when I see it, and that's exactly what Thunder Force is at the end of the day.
Adding a major spin to the superhero genre, the movie sees two childhood friends (Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer) reunite after many years, with ensuing events leading to them getting superpowers.
In a world overrun by villainous metahumans called Miscreants (what an awful name to give them!), the new heroes must fight to defend the city as they try to figure out how to live up to expectations and adjust to their new status.
I was giddy with excitement when I saw the official trailer. Seeing middle-aged plus-size women as superheroes was a new and welcome development for me. Add McCarthy's comedic genius and Spencer's good track record to that, and I thought I was in for something awesome.
Thunder Force fails in almost every major way; from the lame action to the stupid dialogue, crappy costumes to the ridiculous special effects, it ends up being a big bore!
The story is riddled with countless plot holes, one of the two friends makes a major decision that is against everything being a hero stands for, and when she is discovered, all her partner does is make a joke about it?
This is the first film I saw Spencer reduced to sheer ridicule. Even her acting here is so unconvincing that I felt embarrassed for her at some point. McCarthy does light up the screen at times but majorly comes across as a jackass.
They say a hero is only as good as the villain he/she faces. Well, in this case, both so-called heroes suck so what you get is an equally senseless villain who enjoys killing off members of his own crew at every opportunity he gets.
Jason Bateman... I don't even know what to say about him except this; a good actor who was unfortunate enough to accept one of the lamest roles in the history of lame roles. I expected better from the guy.
I'm just going to end my review here because Thunder Force doesn't deserve any more words from me. The concept was creative and brilliant, but the execution was totally stupid! The only good thing about the movie is that it has an ending!
A headstrong teen is forced to live with his estranged father in the African-American horseriding part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While there, he begins to develop an affinity for the animals but his association with a petty criminal threatens the good things coming his way.
Though Ricky Staub's movie is full of cliches, it manages to go beyond its shortcomings, thanks to some character development and the natural advancement of the plot.
Concrete Cowboy stars Caleb McLaughlin as a headstrong teenager forced to live with his estranged father following his mother's frustration with his constant fights at school.
Cole (McLaughlin) hates his father, Harp (Idris Elba), and wants nothing to do with him. His father, on the other hand, barely knows the son who has become his responsibility.
Cole reconnects with a childhood pal, Smush (Jharrel Jerome) and the latter introduces him into a life of petty crime. Harp detests this friendship and warns his son to stay clear of Smush but Cole doesn't listen.
As Cole spends more time in the little town where his father and a few others rear horses, he begins to develop an affinity for the creatures, and after he manages to perform the herculean task of 'breaking' the most stubborn one, he must decide the path to take to shape his life. For him, the choice is obvious but it will most likely not end well.
Concrete Cowboy marks McLaughlin's feature film debut and he gives it his all (and succeeds in the role). The range of emotions we see from him here shows some promise for his acting career and I for one was glad to see him play another character besides the one he portrayed in Netflix's Stranger Things.
Elba's charisma is unmistakable and his performance too is commendable. But I feel he should have been given more to do. Also, there were times when I didn't really buy into the accent of his character.
As the story of Concrete Cowboy unfolds, it dawns on the viewer that he/she knows where it's going. The ending is quite cheesy but the journey to that makes it worth it.
I love the relationship between the horse riders and the horses. It wasn't just a master and slave thing, but more of a bond. Unlike most riders, the Black folks believe that a horse doesn't need to be subdued. It only needs to be 'set free'.
A subtle message in this film is the importance of knowing one's heritage and fighting to preserve it, no matter what. That is something everyone can relate to.
In all, Concrete Cowboy works as it accomplishes what it sets out to do. I look forward to seeing McLaughlin in more feature film roles as we all await what his character will be up to in the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.
In a dystopian futuristic world, a young boy is forced to protect the first girl he sees when she crash lands in their small village. His decision pits him against their leader and a pack of dangerous men.
Doug Liman's Chaos Walking is restricted by its mediocre plot and even with commendable performances from its two leads, it fails to rise above its level of mediocrity.
Based on the book trilogy by Patrick Ness, it stars Tom Holland as Todd Hewitt, a boy living in a dystopian world similar to earth, where only men make up a small settlement.
When a girl named Viola (Daisy Ridley) crash lands in the area, Ness takes an instant liking to her and takes it upon himself to protect her from their leader David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen), a man who seeks to use her his own selfish reasons.
The thing about the world Todd and the rest of the men live in is this; their thoughts are audible and visible to all. Only a handful can actually control and hide theirs.
Todd is surprised that he can't hear Viola's thoughts and while on the run from Prentiss and his henchmen, finds out that there being no women in their village is actually linked to his tragic past, and involves Prentiss himself.
As he spends more time in the company of Viola, each moment becomes more and more embarrassing as his attraction to her manifests every time via his thoughts.
On her own, Viola needs Todd's help in reaching an important location so that she can call for help from another ship. This is something that Prentiss knows and will do anything to stop.
The whole concept of the men not being able to hide their thoughts was a little bit much for me. But there were times when it was actually what made some scenes worth watching (especially the scenes involving Todd and Viola).
Todd's romantic thoughts about Viola often made the time they spent together very awkward, and it is a comic element that worked well to ease the tension at times.
I haven't read the books but I feel that they answered some questions that the movie failed to. For one thing, how did Todd and the rest of the people arrive in their present world? What happened to earth? What exactly is it that makes the thoughts of the men audible and visible? These are some of the questions that weren't answered.
Holland, Ridley, and Mikkelson give commendable performances. Then another actor who shines despite being a secondary antagonist is David Oyelowo.
Oyelowo plays a preacher who is obsessed with Hell Fire. His thoughts of eternal damnation push him to the very edge of insanity, and he singles out Viola for retribution in his personal crusade against her.
Chaos Walking doesn't stand out as unique in any way. It has the potential to be something more but unfortunately, that never happens. At times, the visual effects looked fake and the CGI wasn't all that convincing.
If there are plans for sequels, then such plans should be forgotten as I don't see much material here that would make fans want to watch more movies. It's not that the film is that bad; it's just that it's not that good to warrant a sequel(s).
Final words: Chaos Walking is easily forgotten by the time the end credits begin rolling in. It makes for a decent film but not one to be recommended.
Didi (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Raj (Ruslaan Mumtaz) are lovers who must contend with stiff opposition from their different families while fighting to hold on to each other.
NAMASTE WAHALA doesn’t stand out when it comes to romance dramas, but it certainly doesn’t fail to entertain.
Written and directed by Hamisha Daryani Ahuja in her directorial debut, the movie revolves around two lovers (Didi, a Nigerian girl, and Raj, a guy from India) from different worlds who struggle to hold on to each other amid the expected resistance from the two families.
Those who are yet to see Netflix’s latest romance flick are advised not to have high expectations. Only by doing so can they sit back and enjoy this film.
Despite its predictability, Namaste Wahala has some valuable lessons for those who find themselves in similar situations. Because the truth is, we may be of different skin colours but we are all one.
Like all movies, this one has its ups and downs. Let me get to the negatives first.
The meeting of Didi and Raj (the two lead characters) is the work of lazy writing in my opinion. It was a collision (literally, they bumped into each other) that could have easily been avoided. It felt forced and created in me a certain bias for the film in the early goings.
After their second meeting at an event, what the viewer is treated to is a vocal rendition (typical Bollywood style) with the lovers engaged in a full-blown romance. WTF!
Didi comes from a home where her domineering father (played by Nollywood veteran Richard Mofe-Damijo) wishes she could stop seeing what he calls her hobby as a job and become the daughter he expects her to be.
Raj is an only child; something that makes his mother (Sujata Sehgal) dote on him endlessly as she never gets tired of being the overprotective mother that she is.
Didi and Raj’s blossoming affair is frowned upon by Didi’s father and Raj’s mother.
RMD plays the disapproving father all too well. He wants his daughter to marry a man of his choosing and refuses to accept Raj because he is not Nigerian.
Sehgal is a joy to watch, perfectly portraying the suspicious Indian mother who worries that the unworthy Nigerian girl is stealing her beloved son from her.
These are all things we have seen before in many films. But one thing I like about Namaste Wahala is that the love story is spiced by an investigation into an assault case. This is something that reveals the other side of Didi, showing that she is not just a pretty face.
Osas Ighodaro (a well-known face in Nollywood) plays Preemo, Didi’s father’s company lawyer who obviously loathes Didi and always looks for every opportunity to verbally abuse her.
The rivalry between Didi and Preemo works well as I enjoyed the way it played out. Ighodaro uses her short screentime to her advantage, leaving a lasting impression.
Now, the scene where Ernest (Didi’s father) meets Raj was not well executed in my opinion. It clearly showed the former holding the drink he gulped in his mouth. It was hard for me to guess what he intended to do and when he actually spat on the floor on seeing Raj, I laughed in amusement.
There are some other lapses but they aren’t so significant to mention. Now, let’s get to the good parts.
Broda Shaggi’s cameo appearance is a much-needed balm as his banter with Raj’s mother is (to me) one of the best comic moments of the film. His character embodies the typical Lagos driver who is foul-mouthed and uncouth.
Even though the romance between Didi and Raj is rushed, the chemistry between the actors playing them is undeniable. I ended up rooting for them.
Ini Dima-Okojie made me forget my bias with her acting. She showed me that Didi is a powerful woman who doesn’t just conform to the whims of her overbearing father.
Joke Silva also shines as Didi’s mother. The scene where she clashes with Meera (Didi’s mum) was fun to watch. Though I feel she should have been more utilized, I’m happy to say she didn’t disappoint.
Ruslaan Mumtaz as Raj also impressed me. But then again, when have I ever not been impressed by a leading Indian?
The comic element works well, though it could have been toned down in a few scenes.
Conclusively, Namaste Wahala doesn’t bring anything new to the table. But using an age-old formula yet again isn’t all bad. Besides, it is meant to be an entertaining love story and it works well in that regard.
Veteran actress Jodie Foster stars as a controversial attorney who decides to defend a man held in captivity as he is believed to be behind the 9/11 attacks on US soil.
In her quest for the truth, Nancy Hollander (Foster) uncovers a major conspiracy and is determined more than ever to follow through to make sure her client gets what he deserves.
Jodie Foster and Tahar Rahim shine in Kevin Macdonald's The Mauritanian, a gripping tale of a man whose guilt is determined even before he is convicted of the crime.
Based on the 2015 memoir Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Salahi, The Mauritanian tells the true-life story of Salahi (Tahar Rahim) who is detained for fourteen years in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for allegedly being a part of the 9/11 attacks.
Hollywood veteran Jodie Foster plays Nancy Hollander, the defense attorney who takes on Salahi's case, with the assistance of Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley).
Hollander's decision to defend a 'terrorist' pits her against Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), a formidable military prosecutor who has been charged with building a case against Salahi so that he gets the death sentence.
As Hollander and Duncan communicate with Salahi to get to the bottom of the case, they are met with obstacle after obstacle. But something begins to dawn on them; the government is hiding something that could actually prove that Salahi is not the man they say he is.
On his part, Couch's determination to ensure that Salahi gets what he deserves is shaken when he finally gains access to some confidential papers documenting the unspeakable horrors the Mauritanian was subjected to in detention.
Couch has a very good reason to want Salahi dead but he has to ask himself if he is being pushed to take part in the execution of an innocent man because the government is fixated on him being the 'someone' who must pay for the 9/11 attacks.
The Mauritanian has an engaging plot that develops naturally, bolstered by intelligent dialogue and fully fleshed-out characters.
For me, two actors stand out here; Jodie Foster for her deft acting skills (she is so convincing as the aging attorney that the viewer may forget she is acting), and Tahar Rahim, whose amazing portrayal of the man whose hellish encounters on American soil inspired this film.
As Salahi, Rahim's portrayal is astonishingly spot on. Few men can endure what his character went through and retain their sanity and the way it is depicted will make the viewer wonder how such wickedness came to be in the hearts of men.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley also impress as part of the supporting cast. Both of them own their roles in the best way possible and leave no doubts as to why they were cast.
Conclusively, The Mauritanian is a movie with a very important lesson; every man deserves the right to a fair trial. This is a point that Foster's character hammers on almost throughout the film.
I commend the director, Kevin Macdonald, for a job well done. He successfully made a gripping drama that is up there with some of the finest films to come out of Hollywood.
Once again, another commendation to Foster and Rahim, the talented duo who elevate The Mauritanian to heights of greatness. Two thumbs way up!