Tag: movie review

The Movie of the Summer: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Movie Review

Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

Tom Cruise and company have returned for a sixth installment of the long running (6 films, 22 years) ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise. Who would’ve thought they’d save their best stuff for the sixth film? Here is my review of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout.’

In the sixth film in the series we are reunited with Tom Cruise and his infamous ‘Ethan Hunt’ character, as well as the rest of the gang, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. This film is directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie. This is the second ‘Mission: Impossible’ he has directed, the first being ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (2015). Following all the hype mustered up by this film I found myself surprisingly excited to see it. I was able to see the opening day viewing and I was not disappointed. Christopher McQuarrie is the perfect director for these films as proven by two back-to-back successful films as well as this being, in my opinion, the best film in the franchise to date. ‘Fallout’ is a sheer epic. It has everything you want in an action film and it does it all perfectly. While giving the audience some intense and top-notch barrages of action, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie balanced in a very strong and clear pointed plot. This perfect balance made for a perfect action film.

Tom Cruise yet again delivers a strong performance and his stunts continue to be jaw-dropping. McQuarrie’s direction with these action sequences are perfect and some stunning and edge-of-the-seat scenes do happen rather frequently in this film. Henry Cavill is also in this movie and it was great to finally see the now infamous-stache on the big screen. I had my slight doubts in him at times during the movie but continuously with each and every passing scene Cavill seemed to just get better and better. He brought a lot to the film and definitely served a strong purpose. Simon Pegg is entertaining as always, as is Ving Rhames. Sean Harris is also in the film and he brings a good strong presence as the films mysterious villainous character. Harris owns the role and brings genuine darkness to the film.

What puts Mission: Impossible – Fallout head and shoulders above other action flicks is the insane and pristine camera work. Some of the shots that were taken during this film are absolutely stunning and I found myself turning to the person beside me admiring these shots on several occasions. This all made for rather grand and certainly epic scenes. The moment I left the theatre I was ready to turn back around and head back in for more.

While the story isn’t necessarily fresh, Christopher McQuarrie does a good job at telling this story and unfolding a very picture-perfect spy film. There are some characters I definitely would have liked to have seen developed more. As previously stated, the brilliance in balance within the film is truly unmatched and story is not compromised at the hands of over usage of CGI or cheap jokes. This is the quintessential action movie of 2018 and the summer blockbuster we needed oh so badly.

The big plus: Stunning visuals and camera work enhance this movie and take it to the next level in every way possible.

Where it lacks: The overall story isn’t the most original but the movie makers do a good job at telling it.

Score: 89/100

‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ is my favourite movie of 2018, so far. It is the perfect action movie and it proves that you can make a good, engaging and entertaining blockbuster without all the crazy CGI. The stunts and major action sequences are top of their class and the performances are overall very well done. This film has the twists that will stun you and the intensity that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is the perfect action movie and definitely one of the better made overall films in a while.

Upcoming Releases

August 3: Christopher Robin, The Darkest Minds, The Spy Who Dumped Me

August 8: Dog Days

August 10: The Meg, BlacKkKlansman, Slender Man


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

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The Equalizer 2: Film Review

By Brennan Dubé | United States

“The Equalizer 2” stars Denzel Washington and is the follow up to the 2014 action/thriller “The Equalizer.” Director Antoine Fuqua returns to direct the sequel and he hopes to further the story of a badass lyft driver, “Robert McCall”, played by Washington. The film has a few different plot points, but the main story is about McCall trying to seek revenge. Along the way he also keeps a neighborhood boy from falling into the hands of a local gang.

Washington is truly a badass on screen and anytime a scene is focused on him involving some ass-kicking that needs to be done, this movie shines. The action sequences were very entertaining and fun to watch, much like the original. The plot however, is not as strong. The beginning of this film lacks overall drive and focus, and there is no factor that makes the movie overly compelling. This results in the first half of the film really feeling like it dragged on with not a real intriguing end goal. As the film progresses the second half does pick up a lot and there is a scene in the middle that really excited me back into the film and was a true game changer. The scene involved Washington and Ashton Sanders and it is a strong dramatic scene that had me really feeling these characters emotions.

The rest of the supporting cast in the film does a solid acting job, but most of the characters are not very compelling or notably interesting. Washington’s portrayal keeps the movie afloat and makes for an enjoyable time as he really is great at playing these types of characters. While I don’t believe there will be a “The Equalizer 3” I am glad this film was produced.

While entertaining, the movie didn’t feel all that fresh and it simply felt like any traditional sequel. It is always good to see some R-rated gore and violence from two time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, but not even this film darkens the true shine of Denzel in the main role, serving up a strong performance as well as an entertaining one. With regards to the gore, there wasn’t a ton of jaw-droppingly gross scenes. However, the gore was strong enough to keep this film R-rated.

If the twist and inciting incident of this film happened much sooner, I would have much more enjoyed this as a fast-paced action joy-ride. Even if more focus was put onto the story of Washington and Sanders, I would have found more enjoyment in the film as those two shared some very good scenes that felt emotional, charming and real.

The big plus: Denzel. Denzel. Denzel. Fun action and some badass moments.

Where it lacks: No real strong drive and a drag of a first half hold this film down.

Score: 64/100

‘The Equalizer 2’ offers up some solid action and is a worthy, but not as stellar addition to the first film. The film lacks a true focus early on and you feel like asking yourself “where are we going with this?” in the first half. When the movie picks up later on it does feel like a really good thriller that does have a few scenes of true excitement and thrilling pleasure.

Upcoming Releases:

July 27: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

August 3: Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Searching, The Darkest Minds

August 10: The Meg, BlacKkKlansman, Dog Days


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

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Skyscraper: Movie Review

By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

Universal Pictures presents Dwayne Johnson saving his family from a burning tower that’s over 200 stories tall… ladies and gentlemen, here is my review of ‘Skyscraper.

‘Skyscraper’ is directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber (‘Central Intelligence’, ‘We’re the Millers’). The film follows Johnson, who plays an FBI Agent and U.S army vet, and his family. Johnson’s character, ‘Will Sawyer’ is sent to examine the safety of a new tower being built in Hong Kong. Upon his travels, shenanigans ensue and he must save the day. ‘Skyscraper’ offered a very simple story line that was covered with predictable twists and clichéd villains. Despite these very clear structures within the film, ‘Skyscraper’ was actually a solid popcorn flick. I enjoyed the movie mainly due to the well inserted intensity and some very solid action sequences. The dynamic of having the film be centered around a skyscraper seemed very silly in the trailers and TV commercials but upon watching this film I can attest to it actually making for some cool scenes. I did end up seeing this film in 3D due to the great things I heard about how it looked. I was not disappointed and the 3D definitely enhanced my experience and enjoyment in ‘Skyscraper.’ That being said, 3D is not a necessity for this movie and it can still be watched and enjoyed in standard 2D.

‘Skyscraper’ has a plot that is simple enough to follow but not enough to really feel a connection with the film at all. There were times in this movie where certain dialogue was used that was absolutely unnecessary and cheesy, definitely one of the years weakest scripts. At times certain lines even took me out of the movie. One positive thing about ‘Skyscraper’ I can confidently say is that it did not go out of its way to throw silly jokes in. This is something that other summer blockbusters always go for and it can often feel very misplaced.

As previously stated, Johnson rocks in the action scenes and director Rawson Marshall Thurber did a great job at constructing some very entertaining sequences. At times I felt I had to just turn my brain off and not question some rather convenient moments but that being said I was not taken out of the action sequences all that much. The special effects were great in this movie and some of the rooms in the skyscraper look so damn cool.

Dwayne Johnson delivers a very Dwayne Johnson performance in this movie and his charisma and charm in the lead role continues to be a draw. Not much of the supporting cast did much to enhance this film but the family rescue scenario worked out pretty well. Neve Campbell is in this film and she does a swell job at portraying the mother in the family, she even does a solid job during the action scenes as well. Most of the cast does a good job especially working with the dialogue they had. The score definitely could have been better, thinking back in this film I don’t even recall hearing music at all. It’s important that a score leaves its touch and enhances intensity but Steve Jablonsky’s score in this film did not do that.

The big plus: Johnson runs the show and he looks good in some very well put together action scenes. The movie has the intensity it needs and it paces pretty well at about 102 minutes.

Where it lacks: Poor dialogue and a very basic, predictable storyline makes this yet another forgettable action flick.

Score: 63/100

‘Skyscraper’ is an entertaining film with solid special effects and a very basic plot. Its twists are predictable and the dialogue lacks but the film is still fun and it’s intense when it needs to be. This film hasn’t broken any new ground or changed the game at all, but it is an enjoyable enough time that it passes off as an okay summer popcorn flick.

Upcoming Releases

July 20: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Equalizer 2, Unfriended: Dark Web

July 27: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

August 3: Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me, The Darkest Minds, Searching


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp – Movie Review

By Brennan Dube | @Brennan_Dube71R

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is the sequel to the 2015 film ‘Ant-Man’ and it is the 20th film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Paul Rudd returns to star as ‘Ant-Man’ the unlikely hero, and Evangeline Lilly stars alongside him as the ‘Wasp.’ Here is my review.

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ carries such a simple plot that it makes for a good time, the film does a good job at taking you out of the conundrum of grand and epic crowdedness that was ‘Infinity War’ and lets you take a step back and just focus on something small. Paul Rudd is strong again in the role of ‘Ant-Man’ but he’s even better as ‘Scott Lang.’ When I say that I mean that Rudd and child actress Abby Ryder Fortson, do a great job with the whole father-daughter dynamic. It gives off strong feel-good vibes. Overall the acting in this movie was solid but it is the writing and comedic timing that let me down.

With ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ you expect light-hearted fun, and you get that. You also expect comedy, and you get that as well, but it isn’t as well placed as other recent MCU films. I did laugh in this movie as its light-hearted comedy was effective, but there were definitely more times in the film where timing is missed and jokes fall flat. I enjoy going to these films and having a good time and laughing a good bunch but I find that when comedy is trying to be inserted in times that should really be serious, these films suffer.

Rudd’s charisma and the charm of the cast make this film loads more enjoyable. The unlikeliness of ‘Scott Lang’ being a hero such as ‘Ant-Man’ and the unlikeliness of ‘Ant-Man’ being a hero at all makes him much easier to root for. The connection between Rudd and Lilly is well portrayed, but at the same time it is also rather basic and doesn’t offer you much of an urge to show support or root for their bond. The villain in this film is rather weak. Unmotivated, or rather unfocused writing makes her more of a missed opportunity than anything.

Good special effects and rather entertaining action sequences make for prime entertainment that is most enjoyed at the movies theatre. The dynamic of our heroes being able to shrink and enlarge in size is really fun to see be played out on the big screen. All gripes aside, I did have a fun time with this film and it was an enjoyable movie. The story was difficult to grab on to but still solid enough that it was buyable and the solid charm and charisma of the cast really sold the movie as a fun time.

The big plus: The cast is having fun with this film and that vibe can be felt as a viewer, the movie offers good action sequences and a light-hearted fun.

Where it lacks: Weak villain and untimely comedy hurt this film and put it down a notch from some more recent MCU movies.

Score: 68/100

While this movie has really good fun within it, it lacks the amount of substance that would actually get me engaged. Rudd does a good job in his role and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a worthy addition to the MCU, but it is a step down from recent films even in terms of comedic approach and villain build up.

Upcoming Releases

July 13: Skyscraper, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

July 20: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Equalizer 2, Unfriended: Dark Web

July 27: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

July Movie Preview: A Rundown of the Biggest Hits

Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

July 4

The First Purge

This will be the fourth installment in the ‘Purge’ franchise. However, it will be the first not directed by James DeMonaco although he will still return to write and produce this film. On a budget of just $13 million, Universal Pictures should make a solid profit on this film considering two of the last three ‘Purge’ films have surpassed $100 million at the box office. This prequel action-thriller will be a hit at theaters due to the ‘Purge’ name attached to it. Despite poor reviews from critics, these films continue to obliterate their budgets and draw in crowds that enjoy a good thrill.

July 6

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The sequel to the 2015 film ‘Ant-Man’ will open up in theaters this Friday. Riding the wave of ‘Infinity War’, it should make some rather significant cash. The first film opened to $57 million in July of 2015. It went on to gross over $500 million globally, a little low in terms of Marvel movies but still a good draw considering ‘Ant-Man’ is much lower profile than the other heroes featured in the past few years. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ will draw in the family crowd and the superhero fans, and should go for a win at the July box office.

Whitney

‘Whitney’ is a documentary about Whitney Houston that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It will get its theatrical release this Friday. The film will have a limited release, meaning it won’t be released nationwide right away. Instead, it will slowly expand its theater count as most documentaries do. The documentary will feature never before seen footage and rare performances as well as exclusive demo recordings by Whitney Houston.

July 13

Skyscraper

The Dwayne Johnson action/thriller, ‘Skyscraper’ will be released this month and should play out like any usual Dwayne Johnson film. If it follows the course of ‘Rampage,’ which was released earlier this year, it will open around $30 million and go on to gross a good sum at the box office.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ debuts this month and is the first ‘Transylvania’ film to be released in summertime. This animated feature should do well and with a very conservative budget of $65 million, they will be able to make a strong profit. Both previous films opened to $42.5 and $48.4 million respectively. The third may see a different result due to a summertime release, but I still expect it to be a good draw among families as most wide release animated films are.

Eighth Grade

This A24 studio film received high praise at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is expected to be a big hit among critics when it opens this month. The movie is a coming of age comedy-drama. Early screened critics have this film currently sitting at a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

July 20

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

This is the sequel to the hit 2008 film ‘Mamma Mia!’ which went on to be the 5th highest grossing film of 2008. It grossed $615 million on a budget of just $52 million. The sequel is expected to follow up with similar success, considering much of the star-studded cast is returning and there haven’t been many true musicals as of late. The musical film fans may be craving something and that would definitely help this sequel.

The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington returns to star in ‘The Equalizer 2,’ an action/thriller. The film should have a good draw among action movie fans and it gets a small jump on the next ‘Mission Impossible’ film, which comes out the following weekend. The first film had a budget of $73 million and went on to gross $192 million globally. This will release in the first weekend following the World Cup which may help out its chances with doing better in foreign markets.

Unfriended: Dark Web

This found footage horror/thriller film is a stand-alone sequel to the 2014 film ‘Unfriended’ which went on to gross $64 million dollars on a budget of just $1 million. The movie was filmed secretly last year and had a surprise announcement in March of this year.

July 27

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

This will be the sixth film in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise. Tom Cruise continues to defy all odds with some never before seen stunts in this film. The movie will get a good draw from casual movie goers as well as action movie fans. Should ‘Fallout’ do well, expect more ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies to come.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

This animated film based on the television series is releasing this month. The movie is written by the writers of the show and is directed by series producers, Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath. Warner Bros. will hope that this animated superhero comedy will get a good draw from the family audiences.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

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