Genres: Thriller

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Atomic Blonde

Retro spy thriller with a cool soundtrack. Solid action sequences with enough intrigue to keep you guessing most of the way along, though at times felt like it could have done with a touch more editing. There’s a possible option for sequels, though the mystique of the play has been laid bare and that could become ‘just another spy story’ so unlikely.

Atomic Blonde

20171 h 55 min
Overview

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

Metadata
Director David Leitch
Runtime 1 h 55 min
Release Date 26 July 2017
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
Actors
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgård, James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sam Hargrave, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Lili Gesler, Sara Natasa Szonda, Cale Schultz, Barbara Sukowa, Attila Árpa, Martin Angerbauer, Declan Hannigan, Balázs Lengyel, Daniel Hargrave, Greg Rementer, Daniel Bernhardt
Poster for the movie "The Foreigner"

The Foreigner

A good political thriller with appropriate action sequences here and there. There are a few times when you have to wonder how Chan’s character gets certain information with the limited tech available to him – the addition of a couple of cutscenes showing a momentary insight into this would have held things together better, despite the exposition of his past experience later.

The Foreigner

Never push a good man too far

20171 h 54 min
Overview

Quan is a humble London businessman whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love – his teenage daughter – dies in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. His relentless search to find the terrorists leads to a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official whose own past may hold the clues to the identities of the elusive killers.

Metadata
Director Martin Campbell
Runtime 1 h 54 min
Release Date 24 September 2017
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Good
Actors
Starring: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Orla Brady, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Charlie Murphy, Liu Tao, Michael McElhatton, Lia Williams, Katie Leung, Ray Fearon, Shina Shihoko Nagai, Manolo Cardona, Simon Kunz, Dermot Crowley, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Roberta Taylor, Rufus Jones, Niall McNamee, Jorge Leon Martinez, Dilyana Bouklieva, Mark Tandy, Lasco Atkins, Stephen Hogan, Paul Terry, Dino Fazzani, Lee Nicholas Harris, Branwell Donaghey, Dolly Jagdeo, Glenn Webster, James O'Donnell, Sean Campion, Kevin Hudson, Ilan Goodman, Ryan Early, David Annen, Kornelia Horvath, Joe Watts, Simon Lenagan, Caolan Byrne, Ekran Mustafa, Mike Ray, Michael Billington, Garry Marriott, Paul A Munday, Rohan Mehra, Adrian McGaw, Glen Stanway, Charlotte Worwood, Pete Meads, Melissa Galloway, Gerald Tomkinson, Chris Groundsell, Billy Totham, Jane Thorne, Shaun Lucas, Bron James, Edward Scott-Clarke, Dan Twine, Matt Rentell, Tim Baros, Mark Windham, Steven Langley, Nicolas Savidis-Macris, Emma Jerrold, Neal Beagley, Darren Tassell, Mark Battershill, Alexander Cooper, Pamela Betsy Cooper, Tom Dab, Begona F. Martin, Roberto Gomez Martin, Hugh Irvine, John Cronin, Donna Bernard, Aaron Monaghan, David Pearse, Scott Sparrow, Seán Gleeson, Thusitha Jayasundera, Jonathan Cullen, Grainne Keenan, Stuart Graham, Julian Druker, Robin Oakley, Aden Gillett, Charlie Bewley, Bill Buckhurst
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London Has Fallen

This time London gets the treatment (and spoilers ahead).

The opening builds up to the ‘world leaders’ gathering in London for the funeral of the Prime Minister of the UK. This leads to massive carnage as a terrorist organisation has planned for just this eventuality and, basically, blows up the major landmarks in London and manages to kill the majority of the leaders in the process through (excessive) precision – e.g. blow up a bridge with two mobile units to take out the Japanese Premier who happens to be stuck in traffic there, or take out the French Premier on the river by blowing up a barge full of explosives as it was passing, or blow up the correct corner of Westminster Abbey to take out the Italian Permier who happened to be taking a private tour instead of going to the funeral. Apparently, they knew all this ahead of time to set this up. Yet send teams of motorbike riders after the President of the USA on a chase across London and again after they down his helicopter with an RPG (which he walks out of).

Oh, and it turns out that the UK Prime Minister’s death was an assassination, but they didn’t figure this out until after the funeral was arranged, everybody had arrived and carnage ensued – they found poison in his blood work which you think they would have discovered within 24 hours given his position and aborted the whole funeral.

And there was “no chatter” about this major attack that had been two years in the planning.

I find that very hard to believe.

So, it’s an action movie that essentially paints the patriotic USA as the survive-everything hero of the piece, and the final piece from the Embassy to the secret terrorist den feels like something out of Call of Duty. They never explain how the bad guys manage to plan anything this big other than an aside that “they are shielded by governments” so does sort of hint that most events of any scale are organised by state actors of some description and each begets a response since you cannot stand by and do nothing. Rote.

There was more than one occasion where I thought “this is just ridiculous” and nearly switched off, but was curious to see what tale was told. Sadly it was pretty much by-the-book.

Except for one character: MI6 Jacquelin Marshall aka “Jacks”. She was introduced late in the film at an MI6 safe house as “somebody you don’t fuck with” (though we never really knew why) and went on to unravel the mystery and discover the mole. Her brief arc felt the most real – a computer hack to restore the CCTV leading to the discovery of the mole, and his final execution in a deserted underground garage – and I think there is mileage in developing her character as a female Bond-style operative as long as we cut out the massive set pieces and landmarks destruction which seems to be popular now.

London Has Fallen

The world's leaders have assembled. So have their enemies.

20161 h 39 min
Overview

In London for the Prime Minister's funeral, Mike Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders.

Metadata
Director Babak Najafi
Runtime 1 h 39 min
Release Date 2 March 2016
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
Actors
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Shivani Ghai, Sean O'Bryan, Radha Mitchell, Jackie Earle Haley, Charlotte Riley, Mehdi Dehbi, Colin Salmon, Alon Aboutboul, Jorge Leon Martinez, Waleed Zuaiter, Adel Bencherif, Michael Wildman, Penny Downie, Patrick Kennedy, Deborah Grant, Andrew Pleavin, Nigel Whitmey, Julia Montgomery Brown, Elsa Mollien, Philip Delancy, Nikesh Patel, Nancy Baldwin, Terence Beesley
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Mechanic: Resurrection

Some lovely locations for this action outing from Statham. A generic blackmail plot with a loose hook and stereotypically ineffective goons opens the movie to leave the bad guy pulling the strings and send Statham on three kill missions or his new girlfriend dies. Given he had never seen her before, he’s suddenly ‘in love’ with her and becomes the noble hero. Cue a series of generic, if briefly innovative, sequences which (sadly) are prefaced with voiceovers along the lines of “this is the hardest place you can get into, ever.” This formula has been implemented much more effectively in other movies, and better suits a single mission which we can introduce more twists and turns, get more involved with the protagonists and learn to hate the antagonist. Sadly by trying to be three missions in one, we get a pedestrian movie that rushes from sequence to sequence because it seems like we have to just get through it all for the finale. Which is also generic. Meh.

Mechanic: Resurrection

Four continents. Three kills... Or the love of his life is dead.

20161 h 39 min
Overview

Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.

Metadata
Director Dennis Gansel
Runtime 1 h 39 min
Release Date 25 August 2016
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not that bad
Actors
Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Natalie Burn, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, John Cenatiempo, Bonnie Zellerbach, Vithaya Pansringarm, Aaron Brumfield, Andrew Stehlin, Sam Hazeldine, Atanas Srebrev, Anteo Quintavalle, Femi Elufowoju Jr., Toby Eddington, Stuart Thorp, Alex Kuzelicki, Brahim Achabbakhe, Thomas Kiwi, Francis Tonkala Tamouya, Tais Rodrigues Dias, Lynette Emond, Allan Poppleton, Maethi Thapthimthong, Soji Ikai, Chatchawai Kamonsakpitak, Yothin Udomsanti, Rachel O'Meara, Armin Parvin
Poster for the movie "ARQ"

ARQ

A taut, low-budget sci-fi movie based on a recurring trope (time loops) with some good twists and turns. It felt longer than the short run time and was going well until it ended without an actual conclusion. If you like Sci-Fi, I’d add this to your list.

ARQ

20161 h 28 min
Overview

Two old friends living in a dystopic future become trapped in a mysterious time loop — one that may have something to do with an ongoing battle between an omnipotent corporation and a ragtag band of rebels.

Metadata
Director Tony Elliott
Runtime 1 h 28 min
Release Date 16 September 2016
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
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Terminator: Genisys

Despite mixed reviews, I decided to watch this sequel in the franchise. Having watched all the other films along the way, it was good to see how the team had integrated elements from every film since the original, even recreating some scenes with CGI, yet managed to add yet another timeline into the mix.

Terminator Genisys

Reset the future

20152 h 06 min
Overview

The year is 2029. John Connor, leader of the resistance continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John's fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when TECOM spies reveal a new plot by SkyNet that will attack him from both fronts; past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

Metadata
Director Alan Taylor
Runtime 2 h 06 min
Release Date 23 June 2015
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
Poster for the movie "Spectral"

Spectral

Netflix is busy making its own movies now. Despite the bigger budgets, their decision to adopt a slightly different approach to movie production than the big studios leads to a flatter feel for some movies. It allows them to explore ideas that big studios may not and, in the process, generate the 21st century equivalent of ‘straight to cable’ movies. Spectral is – to be fair – better than the ‘straight to’ movies yet still doesn’t quite live up to the expectations or ‘pitch’ you are sold in the trailer. A watchable sci-fi that could have benefitted from a little more script work.

Spectral

20161 h 49 min
Overview

A special-ops team is dispatched to fight supernatural being that have taken over a European city.

Metadata
Director Nic Mathieu
Runtime 1 h 49 min
Release Date 1 December 2016
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
Actors
Starring: James Badge Dale, Clayne Crawford, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer, Ryan Robbins, Bruce Greenwood, Ursula Parker, Gonzalo Menendez, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Jimmy Akingbola, Miklós Bányai, Dylan Smith, James D. Dever, Royce Pierreson, Brian Caspe, Mark O'Neal, Declan Hannigan, Narantsogt Tsogtsaikhan, Tsogbaatar Batzorig, Philip Bulcock, Peter Schueller, Peter J. Chaffey, Filip Watermann, Michael Bodie, Aaron Șerban
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The Adjustment Bureau

Reminded me a little of parts of The Fringe TV show, though more focused on the love story element here. This human angle was something new to the trope and played out well with the backdrop of The Adjustment Bureau who also proved a little more human in the end. A nice, easy watch that may not be perfect on all levels.

The Adjustment Bureau

Fight for your fate.

20111 h 46 min
Overview

A man glimpses the future Fate has planned for him – and chooses to fight for his own destiny. Battling the powerful Adjustment Bureau across, under and through the streets of New York, he risks his destined greatness to be with the only woman he's ever loved.

Metadata
Director George Nolfi
Runtime 1 h 46 min
Release Date 3 March 2011
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
Actors
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Anthony Mackie, Lauren Hodges, Shane McRae, Terence Stamp, Michael Kelly, Lisa Thoreson, Florence Kastriner, Natalie Carter, Phyllis MacBryde, Chuck Scarborough, Jon Stewart, Kar, RJ Konner, Susan D. Michaels, Gregory P. Hitchen, Amanda Warren, Jessica Lee Keller
Poster for the movie ""

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

When a franchise loses its numerical references we can start to get lost as to where we are in the extended plot arcs. Here, we find ourselves on yet another mission of the team. It’s a continuation of what went before and sets us up towards what will come as the agents near retirement and hand over to the new crew. The story was better than I had expected and hinted at players behind the scenes orchestrating global events like master chess players many steps ahead of the team. A good action movie with some intelligent twists which actually made it less just ‘mission impossible’ and more leaning towards a stronger spy franchise premise such as James Bond.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Desperate Times. Desperate Measures.

20152 h 11 min
Overview

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate - an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Metadata
Runtime 2 h 11 min
Release Date 23 July 2015
Details
Movie Media Blu-ray
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Actors
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Zhang Jingchu, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Alec Baldwin, Mateo Rufino, Fernando Abadie, Alec Utgoff, Hermione Corfield, Nigel Barber, William Roberts, Patrick Poletti, Martin Cochrane, David Peart, Barnabás Réti, Ash Merat, James Weber Brown, Robert Maaser, Wolfgang Stegemann, Eva-Marie Becker, Adam Ganne, Jesus Alvarez, America Olivo, James Cleverton, Martin Nelson, James McOran Campbell, Tom Lowe, Nicholas Sharratt, Nicholas Lupu, Stella Stocker, Martin Bermoser, Benjamin Plautz, Nina Hartmann, Daniela Nitsch, Carola Niederhuber, Tim Breyvogel, Laurence Rupp, Wolfgang Cerny, Rupert Wickham, Judith Bogner, Peter Stark, Ulli Ackermann, Saif Al-Warith, Robert Luckay, Tarrick Benham, Tyler Fayose, Rachel Handshaw, Julian Moore Crook, Sean Cronin, Emilio Aniba, Volkan Ay, Amra Mallassi, Hadrian Howard, Walles Hamonde, Shamir Dawood, Sagar Radia, Yasen Atour, Noor Dillan-Night, Mingus Johnston, Osy Ikhile, Nigel Allen, Georgina Redhead, Bruce Lawrence, Femi Ogunbanjo, Katie Pattinson, Lasco Atkins, Jorge Leon Martinez, Steven Gätjen, Jessica Williams