FANTASY ISLAND (2020)

Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Written By Jeff Wadlow, Chris Roach & Jillian Jacobs 
Based on the television series “FANTASY ISLAND” Created By: Gene Levitt  Cinematography: Toby Oliver 
Editor: Sean Albertson

Cast: Michael Pena, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, Mike Vogel, Austin Stowell, Kim Coates, Michael Rooker, Robbie Jones, Parisa Fitz-Hanley, Ian Roberts

The enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.


don’t know exactly who the audience for this film is supposed to be. Though whoever it is I am sure wasn’t envisioning a horror film. 

The film sticks to the horns of fantasy island whereas the guests get to live out their fantasies only with some kind of twists involved that they didn’t foresee. 

The film is rather simplistic but thinks It’s clever by having a big reveal. Only to take away any credit it might have built up which was little, to begin with. As it feels generic. 

This might have been noteworthy if made in an earlier era. Which it feels like it comes from more than the 1990s. Though now instead of high concept it feels like a horror script thrown into a familiar tv show, for recognition and comes off as disposable and barely noteworthy.

It’s a shame because the film has a good cast. At least it gives actors who are usually relegated to supporting roles some room to shine even if the film is an ensemble. 

Should have been suspicious when seeing Michael Pena in the lead as he is a good actor, but always seems tied to these disappointing cinematic reboots of more niche television shows, that you would never imagine becoming films. 

Though the premises of fantasies seem kind of simple and then once the twists come. They seem to come from shows and movies we have seen before. Especially the revenge fantasy involving the bully from childhood. Where all of a sudden a monstrous huge surgeon becomes a slasher. 

I can understand if it was just trying to be the greatest common denominator entertainment but here other than the lush visuals of the landscapes. The film just feels like it is going through the motions where once everything. Seems tied together still feels like a waste of time. 

As even the fantasies come across as cheap. For a film based on the supposed imaginations of its characters. The film seems to have no imagination of its own

In the end, it feels like a cash In Done quickly and doesn’t even Impress with its gold visuals or fantasies 

Grade: F

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (2019)

 Directed By: James Bobin
Written By: Nicholas Stoller & Matthew Robinson
Story by: Tom Wheeler & Nicholas Stoller
Based on the television series “DORA THE EXPLORER” Created by:  Valerie Walsh, Chris Gifford & Eric Weiner
Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe
Editor: Mark Everson

Cast: Isabelle Moner, Eva Longoria, Michael Pena, Adriana Barraza, Eugenio Derbez, Benicio Del Toro (voice), Danny Trejo (voice), Temuera Morrison, Q’orianka Kilcher, Madeline Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Jeff Wahlberg, 

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever: high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a ragtag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.


This movie is for those who grew up on Dora and are now teenagers. So they make it the same way and to explain her kind of arrested development of sorts. It is explained that she has been growing up in the jungle. So regular civilization and especially high school and its rules and culture are foreign to her. 

This film comes across as cute mroe than anything else. As it offers plenty of danger but also plenty of fun and entertainment.

You know what type of movie you are going to get from the get-go. As this is a film more made for pre-teens that is the kid. If adventure films that have been missing for that audience that offer kids being heroes and while under adult supervision end up being mroe the wise ones.

This is like a modern-day Amblin film. Where there is the threat of danger even though you know there isn’t probably going to be any even for the fates of villains. 

Also, credit must be given to a film that has a psychedelic sequence that is animated. Where the kids trip out from mushrooms and a scene where two scorpions mate on someone’s head.  

What really puts the film in a high is having Benicio Del Toro steak the film With him voicing the character of Swiper the Fox. And Eugenio Debrez provides plenty of comedic Relief as the inept explorer helping Dora and her crew.

While the film has many callbacks to the original animated show that come off as Jokes most of the time. This is a nice wholesome and fun family film. That has little to no cynicism and is rather simple. 

Though would expect nothing less from Director James Bobin director of many modern muppet movies and shows. 

Grade: C+

BEST/ FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2020 VIEWING EXPERIENCES (Part 2 of 2)

BEST/ FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2020 VIEWING EXPERIENCES (Part 2 of 2)


THE FAVORITES

20. THE PLATFORM

19. THE VAST OF THE NIGHT 

18. ON THE RECORD 

17. SELAH AND THE SPADES

16. MANK

15. NEVER, RARELY, SOMETIMES, ALWAYS 

14. THE HALF OF IT 

13. SOUL

12. SOUND OF METAL 

11. KAJILLIONAIRE 

10. BABYTEETH 

9. HOST 

8. DISCLOSURE 

7. THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION 

6. SMALL AXE: MANGROVE 

5. DA 5 BLOODS

4. SHITHOUSE 

3. SHIRLEY 

2. PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE 

Yes, officially it came out in theaters last year for a week only. It was officially released wide this year so it made my list at least 

1. SMALL AXE: LOVER’S ROCK 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

SPONTANEOUS 

THE ASSISTANT

I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS 

LES MISERABLES 

SPECIAL MENTION 

BLACK IS KING 

HAMILTON

FAVORITE SOUNDTRACKS/SCORES 

WE ARE WHO WE ARE 

NOMADLAND (SCORE)

WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES 

KAJILLIONAIRE (SCORE)

ZOMBI CHILD 

TENET (SCORE) 

WORST VIEWING EXPERIENCES 

1. Verotika 

2. A Fall From Grace 

3. Fatal Affair 

4. The Lie 

5. Batman: Death In The Family 

6. Random Acts Of Violence

7. Capone 

8. Wonder Woman 1984 

9. 2 Minutes Of Fame 

10. Like A Boss

11. American Pie: Girls Rule 

12. Hubie Halloween 

13. Desperados

DIDN’T SEE

MINARI

NOMADLAND 

BACURAU

BEANPOLE

CRIP CAMP

COLLECTIVE

JUNGLELAND 

BECKY

FREAKY

THE ORANGE YEARS 

SORRY WE MISSED YOU

LOVE AND MONSTERS

FATMAN

THE NEST

ANOTHER ROUND

MISS JUNETEENTH

PENINSULA

ETERNAL BEAUTY

THE NEW MUTANTS

CORPUS CHRISTI

MISS BEHAVIOR

SORRY WE MISSED YOU

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN 

SMALL AXE: RED, WHITE AND BLUE

SMALL AXE: ALEX WHITE 

SMALL  AXE: EDUCATION 

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011)

Directed & Edited By: Jason Eisener
Written by: John Davies
Story By: John Davies, Jason Eisener & Rob Cotterill
Cinemantography By: Karim Hussain

Cast: Rugter Hauer, Brain Downey, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth 

In this film a Hobo riding the rails comes to a town to save up and start his own lawnmower business. then he see’s how corrupt and evil the town is. he tries to do the right thing and work with the cops but finds them to be crooked. so after being pushed too far he takes the law into his own hands and becomes a vigilante. Seeking to clean up the streets.

Is there such a thing as too over the top? this film seeks to answer that question. I mean there is a scene where some one is decapitated and blood is spilling out of their neck like a geyser and the villains “Girlfriend” or at least one of them in a white bikini stands and dances as the blood pours all over her. She reacts like she is getting a orgasm from it.

This film reminds me of the Troma Movies, i used to watch in my teen years. It has the right mix of Low-brow humor, Bad Taste and Extreme gore. Which in a way makes me feel nostalgic watching this movie. Which made the film enjoyable and a fun movie experience There is nothing in the film you can take seriously none of the characters seem like real life human beings. even the town and it’s citizens are unbelievable in their attitudes.

The Villains kids drive a car that looks futuristic Like a DeLorean and a 70’s car mixed which helps in this unbelievable world we are thrust into. The colors of the film are a little too saturated. Yet come off as dirty and deteriorating. Which adds to the queasiness of what is happening on screen.

The Villain and his family remind me of The power and sickness of Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay. Which is the closest this film get’s to a political statement.

It’s nice to see Rugter Hauer. He get’s to cut loose and gives his character not only heart but also a deranged lunacy that goes with much of the movie. I haven’t enjoyed him this much since CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND, Which was supposed to be his last Comeback. and BLIND FURY another action B-Movie with a twist. Which matches the 80’s feel.

Brian Downey who plays the villain “The Drake” i remember from the sci-fi Television show i loved Named LEXX. Here he chews so much scenery. it feels like he has waited his whole life to just let loose as a character.

I was shocked to see Gregory Smith Playing one of the villains son. I remember him as a child actor in HARRIET THE SPY and THE PATRIOT as well as the TV Show EVERWOOD. he usually plays such good people i was taken aback to see him play a disgustingly evil bastard.

If you can’t tell by the title of the movie. It is supposed to be silly. So you get what you expect. I have to say my excitement for the movie and watching it is probably better then the actual film is. The film started out as a entry into a trailer contest that the film GRIND HOUSE set-up to have the winner be apart of the fake trailers already in the film.

This was the winning entry and from that there was a offer to make the film after a script was completed and the filmmakers kept the film in the grind house tradition of being exploitive and having a gimmick. they forgot the part where most grind house films the movies were usually schlock but the movie makers were serious in what they thought would be a good film. Which was what made them entertaining. It’s one thing to have a sense of humor about yourself and your movie, but With all these grind house inspired films the problem is that they try to be a joke and put the audience in with them on it. Which i will admit i enjoy most of the results of films like this and MACHETE, but it also gives a diservice to the title of grindhouse as most of these are just gory comedies.

This one in particular seems to aim more for campiness at times then pure funny. Let me get off my soapbox.

This film also surprisingly leaves off another element that grindhouse and troma movies usually revel in. There is hardly any nudity or sex in the film plenty of talking about it, but rarely shown.

Though the Villain’s are supposed to be the big bad’s. They don’t seem to be the worst Psychopaths they just seem to be the most organized, even though they are all crazy.

This film also has to have the luckiest hooker i have ever seen. She has a heart of gold has lived in this town this long and never seems to have a john but plenty of money and has never really been hurt or attacked of course that is until the hobo comes to town. i kept wondering how has she lasted so long? but then again this is a movie where almost every gunshot is big and deep when it lands and kills instantly, but cutting deep into a neck can be repairable.

This film fulfills what you would expect from it’s title and poster. if that is what you see that is what you will get. I honestly can’t wait to see of the filmmakers stay on the path to making films like this or make a natural transgression to other genre films. either way i await there next move. A definite Addition to the film library… on sale

GRADE: B-

LAND OF THE LOST (2009)

 Directed by: Brad Silberling 
Written By: Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas
Based on the television series “LAND OF THE LOST” created by: Sid Kroft & Marty Kroft 
Cinematography: Dion Beebe
Editor: Peter Teschner 

Cast: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone, Sierra McCormick, Bobb’E J. Thompson, Matt Lauer, Brian Huskey 

Palaeontologist Rick Marshall takes Will and Holly into a new world of danger, dinosaurs and big bug-eyed lizard people while trying to find their way back home and, too, save the universe and in doing so saving his reputation. With the dinosaur with brains, brawn and personality and the adventure of scientific advancement and exotic beasts in a far away land, it all adds up to time traveling fun and frolics.


This is truly a case of why did this movie get made it just seems like a waste of time and talent.

I remember the show not being all that good but it has it’s fans and a cult following  behind it and with Hollywood either remaking or rebooting everything in sight. It seemed like this movie was inevitable. Though films like this and SPEED RACER Seem to have a limited audience appeal. Even if recognized more than a random title. They just never seemed to have a following enough to believe these films Would be hits but by casting bigger names it hit directors and actors if the time may be the shine from their star will be all that the film needs to keep shine and get an audience. Even though they Don’t really help the film or the audience for that matter.

It seems like it is made up as it goes along while trying to stay true to the series. Which was something that seemed ridiculous. All that mattered was having a summer film filled with special effects. Even if they are limited and not that Impressive.

Whereas they try to stay true but also try to make some sense. As the material does leave itself easier served as a comedy with some science fiction thrown in.

The film is inventively filmed and the film Looks great as usual when Director Brad Silberling directs but his and the cast contributions can’t save this film. That just feels like a total waste of talent, time. 

As the film never seems to be funny at all and more like a Hodgepodge of cliches that tries to be offbeat but feels like no one is trying to har but the powers that be are left to riff on what is supposed to happen. In the scene or where the script seems to leave them With little to do at times. It seems like the actors try to make it work but feel more like they are on autopilot.

As it tries to be a more subversive psychedelic kids film with humor and material that serves maybe more to an older teenage audience but still comes off more as silly and downright dumb. So you wonder who this film is really for or supposed to appeal to. 

As even though the technology and special  effects are better and updated they still look and feel kind of corny and uninspired. Even Will Ferrell feels like he is on autopilot.

One glaring problem is that this is supposed to be an adventure tale and as big as it is built up to be there is barely any sense of wonder or exploration. So that it just feels grounded and never takes off. 

It feels like a heavily researched slot that goes on way too long and should have never been made.

It plays like a bad futurama episode.

Grade: F

OPEN HEARTS (2002)

Directed By: Susanne Bier
Written By: Anders Thomas Jensen
Cinematography By: Morten Soborg
Editor: Pernille Bech Christensen & Thomas Krag

Cast: Sonja Richter, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicholaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen 

When you watch a Susanne Bier film you know you will be put on an emotional path that is in your face the whole time. the film and characters are raw which is emphasized by the grainy film she uses and the fact that most of the scenes are done in full close-up on the character’s faces. it helps that she tends to cast beautiful actors too.

I have seen her Films before this one BROTHERS was my first followed by her English language debut THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE. so I knew what to expect watching this film and i was still blown away. Now describing the plot of most of her films they sound like corny melodramas and the plots are, but they are also real. they are so full of emotion and address the things that are not seen in the film’s American counterparts.

The characters here feel full and real and are not afraid to show their unlikeable sides and decisions whereas other films would try to make every character lovable and likable. The thing that amazes me about her films is that on paper they are not the films I would normally watch or enjoy, but through her talented filmmaking and gut-punching scripts she makes them rewarding and essential viewing.

Sonja Richter is so beautiful a virtual screen goddess, Yet, she downplays her beauty for actually fully realizing an emotionally needy young woman. Who is engaged to be married when her boyfriend gets into an accident and ends up paralyzed in the hospital.

The female driver of the other car is so stunned she sends her husband. A doctor to talk to the young woman. Soon they become friends and he becomes her go-to friend especially when her boyfriend refuses to see her. Soon they are becoming more than friends and fall deep in love though they both feel guilty about the situation they go full speed ahead. It is here where the film becomes interesting as it explores all sides of this triangle. It even shows the effects it has on his children.

The film has no heroes, no villains just real people who make mistakes, change their minds, and don’t know what the right decisions are. The film is a multi-layered love story. that is sweet one minute and dark the next with little to no sentimentality. It’s such a gritty love story that scrapes the heart at times. It becomes hard to watch, but you must see ith through to see what happens. How will it end?

Mads Mikkelsen plays the husband he truly shows range as i have usually seen him only as a one-eyed Viking in and a villain in CASINO ROYALE. So him playing a compassionate family man who falls out of love with his wife for an unstable young woman and how it pains him to do it, is so moving.

The film is a DOGME 95 Film which is a decree that is summarized below. As with most DOGME films this one cheats on the rules a bit. but generally stays on with its doctrine. IT’s definitely worth watching and stay true to its artistic spirit.

The goal of the Dogme collective is to purify filmmaking by refusing expensive and spectacular special effects, post-production modifications, and other technical gimmicks.

The filmmakers concentrate on the story and the actors’ performances. They believe this approach may better engage the audience, as they are not alienated or distracted by overproduction. To this end, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg produced ten rules to which any Dogme film must conform. These rules, referred to as the “Vow of Chastity,” are as follows:[1]

1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. If a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found.

2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diegetic.

3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.

4. The film must be in color. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).

5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.

6 .The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)

7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is to say that the film takes place here and now).

8. Genre movies are not acceptable.

9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.

10. The director must not be credited. (Thanks to Wikipedia) a definite addition to the Film Library

GRADE: A

WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020)

Directed By: Patty Jenkins
Written By: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns & Dave Callahan
Story By: Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns
Based on characters from DC Wonder Woman created By: William Moulton Marston
Cinematography: Matthew Jensen
Editor: Richard Pearson

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Lilly Aspell, Natasha Rothwell, Ravi Patel, Stuart Milligan

Diana must contend with a work colleague and businessman, whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.


This is a film that is all over the place and feels bloated because of it. Making it hard to follow at times and confusing overall.

As it appears a lot of energy was thrown into this film but it feels unfocused. So much that it stands as an Art Deco piece more than anything.

As even with two villains who actually connect to each other in storylines. Kristen Wiig makes a good villain but Pedro Pascal gives the better performance.

The plotline Reminds one a lot of SUPERGIRL the movie of a seemingly desperate person who gets the power of the gods and goes crazy with power and involves a lot of gaudy designs around them. 

The quantum leap part of the film again reminds one of the 1980’s but also makes you in the audience roll your eyes.

What was charming about the first film was not only the time period and when it was set and having her obviously trying to fit into a more comedic effect but was also empowering. While allowing you to laugh along with the other characters who are encountering this confident woman and don’t know exactly how to react.

Here she is around but has grown into the time period and knows how to keep a low profile. Even though how no one Figures out her identity it vague but it is also explained that she usually destroys any evidence of herself. 

While it tries to immerse itself In the 1980’s culture and fads it seeks here more as a place for design and jokes more then it need to be. Though with the excess it does feel like a film Set during those times 

By having her love story repeat itself here it serves as a means to an end when it comes to the final act but again feels like repeating.

If that wasn’t enough while the action sequences are grand. They didn’t feel noteworthy or impressive. Strangely they feel safer. In Other words very DC Comics movie. Where it all seems to be more about marketing. They try to make it an emotional film for the characters. As well as making them identifiable, but that seems o be the weakness of most of their superhero films. Making the character identifiable.

Some might fault Gal Gadot and her performance, which I find hard as she isn’t asked to do much acting most of her screen time is more dedicated to stunts and action sequences.

One also feels that the reason the movie might be scoring so low is that it was supposed to be a major release in a year that has hardly had many. So that this was looked forward to and had a lot riding on it. Unfortunately, it didn’t satisfy many people hopes, and Interpretations 

Even the opening scene which wasn’t truly needed but allowed the film to show off other kick-ass women in an action element. Competing but not each others enemies and to teach a moral lesson of taking shortcuts. Though even the action in these scenes feels confusing as the camera is everywhere and constantly cutting. 

By the ending it felt more idealistic and more of a feel-good moment for the audience if the good we can all do. Even if set in the 1980s the days where greed and consumerism

Seemed to reign. 

Grade: D

THE KITCHEN (2019)

Written & Directed by: Andrea Berloff
Based on the comic book series created for DC Vertigo by: Ollie Masters & Ming Doyle
Cinematography: Maryse Alberti
Editor: Christopher Tellefsen

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Common, Domnhall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian D’Arcy James, Bill Camp, Margo Martindale, Annabella Sciorra, Jeremy Bobb

The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.


Adapted from a graphic novel and it feels that way. As there is a lot of posturing on screen, but nothing ever feels real or organic. It feels like everything happens because the story says so.

None of the characters or their motivations feel real they are understandable but never feel heartfelt. Leaving the film to feel empty to a degree.

It’s Entertaining but you can always feel it turning the wheels forward and when characters turn about face or there is a double cross and a plot twist. It never quite hits as hard because it already feels like a free for all. As to what will shake up the audience.

You never understand why 2 of the characters would be with their husbands until it is explained later and you still don’t know why it wasn’t obvious to their characters or a it one else throughout.

It might be that this storyline has been used before in the Televison mini-series BELLA MAFIA amongst other films and television shows. This just feels like the latest retread and whole all involved give it their all.

It gives each of the actresses room to stretch their dramatic muscles Tiffany Haddish has the juiciest role and it gives her a chance to flex her more dramatic muscles and she comes across with flying colors as the most ambitious. 

Elisabeth Moss tries soenthing new in playing a woman constantly abused. Who ends up becoming the most violent and ruthless out of the three. As she finds true love and freedom through finally striking back at those who would try to harm her or them.

Melissa McCarthy comes across as the leader and most open. As well as the most kind who has to learn to toughen up and who she can trust and can’t 

The film Gives most of the cast of recognizable character actors a chance to revel in their 1970’s wardrobe and stereotypes. As their costumes and style do most of the work. 

It never quite feels as strong as it should and comes across as rather empty overall. As even the sets and costumes are more obviously fake then lived In.

GRADE: C-

RABBIT HOLE (2010)

Directed By: John Cameron Mitchell
Written By: David Lindsey-Abaire
Cinematography By: Frank G. Demarco
Editor: Joe Klotz

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Sandra Oh, Diane Wiest, Giancarlo Esposito, Tammy Blanchard, Jon Tenney

The film deals with a couple whose young son was killed in a car accident. They go to group therapy with other parents who had the same thing happen to them. Throughout the film, we see how they deal with the aftermath with family, friends and themselves.

There is nothing really wrong with the film. The actors are all superb and subdued. The film feels somewhat realistic the film presents a certain cool and cold atmosphere that matches the character’s emotional state and outlook on the world.

The film has artistic touches and looks beautiful but at it’s heart, it feels small and more theatrical like it’s origins then natural though it is opened up more location wise to make the story more visual.

I give a lot of respect to it’s director John Cameron Mitchell who shows a wide range from his previous film the wild and campy HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH and the shocking yet dramatic SHORTBUS. Here he goes the more reserved route with this effort yet still has heart and an artistic truthfulness.

Shockingly, I was more impressed by Aaron Eckhardt’s performance. Then Nicole Kidman’s. Maybe because we’ve seen her play this type of role before, So it’s not too big a revelation that she was good in the role. I am usually impressed by Mr. Eckhardt but he makes his character fully realized but all in all a loving husband. It’s no surprise she handpicked him for the role.

The film doesn’t contain any real surprises. It actually feels basic while talking about a shocking subject, Maybe I just expected it to be as good it was and that’s exactly what It gives.

The film feels like a project than something passionate to the people who made it. So I’m not really surprised or too impressed as it achieved exactly what it set out to and what I expected from it. I would suggest it but don’t expect to be knocked out by it.

The film comes off more as a independent prestiege film. It’s serviceable. Good but not great.

GRADE: B-

AVA (2020)

Directed by: Tate Taylor
Written by: Matthew Newton
Cinematography: Stephen Goldblatt
Editor: Zach Staenberg

Cast: Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Common, Colin Farrell, Ioan Gruffund, Geena Davis, Jess Weixler, Diana Silvers, Joan Chen 

Ava is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.


The film offers an interesting character where you wish she had a more exciting tale to go with it. So that it feels like you have a good lead character looking for a better film.

Jessica Chastain is full of energy here. Though the film and character strength are not too much of a challenge for her. 

The film soon gets to the point and stays there. Where you have no doubt what will happen. Even though for a film that is supposed to be an espionage tale it feels more small-town gritty. Like more of a mob tale

The filM comes across at times as mroe domestic drama and not as interesting as it thinks it is. With some action scenes that take place In Interiors particularly small rooms. Make the film more small scale yet fits the Netflix action aesthetic. 

The casting of Geena Davis playing the mother to a character similar to the assassin Charli Baltimore she played in THE LONG KISS GOOD NIGHT. Which makes it feel a bit like stunt casting. 

Unfortunately, this is another middling movie from director Tate Taylor that sounds mroe interesting and fun than it actually is.

The film includes a strange romance that doesn’t seem like it would hav been that exciting even if it had made it to theaters.

The film tries to be different by offering a mroe domestic story, but it feels like I needed melodrama. To make you identify snd care more about the characters. Especially the more supporting ones 

Nothing really sets this movie apart from average and familiar. Though it does leave itself open to sequels that hopefully would flesh it out especially the supporting characters. Who gets no chance to shine here it seem to be set up for greater things later in the film Only for nothing to really happen.

Sort of like the movie FASTER which left itself open to spinoff sequels but wasn’t quite as popular that was expected. So this is most likely a solo effort. Though a sequel Would help improve on the material.

This film seems like it could have been more fleshed out and given for room. Especially with it’s more recognizable cast. Who all end up here for a paycheck more than anything.

GRADE: D+