Tag Archives: Annabelle Wallis

Come And Find Me (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

COME AND FIND ME

Director: Zack Whedon
Writer: Zack Whedon
Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Aaron Paul, Garret Dillahunt

Plot:  When his girlfriend goes missing, David must track down her whereabouts after he realizes she’s not who she was pretending to be.
Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics  67%    Audience  34%  To be fair not a lot of critics or audiences have seen this film.

Why I watched it:  Honestly I don’t know, sometimes I just randomly pick from my list on Netflix Canada.  It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Random Thoughts: Knew very little about this film, I had seen the trailer and it looked kind of bland but alright.  I’m not a big Aaron Paul fan, I know everyone loved him on Breaking Bad but his film work has not been great go check out his work on Need For Speed and come back to me defending his praises.  Before we get started yes director Zack Whedon is the brother of Joss.

What I liked: This is a mixed bag for my money, for a movie billing billed as a thriller it’s not that thrilling but what I did like is the relationship between Paul and Wallis, it’s mostly told in flashbacks for the first third of the film and it oddly works for me.  Wallis is very good in this she’s playing a tricky role, she’s not who we and Paul think she is but maybe there’s a part of her who is that person she’s just not allowed to be it all the time.  The first half of the film is played as more of a drama, a married couple in love and then the wife leaves, and the husband is left to figure out what happened.  The drama and angst of a person trying to figure out how much they knew they’re partner is interesting and that part of the film works for me.  Paul and Wallis have chemistry and you care about them.

What I didn’t like: Almost everything else in the film just didn’t work for me.  The pacing sucks pure and simple running at 1 hour and 52 minutes just drags this story and honestly some of it is downright boring.  Paul while playing off Wallis is good but once she leaves and it’s him trying to figure out what’s happened he’s boring, bland he doesn’t bring the energy he walks around like a lonely puppy no anger no edge to him at all.

When the film breaks into the thriller element is where the film goes off the rails for me, as a thriller it doesn’t work and really it makes no sense, there’s no logic to the film’s third act.  It plays just off even Garret Dillahunt showing up doesn’t help the third act, he’s fine by the way but he’s barely in it by the time he does show up I had forgot he was suppose to be in the film.   The thriller element feels tacked on,  it doesn’t fit with the rest of the film, the tone and even the pacing seems to belong to two different films.  Don’t even get me started with the ending, needless to say it’s a downer and the film didn’t earn it.

Final Thoughts: It’s not a total wash just kind of a mess of a film narrative wise, the best part of the film for me was Annabelle Wallis, I’m still waiting for Aaron Paul to prove it to me  on film.

Rating: 4/10

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The Mummy (2017) Movie Review by John Walsh

THE MUMMY

Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis

When Universal released the critically derided Dracula Untold in 2014 it postponed its planned reboot of the ‘Dark Universe’. A world full to the brim with weird, wondrous and classic characters such as Frankenstein, his monster, the aforementioned Dracula, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Invisible Man. Choosing to ignore some of those interesting possibilities, perhaps keeping them for future iterations, they decided to plump for the Tom Cruise anchored film ‘The Mummy’ despite the fairly recent versions of the late nineties and early naughties.

I’ll start by saying that the 1999 Mummy starring Brendan Fraser with Imhotep tearing it up is still my favourite and I can only hope that things get dramatically better in future instalments of this newly constructed cinematic world or it might be dead before it even properly begins. It’s their second attempt at a reboot of the universe in three years and this release isn’t much better. It’s almost as if leading man Mr. Cruise had too much of an influence on the script and somehow managed to convince Kurtzman into doing a horror themed Mission Impossible film starring a neurotic, undead, Egyptian mummy because that’s exactly what this film is at heart.

Main man, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise); a US military officer and his friend/partner Sergeant Chris Vail (Jake Johnson); accidentally unearth an Egyptian tomb after ordering an air strike during a chaotic firefight. It has the usual cheesy “I’m still alive” patter before the building their on collapses and the two men fall right onto the edge of the massive sinkhole come crater housing the tomb. Shortly afterwards, Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis); a feisty archaeologist that just so happened to have a fling with Nick a few days earlier, arrives on the scene to lend her talents and investigate further. Of course they stumble across the sarcophagus and remove it from the tomb despite every living thing fleeing upon its discovery.

Nick is essentially cursed from this moment onwards and the trios luck goes from bad to worse when Vail turns into a telepathic plaything for the Mummy (still in the sarcophagus) onboard a military plane and decides to stab his superior Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance). Of course, as you’d expect, this doesn’t end well for Vail with his supposed best friend, Nick, shooting and killing him without much hesitation. Though, if I’m being honest, he definitely got the easy way out when you see what happens next. What comes next is the plane crash everybody seen in the trailer. I.e. Probably the best part of the film and it’s only about three minutes long. Ok, I’m maybe being too harsh there because if this film does anything well then it’s most definitely the action sequences, of which there’s a fair few.

It’s visually impressive and the action as you’d expect in a Tom Cruise led film is more than decent, but the plot is just boring, predictable and well… not very good. The  Mummy incidentally, who’s turns out to be a female for a change (sarcasm warning) is Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella); a particularly evil young lady, who murdered her father and his entire family in a ritual to resurrect Set (an Egyptian god of disorder and violence). Boutella does a decent enough job, managing to look quite intimidating and putting in a more than decent performance. Despite this, she is let down by a terribly written part. Women leads have been pretty empowered in recent blockbusters, but not so much here. Yes, she’s an undead, supernatural monster that often rag dolls people around for fun, but sadly, she spends most of the film acting like a needy, jilted, ex and obsessively stalking Nick.

Which, of course, being the character played by Tom Cruise means she’s pretty much screwed come the end. It’s not all plain sailing for Nick though. He does goes through hell at times; from suffering a betrayal of sorts at the hands of Jennifer, outed as an employee of Prodigium (a monster-hunting organisation headed by Dr. Jekyll himself), having to fight the latter as the sinister, transformed Mr. Hyde, continually having to scrap with Ahmanet’s ghoulish underlings (including one particularly toe curling moment underwater and finally being faced with a sacrificial moment of complete unselfishness to save Jennifer (she’s now back on his side and he’s in love with her again). Incidentally, the best moment out of all those is the scuffle between Nick and Hyde. I quite liked the cockney alter ego Russell Crowe transformed into during that scene and he shows perhaps most promise for future films in this universe.

By the way, just for the record, I’m not slagging off Tom Cruise here, even if it does seem to be coming across like that. He’s by no means a negative for this film and actually does put in a fairly decent performance. I just feel like he never seems to pick any roles even remotely deemed edgy or risky. The character of Nick Morton is well within his comfort zone again and given his tendency for playing hero type characters that survive everything, I never at any stage felt like Nick was ever in danger. He survived a damn plane crash without a scratch, bruise or even a broken bone. I mean, even for a supposedly cursed man that’s just insanely unrealistic. The choice his character makes at the end hints that he’ll be back again and it’ll certainly be interesting to see what route they take with him.

Ultimately though, this film can’t be described as anything other than a complete and utter disappointment. Sure, it’s all right for a two hour piece of action escapism but surely if you’re hoping to set-up a hugely successful, multi-film universe, the likes of what Marvel have accomplished, then it has to provide so much more than that? The brutal truth is that it doesn’t and I honestly would struggle to recommend going to watch this in the cinema. Behind the flashy visuals, the gleaming smile of Cruise and perfectly choreographed action is a hollow experience that must be improved upon in future instalments.

 

Mine (2016) Movie Review by John Walsh

MINE

Directors: Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro
Writers: Fabio Guaglione (screenplay), Fabio Resinaro (screenplay)
Stars: Armie Hammer, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Cullen

Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro have given us something of a mixed bag in their new psychological thriller Mine. It follows the trials and tribulations of Mike (Armie Hammer); a soldier tasked with assassinating the leader of a terrorist cell. Things don’t quite as they were planned, forcing him to face the harsh reality of both his inner demons and the arid landscape that surrounds him.

The film opens right in the midst of Mike and fellow soldier come best friend Tommy’s (Tom Cullen) covert mission. The pair are seen laying low, awaiting on their target arriving, high up on a rocky plateau, whilst overlooking the desert below. It doesn’t take long for the action to heat up, with two very different parties meeting for what appears to be an impromptu wedding. One of them, a ragtag group of civilians, arriving at the rendezvous point on foot, whilst the other arrives from the opposite direction in a series of vehicles, just about every one of them armed to the teeth. Mike, a sniper, has been tasked with assassinating the leader of the terrorist cell, but when the moment arrives, he just can’t seem to pull the trigger as his target shares a tender moment with his new bride. This moment of weakness proves to be a rather bad decision by Mike, but considering they were badly outnumbered, I doubt shooting the man would’ve changed much.

Soon after their cover is blown, alerting the small band of heavily armed men below, when Mike’s rifle glints in the blinding sunlight after he puts it down in frustration at his failure to take the shot. A quick chase scene plays out as the two soldiers hastily retreat down from the plateau, with Tommy smashing his GPS device after the pair are forced to jump from a rocky ravine. This proves to be a killer blow to their hopes of a quick escape and the catalyst for what’s to come afterwards. Just when they appear to be surrounded, Mike’s quick thinking provides a much needed distraction before a massive, approaching, sand storm scares their pursuers off and engulfs them as they attempt to head to a new extraction point. Mike spots a couple of lonely looking figures making their way across the desert during the wild storm and they use them as a directional aid, before the film unsubtly hints at the fate awaiting them with a metal mine warning sign blowing off into the storm. When the storm clears, the two make their way out across the desert again in the middle of the energy zapping, afternoon heat towards what they hope is the locals village.

This short moment of relative calm allows the two men a degree of respite as Tommy discusses his life back home and family. Then a rather unlikely and highly convenient moment occurs. The metal sign from earlier lands right at Mike’s feet, which of course causes him to tread just a little more carefully, especially when he mentions that 33 million mines (surely a little on the high side?) have been buried in the area during the war. Tommy, who’s just been discussing phoning his young four year old son and the prospects of tucking into a granita is having none of his friends new found caution and is in no mood for turning back to almost certainly die of thirst. This leads us directly into the next scene where, after being re-energised with a drink of water, he walks backwards with idiotic bravado, and rather predictably, right into a mine. Mike in shock at what’s just transpired, appears to step on a mine himself, naturally causing him to freeze, rendering him utterly helpless and forcing him to become a witness to his gravely injured friends suicide.

What follows is a surprisingly riveting hour of entertainment as we watch Mike, stranded in the same position, struggle to survive alone in the harsh desert climate, braving the searing heat during the day and the equally bone chilling cold under darkness. Unable to move an inch for fear of the unexploded mine detonating, Mike meets an interesting local that quickly assumes the name Berber (Clint Dyer); who on his numerous, zig-zagging visits to the minefield, switches from gloating about the situation to providing amateur philosophy in equal measures. He also has to cope with a couple of nightly visits from a group of particularly ravenous wild dogs that are intent on ripping him to shreds; a massive sand storm that threatens to knock him off balance; several bouts of psychosis like hallucinations from his troubled past induced from severe dehydration and sleep deprivation; and towards the end, he even has to face an onslaught of gunfire, as enemy soldiers discover his position and move in for the kill.

I have to say it wasn’t a film full to the brim with incredible performances by any means, but a degree of credit must be given to Armie Hammer who put in a very good showing as Mike. He effectively carried the film for the overwhelming majority of the running time, which I’d reckon from about half an hour in essentially became something of a one man show, as his character battled increasingly difficult physical and mental hardship in the isolation of the desert. Clint Dyer was impressive too as the cheeky, enigma that was Berber. He drifted in and out of the story, but added an interesting element nonetheless. Whilst Tom Cullen did ok in the earlier moments as Tommy, I didn’t feel like the film gave the character anywhere near enough time to be developed before unceremoniously killing him off. The death was a little strange too, though probably necessary, it has to be said. I mean, fair enough, he probably would’ve bled out eventually, as Mike couldn’t move, but he literally went from discussing his young son one minute to shooting himself in the head the next. It felt a little rushed to me, but hey ho.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with some of the visuals at times. There was some pretty haunting wide shots of Mike alone in the desert that really helped to emphasise the precariousness of his situation. The approaching sand storms looked ominously realistic and the claustrophobic darkness during his night time encounters with the dogs was very well visualised and helped crank up the tension. I’d love to talk about the score, but I honestly can’t remember it. That would mean it was either nonexistent, fairly rubbish and unmemorable or I’ve developed temporary amnesia an forgotten it’s brilliance.

Would I recommend it? Yeah, I probably would. It’s not the greatest film, but it does a decent job of keeping you entertained throughout, which considering it’s about a guy who kneels in the same position for an hour is pretty impressive. It does begin to lag a little in the final act and I could see some getting bored with it, but I stuck with it and the twist towards the end was pretty neat.