Tag Archives: Antonio Banderas

Acts Of Vengeance (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

ACTS OF VENGEANCE.png

Director: Isaac Florentine
Writer: Matt Venne
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Paz Vega, Cristina Serafini 

Plot:  A fast-talking lawyer transforms his body and takes a vow of silence, not to be broken until he finds out who killed his wife and daughter and has his revenge.

Running Time: 87 Minutes

IMDB Score: 5.7

Why I Watched It: The cast and director.

Random Thoughts: Issac Florentine has made a name for himself in the made for video or On Demand action movies, he’s a cult action director, Undisputed III maybe one of the best made for video action movies ever, let’s just say it’s damn good, he also did two Ninja movies all of these starred Scott Adkins who is not in this one but Florentine has gotten himself Antonio Banderas who has turned himself into a made for video action stars, well sort of just go with it.

What I Liked: I went in really hoping this would be good and some of it is, Banderas is solid here and I think that’s one of the reasons he’s doing so many of these films you look at Bruce Willis who sleep walks through all of his films now and most of the made for on demand are small cameos but Banderas shows up and is committed.  Acts Of Vengeance is a pretty straight up revenge film with a who is the killer mystery thrown in as well.  The set up is fine and Banderas does a good job of showing a man who has paid for his sins.

The film is crisp at 87 minutes and it moves well, it does take the time to show Banderas go from lawyer to bad ass, we get the training clips.  The odd thing is the film does play more of a whodunit than an all out action film.

What I Didn’t Like: The film is boring, and it hurts me to say it but it’s a standard revenge movie with pretty much all the cliches and the thing that hurts about this film is the supporting cast is wasted, Robert Forster is in one scene, Paz Vega is fine but miscast and her sub-plot is beyond cliche the worst part is Karl Urban who plays a cop and a man who does illegal fighting and he’s barely in the film for the first half he’s in two scenes and there was a part in the film where I forgot he was even in it.  What his role is of course you can see coming a mile away.  As a side note I totally see Scott Adkins in the Urban role, the funny thing is Urban looks beefy in this, just saying but he’s totally wasted in this how do you waste Karl Urban.

This was a disappointment and coming from Florentine I expect much more, the action is alright but the fight scenes are by the numbers there’s no energy to them.  I think the film would have been better if Urban was the lead, he could carry a full on action film.  In the end it’s not the acting but the script there is nothing new here not one thing and the film is stuck in the middle, the acting is good but this is clearly a B-Movie so it’s not going to be carried on the drama of the situation but the action isn’t good enough to make it either a fun action flick or a bad ass action flick. This should have been better in my eyes they had what they needed the director, cast they just whiffed on the story.

As an endnote here they make a point of the him talking a vow of silence, he just decides not to speak until he gets his family’s killer and he doesn’t do it till over halfway through the film so it’s not a big deal and the fact he says he hears better cause he’s not talking is a reach.

Final Thoughts: It’s watchable and if you like Banderas it’s worth a look for me it was fine I just wanted more.

Rating: 5/10

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Black Butterfly (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier 

Black Butterfly Review

Director: Brian Goodman
Writers: Justin Stanley (screenplay by), Marc Frydman (screenplay by)
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo

Plot: Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay-and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul’s work and the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end.

Running Time: 93 Minutes
IMDB Score: 6.1
Why I Watched It: The trailer was alright but mostly the cast.

Random Thoughts: Antonio Banderas is making a lot of movies most of them action/thrillers and most of them straight to DVD or On Demand and for the most part he’s done well, he’s not sleep walking like Bruce Willis but the fear is making that many movies some are going to be bad.  Going into Black Butterfly it looked like a straight forward he is or isn’t he movie and you though in the cliched writer has writers’s block sub-plot I wasn’t holding out much hope.

What I Liked: Banderas is the best thing in this movie he plays it right down the middle you’re not sure of him but he’s likeable enough.  So this is in the sub-genre of a writer out on the woods trying to write, that’s cliched one, two is he’s a writer who had one big hit and nothing more, cliche number three he’s got writer’s block as we see in the first scene.  Banderas carries the film and I will say Rhys Meyers is a presence but he’s really playing a stock character but the cat and mouse with them is good even though pretty standard.

Now the film is pretty much saved with a twist, I’ll be honest the film was just so so and then in the third act we get a twist and for me I didn’t see it coming and it did make the film a lot better but then they trough another huge twist, that one didn’t work as well for me.  So lets stay positive, big twists in smaller films rarely work cause they come off as silly and usually they don’t stand up to any kind of thought, it might be cool but it doesn’t make sense.  Black Butterfly was a standard thriller, a guy lets a drifter into his home and all hell breaks loose, we’ve seen it a bunch of times but here they do something different and it actually made me think man they might have saved this, so good on them for a clever twist.

What I Didn’t Like: The second twist, it wasn’t needed and pretty much ruined the first twist.  They should have left it alone.  Also the movie just didn’t know when to end, it’s a sin a lot of directors have been doing lately, it’s like the last person at the party, the hosts want to go to bed but there’s that one person who wants the party to keep going, Black Butterfly is that party guest, the twist comes and we see the aftermath and it works and we’re like alright cool we’re done but it keeps going, and going,and then we get an ending then we get another twist. Quit while you’re ahead.

The film doesn’t really work for me, the movie drags in the middle and it kind of goes in circles, they also try to do too much, there’s a set  up at the beginning where a women goes missing and we don’t get to that sub-plot till the third act, another flaw is the performance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, not bad but also kind of going through the motions, sure it kind of works better when you know the twist but he’s caught playing not bad enough and not likeable enough he hedges his bets here.  Also didn’t care for Piper Perabo, her role is very under written and she’s more of a plot point than a character and really she brings nothing to the film and after the twist her role makes less sense.

I mention the film dragging and that really hurts the films momentum, they kind of start stop and the tension is kind of broken a few times, the film needed to be a lot taunter, the thriller needed more thrills to be blunt.  Really there’s not much action, just a bunch of running.

Final Thoughts: Mixed for me, an average film with a good twist and a couple of good ideas, good cast but not used real well.

Rating: 5/10

Security (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

Security

Director: Alain Desrochers
Writers: Tony Mosher, John Sullivan (screenplay)
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Liam McIntyre

Plot: A security guard protects an eleven year-old girl who is being targeted by a gang for participating as a trial witness.
Running Time: 88 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.7

Why I Watched it: The trailer looked pretty good and it had a good cast for a directed to VOD action movie.

Thoughts: Now they try to make this look like a Die Hard rip-off but it’s more of a siege movie actually it’s kind of close to the Thomas Jane movie Standoff.  Both about a man trying to protect a young girl from a hitman.  Security has a hit team and more people trying to protect the girl, let’s just say it had a bigger budget so it could afford more actors.

What I liked: This is a fun little action movie and really this could be the review, no wheels got reinvented here but it’s an action movie that works.  I had a lot of fun with it. Two things the film did that I liked is it hit the tone well, it’s a film that wants stakes but it doesn’t want to be too dark and the film does that. It’s a pretty well directed little film, it moves well and it takes advantage of it’s Mall setting.  It also does a very nice job of setting up our main character quickly but gives him enough that he’s not just a walking cliche.  Came back from being in the military and he’s not doing great kudos for not giving him a drinking problem.  I also liked the fact that it’s not just one guy is a small job of security guards against this hit team.

The acting is pretty good I liked Antonio Banderas he’s understated not one of his over the top performances, he pulls of the action well and he does add some depth to the whole shooting match.  I was surprised at the Liam McIntyre character his addition changed up the formula a bit he’s not a dick and he’s not a coward and he doesn’t turn on Banderas, he’s almost the second lead here.
The pacing is good here not a lot of wasted time we get into the set up and they do a couple of clever kind of twists and the film once it gets started keeps the pace up till the end.

What I Didn’t Like: Ben Kingsley is a good actor but he’s done a lot of pay check movies and to be honest he hurts this film as he’s not only sleepwalking he’s played this guy too many times and it shows, if they went with a different actor it might have seemed a little more fresh, he’s not bad in it but his persona is playing this part.  To that point Cung Le is kind of wasted, I wish they gave him something more to do.

The only other thing that was lacking is some depth to the supporting characters, the other three security guards get one dimensional characters and we know what they’re there for.

Final Thoughts: A fun little B-Movie, I enjoyed it it was short and fun and shot well.

Rating: 7/10

Gun Shy (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

Gun Shy

Director: Simon West
Writers: Toby Davies, Mark Haskell Smith
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Cura

Plot:  An ageing rock star’s wife is kidnapped while vacationing in Chile.
Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
IMDB Score: 4.0

Why I Watched it: I really like Antonio Banderas, I find him funny and when he’s over the top he’s fun to watch.  Also the trailer looked not bad. iTunes had it on for $2.99 so I took a chance.

Thoughts: I don’t think this got a theatrical release but it did debut on VOD. This is a different type of film for Simon West who’s known more for his action films.

What I liked: Banderas is the best thing in the film he’s charming and funny and does a very good ageing rock star.  Yes he’s way over the top but in a good way.  Now the one thing that kind of surprised me was I thought this was going to be a action movie with comedy but it’s the other way around and I would say there’s hardly any action in it and the comedy is very board, almost slapstick at times, boarding on parody.  In a way the film reminded me of Ruthless People. Mark Valley goes way against type here and he’s fine, he’s got comic timing but it’s a weird or at least different role for him. The film is short and does move pretty well, pacing is fine.

What I didn’t like: The humour just didn’t click for me, it was too board and many of the jokes missed the mark.  It was a good idea but they never found a way to draw out the characters, it’s a one joke money and as you can tell by the plot description it’s a basic plot. That’s where the film disappointed me I was hoping the humour would be character based and also make it more about this ageing rock star trying to get his wife back, but all the characters are played for laughs so there’s no tension and as a comedy the script just isn’t sharp enough to mine the situations for laughs.  The film feels kind of flat and by the end it’s pretty much ran out of steam.

Final Thoughts: I did really like Banderas in this and I think you could have made a very funny or at least biting comedy here but it misses the mark.  I didn’t even mention Olga Kurylenko she plays the wife, she’s wasted and sadly that’s all I can say about her.

Rating: 4/10