Tag Archives: Halle Berry

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum Review

Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad (screenplay by), Shay Hatten (screenplay by)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane

Movie Couple here!  We went to see John Wick Chapter Three Parabellum this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.
Mrs. Movie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum continues the adventures of the World’s Most feared assassin, the Baba Yaga, John Wick.  When last we saw the reluctant killer, he was declared EXCOMUNICADO by the order of assassins (The High Table?) and was given a one hour reprieve before essentially every killer in the world would be able to act on an astronomical bounty placed on his head.  Not only that, but he now would have no access to any rights and privileges normally bestowed upon those in his line of work (All amply demonstrated in the two previous films).  That is all one needs to know about the plot of Parabellum, as the plot starts immediately from the conclusion of Chapter Two.  It should go without saying that one should see BOTH John Wick and John Wick Chapter Two in order to follow the various points and characters seen in this movie, but if one is looks for kick ass action and doesn’t care about the setting or plot I believe you could still enjoy this film, but I’m positive you’ll go back and watch the first two afterwards!  Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the titular assassin supreme.  Ian McShane, Lance Riddick and Laurence Fishburne also return as old allies of Mr. Wick.  We are blessed by the appearance of Angelica Houston as The Director, a woman tied to John’s very mysterious past.  We are also introduced to new adversaries in Marc Dacascos as Ninja Assassin Zero and Asia Kate Dillion as The Adjudicator who brings new layers to the already deep world of John Wick (Wickerverse?)  As you may expect, bullets fly, blood is spilt, head’s explode, knives are stuck!  Kung Fu/Karate is utilised!  The action is on par with the other Wick films and does not disappoint.  At this point the action is the draw, but the world building these movies have managed to create keeps growing and drawing the fans in.  This movie sheds some light into John’s past (We don’t spoil here) and continues to build on the franchises unique world.  In that aspect it continues to succeed.  At other times it leaves us wondering…..Just how many times can we see a person get shot in the head?  Directed by Chad Stahelski the movie seamlessly takes us from the end of Chapter Two right into Chapter Three as if watching one long movie, which is the point!  The action scenes, especially the first quarter of the film as John attempts to flee New York with his life is filled with one spectacular action sequence after another.  Just amazing.  Later we meet characters old and new (including Halle Berry in a role that looks to be heading for a spinoff) that extends John’s odyssey across the globe.  So now much like the famous John Wick line “Am I back?  Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!”  for more Wick!  But is it good?  Give me your coin, check into the Continental and lets discuss!

So here we go!

Mr. Movie Couple:  I love the Wick films and this one did not let me down.  The beginning section, as John escapes New York, is all frantic, kinetic chase and combat scenes.  Demonstrating John’s ability to improvise and utilise blades just as well as he does guns.  In a film full of action combat scenes these were my favourite.  The question with all John Wick movies is does one stay invested as John cuts down faceless enemy after faceless enemy?  The first film kept us rooting for John’s revenge, the second also had us pulling to see John avenge himself against the smug puppeteer that forced him back into the game.  Chapter Three was missing that for me.  It has no clear cut enemy to root against.  We are all pulling for John naturally, but while the Adjudicator was an interesting addition to the assassin world of Wick, she is of course simply doing her job.  Even the Ninja Master assassin Zero, who had a very interesting  quirk of being a Wick fanboy while attempting to kill him (which I think could have been played up to an even higher level) was cool but we didn’t yearn for John to drop him.  It seemed more inevitable than actually satisfying.  That would be my only fault in an otherwise great action flick.  Wick Three lacked a villain we just couldn’t wait to see John take out!  That and I felt in an attempt to humanise our hero he began to lose that dread that was associated with even mentioning his name that was so painstakingly built up in the previous two films.  Some respect seemed to be falling from the Wick persona in exchange to see him as an underdog  Still and all a fantastic action film and one I would recommend, but despite being great I found it to be the weakest of the Wick entries were I forced to rank them. Reeves still presents a character to remember for years to come.  His John Wick remains a cinema legend in the making

Mrs. Movie Couple:  She enjoyed it far more than she expected to!  Having only seen Wick 1 and 2 at home (before this Movie Couple endeavour) she knew what to expect going in. Action, especially on the level of a John Wick movie is usually not her cup of tea, but she loved the first Wick with its romance angle and loss of the now famous dog.  She nearly teared up seeing John miss his wife in the way he did.  The next two chapters , while motivated by those moments, have distanced themselves from them to the point that she misses John’s true motivation in the sequels. This one even more so than the previous.  This one has far less heart she said after the film.  She likes how these films go out of the way to show that no one innocent are killed.  Each and every victim knew the world they were entering and take part in it willingly. She really took notice of the break in the fight between John and Zero that stopped in its tracks as a school bus of children passed between them. Overall she loved Reeves as an actor, falling in love with Theodore Logan oh so many years ago (Be Excellent to each other) and she loves the performances of the Continental staff Mr.’s McShane and Riddick but she found this instalment a bit boring and in her words, did not advance the story enough for her tastes.  Overall she didn’t hate it or wish to leave, but it was just OK and a severe drop off from Chapters 1 and 2.

On the way home, we did continue to talk of the Wickerverse, or World of Wick.  The Continental(s) and the Adjudicator were the points most discussed. The drive home always clarifies how we felt about a movie.  Silence is not golden, silence is bad.  We were not silent after Wick 3.  I give it 5 Bills, could have gone 6 if a better villain had been delivered. The Mrs. gives it 3 Bills, So we give John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 4 Bills!  I say take my money!  I look forward to another visit to the Wick Universe (which sort of is teased)!  She says Meh.  So we’ll go with an average of Pretty Good!  Money well spent.

So until the next date night, which Mrs Movie Couple says will be her choice, so look forward to Aladdin or Rocketman, but I may get a chance to drag her to Godzilla King of the Monsters first so wish me luck!  We will see you next time!  Movie Coupe out!

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Kidnap (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Kidnap Review

Director: Luis Prieto
Writer: Knate Lee
Stars: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn

Plot:  A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 37%  Audience 50%

Why I Watched it: The trailer looked alright and I have to say I like Halle Berry in these types of roles.

Random Thoughts: That’s a bad title, just say the word as a movie title, it needs more.  You know a movie is really high concept when you can describe it in not only one sentence but a really short sentence.  You look at the tagline and really this is a working class Taken, it’s not an ex spy/army guy but a working class Mom.  It does have the hook of this being every parents worst nightmare, it’s cheap heat but it works to sell the movie.

What I Liked: This is one of those high octane movies, where once the plot starts it just keeps going and I have to say they’ve done a good job of bringing the tension and suspense cause really this is one big chase movie. I’ll give a ton of credit to Halle Berry cause a lot of this movie she’s alone, she has no one to play off of, she doesn’t even get the crutch of talking to a cop on the phone or the radio so most of her performance is her playing off the action.  This is a very psychical role and to Berry’s credit she’s good here, you buy her desperation, her fear, cause without that there’s no movie, this is all on her shoulders, cause the bad guys are mostly faceless.  That’s another key that this movie deals more with the situation, it’s Berry against the plot here.  Her son is kidnapped her has to get him back, almost a video game like idea. The chase/chases is shot well, the action is done well here cause it’s not only about the actual chase it’s the stakes involved here.  They did well just stretching this paper thin plot into a full movie.

What I Didn’t Like: This is the type of movie that while you’re watching in you’re on in cause it’s set up is good and the action is tense and moving where it falls apart is when they give you time to think, and yes there’s some really dumb plot points and decisions made here.  The basic problem is the film’s too long, this is 80 minutes at best and where the film is hurt is when the chases stops and it does a couple of times, it’s like in Speed it’s not as good when they get off the bus.  If Kidnap was just the chase it might have worked better, they do get some tension near the end but at that point they’re running on fumes.
Kidnap is another film that in theory is cool and could work as an action movie but it would have worked better ten years ago, they have to come up with reasons she doesn’t have a phone, cause you call the police right away, she panics falls drops her phone and leaves it. Now I also had a problem with the kidnapping, I get she out in a park she’s on the phone with her lawyer but to walk away and turn your back on your child is pretty dumb, she was far enough away she could have still watched her son.

Also where this film is a bit silly is the kidnapping and why, so these two people just take a kid and pull him to a car in daylight and with people around the kid is yelling, at this point you drop the kid and get out and of course they don’t do this but what they do is so dumb, all the stuff on the highway, they throw stuff out of their car and they threaten to throw a young kid out of the car and everyone drives by like nothing happens, at this point don’t you cut your losses. Once the chase stops and we end up at the bad guys hideout it turns into a standard B-Movie thriller, the good guy/women/person trying to sneak in, the action fights at the end are fine but takes you out of what happened earlier.  It also doesn’t help that the bad guys here are like cartoon characters.

Final Thoughts: It’s not bad and I do think some of it worked, I liked Halle Berry a lot and it was tense.  The plot just didn’t hold together enough for me.

Rating: 5/10

Kidnap (2017) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Kidnap Review

Director: Luis Prieto
Writer: Knate Lee
Stars: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn

Although filmed in 2014 it took another 3 years before this film was released to the public due to original studio folding. Thankfully “Kidnap” finally got it’s release through Netflix and premiered back in August. Is it in the same league as Ransom, Taken or Breakdown, perhaps not but there are elements of all three movie in this production.

The Movie opens with a montage of Cinefilm featuring Frankie (Sage Correa) growing up from baby to toddler with his Mother Karla (Halle Berry) Movies tend to do this as a way to fast track and build a relationship up with it’s audience to show the relationship between the characters. Personally I didn’t think this was needed when the characters were Mother and Child but nevertheless the first 15 minutes of the film are also invested in their relationship and you are just waiting to see when the kidnap will take place.

At this point, the character of Karla is slightly scatty and easily harassed and in particular in the opening scenes in her place of work (Diner) you’d be forgiven to expect the kidnapping to take place in this sequence as Frankie is strategically placed at the doorway of the Diner and is left to his own devices. Clever trick on the Directors part to make the audience feel unease.

The actual kidnapping is more obvious as the story evolves in the first 15 minutes and we see a change in Berry’s character from a scatterbrain to a focused woman. The next 70 minutes is a chase scene basically and to be honest I enjoyed it. It was entertaining and although the cuts were a bit annoying at times I don’t think the situation lost its intensity over this.

Kidnap is a movie that is about a Kidnap and although that is it there are obstacles along the way. Halle Berry is believable in her role and although a few cheesy lines thrown in, Karla is a character you can sympathise with (particularly in her praying scene in the car) and has a mixture of emotions that serve for each scenario in a believable way. The hesitancy in her when her son is threatened right before her eyes during the chase is acceptable to the audience and although frustrating isn’t your typical Hollywood response.

The villains aren’t exactly fleshed out and portray more like henchmen for the brains behind the crime. We only know they are the “baddies” due to their actions but it isn’t discovered what their intentions are until half way through the movie and it isn’t until the last 15 minutes of the film that there is a mastermind behind the kidnapping and even then this person isn’t exactly developed as he appears for all of 2 minutes.

I mentioned pacing earlier in my review and as far as the action sequences go they are fine (apart from the punch up in the car involving Karla and the female villain which is a mess) and there is an element of suspense and intensity. My problem is in the way some of the movie is edited. There are far too many cuts in short spaces of time and you will feel disoriented in certain scenes.

For entertainment value it is enjoyable and you will be hooked from start to finish to see how the story pans out. Production wise it apparently had issues with 4 failed release dates and this cut looks a little rushed as if they “had” to get it out before a fifth attempt was cancelled. “Kidnap” is a recommendable movie if you enjoy high speed car chases and an intense storyline.