Category: Action

 ILY FIlms today confirmed that their latest action thriller, Out of Death, is set to be released on Digital Download from August 2nd and on DVD from Octover 4th. Directed by Mike Burns, who makes his feature film debut, 

Out of Death stars the legendary action icon Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Jaime King (Sin CityMy Bloody Valentine) and Lala Kent (Hard KillVault). Still grieving the untimely death of her father, photojournalist Shannon Mathers (Jamie King) spreads his ashes in the woods when she witnesses a cop (Lala Kent) shooting and killing an unarmed henchman during a drug deal. She captures the whole scene on her camera before being discovered. Shot at, scared, helpless and on the run, she races her way through the woods with no recognition of her location.

Distracted by the violent noise of the attack, Jack Harris (Bruce Willis) a newly retired police officer who is relaxing at his cabin, saves Shannon just in time and the two narrowly escape into the woods. Not sure of whom she can trust, as more dirty cops arrive to help hunt her down, including the brutal town sheriff Hank Rivers (Michael Sirow), she decides to rely on Jack, her only real chance to fight back the corrupt police and bring it to justice.

Director of ILY FIlms, Richard Lechartier, says “We are delighted to be releasing Out of Death in the UK. It’s a tense action-packed thriller and we are sure the audiences will love seeing Bruce Willis back to his best”.Out of Death will be available on Digital Download from August 2nd and DVD from October 4th.

Summary:  A fun filled flight to a remote atoll turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane is destroyed in a freak accident and they are trapped on a raft, 100 miles from shore with man-eating sharks lurking beneath the surface.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 24th June 2021 (Australia), 16th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 17th May 2021 (UK)

Country: Australia, USA, UK

Director: Martin Wilson

Screenwriter: Michael Boughen

Cast: Katrina Bowden (Kaz), Aaron Jakubenko (Charlie), Tim Kano (Joji), Tatjana Marjanovic (Tracy), Kimie Tsukakoshi (Michelle), Te Kohe Tuhaka (Benny), Jason Wilder (Luke)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK)

OUR GREAT WHITE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Great White Review:

Nobody quite makes low budget cult films the way that Australian filmmakers do. Over the years I have been pleasantly surprised by films like Red Hill and Acolytes, so surprised in fact that I have gone back and re-visited them a number of times. Now Aussie filmmaker Martin Wilson (Roll) raises the Aussie cult flag high once again with Great White, a film I’ll admit was a lot better than I expected it would be.

The story is simple enough. Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko Tidelands) and Kaz (Katrina Bowden – Tucker And Dale vs Evil) are a couple very much in love but their sea plane charter business is in financial difficulty which is putting stress on their relationship.

Things seem to be looking up though when they are approached by a young couple, Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi – Secret City) and Joji (Tim Kano – Holding The Man), ask to be taken to a deserted island. However, tensions start to rise not long into the trip when Joji seems to clash with the trip’s chef Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka – Love And Monters) from the moment they first meet. Of course that pales into insignificance when they realise they have just entered the feeding grounds of a killer Great White Shark who has a recent taste for blood.

It is the simpleness of this film that actually made me love it. There is none of that B-Grade feeling or over-hype that you often get when American cult films – instead Great White has that natural feel that made films like Black Water and The Reef so terrifying to watch. The fact that this film also taps into that primal human fear of sharks means that it deserves to be mentioned alongside other shark films that I have loved over the years including Jaws and The Meg.

Without too much effort Michael Boughen’s screenplay makes these people that you care about… well let’s be honest that doesn’t carry over to Joji who is so unlikable you can only hope that he ends up as shark food. The other characters however are quick to become crowd favourites. Charlie and Kaz are your typical Aussies from next door while Michelle and Benny are just purely likable people. The fact that Boughen doesn’t have to go over the top with his screenplay to make that bond happen between characters and audience show that he is naturally gifted writer that I can only hope we see a lot more work from over the years.

Of course the key to this film working is suspense and Great White has that in spades. From the opening pre-credit demise of Luke (Jason Wilder – Kidnapped) and Tracy (Tatjana Marjanovic – Monsters Of Man) this film has you on the edge of your seat. I didn’t realise just how intense these moments were until I found myself fearing for the safety of each character whenever they found themselves in the water. This doesn’t only come from some good writing and brilliant shots from Wilson but also due to the fact that the sharks look so real throughout the film – not surprising given that the filmmakers mostly use real shark footage and keep the use of the robo-shark to a bare minimum.

Sure some parts of Great White are a little convenient – as in Charlie’s back-story which means that he is a retired marine biologist who just happens to have once been attacked by a shark – but they are easily over-looked by a well written film that knows the power of suspense when it comes to shark films. While some people may want to give Great White a miss because of the fact that this is an Australian film that is there loss because this is easily equal to films like The Reef and 47 Metres Down. Go and see it because sadly I’m not sure it will last long in cinemas.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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IMDB Rating:

Great White (2021) on IMDb

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Summary:  O’Hara is a mercenary leading a squad of soldiers on their mission to rescue hostages in remote part of Africa. Unfortunately the mission goes wrong and the team are stranded, forced to survive against the local rebels.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: TBA

VOD Release Dates: 2nd December 2020 (Australia), 16th November 2020 (UK), 28th August 2020 (USA)

Country: USA, South Africa, UK

Director: M.J. Bassett

Screenwriter: Isabel Bassett, M.J. Bassett, Mark Middlewick

Cast: Brandon Auret (Elijah Dekker), Isabel Bassett (Tessa), Nkanyiso Bhengu (Butcher), Tamer Burjaq (Masakh), Adam Deacon (Zalaam), Kenneth Fok (Bo Yinn), Megan Fox (Samantha O’Hara), Ashish Gangapersad (Nuru), Sisanda Henna (Pata), Greg Kriek (Mike Barasa), Lee-Anne Liebenberg (TJ), Mangaliso Mazibuko (Bobbie), Tertius Meintjes (Gordie), Chrispen Nyathi (Mifuna), Buntu Raxabgana (Mannie), Cosmos Sebastian (Banjo), Austin Shandu (Alred), Jessica Sutton (Asilia Wilson), Calli Taylor (Chloe), Simon Wanderi (Porter), Philip Winchester (Joey Kasinski), Bainet Yusuf (Maxwell)

Running Time: 105 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR ROGUE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Rogue Review:

A few years ago if actress Meagan Fox had a film coming out the world knew about it. The talented actress was the face of huge franchises including Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She was so popular in fact that when she left the Transformers franchise there were fans out there saying they would boycott the Bay juggernaut due to the fact they thought she had been unceremoniously and unfairly dumped.

Today Fox’s films seem to come out with very little fanfare at all – a shame when you consider that some of the films that she has been releasing recently are absolute gems. First there was the seriously under-rated Think Like A Dog and now her new action film Rogue has landed on a number of streaming platforms in Phuket. With a lot of ordinary action films being released during the Covid lockdowns it is a refreshing to see a film like Rogue stand above the pack.

Directed by MJ Bassett (Ash vs Evil Dead) Rogue sees Fox star as mercenary leader Samantha O’Hara;  who is sent into East Africa with her team to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Governor. Once on the ground O’Hara learns that Asilia (Jessica Sutton – The Kissing Booth) is being held captive alongside her best friends, Tessa (Isabel Bassett – Solomon Kane) and Chloe (Calli Taylor – The Courier).

But as O’Hara and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with local warlord Zaleem (Adam Deacon – Righteous Villains) they soon discover that they are also the hunted. Not only does Zallem to have a bigger army than they expected but there is also a rogue lioness patrolling the area who is annoyed that she has been separated from her cubs at an illegal lion farm. Soon she is hunting down O’Hara’s team as well as the rebels they are fighting.

You could probably say that there is nothing ‘new’ in Rogue but what makes this film standout from some of the other action films out there is the way that the story is told. MJ Bassett reveals herself as an under-rated director of the genre, her battle sequences here are equal to anything that we saw in films like Black Hawk Down while her screenplay, which she wrote with her daughter Isobel, does something that so few action films do – give characterisation to even the minor characters.

That small thing totally enhances the rest of the film. The fact that one of O’Hara’s teams was once a member of Zaleem’s militia leads to some brilliant tense moments between himself and the former captives of Zaleem, while even Zaleem is given more characterisation than most action bad guys would be. There are times in this film where he basically pleads his case to O’Hara explaining that the militia are as equally as bad as the Government she works for. Yes, it doesn’t justify anything but it does make for more interesting scenes than just endless shootouts.

Bassett also allows for Rogue to take on an environmental angle as well. Not only does she show the cruelty that exists in the illegal lion farms but also reveals that it is corruption and greed that keeps them running. Yes, the plot almost does label the lioness as one of the ‘villains’ of the film but at the same time there is a clear understanding from O’Hara as to why the lioness is doing what she is doing – she is simply just trying to protect her young.

Sadly amongst all the Covid carnage in cinemas at the moment Rogue has slipped through to go straight to streaming services but this is one action film that certainly shouldn’t be missed. Meagan Fox stars in a role that demands both dramatic and action skills while the story itself is both intriguing and suspenseful. One to certainly hunt down while cinemas are still closed.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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IMDB Rating:

Rogue (2020) on IMDb

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You can read our Rogue review in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/megan-fox-goes-rogue-80387.php

Trailer:

From writer/director James Gunn comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero action adventure “The Suicide Squad” featuring a collection of the most degenerate delinquents in the DC line up.

Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A.  Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X.  Today’s do-or-die assignment?  Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn.  Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement.  And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself).  If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them—all of them.

The film stars Margot Robbie (“Birds of Prey,” “Bombshell”), Idris Elba (“Avengers: Infinity War”), John Cena (upcoming HBO Max series “Peacemaker,” “Bumblebee”), Joel Kinnaman (“Suicide Squad”), Jai Courtney (the “Divergent” franchise), Peter Capaldi (“World War Z,” BBC’s “Doctor Who” ), David Dastmalchian (upcoming “Dune,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp”), Daniela Melchior (“Parque Mayer”), Michael Rooker (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films), Alice Braga (“Elysium”), Pete Davidson (“The King of Staten Island,” TV’s “Saturday Night Live”), Joaquín Cosio (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” TV’s “Narcos: Mexico”), Juan Diego Botto (“The Europeans”), Storm Reid (“The Invisible Man,” “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Euphoria”), Nathan Fillion (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” TV’s “The Rookie”), Steve Agee (“Brightburn,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), Sean Gunn (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, the “Avengers” films), Mayling Ng (“Wonder Woman”), Flula Borg (“Ralph Breaks the Internet”), Jennifer Holland (“Brightburn,” upcoming HBO Max series “Peacemaker”) and Tinashe Kajese (TV’s “Valor,” “The Inspectors”), with Sylvester Stallone (the “Rocky,” “Rambo” and “Expendables” franchises), and Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Suicide Squad”).

Gunn (the “Guardian of the Galaxy” films) directs from his own screenplay, based on characters from DC.  The film is produced by Charles Roven and Peter Safran, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo, Nikolas Korda and Richard Suckle executive producing.

Gunn’s creative team includes director of photography Henry Braham (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), production designer Beth Mickle (“Captain Marvel”), editors Fred Raskin (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”) and Christian Wagner (the “Fast & Furious” films) and Oscar-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).  The music is by John Murphy (“Kick-Ass”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents An Atlas Entertainment/Peter Safran Production, A James Gunn Film, “The Suicide Squad.”  The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.  Only In Cinemas August 5.

Summary:  The true story of Irish outlaw Daniel Morgan, who is wanted, dead or alive, in Australia during the 1850s.

Year: 1976

Cinema Release Dates: 9th July 1976 (Australia), 22nd September 1976 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Philippe Mora

Screenwriter: Philippe Mora

Cast: Gregory Apps (Arthur), Don Barkham (Morrow), Graeme Blundell (Italian Jack), Wallas Eaton (Macpherson), David Gulpilil (Billy), John Hargreaves (Baylis), Martin Harris (Wendlan), Dennis Hopper (Daniel Morgan), Bill Hunter (Sergeant Smith), Michael Pate (Superintendent Winch), Robin Ramsay (Roget), Jack Thompson (Detective Manwaring), Frank Thring (Superintendent Cobham)

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR MAD DOG MORGAN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Mad Dog Morgan Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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IMDB Rating:

Mad Dog Morgan (1976) on IMDb

Other Subculture Mad Dog Morgan Reviews:

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Summary:  The plot follows H, a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 29th April 2021 (Australia), 29th July 2021 (Thailand), 23rd July 2021 (UK), 7th May 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, UK

Director: Guy Ritchie

Screenwriter: Eric Besnard, Guy Ritchie, Marn Davies, Ivan Atkinson

Cast: Niamh Algar (Dana), Laz Alonso (Carlos), Mark Arnold (Super), Alessandro Babalola (Stuart), Eli Brown (Dougie), Rebecca Calder (Amy), Raul Castillo (Sam), Mark Cotone (Marko), Josh Cowdery (FBI Agent Hubbard), Darrell D’Silva (Mike), Rob Delaney (Boss Blake Halls), Thomas Dominique (Jerome), Jeffrey Donovan (Jackson), Scott Eastwood (Jan), Alex Ferns (John), Andy Garcia (Agent King), Josh Harnett (Boy Sweat Dave), Cameron Jack (Brendan), Eve Macklin (Jane), Montana Manning (Anna), Eddie Marsan (Terry), Holt McCallany (Bullet), Tadgh Murphy (Shirley), Babs Olusanmokun (Moggy), Deobia Oparei (Brad), Chris Reilly (Tom), Lynn Renee (Kirsty), Jason Statham (H), Rocci Williams (Hollow Bob), Jason Wong (FBI Agent Okey)

Running Time: 119 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (Australia)

OUR WRATH OF MAN REVIEWS

David and Lee Griffiths’ Wrath Of Man Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating out of 5:

Kyle McGrath’s Wrath Of Man Review:

Kyle’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Wrath of Man (2021) on IMDb

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Trailer:

Summary:  Cipher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom’s younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 17th June 2021 (Australia), 15th July 2021 (Thailand), 24th June 2021 (UK), 25th June 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Justin Lin

Screenwriter: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin

Cast: Siena Agudong (Young Mia), Vinnie Bennet (Young Dom), Lucas Black (Sean), Jordana Brewster (Mia), Cardi B (Leysa), John Cena (Jakob), Cered (Young Leo), Finn Cole (Young Jakob), Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), Vincent Sinclair Diesel (Younger Dom), Lex Elle (Sergeant Reyes), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), Martin Ford (Lieutenant Sue), Tyrese Gibson (Roman), Azia Dinea Hale (Young Letty), Immanuel Holtant (Little Brian), Issac Holtane (Little Brian), Sung Kang (Han), Karson Kern (Young Vince), Mark Krenik (Cash), Ludacris (Tej), Helen Mirren (Queenie), Shad Moss (Twinkie), Don Omar (Santos), Ozuna (Young Santos), JD Pardo (Jack Toretto), Jim Parrack (Kenny Linder), Thur Ersted Rasmussen (Otto), Igby Rigney (Young Jesse), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty), Michael Rooker (Buddy), Kurt Russell (Mr. Nobody), Anna Sawwai (Elle), Charlize Theron (Cipher), Jason Tobin (Earl), Ella Walker (Vanessa), Shea Whigham (Stasiak), Juju Zhang (Young Elle)

Running Time: 145 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (Australia)

OUR F9: THE FAST SAGA REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ F9: The Fast Saga Review:

To call me a Fast & Furious fan is a major under-statement. I fell in love with this franchise when I saw the first film on the day it opened back in 2001. At the time I was almost unaware of Paul Walker (Snow Dogs) or Vin Diesel (XXX) but by the time I left the cinema I was wishing I was them. As I write this review right now just above me on my wall is one of my most valuable possessions – framed signed stills from the cast of

Over the years I have never really hated any of the films, sure there have been some that I have enjoyed more than others but I have even found things to like about 2Fast 2Furious and Tokyo Drift which others have described as weaker films in the franchises. What I found this time is that while F9 may not be my favourite in the series it is certainly up there with the best.

This time around the film open with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Lettie (Michelle Rodriguez Avatar) are living a quiet country lifestyle with Dom’s son. That quiet life is quickly pushed to the side though when Roman (Tyrese Gibson – Transformers), Tej (Ludacris – Crash) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel – Game Of Thrones) shows up with an encrypted message from Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell – The Hateful Eight) asking for the group’s help.

After viewing the message himself though Dom soon realises that this isn’t going to be a simple search and rescue mission because he recognises the work of his arch nemesis – the dangerous  hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron – Monster) and a ghost from he and Mia’s (Jordana Brewster – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) past – their brother Jakob (John Cena – Bumblebee).

What makes F9 work so well is the same as what has endeared me to this franchise for so long – the film’s have heart and are not just big soulless action flicks. As an audience we have come to know and love Dom, Letty, Mia and their crew and here the screenwriters and director Justin Lin (Fast Five) feed off that.

The fact that this film explores the relationship between Dom and Jakob and even shows the moment that Dom changed from being a teenager into a man in a flash second gives this film a heart and soul that the fans are just going to love. Those flash-backs instantly show the haters that there is still a lot more to explore in this Fast & Furious universe. And the way that they intertwine with the action sequences of the modern day action shows that Lin is a director that knows how to tell a story as well as direct action.

As we have come to expect from this franchise the action sequences here are amazing. Lin once again returns back to more car based action (there is even a joke told about tanks and submarines) with a finale that while out of this world is shot so well that the audience are still able to see it as believable.

My only gripes are that with Jakob and Cipher already in the picture Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen – Sunday) almost seems redundant as a villain and that the excuses for Paul Walker’s character of Brian not being around are getting pretty thin, Lines indicating that he is staying at home and looking after his kids while his wife is out battling villains is border-line disrespectful to the character’s memory and you almost wonder whether they would have been better off killing Brian in the franchise after the untimely death of Walker.

All up though F9 is a film that fans of the franchise are going to love, and yes there are a few unexpected surprises thrown in for everyone as well. Casual viewers may find some of the characters confusing given that the screenplay relies on you having seen their character set-ups and storylines in previous films. The action is epic and the heroes are deep and meaningful – once again this franchise has given us all its best.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee Griffiths’ F9: The Fast Saga Review:

Lee’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGraths’ F9: The Fast Saga Review:

The Fast & Furious franchise has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Moreso than that I feel that it’s a film franchise worthy of praise for its immense success in a variety of ways many of which have gone overlooked.

It goes without saying that the films have achieved an incredible financial success at the box office but what film franchise other than James Bond and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made it to 9 movies (10 including the 2019 spinoff Hobbs & Shaw) with audiences still wanting more? For it to have lost then regained for the most part the same main cast of actors, for it to have evolved into something completely different than what it started off as and for it to still work as well as it does in its target audience’s eyes has got to be praised. The franchise is in fact so huge that even successful film franchises like The Expendables or Star Trek have themselves self destructed trying to cash in in one way or another.

It keeps being brought up how ridiculous it is that what started out as a movie about a gang stealing VCRs has turned into a huge budget spy movie franchise with those same characters destroying tanks or going into outer space. This is all true but it’s not something I find myself being irritated by nearly as much as I am by the people who keep bringing it up with every new installment. 2001’s The Fast & The Furious while a popular film that launched Vin Diesel to stardom was itself labled, somewhat justifiably, as a Point Break ripoff with cars in exchange for surfboards. Its always been hard for me to find fault in the fact that one type of shlocky fun action film turned into a different type of schlocky fun action film.

Paul Walker’s tragic passing effected the films greatly. He wasnt just a main character in the movies, from the start he was the actual protagonist of them. On top of that his continuing to star in the initial sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious while Vin Diesel would not return to the franchise until film 4 means that his death would have effectively destroyed the saga’s trajectory. The odd thing is it didn’t, not due to any shortcoming in the quality of the series’ writing or characters, but because “F&F” had grown to something entirely different by then it could survive the loss of a main character.

Allow me to go on a little here but this is why I’m a fan of the series 20 years later. With 2 Fast 2 Furious Vin Diesel not returning meant the movie instead of pairing Paul Walker’s Brian with Dom paired him with Tyrese Gibson’s Roman as well as other new characters. 2006’s F&F: Tokyo Drift acted as an entire reboot of the franchise focusing on a new character and his story in the Japanese car drifting world. It introduced the character of Han (Sung Kang) who’s death in that film became an easter egg establishing that F&F 4, 5 & 6 were actually all prequels. Those films were when the series took on more of it’s “familia” theme and became more about the ensemble cast on different steadily crazier and crazier adventures.

Then midway during the production of F&F7 Paul Walker was killed in an unrelated car accident. This led to massive delays as the filmmakers tried to decide how to proceed with filming or whether to scrap the movie altogether. Amazingly against all odds F&F7 managed to pull off the impossible and actually worked despite the film initially being rushed into production to achieve a next year release date, the resulting loss of Justin Lin (director of all the films since Tokyo Drift) and death of a lead actor midway through filming leading to the film needing to be completely rewritten to work as not only a coherent film but also as a fitting tribute to Paul Walker and a send-off to his character. Not only was it the most financially successful F&F til that point but many fans see it as their favourite film of the series.

Whats worth noting also is that while he had to initially pull out due to scheduling conflicts with his Hercules epic the delay in filming allowed Dwyane Johnson to rejoin the film. This led to the clashing of his character Luke Hobbs with the antagonist Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). The chemistry they had together eventually leading to their own spinoff movie Hobbs & Shaw. Point being that a tragic event which should have destroyed the series somehow didnt and the F&F franchise remained as strong as ever for 2 more films.

This brings us (finally) to the delayed release of Fast & Furious 9. The story picks up where F8 of the Furious left off with Dom as a father living the quiet life with his child and his partner Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). They become dragged back into the world of espionage and adventure learning that the Blofeld-like Cipher (Charlize Theron) has been captured and as quickly escaped with the assistance of Jakob (John Cena), Dom’s long estranged brother. Dom and the rest of his famila must do what they can to stop whatever it is that Cipher and Jakob must be planning before it’s too late. Along the way there will be revelations as its revealed that Letty isnt the only series character whose death was greatly overstated.

While there were elements of this movie I found interesting or impressive. Its always a bit of a risky move pulling the “long lost character” trope especially after we’ve known Dom’s family story for so long. That said the film did a surprisingly decent job of weaving Jakob into the back story of the Toretto family and there’s ample use of flashbacks throughout the film to establish the rift which grew between the two brothers. John Cena has the charisma and the menace to easily take on the role of a lead villain in a F&F movir. It is a little far fetched that Jakob also became some sort of evil secret agent at the same time that Dom’s life led him down a similar path but it was two other things which bothered me about Jakob’s shoehorning into the story.

First is that while most of Jakob’s interactions and character development understandably are between himself and his brother Dom there wasn’t a whole lot between him and his sister Mia played by Jordana Brewster making her return to the series after sitting out the last film. One of this film’s strengths and also its weaknesses I believe is its large ensemble cast of characters. Telling a full story, giving everyone enough screen time and having plenty of action sequences can lead to an exceptionally long film (little wonder this movie clocks in at 145 mins and similarly Avengers Endgame was over 3hrs). Also getting such a large cast together can have other issues such as Charlize Theron having a quite small role in this film most of her scenes being filmed on the same set. But Jordana Brewster’s Mia does feel left out a lot but with her being in the film at all the audience is reminded often of the elephant in the room, where is Bryan? I felt a lot of those problems could have been resolved by introducing her later in the film but then she does have some scenes with Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty character who is having her own crisis as to whether she belongs in a domestic life.

Another reason Mia may have been added back to the cast is to give the franchise some more female characters. There was talk a while ago about making a “female oriented” Fast & Furious spinoffvmovie which I hope doesnt happen because the franchise has never not included strong female characters. Especially since the move to an ensemble cast it hasn’t felt anything like a boy’s only club. I would be happy if in the future they continued with the multi racial, multi gendered cast of characters they have now working together rather than try splitting up into segregated films for some reason.

Going back the other problem that I had with Jakob’s inclusion in the story is more to do with the trope itself. The F&F films have already had a villain who turned out to be the until unknown brother of another character in Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw in F&F 7 to Luke Evan’s Owen Shaw in F&F 6. The biggest problem with any long lasting franchise to me is when the storytellers start running out of ideas and repeating themselves. I understand there’s only so many storylines possible but I’m always impressed by creativity and when we are told stories or, in action films, shown action sequences we’ve never seen before. While many others were praising the 2012 Bond film Skyfall I couldn’t help but see it as a collection of themes & ideas & plot devices Frankenstein’d together from other Bond films, Mission: Impossible films and even The Dark Knight.

To it’s credit the F&F films have made it this far without repearing themselves too much. With the exception of the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff the films have always impressed me with being able to come up with new and exciting set pieces and in many ways this film achieves this as well with this film filled to the brim with insane stunts and crazy ideas. However it does feel like the well of ideas may be running a little dry as in F&F 9 they not only have recycled the lost brother idea already used in previous films but also the twist of bringing a character long thought dead back to life. I won’t go into detail on that as I feel it qualifies as a spoiler (even if this character is involved in official promotional meterial for the film) but we are getting into MCU territory here with reincarnations.

Fast 9 is the epitome of a “turn your brain off and enjoy it” movie. At this point 10 films into a franchise I feel like if that hasnt been made clear to people it never will be. Through that lens I found myself enjoying the film while accepting that it is by far not my favourite installment and definitely shows signs that the series is in need of retirement before it becomes too late. With Fast 10 Part 1 & 2 in development and allegedly being the final mainstream film in the saga I think that even the filmmakers can see there’s a time to wrap things up.

Kyle McGrath’s Rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

F9: The Fast Saga (2021) on IMDb

Other Subculture F9: The Fast Saga Reviews:

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Over the past weekend, Australian Indie film ‘Occupation: Rainfall’ enjoyed a top 10 position in North America across VOD and home release platforms.  Distributed in America by Saban Films, the dystopian sci-fi is set for global distribution including the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Middle East, Scandinavia, South Korea, Taiwan, Spain and Vietnam.
 
 
With VFX done by the same team behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Blade Runner 2049, Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall delivers a thrilling sci-fi epic that is firmly set to impress audiences all over the world.  Starring Ken Jeong, Temuera Morrison, Daniel Gillies and Jason Isaacs and directed and written by Luke Sparke, produced by mother and daughter team Carly & Carmel Imrie (OccupationRed Billabong) and co-executive producer Todd Williams (The NunAlex and Me), the action packed film showcases the scenic hills of Australia’s Blue Mountains to the war-torn streets of Sydney.
 
Leading entertainment review website, Flickering Myth claims, “It’s War of the Worlds meets Terminator: Salvation spliced with Guardians of the Galaxy…..if you want a science fiction action film then this delivers”.
 
Occupation: Rainfall will have its home release in Australia through Umbrella Entertainment and Monster Pictures on June 16.  The film will be available on Blu-Ray (featuring audio commentary tracks and deleted scenes), DVD, Foxtel Store, iTunes, Google Play and more. The UK release in cinemas and on demand is July 9 by Signature Entertainment. The Europe and Asian markets will then follow.
 
With three years in production, Occupation: Rainfall features over 1,500 special effects, and stars a brilliant multicultural ensemble cast of Australian and international talent. Due to its international success, a sequel, ‘Rainfall: Chapter 2’, is in active development, with the script completed and international casting already commenced.

Summary:  A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 13th May 2021 (Australia), 13th May 2021 (Thailand), 17th May 2021 (UK), 14th May 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Canada, USA

Director: Taylor Sheridan

Screenwriter: Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt, Taylor Sheridan

Cast: Gabe Baca (Officer R. Hermes), Jon Bernthal (Ethan), Ryan Jason Cook (Leo), Mary Fenton (Beth), Howard Ferguson Jnr. (Vic), Aidan Gillen (Jack), Carma Harvey (Deborah Killdeer), Nicholas Hoult (Patrick), Angelina Jolie (Hannah), James Jordan (Ben), Tory Kittles (Ryan), Finn Little (Connor), Lora Martinez-Cunningham (Tina), Matt Medrano (MarshallFranks), Laura Niemi (Maggie), Tyler Perry (Arthur), Medina Senghore (Allison), Boots Southerland (Sheriff), Jake Weber (Owen)

Running Time: 100 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Those Who Wish Me Dead Review:

Over recent years filmmaker Taylor Sheridan has had a huge impact on Hollywood. His screenplay for the hard-hitting Sicario heralded in a new age of dramatic intensity within a market that many said had gone soft. Then came his work on the under-rated Hell Or High Water and the brilliant Wind River. Sheridan was no longer a light-weight he had awards in his back pocket and actors like Jeremy Renner were lining up to work with him. To show that was no flash in the pan then came one of the most eagerly-anticipated television shows of 2020 – Yellowstone – of which Sheridan was the main creator.

Now Sheridan teams up with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars – Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) in the edgy action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead. Jolie plays damaged fire-jumper (fire-fighter) Hannah Faber who has been sent to an outpost fire tower to work as a spotter after she has become an emotional mess after being involved with a forest fire that claimed the lives of children and one of her colleagues.

While believing that her new post will be much more peaceful Hannah soon comes across a young boy Connor Casserly (Finn Little – Angel Of Mine) who is being hunted down by ruthless assassins Jack (Aidan Gillen – Game Of Thrones) and Patrick Blackwell (Nicholas Hoult – Mad Max: Fury Road).

Despite her own demons Hannah realises that only her and the boy’s uncle, local Police Officer Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal The Walking Dead), can keep him alive. To add to the pressure they also find themselves trapped by a forest fire that was lit by the assassins as a distraction for local authorities.

You soon realise when watching Those Who Wish Me Dead that in contains all the tropes that has made Sheridan one of Hollywood’s most interesting filmmakers at the moment. The film is edgy – it doesn’t stick to the Hollywood rules of trying to keep the film to a low classification. Most of the characters are damaged and they talk and act like they are damaged – they swear when under pressure and they certainly don’t play nice.

While over the years Hollywood has normally tried to shy away from violence towards the vulnerable – as can be expected Sheridan puts the vulnerable at risk. It doesn’t matter that the key target here is a child – Jack and Patrick are blood-thirsty assassins who will not think twice about blowing young Connor away. The result is a realism that is normally never present in an action thriller like this plus a level of intensity and suspense that is normally only reserved for European or Scandinavian cinema.

To add even further to that suspense is the forest fire storyline. There are times during this film when likable characters such as Sawyer’s pregnant partner, Allison (Medina Senghore – Blindspot!) find themselves trapped between the fire and the insatiable killers and that only raises the stakes even more. Sheridan plays on the human condition that we are all terrified by fire and its ferocious nature and he uses it to his advantage.

It is a welcome relief to see Jolie back in an ‘action’ flick as she has spent much of the last decade making family films and doing voice work. She seems to relish being in a role with edge and the scenes that she shares with young Finn Little are natural and memorable. Jon Bernthal’s performance in the film is also a stand-out and his fans will be happy to see that this time he has been given a chance to play a hero rather than a villain.

To be honest Those Who Wish Me Dead is probably closer to a blockbuster than the ‘indie’ feeling films like Hell Or High Water or Wind River that Taylor Sheridan has made in the past. But just like those films this one is full of memorable characters, a hard edge and suspense that is going to make you want to watch it time and time again.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee Griffiths’ Those Who Wish Me Dead Review

Lee’s Score Out Of 5:

Kyle McGraths’ Those Who Wish Me Dead Review

Kyle’s Score Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) on IMDb

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