Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Ludwig’

From Miami to Mexico City

Bad Boys for Life

Directors: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate del Castillo, Joe Pantoliano, Jacob Scipio, Theresa Randle

Michael Bay directed the first Bad Boys back in 1995 and then there was a sequel Bad Boys II made in 2003 both featuring buddy cop duo Mike and Marcus played respectively by Oscar nominee Will Smith (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness) and comedian Martin Lawrence.

So it’s been 17 years since this franchise had a glossy revamp with the new film Bad Boys for Life featuring the same actors as the same fast talking Miami cops who go after evil gangsters.

Fortunately, directing duo Ardi El Arbi and Bilall Fallah do justice in the 2020 reboot Bad Boys for Life as Mike and Marcus considerably much older and now assisted by an Ammo taskforce as they collectively take on the ruthless Mexican drug cartel when the vicious head of a Mexico City cartel Isabel Aretas played by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo orders her son Armando Aretas viciously played by Jacob Scipio to kill Mike in downtown Miami.

Both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have terrific screen chemistry as the cop duo and this is reinforced by the fantastic new additions to the cast of the Ammo crew: namely, Kelly played by Vanessa Hudgens (Second Act, Suckerpunch), Dorn played by Canadian hunky actor Alexander Ludwig best known for his pivotal role in the brilliant historical series Vikings and Rafe played by Charles Melton (The Sun is Also a Star). Ammo is headed up by the gorgeous Rita played by another Mexican actress Paola Nunez.

What is most impressive about Bad Boys for Life besides the glossy cinematography, the fantastic visual shots of Miami and Mexico City, is the fast-paced action and the surprisingly well written storyline.

This film is fun, funky and definitely worth seeing for those viewers that enjoyed the first two Bad Boys films and also for those viewers unfamiliar with the franchise. Most notable is the gripping Miami nightclub action sequence as well as the spectacularly gripping finale set in the Palacio di Hidalgo, a beautiful ruined Palace, in Mexico City.

If audiences want decent action, witty one-liners and superb plot twists, then go and see Bad Boys for Life as Mike and Marcus battle the cartel from Miami to Mexico City.

Bad Boys for Life gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is thoroughly entertaining. Judging by the audience popularity for this film, there will definitely be a Bad Boys 4.

Quick Reaction Force

Lone Survivor

lone_survivor

Director: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Jerry Ferrara

Battleship and Hancock director Peter Berg tackles more informative and ferocious subject matter in the excellent adaptation of the non-fiction war story Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson, which details the failed mission of the US Navy Seals counter-insurgency attack in the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan against the Taliban. With superb sound editing and sound mixing, Lone Survivor follows in the spirit of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down and features a tightly knit muscular group of actors playing soldiers led by Mark Wahlberg (Two Guns), Taylor Kitsch (Savages, Battleship), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Milk) Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, The Mechanic), Eric Bana and newcomer Canadian actor Alexander Ludwig last seen in The Hunger Games.

The bravado and savagery of war is brilliantly recreated in this tightly directed account of a four man Navy Seals reconnaissance team led by Marcus Luttrell played by Wahlberg and his fraternal band of bearded soldiers which includes Michael Murphy played by Kitsch, Danny Dietz played by Emile Hirsch and Matthew Axelson played by Ben Foster. The harrowing gun battle which follows when the team are ambushed by a Taliban army who clearly know the terrain better than themselves is vividly recreated and the ordeal that Luttrell goes through makes for an outstanding war and survival movie.

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Lone Survivor, like Platoon, Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down, does not stint on the violence and fear involved in mortal combat between two enemy forces and emphasizes the bravery and courage that these men faced in battling another American war on foreign territory against a hostile anti-American enemy.

Incidentally Lone Survivor was filmed in New Mexico at the Santa Fe National Forest standing in for the rugged and alien terrain of the Hindu Kush http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Kush, the rugged mountain range which connects central Afghanistan and  northern Pakistan.

What makes Lone Survivor so watchable and riveting is the excellent sound quality of the mountainside battle which makes up the bulk of the film. This film received two Oscar nominations in 2014 for Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing and rightly so. With a top notch cast especially Foster and Hirsch playing against type, Lone Survivor is highly recommended viewing for fans of great war films. Supremely entertaining, action-packed and technically unrivaled, Lone Survivor is definitely one of Peter Berg’s best films so far.

 

 

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