Posts Tagged ‘Dylan O’Brien’

Rogue Mercenary

American Assassin

Director: Michael Cuesta

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, Sanaa Lathan, David Suchet, Scott Adkins, Shiva Negar, Navid Neghban, Charlotte Vega

Kill the Messenger director Michael Cuesta returns to the big screen with his next film the action packed globetrotting American Assassin starring Dylan O’Brien (Deepwater Horizon) as Mitch Rapp and Michael Keaton (Spotlight, Birdman) as his CIA trainer Stan Hurley.

American Assassin opens on an idyllic Spanish beach in Ibiza whereby Mitch is videoing his gorgeous girlfriend Katrina swimming and whereupon he soon proposes to her. The romantic seemingly delightful scene is shattered when terrorists open fire on the beach goers in a horrific scene that which mirrored a real life attack in Tunisia.

Then back in America, Mitch is recruited by the CIA after a failed attempt to take revenge on the perpetrators of the attack. He is sent off for training in Virginia by the tough Hurley whilst the deputy director Irene Kennedy played by Sanaa Lathan (Now You See Me 2) is handling a bigger crisis: weapons grade plutonium has been stolen from an abandoned site in Russia and is currently being sold on the black market by a rogue mercenary simply known as Ghost played with psychopathic intensity by Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor, Savages).

The action moves to Istanbul, Turkey whereby Mitch teams up with CIA counter-terrorism operative played by Iranian-Canadian star Shiva Negar as they hunt down the Ghost and through various political intrigue between the Iranians and the CIA, they discover that this lethal rogue mercenary plans on using the plutonium to maximum effect in the Mediterranean.

From Istanbul to Rome, the action is swift with the 26 year old Dylan O’Brien holding his own as a lead actor in a big budget action film as he beefs up thanks to his experience on the hugely popular Maze Runner franchise.

Audiences should take note that there is a gruesome torture scene in a sprawling refugee housing project outside Rome.

American Assassin is a thrilling action film at face value, expertly shot by Cuesta and making use of the extensive locations from Virginia to Dubai. Gritty, fast paced and definitely entertaining, with the most notable scenes being the Virtual Reality assassin practice sequence as well as the speedboat fight scene on the Mediterranean.

American Assassin gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is recommended viewing for action film fans.

The film is not quite in the category of the spy thriller Jason Bourne but definitely worthy enough to be classed within the same gritty, espionage globetrotting genre, which has become such a lucrative money spinner. Perhaps director Michael Cuesta will consider making a sequel maximizing the potential of its hunky young lead star, Dylan O’Brien.

 

The Well from Hell

Deepwater Horizon

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Director: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brein, Ethan Suplee, J. D. Evermore, Jason Kirkpatrick

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Good films often work because of professional partnerships between an actor and director. This is the case in the second collaboration between Lone Survivor director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg.

Deepwater Horizon graphically depicts the horrific events which went horribly wrong on the night of 20th April 2010, when the Transocean oil rig run by BP, Deepwater Horizon exploded and eventually caused one of the worst ecological disasters in American history as the coastline states on the Gulf of Mexico were damaged by millions of litres of Brent crude oil which washed up on the beaches from Florida to Louisiana.

As in Lone Survivor, Peter Berg likes to tackle real and recent historical events. His version of Deepwater Horizon is both visually impressive, with stunning sound and visual effects as well as absorbing to watch, without going too deeply into the ecological side of the disaster.

As a director Berg chooses to rather focus on what went wrong at Deepwater Horizon. This is graphically explained in an earlier scene with Wahlberg and his wife Felicia played by Kate Hudson (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), when his young daughter explains to Wahlberg’s real life character Mike Williams as part of a show and tell, what her father does on an oil rig. She illustrates this by using a coke can, punctuating it with a straw then filling the straw with honey. Eventually the pressure builds and the coke explodes all over the dining room table.

Without delving too deeply into the technical aspects of went wrong, basically Deepwater Horizon was a faulty rig, or as one mechanic states this is “The Well from Hell”.

Under pressure from corporate bosses, and after several negative pressure tests, they attempt to start drilling for oil and soon everything goes horribly wrong and the flammable oil starts shooting up through the rig and with a combination of leaking gas causes a massive explosion and widespread devastation.

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The best part of the film, is the actual explosion on Deepwater Horizon and how Williams and his colleague Andrea Fleytas played by Gina Rodriguez eventually escape off the oil rig, which soon resembles a floating towering inferno. The scene between Wahlberg and Rodriguez as the two have to psyche each other up to escape this disastrous oil rig which is rapidly being engulfed in flames is absolutely riveting.

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Audiences should look out for an impressive performance by Oscar nominee John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons, In the Line of Fire) as a pushy corporate boss Vidrine complete with a southern drawl.

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Kurt Russell has an opportunity to act with his stepdaughter Kate Hudson in Deepwater Horizon, both actors playing supporting roles.

Deepwater Horizon is a visually impressive account of the worst oil disaster in American History which led to one of the most devastating ecological disasters planet Earth has ever had to endure. The explosion of Deepwater Horizon, eventually led BP to pay millions of dollars in damages.

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While Peter Berg chooses to focus on the actual event instead of its aftermath, Deepwater Horizon is a gripping film to watch especially considering that this disaster only occurred six years ago in 2010. In the factual film drama genre, Deepwater Horizon is highly recommended viewing, similar to Thirteen Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

 

Two Pals in Palo Alto

The Internship

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Director: Shawn Levy

Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Szohr, Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, Will Ferrell, Josh Gad, Aasif Mandvi

It’s very difficult to make the internet appealing, funny or sexy onscreen. Director David Fincher achieved this in The Social Network with the brilliantly adapted screenplay by Aaron Sorkin of the Benz Mezrich novel The Accidental Billionaires about the rise of Facebook.

In a much lesser way The Internship once again teams up The Wedding Crashers comic duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two middle aged wristwatch salesmen Bill McMahon and Nick Campbell who find their sales talents are no longer required in the 21st century digital age, forcing them to apply for an unlikely internship at Google Headquarters in Palo Alo, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

What follows is a humorous tale of two friends who have to compete in a so called mental Hunger Games scenario rife with geeky sci-fi comicbook references from X-Men to Harry Potter as part of a summer internship with a group of graduates half their age at the search engine’s playground themed headquarters. Whilst the Internship does not have the plot substance to sustain a two hour film, it nevertheless remains a clever comedy taking a poignant look at how the 40+ age group is coping with the sudden onslaught of the digital age especially all that Google has to offer.

Thankfully director Shawn Levy does takes some of the action of The Internship away from Google headquarters otherwise the entire film would be a product endorsement for the search engine giant, offering viewers some wonderful shots of San Francisco particularly the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a very funny (The Hangover inspired scene) where Bill & Nick take their young team mates on a night out on the town landing in a pole dancing club and naturally the narrative is driven by the same onscreen chemistry between Vaughn and Owen which made The Wedding Crashers such a smash hit.

The late director Anthony Minghella’s son Max Minghella (The Social Network) plays the rival team leader Graham Hawtrey, a competitive alpha male who gets his laughs by putting down his fellow teammates, while Nick and Bill show that despite their age difference, collaboration is the best form of winning in a competitive environment. The Internship at times comes across as trite, supercilious, but it is nevertheless funny and is helped by a lovely appearance by Australian actress Rose Byrne, who plays Nick’s love interest Dana.

Cinematically The Internship is in not in the same league as The Social Network, but is a fun look at how 40 somethings have to re-evaluate and reinvent their professional lives in the wake of a 21st century youth inspired digital revolution whether its through Google, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook. For fans of The Wedding Crashers, then The Internship will certainly appeal, despite it being ageist, sexist and at times mundane, only highlighting that the American dream is still obtainable even if you have to Google it!

Besides uncredited cameos by John Goodman and Will Ferrell, the film also stars Dylan O’Brien, Josh Brener and Jessica Szohr.

 

 

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