Archive for the ‘Scott Waugh’ Category

Merciless Revenge

Expendables 4

Director: Scott Waugh

Cast: Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Curtis Jackson (50cent), Megan Fox, Andy Garcia, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Randy Coutoure, Iko Uwais, Lucy Newman-Williams, Jacob Scipio

Running Time: 1 hour 43 minutes

Film Rating: 6.5 out 10

Need for Speed director Scott Waugh delivers another action packed sequel in the Expendables franchise, Expendables 4 reunites Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Creed) with action man Jason Statham from the Fast and the Furious franchise along with Curtis (50 cents) Jackson (Get Rich or Die Tryin), Dolph Lundgren (Aquaman, Masters of the Universe, Red Scorpion, A View to a Kill) and Andy Garcia (Kill The Messenger, The Godfather Part III, Internal Affairs) as the Expendables battle a merciless villain Rahmat superbly played by Indonesian actor Iko Uwais who feels no remorse about annihilating an entire Libyan army or blowing up a nuclear weapon off the coast of Russia.

As the action moves around the world from New Orleans to Libya, from Thailand to Vladivostok, The Expendables team headlined by Barney Ross played by Stallone teams up with Christmas and his gorgeous girlfriend Gina played by the fabulous Megan Fox (Transformers, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen) as the team of mercenaries try to prevent Rahmat from using these stolen nuclear detonators in a more nefarious way after his vicious gang steal them from an abandoned army base in post-Gaddafi Libya.

Naturally the screen chemistry between Jason Statham and Megan Fox is phenomenal and like all the other three films in this franchise, The Expendables is always about the tough guys and the action.

In this regard, the explosive action in The Expendables 4 does not disappoint from a motor bike chase aboard an aircraft carrier to the excellent martial arts scenes provided by Tony Jaa as Christmas’s Thai friend Decha who when all dressed up looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Expendables 4 is a pure popcorn action film, complete unadulterated escapism which works because the cinema was absolutely full. So if anyone thinks cinema is dead, just come to an Expendables film.

All the cast is proficient in their roles most of whom have done this franchise before and know what the audience want: ballsy tough guy action with planes, boats, bikes and cars. The tough guys have to naturally defend themselves with guns, knives, knuckledusters and swords as they meter out merciless revenge to Rahmat and his gang of bandits.

Action director Scott Waugh delivers a decent sequel to the original trilogy and Expendables 4 gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10.

See this film for the action and not for the storyline, although there are some surprisingly fresh plot twists. This is recommended viewing for lovers of exciting action films because audiences will definitely not fall asleep in this adventure.

Americana Road Racing

need_for_speed_ver3

Need for Speed

Director: Scott Waugh

Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton, Rami Malek, Dakota Johnson, Ramon Rodriguez, Harrison Gilbert

Former stunt co-ordinator turned director Scott Waugh brings the EA video game Need for Speed to the big screen in awe-inspiring 3D. Teaming up TV actor raspy voice blue eyed Aaron Paul with the sultry more accomplished British actor Dominic Cooper in this cross-country road race thriller is big on action, devoid of any significant plot, but great on visual effects. Paul and Cooper play rival road racers Tobey Marshall and Dino Brewster who after a horrific accident in upstate New York challenge each other in flashy sports cars to an exclusive cross country road race with the finale happening in fabulous California.

Down on his luck Marshall teams up with a sassy British companion Julia Maddon played by Imogen Poots as they race across America stopping in the Mecca of Motorcars, the now debt ridden Detroit before finally reaching their destination on the West Coast, San Francisco, where Marshall, a constant fugitive will race in a private sponsored event through Northern California in terrain remotely resembling Big Sur. Michael Keaton (Robocop) plays the techno sussed race coordinator Monarch and Rami Malek and Scott Mescudi team up as Marshall’s race team assistants Finn and Benny. Watching Need for Speed especially in 3-D is like driving full throttle in a Mustang on crack!

The stunts are tremendous, the storyline dire, but then again this narrative originated on a video game, which does not always guarantee a smooth transition to cinema. The chemistry between Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots is barely palatable, made worse by a winding narrative which could have been edited to at least 90 minutes.

Naturally Waugh as director pays tribute to the 1968 film Bullitt starring Steve McQueen and Jacqueline Bissett even featuring a film clip within Need for Speed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lbs_nYW3-o . The biggest mystery besides the outlandish stunts performed in Need for Speed, is why an accomplished actor like Dominic Cooper would appear in such a popcorn film, but clearly there is a need for him to becoming better acquainted with American audiences. After Cooper’s superb turns in Lee Tamahori’s The Devil’s Double and opposite Keira Knightley in The Duchess, he perhaps needed to expand his action repertoire.

Need for Speed is clearly aimed at young male audiences and like the hugely successful The Fast and Furious franchise involves a lot of car chase sequences that no ordinary viewer should attempt on any suburban road.

FastandFurious 6

Unlike The Fast and the Furious, whose buddy-action movie formula got better as the franchise progressed from Miami to Rio to London, The Need for Speed feels like one long video game in 3D without the emotional punch of Nicholas Winding Refn’s brilliant car chase thriller Drive. Waugh’s Need for Speed is simply  great surface entertainment without much character development, but the locations and stunts will surely keep any petrol head sated for a while. Dakota Johnson soon to be seen in Fifty Shades of Grey along with Harrison Gilbert and Ramon Rodriguez round off the cast.

 

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