Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Malahide’

Searching for Mr Hayes

The Protege

Director: Martin Campbell

Cast: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Malahide, Robert Patrick

Polish Vietnamese actress Maggie Q embraces her Vietnamese roots in the action film The Protégé deftly directed by Casino Royale director Martin Campbell as she plays an assassin Anna who seeks to avenge the death of her mentor Moody played again by the ubiquitous Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction).

Anna travels from her plush London residence to Da Nang in Vietnam to track down the mysterious Mr Hayes played by Patrick Malahide (The World is Not Enough, Mortal Engines) but first she has to encounter the rather elegant fixer Rembrandt wonderfully played by Oscar nominee Michael Keaton (Birdman).

Michael Keaton steals the show in The Protégé lighting up the screen with his razor sharp one liners as he banters with Maggie Q in a sizzling scene stealer at a lavish restaurant in Da Nang, which is clearly inspired by any Bond film more specifically The Man with the Golden Gun.

While the script for The Protégé is a bit sketchy and there are large sections of the storyline which are completely glossed over until the final 15 minutes of the film, director Martin Campbell manages to keep the slick adult action film entertaining and exciting with enough exotic locations to cloak this entire film in a 007 vibe but without the budget or the production studio to elevate the film onto a higher level.

Nevertheless, The Protégé is action-packed and enjoyable, cruel and elegant, an engaging storyline which is saved by a brilliant performance by Michael Keaton who saves this thriller from being formulaic despite a body count to rival The John Wick franchise.

There is a brief appearance by Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as an American biker guy Billy Boy and Samuel L. Jackson just plays another version of himself which audiences have seen in countless similar roles.

The Protégé is a great way to spend two hours, with plenty of action and enough exotic locations from Romania to Vietnam to keep audiences satisfied, however one cannot shake the feeling when watching this film, that it is entirely B-grade but necessary and fun.

The Protégé won’t win any awards but it’s an entertaining assassin action film with shady characters and an unexpected twist that is both riveting and explosive. Michael Keaton is by far the best in the film.

The Protégé gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is worth seeing just to witness the on screen chemistry between the gorgeous Maggie Q and Michael Keaton.

West Meets East

Mortal Engines

This Film gets a Rating of 6.5 out of 10 

Director: Christian Rivers

Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Ronan Raftery, StephenLang, Patrick Malahide, Colin Salmon, Caren Pistorius

In Mortal Engines, large traction cities such as London (left) hunt down and devour smaller traction towns (right) to strip them of their labor and resources. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

Mortal Engines is a PeterJackson produced steampunk epic fantasy featuring a large cast of mostly lesserknown actors which sparkles in originality although at times director Christian Rivers directs too simplistically using lots of flashback sequences.

Jihae as outlaw Anna Fang in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

The production design is mesmerizing in Mortal Engines,a story about a dystopian future in which whole cities devour lesser cities ina bid for supremacy and survival on a ravaged planet earth set in the 31stcentury. The main city is a steampunk version of Victorian London complete withSt Paul’s Cathedral and a London Museum with a twisted Gothic design, even showcasing the Screen Age: personal computers and smartphones from a bygone era.

The traction city of London in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert star Hugo Weaving plays Thaddeaus Valentine an evil London city administrator who feels nothing at eliminating anyone who gets in his way. Robert Sheehan (Geostorm) plays Tom Natsworthy, a reluctant city boy who gets caught up in an adventure when hemeets Hester Shaw played by Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, The Fifth Estate) who boards the moving city of London to avenge her mother Pandora’s untimely death.

Lovers of original fantasy will admire Mortal Engines, although director Christian Rivers could have edited the film in parts to keep it below two hours. 

(from left) Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) aboard the airship Jenny Haniver in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

The action sequences are fantastic and despite the flashback scenes, Mortal Engines does keep the viewer engaged and will definitely be perfect for a holiday movie outing although its overall effect is not as overwhelming as one would expect.

(from left) Hugo Weaving as Thaddeus Valentine, Robert Sheehan as Tom Natsworthy and Leila George as Katherine Valentine in Mortal Engines. The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

What didn’t work in the film was having so many lesser known actors starring in a film which desperately needed some balancing star power to give the film some gravitas especially as a counterpoint to Hugo Weaving’s megalomaniac character Valentine who is intent on annihilating a static Oriental city in the East.

Mortal Engines gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and while is modestly enjoyable, it’s not a brilliant film despite its original dystopian theme.

Overdue but worth the wait

Bridget Jones’ Baby

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Director: Sharon Maguire

Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Joanna Scanlan, Sarah Solemani, Celia Imrie

Oscar winner Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain) after a six year screen absence reprises her role of Bridget Jones in the third instalment of the hit film franchise, simply entitled Bridget Jones’ Baby. The first two films were based on the bestselling novels by Helen Fielding. Zellweger tackles her role of Bridget Jones with familiar vigour and she is joined onscreen for continuity purposes by Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as uptight London lawyer Mark Darcy and new comer Patrick Dempsey as dating expert Jack Qwaint.

Zellweger and Firth have matured as actors which is evident onscreen, for the best scenes in Bridget Jones’ Baby is shared between them.

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Bridget Jones finds herself at 43, working as a TV assistant producer for a zany London talk show which is being threatened by a group millennials. She begins to question whether she will ever have a baby, because let’s face it her biological clock is ticking. Never fear!

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With the help of her new best friend the naughty TV host Miranda, wonderfully played by Sarah Solemani, Bridget Jones soon lands up having amorous relationships first with Jack at a music festival which strongly resembles Glastonbury, shorty followed by a similar sexy scene where Jones and Darcy rekindle their much repressed love for each other at a Christening of a mutual friends baby.

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As per the film’s title, Bridget Jones soon finds herself knocked up but not quite sure who the father is. Enter a delightful cameo by Emma Thompson as her droll doctor who plays along for the sake of decency.

Bridget Jones also has to break the news of her pregnancy to her parents. Her mother who is running for some minor political office is superbly played by Gemma Jones and her father once again played by Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) is naturally supportive of his daughter carrying their first grandchild despite her not quite knowing who the father is.

I would be lying if Bridget Jones’ Baby is not aimed at a female audience, as the primary narrative in the film is about the main characters pregnancy and her impending birth, as well as trying to survive the pregnancy with the help of two potential fathers who naturally see themselves as rivals. There is a hilarious scene when Bridget Jones has to be rushed to the hospital only to eventually be carried by both of them, Mark Darcy and Jack Qwaint.

With the help of a delightfully witty script, director Sharon Maguire does justice to the Bridget Jones franchise even leaving the possibility open for a fourth film since Jones’ other main suitor the devilishly handsome Daniel Cleaver who was played by Hugh Grant in the first two films is feared dead, but body yet to be recovered…

Whilst the first half of Bridget Jones’ Baby is fun and quirky, with lots of hilarious moments, the second half does drag a bit, which was done intentionally so that the audiences could appreciate the baby when he finally arrives. Essentially, Bridget Jones’ Baby is highly recommended viewing, and should be a hit with the gang of book club ladies both young and old who seemed to pack the cinemas, shifting the film to number one at the box office.

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