REVIEW: PROMETHEUS

CAST
Noomi Rapace (Sherlocks Holmes 2)
Michael Fassbender (300)
Charlize Theron (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Idris Elba (Star Trek Beyond)
Guy Pearce (Memento)
Logan Marshall-Green (Across The Universe)
Sean Harris (Mission Impossible 5)
Rafe Spell (What If)
Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones)
As a spacecraft departs a planet, a humanoid alien drinks an iridescent liquid; then dissolves. The remains of the alien cascade into a waterfall.
In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map in Scotland that matches others from several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, the “Engineers”. Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds an expedition to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223 aboard the scientific vessel Prometheus. The ship’s crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage. Arriving in 2093, Mission director Meredith Vickers informs them of their mission to find the Engineers, and not to make contact without her permission.
The Prometheus lands on the barren, mountainous surface near a large artificial structure, which a team explores. Inside they find stone cylinders, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the decapitated corpse of a large alien, thought to be an Engineer; Shaw recovers its head. The crew finds other bodies, leading them to surmise the species is extinct. Crew members Millburn and Fifield grow uncomfortable with the discoveries and attempt to return to Prometheus, but become stranded in the structure when they get lost. The expedition is cut short when a storm forces the crew to return to the ship. David secretly takes a cylinder from the structure, while the remaining cylinders begin leaking a dark liquid. In the ship’s lab, the Engineer’s DNA is found to match that of humans. David investigates the cylinder and the liquid inside. He intentionally taints a drink with the liquid and gives it to an unsuspecting Holloway, who had stated he would do anything for answers. Shortly after, Shaw and Holloway have sex.
Inside the structure, a snake-like creature kills Millburn, and sprays a corrosive fluid that melts Fifield’s helmet. Fifield falls face-first into a puddle of dark liquid. When the crew return, they find Millburn’s corpse. David separately discovers a control room containing a surviving Engineer in stasis, and a star map highlighting Earth. Meanwhile, Holloway sickens rapidly. He is rushed back to Prometheus, but Vickers refuses to let him aboard, and at his urging, burns him to death with a flamethrower. Later, a medical scan reveals that Shaw, despite being sterile, is pregnant. Fearing the worst, she uses an automated surgery table to extract a squid-like creature from her abdomen. Shaw then discovers that Weyland has been in stasis aboard Prometheus. He explains that he wants to ask the Engineers to prevent his death from old age. As Weyland prepares to leave for the structure, Vickers addresses him as “Father.”
A monstrous, mutated Fifield attacks the Prometheus ’s hangar bay and kills several crew members before he is killed. The Prometheus ’s captain, Janek, speculates that the structure was an Engineer military installation that lost control of a virulent biological weapon, the dark liquid. He also determines that the structure houses a spacecraft. Weyland and a team return to the structure, accompanied by Shaw. David wakes the Engineer from stasis and speaks to him in an attempt to explain what Weyland wants. The Engineer responds by decapitating David and killing Weyland and his team, before reactivating the spacecraft. Shaw flees and warns Janek that the Engineer is planning to release the liquid on Earth, convincing him to stop the spacecraft. Janek ejects the lifeboat and rams Prometheus into the alien craft, while Vickers flees in an escape pod. The Engineer’s disabled spacecraft crashes onto the ground; its wreckage crushes Vickers. Shaw goes to the lifeboat and finds her alien offspring is alive and has grown to gigantic size. David’s still-active head warns Shaw that the Engineer has survived. The Engineer forces open the lifeboat’s airlock and attacks Shaw, who releases her alien offspring onto the Engineer; it thrusts an ovipositor down the Engineer’s throat, subduing him. Shaw recovers David’s remains, and with his help, launches another Engineer spacecraft. She intends to reach the Engineers’ homeworld in an attempt to understand why they wanted to destroy humanity.
In the lifeboat, an alien creature bursts out of the Engineer’s chest.
Similar in many ways to the first Alien film which I have continued to enjoy irrespective of how old it now is. I thought all of the characters believable & the storey line developed interestingly. The effects were great too. Good film without too much blood & gore.
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REVIEW: TAKERS

CAST

Matt Dillon (Crash)
Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad)
Michael Ealy (Flashforward)
T.I. (Identity Thief)
Chris Brown (Stomp The Yard)
Hayden Christensen (Star Wars – Episode 2 & 3)
Zoe Saldana (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell)
Glynn Turman (Gremlins)
Steve Harris (12 Rounds)
Johnathon Schaech (8mm 2)

Two detectives, Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez), investigate a daring heist by a group of well-organized bank robbers. The crew, led by Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), consists of John (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica. The crew is without a former member, Ghost (T.I.), who was caught during a previous robbery 5 years ago. In his absence, Jake has begun a relationship with his former girlfriend Lilly (Zoe Saldana), who has accepted his marriage proposal. After Ghost gets released from prison, he meets up with the crew to plan a heist, in which it is discovered that two trucks will travel together but that all the money is kept in the lead truck, which holds $12 million.The crew, dressed as construction workers, hide out underground while Ghost poses as a police officer so he can keep an eye out for the trucks. Meanwhile, in order to cover themselves in case Ghost is setting them up, John heads to the top of a nearby garage to take out Ghost with a sniper rifle in case things go sour. The blast, having been perfectly timed to the time the trucks had turned the last corner, occurs too far forward because the lead driver had stopped short to avoid the bicyclist, and the ruse is up. The lead driver radios the police while armed guards pile out of the rear truck. A gunfight ensued between the robbers in the crater and the guards on the street until John, commandeers the rear truck, and rams the lead truck into the crater. John and the other robbers pack the cash into bags and flee by heading down a variety of different tunnels with the plan of connecting into various subway lines to make their escape.Welles and Hatcher show up on the scene and, after learning of the robber’s escape through the sewer system, remembers a map of the city subway system from the Russian gang hideout, and deduces that they must be escaping through the stations marked on the map where the sewers intersect the subway. They rush to the nearest station where they find Jesse, and a chase ensues, during which Jesse hides his bag of money and is cornered and is forced to shoot Detective Hatcher in his escape. Jesse escapes, while Welles stops to aid his partner, who dies from his wound.Jesse reconvenes with the rest of the crew at a hotel room and admits to the shooting of Hatcher. It is now revealed that Ghost had previously cut a deal with the Russian gangsters to kill his former crewmates in exchange for half of the heist’s take. Ghost gives the Russians the hotel room number, then escapes out the bathroom window, just before the Russians storm the room and attempt to kill the crew. A.J. dies in the ensuing firefight, but the rest of the crew is able to kill the Russians and flee the building before the police arrive. Jake and Jesse return home where, to their horror, Jake finds Lilly’s lifeless body and Jesse finds the safe where they kept their secret stash of money opened and cleaned out. The police surround their home and shoot the two when they make a suicide charge outside.Gordon and John separate to make their escape but realize Ghost intends to take all of their money, which is being held by Scott (Johnathon Schaech), a well-connected fence. Ghost sneaks onto Scott’s private plane and kills him, taking their laundered money in two large suitcases. Gordon and Detective Welles arrive and a three-way Mexican standoff results in which Ghost hits both Gordon and Welles. As Ghost prepares to finish off Gordon, John arrives and shoots him dead. John recognizes Welles as the same cop, who was with the little girl. John and Gordon refuse to kill Welles. John and an injured Gordon take the money and drive off, with Gordon’s sister Naomi (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) in tow. A gravely-wounded Welles manages to call 911 for help on his cell phone. The film ends without revealing whether either Cozier or Welles survive their injuries.This is an entertaining movie. It’s not “The Godfather” or “Shawshank Redemption”, but it’s a good old fashioned action movie that keeps your attention.

 

REVIEW: PACIFIC RIM

CAST

Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Rinko Kikuchi (47 Ronin)
Charlie Day(The Lego Movie)
Max Martini (Colombiana)
Robert Kazinsky (Warcraft)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Clifton Collins, Jr. (Westowlrd)
Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones)
Diego Klattenhoff (After Earth)
Brad William Henke (Lost)

In 2013, alien monsters called Kaiju emerge from an interdimensional portal called “The Breach” at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Humanity responds by constructing giant mecha called Jaegers, to combat the alien threat. Each Jaeger is co-piloted by two or more people, who share a mental link via a process called “Drifting” to share the mental stress of piloting the machine.

In 2020, Gipsy Danger, piloted by brothers Raleigh and Yancy Becket, defends Anchorage from a Kaiju named Knifehead. They disobey orders from Marshal Stacker Pentecost to rescue a fishing boat, only for the Kaiju to ambush them, wrecking the Jaeger and killing Yancy. Raleigh manages to pilot Gipsy Danger alone, killing Knifehead, but quits the Jaeger Program. Several years later, the world governments decide to end funding for the continuous construction of Jaegers in favour of anti-Kaiju coastal walls, since Kaiju are appearing more frequently and Jaegers are being destroyed as quickly as they are built. The remaining Jaegers are relocated to Hong Kong under Pentecost’s command, who plans to destroy the Breach using a tactical nuclear weapon.

Pentecost tracks down Raleigh to a wall construction site to recruit him for the assault, though Raleigh still remains traumatised by Yancy’s death. Travelling to the Hong Kong base, the Shatterdome, Raleigh is introduced to Mako Mori, the director of the Jaeger’s restoration program and Pentecost’s adoptive daughter. Four Jaegers remain in operation – the refurbished Gipsy Danger, the Russian Cherno Alpha, Chinese Crimson Typhoon, and the Australian Striker Eureka, piloted by father and son Herc and Chuck Hansen. To find a new co-pilot, Raleigh participates in tryouts, deciding Mako is “drift-compatible”. During their first test, Raleigh falls out of alignment reliving Yancy’s death, causing Mako to become lost in the memory of a Kaiju’s attack on Tokyo, nearly firing Gipsy’s energy cannon. Pentecost grounds both pilots.

Pentecost consults Kaiju experts Newton Geiszler and Herman Gottlieb. Hermann claims the Breach will stabilise and the Kaiju will increase in number, but it will allow the assault to succeed, while Newton suggests attempting to drift with a Kaiju’s brain to learn more about them, but is dismissed by his colleagues. Newton attempts it regardless, discovering Kaiju are bioweapons grown by alien colonists. Pentecost instructs Newton to find black market dealer Hannibal Chau to obtain another Kaiju brain to drift with it. Newton realises the Kaiju hive mind gained access to his brain, since drifting is a two-way link, and two new Kaiju, Leatherback and Otachi, are sent simultaneously to find him.

All Jaegers save Gipsy Danger are dispatched to intervene. The Kaiju destroy Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha, while Leatherback paralyzes Striker Eureka with an EMP blast. Pentecost sends Gipsy Danger to help, the only Jaeger powered by a nuclear reactor while the others are digital. Gipsy kills Leatherback and Otachi shortly after during her search for Newton. Newton and Hannibal go to harvest Otachi’s secondary brain, discovering she is pregnant. The infant Kaiju bursts out, devours Hannibal, before choking on its own umbilical cord. Newton and Hermann drift with the infant’s brain, discovering the Breach only opens in the presence of a Kaiju’s DNA.

Pentecost reveals to Raleigh he has terminal cancer due to piloting a first-generation Jaeger, which lacked radiation shielding, the last time being in Tokyo. Two new Kaiju are detected guarding the Breach, prompting Gipsy and Striker, piloted by Pentecost and Chuck, to go ahead with the assault. Approaching the Breach, the Jaegers are attacked by the Kaiju, and a new “Category Five” Kaiju, Slattern, leading to Striker being crippled. Learning the truth from Newton and Hermann, Pentecost and Chuck decide to sacrifice Striker while Gipsy acts as the nuclear bomb to seal the Breach. After Striker self-destructs, Gipsy slaughters the Kaiju, riding Slattern’s corpse into the Breach. Raleigh removes Mako from Gipsy, manually causing Gipsy to self-destruct, escaping before it explodes and seals the Breach.

Raleigh and Mako’s escape pods surface in the Pacific Ocean, where both embrace as rescue helicopters arrive. In a mid-credits scene, Hannibal cuts his way out of the Kaiju infant.Pacific Rim is just simply awesome. Now, it may not be for everyone, but if you love action, giant monsters, and giant robots, you’ll definitely love this. Or if you’re just trying to have some fun, watch this. It’s got both brains and brawn.

REVIEW: STAR TREK BEYOND

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Sofia Boutella (Monsters: Dark Continet)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Danny Pudi (Community)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)

Three years into its five year mission, the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown, a massive space station, for resupply and shore leave for her crew. Struggling to find continued meaning in the endless nature of their mission of exploration, Captain James T. Kirk has applied for a promotion to Vice Admiral and commanding officer of Yorktown. He recommends Spock as the new captain of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu reunites with his husband and their young daughter, Montgomery Scott works to keep the ship operational, and Spock and Nyota Uhura amicably end their relationship; Spock also receives word from New Vulcan that Ambassador Spock (Spock’s future self from the original timeline) has died.

The Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission at short notice after an escape pod drifts out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The survivor, Kalara, claims her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet within the nebula. The rescue turns into an ambush when the Enterprise is quickly torn apart by a massive swarm of small ships. Krall and his crew board the ship, and unsuccessfully search for a relic called an Abronath that Kirk had obtained for a failed diplomatic mission. Krall captures and removes many crew members from the ship. Kirk then orders the crew to abandon ship as the Enterprise’s saucer section hurtles towards the planet.

On the planet’s surface, Sulu, Uhura, and other survivors are captured by Krall. Kirk and navigator Pavel Chekov, accompanied by Kalara, locate the wrecked saucer section. Kalara is discovered to be following Krall’s orders when she tries to retrieve the Abronath. To escape Krall’s soldiers, Kirk activates the still-functional thrusters, causing the saucer to lurch forward, crushing Kalara. Meanwhile, a wounded Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy search for other survivors. Spock confides to McCoy that he intends to leave Starfleet to continue the late Ambassador Spock’s work on New Vulcan. Meanwhile, Scott is rescued by Jaylah, a scavenger who previously escaped Krall’s encampment. She takes Scott to her makeshift home, the grounded USS Franklin, an early Starfleet vessel reported missing over a century earlier. Scott is reunited with Kirk, Chekov, McCoy and Spock. Using the ship as a base, they plot to raid Krall’s camp and transport the crew to the Franklin, then escape the planet in the repaired ship. Meanwhile, Krall coerces Ensign Syl to hand over the Abronath that she had kept hidden for Kirk, then kills her with it. The Abronath is the missing half of an ancient bioweapon, created by the planet’s original inhabitants, which can disintegrate any humanoid. With the device complete, Krall intends to attack Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and, using its advanced technology, go on to attack the Federation. Kirk and the others free the crew as Krall launches into space with the bioweapon, leading his drone fleet to Yorktown.

The Starfleet crew pursues Krall in the Franklin. Scott transports Spock and McCoy into one of Krall’s drone ships. After dispatching the pilot, they learn that VHF transmissions can disrupt Krall’s communications. Matching the drone fleet’s frequency and using the ‘classical’ song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, they destroy almost the entire fleet. Krall and his three surviving ships crash in Yorktown. As Krall flees into the city, Uhura and Kirk discover from the Franklin’s logs that he is actually Balthazar Edison, the former captain of the Franklin. A pre-Federation human soldier, Edison became disillusioned with the newly founded Federation, rejecting its principles of unity and cooperation with former enemies, like the Xindi. When he and his crew were stranded on Altamid by a rogue wormhole, he believed the Federation had deliberately abandoned them. The three survivors prolonged their lives with the technology of the planet’s extinct natives (at the cost of their human physiology and their numerous victims’ lives), and repurposed their dormant drone workers into the swarm. Krall now plans to destroy the Federation and resume galactic conflict. Kirk pursues Krall into Yorktown’s ventilation system, where Krall activates the bioweapon. Before it can be unleashed, Kirk ejects the weapon and Krall into space. Spock and McCoy save Kirk moments before he is also blown into open space.

Commodore Paris closes the unsolved cases of the fate of Captain Edison and the USS Franklin crew. Kirk decides to remain as a captain, and Spock chooses to stay in Starfleet and resumes his relationship with Uhura. Jaylah has been accepted into Starfleet Academy based on Kirk’s recommendation. As the crew celebrates Kirk’s birthday, they view the construction of their new ship, USS Enterprise-A, and after its completion, they depart on their next mission.This film feels in many ways like a completion of the work done to establish the rebooted series. The actors have now made the characters their own and no longer feel like imitations of the original incarnations. The film ends with the commissioning of an all-new Enterprise. As Paramount has already confirmed that a fourth instalment is on the way, we can be sure that Kirk and his crew will continue their little Trek through the Stars for some time to come.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE REAPING

 

CAST

Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
David Morrissey (Blitz)
AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Stephen Rea (V For Vendetta)

Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) and colleague, Ben (Idris Elba), investigate and disprove claims of miracles. In Louisiana, Katherine receives a call from a friend, Father Michael Costigan (Stephen Rea), who says that his photographs of her have developed burn marks that when assembled, form a sickle-like symbol, a possible warning from God, which she ignores. She meets Doug Blackwell (David Morrissey), a teacher from the nearby town of Haven, who asks Katherine to find out why Haven’s river has turned red. The locals believe this is a biblical plague caused by a girl, Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb), who they believe killed her older brother in the river. They travel to Haven where Katherine meets Loren and has a vision of her turning the river red. Meanwhile, Ben witnesses dead frogs seemingly fall from the sky. Doug invites them to spend the night at his house, since the town doesn’t have a motel. That night as they’re about to eat dinner, they encounter flies and disease, which kills off local cows. Later that evening, Katherine explains to Doug at his wife’s grave why she left the church; five years ago, she was an ordained minister. After a drought while doing missionary work in the Sudan with her husband and daughter, the locals sacrificed her family, believing they were the cause. That night, Katherine and Doug have sex.Test results from the river prove it to contain human blood. The citizens meanwhile are shaving their children’s heads, due to an outbreak of lice. Ben and Doug try to get the mayor to evacuate the town, but he and his staff are struck down with boils.Katherine calls Father Costigan, who explains that he has researched a Satanic cult which sacrifices every second-born to create a child with “the eyes of the Devil” to bring them power. He also states that an angel, who cannot be harmed by the cult, will destroy them. He insists that Loren is the devil child, while Katherine is the angel. Suddenly, a supernatural force burns Costigan’s room, killing him. Katherine goes to the McConnell house where she finds the cult’s sacrificial chamber. There, she finds Loren’s mother, who pulls out a gun and kills herself. Katherine grabs a knife and proceeds outside to find locusts everywhere as well as a small posse come to kill Loren, which Ben and Doug followed. Suddenly, the locusts attack and kill the posse members; Doug runs away and falls in the blood-filled river; Katherine locks herself in the house; Ben hides in a crypt, where he discovers skeletons and bodies of sacrificed children. He calls Katherine, when Loren appears outside.Katherine hurries after Ben, but finds him dead. She confronts Loren as darkness falls and fireballs shoot from the sky. Katherine is about to kill Loren, when they share another vision. The cult, along with Doug, are shown trying to kill Loren, who was a second-born child. Loren escaped and her brother Brody stabbed her, but her wound miraculously healed, and Brody died. Katherine realizes that Loren is innocent and that she is the angel God sent. The townsfolk surround them as Doug tells her that God is protecting Loren, and only an ordained servant of God like Katherine can kill her. He explains that they invited Katherine to investigate the plagues because they hoped she would join them, since she had turned her back on God like they did. Katherine refuses, reminding them that they had sacrificed generations of second-borns, leaving a town of firstborns. Suddenly fire rains down on the town, killing everyone, including Doug.Later, as they drive away, Loren tells Katherine that she is pregnant. As this is her second child, Katherine realizes that her son, whose father is Doug, is the prophesied demonic child.It has a good story and some good acting talent on show, the effects especially for the plaques are very well done. It does start a little slow but it soon builds up to a great ending with a few twists along the way. Perfect for an evenings entertainment.

REVIEW: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

CAST

Nicolas Cage (8mm)
Johnny Whitworth (The 100)
Fergusd Riordan (Fragile)
Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones)
Violante Placido (The Lookout)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Anthony Head (Buffy)
Vincent Regan (Camelot)
Spencer Wilding (The Legend of Hercules)

In Eastern Europe, a French priest named Moreau warns the monks of a monastery about an impending attack by the devil’s forces to obtain a boy named Danny. The monastery falls under attack; Moreau tries to help the boy and his mother Nadya escape, but the distrusting mother shoots at Moreau and flees with her son. Moreau manages to distract the men chasing Danny and Nadya, but nearly dies in the process and loses them. He believes that only the Ghost Rider is capable of protecting the boy. He finds the Rider and seeks his help.

Five years have passed since the events of the first film, which dealt with Johnny Blaze making a deal with the demon Roarke (Mephistopheles), and becoming the Ghost Rider — a vengeful, fiery spirit who feeds on the evil of his victims and consumes the souls of sinners. No matter how small the infraction — anything from genocide to a white lie — the Rider does not differentiate. This drives Blaze into hiding, fighting the evil spirit within him. Moreau finds him with some ease and convinces him to save the boy in exchange for his priesthood’s ability to restore Johnny’s soul and remove the Ghost Rider’s curse forever. Meanwhile, pursuers force Nadya and Danny from the road and bring them to their leader: her former boyfriend Ray Carrigan. Carrigan has Danny tied up and is about to execute Nadya when the Ghost Rider appears; the Ghost Rider kills several of Carrigan’s men and then moves in on Danny. Nadya distracts the Ghost Rider, who then is shot with grenades into submission. Carrigan leaves with Danny in tow.

Johnny awakens the next morning in a hospital. On the way out, he convinces Nadya not to trust him, but to accept his help to find Danny. However, Carrigan tells Roarke about the Rider, and Roarke speaks an incantation to Danny via phone; this, in effect, puts up a “firewall” preventing the Rider from sensing his whereabouts. He warns Carrigan it will not shield him from being sensed and gives him instructions to deliver Danny. Nadya later tells Blaze that as she lay dying, she made a deal with Roarke: her life in return for him impregnating her with Danny, making Danny a direct vessel for Roarke and the potential for him to have unlimited power on the surface world. Roarke lacks this power so far from Hell. Danny nearly escapes, but breaks his ankle and is recaptured. That night, Nadya and Johnny interrogate a known contact of Carrigan’s. Johnny takes off ahead of Nadya to deal with Carrigan. Nadya saves Danny as the Rider converts a mining machine into a massive fiery machine, destroying their hideout complex and mortally wounding Carrigan. When Ghost Rider catches up to Nadya and starts to use his Penance Stare on her, Danny is able to stop the rider with a word, exercising his hidden power.

Moreau catches up with the group as they ride off. Roarke is not done with Carrigan; using his power, he turns Carrigan into a demon called Blackout capable of instantly decaying anything he touches while shrouded in darkness. Johnny and Nadya bring Danny to Moreau’s monastery with warm reception. Moreau delivers on his end of the bargain and, after explaining that the Ghost Rider is the twisted incarnation of the Spirit of Justice, Zarathos, after being captured and tortured to madness while in Hell, he exorcises Johnny of the spirit and Johnny becomes human again. The head monk Methodius (Christopher Lambert) proclaims that Danny will never be safe from the influence of evil and says he must die, taking Johnny, Moreau, and Nadya captive in order to execute the boy. Carrigan intervenes, however, killing the monks and taking Danny captive again to deliver to Roarke. The others follow, with Johnny not wanting to desert Danny after having promised to protect him. With the ritual to transfer Roarke’s spirit and power into Danny underway, the three infiltrate the compound to save him. Carrigan kills Moreau, but Danny (who Roarke states has the same powers as he does) gives Johnny back the power of the Ghost Rider. Roarke manages to escape with Danny, and the Ghost Rider and Nadya give pursuit. After a vehicular struggle, Ghost Rider manages to defeat Carrigan and causes the SUV carrying Roarke and Danny to crash. The Ghost Rider literally sends Roarke back into hell while Danny, who had died in the accident, is returned to his mother. Channeling the blue flame of Zarathos, Johnny manages to revive Danny and assures him of his safety.

As the film closes, the Rider, now covered in angelic blue flames, rides off on his motorcycle, saying “My name is Johnny Blaze. I’m the Ghost Rider”.The effects are fun, the story is weak, the acting is patchy, the violence and threat could be better, and it’s still not the film we all hoped. Is it a disappointment? (Even to someone like me who’s not a die-hard comic book fan)? Yes. Is it still quite a lot of fun? Yes. Does it expand and improve on the original like a sequel should? Again, yes. Don’t write it off. If you’re looking for some decent entertainment, this Rider’s still got a few miles left in the tank.

REVIEW: THE LOSERS

CAST
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Zoe Saldana (Star Trek)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchemen)
Chris Evans (Captain America)
Columbus Short (Accepted)
Oscar Jaenada (Cantinflas)
Jason Patric (The Lost Boys)
Holt McCallany (Heroes)
Mark Ginther (Iron Man 3)
The Losers are an elite black ops team of United States Special Forces operatives, led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and formed by Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), Jensen (Chris Evans), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada), who are sent to Bolivia in a search and destroy mission on a compound run by a drug lord. While painting a target for an upcoming air strike, the Losers spot slave children in the compound and try to call off the attack, but their superior, codenamed “Max” (Jason Patric), ignores their pleas.
With no other option, the Losers enter the compound, successfully rescue the children and kill the drug lord in the process. As a helicopter arrives to pick them up, Max, convinced that they know too much, orders it to be destroyed, unaware that they decided to rescue the children first. The Losers watch as a missile destroys the helicopter and kills 25 innocents. Knowing that the attack was meant to kill them, they fake their deaths and become stranded in Bolivia, determined to get revenge on the mysterious Max.
Four months later, Clay is approached by Aisha (Zoe Saldana), a mysterious woman who offers him the chance to kill Max, against whom she wants revenge. Clay accepts and Aisha arranges for the Losers to return to the United States, where they proceed to attack a convoy supposedly carrying Max, only to discover that they were tricked by Aisha into stealing a hard drive with Max’s secrets.
Unable to access the files, Jensen infiltrates the company that made the drive and steals an algorithm that allows him to crack the code, discovering that the drive contains credits for a $400 million transfer in Max’s name, which he received for selling “Snukes”—eco-friendly bombs with the potency of a nuclear warhead, but no fall-out—to international terrorists. Tracing the money flow to the Los Angeles International Port Of Entry, which the Losers deduce is Max’s base, a plan is formed to attack it and kill Max. While studying the drive, Jensen discovers that their mission in Bolivia was a cover so Max could eliminate the drug lord—who had discovered his plan—and that Aisha is the man’s daughter, seeking revenge for his death. After her cover is blown, Aisha shoots Jensen and escapes. Believing that she might betray them, the Losers decide to speed up their attack on Max’s base, only to be betrayed by Roque and captured by Max and his right-hand man and chief of security, Wade (Holt McCallany).
As the Losers are lined up to be executed, Aisha returns and ambushes Max’s team. In the ensuing fight, Clay confirms that he killed Aisha’s father. Roque attempts to steal Max’s plane, loaded with his money, and tries to escape. As Roque’s jet heads down the runway, Wade takes a motorcycle and goes after him to retrieve Max’s money. Cougar shoots the motorcycle’s engine, causing Wade to be hurled into the jet’s engine and the flaming motorcycle to be hurled into the cockpit of the plane, which explodes, killing Roque.
As Jensen, Cougar and Aisha help Pooch, who has been shot in both legs by one of Max’s security guards, Clay pursues Max to a crane, where Max says that he has activated a Snuke that will destroy Los Angeles, and Clay will have to choose between de-activating it or killing Max. Clay chooses the former and Max escapes, but Clay affirms that he now knows what Max looks like and will soon find him. Max escapes on a bus and is robbed by two thugs. His fate after this is unknown. Shortly thereafter, the Losers help Pooch reach the hospital where his pregnant wife is giving birth to their son and attend Jensen’s 8-year-old niece’s soccer game.
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At times the film does favor banter over action, but there’s enough of both to go round and it’s hard to complain when one of the villains gets one of the more spectacular exits in recent years. Ultimately it’s nothing more than an entertaining action movie with a sense of humor, but when it’s done this well that’s more than enough.