REVIEW: ARRIVAL

CAST

Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Forest Whitaker (The Butler)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Blue Jasmine)
Tzi Ma (Robocop 2)
Mark O’Brien (Anon)

While she is lecturing at a university, twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft appear across the Earth. U.S. Army Colonel Weber asks Louise to join physicist Ian Donnelly to decipher the aliens’ language and find out why they have arrived. The team is brought to a military camp in Montana near one of the spacecraft, and makes contact with two seven-limbed aliens on board. They call the extraterrestrials “heptapods”, and Ian nicknames them Abbott and Costello. Louise discovers that they have a written language of complicated circular symbols, and she begins to learn the symbols that correspond to a basic vocabulary. As she becomes more proficient, she starts to see and dream vivid images of herself with her daughter and of their relationship with the father.
When Louise asks what the aliens want, they answer: “offer weapon”. A similar translation of “use weapon” is made by one of the other sites. Fear of a potential threat from the aliens leads other nations to close down communication on the project, and some prepare for an attack. However, Louise argues that the symbol interpreted as “weapon” might have an alternative translation, such as “tool” or “technology”.Rogue U.S. soldiers plant explosives in the spacecraft. Unaware, Louise and Ian re-enter. The aliens give them a much larger and more complex message. Abbott ejects Ian and Louise from the craft as the explosion occurs, which leaves them unconscious. When Louise and Ian re-awaken, the military is preparing to evacuate, and the spacecraft moves higher above the ground. Ian works out that the symbols relate to the concept of time, and that the message is one-twelfth of the whole “gift”. They conclude that the aliens must want nations to cooperate.Meanwhile, China notifies the world that its military is planning to attack the spacecraft off its coast. Louise rushes back to the spacecraft in Montana, which sends down a shuttle to take her inside. She meets Costello, who communicates that Abbott is dying or dead. Louise asks about her visions of a daughter, and Costello explains that she is seeing the future (revealing that her “visions” were not flashbacks but flashforwards). Costello also communicates that they have come to help humanity by sharing their language, which is the “weapon” or “tool” because it changes the perception of time. The aliens know that 3000 years into the future they will need humanity’s help in return.

Louise returns as the camp is being evacuated. She has a vision of herself at a future United Nations reception, being thanked by General Shang for convincing him to suspend China’s military attack. He explains that she had called his private mobile telephone. He shows her its number, which he says he knows he must do without understanding why. In the present, Louise steals a satellite phone and calls Shang, but realizes she does not know what to say. Her vision continues with Shang explaining that she had convinced him by repeating his wife’s last words in Mandarin, which he tells Louise.[nb 1] This convinces Shang in present time; the Chinese attack is called off, and the other nations resume contact. The twelve spacecraft then disappear from Earth.
When packing to leave the camp, Ian admits his love for Louise. They discuss life choices, and whether they would change them if they could know the future. Louise foresees that Ian will father her daughter Hannah, whose name is an intentional palindrome, but will leave her after discovering that she knew their daughter would die before adulthood. Nevertheless, when Ian asks Louise if she wants to have a baby, she agrees.Arrival is one of the best films of 2016 and a really great example of science fiction filmmaking from Denis Villeneuve, who is perfectly suited to bring us the sequel to Blade Runner next year. I would happily put this film in the same league as something like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of the all time greats of sci-fi.

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REVIEW: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION

CAST
Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Simon Pegg (Shaun of The Dead)
Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules)
Ving Rhames (Entrapment)
Sean Harris (Prometheus)
Simon McBurney (Robin Hood)
Tom Hollander (Hanna)
Alec Baldwin (The Shadow)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
After intercepting nerve gas being sold to terrorists, Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Ethan Hunt is convinced he can prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not believe exists. Hunt is captured by the Syndicate, but escapes a torture chamber led by Syndicate member Janik “Bone Doctor” Vinter with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust.
CIA Director Alan Hunley and IMF Field Operations Director William Brandt testify before a Senate committee. The IMF, currently without a secretary in charge, is controversial because of its destructive methods and several misconducts. Hunley, who dislikes Hunt, succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA; Brandt, knowing that Hunley will try to capture Hunt, warns him to stay undercover. Cut off from the IMF, Hunt follows his only lead: A blond man in glasses, later identified as former MI6 agent Solomon Lane.
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Six months later, Hunt remains a fugitive. Unable to find the Syndicate without help, he recruits former colleague Benji Dunn to attend the opera Turandot in Vienna to search for Lane, who he suspects is the Syndicate’s leader. Despite stopping three snipers including Faust, Hunt is blamed for the death of the Austrian Chancellor, who was killed after a bomb planted on his car explodes.
Brandt recruits former agent Luther Stickell to find Hunt before the CIA’s Special Activities Division kills him. Using a likeness of Faust left by Hunt, Brandt and Stickell track Hunt, Dunn, and Faust to Morocco, where the latter group infiltrates a secure server beneath a power station by changing access control data stored in an underwater turbine tank. After having stolen what they believe to be a ledger containing the names of all Syndicate agents, Faust betrays the others and flees with the data on a USB flash drive; Hunt, his group, and Syndicate members chase Faust. Faust escapes, but Dunn revealed that he has already made a copy of the data.
Faust returns to London and attempts to use the file to end her mission to infiltrate the Syndicate, but her MI6 handler, Attlee, compels her to continue. She and Lane learn that Attlee wiped the drive, which contained an encrypted, British-government red box that requires the Prime Minister’s biometrics to unlock. The former IMF agents confront Faust, but when Lane’s men abduct Dunn, they are told they must deliver a decrypted copy of the drive to Lane by the night. Despite the others’ objections, Hunt realizes Lane will always have a plan to acquire the files; believing the only way to stop him is to confront him, Hunt agrees to the ultimatum.
As part of Hunt’s plan, Brandt reveals their location to Hunley. At a London charity auction, Hunley, Brandt, and Attlee take the Prime Minister to a secure room to protect him from Hunt. Attlee reveals himself as a disguised Hunt and has the Prime Minister confirm the existence of the Syndicate, a classified proposed project to perform missions without oversight, making the Prime Minister as executioner with zero accountability. When the real Attlee arrives Hunt forces him to admit that he began the Syndicate without permission, and has been covering up its existence since Lane hijacked the project and went rogue, turning the Syndicate against him and MI6.
Stickell discovers the file actually contains access to billions in currency. Hunt destroys the file and tells Lane he memorized the data, to force Lane to release Dunn and Faust in exchange for what he knows. Dunn escapes to Stickell and Brandt while Ethan and Faust are separated as Vinter and his men chase them through the streets of London. Faust kills Vinter in a knife fight, while Ethan lures Lane into a bulletproof cell where he is gassed, just as he had gassed Hunt to capture him initially, and taken into custody.
Hunley and Brandt return to the committee meeting to convince them on restoring IMF, as the previous disbanding was a plan to protect Hunt’s cover. Though they are hesitant, they finally accept it. Outside the meeting, Brandt congratulates Hunley, who is IMF Secretary now.
The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to prove that it’s one of the best in existence with Rogue Nation, a blast of suspense and intrigue,the ride is well worth it.

REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL

 

CAST

Tom Cruise (Legend)
Paula Patton (Deja Vu)
Simon Pegg (Star Trek)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Léa Seydoux (Spectre)
Ving Rhames (Julia X)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Josh Holloway (Lost)

IMF agent Trevor Hanaway is killed in Budapest by assassin Sabine Moreau, who takes the file containing Russian nuclear launch codes he had stolen so she can give them to a man known only as “Cobalt”. Meanwhile, IMF agent Ethan Hunt has purposely become incarcerated into a Moscow prison to acquire Bogdan, a source of information on Cobalt. With help of Jane Carter, Hanaway’s handler, and newly promoted field agent Benji Dunn, Hunt and Bogdan make their escape. IMF tasks Hunt to infiltrate the Kremlin to gain more information on Cobalt. During the mission, an unknown entity broadcasts on the IMF frequency ordering the detonation of a bomb. Hunt’s team aborts the mission just as a bomb destroys much of the Kremlin. Carter and Dunn escape, but Hunt is captured by SVR agent Anatoly Sidorov and charged with the destruction of the Kremlin.Hunt is able to escape and regroups with the IMF Secretary who is in Moscow on other business. The Secretary tells Hunt they have had to initiate “Ghost Protocol”, disavowing IMF, but secretly orders Hunt to continue to pursue Cobalt. Sidorov’s forces catch up to Hunt, and the Secretary is killed; Hunt escapes along with the Secretary’s aide and intelligence analyst William Brandt. Regrouping with Carter and Dunn, Brandt is able to identify Cobalt as Kurt Hendricks, a genius but crazed Swedish-born Russian nuclear strategist, who believes the destruction of the world’s population would lead to a new era of peace and progress on Earth and seeks to start a global nuclear war that would begin with the U.S. and Russia. Hendricks used the Kremlin bombing to cover up his theft of a Russian nuclear launch-control device, and now is planning a trade with Moreau at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to gain the required launch codes.The team travel to Dubai and create deceptions using their various gadgetry and disguises to make Moreau believe she is meeting with Hendricks, and vice versa, when in fact they are interacting with the IMF team. Moreau discovers the deception, and in the ensuing chaos, Hendricks manages to escape with the launch codes, losing Hunt’s pursuit in the midst of a dust storm. Carter knocks Moreau out of a window when she tries to escape. Brandt accuses her of letting her love for Hanaway compromise the mission, but Hunt recognizes that Brandt has also been keeping secrets from them, having shown combat skills atypical of a mere analyst. Hunt leaves to meet with Bogdan to get more information on Hendricks, while Brandt tells the others that he had been assigned to protect Ethan and his wife Julia in Croatia. Julia had been killed by a hit squad and Brandt feels responsible for Ethan’s loss, which is why he stopped being a field agent.Bogdan directs Ethan towards Mumbai, where Hendricks is set to negotiate with Indian telecommunications entrepreneur Brij Nath to gain control of an obsolete Soviet military satellite. The IMF team splits up to stop Hendricks; Carter seduces Nath to get the satellite override code, while Hunt, Brandt and Dunn try to stop Hendricks from using Nath’s broadcast station. They are too late as Hendricks has sent the launch codes to a Russian Delta III-class nuclear submarine patrolling in the Pacific Ocean to fire a single missile at San Francisco and disabled the station’s computer systems. Brandt and Dunn race to get the systems back online to send the override code, while Hunt pursues Hendricks, eventually fighting him face to face in an automated car park. Hendricks, with the launch device, jumps to his death moments before the missile is to land. Hunt takes a dangerous fall to use the device to disable the missile before it strikes. Sidorov, who has followed IMF from Dubai to Mumbai, arrives and realizes that the IMF is innocent of the Kremlin bombing.The team meets in Seattle after Ethan accepts a new mission from Luther Stickell. Brandt confesses to Ethan about his failure to protect Julia. Ethan, however, reveals that her “death” and the murder of the Serbians were part of a plot to give her a new identity and enable Ethan to infiltrate the prison. A relieved Brandt accepts his mission. Ethan and Julia gaze at each other from afar before Ethan departs for his next mission.Brad bird delivered in this thrilling breathtaking and heart pounding instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise.

REVIEW: THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Sam Shepard (BLack Hawk Down)
Jeremy Renner (The Avengers)
Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2)
Paul Schneider (Elizabethtown)
Garret Dillahunt (Winter’s Bone)
Mary-Louise Parker (Red)
Zooey Deschanel (Tin Man)
Alison Elliott (Birth)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Michael Parks (Argo)

In 1881, young, starstruck Robert “Bob” Ford (Casey Affleck) seeks out Jesse James (Brad Pitt) when the James gang is planning a train robbery in Blue Cut, Missouri, making unsuccessful attempts to join the gang with the help of his older brother Charley (Sam Rockwell), already a member. The train turns out to be carrying only a fraction of the money originally thought, and Frank James (Sam Shepard) tells Charley Ford that this robbery would be the last the James brothers would commit. Jesse returns home to Kansas City, bringing the Fords, Dick Liddil (Paul Schneider) and his cousin, Wood Hite (Jeremy Renner). Jesse sends Charley, Wood and Dick away, but insists that Bob stay. He wanted the younger man just for his help in moving furniture to a new home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Bob becomes more admiring of James before being sent back to his sister’s farmhouse, where he rejoins his brother Charley, Hite, and Liddil.Liddil reveals to Bob that he is in collusion with another member of the James gang, Jim Cummins, to capture Jesse for a substantial bounty. Meanwhile, Jesse visits another gang member, Ed Miller (Garret Dillahunt), who gives away information on Cummins’ plot. Jesse kills Miller, then departs with Liddil to hunt down Cummins. Unable to locate him, Jesse viciously beats Albert Ford (Jesse Frechette), a young cousin of Bob and Charley. Liddil returns to the Boltons’ farmhouse, and argues with Hite, which ends with Bob Ford killing Hite. They dump his body in the woods to conceal the murder from Jesse.Jesse and Charley Ford travel to St. Joseph where Jesse learns of Hite’s disappearance, which Charley denies knowing anything about. Meanwhile, Bob goes to Kansas City Police Commissioner Henry Craig (Michael Parks), saying he knows Jesse James’ whereabouts. To prove his allegiance with the James gang, Bob urges Craig to arrest Dick Liddil. Following Liddil’s arrest and confession to participation in numerous gang robberies, Bob brokers a deal with the Governor of Missouri, Thomas T. Crittenden (James Carville). He is given ten days to capture or kill Jesse James, and promised a substantial bounty and full pardon for murder.Charley persuades Jesse to take Bob Ford into the gang; the brothers return to St. Joseph. Introduced as cousins to the Howards (the James’ pseudonym), they stay with the family, including Zee James (Mary-Louise Parker) and their two children. Jesse wants to revive his gang by robberies with the Fords, beginning with the Platte City bank. On the morning of April 3, 1882, Jesse and the Ford brothers prepare to depart for the robbery. Jesse reads in the newspaper about the arrest and confessions of Liddil. While the three men are in the living room, Jesse removes his gun belt and climbs a chair to clean a dusty picture. Bob shoots Jesse in the back of the head and flees with Charley. They send a telegram to the governor to announce Jesse’s death, for which they were to receive $10,000. However, they never receive more than $500 each.After the murder, the Fords become celebrities, touring with a theatre show in Manhattan in which they re-enact the assassination, but people soon dislike that Bob shot Jesse, unarmed, in the back. Guilt-stricken, Charley writes numerous letters to Zee James asking for her forgiveness, but does not send them. Suffering from terminal tuberculosis, he commits suicide in May 1884. Bob works around the West. On June 8, 1892, Bob is murdered by Edward O’Kelley (Michael Copeman), at his saloon in Creede, Colorado. O’Kelley is sentenced to life in prison, but Colorado Governor James Bradley Orman pardons him after ten years in 1902.Get ready for the assassination everyone knows is coming but no one can prepare for. Never has been a film that tells you the entire story in the title and can still surprise the viewer with beautiful cinematic moments.

REVIEW: THE TOWN

CAST

Ben Affeck (Batman v Superman)
Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legeacy)
Blake Lively (Green Lantern)
Slaine (Gone Baby Gone)
Owen Burke (Black Mass)
Titus Welliver (Agents of SHIELD)
Chris Cooper (The Muppets)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)

Four lifelong friends from the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, Douglas “Doug” MacRay, James “Jem” Coughlin, Albert “Gloansy” MacGloan, and Desmond “Dez” Elden, rob a bank. They take the manager, Claire Keesey, hostage, but release her unharmed. When they find out Claire lives in their neighborhood, Doug begins to follow her to find out how much she has told the authorities, and to make sure that Jem does not eliminate her as a witness. Soon a romance grows between them, which Doug hides from the gang. As they grow closer, Doug tells Claire of his search for his long-lost mother, whom he believes went to live with his aunt in Tangerine, Florida. He also recounts his chance to be a professional hockey player which he threw away for a life of crime, following in his father’s footsteps. She in turn tells Doug that she saw a tattoo on one of the robbers, and he realizes that she can identify Jem and send them all to jail. He knows that Jem will kill her if he discovers the truth, so he persuades her that the authorities cannot protect her, and she decides not to tell the police.

After Claire tells Doug about being harassed and her car vandalized by Alex, a local thug, Doug enlists Jem for a favor, which they can never talk about. Doug and Jem don hockey masks and violently assault the offenders without Jem knowing the true reason for the favor is to protect Claire.

FBI Agent Adam Frawley surveils the gang and recognizes their ties to local crime lord Fergus “Fergie” Colm, who has another robbery planned for them. During a visit to his father Stephen in prison, Doug reveals his plans to leave Boston and go to Florida. The gang’s next robbery in the North End goes awry, and the gang barely escapes. The gang is interrogated by Frawley, but he fails to get any confessions and is forced to release them. Doug asks Claire if she will go away with him, and she agrees. When Frawley learns that Claire quit her job, he wiretaps her phone, and threatens to prosecute her as an accomplice after realizing that she is seeing Doug. Shocked to discover that her lover was one of her assailants, she is forced to cooperate with the FBI and breaks up with Doug. Meanwhile, Fergie and Jem are pressuring Doug about the next heist, but Doug is determined to get out. Fergie threatens to kill Claire if Doug does not go through with the job, and reveals to Doug how he controlled his father by making his mother an addict, which led to her suicide. Doug gives in but swears that he will kill Fergie if anything happens to Claire.

At Fenway Park, Doug and Jem enter disguised as Boston police officers, steal $3,500,000 in gate cash, and prepare to escape in an ambulance disguised as paramedics. Doug’s ex-girlfriend Krista, threatened by Frawley and heartbroken by Doug’s going away without her, reveals enough for the FBI to surround Fenway before the gang can get out. The gang is caught in a firefight with FBI SWAT, and Dez and Gloansy are killed. Frawley spots Jem and they exchange gunfire. Jem, determined not to go back to prison and out of ammunition, commits suicide by cop by running out of cover with his guns unloaded and is killed. Knowing that Claire is in danger and that he will never escape as long as Fergie is alive, Doug murders Fergie and his bodyguard and calls Claire. Watching from across the street via binoculars, Doug sees that the FBI are with Claire as she tells him to come over, he at first thinks she means to betray him, but eventually she gives him a clue to warn him away, which he picks up on. So Doug flees instead, donning an MBTA uniform and escaping on a train; having left a note on Frawley’s car for him to “Go Fuck Yourself”. Later, whilst gardening, Claire finds a bag buried containing the stolen money, a tangerine, and a note from Doug, suggesting that she can make better use of the money than he can, and that they’ll hopefully see each other again. Claire donates the money, in memory of Doug’s mother, to refurbish the local ice hockey arena where Doug once played. From the deck of a small house, Doug looks out over the water, forlorn and alone, but seemingly safe in Florida.The Town is an interesting film it’s not your usual cops and robbers, heist film. Yes the Town features a bank robbery at the beginning but that is just the starting point of the film. The film has an excellent cast, Jeremy Renner was oscar nominated for his role in the film, and watching it you can understand why. I would certainly recommend it.

REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

CAST

Chris Evans (The Losers)
Robert Downey, Jr (Sherlock Holmes)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Sebastian Stan (The Covenant)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
Paul Rudd (Role Models)
Emily VanCamp (Revenge)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)
Frank Grillo (The Purge 2 & 3)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Marisa Tomei (The Fighter)
John Kani (Coriolanus)
Hope Davis (About Schmidt)
Alfre Woodard (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jim Rash (That 70s Show)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

In 1991, the brainwashed super-soldier James “Bucky” Barnes is dispatched from a Hydra base in Siberia to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum. In the present day, approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat in the nation of Sokovia at the hands of the Avengers, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos. Rumlow blows himself up, hoping to kill Rogers. When Maximoff tries to displace the blast into the sky with telekinesis, it destroys a nearby building, killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers.
U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross informs the Avengers that the United Nations (UN) is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the team. The team is divided: Tony Stark supports oversight because of his role in Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s devastation, while Rogers has more faith in his own judgment than that of the government. At a conference in Vienna where the accords are to be ratified, a bomb kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, whom T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, vows to kill. Informed by Sharon Carter of Barnes’ whereabouts and the government’s intentions to kill him, Rogers intends to bring in Barnes—his childhood friend and war comrade—himself. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to Bucharest and attempt to protect him from T’Challa and the authorities, but all four including T’Challa are apprehended.
Helmut Zemo tracks down and kills Barnes’ old Hydra handler, stealing a book containing the trigger words that activate Barnes’ brainwashing. Infiltrating the facility where Barnes is held, Zemo recites the words to make Barnes obey him. He questions Barnes, then sends him on a rampage to cover his own escape. Rogers stops Barnes and sneaks him away. When Barnes regains his senses, he explains that Zemo is the real Vienna bomber and wanted the location of the Siberian Hydra base, where other brainwashed “Winter Soldiers” are kept in cryogenic stasis. Unwilling to wait for authorization to apprehend Zemo, Rogers and Wilson go rogue, and recruit Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang to their cause. With Ross’ permission, Stark assembles a team composed of Romanoff, T’Challa, James Rhodes, Vision, and Peter Parker to capture the renegades. Stark’s team intercepts Rogers’ team at Leipzig/Halle Airport, where they fight until Romanoff allows Rogers and Barnes to escape. The rest of Rogers’ team is captured and detained at the Raft prison, while Rhodes is partially paralyzed after being inadvertently shot down by Vision, and Romanoff goes into exile.

Stark discovers evidence that Barnes was framed by Zemo and convinces Wilson to give him Rogers’ destination. Without informing Ross, Stark goes to the Siberian Hydra facility and strikes a truce with Rogers and Barnes, unaware they were secretly followed by T’Challa. They discover that the other super-soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who shows them footage from Hydra’s archives; it reveals that Barnes killed Stark’s parents during his mission in 1991. Enraged that Rogers kept this from him, Stark turns on them both, dismembering Barnes’ robotic arm. Rogers disables Stark’s armor and departs with Barnes, leaving his shield behind. Satisfied that he has avenged his family’s death in Sokovia by irreparably fracturing the Avengers, Zemo attempts suicide, but T’Challa stops him and he is taken to the authorities.

In the aftermath, Stark provides Rhodes with exoskeletal leg braces that allow him to walk again, while Rogers breaks his allies out of the Raft. In a mid-credits scene, Barnes, granted asylum in Wakanda, chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing is found. In a post-credits scene, Parker tests a new gadget.

The best Marvel film to date: great, charisma from the leads delivered through fantastic action that’s actually driven, for once, by a tight, believable and interesting storyline.

REVIEW: HANSEL & GRETAL: WITCH HUNTERS

CAST

Jeremy Renner (Avengers Assemble)
Gemma Arterton (The Voices)
Famke Janssen (X-Men)
Pihla Viitala (August)
Derek Mears (Friday The 13th)
Robin Atkins Downes (Babylon 5)
Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street)
Zoe Bell (Raze)
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hercules)

Abandoned by their father deep in a forest, young Hansel and Gretel enter a gingerbread house and are captured by a cannibalistic witch. The witch forces Hansel to continuously eat candy to fatten him up, and enslaves Gretel, ordering her to prepare the oven, but the siblings outsmart her and incinerate her in the fire of the oven. In the fifteen years that follow, Hansel and Gretel become famed witch hunters, slaying hundreds of witches. The pair find that they are somehow immune to spells and curses, but the incident in the gingerbread house has left Hansel diabetic. He needs a shot of insulin every few hours or he will get sick and die.

Hansel and Gretel arrive in the town of Augsburg and immediately prevent Sheriff Berringer from executing a young woman named Mina for witchcraft. Mayor Englemann tells the crowd that he has hired the siblings to rescue several children presumed abducted by witches. Berringer hires trackers for the same mission in the hopes of disgracing the mayor and cementing his power. All but one of the sheriff’s party are killed that night by the powerful grand witch Muriel, who sends one man back to the town tavern as a warning to the locals. Hansel and Gretel, along with the Mayor’s deputy Jackson, capture one of Muriel’s witches and interrogate her. They discover that the witches are preparing for the coming Blood Moon, where they plan to sacrifice twelve children in order to gain an immunity to fire. Muriel, accompanied by her witches and a troll named Edward, attack the town and abduct the final child. Muriel kills Jackson and launches Gretel out a window, rendering her unconscious. Gretel is rescued by Ben, a local teenager who is a fan of theirs and plans to be a witch hunter himself. Hansel grabs onto a fleeing witch by her broomstick, but falls and is lost in the forest.

The next morning, Hansel is found hanging from a tree by Mina. She takes him to a nearby spring where she heals his wounds and makes love to him. Gretel searches for Hansel in the forest but is attacked by Sheriff Berringer and his posse. The men capture and beat Gretel before being stopped by Edward, who kills the sheriff and his men. Edward tends Gretel’s wounds and tells her that he helped her because trolls serve witches. Hansel and Gretel reunite at an abandoned cabin, which they discover is both a witch’s lair and their childhood home. Muriel appears in front of them, telling them the truth of their past. She reveals that Hansel and Gretel’s mother was a grand white witch named Adrianna who married a farmer. On the night of the last Blood Moon, Muriel planned to use the heart of the white witch to complete her potion. She found Adrianna too powerful and decided to use Gretel’s heart instead. To get rid of Adrianna, Muriel revealed to the townspeople that Adrianna was a witch. The townspeople burned her alive and hung Hansel and Gretel’s father. Following this revelation, the siblings battle Muriel before she stabs Hansel and abducts Gretel for the ceremony.

Hansel wakes up with Mina, who reveals herself to be a white witch. She heals his wounds again and uses a grimoire to bless Hansel’s arsenal of weapons. Hansel, Mina, and Ben head out to disrupt the Blood Moon Sabbath. Mina begins slaughtering dark witches with a Gatling gun, while Hansel squares off against Muriel’s witches and frees the children. Edward defies Muriel’s orders and releases Gretel before Muriel throws him off the cliff. Muriel flees on a broomstick, but Ben manages to shoot her and forces her to crash. Hansel goes after Muriel while Gretel stops to revive Edward. Hansel, Ben, and Mina follow Muriel’s trail to the original gingerbread house. Muriel wounds Ben and kills Mina before Hansel shoots her several times, knocking her into the house. Gretel arrives and the pair engage Muriel in a brutal fight that ends with Muriel being beheaded with a shovel. They burn Muriel’s body on a pyre and collect their reward for rescuing the children. They head out on their next witch hunt accompanied by Ben and Edward.

A very enjoyable fantasy horror film.  Good fun if not taken seriously this is a tongue in cheek very gory and over the top film. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arteton somehow play it completely straight as Hansel and Gretel while everybody else including Famke Jensson as a witch the pair are after and Peter Stormare as the sherriff of a small town ham it up completely. With impressive special effects and good action scenes and the ending seems to set up a sequel. A great fun film.