REVIEW: VENOM

Starring

Tom Hardy (Legend)
Michelle Williams (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Riz Ahmed (Jason Bourne)
Scott Haze (As I Lay Dying)
Reid Scott (Home Again)
Jenny Slate (The Lego Batman Movie)
Melora Walters (The Master)
Chris O’Hara (Red Sparrow)
Sope Aluko (Sabotage)
Woody Harrelson (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Emilio Rivera (Sons of Anarchy)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to the bio-engineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms. The probe returns to Earth with four samples, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where they discover that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often fatally reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) lives with his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney at the law firm representing the Life Foundation. While Weying is sleeping, Brock logs on to her computer and learns about these human trials from a confidential document he finds after accessing her work email. Brock uses the information to publicly confront Life Foundation CEO Carlton Drake about the trials, leading to both Brock and Weying being fired from their jobs. Consequently, Weying ends their relationship.Peggy Lu and Sam Medina in Venom (2018)Six months later, Drake’s symbiosis trials are closer to success, though one of his symbiotes dies due to carelessness. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, is one of the test subjects. Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but the symbiote possessing her transfers to his body without him realizing, leaving her dead. Brock escapes and soon begins displaying strange symptoms. He reaches out to Weying for help, and her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, discovers the symbiote on examining Brock. Drake exposes Skirth to the remaining captive symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen.Venom (2018)Drake sends mercenaries to retrieve the symbiote from Brock, but it manifests around his body as a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. It later introduces itself to Brock as Venom, and explains that the comet is searching for planets where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote imbues him with. Brock breaks into his old workplace to turn in evidence of Drake’s crimes, but is surrounded by SWAT officers and is forced to transform to escape. Weying witnesses this transformation and takes Brock back to Lewis’s office, where they explain that the symbiote is slowly rotting Brock’s internal organs. Brock notes that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although Venom claims that the organ damage can be prevented, Weying uses an MRI machine to help Brock separate from the symbiote. Brock is then captured by Drake’s men.Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)Meanwhile, the fourth symbiote, Riot, makes its way from Malaysia to San Francisco by hopping from body to body. It bonds with Drake, who agrees to take Riot in a Life Foundation space probe to collect the rest of the symbiotes and bring them to Earth. Weying reluctantly bonds with Venom so they can free Brock. When Brock and Venom are bonded again, the latter states that he has been convinced to help protect the Earth from his kind through his interactions with Brock, and the pair attempt to stop Riot and Drake with Weying’s help. Venom damages the probe as it takes off, causing it to explode and kill both Riot and Drake. Weying believes Brock is no longer bonded to Venom after this, and that Venom also died in the explosion. However, the pair remain secretly bonded and set out to protect San Francisco by killing criminals. Brock also returns to journalism, and in a mid-credits scene he is invited to interview incarcerated serial killer Cletus Kasady, who promises “carnage” when he escapes.Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)The story was fun and it was thrilling at times and also had some great comedic moments. There were times where I was either on the edge of my seat or struggling not to burst out laughing .Overall this is a fun film to watch and sure it isn’t perfect only 1 or 2 problems but other than that I’d give it an 10 just for being a fun film and giving one of my favourite characters of all of media the spotlight

REVIEW: JUSTICE

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
January Jones (X-Men: First Class)
Guy Pearce (Memento)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead)
Demetrius Bridges (The Vampire Diaries)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Jason Davis (The Accountant)
J.D. Evermore (12 Years a Slave)

In New Orleans, Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) is a humble English teacher at Rampart High School. Will’s best friend Jimmy (Harold Perrineau) also works at the school. Will’s wife Laura (January Jones) is a musician who is in a local orchestra. One night, after a performance, Laura is beaten and brutally raped by a stranger named Hodge (Alex Van). At the hospital, while Will is waiting for news about Laura’s condition, Jimmy tells a distraught Will that he’s confident that the rapist will be found. A stranger who calls himself Simon (Guy Pearce) tells Will that he represents an organization that deals with criminals the justice system has not. Simon describes his group as “a few citizens seeking justice.” He says Hodge has raped other women before, and was paroled three weeks prior to his attack on Laura.Simon proposes an intriguing offer; in exchange for a favor from Will to be determined later, Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger make Hodge pay for Laura’s rape. This would spare Will and Laura a drawn-out trial, which would make Laura suffer even more than she already has by repeatedly forcing her to relive the rape, and to be traumatized by defense attorneys. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal. Hodge is killed, and a picture of Hodge’s body, along with a medallion that Hodge took from Laura during the rape, are sent to Will as proof. The organization’s code phrase is: “The hungry rabbit jumps.” Six months later, Simon returns. He wants Will to follow a woman and her two children to the zoo and to look out for a man. If Will sees this man, he must call a number attached to a picture. Will agrees, hoping this will fulfill his debt. Simon, however, continues to call Will, asking him to continue what he’s doing, claiming the man is a sex offender. Having no choice, as Simon promises to exact revenge if he doesn’t obey, a reluctant Will agrees. He is instructed to kill the man on a pedestrian walkway that’s under a high overpass by “accidentally” bumping him off it to his death, making it look like suicide.Instead of killing the man, Will decides to see if the man has any knowledge of Simon. The man, already paranoid, becomes suspicious that Will is there to kill him. He throws his bicycle at Will. As they struggle, the man falls off the walkway despite Will’s efforts to save him. The man lands and is hit by a truck. Will goes home, where Detective Rudeski (Joe Chrest) and Detective Green (Marcus Lyle Brown) arrest him for murdering the man, whose name is Alan Marsh. At the station, Will can’t get Green and Rudeski to believe anything he says. The detectives’ boss, Lieutenant Durgan (Xander Berkeley), wants to talk to Will alone. Durgan wants to play a game, asking Will to complete sentences. After a few rounds, Durgan asks, “A hungry rabbit…” to which Will responds “jumps. A hungry rabbit jumps”, signifying his connection to Simon’s organization. Durgan lets Will free, giving him 24 hours to get out of the city before Simon and his henchmen Scar (Irone Singleton) and Cancer (Wayne Pére) come looking for him.Will runs, but he’s looking for answers. He goes to a memorial for Alan, finding the man is not a sex offender but actually an award-winning investigative reporter for the New Orleans Post who was investigating the vigilante organization. Will now knows why Simon wanted Alan dead. Simon, Scar, and Cancer suddenly turn up. Scar chases Will out onto a busy street, but is killed by a SUV that hits and drags him. Will goes to a storage facility that Alan used and finds a DVD describing some of the people in the group, along with their missions. Will explains what’s happening to Laura, who says she would’ve done the same had their situations been reversed. Will then tells Laura his whereabouts, advising her to stay away from the cops and anyone else who’s asking questions.Will learns that Simon’s real name is Eugene Cook and that Jimmy joined the organization years ago, after his brother was murdered, when the cops were unable to find the killer. Will sends Cook a copy of the DVD, outraged at its implications. Cook agrees to a trade where Will would receive security camera footage proving his innocence in Alan’s death, as he was acting out of self-defense, in exchange for the DVD. Will agrees, and they agree to meet at the Louisiana Superdome, during a monster truck show. At the dome, Will is told Laura has been kidnapped as an extra incentive to make him give up the DVD. Jimmy, Cancer, and a man called Sideburns (Dikran Tulaine) are holding Laura. They go to a nearby mall, abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. Will gives up the DVD, but Cook reneges on the deal, saying that Will and Laura will both be killed to remove all threats to the organization. He orders them to be shot.Cancer is about to pull the trigger on Laura when he is fatally shot by Jimmy, after which Will forces Sideburns down an inactive escalator, then through the glass at the bottom of the escalator. Sideburns is killed when a chunk of the glass becomes impaled in his neck. Jimmy says that they didn’t get into the organization to kill innocent people. Cook and Jimmy exchange gunfire, until Cook kills him with two shots to the chest. Laura flees with a gun in her hand. Cook throws her into a glass display case, causing her to drop the gun. Will arrives and begins beating up Cook, but both fall onto another escalator, rolling to the bottom. Laura, who has grabbed the gun that Cook forced her to drop, shoots Cook six times, killing him. Happy to be alive, Will and Laura walk back up the escalator. Durgan arrives, asking who killed Cook. Will responds that it was him, but Durgan says that the way he sees it, the dead guys killed each other. There was no one else there. With both DVDs in hand, Will clears his name. He decides to follow up on Alan’s work by giving the DVD to Gibbs (Mike Pniewski), another reporter. Thanking him, Gibbs says, “The hungry rabbit jumps, eh?” indicating to a surprised Will that Gibbs knows about or is also in the organization.Justice has some great action scenes and some interesting ( if a little unbelievable) plot twists and I enjoyed it for what it was – a good action thriller.

 

REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)

CAST
Miles Teller (Divergent)
Michael B. Jordan (Creed)
Kate Mara (Iron Man 2)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Toby Kebbell (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Reg E.Cathey (Seven)
Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Friends Reed Richards and Ben Grimm have worked together on a prototype teleporter since childhood, eventually attracting the attention of Professor Franklin Storm, director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies. Reed is recruited to join them and aid Storm’s children, scientist Sue Storm and the somewhat reckless technician Johnny Storm, into completing a “Quantum Gate” designed by Storm’s wayward protégé, Victor von Doom, who begrudgingly agrees to help due to his unrequited feelings for Sue.
The experiment is successful, and the facility’s supervisor, Dr. Allen, plans to send a group from NASA to venture into a parallel dimension known as “Planet Zero”. Disappointed at being denied the chance to join the expedition, Reed, Johnny, and Victor along with Ben use the Quantum Gate to embark on an unsanctioned voyage to Planet Zero, which they learn is a world filled with otherworldly substances. Victor attempts to touch the green-lava like substance, causing the surface they are on to collapse and the ground to erupt. Reed, Johnny, and Ben return to their shuttle just as Sue brings them back to Earth. Victor is left behind after he falls into the collapsing landscape. The machine explodes, altering Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben on a molecular-genetic level, affording them superhuman conditions and abilities beyond their control: Reed can stretch like rubber, Sue can become invisible and generate force fields of energy, Johnny can engulf his entire body in flames and fly, and Ben becomes bigger and develops a rock-like hide which gives him enhanced strength and durability. They are then placed in government custody and confinement to be studied and have their conditions and abilities tested. Blaming himself for the accident, Reed escapes from the facility and tries to find a cure for their changes.
Miles Teller in Fantastic Four (2015)
One year later, Reed is now a fugitive and has built a suit that is able to adapt to his body’s plasticity and also helps him control his ability. Hiding in Central America, he is eventually found by the United States military with Sue’s help and captured by Ben, who has become a military asset along with Johnny and Sue. Johnny and Sue have been outfitted with specialized suits designed to help them stabilize and control their abilities. Reed is brought to Area 57, where Dr. Allen conscripts him to open another portal to Planet Zero in exchange for giving Reed the necessary resources to find a cure. Arriving in Planet Zero, Dr. Allen’s explorers find Victor, who has been fused to his spacesuit and can now control the elements, as well as having telekinetic abilities, and bring him back to Earth. Believing the human race needs to be destroyed so he can rebuild Planet Zero in his image, Victor kills scientists and soldiers in the base including Dr. Allen and Professor Storm and returns to Planet Zero using the Quantum Gate, with Ben, Johnny, Reed, and Sue in pursuit.
Miles Teller in Fantastic Four (2015)
Now dubbing himself “Doom”, Victor activates a portal on Planet Zero using a structure he made while in the realm, that begins consuming the landscape of the Earth. He is confronted by the four and, after a destructive battle, Ben punches Doom into the portal’s energy beam, disintegrating him, while Johnny closes the portal. Returning to Earth, the group is rewarded for their heroics by being given a new base of operations by the US military. They decide to use their powers to help people and adopt the mantle of the “Fantastic Four”.

It’s certainly different from the comics, so if you go into it with an open mind you may find a better experience than if you want it to remain the same. It’s inventive, there’s an engaging cast, the Marco Beltrami/Philip Glass score is wonderful, but ultimately it goes against a lot of the superhero conventions. The big action setpieces had to be scrapped due to budgetary concerns and it shows. It’s a slow moving film but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. It’s notably darker with some elements of Cronenberg-esque body horror, yet it still has elements of humour and the ending isn’t really that bad. Some aspects could have been developed better and some of the reshoots are laughably bad – like with Reed asking Sue if she’s adopted. But it’s definitely worth watching even just to see what aspects didn’t work so well or to see the elements that do work. Because the elements that work are really gripping, and it’s very interesting to see superheroes reduced to test subjects in Area 57 and government stooges. It’s just unfortunate the good elements are often only glimpses. But if you can put up with that it’s a nice contrast to Marvel Studios’ output.