Red Notice (2021)

Rating 12a
Length 1h58
Release 12.11.2021
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (fun fact: He’s the Quiznos guy from Easy A)
About In the world of international crime, an Interpol agent attempts to hunt down and capture the world’s most wanted art thief.
Moon: Full moon sighted as Reynold’s character goes home.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • It’s a pretty solid story. Not that I cared, at all. Why? Oh, I was here for the Johnson/ Reynolds dialogue. They understood the mission. Their interactions were *chef’s kiss* perfect.
    I don’t quite know what it is about these two together, but they’re dynamite. The only pairing I’d want more is Reynolds and Jackman and with both, I could have had them sitting, in a room, just reading the lines. Yes, it would be fair to say it really is down to Reynolds’ delivery of a lot of the lines, but if you’ve seen the latest in the Hitman’s Bodyguard series, you’d know that it’s more than that.
  • That said, there are some amazing action sequences, location shoots and excuses to dress up. It’s The Mummy meets Bond, by way of Danny Ocean. Its perfect for a Saturday night watch when you don’t want to think too hard.

The Bad

  • Cal Gadot almost gets there. There’s crazy in the performance, but the actress pulls it back and I really wish she didn’t. Gadot could have given us something shy of Harley Quinn and I know I’m splitting hairs, but in a film as good as this, I do have to critique something.

The Ugly

  • Green light the sequel already, you cowards!

Final Thoughts

Had everything I really needed in a movie like this, so there’s really nothing to complain about. Only thing is, this review is a little redundant as it would appear that most people have already watched Red Notice this weekend.

The Mummy (1959) Halloween Advent

Rating X/ 18
Length 1h26
Release 25.9.1959
Director Terence Fisher
About Three archaeologists uncover the sarcophagus of Princess Ananka despite being warned of a curse. The situation regresses when one of them awakens Kharis, who was entombed alive to guard the princess.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Purchased for £5 on Amazon Prime
Trailer:

Trick

  • I’m not sure I enjoyed the flashback approach to the storytelling. I know it is a tool of the Hammer Horrors, but it doesn’t work so well here. I felt a little lost and bogged down as I was too invested in the characters I’d met, rather than the ‘why’ of the curse.
  • The inclusion of Mrs Banning does pale in comparison to the 1999 instalment. It feels more that she’s a token female character thrown in at the last minute, rather than being integral to the plot. A shame, as it would only require one or two changes.

Treat

  • What is not to love about this classic Hammer Horror. There’s a charm to the static approach of filming, the obvious soundstage setting and even the actor’s approach to dialogue is very different to what we’d expect today.
  • Peter Cushing is such a striking lead. He most certainly must have inspired Tom Hiddleston at some point. Certainly, if there’s ever a biopic about the Hammer Horror movies; Hiddleston is a shoe-in for playing Cushing.
  • Christopher Lee is unmistakeable, even when he’s covered in bandages. His presence is daunting while bandaged, but it is rather enchanting when we get to the flashbacks.
  • Even though I mentioned that the cameras are rather static throughout, there is a change to that when the father is about to be attacked. The bedroom is shown on an angle and it gives you a great sense of the panic the man is feeling.
  • The set designs are really quite beautiful and the music compliments the whole film and the changing moods.

Final Thoughts

Not my favourite Hammer Horror, but certainly worth a watch for Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee alone.

The Mummy (1999) Halloween Advent

Rating 12
Length 2h4
Release 25.6.2012
Director Stephen Sommers
About Adventurer Rick O’Connell and Egyptologist Evelyn, along with a bunch of archaeologists, inadvertently wake up an evil mummy during an archaeological excavation at the ancient city of Hamunaptra.
Moon: full moon at around 20 minutes
Where to Watch: Own copy on DVD, but the franchise is currently available on Now Cinema
Trailer:

Trick

  • The CGI in some places has not aged well. Particularly when it involves actors interacting with the ‘cursed’ sand and some forms of the Mummy.
  • For me personally, its about 30 minutes too long, especially when you consider its at least over the hour mark before the Mummy is discovered and the curse is invoked. I would perhaps remove our first introduction to Rick.

Treat

  • Brendan Fraser is perfect as Rick O’Connell. Not only does he have the persona of characters portrayed by Harrison Ford, he holds much more charm. Something that’s akin to older action stars like Errol Flynn.
    This is not his breakout role, but it really is the first to break away from his typecast performance of an air-brain fish out of water, seen best in California Man, Air Heads and George of the Jungle. I can imagine this was a risk, but I’m so glad they gave him this chance.
  • Oded Fehr is an absolute joy to have in this film. He provides the wonderful narration at the beginning and is able to provide a perfect blend of serious and comic that never spills over into ham. My absolute favourite moment is what I can only describe as his impression of a dog hanging its head out of a car. The utter joy on his face upon flying is a delight.
  • Omid Djalili is a welcome, yet completely forgotten, addition the cast. As a man of Persian ancestry, he is a face you will be familiar with in many a film like this, including playing Sallah in the Indiana Jones franchise.
    There’s something comforting about Djalili being in this film. Its a confidence of the performance that, for me, only comes with British acting.
  • The story is really good. I’d completely forgot how much I enjoyed this adventure and I think its largely to do with how Evelyn is presented in the film. She’s not a damsel, but a female trying to fight against the gender issues of her time. While I’m not a fan of Rachel Weisz, she is really well cast here.
  • The script is really clever. There’s a moment in which the second team looking for the treasure and their expert declares ‘A woman. What does she know?’ for the scene to cut to Evie explaining the structure of their findings to her group.
  • The horror and comedy elements are perfectly balanced to provide a watchable family horror.

Final Thoughts

Still a joy to watch and something I will always put on around this time of year, if not closer to Christmas.