Archive for Timothy Dalton

The Living Daylights

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

James Bond—Agent 007—is assigned to aid the defection of a KGB officer, General Georgi Koskov, covering his escape from a concert hall in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia during the orchestra’s intermission. During the mission, Bond notices that the KGB sniper assigned to prevent Koskov’s escape is a female cellist from the orchestra. Disobeying his orders to kill the sniper, he instead shoots the rifle from her hands, then uses the Trans-Siberian Pipeline to smuggle Koskov across the border into Austria and then on to Britain.

In his post-defection debriefing, Koskov informs MI6 that the KGB’s old policy of Smiert Spionom, meaning Death to Spies, has been revived by General Leonid Pushkin, the new head of the KGB. Koskov is later abducted from the safe-house and assumed to have been taken back to Moscow. Bond is directed to track down Pushkin in Tangier and kill him in order to forestall further killings of agents and escalation of tensions between the Soviet Union and the West. Although Bond’s prior knowledge of Pushkin initially leads him to doubt Koskov’s claims, he agrees to carry out the mission when he learns that the assassin who killed 004 (as depicted in the pre-title sequence) left a note bearing the same message, “Smiert Spionom.”

Bond returns to Bratislava to track down the cellist, Kara Milovy. He determines that Koskov’s entire defection was staged, and that Milovy is actually Koskov’s girlfriend. Bond convinces Milovy that he is a friend of Koskov’s and persuades her to accompany him to Vienna, supposedly to be reunited with him. Meanwhile, Pushkin meets with arms dealer Brad Whitaker in Tangier, informing him that the KGB is cancelling an arms deal previously arranged between Koskov and Whitaker.

During his brief tryst with Milovy in Vienna, Bond meets his MI6 ally, Saunders, who discovers a history of financial dealings between Koskov and Whitaker. As he leaves their meeting, Saunders is killed by Necros (Koskov and Whitaker’s henchman), who again leaves the message “Smiert Spionom.”

Bond and Milovy promptly leave for Tangier, where Bond confronts Pushkin. Pushkin disavows any knowledge of “Smiert Spionom”, and reveals that Koskov is evading arrest for embezzlement of government funds. Bond and Pushkin then join forces and Bond fakes Pushkin’s assassination, inducing Whitaker and Koskov to progress with their scheme. Meanwhile, Milovy contacts Koskov, who tells her that Bond is actually a KGB agent and convinces her to drug him so he can be captured.

Koskov, Necros, Milovy, and the captive Bond fly to a Soviet air base in Afghanistan—part of the Soviet war in Afghanistan—where Koskov betrays Milovy and imprisons her along with Bond. The pair escape and in doing so free a condemned prisoner, Kamran Shah, leader of the local Mujahideen. Bond and Milovy discover that Koskov is using Soviet funds to buy a massive shipment of opium from the Mujahideen, intending to keep the profits with enough left over to supply the Soviets with their arms.

With the Mujahideen’s help, Bond plants a bomb aboard the cargo plane carrying the opium, but is spotted and has no choice but to barricade himself in the plane. Meanwhile the Mujahideen attack the air base on horseback and engage the Soviets in a gun battle. During the battle, Milovy drives a jeep into the back of the plane as Bond takes off, and Necros also leaps aboard at the last second. After a struggle, Bond throws Necros to his death and deactivates the bomb. Bond then notices Shah and his men being pursued by Soviet forces. He re-activates the bomb and drops it out of the plane and onto a bridge, blowing it up and helping Shah and his men gain an important victory over the Soviets. Bond returns to Tangier to kill Whitaker, as Pushkin arrests Koskov, sending him back to Moscow.

Some time later, Milovy is the lead cellist in a known London performance, her music career solidified by newfound cooperation between the British government and the Soviets providing Kara with travel expenses and allowing her to perform in both countries. After her performance, Bond surprises her in her dressing room and they romantically share their mutual success together.

REVIEW:

A new era in the James Bond franchise is upon me, as Roger Moore steps down and Timothy Dalton takes on the mantle of the suave superspy in The Living Daylights. Will this change affect the character? What about the tone of the film? How will this be received? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

In this turbo-charged action-adventure, suave superspy James Bond is tasked with protecting a Soviet general from a beautiful sniper.

What did I like?

Music makes the world go ’round. As a musician, I will always be more critical and notice things having to do with music than the common movie viewer. The Bond films are well-known for the opening themes and the unmistakable James Bond motif, but this film also throws in a bit of class. You can’t have a Bond girl who is a cello player without having her playing some Mozart, can you? I just can’t see a world-renown musician of her caliber playing some hair band hit on her instrument, even if it might have sounded cool.

Time for a change. Roger Moore was nearly 60 when A View to a Kill was finished, and it showed. The man gave us I believe 7 films over 12 years, so he earned his rest. With a new Bond comes new ways to write for the actor. Take for instance when David Tennant left Doctor Who and was replaced with Matt Smith, who has now been replaced with Peter Capaldi. All have different interpretations of the same character, but each is their own, separate entity. Timothy Dalton, who is going for a darker, more realistic Bond is a far cry from Roger Moore, but perhaps that is what’s needed.

Go go gadget. Bond is known for his gadgetry, but in the films that I’ve seen, they haven’t really been a big part of the film, save for submarine Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me. While nothing as grand as that appears in this picture, we do get to see a few more of the gadgets and gizmos than I believe we have seen before, which is a big plus for me.

What didn’t I like?

Moneypenny. This is the first film in the franchise to feature a new actress as Ms. Moneypenny. I can’t really say that I like her or not, based on her performance, but I can say that I am not a fan of what they have done, or not done with her character. In the previous films, she had a flirtatious relationship with 007, but here everything is business. WTF?!?

Climax. In the supposed climax, a confrontation with Bond and Whitaker, one would expect there to have been some sort of long, exciting battle, complete with witty repartee and such, right? Wrong! What we get is a few shots, gas, a statue falling down, and some more shots. Seriously, how is this the climax? The stuff with opium was more exciting!!!

Ho-hum. I was warned that Timothy Dalton’s Bond films weren’t going to appeal to me, but I at least thought this would be interesting. I had to catch myself twice from falling asleep! Dalton just doesn’t do it for me as a Bond. I think he does his best work as a villain, anyway. Perhaps the next film will change my mind.

Final verdict on The Living Daylights? It is a definite departure from the Roger Moore era 007. We get a darker Bond, more realistic plot, and the return of the Aston Martin. Does this make this a good film? No, but it doesn’t hurt. What does hurt, though, is the fact that there is no real excitement in this picture. For a good chunk of it, things just seem to be going along with no rhyme or reason. How can the audience get invested in that? With that in mind, I cannot recommend this, unless you are a completest who must see all the films in the franchise.

3 out of 5 stars

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The Tourist

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The movie opens with Elise (Angelina Jolie) being followed by French police, working with Scotland Yard under the direction of Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany). Acheson has spent years attempting to catch Elise’s old lover, Alexander Pearce, who owes £744 million in back taxes. While at a cafe, Elise receives instructions from Pearce: board a train to Venice, pick out a man on the way who resembles Pearce, and trick the police into believing that this decoy is the man himself. Elise follows the instructions, picking Frank (Johnny Depp), an American tourist. She spends much time with him, seeming to start a romance. The police recognize the ruse, but it does fool Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), a gangster from whom Pearce stole $2.3 billion.

Pearce leaves further instructions for Elise to attend a ball. Elise abandons Frank, who is then chased by Shaw’s men. Through a mishap Frank is arrested by the police, only to have a corrupt inspector attempt to turn him over to Shaw’s men in exchange for the bounty on Pearce’s head. During the transaction Elise rescues Frank, leading Shaw’s men on an extended chase and eventually escaping. Afterward she leaves Frank at the airport with his passport and a satchel full of money, asking him to go home for his own safety.

Elise is revealed to be an undercover agent sent to catch Pearce, who may have instead become his ally. Because of her fears for Frank, she comes back to her role as Scotland Yard agent, and sets up a sting against Pearce. Frank, apparently newly in love with Elise, has not left, and worms his way in, upsetting the plan. When Frank is pulled out by the police, Elise goes after Pearce to a new rendezvous point. The other agents follow with Frank aboard, but Shaw is following even more closely. When Elise arrives at the destination, Shaw moves in, takes her prisoner, and threatens her with disfigurement or death unless she finds and opens a safe containing his stolen money. Despite Elise’s peril, Inspector Acheson repeatedly turns down police requests to intervene, convinced that Pearce will show. Frank escapes police custody and confronts Shaw, posing as Pearce and using information previously shared by Elise to convince Shaw that he is truly Alexander Pearce. Ultimately, Chief Inspector Jones (Timothy Dalton) arrives and orders police snipers to fire, killing Shaw and his men. Jones lifts Elise’s suspension, but then terminates her employment.

After the confrontation, the police run out to chase a possible sighting of Pearce. Frank then opens the safe, with only Elise present, demonstrating that he knew the safe combination, and was, in fact, Alexander Pearce the entire time, and had been in control all along. He and Elise take the money and run away, leaving behind a check for the balance of his taxes owed. Acheson wants to pursue him, but Jones determines that with the taxes paid, Pearce’s only crime is that he stole money from a now dead gangster. Jones orders the case to be closed. Frank and Elise then sail away.

REVIEW:

When this film was in production, much was made about how Angelina Jolie was going to take Johnny Depp from his wife and children and leave Brad Pitt. You know how tabloids like to fabricate stories and such.

With those stories, though, The Tourist had a mediocre box office showing and received mostly negative reviews. So, the question is…how will I rate this film, eh?

I’m no fan of Jolie, at least not since her Tomb Raider days when she actually had some meat on her bones. Having said that, she looked the better here than she has in years. It might be the whole British thing she had going. It really worked for her, plus, I think directors have told her she’s too skinny and she’s finally starting to listen.

Johnny Depp takes a break from being Captain Jack Sparrow, though he does go into his British accent a couple of times in the film, to play this role as an American tourist/ math teacher who has recently lost his wife. I’ll admit it was a bit strange seeing him out of “character” for the first time in forever, but it was nice to get a bit of a change. Sometimes we forget that Depp is a competent actor.

Jolie and Depp start out as two strangers meeting on a train, and their chemistry throughout feels like they are just two strangers uncomfortably making small talk. I expected more. This may go back to that whole think about Jolie trying to steal Depp, but who knows.

Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton are supporting characters here, but to be honest, neither really brings anything to the table. I fond it odd that Bettany was cast in a role that cold very well have been played by some cheaper actor, who may or may not have done better with it. To me, it seems as if Bettany’s role would have been fleshed out a bit more.

Rufus Sewell makes this random appearance in the film. I’m not sure if he was meant to be a cameo or if perhaps he just wanted a quick paycheck and was asked to do these two scenes, bt it actually made no sense for him to have been there, when they cold have gotten some extra to do his role, seriously!

The action in the film isn’t bad, but for a spy film, which is what this actually is under all the murkiness of the convoluted plot. I think they cold have done a bit more in the climax, but that’s a personal preference.

I mentioned that Jolie and Depp have no chemistry, and that is very apparent in the ballroom scene, which was already supposed to look uncomfortable. Ironically, that might very well have been their best scene together.

The score to this film left me scratching my head. It seemed to be light-hearted and fun, much in the same way as the first two Harry Potter films. My issue with that is it doesn’t fit with the tone of the film, at least not for most of it, anyway.

I put my hatred of Jolie and my man-crush of Depp aside when I was watching this flick. I don’t think it helped any, though. Fact of the matter is, while this isn’t anywhere near as bad as the critics wold have you believe, The Tourist just doesn’t live up to what it could be. I can recommend this, but be warned that it is nothing more than an average flick with overpriced stars.

3 out of 5 stars

 

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on December 16, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Tired of playing second fiddle to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck (Joe Alaskey) demands his own movie from the Warner Brothers only to be fired by VP of Comedy Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser), son of action star Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton), is also fired from his job as a security guard when trying to escort Daffy from the studios, driving the Batmobile into the studio’s watertower. Kate tries to make Bugs’ film more educational and socially relevant but he refuses to work with her unless Daffy is brought back. DJ returns home and is surprised to find Daffy snuck along. Finding a hidden video screen, DJ is told by his actual super spy father to go to Las Vegas to find a woman named Dusty Tails to get a diamond called the Blue Monkey. DJ and Daffy head out in an old AMC Gremlin car. Bugs and Kate arrive at the house after Bugs calls Daffy and learns the situation, and pursue them in Damian’s spy car, a TVR Tuscan. Also after the diamond are the Acme Corporation run by Mr. Chairman who plans to use the diamond to take over the world and sell more Acme merchandise.

DJ and Daffy arrive in Las Vegas and find Dusty Tails performing at a casino run by Yosemite Sam (Jeff Bennett). Dusty gives DJ a playing card with the Mona Lisa’s face on it. Yosemite Sam, working for Acme, pursues DJ and Daffy across the city, leading to a car chase with Bugs and Kate being dragged into the mayhem when DJ takes the wheel of the spy car (Danny Mann). The heroes escape via the spy car’s flight ability whilst Yosemite Sam crashes into his own casino. The spy car crashes in Death Valley where the heroes conviently find a Wal-Mart thanks to Kate’s desire for more product placement. Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) sends in Wile E. Coyote to kill the heroes but he fails via a misdirected missile. The heroes wander into Area 52, Area 51 created as a “paranoid fantasy” to hide Area 52’s identity, where they meet Mother (Joan Cusack), a Q-like figure who gives DJ new gadgets to help find the diamond and reveals that Acme will use the diamond to turn mankind into monkeys to create their merchandise and then turn them back so they’ll buy the products. Marvin the Martian (Eric Goldberg) and a group of famous aliens attack, but the heroes escape. They conclude the next clue is in the Mona Lisa painting in Paris.

In the Louvre, the heroes discover the playing card doubles as a viewing window and find a map of Africa behind the Mona Lisa painting and take a photo on Kate’s mobile phone. Elmer Fudd (Billy West) arrives to gain the card, turning out to be “secretly evil”. Bugs and Daffy flee playfully around the museum, leaping through various famous paintings until Elmer is defeated by Bugs via a fan when he jumps out of a Pointillism painting. Mr. Smith, henchman of Mr. Chairman, steals Kate’s phone. The heroes travel to Africa where they hitch a ride on an elephant ridden by Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and Granny (June Foray). They find the diamond and a temple, but Granny and the others reveal themselves to be Mr. Chairman, Mr. Smith and the Tasmanian Devil. Mr. Chairman uses a disintegration pistol to transport himself and the heroes to Acme Headquarters and gains the diamond.

The diamond is taken to a satellite by Marvin; Mr. Chairman explaining he will fire an energy beam worldwide which will turn everyone into monkeys aside from himself and his love interest, Mary. DJ and Kate save Damian from being killed; Wile E. Coyote blowing up in a train. Bugs and Daffy chase Marvin to the satellite, and while Bugs fights Marvin, Daffy becomes Duck Dodgers and manages to deflect the diamond’s energy beam and destroy the satellite. Bugs defeats Marvin by overloading his own bubble gun. The energy beam strikes Mr. Chairman, turning him into a monkey (Frank Welker). Later, Daffy learns the entire adventure was part of Bugs’ film, but Bugs suggests the two become equal; Daffy starts cheering until he is flattened by the Looney Tunes’ title iris, Porky Pig’s (Bob Bergen) continuous stuttering ultimately causing him to fail in saying “That’s all folks!” instead, he grumpily tells the audience, “Just go home, folks

REVIEW:

 Looney Tunes: Back in Action is another in an ever-growing list of films that mix live action and animation. Sadly, it doesn’t live up to standard set by Who Framed Roger Rabbit? or even the last Looney Tunes big screen release, Space Jam.

Having said that, this is not as bad a film as critics would have you believe (are they ever right?). It is actually quite entertaining.

Of course, to get to the entertaining part, you have to get past the fact that Jenna Elfman is a total bitch who seems to think Daffy Duck is the reason Warner Brothers is not as successful as they once were. Not to mention Steve Martin’s over the top performance as the chairman of ACME.

With those out of the way, then we get some vintage Looney Tunes action and comedy…just set in the real world, for the most part. If you ever watched a ‘toon from back in the day, and who hasn’t, then you know what I’m talking about.

The plot seems a bit out there, and is the weakest part of this film. To an extent, one has to suspend disbelief, but there is just so much that can be suspended. The whole spy dad and monkey idol that can turn people into moneys is just too out there.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad plot. I just think it could have been executed better. I mean they mixed sci-fi, action/adventure, and spy genres together and not in a good way. You’d think the filmmakers would have learned from the mistakes of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.

It was good to see all the classic Looney Tunes, even if they didn’t have the original voices (some, not all).

Brendan Fraser once again proved he was meant to do action comedies and fits seamlessly into the animated world, as we’ve seen in previous films of his such as Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle.

I’ve already mentioned about Jenna Elfman and Steve Martin’s characters. While I didn’t care for either, they were done well…if they were indeed written that way.

Timothy Dalton is still a great spy, as we can see here and currently in his role on Chuck. I do wish he was more than just a prisoner, though.

Once again, I have to say that this film isn’t as bad as they say. However, it isn’t that great. For me, the plot kills all the greatness that the Looney Tunes bring to this flick. It really is a shame. Still, it wouldn’t hurt you to check it out.

3 out of 5 stars

The Rocketeer

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In 1938 Los Angeles, California, a rocket pack designed by Howard Hughes is stolen from his factory by a mobster duo working for crime boss Eddie Valentine. The driver of the getaway car, chased by FBI agents into a hangar, hides the rocket in an aging biplane and deceives the FBI agents with a vacuum cleaner he finds in the hangar. The driver is injured in the shoot-out, arrested and removed in an ambulance; the FBI agents find the ruined vacuum in the burned-out car. They believe the ruined device is the actual rocket and telephone Hughes, who decides its destruction is for the best, and burns its blueprints. Meanwhile, struggling stunt pilot Cliff Secord and mechanic A. “Peevy” Peabody find the mysterious rocket inside the biplane. Cliff experiments with it but Peevy persuades him to leave the rocket alone until he can understand its design and fine-tune it. Meanwhile, Valentine argues with movie star Neville Sinclair, who hired his gang to obtain the rocket from Hughes. Sinclair negotiates a new deal and dispatches the mobsters to search for the missing device. However, Sinclair secretly sends his right-hand man, the monstrous Lothar, to kill the injured mobster in police custody.

Shortly afterwards, at an airshow, Cliff uses the rocket (with Peevy’s newly-designed, face-hiding helmet) to heroically rescue his elderly friend Malcolm piloting a malfunctioned aircraft. Having been seen by the audience, a media sensation ensues and Cliff, as the anonymous hero, is dubbed “the Rocketeer”. However, Cliff and his aspiring actress girlfriend, Jenny Blake, begin to have relationship issues after Cliff visits her on-set of a film and inadvertently causes an accident in which a lead actor is mysteriously injured. Jenny is fired over Cliff’s accident; however, Sinclair, who is portraying the lead role of the production, overhears Cliff’s conversation with Jenny. After Cliff leaves, Sinclair makes up to Jenny and gets a dinner date with her at the famed South Seas Club. Sinclair then sends Lothar to search the airfield for Cliff.

That evening FBI agents find Bigelow dead, while Cliff consults with Peevy in their shared home. Lothar attacks and seizes detailed rocketpack schematics drawn up by Peabody, but is interrupted when the FBI arrives. Cliff and Peevy escape with the rocket, and Lothar also escapes as the house is destroyed by gunfire. Cliff and Peevy arrive at the local diner but are trapped by a team of mobsters who are searching for Cliff, but don’t recognize him. Overhearing them consult with Valentine over the diner’s phone, Cliff learns of Jenny’s date with Sinclair and the latter’s involvement with the crime. Cliff decides to confront Sinclair and Peabody provisionally patches the rocket’s sudden leaking fuel tank with Cliff’s chewing gum. Cliff infiltrates the South Seas Club but is nearly trapped by Valentine’s gang, and in the ensuing melée, Jenny is kidnapped by Sinclair.

Sinclair tries to seduce Jenny at his villa, but she knocks him out and, trying to escape, finds that he is a Nazi spy. Sinclair recaptures her with Lothar’s aid and leaves a message for Cliff; bring the rocketpack to the Griffith Observatory that very night or Jenny dies. Cliff hides the rocket just before he is arrested by the FBI, who take him to Hughes. Hughes reveals that the rocket was a prototype similar to one Nazi scientists were unsuccessfully developing to invade the United States. The FBI agents mention that they are tracking a Nazi spy in Hollywood, whom Cliff obviously realizes to be Sinclair. When Hughes demands the return of the rocket, Cliff explains that he needs it to rescue Jenny and, seizing a large wooden model of the “Spruce Goose” flying boat, glides out of Hughes’ hangar headquarters.

Recostumed as the Rocketeer, Cliff flies to the rendezvous where Sinclair, Lothar and the Valentine gang are waiting. When Sinclair demands the rocket, Cliff divulges to the gang that the actor is a Nazi spy. Valentine is a career criminal but draws the line at treason; he turns on Sinclair. Sinclair unexpectedly summons Nazi SA commandos hidden nearby and the gang are held at gunpoint as a Nazi Zeppelin touring America in a “gesture of friendship” is shown to be secretly assisting the mission, and appears overhead. A dispute ensues between the Nazis and the arrival of FBI agents, but Sinclair and Lothar escape with Jenny aboard the zeppelin. The climax ensues with Cliff and Jenny being rescued by Howard and Peevy in an autogyro. Sinclair takes the rocket, but not before Cliff thumbs off the chewing gum patch. Sinclair is unaware of the device’s oil combust, and he dies crashing down upon the last four giant letters of the “Hollywoodland” sign. Lothar is engulfed in flames as the zeppelin explodes.

Some time afterwards, Hughes presents Secord with a brand-new Gee Bee racing plane. As he drives away, Jenny presents Peabody with the rocket schematics she found in Sinclair’s villa. Peabody decides that with some modifications, he can build an even better one.

REVIEW:

This was one of my favorite films growing up, and may very well be the reason I love the era of the 30s and 40s so much. Many years later, I still love it, and have gained a larger respect for the time period it is set in as well as the technical aspects of the film.

Billy Campbell was an unknown when he was cast. For the most part he still is, but it is hard to believe that he eventually went from this to playing Jordan Collier in The 4400.There are some moments when Campbell seems a bit out of place, but for the most part he does a really good job.

Jennifer Connelly is in one of her most attractive roles here. As a matter of fact, and this may be due to the period clothing, she looks like a dark haired Scarlett Johnasson in places. Unfortunately, she doesn’t ignite the screen with her acting. she comes across to me as if she’s just reading the lines. There is no connection there.

Timothy Dalton may best be known for being one of the many men chosen to pay James Bond, but he can also play quite the conniving villain. Maybe it has something to do with the mustache, but he really makes you believe.

The effects here are state of the art for 1991. The flying scenes aren’t as brethtaking as in the Superman films, but that is partially because Cliff doesn’t really fly up in the clouds very often. I like how they address the fact that the helmet looks rather stupid. I think everyone is in agreement on that, but it’s part of the character, and you can’t just go around messing with stuff like that, especially with older comic heroes like this. The climactic scene on board the zeppelin is the kind you expect from those good old action films from yesteryear.

Not many people now about the Rocketeer, myself including, outside of this film, but if superhero films have taught us anything, its that watching these films can arouse our intrigue in characters and encourage us to do some research and learn more about the characters. I know that’s what I’ve done. This isa great action/adventure film, especially for those like me that love films set in the 30s and 40s. The acting isn’t that great, but the effect, if you take into account that this was made in 1991 are spectacular. It is a shame this didn’t do better at the box office. I believe there could have been a slew of sequels. Hopefully you’ll check it out and see if you agree with me.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Hot Fuzz

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), an extremely dedicated police officer in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, performs his duties so well that he makes his colleagues look bad. As a result, his superiors transfer him to the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford in rural Gloucestershire.

Once there, he immediately arrests a large group of underage drinkers and a drunk driver, who turns out to be his eventual partner, Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), a well-meaning but ineffective police constable, the son of local police inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent). A serious action film fan, Danny is in awe of his new big city partner, who just might provide him with his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he longs for. Angel struggles to adjust to the slow, uneventful pace of the village. Despite clearing up several otherwise unnoticed crimes in short order, including confiscating a very large stockpile of military equipment, including a sea mine and a number of unlicensed guns, Angel soon finds his most pressing concern to be an escaped swan. His serious manner and strict attention to the letter of the law also makes him the focus of dislike by some of his co-workers. However, Angel and Danny eventually bond over drinks at the local pub and action films.

Soon after Angel’s arrival, a series of murders disguised as accidents rock the village, all committed by a figure in a black hood and cloak. Increasingly convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and that the victims of the ‘accidents’ were murdered, Angel begins to clash with his colleagues. He refuses to drop the investigation and in front of several police officers announces his arrest of Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), the charming but sinister manager of the local Somerfield supermarket, of murdering the victims due to their involvement in a lucrative property deal. Skinner smoothly and confidently provides plausibly innocent explanations for all of Angel’s charges and goes free, the whole incident further damaging Angel’s credibility with his colleagues.

After being ambushed in his hotel room by the cloaked murderer, whom he knocks unconcious and reveals to be Michael Armstrong (Rory McCann), the enormous trolley boy of the Somerfield acting on Skinner’s orders, Angel is led to a nearby castle where he discovers the truth; Inspector Butterman, Skinner and the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (NWA), intent on keeping Sandford’s title of “Village of the Year”, have been murdering anyone who might damage the village’s quaint and charming image. The fact that all of the murders that occurred after Angel arrived could be tied together in a property scheme is actually a coincidence, each victim having in fact been murdered for more trivial reasons. Inspector Butterman reveals that his wife committed suicide after the village lost the title many years ago, motivating him to use extreme methods. Angel discovers the bodies of various “problem” people whom the NWA disposed of before and since his arrival, before being cornered and ‘stabbed’ by Danny, apparently a member of the NWA.

Having tricked the NWA into believing that Angel is dead, Danny instead drives him to the village limits and releases him, insisting that he knew nothing about their true activities. Danny urges Angel to go back to London, reasoning that no one would believe the truth about Sandford. However, while at a motorway service station, Angel sees the action films he and Danny watched on a nearby DVD rack and is inspired to stop the NWA. He drives back to town and arms himself with the guns he confiscated earlier. After Angel meets with Danny in the village, the two begin to dispatch the members of the NWA in an increasingly destructive and frantic series of gun fights. Confronted by their colleagues, who are quickly persuaded of the truth, Angel and Danny take the battle to the supermarket. Skinner and Inspector Butterman flee, and are pursued by Angel and Danny to a nearby miniature park. There both Skinner and Inspector Butterman are apprehended.

Angel’s former superiors arrive from London begging him to return, as their crime rate has risen heavily, but Angel chooses to remain in Sandford. Back at the police station, the officers are ambushed by Tom Weaver (Edward Woodward), the last remaining member of the NWA. He attempts to shoot Angel but Danny jumps in the way and takes the bullets himself. In the resulting chaos, the confiscated sea mine is triggered and the station is destroyed.

One year later, Angel lays flowers on a grave marked ‘Butterman’; it is revealed that Danny has survived and the grave is his mother’s. Angel has been promoted to Inspector as the new head of the Sandford Police Service and Danny to Sergeant, and they go back on the beat together in Sandford.

REVIEW:

British comedy sometimes gets lost on me, but this film was quite entertaining and funny. I’ve come to the realization that I really like satirical parody type films.

The acting in this film is pretty good. Obviously, you shouldn’t go into this expecting some sort of Oscar winning performance. If you do, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

The murder scenes are a bit over the top, but they work for this type of film.

The action scenes are awesome and leave you wanting more.

I wasn’t really expecting to see this film, but now that I have, I’m glad I did. Granted, its far from being the best film in the world, but it is pretty good. I recommend it to you all!

4 out of 5 stars