action, animation, drama, movie, movie review

June 22nd, 2017 Movie – Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem For The Ishin Patriots

rurouni kenshin

Man, do I miss being able to watch Toonami on Cartoon Network. Back in the day, it was a great way to introduce US audiences to some Japanese anime. Now I had watched various animes before Toonami came around but one show that I was introduced to was Rurouni Kenshin, or Samurai X as it was sometimes called. I really enjoyed this cartoon as it had a great story with a nice mixture of actual historical events adding to the plot. So when I saw that there was a movie I decided to buy it since I enjoyed the anime so much. So let’s see if the feature film holds up to the anime as I watch today’s movie, Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem For The Ishin Patriots.

The plot: In the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, a group of swordsman attack a house but the end up being killed by Himura Kenshin, the Hitokiri Battosai or Manslayer. 12 year later, during the Meiji Era, Kenshin has long since given up killing people, choosing to carry a reverse blade sword instead. Kenshin travels to Yokohama with his friends Kamiya Kaoru, Sagara Sanosuke, and Myojin Yahiko to Yokohama to see the influx of Western culture and architecture that has occurred in the city since the borders have been opened. As they wander around the city, they come across some drunken Western sailors harassing a woman but as they are watching, they see a swordsman, step in and rescue the woman, then slice up the weapons the sailors attempt to use on him. When some more sailors go join the fight, Kenshin deals with one of them who attempts to bring a rifle into the fight, but his actions are noticed by the swordsman. When the police show up, Kenshin and the swordsman leave the area, while Sanosuke tricks the sailors into fighting the police, then makes his own escape. Later, Kenshin and the swordsman are talking and when the swordsman introduces himself as Shigure Takimi, Kenshin seems to recognize the name. As he leaves, Kenshin encounters Hajime Saito, a former rival during the war who is now a police officer, who warns Kenshin to stay away from Takimi, as Saito believes he is up to something. As Kenshin rejoins his friends, a group of men attack the British embassy, killing all of the guards there while using explosives to torch the building, then quickly leave as reinforcements, led by Captain Tomono, arrive to try and capture them. Some time later, in Tokyo, Takimi is at his home with Toki, the girl that the sailors were harassing, and the are kneeling before a memorial for Toki’s brother, who was killed during the war. When the man that led the attack on the British embassy arrives, Toki leaves as the man tells Takimi that the British ambassador has changed his plans and will be arriving in Tokyo earlier but he should be ready and wants Takimi to lead the attack. Takimi says he was planning on it as he wants to make up for the decision that cost his friend his life. In flashback, it is revealed that Takimi was one of the leaders of the Izu clan and when they were planning to attack some targets during the war, he chose to split up their forces but when he realized the location he went to was wrong, he raced to the other location to help his friend but got there just in time to see Kenshin kill him. When Takimi leaves with the man, Toki goes to see Kenshin and ask that he talk to Takimi, as Takimi speaks highly of him. When Yahiko walks Toki back home, he meets Takimi and is introduced to Musashino, a young man whose father was in the same samurai clan as Yahiko’s father and the two become friends. The next day, Sanosuke visits his friend and learns that Takimi might be planning a revolt, while Saito’s spy is killed by Takimi’s men. Yahiko had followed Musashino and overhears Takimi telling the assembled men his plans and when he is captured, he asks Takimi to let him join them. Meanwhile, Kenshin and Sanosuke arrive at Takimi’s house but before they can enter, Toki opens the door and, seeing Kenshin, she hands him a note that Takimi left her. When Kaoru arrives and says that Yahiko is missing, the four search the city for Yahiko and Takimi. Takimi leads his men to the dock and they head out in some small boats but Takimi knocks Yahiko unconscious, as he feels Yahiko is too young and he doesn’t want to have one of Kenshin’s friends killed. Elsewhere, the man that led the attack on the embassy in Yokohama secretly meets with Tomono and it is revealed that they are working together to discredit the commander of the Japanese army, so Tomono can take his place, and frame Takimi for everything. After searching all night, Kenshin and the others finally come across Yahiko and Kaoru slaps him before hugging him and saying she is glad he is ok. When Kenshin asks if Yahiko knows what Takimi is planning, Yahiko says they said something about a foreign visitor and Kenshin realizes they plan to attack the ambassador, who will be part of a parade in his honor. As the parade commences, Saito is keeping watch as he also believes the rebels would attack during the parade. As the ambassador reaches the embassy, the rebels attack with cannons, killing several of the guards before charging in to attack the remaining guards. When Takimi goes to kill the ambassador, Kenshin stops him and the two begin fighting, while Sanosuke deals with the other rebels and Saito takes out the cannons. Tomono, seeing his plan falling apart, orders his men to start shooting and ends up killing several of the rebels, including Musashino when he shields Takimi, and Takimi and the others escape. When Kaoru, Toki, and Yahiko arrive at the scene, Yahiko discovers the body of Musashino and cries for his friend while Kenshin stands amidst the bodies and recalls what brought him to give up killing people. When the location of Takimi and the rebels is discovered, Kenshin approaches the commander and asks that he be allowed to go in and talk to Takimi, in order to try and arrange a peaceful end to the fighting. Tomono doesn’t like it but the commander overrules him and allows Kenshin to proceed. Kenshin and Sanosuke head to the rebel’s hideout and after Sanosuke has a brief fight with some of the rebels, Kenshin gets his audience with Takimi. Kenshin tries to get Takimi to surrender but Takimi refuses, saying he doesn’t blame Kenshin for his friend’s death but does blame him for what the government has done since then. The two men start fighting and Takimi appears to have the upperhand, saying he had memorized Kenshin’s fighting style since he first saw it years ago. Kenshin is finally able to defeat Takimi but when Takimi tries to continue fighting, Toki runs up and embraces Takimi and begs him to stop fighting. Takimi agrees to give himself up but before he can, Tomono and some of his men appear and begin firing into the crowd of rebels. Several of them are killed, including Takimi as he tries to shield Toki but before anyone else can be killed. Kenshin renders Tomono unconscious. The commander orders his men to stand down and tend to the wounded while on a hill overlooking the hideout, Saito confronts the man that was working with Tomono and kills him. Some time later, Kenshin goes to see Toki and he admits to her that he killed her brother. Toki accepts Kenshin’s apology and says she plans on taking some of Takimi’s things and burying them next to her brother, and says that she hopes to see Kenshin and the others again.

This was a pretty good movie all in all. I was disappointed that they did not get the same American voice actors from the TV anime to do the movie but I thought the voices for Kenshin and Kaoru were pretty good but Sanosuke and Yahiko’s voices were annoying. The story was good, using a recurring theme from the TV show of former samurai and other people dissatisfied with the current government trying to make changes and Kenshin and his friends trying to stop anyone from getting hurt or killed. The animation was very well done and had a mixture of dark and light tones and colors that did it’s own part in setting the tone as effectively as the story itself. If you are a fan of the anime or martial arts movies, you will probably enjoy this movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

action, adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

June 21st, 2017 Movie – The Rundown

the rundown

Folks, have you ever wanted to go out to the movies with your significant other but couldn’t agree on what movie to see? Well, allow me to introduce you to how my ex-wife and I used to solve this problem back when we were married. First, each of you pick  two movies that you want to see. If both of you pick the same movie then obviously, you go see that movie. However, if you both pick two different movies, then you look up the reviews for those movies on Rotten Tomatoes and whoever’s picks have the highest combined rating, then that person wins but the loser picks which of the two movies you go watch. If you are wondering why I am bringing this up, that is because the first time we did this, I wound up winning so we went to go see today’s movie, The Rundown.

The plot: A “retrieval expert” named Beck is in his car listening to a cooking show on the radio until his associate yells for him to come into the club. As his associate points out the man Beck is there to collect from, a professional quarterback named Knappmiller, Beck notices that he has his team’s offensive line with him. Beck goes down and tries talking to Knappmiller, telling him he needs his championship ring as collateral but Knappmiller throws some drinks in Beck’s face and tells him to leave. After heading to the restroom to clean up, Beck calls his boss, Billy Walker, and asks to do it another night as he doesn’t want to hurt the other football players but Billy demands he get the ring so Beck heads back out to the club and proceeds to beat down the other players before grabbing Knappmiller and taking the ring from him. As Billy heads out to his car, he is shot by a man with a bean bag, who then grabs the ring from him. Beck heads to Billy’s house, upset that he sent another retriever to steal from him and demands his money. Beck tells Billy he wants out, as he plans to open a restaurant, and Billy says he will give him one last job and if he complete is, he will walk out a free man and with the money for his restaurant. Billy hands Beck a folder and tells him to bring his son Travis back from a mining town in Brazil and his slate will be wiped clean. Beck heads down to the Amazon and is driven to the mining town by Declan, who explains the dangers in the area. In the town, Declan takes Beck to see Hatcher, the man who runs the town, and Beck asks Hatcher if he has seen Travis and Hatcher says he allowed him to do some excavating around the mine, then gets curious as to why Beck is there. Meanwhile, Travis is at the town’s bar, trying to flatter the bartender Mariana into letting her borrow her uncle’s boat so he can find a priceless artifact called El Gato do Diablo. Leaving Hatcher’s office, Beck borrows Declan’s jeep, telling Declan to head back to the airfield and get the plane ready to fly out. Beck heads to the bar and confronts Travis, who tries to resist when Beck says he is taking him back to his father, but Beck easily overpowers him. As they are about to leave, Hatcher and his men enter the bar and Hatcher tells Beck that Travis is staying, as he wants Travis to lead him to El Gato. Beck manages to beat several of Hatcher’s men and then get into the jeep with Travis and drive off but Travis, refusing to go back to his father, kicks the steering wheel and causes them to crash off a cliff.  After tumbling down the cliff and falling into a lake, Travis tries to get away but Beck captures him again and they start walking through the jungle. When Travis notices a rebel snare, he tricks Beck into triggering it and Beck finds himself dangling from a tree. Travis is able to grab the key that falls from Beck’s pocket and free himself from the handcuffs but as he taunts Beck, he accidentally triggers another snare and ends up hanging next to Beck. The two try to work together to free themselves but as they cling to a tree, a group of monkeys appear and attempt to hump them but are quickly chased off by the rebels. Beck and Travis are taken to the rebel camp and Travis speaks with the rebels and tricks them into thinking Beck is an assassin sent by Hatcher. The rebels release Beck so that they can fight him but Beck is able to mount a comeback and almost gets the upper hand. Suddenly, Mariana appears and stops the fight, revealing herself to be the rebel leader. That night, Mariana explains to Beck why she is leading the rebels to stop Hatcher’s exploitation of the workers and why she needs Travis to find El Gato. Suddenly, Hatcher’s men show up and attack the camp, killing most of the rebels and capturing the others but Beck, Travis, and Mariana manage to escape. As they travel down the river, Beck agrees to help Travis find El Gato so Mariana can sell it as long as she tells him how to get out of the jungle, though Travis isn’t happy about the deal. Travis leads them into the jungle towards a waterfall, which they swim under to find a hidden cave. Inside the cave, they find a series of booby traps but Travis is able to figure them out and grabs the statue before the roof collapses. As they make camp for the night, Mariana feeds Beck and Travis some Konlobos, which temporarily paralyzes them, and she thanks Travis for finding the statue, then tells Beck that he kept his word so she will keep hers and tells him how to get to the airfield. Beck and Travis recover from the paralysis in the morning, just in time to scare away some monkeys that had approached them, and make their way to the airfield. When they reach it, Beck is in a hurry to leave, as he doesn’t want to run into Hatcher or his men, but Declan says that Hatcher doesn’t care about them as he captured Mariana and took the statue from her earlier in the morning. Beck plans on going back to save Mariana but Travis says he will die if he goes in on his own and convinces Beck to let him help. Declan heads into town playing a set of bagpipes, which serves as a distraction as Beck and Travis make their way into town and start taking out Hatcher’s men. When Travis ends up pinned down by gunfire in a bus, Beck, who has avoided using guns before, finds himself forced to use guns to kill Hatcher’s men and save Travis. Hatcher tells his brother to take Mariana and the statue and head to the airfield but Travis crashes a car into them, saving Mariana and grabbing the statue. Beck finally beats the rest of Hatcher’s men, then shoots Hatcher’s gun out of his hand before he can shoot him but Travis uses the opportunity to disappear. As the town folk surround Hatcher, he yells that they would be nothing without him but he ends up being shot by them. Beck releases Mariana and they are surprised to see Travis has returned and hands the statue to Mariana to sell. Beck takes Travis back to L.A., and walks Travis into Billy’s house and asks if they are square. Billy says they are good and Beck tells him they should celebrate by having some Konlobos. After handing the fruit to Billy and his bodyguards, the three men fall victim to the paralysis and Beck frees Travis and they leave the house, with Travis jokingly messing with Beck the entire time.

The Rundown met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Rundown doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott.” The film’s original title was called “Helldorado”, and then changed to “Welcome To The Jungle” before eventually changing to the final title, and references to the previous titles can be found throughout the film. The Arnold Schwazeneggar cameo had many people feeling like it was a metaphorical passing of the torch to the next generation of action stars. Despite the critical praise, the movie failed at the box office, earning $80.9 million off of a $85 million budget.

This is a great movie to watch. Dwayne Johnson (Beck) used his time in the WWE to create a great blend of action and comedy in the movie. Seann William Scott (Travis) tried to break out of the “Stifler” stereotype somewhat and the dynamic between him and Johnson was a good bit of adversarial camaraderie, while Rosario Dawson (Mariana) and Christopher Walken (Hatcher) both were fantastic as well. The story was a pretty interesting mix of treasure hunting and bounty hunting that worked very well together. The comedy aspects of the film were a little juvenile, or adult depending on how you look at it, but they did work as effective tension breakers to keep the movie from becoming too overly serious. The special effects were ok but the fight scenes were definitely well done, especially the fight between Dwayne Johnson and Ernie Reyes Jr. (of The Last Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame). An entertaining movie that is worth watching any time you get the chance to watch it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

action, adventure, animation, movie, movie review

June 15th, 2017 Movie – The Lego Batman Movie

the lego batman movie

Who would have thought that one of the biggest movies to come out of 2014 would involve everyone’s favorite building blocks, or landmine for bare feet depending on your point view. Yes, The Lego Movie was a massive family hit so of course, a sequel was bound to come out. Today’s movie is a spin off of The Lego Movie, though the only  real reference is Batman talking about being a Master Builder. Still, the Lego Batman games are tons of fun to play and since this is a movie involving Legos and Batman, it is bound to be entertaining. So lets see how good it is as I watch today’s movie, The Lego Batman Movie.

The plot: As a plane full of explosives flies over Gotham, Joker and his men board the plane and plan on hijacking it as part of his master scheme. When one of the pilots says that Batman will stop him, Joker explains that he has gathered every villain in Gotham to help with his plan and he has taken out the Bat-Signal, so Commissioner Gordon has no way to contact Batman. Joker meets up with the rest of the villains and uses the explosives to fashion a giant bomb, which they attach to the base of Gotham City Power’s generator, and threatens to blow it up unless the mayor surrenders the city in 5 minutes. Faced with the threat of the explosion destroying the plates that Gotham sits on, sending the city plummeting into the dark abyss, the mayor agrees to meet with Joker but when she gets there, she reveals herself to really be Batman in disguise. Batman begins taking out all of the villains until only Joker is left but as Batman attempts to capture him, Joker says Batman can either capture his greatest enemy or save the city but he can’t do both. Batman tells Joker that he isn’t his greatest enemy, then lets him go so he can make it down to the bomb and disarm it. As the citizens all celebrate Batman saving them, Batman swings by the orphanage to make the orphans happy before heading home. Once he reaches Wayne Manor, Batman pretends to be ok with his life but Alfred calls him out and says that he is afraid of being a part of family but Batman dismisses the idea. Elsewhere, Joker is depressed about Batman not thinking he is his greatest enemy and complaining about how he doesn’t have any competent villains to work with. When he sees an interview with Superman, who had just sent General Zod to the Phantom Zone, he gets an idea. Bruce Wayne attends the retirement gala for Commissioner Gordon and while he is there, he is questioned by Dick Grayson, one of the orphans performing at the ceremony, on how to get adopted. When he sees Barbara Gordon, the new Commissioner, Bruce becomes infatuated and absent-mindedly agrees to adopt Dick. During her speech, Barbara begins telling people that they relied on Batman to stop crime but Gotham is still the most crime-ridden city in the world so she has a plan to take some of Batman’s idea’s and use them in the police force to make them more effective at stopping crime so that they won’t need Batman anymore. Bruce is upset at hearing that but suddenly, Joker and the other villains crash the gala. Bruce slips away and changes into Batman, then builds a robot suit to take on the Joker, getting in the way of Barbara as she starts to lead an assault on the villains, but Joker surprises both of them when he surrenders, and captures the other villains as well. The citizens celebrate the end of crime but Batman, not knowing what to do with his life now, spends days keeping watch on Joker in Arkham. Barbara tries talking to Batman, saying she knows he is up to something as well and that they should work together to stop him, but Batman says Joker is to dangerous to allow free and decides to send Joker into the Phantom Zone. When Batman returns to the Batcave, he finds that Alfred has locked him out of the computer and tells him that he needs to spend time raising his adopted son, which Batman had completely forgotten about. Alfred then allows Dick into the Batcave and he is shocked to learn that Batman lives underneath Wayne Manor. Batman regains access to the computer but finds he is too big to reach the Phantom Zone projector but when he realizes that Dick will fit, he decides to take him with him and allows him to wear one of his old costumes. Batman and Dick make their way to the Fortress of Solitude and Batman plans on distracting Superman while Robin sneaks in and grabs the projector. As Robin sneaks inside, Batman rings the door and when Superman answers it, Batman discovers that they were holding the Justice League Anniversary Party without him. As all of the other heroes are busy having fun, Batman sneaks away and guides Robin through the defenses so he can steal the projector. They then head to Arkham but Barbara catches them as they try to sneak the projector into the asylum. Batman and Robin fight off the guards and make their way to Joker’s cell, where Batman uses the projector on Joker to send him to the Phantom Zone. As Batman celebrates, Barbara locks him and Robin in the cells and says Batman probably gave Joker exactly what he wanted. Inside the Phantom Zone, Joker is met by Phyllis, the Phantom Zone’s warden, who tells him where the other villains are. Joker convinces the other villains to help him but they asks how he is going to get them out of there. Back in Gotham, Harley, who was in disguise, gets the projector and releases all of the villains from the Phantom Zone, including Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, the Daleks, and the Gremlins. As the villains attack Gotham, Joker learns that Bruce Wayne is Batman and heads to the Batcave and transforms Wayne Manor into Joker Manor. Barbara releases Batman and Robin, saying they need to work together to save Gotham and, joined by Alfred, they work to build a Bat-plane and head towards the manor. Along the way, they are attacked by Gremlins and Batman tries fending them off on his own but Alfred and Robin proceed to help. When Robin and Alfred find themselves in trouble, Batman manages to save Robin but can’t save Alfred, so Barbara pilots the Bat-plane to save him. Batman comes up with a plan and they work together to take out Sauron but as they celebrate, Batman traps them inside the plane and orders the computer to take them out of the city while he continues on alone. When he reaches the Manor, he is confronted by Joker and the other villains and after Batman refuses to call Joker his greatest enemy, Joker sends him to the Phantom Zone, then grabs all of the bombs in the Batcave so they can blow up Gotham. In the Phantom Zone, Phyllis greets Batman and examines him to determine if he is a bad guy and Batman sees how he treated everyone. When he sees that Barbara, Alfred, and Dick had gone back to help him, Batman begs Phyllis to let him go back and save them and when she wavers, he asks for 24 hours to get all of the bad guys back to the Phantom Zone. Phyllis agrees and Batman is able to save his friends, then apologizes for how he acted. He admits that he was scared and says that he needs their help, and he has released the other Gotham villains, who Joker left in Arkham, to help as well. Batman gives Barbara her own suit so she can become Batgirl, and they work out a plan to defeat the Joker. Working together with Gotham’s villains, they grab the projector and start sending all of the villains to the Phantom Zone but the bombs detonate, splitting the plates underneath the city. Batman tries to get everyone to help pull the plates back together but he is unable to do so at first and Joker mocks him. Batman tells Joker that he is the reason that he puts on the suit and Joker, happy to hear Batman admit he is his greatest enemy, helps Batman save Gotham. As the city rejoices, Batman tells Robin that he has to return to the Phantom Zone and after revealing to Robin that he is really Bruce Wayne, he hugs Robin goodbye before heading towards the Phantom Zone. Batman finds himself rejected and Phyllis explains that he changed in order to save everyone, thus making him a good guy. Joker and the other Gotham villains leave and Barbara asks if they are really going to let them leave but Batman says that they will give them a 30 minute head start as the villains are no match for the 4 of them.

The Lego Batman Movie met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise’s winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny — and beautifully animated — family-friendly mayhem.” The movie referenced previous appearances of Batman in both live action and animated films and TV, which was honestly pretty funny, as well as several other film and TV franchises (mostly through their villains). The movie was a box office success, earning $310.9 million off of a $80 million budget.

This wasn’t quite what I expected but this was still a really funny movie to watch. The voice acting was really good, with Will Arnett doing a great job reprising his role as Batman, while Zach Galifianakis (Joker), Michael Cera (Robin), and Rosario Dawson (Barbara) were equally good. The story was a lot better than I thought it would be, as I honestly thought they might just do a full length version of one of the games, and did something that pretty much no other Batman movie has done before; actually give him some character development. The animation was really good and really liked how they mixture of real life and animation, mainly when Batman is watching relationship movies or when they are referencing “that weird phase in the 1966” and I personally found it hilarious that they used the Condiment King in the movie, as that was one of my favorite nonsense villains from the Animated Series. A fun, silly movie to watch no matter how old you are.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5


action, crime, movie, movie review, thriller

June 14th, 2017 Movie – John Wick: Chapter 2

john wick 2

Ahhh, the pre-order gift. You know, when you pre-order a movie and forget when it is going to be released. Then you come home to find a package in the mail that contains your movie, but you never receive the email that it was delivered so it comes as a complete surprise. That is pretty much what happened regarding today’s movie, which I immediately went ahead and pre-ordered after seeing it in theaters. So let’s see how bad of a day our favorite assassin is having as I watch John Wick: Chapter 2.

The plot: A few days after the events of the first movie, John Wick is chasing down a man on a motorcycle and eventually catches him when the man crashes into the car John is driving. Searching the body, John retrieves a card with a distinct emblem on it, then leaves the body in the road and heads towards the Russian chop shop that has his car, which happens to be owned by Viggo Tarasov’s brother Abram. After taking out some of the guards, John finds his car and attempts to drive out of there but the remaining guards proceed to crash into his car. John manages to kill or cripple the guards, then heads up to Abram’s office and declare a truce, which Abram accepts, and John drives his wrecked car home. The next day, John’s friend Aurelio shows up and takes John’s car to his shop to be repaired while John heads down to his basement and reburies the weapons and clothing he used as an assassin. Hearing his doorbell ring, John answers it to find Santino D’Antonio outside, who asks if he can come in. John invites him in and as the two men talk, it is revealed that Santino had helped John with his impossible task that allowed him to stop being an assassin. Showing the blood oath marker that John swore to, Santino tells John he needs his help but John refuses to accept the marker, saying he can’t help as he is retired. Santino leaves but grabs a grenade launcher from his car and proceeds to use it to blow up John’s house, but John and his new dog survive. The two head to The Continental in New York City, where John meets with Winston and Winston explains that there are two rules that cannot be broken; no business can be conducted on Continental ground and all markers must be honored. Realizing he has no choice, John asks if they can board his dog and the concierge, Charon, says they don’t but he would be willing to take care of him so John leaves his dog with him. John heads to a museum to meet with Santino and Santino explains that he wants John to kill his sister Gianna, as he wants her seat on the High Table. John heads to Rome and checks into the Continental there, then heads out to get weapons, plans, and a new suit made, not noticing Santino’s bodyguard Ares watching him from a distance. After he is ready, John heads to the party that Gianna is hosting and manages to make it to her private room. Confronting her, John tells her that he is only there because of the marker that Santino holds on him and she chooses to slit her wrist and kill herself. John holds her hand as she dies, then shoots her in the head before leaving the room. As he heads towards his escape route, John runs into Cassian, another hitman that serves as Gianna’s head bodyguard, and after John confirms that he just finished a job, Cassian attempts to shoot John, then orders his men after him while he checks on Gianna. John manages to fight his way through the guards and make it to his escape route in the catacombs, where he encounters Ares and some of Santino’s men, who are there to kill John and tie up loose ends. John manages to kill most of the men and makes it back onto the streets, where Cassian catches up to him and the two renew their fight until the eventually crash through a skylight of the Continental. Unable to continue with the fight, John and Cassian head to the bar for a drink and John explains that he was only there because of the marker Santino had on him. Cassian says he understands but still plans to avenge Gianna’s death before he leaves and as John heads to his room, he sees Ares, who signs that she will be the one to kill John. Under the pretense of avenging his sister’s death, Santino puts a $7 million bounty on John’s head and has it sent out to every hitman in New York. Meanwhile, Winston approaches Santino and demands he list John’s marker as being fulfilled, then warns him that John will be coming after him for dragging him back into this world. When John arrives back in New York, he is attacked by several assassins and manages to kill them all but ends up shot in the gut. As he continues making his way towards the Continental, he encounters Cassian and the two begin shooting at each other. They eventually make it onto a subway car, where they begin fighting with knives in the car, and John finally stabs Cassian in the chest, telling him if he pulls the blade out he will bleed out, then leaves him alive as a professional courtesy. As he heads out of the subway, he sees two more hitmen approaching him and makes a run for it until he sees a homeless man panhandling. John approaches the man, drops a gold coin in his cup, and tells the man to take him to “Him”, then he hides beneath the junk the man has. The homeless man covers John some more, then kills the two hitmen before he and some of his associates take the bodies and John away. John wakes up to find his wounds tended too and is taken to the rooftop to meet with the Bowery King, a man that John had encountered once and had given a choice on if he wanted to live or die. John convinces the Bowery King to help him by saying Santino will end up starting a war and if the Bowery King kills him, the other members of the High Table will come after him and his people but if John kills him, they will only come after him. The Bowery King gives him a gun and 7 rounds, 1 round for each million of the bounty, and has one of his men guide him through the underground to the museum where Santino is. When John gets there, he attempts to kill Santino but his men manage to get him out of the room while other bodyguards try to stop John. As John begins killing Santino’s guards, Ares shows up with some more men and helps get Santino away, then stays to try and kill John but John manages to kill the rest of the guards and finally Ares. Santino makes his way to the Continental and demands that Winston revoke John’s membership but Winston tells Santino that he has no authority to make that decision. When John arrives at the hotel, Winston tries to appeal to John to walk away but Santino taunts John and John ends up shooting him. After collecting his dog from Charon, John returns to the burnt out remains of his home for the night but the next day, Charon is there to escort him to see Winston. Winston meets with John and tells him that the High Table has now doubled the bounty on his head and sent the order out globally. When John asks about the Continental, Winston tells him that since John killed Santino there, he has no choice but to render John excommunicado and says that the services and amenities will no longer be open to him. Winston tells John that he will delay the order one hour, then hands him a marker for a possible future use. John tells Winston to tell them that whoever comes for him, he will kill them all, then leaves, with his dog running alongside.

John Wick: Chapter 2 met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is “John Wick: Chapter 2 does what a sequel should — which in this case means doubling down on the non-stop, thrillingly choreographed action that made its predecessor so much fun.” This movie is the first time that Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne worked together since The Matrix trilogy and there were several references to the series within the movie. The movie was a box office success, earning $166.8 million off of a $40 million budget and a third movie to finish the trilogy was announced.

This is such an awesome movie. The acting was really good, with Keanu Reeves (John) doing a great job in their roles while Ian McShane (Winston), Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King), and Common (Cassian) doing a good job in their supporting roles. The story was really good, picking up where the first movie ended and then showing the repercussions for John’s actions against Viggo and Iosef Tarasov. The fight scenes were very well done and did a great job of continuing the whole “gun fu” technique that John would use during his fights. A great movie that continues telling a great story and gets you totally geared up for the final movie.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

action, comedy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 6th, 2017 Movie – Roboshark


Ahh, you got to love Sharknado Week on Syfy. That’s because every year you will get a couple of new Shark-themed movies debuting that week. Today’s movie is one that debuted a few years ago during the 3rd Sharknado movie. Now while most of the shark B-movies tend to try and be serious in either the sci-fi or horror aspects, this movie chose to play up the ridiculous aspect of the movie. Whether this was a good idea or not is up for you to decide as I watch today’s movie, Roboshark.

The plot: An alien spaceship is studying the solar system when it sends out a probe to get more data on Earth. The probe falls into the ocean, where it ends up being swallowed by a great white shark, and the probe fuses with the shark, turning it into a robotic shark. After the roboshark sinks a submarine, Admiral Black gets word of what happened and figures the roboshark is heading towards Seattle and makes plans to capture or destroy it there. In Seattle, Trish, the weather  for a local TV network, is getting ready to leave for the day when she sees a video on her daughter Melody’s phone about a shark that attacks and crashes a puddle jumper plane. Getting in the news van that is there to pick her up, she complains to her soundtech Louie and cameraman Eric about how she has been relegated to fluff pieces ever since she made a mistake on a story but when she sees the Navy setting up a camp in the park, she decides to ditch her assigned story and cover what is happening there. As they start to set up outside the park, their boss calls and Trish tries to explain what they are doing but he hangs up on them the second Trish says it could have something to do with the shark in the video. As Louie and Erik go to get some coffee across the street, Trish calls her husband Rick to complain about what happened but Rick, who works for Water and Sewer, is dealing with an issue with several of their pipes, which is due to Roboshark burrowing into the pipes to travel through the city. After hanging up with Rick, Trish sees the Navy retrieving some of the plane debris from the video and quickly gets some of it on video then heads the coffee shop to tell the others. Before she gets there, roboshark emerges from the pipes in the floor of the store, which causes an explosion, then kills the owner and a customer, who managed to upload video of roboshark via his GoPro, before disappearing back into the ground. After Trish is checked out by emergency workers, she tries to get Louie and Eric only to find that they have been reassigned to Veronica, the snobbish head reporter for their station. When Trish tries to explain what happened to the fire chief, he recognizes her as “the wacky weathergirl” and dismisses her statement. Rick calls Trish to check on her, having seen her on the TV, and tells her that whatever is in the pipes is heading to the sewage treatment plant and Trish gets in the news van and heads there, with Louie going with her. Rick calls the plant to warn them about something heading towards them but the manager dismisses his concerns, but then asks if there is any pressure buildup and is told there is. Suddenly, there is a rumbling in the pipes and the manager orders everyone out of there just as a sewage tank explodes and as the manager watches, roboshark appears and kills him. Trish and Louis arrive and start to get ready to report the story but are told by their boss to back off and wait for Veronica, who arrives shortly afterwards. Trish is dejected until she receives a text from Melody, showing her the video of roboshark from the GoPro and Trish calls Louie over to show her. Melody says she is going to meet up with Trish, despite Trish telling her to stay in school. Trish calls Rick to try and find out where roboshark is heading next but he can’t tell her as the Navy shows up and takes over the building, enlisting Rick to help them track roboshark. Back at the treatment plant, Melody shows up and, after learning that they were able to track roboshark through the water system, she uses social media to track water outages and tells them something is happening at the mall so they head there. At the mall, roboshark breaks through the floor, causing a panic, and the Navy shows up to try and kill it but they are killed instead. Trish, Louie, and Melody arrive at the mall and manage to get footage of roboshark killing some of the Navy men and quickly leave so they are not killed themselves. Trish tries to reach her boss so they can air the footage but when she is unable to reach him, she decides to have Melody and Louie help her put it online. The video becomes a viral hit, and the three keep trying to prove to people that it is not fake. Rick calls them and is upset that Trish has Melody with her but he ends up getting cut off by the Navy. Melody remote accesses Rick’s computer so they can listen in as Admiral Black explains what is going on. Suddenly, Black receives a phone call and is told to suspend his operations as Bill Glates is going to take over and try to communicate with roboshark. Rick is able to track where roboshark is headed and informs Bill Glates, but then notices that his remote has been remotely accessed. Rick calls Trish to confront her about this and learns that they are at the park where Bill Glates is attempting to communicate with roboshark and they get footage of roboshark killing Bill Glates. Back at Rick’s office, Black asks Rick where roboshark is heading next and Rick yells out that it is heading towards a high school, knowing that Trish and the others will be able to hear him. When they learn that the Navy isn’t going to evacuate the school, Melody uses Twitter to spread the word. When they get there, they manage to clear everyone out of the pool area just as roboshark appears in the pool, swallowing someone’s phone in the process. Melody discovers that roboshark has started following her on Twitter and sends it a DM to not hurt them, causing roboshark to spare a man that had been knocked into the pool. Roboshark then attempts to communicate with Melody and actually allows her to touch it when the Navy shows up and begins firing on roboshark, causing Trish, Melody, and Louie to take cover so they aren’t hit. Roboshark is apparently killed and Black orders divers sent into the pool to confirm the kill. Outside the school, Melody gets a message from roboshark that it is still alive and they send the message to Rick, who tries to warn Black. Back in the pool, roboshark comes back online and uses some hidden weapons to kill the divers before diving back into the pipes. Black asks Rick where it might be heading and he guesses that, due to the direction it had been travelling, it is heading for the Space Needle. Back at the school, Veronica and Eric arrive and Veronica, upset that Trish had scooped her on the story, tries to take the footage they shot but Melody threatens the tell her almost 1 million Twitter followers that Veronica stole the footage, as well as some other things that Veronica would rather keep private, and Veronica decides to leave them alone. Trish and the others head to the Space Needle and discover roboshark in an underground cover underneath the Space Needle trying to contact it’s mothership. Inside the Space Needle, Black plans on destroying roboshark but Rick, showing them the live footage of Melody communicating with roboshark, blackmails him into saving them first. The Navy drags Trish and the others out of the cavern and then begins firing on roboshark but it gets away and starts killing off the soldiers. When it reaches the surface, the Navy fires Sabot rounds to damage it but roboshark leaps into the air and knocks out the plane before crashing to the ground, while the wreckage of the plane crashes into the Space Needle, seriously damaging it. Seeing that roboshark is still alive, Black orders a nearby battleship to target the damaged section of the Space Needle in order to drop the top of the tower on roboshark, then tells Rick and Commander Xavier to leave as he plans to ride the needle down. Meanwhile, Veronica shows up and is still upset about being scooped so she grabs the camera from Eric and heads closer to get footage of roboshark but she ends up being killed as the Needle falls on roboshark, smashing him to pieces. As Rick rushes to them and embraces Trish and Melody, the Navy works on cleaning up all of the pieces of roboshark but as a woman walks her chihuahua, it’s eyes flash red just like roboshark’s had.

This is a rather silly and funny movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Alexis Petermen (Trish), Vanessa Grasse (Melody) and Isaac Haig (Louie) doing good jobs in their roles while Matt Rippy (Rick) and Nigel Barber (Black) were great with their over-dramatic portrayal of their characters. The plot was pretty silly and was a mashup of parodying some classic sci-fi and comedy movies, including Dr. Strangelove and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind , while also poking fun at people’s love for social media. I also thought it was funny that the movie kept making fun of itself, referencing the silly movies that would be on Syfy. The special effects were a little on the weak side but that actually helped as this movie was going more for comedy than scares. Not the best shark movie to debut on Syfy, but it is worth watching if you feel like some laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

action, horror, martial arts, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 4th, 2017 Movie – Robo Vampire

robo vampire

Ahh, my favorite bit of false advertising when it comes to movies. Take a look at the poster for this movie. Pretty awesome, right. I mean, you have Robocop holding some guy in a headlock while firing a machine gun. What’s not to like about that. Well, when I finally got a chance to watch it, man was I in for a disappointment. See for yourself.robo vampire suit
See, this is what you wind up getting in the movie. Definitely a bit of a disappointment, but let’s see if the rest of today’ movie is just as disappointing as I watch Robo Vampire.

The plot: Two soldiers are leading their prisoner through am old graveyard when one of them trips and accidentally knock open a casket covered in holy seals. As the soldier starts to get up, a hand reaches up out of the crypt and a vampire attacks and kills him, then kills the second soldier as he is struggling with the prisoner. Elsewhere, some drug smugglers are bringing in some drugs when they are confronted by an anti drug unit and forced to flee. At his headquarters, Cole, the boss of the drug operation, is yelling at his henchmen about Agent Tom Wilde and his Anti-Drug force. He tells them that he has hired someone to train vampires to kill Tom, and find a new way to smuggle their heroin. At a temple, two men, Tony and Ken, are stuffing packets of drugs into coffins when the vampires inside the coffins wake up and start attacking them. The doctor that is training the vampires manages to rescue Tony and Ken, using wards to subdue the vampires, and afterwards, examines the drugs and finds that they are actually rice powder and says that Boss Cole will punish them. As Cole informs his workers about the new way they will be smuggling their drugs, a woman is shown cutting open a cow’s stomach and placing drugs inside before sealing it closed. As the doctor is creating another vampire beast for two of Cole’s men, he is attacked by a ghost, who is seeking vengeance on him for turning her love into a vampire beast. As the ghost gets the upper hand over the doctor, the doctor wakes the vampire beast and has him fight the ghost but he stops when the ghost is able to get him to recognize her. As the doctor grows upset, one of Cole’s men suggests giving them the wedding that the two lovers were denied in life and the doctor agrees to do this provided that both the ghost and vampire agree to do his bidding and the ghost accepts. The next day, Tom gets a tip from a double agent named Sophie about a drug run and he heads out with a team to stop them. Two of Tom’s agents are killed, as are the two bodyguards but the doctor is able to summon two vampires to kill Tom and the remaining agent, then drives away. Tom’s body is recovered and a scientist is given permission to use his body to create an android to continue the drug task force’s operation. Meanwhile, the doctor and Richard, one of Cole’s lieutenants, discuss the fact that they have a traitor in their midst and the doctor suggests killing every drug task force officer the encounter. Cole’s men capture Sophie, who was undercover posing as an assistant to a priest that was a front for the drug smuggling. Worried about Sophie possible being tortured and giving up classified information, the task force hires someone to head to the Golden Triangle and rescue her from Mr. Young, Cole’s partner. Meanwhile, the doctor and Richard continue their operations and when they are stopped by some of the task force, the doctor summons a vampire to deal with them. Suddenly, the android Tom shows up and the doctor and Richard make a run for it as Tom begins fighting the vampire. Meanwhile, the team to rescue Sophie is ambushed by Young’s men but they find themselves rescued by a mercenary named Andy, whom Ray, the team leader, had contacted about joining the mission due to his knowledge of the region and his own reason to take down Cole. Ray, finds one of the men that was holding Sophie hostage and manages to capture him. As he starts to interrogate him, the man’s mocking causes Ray to almost kill him but Andy stops him at the last second. Meanwhile, Tom is continuing to track down Cole and his men when he is attacked by 4 vampires. Tom manages to fight them off only for Cole’s men to blow him up with a bazooka so the scientist is forced to rebuild him. Ray and the team continue searching for Sophie and after an encounter with some of Cole’s men, they find the people of a nearby village had been completely killed off. Elsewhere, the doctor is performing the marriage ceremony for the ghost and vampire and as they are consummating the marriage, Tom shows up. The ghost begs him not to kill them and Tom, spurred on by memories of his own love, chooses to let them live. As he leaves, the ghost and vampire attack him but he is able to fend them off and trap them inside a coffin. Meanwhile, Ray and Andy’s sister, May, had snuck off to be alone and find themselves chased by Young and some of his men. They try to get away but end up being captured and tortured just like Sophie was but one of the worker girls chooses to help them escape. At the same time, Andy leads the rest of the team to rescue them and two members are killed but they are able to free Ray and the others, rescue Sophie, and blow up Young’s base. Cole is complaining about Young’s defeat and asks the doctor to help him re-establish his empire but before they get started, Tom shows up. The doctor summons his vampires and Tom ends up fighting them throughout the city. Meanwhile, the doctor is attacked by the ghost but he manages to kill her. Seeing Tom finishing off the last of his vampires, the doctor summons some more and as Tom fights them, he plans to use his magic to make them stronger but the ghost returns and kills the doctor, allowing Tom to kill the last of the vampires and leave the city.

This is the most confusing, ridiculous movie I have seen in quite a while, and it is absolutely hilarious because of it. The acting was ok but the dubbing was pretty atrocious at times, which really added to the humor of the movie. The funniest part though was how the vampires moved, because they would hold their arms straight out and just hop around to move. I almost literally was rolling on the floor laughing at that. The story was a confusing mess, as it kept switching back and forth between the robo-warrior Tom and Ray’s mission to rescue Sophie. It honestly felt like two separate movies were being smashed together to try an make one full movie but they left out half of the important plot elements. The special effects were about as low budget as you would expect, from the cheap looking robot suit to the fact that you could see some wires for the vampires in some scenes, like when Tom uses his flamethrower to kill a vampire and you see the flames catch the wire holding the dummy on fire. There were also several times where you can blatantly see the dummies being blown up or thrown around which was really funny. Not a great movie by any standards but definitely funny in a bad way and worth watching if you want to laugh at something completely ridiculous.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

action, adventure, drama, movie, movie review

June 3rd, 2017 Movie – Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

robin hood prince of thieves

Out of curiosity, did anyone else get a little sick of hearing Bryan Adams back when this movie came out. Nothing against Bryan Adams but that song was all over the freakin radio back then. So this was one of the biggest action movies to come out of 1991 and the first time I saw it, I fell asleep during it. This doesn’t mean that I thought the movie was boring, I was just super tired and has been up for several days at a time (which I had a bad habit of doing back then). Anyways, I received a VHS copy for Christmas the year it came out and then I eventually decided to get it on DVD a couple of years ago. However, the DVD I got was the extended edition, with some extra footage that focused on the Sheriff and Mortianna’s relationship. So let’s see if the new scenes damage the movie any as I watch Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

The plot: In 1194 A.D., during the Third Crusade led by King Richard, Robin of Locksley and his friend Peter Dubois are both held prisoner in Jerusalem. When Peter is accused of stealing bread, the guards plan on cutting off his hand but Robin insists on taking the punishment himself due to Peter being too weak to handle the trauma. As the guards tie a strap to Robin’s wrist and prepare to cut off his hand, Robin yanks on the strap so that the guard holding him has his hand cut off instead. Robin and Peter kill their executioners and try to free the other prisoners but the only one they are able to free is a Moor named Azeem, who promises to show them a way out. Azeem leads them out through the sewers but a sentry sees them as they exit onto the street and fires an arrow at them, mortally wounding Peter. Peter gives Robin his ring and says to give it to his sister Marian, then makes Robin swear to protect her in his absence, then grabs the scimitar from Azeem and takes on the approaching guards, allowing Robin and Azeem to hide. As the two men quickly eat some food from a nearby shop, Robin offers his thanks and prepares to head back to England and Azeem says that he must travel with Robin, as he now owes a life debt to him. In England, Robin’s father, Lord Locksely, is writing a letter to a friend to see if he has any word of Robin when a man enters the castle and says that his daughter was taken by men on horses. Though his servant, Duncan, tries to stop him, Lord Locksley rides out to rescue the girl, only to find that the man betrayed him as he is surrounded by men in white robes and masks. The leader removes his mask to reveal the face of the Sheriff of Nottingham, who asks Lord Locksley to join him but when he refuses, he has Locksley killed. Some time later, Robin and Azeem arrive on the shores of England and Robin has one of the men on the boat try to attack Azeem in order to cancel the debt but Azeem easily dispatches the man and continues traveling with Robin. As they head towards Robin’s home, Robin notices some men chasing a small boy into the tree and ends up fighting the men and defeating them and their leader, the Guy of Gisborne. After the fight, Robin yells at Azeem, who had not helped Robin as he was in the midst of doing his afternoon prayers, before he questions the boy on the truth of Gisborne’s accusations. Gisborne heads to Nottingham Castle and informs the Sheriff of Robin’s return but the Sheriff does not seem too concerned. When a bell starts ringing in his chamber, the Sheriff leaves and heads down to the lower levels of the castle, where the witch Mortianna lives. Mortianna proceeds to read the runes to predict the Sheriff’s future and tells him that Robin’s arrival proceeds the arrival of King Richard, which would ruin the Sheriff’s plans. Suddenly, Mortianna cries out and says she has seen their deaths, telling the Sheriff that he must kill Robin and Azeem before they kill them. Robin returns to Locksley Castle to find it in ruins and his father left to hang in a cage. When he sees Duncan, he is shocked to find that Duncan’s eyes were put out and that Robin’s father was accused of devil worshiping and allegedly signed a letter of confession in front of the bishop. After burying his father, Robin swears to avenge his death and clear his name, then heads to Peter’s home. When they arrive there, Robin asks to speak to Marian and is allowed inside but unarmed and alone. When he gets to the dining hall, Marian greets him but scoffs at his offer of protection, saying Robin was nothing more than a bully as a child, and has a masked guard draw a sword on him in order to escort him out. Robin and the guard start to fight and as Azeem breaks down the door to help Robin, Robin discovers that the guard is the real Marian. Later, Robin gives Marian Peter’s ring and tells her of his oath but she believes it is merely him making boyish promises in order to alleviate his guilt. When Azeem calls out for him, Robin climbs onto the wall he is sitting on and Azeem hands Robin the spyglass he just made. When Robin looks through it, he sees Gisborne and some soldiers approaching and he and Azeem are forced to steal some of Marian’s horses in order to escape, with Marian yelling at them for doing so in order to appear unfriendly towards them. Robin, Azeem, and Duncan hide in Sherwood Forest, using the stories about the woods being cursed and haunted in order to keep Gisborne and his men from following them. As they make their way through the woods, they are ambushed by a band of outlaws led by a man named John Little. John tells Robin that he can cross in exchange for the medallion Robin is wearing and when Robin refuses, the two fight with staffs for it. John is able to get the best of Robin at first but Robin sneaks up behind him and manages to knock John into the water, where he can’t swim, and John is forced to yield, then offers Robin and his companions to stay the night at their camp. At their camp, Robin makes friends with John and the others but one of the outlaws, Will Scarlett, expresses a fierce hostility towards Robin. The next day, Robin disguises himself and sneaks into Nottingham Castle to attend mass and after the service, speaks with Marian. She tells him that the Sheriff has put a bounty on his head and warns that the Sheriff is making an army but doesn’t know for what purpose. Robin then sneaks into the Bishop of Hereford’s chambers to speak with the Bishop about his father. Meanwhile, the Sheriff is speaking to Marian about Robin stealing her horses and says she should move within the castle walls for her own protection. Marian refuses so the Sheriff hands her a dagger to use as protection and Marian thanks him and says her cousin, King Richard, will reward him for keeping her safe. In the Bishop’s chambers, Robin doesn’t believe the Bishop’s story about his father and goes to leave, only to open the door and see the Sheriff and Gisborne about to enter. Robin quickly slashes the Sheriff’s cheek and shuts the door, then cuts the rope on a chandelier in order to escape out an upper window, with the Sheriff yelling threats at him below. Robin then proceeds to steal the Sheriff’s horse and a bag of bread and rides back to Sherwood Forest, where Will Scarlett and John chastise him for stirring up trouble. Back at Nottingham, the Sheriff orders Gisborne to attack the outlying farms and force the people to turn on Robin and bring him in for the reward. When the angry villagers approach the camp, Will threatens to turn him in for the reward and a pardon but Robin says that the Sheriff will never honor it and hang them as well. As Robin walks away, Will pulls out a knife to throw at him but Wulf, John’s son, shouts out a warning and Robin manages to shoot Will in the hand with an arrow. As Will runs off, Robin speaks with the villagers and tells them that they can learn to fight back against the Sheriff and his men, using the forest to provide food and shelter for them. The villagers begin making weapons and lodgings and Robin and Azeem both work on training them all in how to fight. They then begin robbing the rich barons who ride from London to Nottingham, as Sherwood forest is the only route for them to take. They also stop the Sheriff’s men from harming or stealing from the villagers, giving them the money that they steal from the Sheriff. The Sheriff tries raising the bounty on Robin but his scribe tells him it will do no good as the poor love him, which drives the Sheriff into a rage. During one of the raids, Gisborne is leading a convoy through the woods when he spots two of the outlaws nearby. As Gisborne and some of his men ride off after them, the two outlaws are able to escape by using concealed hiding places. Meanwhile, Robin and the others ambush the remaining guards and hijack the carriage with the treasure, as well as a cart driven by Friar Tuck, then hide all of the bodies, so that when Gisborne returns, there is no sign the convoy was ever there. As Robin opens the chest, he remarks that it is blood money and they should find out what it is for, just as Tuck regains consciousness. When Robin asks him to share some of the beer he is carrying, Tuck attacks him and tries to ride off but is knocked off the cart. Robin forces Tuck to help pull the cart to their camp, then speaks again to Tuck and asks him to join them and Tuck, feeling humbled by what happened, accepts his offer. Some time later, Marian and her servant, Sarah, are riding through the forest when they are set upon by two of Robin’s men and after easily defeating the two men, Marian demands they be taken to Robin. The two men lead her to where Robin was bathing, and then Robin escorts Marian to the camp, showing her how they are managing to survive. As he shows her the gold they stole, Marian thinks he is trying to brag but Robin tells her it is blood money intended to pay off King Richard’s enemies. Later that night, as Robin and Marian continue to talk, they see Wulf running towards John and tell him that Fanny, John’s wife, is dying. Robin and Marian rush to the tent, where Azeem and Tuck are already there, and Azeem, after examining the pregnant Fanny, tells her the baby has turned and can’t be born without help. Tuck tries telling them not to listen to Azeem, as he has been hostile to him due to his being a Moor, but Robin says that they should let Azeem try to help her and John agrees. Azeem has Marian gather some supplies for him and as she runs off and with Robin and Marian assisting him, Azeem is able to safely deliver the baby. As John shows his new son to the crowd, Tuck apologizes to Azeem for his disrespect and offers his friendship to the man. As people begin dancing in celebration, Will approaches Marian and asks her to dance but Robin says she is spoken for and grabs her into the approaching dancing line. The next morning, Robin leads Marian and Sarah to a different way out of the camp and asks Marian for two favors; to take Duncan with her as he worries about his safety, though he tells Duncan that he wants him to go with Marian for her safety. For his second favor, Robin asks Marian to try and get word to King Richard and let him know of the Sheriff’s plans and she says she won’t do this for Richard, but she will for him, then kisses him quickly before boarding a boat and heading back to her home. Meanwhile, the Sheriff is speaking with Mortianna about losing the money he was going to pay the barons and asks her adivse. Mortianna says that he should hire the Celts to defeat Robin and the Sheriff seems pleased at the idea of using them as mercenaries, then Mortianna suddenly suggests marrying Marian in order to produce an heir to Richard’s throne. Meanwhile, Marian writes a letter to King Richard and then gives it to the Bishop to deliver to Richard in Paris. Though the Bishop tries to dissuade her, Marian insists on having Sarah accompany the messenger but as they are riding through the forest, the messenger knocks Sarah unconscious. Later that night, the Sheriff’s men attack Marian’s home and take her away and Duncan manages to get away and ride off to get tell Robin, unaware that he is being followed. When Duncan reaches the camp, he manages to tell Robin what happened just before he dies but before Robin can grieve, a warning cry is sounded as they see a Celt army on the hill. The Sheriff tells the Celt’s leader that he needs prisoners and the Celts attack but Robin and the outlaws are able to drive them off. As they start to cheer, they see the Sheriff’s men armed with flaming arrows and catapults, and the second wave suddenly attacks. Many of the outlaws are killed while others are captured, including Will and Wulf. Robin manages to rescue Fanny and her baby when they are trapped in their tree house but as he tries to escape himself, the rope he is on catches fire and snaps, dropping him into the fires below. That night, the Sheriff approaches the captive Marian and reveals that the Bishop is working for him and that Robin is dead, handing her his family medallion as proof before blackmailing her into agreeing to marry him by threatening to kill the captured children. The Sheriff then heads to the dungeon and asks the captured outlaws of any news concerning Robin and Will says he will kill Robin for him and the Sheriff agrees to let him go, though has him lashed to keep up appearances. Robin, Azeem, Tuck, John, Bull, and Fanny are burying the dead when Will suddenly appears in the woods. John assaults him, accusing him of being a traitor but stops as he sees the lash marks on his stomach. Will tells them that the Sheriff plans to hang their men in the square as entertainment for his wedding to Marian. Robin suspects Will was to use this information to try and kill him and asks Will what he plans to do and Will says it depends on Robin. Will then admits that he is Robin’s half brother and blames Robin for ruining his life but found himself believing in Robin’s crusade against the Sheriff. Shocked into silence, Robin embraces Will and says he will stand by his side and the others agree with him. Meanwhile, the Sheriff is celebrating his upcoming wedding when he discovers Mortianna’s spy holes and confronts her about being a fraud but Mortianna says that she is actually his mother and had killed a baby and substituted him for the dead baby so that he would grow up and be able to fulfill her desire to have her bloodline on the throne. Robin and the others manage to sneak into the castle and take their positions but as the prisoners are being led out, Wulf sees Will in the crowd and attacks him and as the Sheriff asks what is going on, he sees Will and orders him strung up as well. Robin plans on going ahead with their plan but the barrel of black powder that was placed by the hangman’s galley is moved and Will is tied to it in order to be beheaded. As the executions start, Wulf is the first one to be hung but Robin manages to fire an arrow and sever the rope. The Sheriff orders the hangman to continue the executions but Azeem, Robin, and John manage to save the men. As everyone starts to leave, Robin sees Marian being taken away by the Sheriff and he goes after her. Seeing this, Azeem yells out to the crowd and inspires them to rise up with Robin against the Sheriff. Finding their way barred by the gate, Robin and Azeem use a catapult to launch themselves over the wall so they can chase after the Sheriff. Meanwhile, the Sheriff enters the chapel and orders the Bishop to marry him and Marian, with Mortianna doing her best to ensure it proceeds. Robin and Azeem try to break through the door but when they don’t have any luck, Robin tells Azeem to keep trying and he heads up to the roof, then swings down through a window into the room just as the ceremony finishes. The Bishop hastily retreats as Robin and the Sheriff begin fighting while outside, Mortianna attacks Azeem and injures him but he manages to stab her with a spear and she runs off. Tuck catches the Bishop in his chamber and accuses him of selling his soul and when the Bishop asks if he will strike a fellow man of the cloth, Tuck says he won’t, then proceeds to load the Bishop with several containers of gold before pushing him out the window. Robin and the Sheriff continue fighting and the Sheriff gets the upper hand but when he taunts Marian about killing Robin, Robin stabs the Sheriff with the dagger he had given Marian. As the Sheriff falls dead, Robin starts to approach Marian when Mortianna suddenly appears and rushes at Robin with the spear but Azeem finally breaks through the door and throws his scimitar at Mortianna, killing her and telling Robin that he has fulfilled his vow. Later, Tuck is presiding over the marriage of Robin and Marian when King Richard interrupts them, saying he cannot let the wedding commence unless he can give away the bride. Richard thanks Robin for saving his throne then tells Tuck to commence and Robin and Marian kiss after they are wed.

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, several critics praised the fight scenes and visual appeal of locations, while others criticized the story and acting, primarily Kevin Costner and his lack of an English accent during the film. Cary Elwes was offers the role of Robin Hood but he turned it down because he thought the plot was too contrived, which makes his playing Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men In Tights that much funnier. Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves was a box office hit, earning $390.5 million off of a $48 million budget, making it the 2nd highest grossing movie of 1991 behind T2: Judgement Day.

This is pretty much exactly what you expect to see out of a big budget blockbuster; a lot of action and excitement but a little weak on the plot. The acting was ok, with Morgan Freeman (Azeem) and Alan Rickman (Sheriff) doing fantastic jobs. Several of the other actors also did good jobs, such as Michael Wincott (Gisborne) and Michael McShane (Tuck), and while they did good jobs themselves, I did think it was a little sad that Kevin Costner (Robin) and Christian Slater (Will) didn’t really try to do a British accent. The plot of the movie covered the basic story of Robin Hood but I honestly thought that they could have done a bit better and gone in depth with some of the character development in the story. The action scenes were definitely great and very well coordinated, with the battle against the Celts being very well done. A little lacking as far as plot, but definitely one of the great action movies to come out of the 90’s.

Rating: 4 out of 5