Outside the Wire (2021) –Action, Adventure, Fantasy - Netflix
In the not to distant future, there is some severe trouble on the Russian/Ukraine border, luckily there’s drones, robot soldiers, marines and Anthony Mackie there to sort it out.
Drone Pilot, Lt. Harp goes against orders but listens to his inner Spock and realises the good of the many out way the good of the few but in doing so he kills a couple of Marines and earns the enmity of the rest of the platoon. He is sent to be retrained by Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie) who has a little secret and a big secret mission.
Harp and Leo end up behind enemy lines, searching for the codes to Nuclear Weapons, aided by Emily Beecham’s Sofiya and the occasional Robot Marine. This is the story of a war-torn country, the story of collateral damage (try playing a drinking game that with every mention you have to have a shot and by the end of this 115 minutes film, you’ll be three sheets to the wind! A story of friendship, betrayal and Anthony Mackie taking his Falcon Armour a bit too seriously! There are plenty of bad guys and girls, the good guys aren’t particularly good, the heroes are arrogant and the explosions big. In fact, this is one of Netflix’s better offerings recently, right up until the last 25 minutes, when it has a twist, which to be honest is quite a good twist but the characters motivations seem like an afterthought. An explosive 13/20 from me.
Finding Ohana (2021) Action, Adventure, Comedy - Netflix
Finding Ohana, advertised as The Goonies for the 21st Century and it has all the elements you’d want. It has the dysfunctional brother and sister, the good-looking friend that the elder brother fancies, the geeky sidekick. It has caves and traps and over complicated rocks pulley systems, it has pirates and treasure and needing money to save their Granddad’s land and it has Data, well Key Hu Quan playing a family friend, but it’s a Goonies link the Producers obviously wanted to help us all associate the film with the legendary classic.
It has the beautiful Hawaiian scenery and link after link to Hawaiian culture. It has a trailer that makes it look like an amazing film.
What it doesn’t have are leads you are invested in, Ioane the older brother is too much of a self-obsessed idiot and it’s highly unlikely that Hana will ever have any reason to fall for him. Pili and Casper are entertaining enough, but how they see the history of the pirates, much as it might be 21st century cool, is just really, really annoying – I honestly can’t explain how them putting words into the mouths of actors and using modern terms really peeved me. Yes, it can be argued that I’m much older than the intended audience but it was incredibly irritating.
And, all the opportunities for good old-fashioned pirate and cave adventures are not fully exploited. It’s a Goonies Lite film with wasted potential. But hey I reckon children will love it.
A missed opportunity10/20 from this old codger, but I reckon it’d go up to a 15/20 if you watched it with children.
Greenland (2020) Action, Drama, Thriller – Amazon Prime
Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin lead the cast in this explosive, world ending, comet crashing apocalyptic drama. The end of the world is nigh and John Garrity and his wife Allison and son Nathan are chosen to go underground with the lucky few thousand to survive the Apocalypse and restart society. He’s a structural engineer so would be pretty useful. Unfortunately, his son has diabetes and that won’t be considered an optimal survival characteristic by those in charge and he also has a lousy memory and leaves his Insulin in his car just as their boarding the plan to safety, cue parents being split up, concerned citizens storming the planes and things blowing up, cue people out for themselves and trying to take the wrist bands of survival, cue Gerard chasing his wife and son cross country, getting into scrapes and avoiding bits of comet!
Cue a mad dash to Greenland before the largest bit hits Western Europe (I think Europe always gets hit as it has so many recognisable landmarks that can be blown up.
It sounds like a run of the mill disaster movie, but this one shows how people would react in much more realistic fashion, pretty scary actually. Gerard Butler is a very good action star and Morena Baccarin has been a favourite since her days as Inara in Firefly. The effects are very good, the story gripping and all sewn together by well-chosen actors.
I would say enjoyable but the world ending isn’t enjoyable, so let’s say it’s a ride worth watching on Amazon Prime – Greenland gets a Eurovision Song Contest beating 14 points!
Black Water: Abyss (2020) Action, Drama, Horror – Netflix
An Australian film about five friends exploring a caving system and being hunted by a bliming big crocodile. – not sure if there’s much more you need to know to be honest. Not all five of them are coming out, a couple deserve to get eaten, some don’t, the one who doesn’t, is going to, someone is saved by a baby but really should be eaten. The crocodile isn’t as big as the one in Lake Placid or Rogue but seems a lot more annoyed. A lesser know Enid Blyton Book – Five get Eaten gets an 8/20 from me, worth a watch if you’re bored and fancy watching a film with a crocodile eating some Aussies.