Tag Archives: Michael Nyqvist

John Wick (2014)

13 Nov

He’s back and meaner than ever. Keanu Reeves stars as the titular character John Wick, a retired hitman hell-bent on avenging his dog by taking out a few members of a NYC mafia brotherhood. We don’t know much about Mr.Wick; we know he had a lover who recently passed away. We know he makes (or made) an insane amount of cash for his services, and we know he likes his guns.

Directors David Leitch,  and Chad Stahelski keep the action at a tight pace with John Wick, while providing us with just enough exposition to get us from scene to scene. The action is stylish and sequenced very well, complimented with feverish amounts of blood and gore. Keanu seems to fit right at home in his action environment. Though he shows no real character depth, he plays his role as hunter/executioner fearlessly and is a commanding presence while on screen.  The supporting cast is mostly composed of stock archetypes and flatter-than-pancake characters, the few notable standouts being played by Willem Dafoe and Michael Nyqvist

The script is pretty much B-movie type stuff, but the execution of certain sequences never quite reach the playfulness a script like this needs to be successful. John Wick takes itself way too serious to have much fun and instead of trying something original with the material, the directors simply copy and paste what successful genre films have done before. We get the same characters and scenarios we have seen countless times before from Taken to Die Hard to Transporter.

Overall, John Wick quickly becomes a fairly typical shoot-em-up thriller. Stylish yes, but not enough substance to warrant a second viewing.

 

Rating 5/10 

Similar to: Taken (2008), Mission Impossible (1996), The Transporter (2002) 

Disconnect (2012)

5 Jan

In a society growing more and more reliant on digital technology,  does such technology fundamentally the way in which we are communicating and connecting with one another? This is the questions Disconnect asks the audience, and through s series of interconnecting stories we see the multiple effects the digital age has created for its users.

Structurally similar to the 2006 Best Picture Award Winner Crash,  Disconnect strings together a series of characters and incidents surrounding the use and abuse of digital media. A lonely housewife flirts with an online stranger.. a highschool boy starts a fake Facebook profile as a joke… someone’s digital identity is stolen, someone’s daughter receives a sexually explicit text… you get the idea.  The film’s message is obvious right from the title screen.

What makes the film work is its use of editing back and forth between the stories to keep the film moving forward at a brisk pace.  Despite an overbearing amount of melodrama, the narrative is engaging, and the film paints an effective portrait of 21st-century life. Things get bugged down during the third act where a predictable finish is delivered to us in a painful slow-motion.  By this time, the audience is so numb from the film shouting in our faces about the evils of the digital world, this final sequence is simply an anti-climatic way of wrapping things up.

Directed by Oscar-nominee Henry-Alex Rubin, the film stars Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, and Alexander Skarsgaard, who all give good-enough performances to make up for some of the less-than-enthusiastic child acting.

Rating: 7/10

Similar to: Crash, Babel, 21 Grams