Re-Watch: John Wick (2014)

John Wick
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan
Seen on: 21.2.2017
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) used to be a hitman. The best hitman. But he gave it all up for is wife (Bridget Moynahan) and went straight. But now he lost her after a long illness and he’s lost without her. When a little puppy arrives on his doorstep, courtesy of his wife who didn’t want him to lose his ability to love, he is immediately taken by it. But then he is robbed by Iosef Tasarov (Alfie Allen), a young thug who happens to be the son of mafia boss Viggo Tasarov (Michael Nyqvist). Iosef wants to steal John’s car, but can’t leave it at that: he kills John’s dog. That is the last straw for John who decides to get back into business and take his revenge on Iosef and anybody who stands in his way.

Before seeing the sequel, I knew I had to re-watch John Wick. And also on re-watching it’s a beautiful, amazing, wonderful action movie that I simply adore.

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The Girl King (2015)

The Girl King
Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Writer: Michel Marc Bouchard
Cast: Malin Buska, Sarah Gadon, Michael Nyqvist, Lucas Bryant, Laura Birn, Hippolyte Girardot, Peter Lohmeyer, François Arnaud, Patrick Bauchau, Ville Virtanen, Martina Gedeck
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 26.2.2016

Plot:
Kristina (Malin Buska) becomes the ruler of Sweden at a young age. Her mother (Martina Gedeck) is of little help and Kristina is educated profoundly by Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna (Michael Nyqvist) to rule – as King, not as Queen. When Kristina comes of age, it’s him who raises the question of marriage and hopes that Kristina will choose his son Johan (Lucas Bryant). But Kristina is neither interested in marriage, nor in men. The only person who holds her fascination outside of the intellect is Ebba (Sarah Gadon) who she names her lady-in-waiting and with whom she grows ever closer.

The Girl King tells a fascinating story of a fascinating woman and it does so quite well. It’s not an amazingly great film, but it’s definitely good with the cast being a particular stand-out.

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Colonia (2015)

Colonia aka Colonia Dignidad
Director: Florian Gallenberger
Writer: Torsten Wenzel, Florian Gallenberger
Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps, Jeanne Werner, Julian Ovenden
Seen on: 22.2.2016

Plot:
Flight attendant Lena (Emma Watson) comes to Chile knowing that she has a couple of days until she has to fly back. She meets up with Daniel (Daniel Brühl), a photographer who is involved in the socialist movement in Santiago. But while the two enjoy their time together, a military coup happens and Pinochet rises to power. Suddenly Daniel’s political activism is a huge security risk for both of them. Daniel is promptly abducted. Lena manages to find out that he must have been brought to the Colonia Dignidad, a sect/military prison nobody gets away from, run by Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist). Desperate and without receiving any help from the authorities, Lena decides to make her way there on her own to try and free Daniel.

Colonia got a lot of bad press and while it certainly won’t win any “film of the year” awards, it’s not quite as bad as that. Still, if you miss it, you won’t miss much.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway
Seen on: 4.8.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

Much as I remembered it, Ghost Protocol was one hell of an entertaining film. It’s far from flawless, but at least it’s straight-forward fun.

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John Wick (2014)

John Wick
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan
Seen on: 02.02.2015

Plot:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) used to be a hitman. The best hitman. But he gave it all up for is wife (Bridget Moynahan) and went straight. But now he lost her after a long illness and he’s lost without her. When a little puppy arrives on his doorstep, courtesy of his wife who didn’t want him to lose his ability to love, he is immediately taken by it. But then he is robbed by Iosef Tasarov (Alfie Allen), a young thug who happens to be the son of mafia boss Viggo Tasarov (Michael Nyqvist). Iosef wants to steal John’s car, but can’t leave it at that: he kills John’s dog. That is the last straw for John who decides to get back into business and take his revenge on Iosef and anybody who stands in his way.

I expected John Wick to be a so bad it’s good kind of film. It isn’t. It is actually, unironically fantastic, a modern action masterpiece and I loved every second of it.

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Disconnect (2012)

Disconnect
Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Writer: Andrew Stern
Cast: Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgård, Max Thieriot, Colin Ford, Jonah Bobo, Haley Ramm

Plot:
Ben Boyd (Jonah Bobo) is a bit of an outcast in school, especially Jason Dixon (Colin Ford) picks on him and even goes so far as to create a fake facebook profile of a girl in love with Ben. Meanwhile, Jason’s dad Mike (Frank Grillo) investigates the identity theft that happened to the Hulls after Cindy Hull (Paula Patton) chatted with somebody about the loss of her child. Nina Dunham (Andrea Riseborough) is also involved in chatting – with young sex worker Kyle (Max Thieriot) who she’s trying to win for a story for her news station.

Disconnect thinks that it’s a film about the disconnect caused by technology. But as technophobia gets the better of it, it loses coherence and works against its own point.

disconnect

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Luftslottet som sprängdes [The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest] (2009)

Luftslottet som sprängdes
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Ulf Ryberg
Based on: Stieg Larsson‘s novel
Sequel to: Män som hatar kvinnor, Flickan som lekte med elden
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson, Michalis Koutsogiannakis, Annika Hallin, Georgi Staykov, Micke Spreitz, Anders Ahlborn, Aksel Morisse

Plot:
Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) is recovering in a hospital from the events in Flickan som lekte med elden and awaiting her trial for murder. Mikael (Michael Nyqvist) asks his friend Annika to represent her in court, while he tries to do everything in his power to acquit Lisbeth and to show how there was a conspiracy against her which started when she was 12 years old. He also provides Lisbeth with the possibility to write her own autobiography – something which will hopefully help her in court.

After Flickan…, Luftslottet som sprängdes is definitely a step up again, though the first one definitely remains the strongest of the three films.

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Flickan som lekte med elden [The Girl Who Played With Fire] (2009)

Flickan som lekte med elden
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Jonas Frykberg
Based on: Stieg Larsson‘s novel
Sequel to: Män som hatar kvinnor
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson, Michalis Koutsogiannakis, Annika Hallin, Ralph Carlsson, Georgi Staykov, Micke Spreitz

Plot:
A few years after the events in “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) returns to Sweden to remind her “guardian” Bjurman (Peter Andersson) of their deal. In the meantime, Mikael (Michael Nyqvist) is investigating a sex trafficking ring together with his young colleague. But when said colleague, his girlfriend and Bjurman are found dead and Lisbeth is accused of all three murders, Mikael’s and Lisbeth’s paths cross again. While Lisbeth is on the run, they both work feverishly to find out what’s going on.

Flickan som lekte med elden suffers from the sequel sickness: while the desperate attempt to up the stakes leads to too much conspiracy, the movie struggles even more with the weaknesses of the first one, foremost the pacing.

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Män som hatar kvinnor [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] (2009)

Män som hatar kvinnor
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writer: Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg
Based on: Stieg Larsson’s novel
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube, Peter Haber, Peter Andersson, Michalis Koutsogiannakis

Plot:
Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is a journalist in trouble. Not only has he just been convicted of libel, but the magazine he edits is experiencing financial difficulties because of it. But then he gets an offer from Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube), rich retired business man. Vanger wants Mikael to research his great-niece Harriet’s disappearance 36 years ago, in the hope that he can discover something new. At the same time Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), young borderline researcher, gets the job to look into Mikael and his libel case.

Män som hatar kvinnor is a pretty good film that lives and breathes thanks to Lisbeth Salander as a character. Thankfully Noomi Rapace’s performance is strong enough to carry a film, or five.

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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

I am actually very suprised by how excellent  this film was. It really is a more than decent action movie.

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