Bullet Train (2022)

Bullet Train
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Zak Olkewicz
Based on: Kōtarō Isaka‘s novel
Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman, Zazie Beetz, Masi Oka, Karen Fukuhara, Channing Tatum, Ryan Reynolds
Seen on: 12.8.2022

Content Note: whitewashing

Plot:
Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is an assassin who as recently taken some time off after a bit of an existential crisis because he is so unlucky. But after some therapy, he is ready to get back into the game. His first job seems simple enough: just snatch a suitcase from the high-speed bullet train and get off the next station. But it turns out that he is not the only assassin on the train. Duo Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) also have a mission to fulfill on the train. And there is The Prince (Joey King) who lured Kimura (Andrew Koji) on the train for her own plans. As all of their plans collide, things become chaotic. Ladybug may yet regret his return to work.

Bullet Train is a fast-paced, entertaining film despite some problems. If you like action comedies with a touch of gore, you’ll have a good time with this one.

The film poster showing the main characters arranged along a Japanese dragon.
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The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener
Seen on: 11.5.2022

Plot:
Adam (Walker Scobell) is twelve years old and a bit of a nerd. Since his father (Mark Ruffalo) recently died, he lives alone with his mother (Jennifer Garner) on a remote bit of land, dreaming of becoming cool. Or at least not bullied anymore. That’s when a space craft crashlands close to his home. And out of that spacecraft steps nobody else but himself – only 30 years older (Ryan Reynolds). Older Adam is on a very important mission. And he needs Young Adam’s help to finish it.

The Adam Project is fun enough. I like time travel stories in general, and this one is very sweet, albeit not terribly creative or ground-breaking. But it comes with a solid emotional core that makes it quite touching.

The film poster showing close-ups of the main characters in front of a space background.
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Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, Chris Diamantopoulos, Ivan Mbakop
Seen on: 4.1.2022

Plot:
John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is an FBI profiler, working together with Interpol, specifically Inspector Das (Rity Arya) to finally catch renowned art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Operating off a tip from the mysterious Bishop (Gal Gadot), herself an art thief, things go sideways for Hartley after he catches Booth: it looks like The Bishop set him up, too – and Hartley ends up not only in the same prison as Booth, but also in the same cell. Despite their antagonistic relationship, Hartley and Booth agree to work together to get The Bishop. But that’s easier said than done.

Red Notice is a heist movie with an Indiana Jones touch and a nice cast – so I really don’t understand why it is so very lukewarm.

The film poster showing Hartley (Dwayne Johnson), The Bishop (Gal Gadot) and Booth (Ryan Reynolds) in evening wear.
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Free Guy (2021)

Free Guy
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Matt Lieberman, Zak Penn
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Taika Waititi
Seen on: 16.8.2021

Plot:
Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller and his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery) is a security guard in the bank. Everyday they go into work and everyday the bank gets robbed. More than once, mostly. Guy is a cheery person, though, but he does wonder whether life holds more for him than bank robberies. He dreams of the girl he saw once, though Buddy doesn’t believe she exists. Until Guy really does see her, decides to break his routine and talk to her – Millie (Jodie Comer), as he learns. What he doesn’t know, though, is that his world is actually a game and Millie is a player, while Guy is an NPC, a non-player character, who shouldn’t be able to make the decisions he makes. Also, Millie is playing for a particular reason.

Free Guy looked fun, but I didn’t expect it to be as much fun as it was. It’s a film that I think will satisfy gamers, as well as people like me who only have a rudimentary knowledge of the kind of computer games that it plays with. I’d say it’s a full success.

The film poster showing Guy (Ryan Reynolds) from behind, standing on a rooftop overlooking a city skyline full of plans, rockets, hot air balloons, parachutes and an explosion. He has a goldfish bowl with a goldfish in one hand and a disposable coffee cup in the other.
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6 Underground (2019)

6 Underground
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins, Lior Raz, Payman Maadi, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Kim Kold, Lídia Franco, James Murray
Seen on: 21.7.2021

Content Note: white saviorism

Plot:
A few years ago, a tech billionaire faked his own death to become One (Ryan Reynolds), the leader of a mercenary group set to kill the dictator of Turgistan Rovach (Lior Raz), to put his more liberal brother Murat (Payman Maadi) in power and free Turgistan with the move. But the first mission he and his team of five, only known as numbers Two (Mélanie Laurent), Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Four (Ben Hardy), Five (Adria Arjona), and Six (Dave Franco), go on is an utter disaster – and does not bode well for their overall goal.

After watching F9 and Black Widow, I wanted to keep up the action comedy mood. When I saw the preview still on Netflix for this film, I felt like Ryan Reynolds would probably show me a good time. What I missed was that this is a Michael Bay film, and it’s absolutely one of his worse ones. Dammit, 6 Underground was really and truly bad.

The film poster showing the 7 recruits in various action poses, with One (Ryan Reynolds) taking the center.
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Self/less (2015)

Self/less
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Melora Hardin, Michelle Dockery
Seen on: 14.5.2020

Plot:
Damian (Ben Kingsley) has led a hugely successful life, regretting only that he is estranged from his daughter Claire (Michelle Dockery). Now he is old, rich and dying. But he doesn’t feel ready to die just yet, so he is happy when he discovers Albright (Matthew Goode), a scientist who promises that he can have a new, freshly grown body and start all over again. Damian agrees to the procedure. When he wakes up, his body (Ryan Reynolds) lives up to all of his dreams. As he gets used to it, though, he also keeps getting haunted by dreams and nightmares that appear to him more real than they have any right to be.

Self/less is a decent film. Nothing here says greatness, but it isn’t bad either. It is like a case study for solid entertainment of a kind that has gotten rarer in recent years as budgets have grown and shrunk, leaving few players in the middle of the field.

The film poster showing older Damian (Ben Kingsley) and younger Damian (Ryan Reynolds) lying on slabs in front of medical machinery.
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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
Spin-off from: The Fast and the Furious series
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Eliana Sua, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, John Tui, Joshua Mauga, Joe Anoa’i, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds
Seen on: 12.8.2019

Plot:
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) hate each other, and that is putting it very mildly. But when a dangerous virus, called The Snowflake, is about to get into the wrong hands, they are asked to put aside their differences and go after it together. It was last seen with MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), as in Deckard’s younger sister. But even though Hattie is keeping it safe at the moment, somebody is still after it and her: Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) who has his own agenda and enhancements to make it happen.

Hobbs & Shaw is a great spin-off form the Fast and the Furious series, hitting just the right tone and style (albeit leaving gaping plot holes with regards to the other films that should not be discussed). I had great fun with it.

The film poster showing the main characters, Big Ben bathed in red light, an explosion, a car, and a motorcycle.
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Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Based on: Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza‘s comic character
Sequel to: Deadpool
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, Eddie Marsan, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Brad Pitt, Alan Tudyk, Matt Damon, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp
Seen on: 8.6.2018

Plot:
After his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is killed, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) unravels. His life is literally shot to pieces and it’s Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) who puts him back together again. Reluctantly, Wade agrees to kind of join the X-Men and tries to help with an out of control mutant, Russell Collins aka Firefist (Julian Dennison). But Russell doesn’t really want help and things are more complicated than they look anyway when Cable (Josh Brolin) turns up and claims to be from the future and that he needs to stop Firefist to avert catastrophe.

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but I wasn’t completely enthusiastic about it, so my expectations for this one were rather mild and while Deadpool 2 doesn’t surpass them, it does stay on the same level as the first one: Fun in many ways but some things don’t work that well for me.

Film poster for Deadpool, showing him in the famous pose from Flashdance, only instead of water falling on him, it's bullets.
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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Tom O’Connor
Cast: Ryan ReynoldsSamuel L. JacksonSalma HayekElodie YungRichard E. GrantGary OldmanSam Hazeldine, Joaquim de Almeida
Seen on: 6.9.2017
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Plot:
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) used to be the best bodyguard/security manager in the business. That is, until he lost a client in the worst way. Now he’s relegated to small projects with clients of no importance. Which is exactly why his ex-girlfriend Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) contacts him: she’s charged with delivering assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the International Court in The Hague to testify, but they’ve run into serious trouble and Amelia doesn’t know who else she can trust anymore. But Michael and Darius have an incredibly tense history that they now have to put aside to work together.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is pretty entertaining, albeit not unbelievably great. It has its moments and its weaknesses, but mostly it’s fun.

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