Beast (2022)

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writer: Ryan Engle, Jaime Primak Sullivan
Cast: Idris Elba, Leah Jeffries, Iyana Halley, Sharlto Copley
Seen on: 2.9.2022

After the death of his ex-wife, Nate (Idris Elba) takes their two teenage daughters Norah (Leah Jeffries) and Mer (Iyana Halley) to South Africa where their mother came from originally. Meeting up with their old friend Martin (Sharlto Copley), the trip is supposed to reconnect and heal all of them a little. Things are off to a good start when Martin takes them out into the local national park where he works as a vet. But poachers have also been to the park, hunting, hurting and killing lions. Martin, Nate and the kids stumble upon evidence that one lion has started to fight back – and then they find themselves in its crosshair, prompting a desperate fight for survival.

Beast promises us a fight between Idris Elba and a lion, and it does give us that (not like The Grey that promises us Liam Neeson fighting a wolf and then cuts out just before that happens). If you would like more from a movie – like a plot that makes sense or characters that behave believably – you’ll be disappointed. But if that is all you want, go for it.

The film poster showing Nate, bloodied and scratched, holding a big knife.
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Free Fire (2016)

Free Fire
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Enzo CilentiSam RileyMichael SmileyBrie LarsonCillian MurphyArmie HammerSharlto CopleyBabou CeesayNoah TaylorJack Reynor
Seen on: 17.9.2017

Bernie (Enzo Cilento) and his brother Stevo (Sam Riley) are meeting with IRA guys Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) and their American contact Justine (Brie Larson). They are preparing for a weapons deal mediated by Ord (Armie Hammer) who got them in touch with South African arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his group – Martin (Babou Ceesay), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). But things quickly go sideways and turn very bloody.

Free Fire starts off strong enough, but after a while it becomes so repetitive, it loses all tempo and becomes nothing but dreary.

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Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Ilya Naishuller, Will Stewart
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, Andrei Dementiev
Part of: a /slash Filmfestival special screening
Seen on: 15.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

You wake up in a sterile room. A beautiful woman, Estelle (Haley Bennett), informs you that you were just resurrected, your name is Henry and that she is your wife. You lost your memories and several body parts have been replaced by highly advanced protheses. Before you can really grasp the situation, you are attacked and Estelle is kidnapped by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky), a telekinetic gangster with an entire mercenary army at his disposal. You get away but have to figure out a plan to get Estelle back. So when the very strange Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) offers his help, you’re willing to take it.

Hardcore Henry is shot entirely from the first perspective and basically in real time, making it the cinematic equivalent of a first person shooter. That concept works well, although the storytelling was sacrificed for it.

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Chappie (2015)

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Brandon Auret
Seen on: 13.3.2015

The robot police force has been rather well established in South Africa and the company producing and maintaining them, headed by Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver), is extremely successful. But not all engineers are quite satisfied yet. Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) dreams of building an AI and trying it on one of the robots, while Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) is convinced that his robots – that are more like war machines – are the future. Then Deon gets his hands on a discarded robot and installs his AI, creating Chappie (Sharlto Copley). But Chappie gets promptly stolen by Ninja (Ninja), Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser) and Yankie (Jose Pablo Cantillo) who bring him up as a gangster like themselves.

Good grief, Chappie was bad. I barely have the words to express just how bad. [And I just realized that I’ve written almost the same thing about Elysium already.] I have yet to see a Blomkamp film that works for me, but Chappie is certainly the worst of the bunch.

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Maleficent (2014)

Director: Robert Stromberg
Writer: Linda Woolverton
Based on: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty / the fairy tale
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley

When Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was a young fairy, she met a human boy and they became friends – until Stefan (Sharlto Copley) betrayed her in the worst possible way. Bent on revenge, Maleficent curses Stefan’s baby girl Aurora (Elle Fanning). For Aurora’s protection, three fairies (Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple) remove her from her parents’ castle and raise her. But Maleficent herself is never far from Aurora.

I was really looking forward to Maleficent and my expectations were rather high going in. And they were actually surpassed. I absolutely loved Maleficent.

maleficent[SPOILERS, also for Frozen]

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Elysium (2013)

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner

2154. The rich people have left the polluted and pretty much destroyed Earth to live with all the good things on the space station Elysium, while the poor people are stuck down on Earth, living in squalor and sickness and pain. One of these people is Max (Matt Damon) who works hard and tries his best not to go back to prison. But when he’s exposed to a fatal amount of radiation in a work accident, which could be cured on Elysium, he takes on a mission with far more reach than just his own life.

Oh for fuck’s sake, Elysium was so freaking dumb I barely have words for it. It also used way too much shaky cam and it was boring. Dumb, boring and bad to look at (except the occasional space porn image) is like the movie trifecta of “stay away from me with your fucking film”.



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The A-Team (2010)

The A-Team is the movie remake of the 80s TV show. It was directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton Jackson, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson.

Somewhere in Mexico, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) gets beat up by corrupt police men; though not as beat up as people might think. He manages to escape and sets out to save his fellow-soldier Faceman Peck (Bradley Cooper). On his way, he meets another Ranger, B. A. Baracus (Quinton Jackson) who decides to help him save Face. And finally, the three of them escape with the help of Captain Murdock (Sharlto Copley), crazy, but a pilot par excellence.
8 years later, the four of them are a force within the army, stationed in Iraq and getting ready to bust some money-printers. Unfortunately, they’re being set up. But by who? And what do Face’s ex-girlfriend Sosa (Jessica Biel) and the CIA-Agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson) want?

Like most people my age, I used to watch the A-Team when I was younger and all the power of nostalgia surrounds it. But my judgement was never too cloudy to know that the show actually sucked (even though it was awesome) and that’s what I expected from the movie as well: stupid jokes, explosions and fun. So it might not come as a surprise that I really liked the film. [What does come as a surprise that most people seem to have expected a good movie and were consequently disappointed. You’re watching the A-Team, people. Don’t expect quality.]

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District 9 (2009)

District 9 is the much talked about movie by Neill Blomkamp starring Sharlto Copley.

An alien ship has more or less landed on earth (it’s been hanging over Johannesburg for about 20 years). The aliens are stuck here and get horded together and locked into a slum/fugitive camp outside Johannesburg, called District 9. Wikus (Sharlto Copley) works for the weapons corporation MNU (Multi-National United) who are responsible for the aliens or “prawns” as they are called. When a project is started to relocate the prawns to another compound, Wikus gets put in charge and is sprayed with some kind of liquid. And then things quickly start to change.

Can you say overhyped? Because that is what Distric 9 is. It’s racist and sexist and there a plot holes a mile wide. The special effects aren’t bad and the basic idea is fine. But the only really good thing about it is Sharlto Copley.


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