Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Letitia Wright, Carrie Coon, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 2.5.2018

Plot:
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has reached the final stages of his plan: he will collect all of the Infinity Stones and with their power reshape the universe after his own ideas. The hunt for the stones makes him cross paths with the Avengers on Earth, as well as the Guardians and the Asgardian refugees in space, leading to them coming together in a desperate effort to stop him and his plans.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of more than a decade of films. That alone makes it a momentous, if not to say monumental film. And it’s not bad per se, but it does feel like a step down from the recent absolute highlights that were Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Gary Scott ThompsonChris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason StathamMichelle RodriguezTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronLuke Evans, Nathalie EmmanuelElsa PatakyKurt RussellKristofer HivjuScott Eastwood
Seen on: 19.4.2017

Plot:
Things should be calm around the Family. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Lettie (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, everybody else has been cleared of all criminal charges and normality is just around the corner. That’s when Dom is contacted by Cipher (Charlize Theron). And she knows everything about him and his past and she’s not afraid to use it to force Dom back into a life of crime. The rest of the Family can’t understand is betrayal and the rift that runs through the group forces them to forge new and unexpected alliances.

The Fate of the Furious is not the strongest film of the series, but it’s by far not the weakest. I had fun watching it, despite a couple of lengths that managed to steal into the film here and there.

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: F. Scott Frazier
Sequel to: xXx, xXx: State of the Union
Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube
Seen on: 24.1.2017

Plot:
When a new weapon called Pandora’s Box is used to crash a satellite with enough precision to kill Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) and stolen from CIA headquarters by Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his people, high-ranking CIA operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette) knows she needs extra help. She finds Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who has been living a quiet life of retirement. After hearing about Gibbons, Cage aggrees to track down Xiang and Pandora’s Box.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage absolutely delivers what it promises: it’s one of the most satisfying, fun action movies in a very long time.

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The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

The Last Witch Hunter
Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Cast: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Rena Owen, Julie Engelbrecht, Michael Caine, Joseph Gilgun, Isaach De Bankolé
Seen on: 4.11.2015

Plot:
Many, many, many years ago Kaulder (Vin Diesel) killed the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) who cursed him with immortality in the process. Ever since Kaulder has worked as a witch hunter. Now he is the last of his kind and most of the remaining witches live normal lives and stick to the rules. But then things start to go very wrong, starting with the murder of Kaulder’s scribe, advisor and friend, the 36th Dolan (Michael Caine). It appears that the Witch Queen isn’t quite as dead as Kaulder thought. Together with witch Chloe (Rose Leslie) and the 37th Dolan (Elijah Wood), Kaulder takes up the fight again.

I didn’t expect The Last Witch Hunter to actually be a good film, but I thought it would be an entertaining schlockfest. Unfortunately, the film aimed higher than that and ends up in the boring, disappointing middleground: not really bad, but not much good either.

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Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne JohnsonJason Statham, Jordana BrewsterMichelle Rodriguez, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, (Luke Evans, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang)
Seen on: 11.4.2015

Plot:
After Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of their team/family brought the criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) down, and brought him down so hard that he’s still in a coma, Shaw’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) has sworn revenge. He starts in Tokyo, but he’s soon right in Dom’s and Brian’s lives – including their families. So Dom and Brian – who thought that they could finally settle down with Letty (Gina Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) respectively – find themselves less retired than expected. But Shaw is not the only trouble, there’s also Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who orders them to help with a new surveillance software that could do much harm in the wrong hands – which is just where it risks ending up.

I watched all seven Fast & Furious movies in less than 24 hours (which was kinda awesome, but also kinda insane and not to be done sober*), so Furious 7 really had to be fantastic to still make me pay attention. But no worries, it did and with apparent ease.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black
Director: David Twohy
Writer: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, David Twohy
Cast: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Rhiana Griffith

Plot:
A spaceship crashlands on an unknown planet, steered by Carolyn (RadhaMitchell) who takes over from the captain. The ship carried a few passangers, most of them civilians. But among them are also Riddick (Vin Diesel), prisoner of William Johns (Cole Hauser) who is transporting him to a penal colony. While everyone is anxious at first about Riddick, the fact of the matter is that the only thing more dangerous than Riddick himself on this planet are the creatures that inhabit it.

Pitch Black is one of those rather claustrophobic space thrillers and it works rather well. Though the sometimes rather cheap look hurts the film a bit, I did enjoy it.

pitchblack

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Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul WalkerDwayne Johnson, Jordana BrewsterMichelle RodriguezGina Carano, Tyrese GibsonLudacris, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Joaquim de AlmeidaElsa Pataky, Luke Evans, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz, [SPOILER] Jason Statham [/SPOILER]

Plot:
After the events of Fast Five, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Paul Walker) group have scattered around the globe. Dom and Elena (Elsa Pataky), Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have settled down in paradise but it doesn’t feel like home to them. So when Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) tracks them down and offers them pardons in exchange for hunting down Shaw (Luke Evans), plus shows them pictures of a clearly still alive Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) working with Shaw, they jump at the chance and reassemble their team.

Fast & Furious 6 is fun. I do think it might have the dumbest script of them all, but maybe just because of that it’s extremely entertaining.

fast-furious-6

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Fast Five (2011)

Fast Five
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonLudacris, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Joaquim de AlmeidaElsa Pataky, Dwayne Johnson

Plot:
After the events of the last movie, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have been on the run. They finally end up in Rio where they are hired for a robbery. But as it turns out, there is more to the robbery. And then Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) arrives in Rio to hunt them down. And Hobbs never misses his mark.

This installment was the best so far (and I’m not saying this just because of Dwayne Johnson). It just changed the right things about the series to appeal to my tastes more.

Fast-Five

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