So I really wanted Kevin Costner to be the next Liam Neeson. That man has just pumped out solid action movies ever since the first Taken film. Costner has really made a come back and I’ve always liked him. Here he plays a former CIA agent who finds out he only has several months to live. He chooses that time to try and reconnect with his estranged family in Paris. Problem is he’s approached by another CIA agent/femme fatale/weirdo played by Amber Heard. She has a new medical drug that can save him, he can have it if he kills off an arms dealer for her.
The film is produced by Luc Besson who I like and is directed by McG who has made at least one good movie(We Are Marshal) so things should have worked out. Sadly almost nothing works here, Costner tries and it’s fun watching him be a bad ass, problem is we don’t get enough of it. The largest action scene is in the first five minutes of the movie, then the film slows down and never picks back up. The film wanted to be a new age True Lies but instead is just a true mess. Hailee Steinfeld plays Costner’s daughter named Zoey. Their scenes together are decent but it’s not enough, it’s simply too generic. The film could have worked if the second plot were interesting at all, but sadly as an action film the movie just fails.
The biggest and weirdest flaw is Amber Heard, her character is not believable in any way. We’re told she’s a CIA operative, but at no time does it feel like it. Every time Costner sees her she’s dressed in the tightest dresses possible. Every scene she’s in is set in a weird 60’s Bond set which is never explained and takes you out of each of those scenes instantly. You start to feel real bad for her because she tries to simply over act herself out of this terrible character/script but she can never escape.
The main villains in this movie are throw away German/Generic European types. One if called “The Wolf” and in the beginning he’s trying to sell a dirty bomb but later we have no idea what he’s even doing. Every bad guy is wearing a black and white suit and Costner has no problem dispersing dozens of them at a time. This lack of a threat makes the action pointless and could make you care even less about the family element.
The obvious selling point for the script was that Costner’s character has no idea how to be a father, so as he tortures men to find “The Wolf” he stops to ask them for father advice. None of these scenes are funny or smart in any way. Basically you realize they are just stalling so the movie didn’t have a run time of forty minutes.
We live in the age of remakes and reboots. Most of the time I’m unhappy about hearing remakes or reboots get the green light but when I heard it was happening for Jack Ryan I was pretty excited. I’m a big fan of the Tom Clancy novels and even bigger fan of the Harrison Ford movies. Even Ben Affleck’s attempt called “The Sum of All Fears” was pretty good. Even though that film ruined Clancy’s story by changing the villains from Arab terrorists to Neo Nazi’s which made no sense what so ever. This reboot starts everything over. We see Jack Ryan(Chris Pine) while in school in England when the attacks on 9/11 happen. He takes his talents to the military but in one short scene we see that a helicopter he was riding in is shot down over Afghanistan. Next thing we know he’s in a military hospital, back broken, the doctors talk about his heroics saving the other passengers from the wreckage, but we never see any of this.
While recovering he meets a beautiful doctor(Keira Knightley) who helps him gain his strength. Knightley here does a very impressive American accent but her character is limited which was sad to see. Ryan from here gets picked up to be a covert CIA agent by a veteran agent(Kevin Costner). The problem this film has is it speeds through everything and frankly we’ve seen all of this before. The only bright light is when the villain is revealed. Kenneth Branagh plays a Russian millionaire who is trying to destroy America’s economy. Funny enough Branagh also directed the film. He’s scenes are hands down the best, he brings a darkness to the movie.
The action scenes, which there are not many of are very well filmed. The major problem for the film is that it just all feels very been there done that. The trailers for the movie hinted that Jack Ryan couldn’t trust anyone, none of this is actually in the film. At no point do we believe his mentor or wife could be a threat to him in any way. It’s rather clear that the only bad guy is Branagh. His characters plan is interesting but not very complex. So in the end the movie is just very generic. I was hoping for this film to lead into a franchise, for that to happen though the movie needed to take a chance and instead it kept its head down and stayed in the shadows.
Now lets get one thing straight Waterworld isn’t really bad. Especially compared to some of the terrible adventure films coming out recently. I really like Kevin Costner and I think he was really good in that movie. The bad guys were fun and so were the battle scenes. Sure the third act was pretty lame but that is a minor complaint. I have been waiting for Hollywood to take a swing at Waterworld. I mean they remade Red Dawn with North Korean invaders so why not remake Waterworld? Well Syfy is stepping up and is wanting to make a sequel to it. Now I’m all for this for comedy reasons alone. Syfy is known now for making terrible B horror and monster movies. So Waterworld 2: Revenge of the Smokers(yeah I made that up) would have a razor thin budget. If they bring back Kevin Costner I’m 100% in. I doubt he’ll do it though since he’s about to make a rip roaring come back in next summers Superman. So prepare for suckyness on the ocean coming to Syfy sometime in the future.
Zack Synder’s upcoming Superman picture is coming together with major pieces of the cast. Diane Lane will play Martha Kent. She’s great so of course this choice makes sense, it’s just hard for me to see her as Martha Kent after a movie like Unfaithful. Adding Lane makes it seem that the family will have a much larger part in the film than at least Superman Returns. So I wonder what the plot of the film will resolve around. Rumors are popping up everywhere that Kevin Costner will play Jonathan Kent which leads me to believe this film will go into Superman’s origins. This is a problem for me. It worked for Batman in Batman Begins for one sole reason, Tim Burton’s Batman film from the 90’s barely focused on Bruce Wayne’s past. So Begins did and it worked because audiences really haven’t seen that on the big screen. With Spider-man and now Superman most people know the origin stories for both characters. Rebooting them and showing us the origins again is simply boring. Hopefully Snyder will gloss over the origin unless he has a direct connection in the story with it. Especially is rumors are true about Viggo Mortensen is going to play General Zod, if this is true they might possibly show what Zod did on Krypton before its destruction. So this will be interesting to see where this movie is going.
Rumors are flying around daily about Superman about casting to story line. Luis Lane rumors are rampant but then a report that Lane wouldn’t be in the movie that much. Speculation is that the film starts with Clark Kent searching for who he is, basically following him as a reporter as he decides to be Superman. Now sure that area has not been explored in the films very much. The show Smallville is all about Clark between his home town and becoming Superman. Now online nerds are furious about this because they want Superman smashing things up with a big time villain, don’t get me wrong I really want this too. Anyway casting rumors are all over the place and now it looks like they have landed Kevin Costner who most likely will play either Clark’s father or possibly Lex Luthor but I’d like to see Perry White. Now I think he’s a perfect Perry White. Still Luthor is possible since they’ll most likely have Luthor being an evil bystander over seeing things as Supes battles a super powered baddie. I love Costner and having him in this movie in whatever role is a good thing.