Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Movie Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (R – 118 minutes)

Both Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds have proved to be action capable, and comically irreverent.  I suppose it was inevitable that they would end up paired in an action comedy, and I for one, am grateful they did.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard has a very simple story.  Former Ukrainian president Vladislav Dukhovich is currently on trial at the Hague for crimes against his people specifically and humanity in general. However, conveniently, all the witnesses against him keep turning up dead or unreliable.  He’s about to get away with horrific crimes and go back to ruling his country when Interpol decides to get international assassin-for-hire Darius Kincaid to testify against him.  They already have him in prison, along with his wife.  In exchange for his testimony, they agree to let his wife go free.  During the transfer from Manchester the convoy is attached, and agent Amelia Roussel realizes she cannot trust any of her own team, and calls in her ex – Michael Bryce, former AAA rated professional bodyguard to get Kincaid to the Hague to testify in time.  Along the way, the two first hate each other, but then come to a begrudging respect as they help each other realize their own flaws.  Of course, hijinks ensue. 

Directed by Patrick Hughes (Expendables 3), it’s a simple straightforward story that really reminds me of the buddy action movies of the 80s and 90s – Tango and Cash, 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon, Showdown in Little Tokyo, etc.  It feels a bit like a throwback to those in that the violence is big, the action is top level, the stakes are high, the villain is incredibly intense and terrifying, and the comedy is outrageous and slapstick-y.  This is a trope I have always enjoyed, so I appreciate this movie as well.  It’s not perfect, but it’s entertaining - especially that each new character gets a slow reveal - meaning the camera starts at their feet as they get out of a vehicle or enter a room, then slowly moves up as they turn around. It happens several times in this movie. As with those older movies – this one works because of the cast, and their chemistry with one another.

  • Ryan Reynolds plays Ryan Reynolds – I mean Wade Wilson – I mean Michael Bryce.  Honestly, the name doesn't matter, he’s a very Ryan Reynolds-y type, and that works well here.  Capable and sarcastic, he mistakenly blames his ex, Agent Roussel, for his sudden downturn in work and respectability.  One adventure with Kincaid helps him realize that she was not to blame and he needs to apologize to her.  

  • Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson – I mean Darius Kincaid.  He curses his way through the movie (122 times), which is exactly what you want from Samuel L. Jackson – his interactions with Reynolds are fantastic, and the action sequences are even better.

  • Elodie Yung plays Amelia Roussel – and she’s great in the beginning firefight during the attack on the convoy, but then she basically disappears for the majority of the movie until she reappears at the end.  She’s great with the action, but since the movie is about the two leads, she gets less to do.

  • Salma Hayek plays Sonia Kincaid, all firey Latina anger.  Her performance seems to live right in the zone between way over-the-top, and in line with the story – but edging closer to over-the top. She bosses around the Interpol agents, and yells at her husband, even though she’s very much in love with him.

  • Gary Oldman plays Vladislav Dukovich, and he is completely and totally terrifying. This villain could easily be in a more serious movie, but his dastardly-ness works in favor here, never letting the movie go completely into comedy mode – keeping the action on point and making the stakes real.  With any other actor, this would have felt like it didn’t belong in this movie, but for some reason, Oldman makes it work.

  • Joaquim de Almeida shows up as an Interpol agent who (surprise) is actually working for Dukovich and is the mole in the department.  When this was first introduced, I did expect a side-storyline of Roussel searching for the mole, and a bit of cat and mouse between her and de Almeida – but that does not happen at all – she figures it out right at the end.

Overall, the movie is just fine, a perfectly serviceable late summer action-comedy flick.  The chase sequences in Amsterdam were fantastic, and the final confrontation between all parties during Dukovich’s trial were also fantastic.  It was definitely enjoyable, as long as you don’t expect too much.

7 out of 10 – gained points for Oldman, but lost points for not having outtakes over the end credits – you know more than half of the Reynolds/Jackson interactions were improv and I wanted to see more of that!

Bonus – cast interviews:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Movie Review: The Big Sick (R – 120 minutes)

I have been a fan of Stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon for some time, they have a podcast called “The Indoor Kids” that deals mostly with video games that is very entertaining.  Then Kumail started showing up in various movies, and got a large role as Dinesh on Silicon Valley – a really funny HBO comedy. 

Kumail and Emily worked together to write a screenplay loosely based on the way they met and fell in love.  It’s an interesting story, and really makes for an exceptional movie.
Kumail is working as a stand-up in Chicago, driving for Uber when not ‘gigging’.  His family is steeped in Pakistani tradition, and would prefer him to have an arranged marriage to a nice Pakistani girl, like his brother.  Seemingly once a week, they have him over for dinner, and his mother has a girl “stop by” so that he can meet her.  While performing a set one night, a girl in the audience loudly reacts, and this leads to them having a brief but flirtatious encounter after the set.  They quickly begin dating, and seem very happy together.

Eventually Emily learns that Kumail has not yet told his family about her, because his parents are so insistent that he marry a Pakistani woman they choose.  This upsets her, because she has told her parents all about him.  They break up, and while broken up, Kumail receives a call from one of her friends stating that she is in the hospital, and needs someone with her.
As he visits her, her condition worsens, and he has to call her parents to come in to be with her as she is put into a coma so that doctors can analyze the situation.  Over the course of her coma, as her health gets better, then worse, then better again – Kumail gets to know her parents, gets a career opportunity, and learns to be clear with his own parents about what he wants from his life, and how important Emily is to him. 

The movie is fun, charming, and touching.  Directed by Michael Showalter (a veteran of The State comedy troupe), the movie is fairly fast paced for something where one of the two leads spends a lot of time in a coma.  The emotions feel genuine, and the cast is just wonderful.
  • Kumail Najiani has been so good for so long, it’s great to see him really get to step into the spotlight with this movie. 

  • Zoe Kazan plays Emily, mostly because the real Emily is not an actor, and Zoe does a great job of playing her with a warmth that is
  • Holly Hunter plays Beth, Emily’s mother, and Ray Romano plays Terry, Emily’s father.  They are fantastic as they slowly get to know and respect Kumail as they try to deal with their daughter’s illness.

  • When Kumail asked his real father who he would like to play him in the movie, he wanted Bollywood legend Anupam Kher, who was also the father in Bend It like Beckham.  They actually got him, and he is really spectacular as a man who wants to uphold tradition, but also loves his son and wants him to be happy.  Zenobia Shroff plays Sharmeen, Kumail’s mother, who is really just focused on getting him married.  Adeel Akhtar plays Kumail’s brother Naveed.

  • Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, and Kurt Braunohler all play versions of themselves as comedians in Kumail’s circle of friends who offer advice and insults at varying points. David Alan Grier has basically a cameo as the comedy club owner, Andy Dodd.

Overall, the movie is at times hilarious, and at times really emotional.  It’s the best ‘little’ movie I’ve seen this year, and everyone should check it out.  It started in a limited release, so it’s still playing here and there.  Go see it, you’ll enjoy it.

9 out of 10 – gained points for the pictures of Kumail and Emily’s real wedding over the end credits.  Fantastic!

Cast Interviews from THR!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Movie Review: The Dark Tower (PG13 – 95 minutes)

The original “The Dark Tower” series is a series of eight books written by Stephen King that basically ties together all his stories into one ‘universe’.  Initially, he visualized the lead ‘gunslinger’ as a “Clint Eastwood” type who travels the worlds looking to eliminate the “man in black” who is planning to destroy the tower – which is holding back darkness from the universe.  The first book was published in 1982.

The series has been kicked around as either a movie or TV series idea for several years, but has fallen through many times because the material is a bit overwhelming.  This movie version tries to be epic, but ends up falling flat.
The story begins with a boy, Jake, struggling in life in our world – getting bullied in school because he’s dealing with the recent death of his father. His mother is remarried, and he spends most of his time drawing sketches of his dreams or visions. He continually dreams of a man in black using children to attack a tower, and of a gunslinger who is attempting to stop him.

Eventually, Jake gets some creepy messages from both his visions and a random homeless guy, and figures out that he is being followed by ‘skins’, creepy demons wearing human masks.  You can pick them out because of the seam in the flesh on their necks.  One day, his mom and step father are attempting to ship him off to a ‘facility’ where he can ‘get the help he needs’, but he recognizes the attendants there to pick him up as ‘skins’, so he runs away to a house he saw in his visions. Once in the house, he defeats the house demon (no, I have no idea how, or even why there is a house demon, or really, what the house demon’s deal was – protecting the house?), punches a code into what seems to be a stargate generator, and transports into another world.

Jake runs into Roland, the gunslinger, and tells him about his visions and where the man in black, Walter, is, and what he is doing.  Together, he and Roland head off through a desert, then a creepy forest where they encounter a demon who fakes being both of their dead fathers, then a village with a seer.  The seer lets everybody know that Walter is after Jake because Jake has a very powerful “shine”, which seems to be telepathy, with limited telekinesis. Walter can use him to attack the tower because his mind is more powerful than others.  Walter sends some bounty-hunter-style demons to attack the village looking for Jake, but he and Roland head off back to our world.

We then have a brief and hilarious sequence of Roland attempting to deal with our world, including attempting to pay for doctor services with a silver coin, telling party girls on a bus that they “have forgotten the faces of their fathers”, and getting excited about the surplus of bullets.   Quickly enough Walter figures out where they are, grabs the kid, and heads off to the ‘hub’ area to use Jake to attack the tower.  Roland has to fight through a collection of ‘skins’ here to get to the portal, and defeat Walter to grab Jake – then the two of them set off on more adventures.

The movie is directed by Nikolaj Arcel; and while parts of it are interesting, the majority of it is really disjointed and unnecessarily complicated.  It feels like they tried to fit in way too much, and ended up cutting everything a bit short, so nothing really has enough of an explanation.  The skins were interesting, but we never get to know anything about them.  Exactly how is Walter using kids to fire bolts of power at the tower?  What exactly will happen if the tower falls? Because Roland attempts to explain it with a stick, dirt circles, and a tarantula.  What are those skins doing on our world, just hanging out, or constantly hunting kids?  What was up with the folks in that village?  I feel like all of these questions may have been answered in the book, but I have never read it.  If you have, let me know if it better explains all of these random questions.  The cast is fine, and they execute the material, but no one really elevates it. 

  • Idris Elba does what he can with what is there.  He’s fantastic at glowering, and even better at the action.  Honestly, I couldn’t help but be exceptionally irritated that he’s not James Bond, because watching him do the action in this, and saunter around in some fantastic costuming makes me realize he would be outstanding as Bond.  Dammit, Daniel Craig.

  • Matthew McConaughey plays Walter, and slinks his way through the movie, avoiding twirling a mustache by chewing then scenery slowly.  He relishes the role and does a fine job, but since I really did not understand why he was doing what he was doing, aside from him wanting to unleash darkness, I found him uninteresting as a character.

  • Tom Taylor was pretty good as Jake Chambers, his sadness at the beginning was offset nicely by his hope at the end.  I did find it puzzling that Roland tells him his “shine” is his weapon, and I wanted to see it used as a weapon – he uses it to communicate, and to hold a portal open, but I really wanted to see him dark phoenix with it and throw some skins around.

  • Katheryn Winnick from Vikings plays his mother Laurie, and she’s fine, attempting to help her son, but also growing frustrated.  Walter did kill her off-screen, which was a little strange.

  • Jackie Earle Haley plays Sayre – I did not know that character’s name until I looked him up on IMDB. Basically, he’s the skin demon stationed in New York to help hunt down kids and provide some exposition.

  • Claudia Kim from Avengers Age of Ultron plays the seer Arra Champignon.  There wasn’t much there for her to do, so she was fine as she generally warned everyone after telling them Roland’s lineage (he’s from Arthur’s line, and his guns are made from the metal of ExCalibur!).

  • Dennis Haysbert briefly appears as Roland’s father (he’s 63, Idris is 44), and he’s cool while he’s there to help Roland remember the Gunslinger's Creed.

  • Fran Kranz plays Pimli – one of the skins operating Walter’s child-weapon-tower-blasting-hub location.

I didn’t like it very much, I don’t think that’s because the movie wasn’t good, I think it’s because it was too ambitious and took on too much.  I will say that they did walk a fine line – the movie could have fallen into “gun porn” – after all, the hero is a literal gunslinger.  However, they manage to be fairly careful about it, and not go overboard with the gun-love.  At one point he does hand the gun to the kid (which made me very uncomfortable), and lets him shoot it, but takes it back from him pretty quickly.  There were some things that were interesting and I wanted more of them, but the movie had to include so much, they couldn’t really explain the parts I found interesting, which ironically caused me to lose interest in the whole thing.

4 out of 10 – gained points for trying, and for Idris’s outfit.  Lost points for just about everything else, including how much McConaughey’s hair changes from scene to scene. He doesn’t even have that much hair.

Bonus – Here's the LAMBcast episode of Dark Tower, where I joined other LAMB members to discuss the movie! https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/lambcast/episodes/2017-08-10T07_18_01-07_00

Also - In case you forgot, in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Idris played a French monk.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TV Movie Review: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (TV-14, 90 minutes)

Disclaimer – in no way do I support any kind violence towards sharks, because the majority of them are endangered and need our support because they are key to healthy ocean eco-systems.  On the other hand, terribly CGIed sharks that are chomping as they fall from CGIed tornadoes …

If you’re not familiar with the Sharknado series that airs on SyFy, let me see if I can sum them up for you.  In the first movie, bartender and former surfer Fin Shepard collected his family with the assistance of his employee Nova as he went through Los Angeles evading a sharknado.  What is a sharknado? I’m shocked you have to ask – it’s exactly what it sounds like – a tornado filled with sharks.  Why?  In the first movie, due to global warming side effects, sharks were massing in large amounts off the coast of L.A., and a hurricane spun off several tornadoes – which picked up sharks from the ocean, and rolled through the city, periodically dumping sharks here and there, which then chomped through random celebrity cameos and extras.

In the second movie, Fin and April reconnected, and traveled to New York, which was of course then hit by a sharknado.  In the third movie, the sharknadoes got so big they took over the eastern seaboard, most notably hitting Universal Studios in Florida, which led to several hilarious shark landings.  In order to defeat it, Fin teamed up with his father, Gil, who worked for NASA, to suck the sharknado up into space – this resulted in two amazing things, Gil got stuck on the moon (don’t worry, he got back in time for the fourth movie), and pregnant April got swallowed up by a space-going great white, Fin went in after her and April gave birth to their son in the belly of a great white as it fell back to earth, seriously.    

Because she was mostly crushed by space debris, the fourth movie picks up with April’s crazy inventor father reconstructing her into a cyborg, while Fin, his cousin Gemini, and his son Gil battle a sharknado through Vegas, which then splits into several ‘nadoes, all picking up different things as they spin across the country (firenado, oilnado, cownado – you get the idea).  The movie ends with the family reunited and reconnecting with Nova as she informs them Sharknadoes are now worldwide.

That leads us to the beginning of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.  Nova is spelunking in a cave under Stonehenge, and contacts Fin for assistance. Fin, April, and son Gil are hanging out with the prime minister of England (no, I'm not entirely sure why they are hanging out with the prime minister).  Fin heads off to help Nova, and April and Gil meet a Q-style tech genius who gives Gil a helmet that will protect him, even from Sharknado-level winds.  

Meanwhile, Fin and Nova have an Indiana Jones-style excursion to snag a shark-fin stone with a gem in it, and learn from pictograms on the wall that even ancient druids were battling mystical sharknadoes.  Guys, the sharknadoes are mystical!  After they remove the stone (never remove the stone), a huge sharknado appears out of nowhere, and wipes out most of London.  And that was just the cold open.  You then get the awesome theme song and animated credits sequence.

Since Gil was sucked into the sharknado, April and Fin set off on a worldwide quest to figure out what the stone means, and how to use it to not only defeat the sharknadoes, but use them as teleporting devices to get all over the world! That’s right, not only are the sharknadoes mystical, but Fin and April can use the stone to summon and then use them transportation.  They go from London to Australia – where they meet Nova’s collection of Sharknado Sisters – a group of women that Nova had collected to battle Sharknadoes wherever and whenever they appear – and who apparently configured the Sydney Opera House to a battleship (no, seriously, that happens).  

After some of her group help rebuild April, they end up in the Alps, then in Brazil, then in Rome (where they met the pope, who gives Fin a holy chainsaw and have to reclaim the stone from Greg Lougainis), then finally in Egypt – now, I may have gotten some of that wrong in terms of the order, and I may have missed a stop or two.  Fin and April were terrible at traveling by Sharknado and it was tough to keep up!

Fin’s cousin Gemini is one of Nova’s Sharknado Sisters based in Japan, and a Sharkzilla rolls through Tokyo.  What’s a Sharkzilla?  It appears to be a giant shark shape made up of smaller mutated sharks that mutated when they spun off a sharknado and rolled through some nuclear waste leftover from the previous movie. You heard me right, it’s a literal spin-off. 

Anyway, while in Egypt – Fin and April discover more ancient artifacts, and a device that turns off the sharknadoes, but only after losing both Gil and Nova.  That seems to work, but then for some reason that I missed, something goes wrong, and a massive sharknado storm spreads over the entire world.  April is able to dissipate it, but only by sacrificing herself.  This leads to Fin walking through an apocalyptic nightmare landscape with her head in a bag (yes, her head in a bag - remember, she's mostly cyborg) when he is finally tracked down by Dolph Lundgren in a time traveling jeep (you also read that right, Dolph Lundgren in a time-traveling jeep) who tells Fin that he is Gil from the future, and he needs his help to set all this right.  Wow, that sentence was crazy.  With any luck, Sharknado 6 will be the two of them using time travel to reset everything!

The movie is once again directed by Anothony C. Ferrante (he directed all the previous installments), and somehow, he manages to continually up the crazy.  I was not sure how he was going to go from the insanity of various types of ‘nadoes in 4.  He does it by spoofing several genres: Indiana Jones and Bond, etc.  He also does it by shifting back to focusing on fighting the sharknadoes themselves, as opposed to hilariously battling sharks in crazy situations as they have landed after being dropped out of a sharknado.  I actually really appreciate that aspect, as we’ve seen people slapping sharks around and getting eaten by sharks as they fall all over the place. 
I also really appreciated the added mystical element, and that you can teleport through sharknadoes, because why not?  I liked the addition of the ancient “shark god” aspect, but wanted a little more there.  After all, I’m pretty sure King Shark from the Flash TV show had some time off and could have played that part.  Yes, I wrote that sentence as if King Shark were real.  I have a thing for him and his sexy shorts. 

In any case, the movie is complete and total nonsense, and it was endlessly entertaining.
  • I’ve said it before and I will say it again, half the charm of these movies comes from Ian Ziering and his absolute commitment to play these as seriously as possible, no matter the nonsense coming out of his mouth. 

  • Tara Reid is getting better as we go along, no longer sleepwalking through the movies, and at this point, actively having some fun with the silly. No, there's no explanation for why when she is rebuilt she gets 90s popstar pink highlights.

  • Cassandra Scerbo is back as Nova and her hatred of sharks.  She was in 1, 3, and now 5.  In theory she got killed off here, but if time travel is now an option, I’m sure she’ll be back. I am not sure what I thought about her leather sharknado-battling wonder-woman-style outfit, but hey – I’ll go with it.  I do really want to see a spin-off about her starting the Sharknado Sisterhood.

  • Billy Barratt plays young Gil, and honestly, he had nothing to do but wear his shark helmet and scream as he’s rotated around inside a sharknado for most of the movie. I’m so excited that he turned into Dolph Lundgren. 

  • Cody Linley briefly reprises his role as Matt, April and Fin’s other son, and he seems to be building a family home somewhere.  I would assume because his schedule wouldn’t allow him to join main filming, but he still wanted to participate – and I appreciate that.  No sign of Ryan Newman as their daughter Claudia, she’s mentioned as being off somewhere.

  • From that point on, everything else is mostly cameos, but oh man, the cameos:  Chris Kattan (as the British Prime Minister), Charo, Greg Lougainis, Samantha Fox, Clay Aiken, Jeff Rossen, Kathie Lee and Hoda, Al Roker, Bret Michaels, Tom Daley, Olivia Newton John, and on and on and on. 

Overall, it is total and complete nonsense, but I actually liked it better than the fourth.  Enjoy the silliness, and remember, the science is sound.

10 of 10 – because really, these movies exist outside a normal grading scale.  It will be replaying for some time on SyFy. Do yourself a favor, turn off your brain and give it a watch, you’ll laugh out loud more than once!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde (R - 115 minutes)

Lately Charlize Theron has been really working on her action star status (if you didn’t see her steal all of Mad Max Fury Road, you should).  Atomic Blonde is based on the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City.  The graphic novel revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the west on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The movie follows that story pretty closely, and is also set in Berlin in 1989, just as the wall is beginning to come down.  While the spies in Berlin are desperately trying to figure out where they will fit when the wall is no longer separating countries, MI6 agent James Gasciogne is killed by a veteran KGB agent, Yuri Bakhtin.  Bakhtin steals a list (it’s always a list, the most solid of spy movie macguffins), which he hangs on to instead of taking it back to the Soviet Union – it would appear that he wants to sell it.  Upset with that prospect, and the fact that it will compromise many of their agents, MI6 sends in agent Lorraine Broughton to meet up with their rogue agent Percival to retrieve the list.  The story is told via flashback as it all takes place while Lorraine is being interrogated by both MI6 and the CIA after the fact.

Broughton explains that her cover when blown as soon as she landed, was followed by French agent LaSalle, dealt with Percival’s loose-cannon-ness, and eventually tracked down Bakhtin before he made contact with KGB associate Aleksander Bremovych.   Along the way, she and Percival learn that german agent ‘Spyglass’ has memorized the entire list, so it becomes imperative to get him out of the east to the west as well. 

If that all sounds a bit confusing, it is, but only a little.  The plot is actually pretty thin but that’s fine, because the focus is the action.  The movie is directed by David Leitch, who co-directed John Wick, and because his career started as a stunt performer and coordinator, the action is spectacular.  The chase scenes around the city are interesting, but what is particularly fantastic are the hand to hand combat sequences.  Leitch really knows how to shoot fight scenes, from enough of a distance that you can see the entire fight, and trying to keep the cuts to a minimum.
  • Charlize Theron, to her credit, excels in the fight sequences, and gives Broughton a determined flatness that works very well with the story.  She’s simply there to get the job done, regardless of what she has to deal with in the process.  I found it interesting that really, the character could have been either female or male, it’s just a badass spy completing her task, and Charlize is fantastic.

  • James McAvoy plays David Percival, and he’s very high strung and annoying, but that fits this role perfectly.  Broughton is well aware that Percival is shady, the question is just, how shady?  He manages to let you know Percival is untrustworthy, but you still want to be able to trust him.

  • Eddie Marsan plays Spyglass, and really just gets to be desperate in his need to get out of the country – and totally confident that he memorized the entire list.

  • John Goodman plays Emmett Kurzfeld - the CIA agent joining in on Broughton’s interrogation, and Toby Jones plays Eric Gray – the MI6 agent joining in on Broughton’s interrogation.

  • Roland Moller plays Aleksander Bremovych, who terrorizes some skater kids while trying to find Bakhtin and the list.

  • Sofia Boutella plays French agent Delphine Lasalle, and I will say, I felt like she was shortchanged on the fight sequences.  From Kingsmen and Mummy, we know she’s capable of action, and while it was stated that LaSalle was fairly new at her job, I still wanted her to get a couple of badass fight sequences, instead of just screaming, running and flailing.

  • Bill Skarsgard (yes, one of those Skarsgards: Alexander’s brother and Stellan’s son and not related to Peter) plays Merkel, Broughton’s contact in Berlin who helps her get pretty much anything she needs. Incidentally, this is the Skarsgard that is in the new It.

  • Til Schweiger is completely underused as the watchmaker, who seems to be an all-around spy go-to in Berlin.

I really enjoyed the movie, even if the story was weak, because the action was so strong.  It’s not too long, and the end made me curious what Broughton would get up to next.

8 out of 10 – Gained points for the stairway fight sequence.  Apparently hallways and stairways are the best places for awesome fight sequences (Captain America Civil War; Daredevil, etc.).

Bonus – the movie did remind me a lot of Long Kiss Goodnight.  If you haven’t seen that in a while, go back and check it out.  Geena Davis was doing a bunch of ass-kicking quite a while ago.