5 Suspenseful Films to Tide You Over Until Spectre

movie popcorn photo for blogWhat another summer film roundup? Well, after leaving San Francisco and spending time with my family I’ve seen way more movies than I thought I would. Not that I’m complaining, but I felt it was time for another film roundup. Without further ado here are the movies I’ve seen and my thoughts on each one. Let’s begin.

Spy

What’s to like
I love Archer, so a spy movie starring Melissa McCarthy sounded like a winner to me. For the most part, it works. McCarthy is hilarious as always and whether she’s chasing down a killer, getting into heated arguments with Bridesmaid co-star Rose Byrne or telling Jason Statham how stupid he is she nails all her lines. Statham is great here too, and I enjoyed how he exaggerates his accomplishments, and that he loathes working together with McCarthy. Here’s hoping for a sequel that improves on the groundwork laid here.

What’ s not to like
The move can take it a little too far with the crude humor and the amount of F- bombs. If you’ve seen Archer and Bridesmaid before you won’t be surprised, but I can see this movie alienating some people. Still, even though McCarthy’s character can be extreme, she has a good heart and genuinely wants to help her friends.

Mission Impossible Rouge Nation:

What’s to like
First of all, I love that each Mission Impossible film has a different director who puts their own unique spin on the franchise, so no film is the same. Compared to other Mission Impossible films I thought this one had the best pacing, and it’s my favorite of the series. Also, even though this movie has a lot of action sequences, I found the opera house, the opening plane mission, swimming scene, and the motorcycle chase action all equally memorable. Another bright note is the movie is genuinely funny. Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin have excellent chemistry and often act as comical relief for example. Character development is very strong too, and it’s nice to see recurring characters like Simon Pegg really come into their own here. Lastly, Rebecca Ferguson is the best female action star I’ve seen in a long time. She’s a well-rounded character who steals all the scenes she’s in and holds her own against Tom Cruise.

What’s not to like
You may have noticed I didn’t mention the villain. Well, he’s not bad, but I just didn’t find him as menacing, as other Mission Impossible villains. He mostly uses his intelligence to make Cruise’s life hell rather than acting as a physical threat. Not that that’s a bad thing, and it ultimately forgiving since there isn’t a big action sequence with him and Cruise because the movie has plenty of action already.

The Gift

What’s to like
The Gift isn’t a spy movie, but I saw it around the same time as all the other spy films, so I figured why not include it here. It does share similar spy movie traits though because it’s a suspense film and does a good job of keeping you on your toes. I hadn’t even heard of this film until I randomly checked online, so I went in without expectations. I’m glad I did because this movie is great and has some fantastic performances by Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Egerton. Without giving too much away, a couple moves to California from Chicago, and the husband encounters an old high school friend while out shopping. This person from his past seems unusually friendly, and things quickly go sour. What’s so riveting about the film is the characters all have secrets, and you don’t know who to believe. I also enjoyed that it’s not overly graphic with violence like I was expecting, and I enjoyed how it builds up to its scares slowly.

What’s not to like
The ending wasn’t complete satisfying to me. I didn’t think it was a bad ending, but I’d be curious to see what other conclusions the director might have chosen. Other then that I don’t have many complaints, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. It really came out of nowhere, so if you’re thinking of seeing it go for it.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E

What’s to like
Unlike The Gift, I saw tons of advertisements and previews for this film, so I was excited to see it. Nice job marketing department you’ve done your job. What I found most enjoyable about The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was the 1960’s setting and the way film evoking the Sean Connery James Bond films. Also, like Mission Impossible this film has some excellent action scenes, and I appreciate the film’s dry humor. It’s always nice to see an action movie not take itself too seriously. I thought Henry Cavill did a good job, and I could see him as potential next Bond candidate. Alicia Vkander was also quite good, and her banter with Armee Hammer were some of the best parts of the film.

What’s not to like
The film isn’t very memorable and something I wouldn’t strongly recommend to people. While enjoyable it’s not great and compared to Mission Impossible the character development and action sequences aren’t as impressive. Also, I didn’t see The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV show, so if I had, I might have enjoyed this film more. Still, a tease for a sequel has me hopeful that the next film will turn out much better.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

What’s to like
While I didn’t see this in theaters, this is a spy movie, so it works for this blog post. My first impressions of Kingsman: The Secret Service didn’t excite me because it looked like James Bond Jr. Thankfully the younger cast isn’t a problem and Colin Firth and Michael Caine compliment them nicely while Samuel Jackson is terrific as a villain with a lisp. I also love the London setting and how the film reference Bond films with villain anecdotes, gadgets, themes, and over the top silliness. All in all this a fun film and I’ll never think of Freebird the same way after seeing this that’s for sure.

What’s not to like
Kingman: The Secret Service can take it a bit too far like Spy with the vulgarity, and it’s not a film I recommend to everyone. Also, while I thought the young cast did a great job I just prefer a more experienced older agent in spy films.

There you have it another film roundup. In term of enjoyment here’s how I’d rank them.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Gift
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Spy
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

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