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My thoughts on Copshop (2021), Red Notice (2021), Army of Thieves (2021) and Finch (2021)

genre: crime, action, thriller

Copshop (2021)

Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo in an action flick? Surely that is too much testosterone anyone can handle.

Mind you I really dug the tone and the setting. It really was perfect to deliver the action goodness I craved. But for whatever reason writer / director Joe Carnahan opted to focus more on it's lore that barely had any substance. Sure some of the interactions between the characters were fun. I mean both Butler and Grillo are master at playing cynical but likable characters. Besides Butler just being in a film elevates the viewing experience considerably. But there were no real surprises. Almost every event plays out you expect and that is quite boring if next to it you don't really give us high grade action. To me the action wasn't exciting. It entertains while it lasts but it's never memorable. Joe Carnahan did a whole lot better with Smokin' Aces even it does point out a pattern or ambition Carnahan hasn't been able to improve upon.

For the most part Copshop is entertaining enough. But honestly I was expecting a lot more gun play and fireworks. Bit of a letdown!

genre: action, adventure, heist, comedy

Red Notice (2021)

Out of the Blue comes Red Notice and yes I had seen the trailer but nothing in the trailer really enticed me to watch it so I forgot about it. And now it's here. I wished I could say the viewing experience was extraordinary.

Maybe it's me. But I am slightly getting tired of seeing The Rock and Ryan Reynolds in blockbuster films. Like they are the only ones left. It certainly doesn't help that they also always are playing the same type of character in the same type of movie. Red Notice is like a blend of many action adventure flicks that have been without adding something unique of their own. I mean the film makes several nods to Indiana Jones and other films but clearly is infinitely worse than any of the films referred to. I laughed a few times but was mostly bored out of my mind. I didn't care about anyone or anything in the film. I was like whatever throughout. This could have been remedied had the film at least tried to put real excitement in the film. Or I don't know actually make it seem people could die or get hurt. Those little details make all the difference. Even a big chase scene is directly lifted from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull without the sense of danger and predicament that scene contained. It also made little sense to have such a chase scene since the situation called for a shootout. Instead we are forced to hear Gal Gadot sing. I have no problems with her. I actually like her as Wonder Woman. But at this point she is trying to hard to be cool and interesting while she is not. 

Real shame that Netflix is wasting their money like this. I am sure there are many independent filmmakers out there with original and creative ideas who would rock it when given the chance. Red Notice is passable for a quiet Sunday but not really one I can recommend.

genre: action, comedy, crime

Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves is a prequel to Army of the Dead. And one that is an improvement on the original.

The main and only reason to watch this little heist flick is Matthias Schweigh√∂fer as Ludwig Dieter. Like in the original he steals the show. In this film it's not about zombies but about him becoming the ultimate thief. The film definitely is entertaining. Even when it does drop the ball a few times in actually making things more exciting and thrilling. For a film that is about multiple heists it shows very little of what makes heist films so compelling. Even the most perfect plans can go wrong and how these thieves deal with that is what often provides the fun. Also the big plan is filled with big illogical flaws. Let's take the first heist as an example. When Dieter has managed to open the vault there is so much money there. Enough to swim in it. Yet they leave with an amount that fits in two sport bags. There was enough time to take more but they didn't. If they had done so they wouldn't even had to crack the other vaults. Of course for Dieter is was always about the safe / vault cracking itself. But for the others it definitely was about the money. To leave money behind like that is nonsensical and truly breaks the immersion. At least had Dieter or another character remark something about the money and trying to get more while the others refrained him with some other nonsensical reason. It would have been funny. 

The biggest problem of this film is that it is entirely predictable. This being a prequel you also already know how Dieter is going to end up. It takes a lot away. This film needed a villain. A proper villain. Someone as good as Dieter who would challenge him every twist and turn but where Dieter somehow would come on top. As it is now it's passable and entertaining while it lasts. But ultimately a little letdown since it could have been so much more.

genre: adventure, drama, science fiction

Finch (2021)

Finch is like a combination of Castaway and Wall-E. It seems like Tom Hanks is one of the few survivors of a postapocalyptic event that wiped out the majority of humankind. Finch himself is not doing well but has one last journey to take with his dog Goodyear and robot Jeff.

I know that Tom Hanks is specialized in roles like these. Like always he is outstanding. But the real scene stealer is Jeff voiced by Caleb Landry Jones. (He also sounds a bit like Borat for some reason.) Jeff is basically a child with childlike logic and lack of experience and wisdom. Although it is him who ends up teaching Finch a thing or two about being human. I have read some complaints from people how this film is like watching paint dry or how very little happens. I wholeheartedly disagree with this notion. We are witnessing someone who is all alone and tries to do as much as he can for his only true friend, his dog Goodyear. It's incredibly endearing and sweet. However we do learn that Finch isn't a perfect character by any means. He has made some mistakes and still doesn't quite understand relationships and how to maintain them. It's a very universal theme that should have resonated with everyone. But I guess people wanted more action and thrills. I love action but I love science fiction also. And good science fiction often makes you think about certain topics. Finch definitely points out the flaws in humans and for example parenthood. 

To me this film did resonate with me. I didn't find it boring in the slightest. Was I disappointed there wasn't more to the story? To an extent. I think quite a lot is packed in if you give it some thought but for the most part it's the human element that made me love this. In my opinion a must watch for sure.

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