Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the return of Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the kind-hearted Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show to talk the murky origins of the Mai Tai, a drink that became so popular in the 1960s it caused a worldwide rum shortage! We also talk about what to watch on the weekend!
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Jason Statham shoot ’em up “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the quirky Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD) and the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the return of Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the kind-hearted Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
A remake of Nicolas Boukhrief’s 2004 French film “Le Convoyeur,” “Wrath of Man,” now playing in theatres and coming soon to VOD, is a revenge/heist flick that sees director Guy Ritchie reunited with his trademarked tricky storytelling style, Jason Statham and the ruthless violence that made his early movies such eye poppers.
Statham plays “’H’, like in bomb,” a man of few words with a mysterious past. Big surprise there. They should call him Gazpacho because he is the coolest of cool cucumbers. No matter what, this guy’s pulse rate never rises above 50 beats per minute.
When we first meet him, he takes a job as a security guard for Fortico, a Los Angeles armored car company. A recent robbery left three people dead and made the surviving guards edgy and uneasy. “Do you have any idea how dangerous this job can be?” a coworker named Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett) asks him. “We ain’t the predator, we’re the prey.”
When some very bad people attempt to rob one of the company’s cash trucks “H” reveals a special set of skills to the shock and awe of his co-workers. “It doesn’t feel right,” says security guard Bullet (Holt McCallany). “It’s like he wants the trucks to get hit.”
As the bodies pile up “H’s” lethal past is exposed and it becomes clear that he didn’t take the gig at the armored car company simply because he needed a week to week pay cheque. “I can do in two weeks,” “H” says to the shadowy Agent King (Andy Garcia), “what you wish you could do in twenty years.”
Told on a broken timeline and sectioned-off into chapters with names like “Bad, Animals, Bad” and “Scorched Earth,” the movie’s plot can be boiled down to one line. “I do bear a grudge,” “H” says, summing up the film’s raison d’etre as bullets fly and bodies pile up. A nihilistic story about revenge decorated with a tense heist subplot, it’s a riff on Statham’s earlier work in which he usually played either Character #1, a “loner with a past who must protect a loved one,” or Character #2, the “loner with a past who must protect a youthful innocent.”
Here he shakes things up by showing a disregard for the lives of some while avenging the loss of a loved one. Gone is the jokey Statham of “Spy” and his over-the-top “Fast and Furious” work. This is a back-to-basics performance that sees him settle on one facial expression, as though his chiseled face is encased in amber, to convey the character’s one deadly motive. The taciturn thing has worked for him before and it works well here. “H” is no laughing matter. Danger follows him around, and Statham’s coiled spring performance, no matter how basic, suggests that ultra-violence could erupt at any moment. It gives the movie much of its edge as Ritchie navigates the grim but stylish goings-on.
Are there plot holes? Yes. I can’t go into them without giving the story away but let’s just say “H’s” resilience is impressive.
Somewhere buried deep in the gunplay there is an elegance to “Wrath of Man.” Ritchie’s tough-talking film is tautly crafted, and, for those expecting “Snatch” style editing tricks, quite restrained.
The editing, not the violence.
Shot through a hail of bullets, the movie builds to a tense “Heat” style climax that doesn’t waste time or ammo. The jittery atmosphere is amped up by an angrily effective score from composer Chris Benstead.
On the downside, Ritchie’s taste for macho posturing doesn’t add much to the film’s early scenes. There are barely any female characters, save for Niamh Algar’s security guard Dana and assorted wife characters, and the hard-boiled dialogue between the often men borders on parody.
“Wrath of Man” is bleak and the characters are all, at best, anti-heroes, but for those with a taste for adrenaline pumping action set pieces, “Wrath of Man” delivers.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” the inspirational comedy “Uncle Drew” and a glimpse at the life of Vivienne Westwood called “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases,“Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” the inspirational comedy “Uncle Drew,” the sci fi b-movie “Upgrade” and a glimpse at the life of Vivienne Westwood called “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist.”
“Sicario,” Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 war on drugs movie, was a powerful look at a seemingly unwinnable battle and the toll it takes on its soldiers. Marked by tension and moral ambiguity, it wove complex quasi-morality and a sense of hopelessness into an edge of your seat story.
The new film, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” a sequel of sorts made without director Villeneuve or the ethical auras of Emily Blunt’s character, breathes similar air but is less nuanced. “Sicario” was an arthouse action film. The new one drops the art in favour of the action.
Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro return as CIA agent Matt Graver and assassin Alejandro Gillick. They are by-any-means-necessary black opps agents, tasked with creating chaos within the Mexican drug cartels after the president adds drug cartels to America’s list of terrorist organizations. Seems the drug lords have expanded from moving illegal substances across the border into the United States to importing humans.
Their plan is simple. Kidnap Isabela (Isabela Moner), a drug lord’s 16-year-old daughter, pin the blame on a rival, then sit back and watch the fireworks. “If you want to start a war,” says Graver, “kidnap a prince and the king will start it for you.”
Good plan, except it goes sideways when Isabela breaks free and hits the road. Gillick, who lost his family, including a young daughter, on the orders of Isabela’s drug lord father, rescues the youngster, stowing her in an out-of-the-way home where she becomes a pawn in a high stakes game.
Although the US-Mexico border plays a big role in “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” this isn’t a movie about a wall. Instead it’s a convoluted tale of corruption, fear, relationships, a young girl and the two men who change her life. For most of the running time it works well.
Brolin, the hardest working man at the box office this year, was born to play this amoral do-gooder. He’s a charming killer, a man who does what needs to be done, usually with a one liner and a gun. Like his other characters this summer, “Infinity War’s” Thanos and “Deadpool 2’s” Cable, he’s not above breaking the rules. Bingo. Few actors working right now could pull this off with the kind of steel jawed aplomb that oozes from his pores.
Ditto del Toro who brings an air of menace that positively drips off his perfectly sculpted cheekbones. He’s the boogeyman, a stone cold killer who lives on the edges of morality. This time around Gillick, however, has some softer edges, mostly due to his fondness for Isabela.
Herein lies the first bug-a-boo. When Gillick isn’t shooting people he’s displaying a warm and cuddly side looking after the well-being of the young girl. All of a sudden the guy who murdered kids in the last movie has a big heart. I guess it’s called character development but screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the original, sets up an almost impossible situation involving a child. Big dollops of hopelessness and nihilism return from the first film but Isabela’s relationship with Gillick feels forced, like a plot point and not an organic narrative twist. The sense that director Stefano Sollima and Company are more interested in creating a franchise than staying true to the characters or making a statement about the mess at the US-Mexican border hangs heavy over the film, particularly in the final twenty minutes.
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a wild ride until it stops making sense in the last reel. Cynicism and bleakness are still the name of the game but, strangely, Sollima and Sheridan take a u-turn near the end, pushing the limits of belief to create a platform for a sequel. It’s not a feel-good movie but it desperately tries to imitate one in its final moments.