Scientists Jimi Mistry (The Guru) and the Operative from Serenity discover that the Earth's core is heating at a rapid rate, due to solar radiation. When informed, unlikable bureaucrat Oliver Platt ( Three Musketeers ) and US President Danny Glover ( Predator 2 ) decide to do something about it.
By the year 2012, failed novelist John Cusack ( Identity ) tries to bond with the children from his failed marriage to Amanda Peet . He discovers from paranoid conspiracy theorist Woody Harrelson ( Zombieland ) that the world is about to end, so he must get his family to safety (it is a relative term).
By incredible coincidence the lives of the central characters all somehow overlap. But that is another cliche of the disaster movie genre. The SPFX are great, but this is basically a very formulaic film. There are some nice touches of irony, but when all is said and done it is still incredibly predictable. To say more would risk spoiling certain non-surprises.
Tough-guy Christian Slater ( Hollow Man 2 ) and scientist Tara Reid have to save the world from invisible monsters. Stephen Dorff ( Blade ) helps. There is no characterisation or originality, although there are some Well-directed but unbelievably OTT action scenes.
Weather scientist Lexa Doig teams up with the US Military to fight the super-storm.
This may have been written as a big-budget blockbuster, with exotic locations like Turkey in mind, but it was filmed on the cheap in Canada - and it shows! All the money went on the (quite decent) CGI SPFX and the one recognisable star. There are few extras and very limited locations. But it is a relatively pleasant way to waste a couple of hours, as long as you do not expect too much.
Humans have been reduced to the Stone Age. The hero is captured (nice stunts and SPFX). The Alien security chief (John Travolta - Face Off ) has some terrible scenes. The aliens are a mining corporation!
The hero is Barry Pepper - you will not recognise his name, this film did not help his career much. He gets enslaved, but he is very rebellious. Travolta chooses him for language training. Unlike John Connor, the hero does not mess about.
The climax involves cavemen flying thousand-year-old harrier jump-jets. There is also a planet-killer nuke.
Plot holes aside, the ending is well shot. This film actually had promise.
Our merry band of do-gooders are pursued by terrorists and fascists. Michael Caine ( Dark Knight ) pops up as a helpful old hippie.
The original story dealt with the Cold War and McCarthyism. This time it is about Environmentalism and anti-terrorist paranoia. It seems that GWB's refusal to sign the Kyoto protocols has come to the attention of the Alien Empires. Klaatu's mission is to act as judge, jury and executioner for the entire human race!
Colonel Robert Knoeper ( Hitman ) does his best to deal with Keannu's bodyguard, a huge alien robot. Unfortunately the robot unleashes a massive nanite swarm that threatens to destroy the entire human race!
The climax is at Central Park, and seems more than a little reminiscent of Cloverfield !
Dolph Lungren ( Universal Soldier ) is a rogue cop, after the drug lord who killed his brother. He teams up with by-the-book FBI Agent Michael Benben (Dream On).
The cliched buddy-cop-duo, clad in 1980s apparel, roam the mean streets of Houston. Their target? A murderous drug-dealing ALIEN, who looks like a seven-foot-tall albino with long hair and Predator -style weapons. The Alien's Calico (a 9mm pistol) seems to fire 40mm grenades!
This is actually quite a decent film. Cliches abound, but it is well-shot and the acting is well above average. It is well-meaning fun, well-cast and with excellent action scenes.
The protagonist is a middle-management Afrikaner (Sharlto Copely - Powers ). He is put in charge of the clear-out of the slum, transferring the aliens into a new concentration camp. But during the clear-out he gets infected with an alien fluid that causes him to metamorphose.
The creatures, who stalk their prey using imitation Predator heat-vision, turn out to be CGI lizard-men (like cheap-looking velociraptors).
As Kidman feels the creepiness ramp up, she takes her son to live with her ex-husband - creepy US Government Official Jeremy Northam ( The Net ). He was probably creepy BEFORE he became a pod person, which is the only explanation possible.
Now Kidman must try to survive in a city full of pod people. Her only helpers are a couple of other doctors - BoyFriend Daniel Craig and his token ethnic best buddy Jeffrey Wright. Yes, they are better known as Bond and Leiter in the rebooted Casino Royale .
The old cliches are continued. Male protagonists usually go back for the damsel in distress. Like Ellen Ripley, Kidman goes back for the child ...
The Pod People manage to bring about world peace. It is a wonderful idea, but is the cost too high? The ending, entirely unconvincing as it is, gives us something to think about.
Eight days later an American salvage ship discovers the Russian vessel adrift in the Pacific. Captain Donald Sutherland ( Don't look Now ) is going insane, while Jamie Lee Curtis and a Baldwin brother try to survive. Marshall Bell ( Total Recall (1991) ) is an old sea dog. Cliff Curtis ( Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) rounds out the cast. He is tragically under-used, but this is one of the few roles in his career where he gets to acknowledge his maori heritage and to play someone who is not a villain.
The research vessel seems to be abandoned. However, the Americans discover a survivor ( Joanna Pacula ) who provides them with some exposition. The scenes between her and the female lead, who is closer to an action hero than a traditional final girl, actually make this film pass the much-vaunted Bechdel test.
The ship has been taken over by an alien life form, an electronic entity that acts like a computer virus. In a great play on the meaning of the title, the Artificial Intelligence regards humans as a virus and intends to exterminate them. This concept was echoed the following year as a main theme in the film The Matrix .
The ship was equipped with a number of workshops, and the A.I. uses them to construct killer robots. Despite officially being an unarmed vessel, the ship also has a pile of AK-47s and RPGs aboard. Many explosions ensue.
This was written by Chuck Pfarrer (Navy Seals) and produced by Dark Horse. It can be dismissed as a mediocre attempt in an over-used genre, with no real originality. At its most basic level it is just popcorn entertainment, although it places the emphasis on action-packed set-pieces rather than suspense so it can be categorised as Tech Noir rather than Horror. The director worked on a couple of James Cameron projects, and this effort suffers in comparison to them. It had potential but is actually quite unmemorable.
The Terminator (Arnie) is sent back to protect John (Nick Stahl - Sin City ) and his wife to be ( Claire Danes ). Of course, she does not know about the Terminators, or the fact that she is on the hit-list of a robot from the future, or that she and John are meant to fall in love ...
After a raid on a Skynet facility, one man escapes alive. He tries to seek out the Resistance, so he can join up and help humanity fight back. He treks across California, dodging robotic attackers in an effort to find John Connor. He is joined by the compulsory kick-ass babe ( Moon Bloodgood ), perhaps the most blatant cliche in the entire film.
This was directed by McG In an attempt by him to become a more respectable mainstream film-maker. The result isnít entirely terrible. It is let down by a poor script as much as anything. The casting is not the best, either.
The story starts with the events of the first film, as told from the perspective of greasy grungy PTSD-ridden Kyle Reese (now looking like buff male model Jai Courtney from Divergent ). Somehow the Somewhere in Time photo of Sarah Connor in the jeep survived burning up, and that is the first clue something is different. John Connorís wife is also missing, so evidently the events of Terminator 3 & 4 are being ignored altogether. Also, in a strange crossover Matt Smith ( Dr Who 2005 ) is visible in the crowd scene - and he plays a vital role to the plot.
Reese finds himself in an alternate 1984. He is chased by a T-1000, but saved by Sarah Connor ( Emilia Clarke ) who has lost four inches in height, but since the actress is playing ten years younger than her real age the shortness works to her advantage. Like John Connor in Terminator 2 , Sarahís father figure was a friendly Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
By destroying the Terminator pieces in 1984 they destroy the Terminator 2 Timeline. The next step is to steal an idea from Sarah Connor Chronicles (which itself negated the Terminator 3 Timeline) and time-jump forward to destroy Skynet. This means John Connor will be removed from that timeline, but nobody cares. Also, Reese has learned that Skynet has changed. It is not the Cold War AI that controlled nuclear weapons. Its new plan is to release an online Operating System that will link every cell-phone in the USA. This might in itself accidentally cause The Singularity, but it is not explained how this would create a nuclear apocalypse.
The movieís one original idea is to cast JK Simmons (Jonah Jameson in Spiderman ) as a good guy for a change. Also, it is nice to see Sandrine Holt cast as a SFPD detective, although she does not have any actual dialogue.
The intro begins after the events of Terminator 2 . Sarah Connor ( Linda Hamilton ) takes her son John to safety in Guatemala. After all, central America is south of the Brandt line and thus lacks the electronic infrastructure that Skynet needs to track them. Somehow a Terminator manages to locate them ...
The main story picks up a couple of decades later. It concerns a young woman ( Natalia Reyes ) who works in a car factory in Mexico City. It seems that the mechanisation that affected the USA in the 1980s has now progressed south of the Brandt line, as the factory is beginning to install robots and replace cheap human labour. Ironically, this film was mostly shot NORTH of the Brandt line - in the hi-tech European Union countries of Spain and Hungary.
A couple of time portals open nearby, depositing naked visitors from the future. One of the newcomers, Grace ( Mackenzie Davis ), is female. Not feminine like in Terminator 3 , but more butch and androgynous. The other is a Latinx male, who blends in well with the Mexicans. Their missions is the car-factory worker.
As always in sequels, the ante is upped. The new Terminator comes in two pieces - a T800-style solid metal endoskeleton and a T1000-style liquid metal shapeshifter. The human protector is an actual cyborg - a cybernetically enhanced human. This allows for a lot more CGI-intensive action scenes that are cartoonishly overblown. When the audience does not care if the characters live or die, the result is merely comedy instead of tragedy.
The good guys make their way north, from Mexico into Texas. To do this they must cross the USA's heavily-defended southern border. The Terminator infiltrates the US Border Patrol, which allows for a politically topical situation as the good guys are menaced by a controversial real-life Agency.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Just as humans will inevitably create an AI which destroys their entire civilisation, so will a human arise who can inspire the Resistance. Instead of John Connor, trained from birth to be the ultimate military commander, this time it is a tiny little Latina woman with no observable skills or talents. Nobody points out that, even if Legion is successful in killing her, a new leader for the humans will arise anyway. And since the current leader of the future is barely talented, the bar has been lowered to such a level that practically anyone could fill her shoes.
What puts this above the average is the B-story, probably due to the participation of original creator James Cameron . Sarah Connor pops up to help, and an elderly T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwartzenegger - Conan The Barbarian ) lends a hand. We see some real acting here, as Connor tries to cope with the loss of her son and the T-800 explains how it became more human after spending decades living as one. The scenes with the veteran actors put the newcomers to shame.
Gary Busey ( Lost Highway (1997) ) leads a team of Men in Black who are conducting an investigation of their own. This was originally meant to be Arnold Schwarzenegger repeating his role from the original. However, Glover's team includes a couple of former Arnie co-stars - Bill Paxton ( Terminator, Aliens ) and Maria Conchita Alonso . Robert Davi ( Goonies ) and Kent McCord ( Battlestar Galactica 1980 ) also round out the cast.
The result is a great hybrid - a good action cop film, and a good monster movie
This is a generational improvement on the original Predator movie. Instead of one Classic Predator, the team are being hunted by a trio of Super-Predators.
The cast is outstanding, all playing their usual niche roles. Adrien Brody is incredible as an action hero, relying on his Oscar-winning talent rather than on weight-lifter muscles. And Laurence Fishburne ( Event Horizon ) has a scene-stealing cameo.
This was written and directed by one man, usually a sure sign of a second-rate film. What makes it so incredibly disappointing is that the man is Shane Black , a thirty-year veteran who worked on the original movie back in 1987. It has got to be the worst thing he has ever made.
The original Predators would deliberately visit war zones, where they could indescriminately kill armed combatants. This time the Predator's starship crash-lands - but as luck would have it, the US Army's greatest soldier (Boyd Holbrook - Logan (2017) ) is on a mission nearby. In a twist, one of this movie's Predators is apparently a rebel who has come to save the human race. This good intention does not prevent it from killing almost every human it meets.
A hot lady scientist ( Olivia Munn ) is recruited by Jake Busey ( Starship Troopers (1997) ) to investigate the Predator. When it escapes, she sets off in sole pursuit. The official MIB hunt is led by Treager (Sterling K Brown - Supernatural ).
The super-soldier is victim of a cover-up. He gets put in a mental health facility with the likes of Thomas Jane ( Deep Blue Sea (1999) ) and Alfie Allen ( Game of Thrones ). They promptly escape from a top-security military bus, and go on the run together.
The super-soldier sent the Predator's helmet to his son (Jacob Tremblay - Extraterrestrial (2014) ), who by yet another incredible coincidence is an autistic super-genius. He lives with his mother ( Yvonne Strahovski ), who only gets a couple of scenes - and not one with the female scientist. Yes, the movie does not manage to pass the Bechdel test. Do not worry, this is still not the worst of its failings.
Treager has his own security unit, presumably the best of the best. They are either active-duty military in a Tier One Special Forces unit, or private contractors who were hand-picked due to prior service in such a unit. Anyway, the Section Eight team slaughter the Seal Team Six guys. This is murder, treason and incredible stupidity because they should team up against the common foe - the Predator!
The Aliens are unrealistically overpowered, especially compared to the comics. Against them are dumb and weak Predators and some equally unimpressive humans. Disappointing, to say the least!
The Final Girl is Sanaa Lathan , who is a talented actress but she is not exactly the new Sigourney Weaver . She is backed up by the nerd (Ewan Bremmer - Exodus: Gods and Kings ) and the muscle (Tommy Flanagan - Westworld: S3 ).
On the Predator homeworld, a veteran Predator receives the ship's last transmission. He decides to take on the Predalien and its Xenomorphs single-handedly. Not only does he have cool hi-tech weapons, he also has the ability to head-but his way through concrete walls.
The humans are a motley bunch of newcomers, but they are more normal and likeable than the crew in the previous films. There are few stereotypes, and no unrealistic feel-good escapes. This is much closer to real horror than most mainstream films these days - it is like something from the Seventies.
Reiko Aylesworth is a US Military helicopter pilot, just home to see her family after a tour of duty. She is no Ripley, unfortunately. She gets to do a bit of shooting in the climax, but the central protagonist is an ex-Con named Dallas.
Avid fans should watch out for the final scene, which introduces Ms Yutani ( Francoise Yip ).
The Weyland Corporation, as always, has a secret agenda. David the Robot (Michael Fassbender - Haywire ) seems nice and helpful, but can he be trusted? His boss, ice princess Charlize Theron , may even be a robot herself. Captain Idris Elba ( Thor ) and the rest of the cannon-fodder seem just along for the ride.
The astronauts discover the alien outpost, filled with vats of Mixmaster - a toxic chemical from the Tremors TV Show . This turns any life form it touches into a Dia Noga or other hostile life-form. In fact, the best film to compare this to is the recent prequel to The Thing . The difference is, that film actually tied up loose ends while this just makes more.
The ship's crew are a cast of virtual unknowns. All the previous films had a cast of recognisable faces. Even Alien: Resurrection had the templates for the main characters in Firefly . However, this effort actually takes known actors and makes them bland and unrecognisable. The First Officer is Billy Crudup ( ), while the Final Girl is Katherine Waterston - unrecognisable after her recent turn in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them . The one exception is Walter the Wobot (Michael Fassbender - X-Men: First Class ).
The command crew are all hooking up with each other. While it may make sense for colonists to be in stable long-term relationships before they try to establish a colony on an unknown planet, but in this case it means that EVERY SINGLE TIME they do the wrong thing and endanger the entire mission for the sake of their spouse.
The survivors encounter a survivor of the previous film Prometheus . Everything continues in a very predictable manner thereafter.