Film Round-Up: The Protege, Halloween Kills and Copshop
Maggie Q seeks revenge after the death of her mentor. This had all the ingredients of a good movie. You have Martin Campbell as the director, the man behind Casino Royale and the Mask of Zorro, a rising star in Maggie Q plus two veteran legends in Samuel L Jackson and Michael Keaton. Both of them can pull off charismatic performances in their sleep. And yet, this is very disappointing. The plot is bland and will not engage you. I write this a couple of days after seeing the film and I cannot remember any of it. The action is pretty decent, so it is at least a step up from The 355, but that’s all the film has. What enrages me the most is that you have both Keaton and Jackson in this yet the film never conspires to put the two in a scene together. Considering they can make the worst scripts into something watchable on their own, they might have created sparks if put together here. Instead, it is immediately forgettable.
The town of Haddonfield has had enough of Michael Myers and they decide to form a mob to get rid of him for good. This actually sounds like a cool idea. Pretty much all of the Halloween films are the same sort of thing. Michael Myers comes back to life, a scientist chases him around for a bit while he stalks a teenage girl killing all who get in his way until there’s a dramatic conclusion probably involving fire. So I respect the attempt at doing something different. I just wish it didn’t take a bloody hour to get to it and start the movie proper. For a long time, this feels more like the first episode of a Halloween TV series than a movie. So you stay in this holding pattern for a long time before the conclusion starts and it’s not really much other than one shocking moment. It’s a real shame because the last Halloween movie was good fun and it felt like we were going to get a good set of films. Instead, we have a crushing disappointment.
Frank Grillo gets deliberately arrested in to avoid being killed by a gang after him. However two assassins follow him there which starts a war in the police station. Well this is fun. The film starts off slowly as its sets up all of its pieces and it does take a while for it to get to the crux of the matter. Unlike Halloween Kills though, it only takes twenty minutes for it to get to what you want to see. And what that is is mania. Just outright mania and action. You get Grillo and Gerard Butler sharing a cell room together which leads to a great back and forth, then you have Toby Huss coming in as a true psychopath shooting everyone in the most entertaining way possible. His other 2020 film was Horse Girl so definitely a range from him. It all leads to a very fun conclusion which throws out plenty of surprises and only really overstretches itself once. I’d like to finish by proclaiming Alexis Louder as a star of the future you’ll be seeing a lot more of.