“Prepare for Bloody Hell!” (Because that’s how the British swear, you see.)
Directed by Babak Najafi Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Alon Moni Aboutboul
After well-meaning, but entirely inept Western intelligence agencies drone-strike a wedding based on a single, uncoded text message and somehow spectacularly fail to kill any of their actual targets – arms dealer Aarmir Bakawi (Aboutboul) and his sons – Bakawi launches a spectacularly audacious plan for revenge which appears to begin with either infiltrating or radicalising the Coldstream Guards (should have pushed that Prevent training, Lieutenant General Sir James Bucknall, KCB, CBE) and coordinating a series of dazzlingly precise bombings and shootings during the State funeral of the surreptitiously assassinated British Prime Minister. Fortunately, US President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart) has nails hard one-man-army and not-at-all-a-Scot, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler) at his side.
Directed by Tim Burton Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson
Jake Portman (Butterfield) is a regular American (honest) loser, who connects better with his grandfather Abe (Stamp) than with his father (O’Dowd). When Abe dies, an apparent victim of a wild dog attack, and Jake believes that he sees a faceless giant looming in the bushes, his psychiatrist (Janney) suggests that it would do him good to go to the island in north Wales where his grandfather once lived in a children’s home, run – he always insisted to Jake – by a woman named Miss Peregrine who could turn into a bird, for the protection of children with extraordinary powers.
My handle is happyfett, and I remember everything.
Actually, that’s blatantly untrue; memory like a sieve, and in fact I have typically found myself in a Dirty Harry style quandary regarding the Resident Evil movie franchise. Have I seen five movies, or just four? Well, for now at least I know, because with The Final Chapter coming out next year, in time for the franchise’s fifteenth anniversary, I’ve spent the past couple of days catching up as far as possible on the series. I couldn’t get the first and third movies easily, but I had already seen them.
So, here we go with a run down of the first five Resident Evil movies.
Directed by Paul Feig Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Miranda Hart and Allison Janney
Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a brilliant CIA analyst acting as handler and dogsbody for suave agent Bradley Fine (Law), until a mission goes wrong and he is shot dead by Rayna Boyanov (Byrne), a criminal in possession of a compact, virtually undetectable nuke. With the Agency’s top operatives – including angry British ex-patriot Rick Ford (Statham) – apparently exposed, Cooper is sent into the field by Deputy Director Crocker (Janney) to track Rayna’s middleman de Luca (Bobby Cannavale) and locate both Rayna and the bomb.
Directed by Steven E. de Souza Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Byron Mann and Wes Studi
In the South-East Asian republic of Shadaloo, an Allied Nations peacekeeping force commanded by Colonel Guile (Van Damme) is apparently acting as some sort of unilateral authority, ostensibly to battle the renegade warlord M Bison (Julia), but seemingly spending more of their time being rude to journalists like Chung-Li Zhang (Wen) and enforcing a curfew on the largely faceless citizens of Shadaloo City.
Directed by Bryan Singer Starring James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Issac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kody Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp and Ben Hardy
In ancient Egypt, the first mutant, En Sabah Nur is betrayed by his people as his consciousness is being transferred to the body of a mutant with healing powers (Isaac). Millennia later, his cult dig up the pyramid and trigger his revival, leading CIA agent Moira McTaggart (Byrne) to accept the suddenly offered aid of mutant expert Charles Xavier (McAvoy).
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo Starring (deep breath) Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johanssen, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily Van Camp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl and William Hurt
After a brief flashback of the Winter Soldier’s (Stan) cold war career, we see the current Avengers taking down former SHIELD/HYDRA agent Brock ‘Crossbones’ Rumlow, in a fight which ends up devastating a Lagos office block. As a result, the UN ratifies the Sokovia Accords, legislation to regulate the Avengers under the control of a UN panel. Tony Stark (Downey Jr.), wracked with guilt over the Ultron affair, is for it, but Steve Rogers (Evans) is agin it, given his experiences operating under oversight.
Directed Tom Green Starring Johnny Harris and Sam Keeley
When alien life-forms spread from Mexico to the Middle East, the active role of US forces stationed there in combating the aliens provokes local insurgency. Four friends from Detroit are dropped into the midst of this two-fronted campaign under the command of experienced sergeants Frater (Harris) and Forrest. When a search and rescue mission goes pear-shaped, Frater and the last surviving recruit, Michael (Keeley) are trapped, surrounded by unfriendly forces.
Directed by Adam Wingard Starring Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe and Lance Reddick
David (Stevens) appears at the door of the grieving Peterson family, explaining that he served in the army with their dead son. They invite him to stay and he tries to be useful, in particular helping the younger son Luke (Brendan Myer) defend himself against homophobic bullies. Soon however, the Petersons’ daughter Anna (Monroe) starts to suspect that there may be more to David than meets the eye.
“Saving the World Never Goes Out of Style” or “A Higher Class of Hero”
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander
Top CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill), a decorated soldier turned art thief turned agent, extracts Gaby Teller (Vikander), the daughter of a paperclipped and now vanished nuclear physicist, from East Germany, despite the dogged pursuit of near-superhuman KGB operative Ilya Kuryakin (Hammer). With Dr Teller seemingly in the hands of a neo-Nazi criminal organisation run by Alexander (Luca Calvani) and Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki) Vinciguerra, Solo and Kuryakin are ordered to team up and escort Gaby to Rome, where her uncle Rudi (Sylvester Groth) may be able to lead them to her father.