Movie guy, Paul McGuire Grimes gives us his take on two shows you can stream this weekend.
TOM CLANCY’S WITHOUT REMORSE (Amazon Prime)
Tom Clancy has written many page turners that have received the big screen treatment like Patriot Games and The Hunt For Red October. The latest is Without Remorse with Michael B. Jordan. Jordan suits up as John Kelly, who readers of Clancy’s work may remember from the Jack Ryan series. He’s looking to retire after a raid involving the Russian military. That all changes when his team is targeted and executed including his pregnant wife. Kelly joins forces with the CIA and NAYV Seals to track down and extract the assassin. As you can expect, Kelly’s revenge mission reveals a darker and more complicated web of corruption.
-Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, and Lauren London.
-Director Stefano Sollima kicks things off with a high-octane edge of your seat sequence and it is go go go from that point on. This not only showcases the heavy action that will carry the film but sets up the icy tension between John Kelly and Jamie Bell’s CIA agent, Robert Ritter.
-This a back-and-forth revenge style flick of who’s going to be in control. John Kelly, the bad guys, or the government.
-John Kelly is not about to let anyone or anything get in the way of avenging his wife’s death. At one point he says, “I’ll show what a pawn can do to a king.”
-Sollima knows his audience is looking for an adrenaline ride and there isn’t a down moment to be had. He keeps the execution of it all pretty straight forward and to the point. It’s one explosive sequence after the next with rich characters and strong casting.
-Audiences have seen the tender side of Michael B. Jordan before, and we know he’s no stranger to high action and taking a beating as we’ve seen with Creed. He pulls no punches as John Kelly. He gives Kelly this chaotic state of mind with one ultimate goal at the forefront. Physically, he is a beast who can take down several men in one swoop. Jordan aptly makes him a complicated character. He’s tactics are unethical, yet you’re rooting for him the entire time.
-Michael B. Jordan also produces the film under his production company, Outlier Society. It’s a smart movie that could potentially set up another franchise for the actor and his team with Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith. I’m looking forward to what comes next with this character.
-I’ve heard readers have often refer to this genre as “Dad Fiction” Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is not overly convoluted and it comes with the traditional twists and turns often found in this genre. You can see them coming, but that’s fine. It’s the perfect kind of movie to turn on after a long week with a full bucket of popcorn.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE MOSQUITO COAST (AppleTV+)
Forty years ago, Paul Theroux’s bestselling novel “The Mosquito Coast” was released and it would later be turned into a movie with Harrison Ford. Theroux’s characters are back in a new adaption for AppleTV+. The seven-episode series kicks off April 30. Justin Theroux stars as Allie Fox. His wife, son, and daughter live a bit off the grid living a very self-sufficient and renewable lifestyle. That all changes when they learn their compound is facing disclosure. His wife, Margot, is sick of her husband’s antics, and we learn they’ve been on the run from the government for nine years taking six different identities. They evade police again but their trip across the desert through the Mexican border doesn’t quite go to plan as it’s not just the government after the Fox family. Questions arise around who they can trust and what do Allie and Margot’s two teenage children really know about their parents.
-7 episode first season with the first two episodes streaming April 30 and the rest of the season releasing weekly after that. Without giving away too much, the final episode sets up for future seasons.
-The first season acts as a prequel to what we know of the Fox family in the book and the movie versions of “The Mosquito Coast” This approach to the story fleshes out the backstory to the Fox family and gives the show extra room to grow and evolve around the source material.
-The series was shot all around Mexico adding another layer of authenticity to the tone and aesthetic.
-The pilot episode is extremely focused with its set up of a family on the run. It has that edge of your seat stressful ride that carries on with each episode. There are cliffhangers and tension with every episode, yet you’ll have to wait a full week before a new episode.
-Justin Theroux excels as the lead of series. He gives Allie Fox a constant drive all while making him someone you question in terms of his sanity. Is he smart? Paranoid? Delusional?
-Created by Neil Cross (Luther, The Sister) who places the Fox family in today’s world. This isn’t set forty years ago. You’ll recognize Allie Fox’s means of living in an anti-government, anti-capitalism, minimalistic society like many people like to do in 2019/2020 when this was made.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS