Ida Red

Written by Alexander Reams

37/100

There are countless “A boy and his mother” stories throughout Hollywood’s history. From Psycho to The Babadook to Moonlight, these films helped define and redefine this iconic trope, and now a new one wants to join the ranks of these iconic films. John Swab’s Ida Red is focused on the titular character’s son, who, along with his family, tries to get Ida out before her terminal illness kills her. While this premise might seem promising, let me assure you, don’t be fooled like I was. 

This isn’t writer/director John Swab’s first time behind the camera, his past works garnering anywhere between somewhat positive and downright horrendous reviews. Here he’s assembled his most stacked cast, Frank Grillo (Dallas Walker), Melissa Leo (Ida “Red” Walker), Josh Hartnett (Wyatt Walker), Deborah Ann Woll (Jeanie Walker), William Forsythe (Lawrence Twilley), Beau Knapp (Jay), and Mark Boone Junior (Benson Drummond). This stacked cast can be a big draw for people, myself included. Unfortunately, I let this blind me from the clear red flags. Any filmmaker that manages to score 0% on rotten tomatoes is one to avoid, and that was the case here.

Logic is a key factor in telling a story, and even in the competently-made opening scene, there are logical errors, an edit that shows a character in a car when we just saw them get out of the car. This in particular stuck out and actively frustrated me. When logical problems arise in the film, that could’ve so easily been avoided, it becomes very confusing as to why the director did not recognize these issues, and why they did not stop them from occurring. The storylines presented are always overlapping, with the main thread being Dallas and Wyatt Walker. Grillo and Hartnett do serviceable jobs with what little they were given. A fault that does fall on Writer/Director John Swab. Although such can be the case when one of your previous films scored a lovely 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ida Red Trailer

Ida Red is currently available to rent from most major VOD platforms.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Wrath of Man

Written by Alexander Reams

87/100

Guy Ritchie has always been one of my favorite filmmakers since the 2009 Sherlock Holmes. Even the highly polarizing and generally panned King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a film I will champion whenever I can. He is back with frequent collaborator Jason Statham. Their last collaboration was the highly unsuccessful Revolver back in 2005. Before that they had worked on Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Their newest film Wrath of Man follows Jason Statham’s “H” as he begins to work for a cash truck company under mysterious circumstances.

Wrath of Man continues Guy Ritchie’s resurgence in pop culture after The Gentlemen. His resurgence is accredited to him mixing his iconic style with more fleshed out characters and interesting witty dialogue. Wrath of Man also brings out a new, dramatic side of Statham. His role here is much more subdued than the roles we are used to seeing him in. Statham has never been better and you can see that he is having a great time in the film even in the most somber moments. 

The action sequences are not as frequent as you might think, but when they hit, they hit hard. One particularly violent and impactful scene takes place as Statham is walking out of an interrogation. The primary issue I have with the film and it’s execution is the underuse of Jeffery Donovan. He is undercut constantly and consistently by Scott Eastwood. Eastwood is a notably weaker performer than Donovan, which hamfists moments that should crescendo and instead just thud. Otherwise Wrath of Man is an enjoyable film and I am thrilled Guy Ritchie has continued to deliver films that entertain while still bringing his signature style to his work. 

Wrath of Man Trailer

Wrath of Man is currently playing in Theaters.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter.