Apple TV+ keeps Charles Schultz’s legacy alive in the latest special, Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home Franklin. Raymond S. Persi directed the film, and the script was written by Robb Armstrong, Bryan Schultz, Craig Schultz, and Cornelius Uliano. An origin story of Peanuts’ most beloved characters, the film follows a boy named Franklin and his approach to making new friends.
Pierce Brosnan delivers the action good in Fast Charlie
Following a lukewarm response to his previous films, director Philip Noyce aims to return to glory with his latest Fast Charlie from Vertical. Richard Wenk pens the film’s screenplay, which is an adaption of Victor Gischler novel Gun Monkeys.
Former 007 agent Pierce Brosnan portrays the titular character, a fixer with a problem: the target he’s whacked is missing his head. And he must prove it’s the intended target to the man who paid for the hit – New Orleans’ most prominent and most ruthless mobster, Beggar Mercado (Gbenga Akinnagbe). Charlie enlists Marcie Kramer (Morena Baccarin), the victim’s ex-wife and a woman with the backbone and skillset Charlie needs.
Dragging Marcie back into a past she was determined to escape sends the two of them on a wild and unpredictable odyssey that’s unexpectedly amusing, action-propelled, and ultimately heartfelt. Along the way, Charlie and Marcie fight to protect the legacy of Charlie’s best friend and mentor, Stan Mullen (James Caan), while bringing down Beggar and his entire operation.
Wenk’s writing style is punchy and filled with sharp dialogue that adds depth to the characters. The banter between Swift and Mercado is delightful, as they constantly try to outwit and one-up each other. Director Philip Noyce does a great job of creating a vivid and gritty atmosphere. The scenes of underground crime organizations and seedy locations transport viewers into these characters’ dangerous worlds.
One of its strengths is its well-developed and complex characters. As our protagonist, Bronson is flawed and morally ambiguous, yet his relatability and complexity make him a captivating lead. Akinnagbe, on the other hand, is enigmatic and unpredictable, adding an element of suspense to the narrative. The supporting characters, including Morena Baccarin as the femme fatale, are also intriguing and play significant roles in the story.
Despite its familiar plot, the film is fast-paced and filled with unexpected twists and turns. Director Phillip Noyce delivers several well-executed and thrilling action sequences, especially considering the budget. However, those who frequently watch action movies may find the plot convoluted and overly complicated, leaving little desire for a repeat viewing. Additionally, Fast Charlie utilizes many clichéd tropes of the noir genre, which could be off-putting to some viewers due to the excessive violence and dark themes.
Despite the flaws, I found the movie enjoyable. It was stimulating to see Gbenga Akinnagbe showcase his talents in the thriller genre, and Morena Baccarin’s ability to exude sex appeal was impressive. Pierce Bronson and James Caan also performed strongly, commanding the room as alpha males.
Final Grade: B-
Fast Charlie is in select theaters and On Demand today.
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