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|Index||31 reviews in total|
I saw this movie last night at a special screening for audience
feedback. Paul Walker really can act - I was pleasantly surprised. I
originally thought he was only cast for his looks, but can see he has
good acting abilities.
Movie was funny, worked well and I enjoyed it. The action scene in the kitchen was great and intense, kept me on the edge of my seat.
Lawrence Fishburn - as always - great! He's a solid actor and his role as the DEA Agent worked perfectly.
Paul's pretty love interest (Olivia Wilde from the OC)chemistry was lacking.
Chuck Liddell, although was only in the beginning of the movie was convincing. There was also a girl named Ashley who I would have like to see more of. She's hot!
The kid looks like he'll have a career ahead of him. The relationship between the kid and Paul Walker worked well and was believable. Not sure where I've seen him before, but he may have a promising career.
I liked the sequence of the movie - it starts with a mystery and the flashback kept me trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I liked the movie can't wait to see on see it on the big screen. Hope if comes out soon.
While it's no worse than much of the action movie junk that makes it to
theatres, Bobby Z, originally entitled The Death and Life of Bobby Z,
is a action thriller with Tim Kearney (Walker) as our hero. Kearney is
a convict who's an ex-Marine and clearly not so much a bad person as
one who has frequently found himself in trouble due to circumstance
rather than intent. This gives director John Herzfeld, whose own career
hacs been on less than an up-tick since the appropriately named 15
Minutes came and went in about that long, a premise for having a good
guy hero who still fits the label of a tough convict.
The slightly convoluted storyline sees Kearney whose life is in peril since he killed a biker gang boss in prison (self defence, of course) offered an opportunity to walk free, as long as he's willing to impersonate a drug kingpin who happens to look just like Kearney, and who has just died. Fishburne plays the Drug Enforcement Agency cop who puts Kearney up to this task.
Before you can say 'gunfights are fun', Kearney is being shot at by the cops, manhandled by Mexican drug thugs, pursued by the bikers, and generally in demand by everyone, regardless of whether they think he's Kearney or Bobby Z. Our hero, of course, dodges the bullets, battles the bad guys, befriends Bobby Z's son (who has never met his dad) and romances a beautiful woman (Olivia Wilde) whose relationship with the bad guys is a bit hazy, but clearly quite intimate.
Filled with head scratching twists and cornball dialogue, this is not exactly a brilliant film. Yet it's got a slick look and at least a few passably enjoyable action scenes. And Walker, while never likely to be mistaken for a Shakespearian thespian, has the good looks and charisma to lead the way here. At least his character isn't loaded down with as many stupidly threatening lines as Fishburne's. Wilde also does a passable job as Kearney's conflicted love interest; she's mainly called upon to look good (which she accomplishes rather easily), but also doesn't muff her lines when she does have something to say.
Movie was funny, entertaining and I enjoyed it.
For a seemingly low budget film, Bobby Z wasn't too bad. Moves pretty quickly, but with a weak storyline and plot, it is clear why it was a straight to DVD feature. Paul Walker does a decent job with a character that an Actor won't be able to do much with, except go with the flow. No real surprises, or twists and turns, just straight to the point B rated action. Actually has some pretty good fighting sequences and shoot outs. Laurence Fishburne is surprisingly cast as a supporting with a weak performance, mainly due to the script and content and possibly direction as well. Bobby Z is definitely a good B movie, with a rating of 5 overall considering everything listed above. All in all, this film is definitely worth watching if you're just chillin' with 97 minutes to spare. And Paul Walker is not nearly as bad an Actor as everyone tries to make him out to be. Have fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"15 Minutes" director John Herzfeld's "Bobby Z" rates as an
above-average action thriller with double-crosses, shoot'em ups, and
surprises, but everything seems a little too routine in the long run.
"Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker plays three-time loser Tim Kearney.
Herzfeld and scenarists Bob "4 AM: Open All Night" Krakower and Allen
Lawrence recount Kearney's career in an amusing series of flashbacks
that may be the funniest thing about "Bobby Z." In short, "Bobby Z" is
a tolerable beer and pizza movie with an R-rating and about 90 minutes
worth of mayhem. No,there is no nudity. The hackneyed theme of mistaken
identities is played out again with little to make it memorable, but
there is enough gunplay to keep you distracted. The best thing in
Krakower and Lawrence screenplay is that they keep the hero on the run,
outnumbered, and constantly improvising.
The plot relies on the timeworn theme of deceit. D.E.A. Agent Tad Gruzsa (Lawrence Fishburne of "The Matrix" trilogy) offers three-time loser Tim Kearney a quick and easy way to get out of prison. Kearney is eager to take Gruzsa's deal because he has just killed a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, Maddog (Chuck Liddell of "How High") with an automobile license plate when the pugnacious thug pulls a knife on him. Now, the entire Aryan Brotherhood both in and out of stir demands payback. Meanwhile, a ruthless, Mexican drug-lord, Don Huertero (Joaquim de Almeida of "Desperado"), has taken Gruzsa's partner hostage. Gruzsa has to produce a legendary, surfer dude with a reputation as an infamous pot smuggler to get his partner back to safety.
Of course, there is more here than meets the eye, but Herzfeld plays his aces close to his vest and doesn't reveal the surprises until the final quarter-hour. Anyway, Gruzsa and his new partner take Kearney to a rendezvous on the border where the exchange is scheduled to take place. During the exchange, Gruzsa shows his true colors and breaks out an assault rifle. He tries to kill Kearney, but he misses our hero narrowly when Kearney trips over the railroad between the bad guys and the good/bad guys. Gruzsa kills his next partner and snuffs some of the opposition before he clears out. Later, he checks in at a tattoo parlor run by Boom Boom (M.C. Gainey of "Con Air") and reveals that Kearney is out and across the border. Boom Boom mobilizes the Brotherhood and they set off in pursuit on their bikes.
In Mexico, Kearney is recaptured by Don Huertero's henchman and taken to his palatial estate. Kearney meets Bobby Z's girlfriend Elizabeth (the strikingly gorgeous Olivia Wilde of "Turistas") and she has sex with Kearney and knows that he isn't Bobby Z. Meanwhile, Kearney learns that Bobby Z has a child, eleven-year old Kit (Juan Villareal of "Harvest of Redemption") and the two bond when Kearney escapes from the hacienda with the bad guys hot on their trail lead by Johnson (Keith Carradine of "The Long Riders") who likes to spit every time that he meets somebody of whom he disapproves.
"Bobby Z" is complicated enough to be interesting, but it remains altogether a little too smug to be attain the greatest of something like "True Romance." Happily, Walker doesn't play a dual role. Yes, there is a happy ending that seems a little too unbelievable, but then it's only a movie. Comparably, "Bobby Z" isn't as much fun as "Into the Blue" or "Running Scared."
The plot: Kearny, a loser convict,is pushed into impersonating Bobby Z,
a larger-than-life drug dealer, in a hostage trade, only to find both
his own and Bobby Z's enemies trying to kill him.
Herzfeld previously directed 2 Days in the Valley, a Tarantino ripoff if ever there was one. However, unlike most people, I actually kind of liked it. This movie is another attempt to clone Tarantino's style, heavy on flashbacks, stylized violence, and witty anti-heroes. Unfortunately, it's not all that great, but it did manage to keep my interest for the runtime.
Bobby Z is built up as a small-time celebrity in the local surfer scene, as well as a rising star in drug distribution. Kearney, on the other hand, is a three time loser with a price on his head. The movie compares and contrasts their personalities many times, with Bobby Z being revealed as a manipulative, egocentric jerk, while Kearney shows many admirable qualities despite his impulsive violence.
After a somewhat grim opening, the movie becomes quite lighthearted. In fact, I'm really at a loss as to why they even opened the movie with such a dark and disturbing bit of character development if they were just going to completely ignore it for the rest of the film. Oh well. Much of the movie is like this, however. Whenever anything shocking and dramatic happens, it's instantly forgotten by the next scene, where everyone pretends that it never happened. Even being shot seems to be glossed over rather quickly with some cursory first aid. It reminded me of a video game, where picking up a first aid kit heals your character of all wounds.
The acting was passable. It was certainly better than many direct-to-video movies, but nobody really stood out. I guess the script didn't really allow anyone to shine, though I was probably most disappointed that Laurence Fishburne was given such a bland role. Still, it's always fun to see him, even if it's in such a small and clichéd role.
If you're looking for an action movie, this will probably satisfy you, but I'd be surprised if you remembered it later or recommended it to your friends.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The mere idea of having a man serving time to impersonate a notorious
drug dealer who is in Thailand running away from justice is
preposterous, to put it mildly! How do the creators of "The Death and
Life and Bobby Z" ever thought, for reality sake, to be able to even
think that by sending the former marine, now a con man, into the lion's
den without at one point being discovered as a fake? The whole thing is
the idea of a corrupt law enforcement officer who thinks he will use
the former marine to get at the kingpin of the drug empire who supplied
the original Bobby Z with his merchandise.
The movie is not totally horrible, as action films go. The main problem is the many plot holes in the narrative that the creators probably didn't count on, or thought their viewers wouldn't figure out how the whole mess was going to turn out. John Herzfeld directed the screen play by Bob Krakower and Allan Lawrence. The credibility gap is huge when the people involved asks us to accept things that don't make too much sense.
If you can buy the fact that Elizabeth would not know who the impostor was right away, then there is no problem enjoying this film that from all indication went straight to video.
Paul Walker is the action hero. The problem with his acting that he doesn't show any credible emotion. An uncredited Bruce Dern is the narrator that gives us an account of Bobby Z's accomplishments in that la-la land of Southern California. Joaquim de Almeida plays another one of his bad guys. Laurence Fishburne has nothing to play with. Gorgeous Olivia Wilde appears as Elizabeth, Bobby Z's former girlfriend. Keith Carradine has a small part.
Isn't it funny, how the movies you really don't expect much out of, turn out to be the most fun. Bobby Z wasn't something that was high on my list of things to see, but it was streaming and fit my mood, so I watched it and what a surprise, a well written, Action film, with a pretty good plot! Bobby Z is a legendary local crime boss in Southern California. He is a very elusive man that the Mexican drug lords go to extreme measures to find. Don Huertero (Joaquim de Almeida) has kidnapped an FBI agent and will only exchange him for Bobby Z, but there's a problem, Bobby Z is dead. The clever folks at the FBI decide to find someone who looks like Z and send him in, that man is Tim Kearney (Paul Walker), and his life depends on how well he can trick people into believing that he is Bobby Z, a man he's never met. Paul Walker is the star of this clever film and he does a tremendous job. I'm not fan of Walker's, whenever he does anything that isn't a gritty Action film, he stinks, fortunately this is a gritty Action film and he was engaging, delightful, and even funny as he tried to play someone he's not. As for the rest of the cast, it was certainly a unique mix of people, but being centered around one man and one goal, really made it work. It's unusual to find a deep plot in an Action film and that's why this film was so unique. Aside from some terrific stunts and fight scenes, there were twists and turns, crosses and double-crosses, even some humor. Bobby Z was really a lot of fun to watch, and it will keep you guessing while at the same time showing you some terrific action sequences, I was more than impressed by this film and by Paul Walker for that matter. It's easy to say, well he's been playing an undercover agent in The Fast & Furious for a decade now, but it certainly wasn't the same thing. The Death & Life of Bobby Z is a wild ride, that's a lot of fun, and it will keep you guessing, you can't ask for more than that.
To see Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) from House makes the movie a "must-see"
all by itself. But there is much more promise in this film with action
star Paul Walker, and the ever popular Laurence Fishburne.
Walker is playing this drug dealer and is trying to get Fishburne's partner back. You know, what can go wrong, will go wrong. Now, he is on his own.
The name of the game here is action. From the first scene, we see Tim/Bobby (Walker) getting in trouble, and it never stops. After an exciting horse/motorcycle chase, he takes off with his (Bobby's) son. He has the feds, the drug lords, and a biker gang after him. Not a good bet to survive, but he is an ex-Marine. Never bet against the Marines.
Don't expect anything more than fast action and you will not be disappointed.
Joaquim de Almeida, who you should remember as Bucho in Desperado, is the bad guy here.
I can forgive anything director John Herzfeld does in this film as I am forever grateful for his introduction of the hot Charlize Theron in 2 Days in the Valley.
I rented this movie thinking, "Hey, Paul Walker wasn't too bad in the fast and furious films and Laurence Fishburne is just awesome so why not get it?" Well friends, looks can and are deceiving, and I learned the hard way last evening watching this film. The director is trying so bad to keep you involved (or wanting to be involved) and for me it wasn't happening. The whole 'syking everyone out to think I'm Bobby Z' script work got old really quick, Paul Walker's acting was sub par (I haven't seen a lot of his work but I've been told by many that he's not that great of an actor). I cannot imagine what went through Laurence Fishburne's head when choosing to be in this film, he has done better, WAY better! There are way too many close up shots of Paul Walker (for absolutely no other reason than to show off his "Good Looks" and play some really lame music along with it). There is always some hot girl and a kid involved that need their lives saved, if you've seen it once, you've seen it a hundred times (just this time with Paul Walker). I suggest this film to people who only like Paul Walker and his close ups and not action flicks, because thats about all you get. Walker couldn't portray a criminal to save his life! Sorry Paul Walker fans, your boy let me down.
There is nothing much to be too excited of at this movie, but still entertaining. I wonder why it made its way to the silver screen because it's not better than dozens of Straight to Video productions. Storywise, you will get nothing more than you'd also get if you rent a Jean-Claude Van Damme Film. Same goes for "character development". There are some nice shootouts and fights, but nothing remarkable. It sometimes feels as if you were watching a film from the seventies: there is nothing really stylish or spectacular in the action scenes. Although it feels good to see movie that doesn't use the much common and enough-seen style of today's action flicks, the way this film shows the action seems out-dated. Also the film's pace should be higher, again it feels 70s-ish. As usual these days, there are some nice twists and turns in the story. Paul Walker does a decent job, but not as convincing as in "Running Scared". Laurence Fishburne he fails to put any life in his bad guy role. I am not impressed of Olivia Wilde in the leading female role. At least she tries hard to be more than decorative. 5/10
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