Speed (1994)

Los Angeles SWAT cop Jack Traven is up against bomb expert Howard Payne, who’s after major ransom money. First it’s a rigged elevator in a very tall building. Then it’s a rigged bus–if it slows, it will blow, bad enough any day, but a nightmare in LA traffic. And that’s still not the end. (Letterboxd)
Pop quiz, hotshot: What is long but fast-paced, exciting but a bit ridiculous? Answer: a speeding bus that’s able to jump a giant gap in a freeway without a ramp. Also, this movie. Down-to-earth Annie pairs well with Jack’s cheesy action-machismo, but there are still a few groaner moments (see the aforementioned gap jump), and while the thrills pile on in a wonderful way (“What, you thought you needed another challenge or something?”), 3 major set pieces (elevator, bus, train) is one too many.
7/10 (Good)

The Net (1995)

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A computer programmer stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger. (IMDb)
The computer/internet motif throughout is obviously pretty dated and corny but it provides decent enough stolen identity thrills (see Angela’s return home). The pacing’s still pretty slow though, and both the dramatic and comedic dialogue are unremarkable, letting down otherwise smart characterization (Angela’s isolation worsened her later plight) and solid direction (the soundtrack is effective, as are the news reports subtly coming in and out of the narrative, adding notes of intrigue).
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

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Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala. (IMDb)
A great cast of characters led by Bullock’s brazen Debbie (“It’s what I’m good at”), Blanchett’s badass Lou (that strut!), and Hathaway’s hilarious baddie (see her necklace moans) are let down a bit by a less colourful script that too often feels like a tame retread of familiar territory. Still fun though (deflating first twist aside), with some good comedy especially in the post-heist kerfuffle carried by Corden’s earnest insurance agent (“You’ve got two of those!”). Great soundtrack too.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Gravity (2013)

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A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit. (IMDb)
The zero gravity action sequences here are well-crafted and breathtakingly terrifying, accentuated by Bullock’s great turn as the desperate (albeit shallow) protagonist, complimented nicely by Clooney’s typical jovial banter, and made into cinematic excellence with the help of amazing visuals, a tense score smartly edited, and probing camerawork that skillfully captures the claustrophobic anxiety of the film’s space catastrophe plot as well as its beautiful setting.
8/10 (Great)

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)

The film’s predecessor at least had consistently funny and well-acted performances from Bullock, Caine, and Shatner to make up for a seen-before plot. This film has no Caine, hardly any Shatner, and Bullock just isn’t as funny this time around. There are a few good gags but overall the movie falls victim to trying too hard to live up to the original. The spunk and humour has dried up, and its plot isn’t just predictable but contrived. An inferior sequel.
5.5/10 (Poor)

 

Miss Congeniality (2000)

A fairly run-of-the-mill comedy, but enjoyable nonetheless. The plot is predictable, as is Bullock’s character development, but that doesn’t prevent the latter at least from providing many humourous moments, and a few truly touching ones near the end. Bullock is hilarious, and Caine and Shatner are great to watch as well in this fun film.
6.5/10 (Alright)