Ricky’s Review Roundup: ‘The Penthouse’, ‘Held’, and ‘Vanquish’ Review

The Penthouse

A man covering up a crime assumes a nosy neighbor may have seen what he did. He turns the neighbor’s lives upside down to keep his secret. But is there more to his motive?

The introduction to the Penthouse was done well, setting the sight, the idea of the location, and how it will play a factor in what is about to come. Although the film feels very low-budget, it is, the film still has an interesting premise to keep you intrigued but mainly because of Michael Paré, who plays the villain, Charles. He did what he could to elevate the role and truly make the film at least watchable.

Although Paré makes it watchable, doesn’t make it good. The final fight scene was purely laughable. I can’t believe that sequence made the final cut. It was bad acting, a bad angle, and how the how thing went down made you audibly sigh. The Penthouse feels like it should have been called The Trailer Park.

Magnolia Pictures ‘Held’

A couple’s ailing marriage is put to the test when they are held hostage in an isolated vacation rental by an unseen Voice that commands their every move.

Emma is on her way to the rental house a day earlier than her husband but an awkward ride from her taxi driver leads to some unsettling moments to begin. As Henry arrives, the party begins between the two, a night full of drinking but as they prepare for bed, they both got a little hazy and pass out. As they awaken from the night, stuff is out-of-place and Emma and Henry are frightened about what transpired during the night. 

A call comes in, and on the other line is a voice changer telling them “They know what he did” and that “they must obey” and everything will be just fine. The couple has been injected or implanted with something in which if they don’t do as told, they get ‘shock’ of some sort. As we begin to unpack what is really going on, Henry is instructed to open a laptop as Emma is cooking dinner, and when he does, he sees a video that causes the tides to really turn. 

While the concept around the film is interesting the entire execution was terrible. From the acting to the direction to the entire journey just being completely problematic, the movie is rough to watch.


A mother, Victoria, is trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage.

Blackmail is the name of the game, as Victoria is struggling to provide for her daughter. Her friend Damon (Morgan Freeman) decides he wants to help her, but it comes at a cost. We learn that Victoria has a past and Damon needs to utilize her skills from this past to complete a mission. As she turns down, we see that Damon kidnaps her daughter to force her hand.

Although the build is slow, there are some fantastic chase scenes including one scene where Victoria is escaping the villain’s and the entire scene is shot to perfection. George Gallo does some fantastic work with the camera, truly putting you in the mind of Victoria and the ride. One of the better chase sequences you will see in a movie.

What ultimately drags the film down is the fact that we have seen this movie about 100 times and doesn’t offer a different perspective on the genre. Its set out to do a mission, face obstacles, and some action mixed in-between. The biggest take away is that Ruby Rose is one bad ass woman.

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