Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

The Foreigner – (*)

Posted: April 20, 2018 in 1/2, 2017, Action, Revenge, Terrorist

This is a mess. A real mess.

The title is deceiving. This isn’t about a ‘foreigner’, it’s about a series of attacks by a new radical IRA.

Jackie Chan, who plays an Asian restaurant owner who loses his daughter in one of the attacks, is out for revenge. He’s a well-trained soldier and determined to find and eliminate the bombers on his own.

Ok. Good premise.

But then somehow, Jackie Chan disappears in the story and Pierce Brosnan’s character becomes a central figure. He plays a politician, with links to the old IRA and is now not only dealing with a mad ‘Chinaman’ who’s haunting him, but also with his political friends, who are betraying him and with the British PM, who’s accusing him of the attacks.

Then Pierce Brosnan disappears from the screen and they focus on the bombers and their next attacks and the British who try to stop them. Oh and on a hitman who Brosnan’s character hires to kill Jackie’s character.

It’s a mess. A real mess.

And the IRA, really? Why make a movie about fictitious IRA terrorists? We finally kind of forgot they (still) exist. No need to bring paranoia back.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615160

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So, ‘retired’ director Soderbergh made his comeback with yet another heist story. Coen brothers style. It wasn’t a hit. It got rave reviews, sure, but it flopped at the box office and didn’t win awards. It starts of good, as a quirky comedy, a gentle satire. But then it becomes an action thriller without suspense. The humor dies after a while, which is sad. The unique characters just become way too serious at one point. The over the top performances aren’t really helping either. The lead actors (Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) are surprisingly good. The supporting actors (a.o. Katie Holmes and Daniel Craig) are embarrassingly bad. Somehow this movie doesn’t work. But hey, give it a shot. Maybe you just have to be in the mood for a daft story.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5439796

No.

Boring/Ridiculous

Next !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458339

Not as captivating as Season 1, this follow-up to Top Boy is more violent, more dark, (even) more depressing and less realistic. Sure, it’s probably based on some true stories, but it’s just too much. The acting is still okay, but the characters are not at all appealing. Ashley Walter’s Dushane, the top boy in London’s crime world, can’t charm as much as in the previous episodes. Sure, he’s thinking of getting out and investing in real estate. But to cover up a murder, he continues to intimidate and kil. Unethically. The fact that he starts something sexual/romantic with his lawyer makes it all a bit too far-fetched. Malcolm Kamulete’s Ra-Nell was a total revelation in series one and plays fourth fiddle in this season. Sad, there’s more to tell about this kid. In fact, there are so many characters this time and they are not explored well enough. So, hardly anyone to care about.

Netflix is going to produce season 3. Not sure what that will bring.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830379/

 

 

 

Black Panther – ***

Posted: February 22, 2018 in 2018, Action, Fantasy, USA, XXX

There hasn’t been any bad review for Black Panther in the US. It’s such a politically, socially and culturally sensitive release… it’s a bit frightening really. It’s so hyped in the media, it’s scary. What if you don’t like the movie? Are you allowed to even express it?

In Europe, it’s less of a big deal. It was released a week earlier. People went to see it. Fans of Marvel Comic movies especially. Nobody else really cares. Arthouse movies critics hate it. Because, to be fair, it’s not an arthouse movie. No matter how revolutionary it is to have a black director make a black superhero movie that’s successful at the box office.

I loved it though. It’s a fun movie. It’s entertaining. It’s colorful. The costumes are amazing. The soundtrack really works well. The main lead is excellent. In every single outfit! The women are fierce. (Lupita Nyong’o ! Danai Gurira ! Letitia Wright!) There’s non stop action. Some drama. Family drama even. Some humor. It’s unique. Especially if you haven’t seen any other Captain America / Avengers / Thor movies. Bring on the sequel!

There are flaws though. That W’Kabi character (Daniel Kaluuya) is pretty one-dimensional. The war rhinoceroses are ridiculous. And what is it with Hollywood when they create fictional countries? When they create a fictional ‘European’ country, they mix elements from the entire continent. Same here. Wakanda is supposed to be a small country hidden from the outside world with 5 tribes, which get introduced in the beginning. The mix just doesn’t make sense. It’s like Hollywood has no idea that Ethiopia and Benin and Namibia are different nations and different cultures. (no Himba tribe is introduced in the beginning, but then suddenly there’s a Himba woman next to the Queen!!) It’s like Hollywood thinks sub Saharan Africa is one country.

Still. Great entertainment!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/

 

The most hyped movie of the year is a disappointment. It’s a fun ride, but it’s not that all that spectacular. It’s like a rollercoaster that doesn’t really give you the thrills you want. Even though it has its highs and its lows. A rollercoaster ride needs to speed up all the time. When it slows down, it’s to gain power and energy to go up again. That’s not the case here.

The lows:

  • “Kind of Based On True Shit”. Okay, cool tag line. But it’s very basic shit. The story has been told a zillion times before. Small criminals decide to mingle with the big league and things go wrong.
  • The Typography. That movie poster title looks really bad. And it comes back in the movie.
  • The visual references to video games. We get it, they love playing video games, but to make certain scenes in the movie look like part of a video game doesn’t work.
  • The Narration by the main character. Annoying. The North African Antwerp accent is terrible, but it’s especially the monotonous tone in which the story is told.
  • Matteo Simoni. Great actor. Totally miscast.
  • The use of street slang that nobody has ever heard before. It’s going to be a challenge for those countries that dub movies and for those that need subtitles.

Good:

  • The Dutch actors. Werner Kolf and Ali B. Both remarkable as rivaling gang leaders.
  • The end credits. When you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand.
  • The reverse ‘how drugs got to the drug user’ scene. Could have lasted longer, but good. In fact, the visual experience is entertaining.
  • Some of the one liners and dialogue. Again, especially by the Dutch.
  • The soundtrack. From the EBM to the Dutch pop rap to the Moroccan club track and the instrumental score… it works.
  • Antwerp! This city needs to be in more movies. Maybe in the next James Bond movie. Who knows.
  • The two lawyers. They just have a cameo, but they should get a tv series.

It’s the kind of movie you watch on a cheap long distance bus ride in India, South Africa or Brazil. This is really a BAD action comedy. But shot in a really cool way. Too much trying to be Tarantino and not quite getting to the next level shit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6438030

Okay, it’s not a must see action cop movie, but it doesn’t bore at all. And the story is set in Brazil, rather than LA or New York. So that’s a plus. It’s about a woman, who does a career switch by getting out of the tourism sector and into the police department. Before she knows it, she needs to participate in a special assignment. In a small town several miles from Rio De Janeiro, two kids get killed during a shoot out between rivaling gangs. The Rio special police force is sent over there to help find the criminals and bring back peace. However, the longer the elite team is there, the more they realize that those rivaling gangs are not the only criminal town and corruption is everywhere. But once they start investigating into it, they get a lot of opposition. The story isn’t original and it’s all very predictable. The presence of the woman (pretty, confident, a bit high maintenance) is first frowned upon by the macho police force, but of course she gets credit at the end. There are few surprises. You see it coming from miles ahead. But it’s entertaining. The acting is good though. That Cleo Pires is a joy to watch !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4058210