Archive for the ‘Hijack’ Category

Disappointing.

In November 2008, Mumbai experienced a series of terrorist attacks, amongst which one at the famous Taj hotel. This Australian production tells that story.

Somehow it just doesn’t work. If this were fictitious it would be a lousy action thriller. But it’s based on true events, so it’s even worse. It’s really bizarre, because it feels like an action thriller. The kind with Sylvester Stallone or JC Van Damme. Not the kind with Bruce Willis.

There’s a lot of shooting and – spoiler alert – almost everyone dies. So, knowing this, it’s kind of sad to realize that you don’t have time to care about any of these victims. Either the victims are nameless extras. Or they are stereotypical characters like the nasty Russian or the ignorant American. The director decided to create more empathy for the terrorists than for the people stuck in the hotel! How bizarre is that? There’s this one scene where one of the terrorists calls home, hurt because he is shot in the leg and crying. He asks his dad if the leaders of his organization have already donated the money. So, wait a minute, you want us, audience, to feel like money was the reason for the kid to do these horrific killings and we should feel his regret and doubt because he is crying? Ehm. No.

This movie didn’t do well at the box office and wasn’t released in India (yet). Let’s keep it that way.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5461944

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This is quite the surprising indie-action thriller !

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughan are detectives who get suspended after one of them was filmed using an unorthodox technique during a drug bust. They are in financial need – at least Mel Gibson’s character is – and decide to steal money from a criminal. Little do they know that they will get caught up in a horrifying heist.

It’s a very entertaining movie. The acting is solid. Mel Gibson gets rave reviews for this part and with reason. Vince Vaughn and Tory Kittles are excellent too. But the directing is excellent. It’s a slow movie and the scenes are long, but that’s sooo important right now. There’s a whole new generation who will find this incredibly boring, because of its pace and superfluous scenes, but it’s quite nice to see a new movie that shows scenes and not one second fragments. That one scene in the car during the stakeout where Vince Vaughan enjoys eating a sandwich and Mel Gibson then says, after 4 minutes or so, that ‘a single ant could have eaten it faster’… Well that scene is typical for the movie.

There’s also a scene in which a guy tries to swallow an important key to hide it from others. What happens next is predictable, but also done in a very detailed way. It’s pure gore, but clever and detailed and just totally fucked up. But hey, that’s what cinema should be.

Yup. Recommending this. Even though most viewers will find it pretentious.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6491178/ 

The Commuter

Posted: October 23, 2018 in 2018, Action, Hijack, USA

You can’t really blame anyone for making this crap. Apparently there are people out there who want to watch this bullshit. You have to give credit to studios for producing these things, ‘cos they make money out of it. This is probably how it went at the producers’ desk: “Hey, people dig Liam Neeson in the everyday hero part going to extremes to protect his family. Let’s put him on a train this time. Don’t spend money on the script and get a cheap director who doesn’t look at details and only needs a few days to shoot. Oh and release it in Europe, Russia and some other international markets and maybe we’ll get some money out of it at the US box office as well.” “Deal”.

This is terrible. Back in the late eighties this movie would have gone straight to vhs. It’s the kind of movie you expect on a long bus ride in central america, dubbed in Spanish. Everything in this movie in unoriginal and a total mess. This story has been told so many times before. Or at least it feels like it’s been told so many times before. Everything is done by the handbook. First ten minutes: introduce the character. Explain to the audience why he will do what he’s going to do. EXPLAIN his past, his financial problems. SHOW his family and the bond he has with them. Also introduce a few vague characters that will end up being the bad guys at the end. Then: introduce the characters that will ‘matter’ in the rest of the movie. SHOW each and one of them a la Murder On The Orient Express. Then add the random stranger who gives him a task that is so ridiculous that nobody, even with a past in the police force or in financial need, will even try to attempt. Then let him execute the job and fill up an hour with random encounters on the train. Add a few fights. Try to deceive the audience with focussing on people that have nothing to do with the story at all, but look ‘suspicious’. Add a murder, done so terribly well that nobody notices on a busy commuter train. Oh, make sure the train derails as well. And come with a surprise in the end that’s already obvious from the very first minutes of the movie.

NO, motherfuckers, NO.

Now, this all could have been okay, if the details had been correct. But no. There is no consistency. The main character finds 25.000 dollars, puts it in his shoulder bag and then LEAVES the bag on a seat to go make a phone call. Then does all kinds of things without the shoulder bag and then suddenly wears it again. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

What a waste of time.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1590193

Captain Phillips – **

Posted: February 19, 2014 in 2013, Action, Hijack, Terrorist, Thriller, USA, XX

Captain Phillips is an easy action thriller based on true events. It’s easy because it adds nothing particularly difficult to the linear and predictable storytelling. A captain takes a container ship from Oman to Kenya and gets hijacked by a small group of 4 Somali pirates. There are 20 to 30 crew members but the whole story focusses on one captain. Boring! And the captain is played by Tom Hanks. Boring.

It’s well made. But it just didn’t excite or thrill me at all.

It may be based on true events, but it is never explained why on earth the crew of such huge cargo ships cannot fire at criminals attacking them on a small ship. I’m sure there is some international law protecting human rights and stuff, but it would have been nice to actually have heard the crew discuss this topic. It would have just been nice to have the crew discuss anything. There is an interesting – but far too brief – scene in which the sailors tell the captain that they didn’t sign up to fight pirates. But then the captain tells them to resign as soon as they arrive in Mombasa and that’s the end if it. I have heard more heated discussions between a captain and his crew on the necessity of removing spider webs from the engine room.

And then you have the pirates of which the leader is the ugliest actor the cast director could find. It earned the him (Barkhad Abdi) an oscar nomination. But for what? Looking scary, confused and inarticulate isn’t good acting. His fellow pirate (Barkhad Abdirahman) is as scary, confusing and inarticulate. And he looks cooler.

Where is the empathy or disgust for these pirates? There is none whatsoever. Boring! There is an interesting scene – again too brief – in the beginning that tries to explain a bit how these pirates operate. What’s the background of these pirate motherfuckers? That’s what is interesting. Not how the Us Navy will end this hijack situation.

In the end you don’t care if someone survives or not.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535109