Archive | October, 2011

Review of The Thing (2011)

31 Oct

The Thing (2011) is a sci-fi/horror film, which is also prequel to The Thing (1982), which was a remake of The Thing From Another World (1951), which was based on the novella Who Goes There? (1938) by John W. Campbell, Jr. So there’s quite  a history there.

Directed by the Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (Zien (2004), Red Rain (1996)) and this is his first theatrical feature-length film.

Written by Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5 (2011), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)), so you know what you’re getting is generic.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and others.

I loved John Carpenter’s The Thing so much and it is widely regarded as one of the best horror as well as sci-fi movies ever, so how could they ever think they could be able to make something even remotely as good as that, I don’t know.

The title shows just how uncertain the movie is about what it wants to be. Sure it is a prequel in a sense that it takes place in the Norwegian station before the events of the original, but in quite a few instances it hits basically the same beats as the original did, which makes it seem a lot like a remake.

There’s a joke in the opening scene and it iss a really good one. But they negated the good impression of the humor in the movie, by throwing in a stupid comedic jumpscare, which I know was comedic, because the guy sitting next to me was laughing (and snapping his fingers) like crazy.

Why did the Norwegians talk in english so much? Even in stress situations, they kept speaking in english for no other apparent reason except so that the americans would understand them. And I really doubt that in the 80’s so many Norwegians knew english that well.

It also throws in some minor references, like the axe in the wall, just to explain the stuff they see in the original, but then they choose to ignore some other.

And it is in a way ironic that the best thing about the original is the worst in this. I’m speaking, of course, about the special effects. I just can’t believe that they fucked up so much. The Thing (1982) showcased practical effect use at its best and seeing them is an experience. However, in The Thing (2011) you get to fully experience how bad CGI still looks and even though CGI always pales in comparison to traditional effects, this was really bad even by exclusively CGI standards. The effects just look laughable and unimaginative. Also if the trailer led you to think there’s a fair amount of practical effects, you are misguided, because all there is an autopsy scene and maybe some brief shots of something that might not be a cartoon.

Also if you’d take off the little subtitle at the beginning saying “Antarctica, Winter, 1982.”, there’s barely anything indicating it doesn’t take place in modern-day.

The sequence that connects the two movies is shown only intersected by end credits, seemingly thrown in there at the last-minute, just to make sense of how the two films fit together.

To be fair, the actors did a decent job and I wouldn’t call it a totally bad film, but there were parts that just pissed me off. I can’t let this to be the only horror movie I’ve watched on Halloween, so I’ll probably have to dig up something classic and enjoy myself.

I’d say this is a very mediocre film with a bunch of shitty CG …things and maybe if you haven’t seen the original, you might like it, but actually you should just watch the original instead. Not recommended, but might be ok for some 14-year-olds, who wants to see their favourite creepy monsters from a standard horror video game (maybe The Thing (2002)) cut out and pasted into a movie.

"Hey guys, I've been waiting to star in my own movie."

Review of All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

26 Oct

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) is a war drama film, based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque.

Directed by the Russian-American director Lewis Milestone (Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Of Mice And Men (1939)).

Written by Maxwell Anderson (Meet Joe Black (1998), The Wrong Man (1956)) and others.

Starring: Lew Ayres, Lois Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and others.

It is mostly due to my own stupidity and ADD, but for like half an hour into the movie I didn’t realize that it’s a movie about German soldiers, so I kept wondering why the hell are these Americans so involved and fighting the French. But if you pay attention from the beginning, it is actually pretty clear and obviously if you don’t pick that up, you are a moron.

A really effective anti-war agenda film, but while I see in what way could the government of Nazi Germany have perceived it as anti-German, since it would have been totally counter-productive, I couldn’t agree that it is actually anti-German, because it doesn’t portrayed them as bad people, just brainwashed by the war propaganda.

And that is the best thing about how it makes the point. It doesn’t matter which side of the trenches has the narrative taken, you could have switched it to any other side of the war. They might have chosen this side because its stance was more radical and so the point is more impactful this way, but it says nothing against the nationality itself. And the characters understand that the enemy soldiers are just the same as them and the real enemy is actually the military bureaucracy, which uses them as pawns.

And one of the best aspects of the movie is definitely how they portray the soldiers being sucked into this thing that is so larger than them. They don’t actually know why exactly they are fighting this war. Also the film excels at showing how shocking are the terrors of war for those young recruits that were totally disillusioned by all the nationalistic propaganda and unprepared to deal with all the horrible physical and emotional traumas they are forced to face, when they finally realize what slogans like „Die for fatherland” mean in reality.

One might think that the age of the movie means that for modern viewers it would seem cheap and the battle scenes fake-looking. But actually the special effects (by that I mean mostly explosions) are very well executed and the film’s age only adds to a feeling of authenticity and gritty realism, which makes sense considering that most of the people working on it had actually if not been involved in the war itself, but at least had been born or grown up during that time. So if you want to see a pretty accurate depiction of World War I, you don’t get much closer than this.

A great performance by Lew Ayres, so it is no wonder he had a pretty long career after this. Lois Wolheim also great in one of the last performances of his life.

I was wondering how hasn’t this received a high-budget huge major Studio remake (not that I think it’s necessary, it’s just that that’s how Hollywood works). Yes, I know about the 1979 TV remake, but I haven’t seen it. And then I found out they are making one, supposedly starring Daniel Radcliffe and I actually think it could work and turn out quite good. Although, I’m not sure of how marketable are WWI dramas, but I guess some big name actors and huge, epic battle scenes  will sell it anyway.

The ending is just brilliant. It’s beautiful and tragic and sad, but in a way uplifting.

An exceptional film, recommended for lovers of the golden age of cinema or war epics or just good movies in general. Essentially bloodless, but graphic in its tone. It might not be technically perfect, but it has a taste to it. And the aftertaste might be even better. Definitely recommended.

"Hey, kids! Want some guns? I'll give you a hand-grenade if I can touch your private parts."

Review of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)

24 Oct

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009) is a computer-animated comedy/sci-fi/family film loosely based on a children’s book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett.

Directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s creative team (Clone High (TV)).

Written also by Miller and Lord (Extreme Movie (2008), How I Met Your Mother (TV)).

Starring: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Neil Patrick Harris and others.

I’m not a big fan of these modern computer-animated films, but I still can enjoy them from time to time. And this makes it even more rewarding when I actually like this kind of animated films. And this one might be my favourite of all those I’ve seen.

I mainly enjoyed this so much, because it was actually funny. The jokes were good, the character’s had interesting fun personalities, the visual gags totally work and so on, it succeeds first of all as a sci-fi comedy and only then as an animated family film. It also has the funniest depiction of getting kicked in the eyes I’ve ever seen. I could list a lot of great jokes, but that would be stupid, just know that there’s enough of humor. It also shows how hilarious anaphylactic shock can be.

Another pretty innocent, yet kind of disturbing joke for me was how the main character Flint as a child invents “spray-on shoes” only to discover the effects are irreversible and so he goes on to live with sprayed-on shoes. Somehow this made me think only about how fast his feet would have gotten infected and started to decay, leaving Flint in a wheelchair. Children’s movie my ass. It’s just as Flint says “You can’t run away from your own feet.” So you probably will have to amputate them.

At least here people aren’t as creepy looking (with an exception of main character’s dad, who does suffer from some kind of deformity) as in, for example, Up.

The cast of actors is amazing. Mr.T’s character is hilarious and the opposite mohawk is a nice touch. And everyone else does a great job as well. And I’m glad every time Bruce Campbell is in a major studio movie, even if just his voice.

The score is really good.

The animation is just beautiful, the action scenes and the backgrounds just look spectacular. And I’m glad I didn’t see it in 3D, so I could fully enjoy all the rich colors, although I suppose the 3D works a lot better in animated films and heard some good things said about the use of 3D in this.

Sony Pictures Animation should do more movies like this and less like The Smurfs or Surf’s Up.

As in most animated movies (for marketing reasons) the messages are made to seem subtle, but really are quite obvious and this movie is no exception as it addresses issues like modified food and obesity. Or you can look at it as a religious film, portraying one of the seven deadly sins – gluttony. And that’s what it does, it makes you see that, yes, falling, free food would be awesome, but only for a very short period of time. Also that’s basically a summary of the plot.

So yeah, I thought it was a hilarious and beautiful movie, totally loved it and recommend seeing it, you’ll have some fun.

"I pity the foo' !"

Review of The A-Team (2010)

23 Oct

The A-Team (2010) is an action/comedy film based on the 80’s TV series of the same name.

Directed by Joe Carnahan  (Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane (1998), Narc (2002)).

Written by Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces (2006), Pride And Glory (2008)), Skip Woods (Thursday (1998), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)) and Brian Bloom, who’s usually an actor and is one in this movie as well.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton Jackson, Patrick Wilson.

I remember liking the TV show a lot in my childhood years and then revisiting it in early teens and finding it kind of dull and the nostalgia wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the series again.

And as the original show was mainly aimed at 12 year olds in the 80’s, this movies doesn’t seem to be sure who is it made for now. Is it for the current 12 year olds or the now 40-year-old… boys, who grew up watching the show.

It sort of succeeds in recreating the kind of ridiculous action, prominent in the 80’s, but while it does achieve a sense of fun, it fails to get me involved enough to make me care about the outcomes of the action scenes. And speaking of action scenes, it does that stupid new trend in action movies, having this confusingly violent editing, which gives you no sense of what is happening, cutting between shots like billion times a second, so epileptics beware!

At times it openly ignores physics, yeah, the absurd falling tank scene, I’m looking at you.

The freeze-frames combined with character names shown on-screen does work in this.

The soundtrack is pretty rocking, but they should’ve used the theme song more, which is one of the most iconic theme songs ever written.

Sharlto Copley’s Murdock was the best thing in the whole movie. Crazy and entertaining, just how he is supposed to be. Copley is one of the most promising new movie stars and it’s funny how fast this unknown South-African guy got to starring in major movies.

Patrick Wilson was my second favorite of the film, just because of how entertaining he is, playing a douchebag asshole.

The other actors do okay, but B.A. Baracus doesn’t really work without Mr.T, but I guess Quinton Jackson did the best he could and didn’t do as badly as I expected.

The CGI was bad. And again, tank scene, I’m talking about you.

It is pretty enjoyable as a mindless action flick, but I really didn’t care about anything concerning the actual plot, so the action felt only mildly captivating at best. Not an insult to the show, but not a compliment either.

"We are very disappointed."

Review of 100 Million BC (2008)

20 Oct

100 Million BC (2008) is a direct-to-DVD sci-fi/action film from the infamous film studio The Asylum, which specializes in low-budget mockbusters.

Directed by Griff Furst (I Am Omega, Swamp Shark).

Written by Paul Bales (2010: Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes (no, not the Robert Downey Jr. one)).

Starring: Michael Gross, Christopher Atkins, Dean Kreyling, Marie Westbrook, Stephen Blackehart and others.

Oh, Asylum, you bastard child of cheap CGI and bad actors, how much pain does your movies inflict on humanity.

To be fair, I don’t hate The Asylum just because they’re trying to get some cash from being associated with better movies. I understand they want to make cheap sci-fi/horror/action films with awful special effects and a compilation of has-beens and C-grade actors and ripping off Hollywood movies is just their gimmick. This is a company that produces a lot of “so bad it’s good” movies, so I don’t have a problem with that.

This one definitely is in the “bad” teritory, but doesn’t quite reach the little spot of “good” at the bottom of the barrel.

Despite what you might think hearing the title, the characters actually travel to the year 70,000,000 BC to rescue a research team.

This rescue mission is led by Dr. Frank Reno played by Michael Gross. It was so sad to see him in this, but I guess you can’t live just on Tremors fame. He does a good job, but sadly he’s not as bad-ass as I’m used to seeing him.

Christopher Atkins was ok, and the others of the research team were bearable, but there was one hilariously bad performance. That was Stephen Blackehart. I haven’t seen him in any other movies, but I’ve seen some of his demo reels with clips of him in different stuff and it seems that his main thing is doing bad accents and passing it as acting. And in this one he is this hardcore military guy, who enjoys saying “fuck” to make everything he says intense. It’s incredibly funny and painful to watch at the same time.

Of course that is nothing compared to how torturing is the sight of CG dinosaurs and green-screen effects. I could make a cardboard cut-out of a velociraptor and run around with it behind the characters and it would look less out-of-place than these abominations they’ve created. On the other hand they don’t seem pretentious about it and I think they fully realize how bad it looks, also it’s pretty much a part of the mockbuster charm. Still with this I can let it go and pretend the CG stuff is actually there with a lot less difficulty, than Michael Bay tries to stuff his cartoonish transformers down my throat as something realistic looking.

I would recommend watching this with a bunch of friends, while heavily drinking, there’s plenty to laugh about. But it’s not a good movie in any possible way, I found it entertaining only until they return back to present. So yeah, not recommended, it is awful, but definitely not one of the worst movies ever.

Oh, and this movie has the funniest FAQ section on IMDb.com I’ve ever read. For example: “Is time travel safe? Yes, unless you are black.” You can find it here.

Honestly, this is the best looking thing in the movie.

Review of The Walking Dead Season 2 Premiere

18 Oct

The Walking Dead (TV)What Lies Ahead” (2011) is the first episode of the second season of the drama/horror/zombie apocalypse TV series based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, who’s also a writer and executive producer on the show.

Directed by Ernest Dickerson  (Dexter (TV), The Wire (TV) & Gwyneth Horder-Payton (Sons of Anarchy (TV), The Shield (TV)).

Written by the show’s creator Ardeth Bey aka Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) and Robert Kirkman.

First of all, I must say that I am a huge fan of the comic books, those are just the best thing ever, I should thank my friend Dmitri for recommending them. So my opinion of the show is kind of biased and I care about the characters way more than if I had never read them.

Although I think the show is great, I wouldn’t say that it has or will change television, but it definitely shows that television has changed and surprisingly to the good side. When was the last time you saw an almost 20-minute sequence with basically no dialogue and a ton of suspense? There’s one fact I noticed on Wikipedia that might mean something in the future, when the studio executives will think of what to do with this information.

On October 16, 2011, the season two premiere set a new record of 7.3 million viewers making it the most watched drama in the history of cable television.

Is that true or not I don’t know, but that’s pretty cool.

Seriously this might be the best zombie related thing in the cinema/TV in the last 10-20 years. I’m not saying that there hasn’t been any decent zombie movies in that time period, but has there really been something as memorable as Romero’s Night/Dawn/Day zombie flicks? I think no. And I don’t think it’s even worth mentioning TV and zombies.

This episode shows how Rick is slowly becoming a bit more ruthless for the sake of protecting his pack.

One of the biggest concerns I have is the kid actors. Chandler Riggs who plays Carl is already like 12, so I don’t understand what are they going to do when on the show it’s just been a few months, when in reality he turns 16 and is 6’3″. I’m sure they’ll figure something out, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m also wondering about that Rick thing (those who have read the books know what I’m talking about).

Norman Reedus (one of the character’s written specifically for the show) is pretty cool as this bad-ass hunter redneck, although he does look like a homeless person.

I was still a bit surprised by the ending, somehow I didn’t see it coming. I suppose, because I was waiting for a different scene. But I can’t imagine how pant-shittingly shocking that might be for non-readers.

Oh, and the zombie make-up effects might be the best I’ve ever seen.

Overall a pretty solid season start, which is good because the end of season 1 was starting to get sloppy. If you haven’t started watching this show, what are you doing here? Go, watch it!

Got some change? Will give archery lessons for food!

Review of Another Year (2010)

17 Oct

Another Year (2010) is British drama/comedy film.

Directed and written by Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky, Vera Drake).

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley and others.

Yeah, I want to make clear that this isn’t going to be exclusively horror movie review blog, that’s why I started it out with a review of 12 Angry Men (1997), because I knew that soon most of the reviews will be for horror films.

If you’ve been waiting for a movie that’s target audience is almost strictly middle-aged (or older) people, then this movie is for you. Sadly, I don’t fall into that category.

I found watching this movie incredibly boring. This is the kind of movie that gets sent to film festivals and the people there don’t expect to be entertained, because they’re probably film snobs thinking that all movies should be artsy, self-indulgent emotional journeys. I’m not saying this particular movie tries to be these things or that artsy films are never good, but they do have a certain audience. Not surprisingly it was well received by film critics. Outside of film festivals this movie is a perfect thing to watch on the TV, in the evening, by a couple not unlike the one in this movie.

The movie was way too slow-paced, the realization that an hour in, it is still basically exposition and I keep sitting there and wondering if the movie is about a happy couple just having guests over didn’t make me exactly excited for the rest of the film.

However, it does pick up in the second half of it’s 130 minute runtime. It turns into this rather sad portrayal of different types of relationships, which sometimes is uncomfortably awkward, I guess, because life is too. But even when it seems to try to be funny it’s so bittersweet that you don’t feel like laughing about what is going on-screen, but about your own experiences. In a sense that’s not bad.

The actors were ok, these usual British people, Jim Broadbent was good in this solid feeling kind of way. And Lesley Manville was great as a woman who just won’t accept that she’s not in her prime anymore. Also it had David Bradley, best known as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies. Ruth Sheen looks a bit like a turkey.

My main problem with the film was that it seemed to lack any point, was kind of mean and only did something with just one character, so while I started to enjoy the second half of the film, I found it rather unsatisfying. It left me with no lingering feeling, I probably will never talk to anyone about this film and soon when I’ll hear the title, it won’t be ringing any bells.

Gobble, gobble!

Review of A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

15 Oct

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) is a horror/slasher/mystery film and a remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).

Directed by Samuel Bayer, who previously has been almost exclusively a music video director for various well-known rock bands.

Written by Wesley Strick (Wolf, Cape Fear) and Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5, The Thing (2011)).

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown and others.

This is another horror remake from Platinum Dunes, a production company co-created by, one of the biggest douchebags in film industry, Michael Bay, which, I guess instantly, makes him the producer, although the amount of his involvement isn’t clear. For people familiar with the name, seeing it on the screen should lower the expectations bar quite a bit.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think a remake was necessary, but this is something Hollywood has decided to not let go, I guess, because shit like Friday the 13th (2009) can gross almost 100 million dollars, just because old fans are curious and younger audiences are idiots. Anyway, I thought this was the best possible horror remake Platinum Dunes could have produced, which doesn’t say much.

New Nightmare kind of returned to a much darker tone, but this one is really dark and most fans enjoyed the darker ANOES films the most.

Jackie Earle Haley was the perfect choice for the role, also the digitally enhanced voice was kinda creepy, because it feels like he’s whispering right in your ear. I mean I love Robert Englund as Freddy, but if he was in this movie, it would’ve been so out-of-place. This time Freddy is less talkative, but still does some one-liners, now they’re not as much cheesy-funny in movies 3-6, but more creepy and he’s given some really good lines. “Did you know that after the heart stops beating the brain can function for well over seven minutes? We got six more minutes to play.”

Nancy was incredibly blandly portrayed by Rooney Mara, but Kyle Gallner was fun to watch, especially his freak out in the pharmacy.

They did some new things and that’s what remakes should do. For example, they really accentuated the molestation part of Freddy’s history this time, when previously it was just implied.

Best use of All I Have to Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers ever.

At the start it tries to trick you with the characters, but if you’ve seen the original, you’ll just be annoyed and not surprised.

The previous movies were mostly notable for the amazing use of practical special effects, this one doesn’t do much of that, but at least it doesn’t give you a golden shower of shitty CG either. Freddy’s make-up needed some improvement and they went for a more realistic burn victim look, which I didn’t mind, but admittedly did look a bit off.

This is movie was generally panned by critics. I guess, they couldn’t let go of the Platinum Dunes brand on it or they hadn’t previously sat through all of those ANOES movies that were filled with bad jokes and incoherent plots, written only to connect together the effect sequences.

It had some really bad parts, but since they got the most important part – Freddy Krueger right, I still found it pretty enjoyable and would want to see a sequel with confusing homoerotic undertones and S&M imagery.

Meow!

Review of Fright Night (2011)

13 Oct

Fright Night (2011) is horror/comedy/vampire film, which is a remake of Fright Night (1985) by Tom Holland.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock, Lars and the Real Girl)

Written by Marti Noxon (Angel (TV), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV)), using Tom Holland’s original story.

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrel, Toni Collete, David Pennant, Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and others.

The original movie came at a time when vampires tried to find their place into the modern world. It did that quite well and brought along some bad-ass practical effects. It is loved by many horror fans, but while I enjoyed it, I can’t say I’m a fan. So I could watch this version a bit more open-minded than if I was. Also this is the kind of remake I like, it does something new, updating the previous version for the times the new one is made in.

In this era of sparkling, gutless, idiotic vampire teenage romance movies, I take any vampire movie, where they don’t rape the vampire mythos, gladly. I want to see these evil fucking beings, doing what they do best – being bad-ass. And that’s what Colin Farrel is in this, he manages to be menacing as hell. If you’ve seen the original, he is the perfect casting for the role.

Thank god, I didn’t see this movie in 3D, because most of it takes place in very dark settings and with the glasses I wouldn’t have seen shit. Also I noticed only like 3 instances were I thought “Oh, yeah, that thing flying into my face would have been cool in 3D.”

Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays just another nerd, he does an alright job, considering the Evil Ed character in the original, which was so over-the-top that I hated him and found funny at the same time. Even funnier was the fact that he went on to do gay porn, not because of the fact itself, but because I imagine him doing the same overacting ridiculous character there.

From an elderly horror host, the Peter Vincent (the significance of the name might be lost on the modern audience) character is updated to a vampire enthusiast, who puts on a flamboyant magician Chris Angel/Russel Brand type of persona. This character, portrayed by David Tennant, is turned into the comedic relief of the movie and in my opinion is one of the best things they updated for this new version.

Anton Yelchin is the main character Charley, who has a hot girlfriend and tries to forget his nerdy friend Ed and the love for horror movies. This approach is weird, because you’d think the target audience is people who wouldn’t want to be considered “uncool” just because they like horror movies like this one.

The minor cast members I found surprisingly not annoying. Toni Collete is ok as Charley’s mom, Dave Franco as usual plays a douchebag asshole, Reid Ewing plays a total idiot, like in the comedy series Modern Family, Imogen Poots (With that name I instantly knew she must be British) was very likeable and hot and Sandra Vergara was so funny as Peter Vincent’s assistant/girlfriend.

The special effects were ok, but CG just doesn’t hold a candle to practical effects (of which, thankfully, there were some). But the CG wasn’t insultingly bad, so I forgive that. The fully transformed vampire mouths look on the verge of stupid, but I appreciated it as an homage to the original.

There’s quite a few negative aspects to the movie, but I liked it so much more than I thought I would, so I definitely recommend it.
And watch out for a cameo by Chris Sarandon.

Get it? Stakes! Hah! It's like they're doing bad puns as taglines!... oh, wait, they are.

Review of Killer Elite (2011)

10 Oct

Killer Elite (2011) is an action/thriller film, loosely based on the 1991 novel The Feather Men.

Directed by Gary McKendry, whose short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 and this is his feature-length debut.

Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Dominic Purcell and others.

The plot of this movie is a bit more intricate than I had expected, the misleading trailer made it look like Jason Statham and Clive Owen bashing the shit out of each other the whole movie, but that is not the movie at all. I doubt I can explain the plot without confusing myself, so my version is that De Niro is kidnapped because he was in Little Fockers and to prove he has realized the fault of his ways Statham is brought in to kill some ex-SAS guys. And then Clive Owen appears and all kinds of shenanigans ensue.

Robert De Niro isn’t actually in the movie a whole lot, but when he is, he’s awesome. Watching this I realized how perfect he would be for the Death Wish remake, he’s about the same age, looks like an ordinary man and the subway scene could be easily, if out of context, a scene from a Death Wish movie.

Statham, of course, plays the same character as always, but I forgive him. And I do, just because, I only recently started liking him. Why? Because I finally accepted that, yes, he might be the only current real major action star in the sense Arnold and Sly used to be. And I miss that so much.  Haven’t seen someone do a front flip while strapped to a chair. Also he’s really good at balding.

Clive Owen is, on the other hand, a completely different, more modern action hero. Where with Statham you’re pretty sure he’d easily kick your ass if you met him in person. Owen represents how modern action heroes are still with six-pack abs and all that, but more lean and handsome. And Owen might be my favourite actor of this type doing these movies in the recent years, I thought Children Of Men and Shoot ‘Em Up were both incredibly cool movies. And in this one he’s just bad-ass, stealing every scene he’s in. In case you’re wondering about his glorious moustache, the movie is set in 1980-81. Also he has a glass (or just badly damaged) eye. Despite all that he’s not the villain of the movie and that is clear pretty early on and you could just as well put the focus on his character and make a similar movie.

Dominic Purcell’s huge handlebar moustache was pretty damn impressive as well  and that guy is fucking huge himself.

Yeah, it had its cheesy moments, but actually I expected more and what I got instead was some actual plot.

The fight between Owen and Statham in the hospital was great and you could tell what is happening, which is not so common in modern action movie editing.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but it’s entertaining and kicks ass, I enjoyed it. If you want non-stop mindless action, you’ll be disappointed or if you want super interesting and original plot and character drama, this is not for you. But if you want some old-school action that’s not too dumbed down, check this out.

Knock knock. Who's there? Reuben. Reuben who? Reuben my eyes 'cos I can't believe how ugly you are!