action tagged posts

John Wick: Chapter 2

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Riccardo Scarmarcio, Common, Claudia Gerini, Ruby Rose, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, Laurence Fishburne, Franco Nero

Cert: 15

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: Former retired hitman John Wick (Reeves) is forced to honour an old debt to a powerful Camorra mobster, setting off a violent chain of events and a contract placed on Wick’s life.

What’s the verdict: Ironic that the filmmakers have christened this sequel “Chapter 2”. If the John Wick saga were a book, it wouldn’t fill the morning commute.

Picking up shortly after where 2014’s John Wick (presumably to be retconned “Chapter 1”) left off, our monosyllabic button man is tying up loose ends with a cameo’ing Peter Stormare...

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Never Let Go Unleashed 3rd October!

never-let-go-dvd-coverHoward J Ford and his brother Jon have a rich history of scaring audiences. The Dead and The Dead 2: India both delivered imaginative, unusual takes on the zombie apolcaypse genre, travelling to places not typically seen overrun by undead hordes.

With Never Let Go, Howard goes solo for the first time (although brother Jon contributes aerial photography). But, this Taken with a female twist maintains the high levels of suspense for which the Ford boys are well known. A multi award-winning thriller, it stars Angela Dixon as a single mother forced into a desperate race against time to find her missing daughter in Morocco.

Brimming with surprises, kinetic action and a ferocious central performance from Dixon as the unstoppable mother with a particular set of skills, Never Let Go dives into the...

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The Gunman

The-Gunman---Sean-Penn,-posterDirector: Pierre Morel

Writers: Don MacPherson, Pete Travis, Jean-Patrick Manchette (novel)

Cast: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba, Jasmine Trinca

Cert: 15

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2015

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The lowdown: It’s the Sean Identity, or The Bourne I-Penn-tity, with this overly-familiar, surprise free espionage actioner. Penn is Jim Terrier, an ex-Special Forces military contractor in the Congo who moonlights as an assassin for big corporations. Exiled after killing the Congolese Mining Minister, Terrier is forced back to his old life years later when his black op team mates start turning up dead. Taken director Pierre Morel is on board to do for Sean what he did for Liam Neeson, but it’s a hollow misfire.

The-Gunman---Sean-Penn,-gunThe-Gunman---Javier-Bardem,-Jasmine-Trinca

The full verdict: Really it should be little surpri...

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The Expendables 3

The Expendables III posterDirector: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Terry Crews

Cert: 12

Running time: 126mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Sly gets the band back together for another no-brow barrage of (old)boys and their toys mayhem, joined by newcomers Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer and Harrison Ford. But, it’s Mel Gibson who steals the show as a big, bad international arms dealer the over-the-hill action men must bring down.

BRAY_20130917_EXP3_12791.dngThe Expendables 3 - Mel Gibson

The full verdict: Like the first two instalments, The Expendables 3 has a plot...

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The Raid 2 Blasts On To Blu-ray

The Raid 2 - DVD cover - Gareth EvansIt’s not often we feel compelled to write a piece on the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of a movie.

But then again, The Raid 2 sits at the top of our films of the year thus far list, so we’re prepared to make an exception.

If you have already experienced the baseball bat to the noggin rush that is Gareth Evans follow-up to The Raid, then you know to be excited.

If you have yet to be exposed, be prepared for a 5-star all-out explosion of cinematic verve. A film we called “The Godfather Pt II of action movies”, a film that was 18 months in pre-production and sets itself the not inconsiderable challenge of re-writing the rule book on ballistic filmmaking.

As is standard these days, extras-wise the Blu-ray trumps the DVD, boasting three featurettes, two live audience Q&As and a delet...

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RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop posterDirector: Jose Padilha

Writer: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Nuemeier & Michael Miner (1987 script)

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Williams

Cert: 12A

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2014

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The lowdown: Elite Squad director Jose Padilha bravely or foolishly takes on the impossible mission of rebooting Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop. Saddled with a contractual PG-13 rating, it’s no surprise that the result is an assembly line action vehicle sorely lacking the anarchic human touch that made the original hit home with a bullet. Robo may look slicker than he did in 1987, but someone should have oiled the rusty script.

RoboCop - Kinnaman, OldmanRoboCop, Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish

The full verdict: Ah, RoboCop...

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Gareth Evans Talks The Raid 2: Berandal

The Raid 2 Berandal - banner cast poster, Gareth Evans, Hammer Girl

Gareth Evans reveals secrets of The Raid 2: Berandal!

In August this year I had the good fortune of interviewing soon-to-be-white-hot director and all round good bloke Gareth Evans.

I was primarily there to talk about the terrifying segment of V/H/S/2 that he and co-director Timo Tjahjanto were responsible for. But, I couldn’t let the interview go without taking the opportunity to ask him about what we can expect from The Raid 2: Berandal.

Mr. Evans graciously revealed teasers of what we can expect and, to my, joy also confirmed the sequel does feature a car chase!  Something I’d hoped for when writing my review of the original movie.

If like me, waiting for The Raid 2 is like a kid waiting for their first Christmas, then read on and prepare to get rather excited.

The Raid 2 Berandal - Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais“It’s a lot differe...

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Thor: The Dark World

Thor - The Dark World - Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, quad posterDirector: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher L. Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 112 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: By Odin’s beard! Chris Hemsworth’s Norse God Pwoar – sorry, Thor, returns to bring the hammer down on an ancient elfish race threatening to plunge the universe into darkness. Natalie Portman is back as the love interest, Anthony Hopkins brings his Shakespearean bark as Thor’s dad, and series favourite Tom Hiddleston returns as irresistible bad guy Loki, joined by new villain Christopher Eccleston...

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The Assassins (2012)

The Assassins - DVD coverDirector: Zhao Lin Shan

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Liu Yi-Fei, Qui Xin-shi Alec Su, Hiroshi Tamaki

Cert: 15

Running time: 103mins

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Lavishly presented historical epic in the Curse of the Golden Flower tradition, charting the dying moments of the Han Dynasty which spanned 200 BC – 200 AD. Chow Yun-Fat is Chancellor Cao Cao, a warlord who has vanquished enemies threatening Alec Su’s foppish Emperor Xian. But, power plays in the Emperor’s court plus assassins targeting Cao Cao for death continue to threaten the nation’s peace. Low-key despite sumptuous visuals and beautiful costumes, this is still compelling historical drama.

The Assassins - Chow Yun Fat, Alec SuThe Assassins - Liu Yifei

The full verdict: Zhao Lin Shan makes a confident directorial debut with this drama about one of China’s (many) turbulent eras.

Over recent ...

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Elysium

Elysium - quad posterDirector: Neill Blomkamp

Cast: Matt Damon, Alice Braga, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura

Cert: 15

Running time: 109 mins

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 used a benign alien invasion for a barbed allegory on apartheid and racism, lacing the film with stunning action sequences.  His follow-up feature finds him in similar allegorical mood.  A class divide epic between the 1% enjoying paradise on orbiting space station Elysium and everyone else surviving on an abandoned, polluted, impoverished Earth, it retains District 9’s hard-edged grit, but lacks that film’s originality, wit and heart.  Efficient and enjoyable, but not up there with the director’s Oscar nominated debut.

Elysium - Matt DamonElysium - Braga

The full verdict: Elysium looks great...

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