Tagged with action films

Review: Final Girl, 2015, dir. Tyler Shields

Review: Final Girl, 2015, dir. Tyler Shields


“Have you ever sat through a movie so ponderous and pointless that you felt the minutes ticking by as your patience slowly dwindled to zero? That’s more or less the experience of watching Tyler Shields’ immeasurably boringFinal Girl, a film injudiciously stitched together out of so many retread genre tropes that they wind up leeching … Continue reading

Review: Terminator Genisys, 2015, dir. Alan Taylor

Review: Terminator Genisys, 2015, dir. Alan Taylor


“‘Old, not obsolete.’ These three words are repeated often throughout Terminator Genisys, Alan Taylor’s contribution to the iconic ’80s/’90s action series, and they apply perfectly to the film’s biggest name: Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, reprising his role as an unstoppable cyborg for the umpteenth time in the Terminator saga’s lifespan. If any production in the latter … Continue reading

Review: Chappie, 2015, dir. Neill Blomkamp

Review: Chappie, 2015, dir. Neill Blomkamp


“Your enjoyment of Chappie will depend entirely on how high a premium you place on originality. The film’s influences announce themselves loudly and proudly; if you’ve seen Short Circuit, Short Circuit 2, and RoboCop, you have seen Chappie, or at least you’ve seen its skeleton dangled from a hang-up stand á la Budget Bart. But … Continue reading

Review: Everly, 2015, dir. Joe Lynch

Review: Everly, 2015, dir. Joe Lynch


“Based on her recent credits, Salma Hayek may be the last person anyone would expect to go out guns blazing. In the last few years, she’s starred in disposable junk ranging from both Grown-Ups films to Here Comes the Boom, provided vocals for Puss in Boots, and made a cameo in Muppets Most Wanted. In … Continue reading

Review: Skyfall, 2012, dir. Sam Mendes

Review: Skyfall, 2012, dir. Sam Mendes


Has the James Bond franchise come full circle? Are we now at a point where there are no more secrets to the world’s most famous globe-trotting, womanizing, martini-guzzling spy? By the time Sam Mendes directs Skyfall, his entry in the half-a-century-old series, to its logical conclusion, we’ve actually experienced cinema of regression, watching as the … Continue reading

Go, See, Talk! Review: The Bourne Legacy, 2012, dir. Tony Gilroy

Go, See, Talk! Review: The Bourne Legacy, 2012, dir. Tony Gilroy


The big question The Bourne Legacy must answer: does it successfully restart the franchise and pick up where Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass left off? In a word, no. Tony Gilroy, assuming the role of director for the first time in the series, bungles story, character, and action here in big, unforgivable ways while poor Jeremy Renner struggles gamely against the film’s weaknesses. Continue reading

Review: The Avengers, 2012, dir. Joss Whedon

Review: The Avengers, 2012, dir. Joss Whedon


The Avengers didn’t have to do much to impress me. Being as honest as possible, Joss Whedon’s attempt at making a respectable entrance into the 2012 summer season with the capstone picture of Marvel Studios’ long-gestating superhero bonanza just needed to be tolerable to get a pass from me. Put bluntly, C-level material alone would … Continue reading

Go, See, Talk! Review: The Grey, 2012, dir. Joe Carnahan

Go, See, Talk! Review: The Grey, 2012, dir. Joe Carnahan


Today marks the release of survival-action film/Liam Neeson vehicle The Grey, the latest film from director Joe Carnahan (Narc, The-A Team).  I unequivocally loved it; it’s an immensely effective pulse-pounding thriller on the surface, but it’s characterized much more strongly by its more metaphysical and emotional traits, something that took me off-guard in the best … Continue reading

Review: Haywire, 2012, dir. Steven Soderbergh

Review: Haywire, 2012, dir. Steven Soderbergh


Haywire, in its fashion, possesses many of the best qualities of its protagonist; like Mallory Kane, it’s lean, mean, efficient, and wholly focused on attaining its goals and realizing its purpose. It also teeters, occasionally, on the verge of emotional vulnerability. Neither Kane (MMA fighter Gina Carano) nor director Steven Soderbergh are especially willing to … Continue reading

Review: Ironclad, 2011, dir. Jonathan English

Review: Ironclad, 2011, dir. Jonathan English


About the only thing Jonathan English’s Ironclad has going for it blood; he can rest easy knowing that his film absolutely lives up to its tagline, providing copious amounts of human viscera for audience entertainment at the cost of telling a good story. Ironclad is simply bad. The only comfort I can accord the film is … Continue reading

Review: Hanna, 2011, dir. Joe Wright

Review: Hanna, 2011, dir. Joe Wright


Hanna makes a sound argument that action movies need not be artless, though maybe when the person at the helm is Joe Wright the final outcome can only inevitably attain a level of artfulness worth observing. Wright is responsible for 2007’s Atonement, a strikingly beautiful film that remains mostly empty despite its impressive craftsmanship; where … Continue reading

Review: Limitless 2011, dir. Neil Burger

Review: Limitless 2011, dir. Neil Burger


Limitless might have added up to something excellent instead of well-made fluff entertainment if Neil Burger cared to consider the ramifications of his film’s basic conceit and chose to punish his hero more, rather than reward him. Maybe that’s not being fair to Burger, because Limitless isn’t a bad film at all. It’s just not … Continue reading

Review: 13 Assassins, 2011, dir. Takashi Miike

Review: 13 Assassins, 2011, dir. Takashi Miike


13 Assassins falls into a category of films woefully burdened by an inescapable family resemblance that dogs their existence on one level or another. In the case of the latest offering from Japanese shock filmmaker, Takashi Miike, anyone who’s heard of Kurosawa can trace the film’s lineage back to 1954, the release year of the … Continue reading