Category Archives: action

Jack Reacher – Christopher McQuarrie (2012)

One of these Bourne type action thrillers with an elusive superman, this time played by Tom Cruise.

A man shoots five people, seemingly at random. Easily caught and on his way to death penalty, he asks for Jack Reacher, a man who vanished from the face of the earth.

Of course Reacher shows up, investigates and solves the case, but not without a good deal of action.

13-In-a-dozen, but not bad.

Angel Has Fallen – Ric Roman Waugh (2019)

The film starts with a high-tech assassination attempt on the American president (Morgen Freeman). The only other survivor is main character Mike Banning (Gerald Butler).

A not too surprising story unfolds in which Banning gets framed for the attack and he escapes in order to prove his innocence.

“Angel Has Fallen” is full of high-adrenaline action (sometimes a bit over-the-top) and has a good, dense atmosphere.

Not a high-flyer, but a good action thriller.

Ocean’s Thirteen – Steven Soderbergh (2007)

And here is number three. Story-wise this one is again less interesting. One of the men from the group had a business rip-off which takes its toll on his health. The rest decides to pay back the competitor.

Willy Bank (Al Pacino) works on a massive and extremely luxury hotel with casino in Las Vegas. Ocean and his men are going to prevent that Bank’s latest is again getting a five diamond rating like his other hotels, steal the diamonds that Bank usually gives to his wife to celebrate another 5 diamond rating and they will make him poor by rigging the casino.

Of course there are some impossible hurdles to pass and an incredible method is come up with as a part of their plan. This time a tunnel will be dug to create an earthquake to shut down security.

With the usual humour, twists and turns in the story and pack of big actors, “Ocean’s Thirteen” is again entertaining, but still the least of the three.

Extraction – Sam Hargrave (2020)

The son of a criminal Indian is kidnapped by an even bigger criminal. A group specialised in such situations is hired to get the kid out.

A fairly thin story is used to make much action. Quite over-the-top too. All the shooting is more like a video-game than an action film. The everybody-against-everybody story is somewhat dull. Then there are a couple of drama scenes that take the film down further.

Thirteen in a dozen action…

Elysium – Neill Blomkamp (2013)

Somehow I see a lot of Matt Damon films recently. Here he is with no hair again. This time more his usual genre though: action.

Actually this is more of a dystopian scifi. A century from now earth is an overpopulated mess. Rich people have moved to the space station Elysium which resembles earth in better days.

Damon plays a man with a troubled past. After an accident at work he needs to go to Elysium because there are ‘curing machines’ there. With a group of heavy criminals he forges a plan.

The film has a bit of a “Mad Max” atmosphere which is good. The parts with Jody Foster as ruthless minister at Elysium as less strong. There is some annoying drama too and the last 15 minutes are downright awful. A dreary ‘the people you are supposed to sympathize with’ against those you do not.

Not bad, too bad about the end.

Spenser Confidential – Peter Berg (2020)

Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) has too much sense for morality, so he beats up his boss and is sent to prison for five years. As soon as he gets out, he bumps into another quest for which he has to go against the police force, his former colleagues.

“Spenser” is a standard but entertaining Hollywood action film with some humour woven in.

Brawl In Cell Block 99 – S. Graig Zahler (2017)

This film had been on my wish list for a while. Zahler made some descent films such as “Dragged Across Concrete” and “Bone Tomahawk“. “Brawl” by and far does not reach the level of these other two though.

Just as the named titles, “Brawl” is a slow crime film that is very violent. Vince Vaughn plays Bradley Thomas who looses his job and starts to run drugs to get a descent income. This of course goes wrong and Bradley lands in prison where his problems grow even bigger.

Bradley has to violently work himself through the containment system to solve problems outside the prison walls. The story is quite unlikely and basically just to hang violent fights on.

Parker – Taylor Hackford (2013)

I thought / hoped that this would be one of these action comedies, but actually “Parker” is a revenge action thriller.

Parker (Jason Stratham) is a thief who is doubled crossed by some temporary partners. Of course he is going to get back at them and claim the money they owe him.

Along the line Parker picks up Leslie who is played by Jennifer Lopez.

Nothing surprising, not boring either. Well perhaps the very old Nick Nolte is somewhat of a surprise.

6 Underground – Michael Bay (2019)

A friend was enthousiastic about this film which was an over-the-top action.

Indeed, in the opening scene it is. After some robbery gone wrong, a group has to flee through Paris in a fast car. The scene is fun for a few minutes, but it looks as if it is largely CGI.

Then there appears to be a story. Some rich guy gathers people who allegedly die so they can join his group fighting bad people.

An all-American story unfolds in which bad leaders of bad countries have to be get rid off. This indeed leads to a lot of action and a couple of descent scenes, but overall I found the film pretty dull.

Polar – Jonas Åkerlund (2019)

The latest Åkerlund is available on Netflix and he even managed to get Mads Mikkelsen for the leading part and there are more familiar faces.

Mikkelsen plays Duncan Vizla, a contract killer who approaches the age of 50. This means that he can retire, or actually, that he has to. His employer has a business model in which it is better that Vizla is dead though, so he sends a few people after him.

Storywise, “Polar” reminds a bit of “John Wick“, but Åkerlund has made his film both more ‘teen’ and more violent (indeed!). Vizla’s boss and colleagues are hip comic-like youngsters who do not care for a dead more or less (the story is indeed based on a graphic novel). This leads to explicit and very violent scenes. The story has no real surprises and I do not think that was intended. Also known from other Åkerlund films are kaleidoscopic scenes with rapidly changing images, explicit female parts, drugs use, bad language and grim humour.