Category Archives: action

Baby Driver – Edgar Wright (2017)

This could well be(come) a modern classic. “Baby Driver” is a hip and well-written action film with good humor and great use of music. Especially in the first part, the music and film are integrated to the extreme.

The title refers to a young man who drive getaway cars for bank robbers. He is a music addict who times his job with his music. Most other characters prove to be music lovers too, so that makes a big theme for the film.

The story is perhaps not really surprising, but it contains nice details and a lot of good and subtle humor.

Recommended when you are out to watch something light.

Inferno – Ron Howard (2016)

Number three of the Dan Brown Hollywood merch is not too interesting. The story is a bit Bond-like. A ‘bad guy’ has plans to eradicate a part of humanity and Langdon sets out to prevent that. Of course he is accompanied by a lady. The ‘puzzle’ this time revolves around Dante, but even more so this time, the puzzle is obligatory. It is but a trail of the ‘bad guy’ in case he cannot fulfill his own plan himself.

“Inferno” is again a fast passed adrenaline rush with continuous chasing and escaping. There is a somewhat annoying amount of changing loyalties, undoubtedly to surprise / confuse the viewer, but it does not make the film any better

A fairly weak action film with a not too interesting story.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Roland Emmerich (2016)

I am sure that I saw the 1996 original, but do not remember much of it. The follow up has so many references back, though, that things have come back.

20 Years after the original film, the world still celebrates the victory over the alien invaders of 1996. A new attack follows on that very day though and some people from the previous victory are brought back to fight the new danger.

“ID: Resurgence” has all elements of a corny Hollywood spectacle. The action is overwhelming, there are bad jokes in scenes with high tension, obligatory romance, good-looking heroes and of course a big dose of American nationalism. The story is thin and I do not find the CGI really groundbreaking.

So, this second ID film is a typical Hollywood production. Not badly done but in not a single way surprising. A typical film for a night with brainless action.

Ghost In The Shell – Rupert Sanders (2017)

Many years ago in some local art gallery there was a Japanese anime called “Ghost In The Shell”. Later I saw a similar anime with a similar title (“No Ghost In The Shell” if I am not mistaken). I figured it was just the title the artist gave to his / her work, but in the next years the ghost from the shell popped up more often and now there is a film with this title? Are they all based on the same Japanese comic or is something else going on? A fact is that the present film seems to play in some future Japanese city, so I guess it is based on the same concept.

Scarlet Johansson plays a robot with a human brain (the ghost in the shell). She is an almost invincible terrorist fighter who apparently prefers to fight naked. The film begins magnificently with a weird city with 3D advertisements, a surrealistic atmosphere and a nice soundtrack. There is a bit of a ‘Matrix vibe’. Because most inhabitants of the city are either robots or modified humans, some pretty strange elements could be inserted. This part is very well done.

Later on “Major” (Johansson) starts to realise her unique position which she is not overly happy with and the film goes back to a more ‘normal’ film of an action drama sort. Story wise this is still interesting, but ‘filmographically’ the second half is less interesting than the first.

“Ghost In The Shell” is a very descent sci-fi action film with great and just good elements and parts.

Vikings (series, season 3) – Michael Hirst (2015)

Well then. Even more so than the previous season, 3 is mostly a soap opera. The focus is almost exclusively on the characters.

We jump back and forth over the globe. In one scene we are in Kattegat, then suddenly in Britain or with many of the characters (including women) in Paris. In Britain a Viking colony is started, but the conquering of Paris would be to Lothbrok’s fame.

Besides gathering fame, Lothbrok toys with the idea of Christianity throughout season 3, much to the demise of mostly Floki who develops a growing dislike for his king and his best friend Athelstan.

There are the usual talks of the relationship between men and women, of course the raids with an occasional fight and only a handful of scenes on the sea.

A little annoying is the way Norse mythology is used. A man comes to Kattegat, tells a story that in the Edda is an adventure of Thor, but the man is Odin in disguise (and the story only used partly).

“Vikings” remains a series that may be amusing, but nothing more than that.

Triple 9 – John Hillcoat (2016)

A descent crime-action-thriller in which a group of bad cops violently rob a bank. Severe pressure forces them to do another job.

We follow the cops in their normal and ‘other’ occupations and of course their group of colleagues trying to find the men who robbed the bank.

The film starts as a proper action film, but slowly becomes somewhat darker making a nice, gloomy atmosphere towards the end. The story shows that there are often more sides to a story. It does not really have many surprises, but it is good and worked out well.

Angels & Demons * Ron Howard (2009)

At some point I was going to watch the follow-up of the famous “Da Vinci Code“. It was not very high up the list, but apparently I did not reread my review of the initial film…

Then again, with low expectations, Angels & Demons was not that bad. I guess you all know the story. The Pope has died and during conclave the four cardinals with the best papers to be follower-up are kidnapped and threatened to be killed. The group behind his action is a completely fabricated Illuminiati. Robert Langdon is flown in to decipher the maze that the Illuminati created.

The film is extremely pompous with classical music, a fairly high pace and intelligent-sounding theories of Langdon, who, for some reason, is accompanied by a female scientist.

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice * Zack Snyder (2016)

Like I said before, with the rental that I use, I can chose which films I want to see, but not when. I put this Snyder-spectacle on the list hoping that it would come when I would feel like brainless action. It did. After a maddening week at work, a no-brainer was in place.

But ‘Batman v Superman’ does not exactly start as a no-brainer… In the first 10 to 15 minutes an elaborate story is built up in which Superman is mankind’s hero, but because not everybody is sure about his intentions (in the future), some decide to question Superman’s sense of justice. Also, there is a villain who wants him dead and also Batman thinks the world is better off without Superman, since if you cannot be 100% sure that a man with Superman’s powers is 100% just, it is safer that there is no Superman at all.

After these first 15 minutes, Snyder shifts up and the rest of the film is fairly brainless, highspeed and extremely pompous action. Superman is lead into a trap and brought before court. The villain builds his weapon to kill him and also Batman is trying to find a way to do the same. Naturally the villain fails and Superman and Batman first fight spectacularly and then become friends. Nothing unexpected here.

Just as in Snyder’s previous Superman film, he again created an over-the-top action film with over-the-top special effects and a story that only thinly refers to the stories that we know of both superheros. Again the film is not boring, but it is mostly just see-what-I-can-do with to known characters. The film looks great though and the pompous classical music is great as well.

Brainless action after all. Not a masterpiece, but entertaining.

Deathlands * Joshua Butler (2003)

Everything about this film looks considerably older than its actual age. I was under the impression that “Deathlands” came from the time of “Mad Max“, but the first “Mad Max” is 24 years older!

As you may now expect, “Deathlands” is a gloomy, apocalyptic film playing in a bleak future. After a massive war, nothing much is left of the world and we follow a group consisting of men, a mutant and a half-mutant (it is not really explained to what the mutants mutated) on ‘adventure’.

The first half of the film has a very good atmosphere, but in the second half the very thin story begins to show a bit too clearly and this is certainly the weaker half. There is quite some blood and brutality and action, but do not expect a whole lot of script.

“Deathlands” is enjoyable, but not much more than that.

Timecop: The Berlin Connection * Steve Boyum (2003)

Not even released in the year in which the original film played, another director comes with a follow-up of the film that was released almost a decade earlier. Safe from being based on the same comic, “Timecop 2” has little to do with the original.

Of course the story is similar. A special team has the task to prevent people from going back in history and change the present/future. The title refers to difficulties of being in a position to change the past and to decide to not do it. That very moment is the start for the whole film in which two time-travelers fight each other through time.

The whole notion of (not) changing the past, traveling back and forth, etc. has been worked out into further extremes than the original film, a bit too much so here and there. “The Berlin Connection” makes an alright scifi action with recognisable elements from its predecessor (most notably: martial arts), but it is a wholly different film with (like I said) a different director, different actors, etc.

The film is not really a masterpiece, but the 4.9 on IMDb sounds a bit low (it is about my own rating too though). Then again, part 1 also only gets a 5.8. Not that that is a masterpiece, but that is more of a classic than the follow-up will be (my guess).