Category Archives: action

Red 2 – Robert Schwentke (2013)

Light Netflix entertainment. Apparently at some point I also saw the first “Red”. Judging my review of part 1, I found it entertaining.

Bruce Willis is again an old superhero. He is approached by his friend and former colleague Marvin (a weird John Malkovich) and talked into another assignment.

Just as with the first film, there is a stack of big actors in this film. One of them is the marvellous Catherine Zeta-Jones, but there are also David Tewlis (always fun) and a highly amusing Anthony Hopkins.

Some bad guys have bad plans with the world, Frank and company set out to prevent it. There is of course action, humour and a little romance.

Light entertainment, but not bad.

Smokey And The Bandit – Hal Needham (1977)

A classic on Netflix. This film is about as old as myself. Of course I saw it some time, probably decades ago. There is one scene that I remembered.

The main character is “Bandit” played by Burt Reynolds. “Smokey” is his buddy, or partner in crime perhaps.

Reynold’s character is a truck driver, or was he a stuntman, who takes an illegal job to pick up a load of beer in a neighboring state. Not only that, he has less time than anybody has managed to make that tour in the first place. Apparently he has done the same before, because he puts his buddy in his truck and he gets a fast car for himself to distract the police so they will not investigate the truck.

So the whole film we see wild boy Bandit being chased by the police, raising his problems by picking up a girl along the way. His hero status comes in handy will all kinds of help.

The film is still very amusing.

Hudson Hawk – Michael Lehmann (1991)

I was looking for something light to watch on Netflix and ran into this classic action comedy with Bruce Willis. Well, this is light entertainment.

Willis is Hudson Hawk, a master thief who immediately when he comes out of 10 years imprisonment is forced into new jobs. The film is a bit screwball, but the promising trailer seems to contain all the jokes.

There is a bit of a Da Vinci Code twist to the story as Leonardo da Vinci hid three parts of a diamond that combined he used for his gold making machine and of course the bad guys are after these parts and Hudson Hawk is forced to steal them in elaborate ways.

Amusing, but not great.

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.