Category Archives: action

The Nice Guys – Shane Black (2016)

I do not often feel like comedy, but Ryan Gosling’s presence convinced me to give this film a try. Oh, the other actor is Russel Crowe. When was the last film I saw with Crowe? “Gladiator” or so?

The two prove to make a very funny couple. A private detective and a private detective in the making, are working on cases that are connected, so after an initial clash, they start working together.

Initially “The Nice Guys” is an amusing screwball comedy. Towards the end we move more towards a nerdy action film which worked out less.

Overall, the film is a descent comedy though.

Altered Carbon – Laeta Kalogridis (series) (season 1) (2018)

This interesting-looking Netflix series is rated 8.1 on IMDb.com. So far I have had more luck with series on Netflix than with films. To me, “Altered Carbon” is by and far no 8.1 though.

The story is a bit thin. At some point humanity found a way to put a personality (or consciousness) on a disc (“stack”) that can be put in the neck of any body (“sleeve”).

Takeshi Kovacs is an “envoy”, a rebel soldier, who had been in “cryosleep” for 250 years (“put on ice”) after which he wakes up in a different body. As ‘the last envoy’ he draws attention. Then he is hired by an extremely wealthy man for a job in trade for his freedom. The case: the man has been killed, but fortunately he keeps a backup of his “stack” on a satelite, so he can just download himself and put himself in a new (newly cloned) “sleeve” when the old one perishes.

All good and well. Muscle-body Kovacs sets out to investigate. He is constantely followed by police-woman Kristin Ortega. Of course they run into all kinds of situations that make some action, romance or drama. The story gets less and less interesting as we go along. The series have some nice findings here and there, but overall, it is amusing at best. I doubt I will ever watch the second season.

Hotel Artemis – Drew Pearce (2018)

IMDb.com

In an apocalyptic near future LA, “Nurse” runs an expensive hotel hospital only for its criminal members. Jody Foster is great as the weird “Nurse” and the first part of the film the film has a bit of that Jeunet-like weirdness.

Naturally a few people that are better not in the same building need to find admission in Hotel Artemis, so things can only go wrong.

Especially the first half of the film is very entertaining. Nice humour, funny dialogues, strange findings. “Nurse” suffers a trauma that is mostly worked out in the second half which makes the second half less funny. The film explains all events in the end.

Amusing.

Spectral – Nick Mathieu (2016)

IMDb.com

In a near future with high-tech warfare, American soldiers run into something that they have not seen yet: an invisible and deadly enemy.

Clyne, the creator of these high-tech items, is sent to a war-zone to try to find out what technique the enemy uses.

“Spectral” makes an alright film with a good war atmosphere. The film is good up until we find out what enemy the soldiers face and then becomes a bit of an action horror which is not too convincing. Of course there is a bit of the obligatory drama and American patriotism, so in this regard a Netflix film is exactly like a Hollywood production.

Gangster Squad – Ruben Fleischer (2013)

IMDb.com

1949, war hero O’Mara returns to his home town LA which he finds being slowly taken over by mafia leader Mickey Cohen (a great Sean Penn). He joins the police force where he violently goes against the corruption of his town. This results in amusing over-the-top fist fights.

Then O’Mara is asked to put together a team to try to work Cohen out of the city. He finds a colourful team of (ex-)cops who go after Cohen’s money in brutal shootings and interrogations.

The film has a good 1940’ies atmosphere, but contemporary violence and humour. With a typical story with good looking tough guys and beautiful ladies, Fleischer works to a predictable end, but does this with a pretty amusing film.

The Equalizer – Antoine Fuqua (2014)

IMDb.com

Well, this time I picked a non-Netflix original with a fair rating on IMDb (7.2) and still it is a weak film. Of course action is not my genre (and yet I feel like watching action for weeks…), but still.

Denzel Washington in the role of a tough guy. Is that unexpected?

Robert McCall (Washington) is the good guy who helps everybody. He works a hardware store where he helps colleagues, he helps people living in his neighborhood and in a cafe where that he visits often, he gets friendly with a Russian prostitute.

When Teri gets trouble with her pimp, McCall decides to help out. In doing so he gets trouble with the Russian maffia. Fortunately he proves to be a killing machine so in a John Wick-like revenge thriller he works himself to the top.

Nothing too interesting.

The Bourne Ultimatum – Paul Greengrass (2007)

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The last Bourne has the same director as the previous. Nothing much needs to be said about this one. It picks up exactly where the previous film ended.

Bourne continues his search for who he was and those responsible for the fact that he is not. And these persons are still out to get him dead.

Every time Bourne shows up somewhere he is discovered rapidly which is followed by fast action scenes and lots of chases with damage. Of course he keeps escaping and, being the hero, he finds what he is looking for.

Venom – Ruben Fleischer (2018)

IMDb.com

“Venom” is a not too strong Marvel film.

Eddie Brock is a formerly hip reporter who gets inhabited by an alien parasite called Venom. Venom speaks and understands English perfectly. While he is initially a hostile host, the two form an unlikely alliance.

“Venom” has too much childish humour, fairly silly action and in spite of descent CGI the film remains a poor Marvel action film.

The Bourne Supremacy – Paul Greengrass (2004)

IMDb.com

The second of the Bourne trilogy takes up pretty much where the first film ended.

Bourne is still trying to find out who he was before his incident and his former employees are still looking to shoot him. But for the second film another problem occurs for Bourne: the Russians who also want him dead.

After hiding for two years, Bourne is discovered and forced to flee. Apparently in these two years he started to remember things and he goes to places where he used to have missions. He is also framed for a killing he did not commit and thus we have a recepe for another action spectacle with car chasings, fist fights and shootouts. The first film is a little more interesting.

The Bourne Identity – Doug Liman (2002)

IMDb.com

I bought a box with the three Bourne films. Damon is not really my actor and action not my genre, but they are rated well enough, the box was cheap (and I mixed them up with the Rippley films), so…

Damon is a secret agent who has lost his memory after a mission. While he is trying to find out his identity, his employers set out to kill him as soon as they find out that Bourne is not dead.

As expected, this is an action spectacle with fighting, shooting and car-chases. Amusing at best. The story unfolds nicely, which could be because the film is based on a book by Robert Ludlum.

Not really a high-flyer, but not boring.