Category Archives: Action/Thriller

Wang! Bang! Pow!

Mile 22 (2018) Movie Review

The first 20 minutes of Mile 22 has a promising setup. The cold open is an efficient and tight action sequence, in which James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) and his skeleton crew of ghost mercenaries breach the isolated home of bomb-building terrorists. It is not the most elegantly-staged of set pieces, but it does the job in relating to us the characters that we will be following for the next 90 minutes.

2018-mile-22-movie-review-john-malkovich

Following the cold open, we move to an undefined East Asian country, where Silva and his team are working on an errant police officer, Li Noor (Iko Uwais). Li arrives at the U.S. embassy with an encrypted hard drive. Once detained, the hard drive immediately begins deconstructing itself, a ticking clock that gives Silva a limited time before Continue reading Mile 22 (2018) Movie Review

Advertisements

The Meg (2018) Movie Review

Sometimes it takes a movie like The Meg to make you wonder at how perfect a movie Jaws is. Of course, The Meg isn’t trying to be Jaws. It’s more self-aware than that. It’s Sharknado with a budget. It’s dumb fun meant to inflate the popcorn market.

jason-statham-2018-shark-movie-the-meg-review

Right? I mean, it seems to take itself pretty seriously. When it’s in on the joke, it’s all in. Most of the time, though, Jason Statham and pals maneuver their way straight-faced around a giant mythological shark. It is harder to Continue reading The Meg (2018) Movie Review

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) Movie Review

Susanna Fogel’s The Spy Who Dumped Me reminds me of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but it probably shouldn’t. Both are two-hander action comedies. Both feature comic characters journeying across European countries toward a singular goal. Both were released in August, the dying-end of the Summer movie season.

the-spy-who-dumped-me-2018-movie-review-mila-kunis

Otherwise, comparison doesn’t seem warranted. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is incompetently shot and flat. The Spy Who Dumped Me exhibits a level of competency in its action filmmaking that exceeds what is required for an action comedy. In most respects, the action is Continue reading The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) Movie Review

The Darkest Minds (2018) Movie Review

Imagine a world where over 90% of all children die from a strange, highly contagious disease. Does the government, for the sake of the future, take every precaution to protect the few that remain? Of course not!

No, U.S. President Gray (Bradley Whitford) has the military round up all of the surviving children, who are all carriers of the disease and thus have one of five distinct color-coded powers. Kill the ones that can’t be controlled. Imprison the rest of them in labor camps.

darkest-minds-young-adult-movie-review-2018-mandy-moore-amandla-stenberg

Thus is the dystopia of The Darkest Minds, Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s adaptation of the young adult book series from writer Alexandra Bracken. From the jump, the film Continue reading The Darkest Minds (2018) Movie Review

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies begins with a reel of comic book panels flipping rapidly. It appears like a title card from a Marvel film. However, the camera pulls out to reveal a person flipping through a comic. After dispatching (sort of) a giant bubble supervillain, the Teen Titans—Robin (Scott Menville), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes)—sneak into a movie premiere, where the film “Batman Again” is screening. The auditorium is jam-packed with DC comics superheros, some attending in order to watch themselves on screen.

dc-animated-movie-2018-teen-titans-go-to-the-movies-review

That is the type of movie Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is. It is the child-friendly Deadpool. A cousin to The LEGO Batman Movie. It is a film whose Continue reading Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) Movie Review

Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and like all long-lasting Hollywood franchises it serves a steady-handed formula.

The plot of Fallout, then, needs little explanation. American secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is tasked with finding and retrieving a series of MacGuffins. To do so he reassembles a familiar team. Hunt will dangle high in the air. He will run at top speed. He will go rogue. All in pursuit of a narrative fueled for the contrived sake of action set pieces. All of which are stellar, so who am I to complain.

mission-impossible-6-fallout-movie-review-2018-tom-cruise-stunts

If nothing else, Fallout is the breeziest two-hours-twenty that you’ll spend in the theaters this summer. It is an achievement of Continue reading Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) Movie Review

The Equalizer 2 (2018) Movie Review

There is something inexplicable about The Equalizer 2. For one, and perhaps most importantly, it is the first sequel that legendary actor Denzel Washington has chosen to take part in. Why this particular project struck his fancy is hard to say. He seems to enjoy the wise man action hero personality. He has a history of collaboration with the film’s director, Antione Fuqua.

denzel-washington-equalizer-2-movie-review-2018-action

But the script for The Equalizer 2 couldn’t be called impressive. It structures a feature length film. But the plot slides away from the brain like bland scrambled eggs off of a nonstick pan. There is nothing Continue reading The Equalizer 2 (2018) Movie Review