Tag Archives: action movie

Banlieue 13

Director: Pierre Morel, Main Cast: Cyril RaffaelliDavid BelleTony D’AmarioDany Verissimo-PetitBibi Naceri;

banlieue-13

“1997 Escape From New York” meets “48 Hours” with a hint of “Transporter” (no surprise there, since Luc Besson is one of the writers), it sounds good on paper, I know, but all that glitters is not gold as it’s the case with this film. First we meet Leito (Belle), who lives in the titular banlieue, a degraded neighbourhood with run-down high rises at the outskirts of Paris. He’s a tough guy but he tries to protect the honest people of his district from the rampaging thugs and gangsters led by Taha (Naceri). Then the viewer makes the acquaintance of Damien (Raffaelli), Cpt. Tomaso of the Parisian police, who is tough but fair, works alone and is always respectful of the law. Both guys have Jet Li fighting skills and are champions of urban acrobatics, which makes the action scenes frenetic and impressive. Naturally they will pair up, not liking each other at the beginning, to save the day or, more precisely, Paris from Taha’s evil plan. In this testosterone fest we also get Lola (Verissimo-Petit), Leito’s sister, and almost as badass as him. She ends up, of course, being a prisoner and leverage but also instrumental in the final showdown (girl power!). First independently and later together, Damien and Leito will fight their way up the rungs of the thugs’ hierarchy to get to the bad guy and stop him, in a overly used and very predictable plot. The film is overdone and take itself too seriously, which is a little uncharacteristic for Besson. The complete lack of humor dooms it and makes it a boring flick, adrenaline-fueled scenes notwithstanding. Tedious —4/10

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The Expendables 2

Director: Simon West, Main Cast: Sylvester StalloneJason StathamDolph LundgrenJean-Claude Van DammeChuck NorrisBruce WillisArnold SchwarzeneggerLiam HemsworthNan Yu;

the-expendables-2

They are back! For the aficionados of action movies and the nostalgics of the 80s/90s action heros, Stallone penned another story of the ragtag outfit of mavericks. All the usual suspects are there, plus a young addition (Hemsworth), the de rigueur, tough lady (Nan Yu) and special guest stars (Schwarzenegger and Norris). The film’s plot is very predictable and overly utilised: our heros are on a “regular” job and, after explosions and general carnage, they save the day (Jet Li makes his token appearance) and meet an old friend, Schwarzy; after going back to civilization and some R&R, CIA black ops specialist (Willis) shows up and make the usual offer they can’t refuse: retrieve some precious but mysterious item and get a full pardon for previous misdeeds. Naturally nothing goes according to plan due to the bad guy and his minions, this time is Van Damme who plays the villain (what’s the deal with being evil and having an accent?!?) and he’s pretty spry for an old man. He kills the young and full of promises hero, of course, and the mission for Stallone & Co. becomes not only saving the world but avenging the dead (nothing’s really new isn’t it?). So our misfits fight against overwhelming odds helped by Norris (who looks as lively as his Madam Tussaud’s likeness), the Gubernator and Willis, ça va sans dire, they succeed on all fronts. As viewer you get all the classics, including the final fist fight between the Good Guy and the Bad Guy (Stallone-Van Damme), the brooding, philosophical reflections about life from the hero and the sappy note from the deceased. Humour (planned and unintentional) and tongue-in-cheek references are not enough to save this uber cliched movie. —4/10

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2 Guns

Director: Baltasar Kormákur, Main Cast: Denzel WashingtonMark Wahlberg

It begins like a regular story about crooks: two mid-level criminals pull a heist at a small bank, they are after the security boxes. However we find out that one is a DEA agent and the other works for the Navy’s intelligence…the plot already thickens but, apparently, it is not enough, the CIA is also involved doing the dirt with all the drug cartels in Mexico. Everything that could go wrong for our heros will and the proverbial shit hits the fan, unfortunately for the viewers nothing is really new and it is very boring. Both Washington and Wahlberg are doing bidimensional characters and they are not making any efforts. The support acting is so cliched that it seems a bunch of caricatures. Compared to this film Walker Texas Ranger is like a shakespearean play. Trite and dull. —2/10

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