“Heroes never die…. They just reload.” And here I was hoping they retire and shut up eventually! OK, is there ANYONE out there who has not seen or heard of Rambo? It is possible, you know. For them and for the rest, let it be known: Rambo is back on the big screen this week, January 25th 2008, written & directed by Mr. Pudding Mogul, err you know who. View at your own peril. [ Trailer ] [ "Rambo directs Rambo" interview ]
For those not familiar with the anime series “Cashan, The Robot Hunter” which “Casshern” is based on, this movie may be a tiny bit confusing. Additionally, there is a lot of text to read with subtitles racing by (as there is only a Japanese audio track) and on top of that, the subtitles are not beneath but across the film which can be distracting and since they are burnt in, you can’t switch them off either. Also, cutting the movie by 24 minutes for Region 1 DVD release may have been a marketing decision, somehow I am not so sure it was the right one. Enough of these technicalities and on to the story then!
In director Kazuaki Kiriya’s debut effort we meet “Casshern”, a young man killed in war and risen from the dead by supernatural powers, reincarnated to fight against evil – but let’s rewind a bit.
Matt Damon once again shows us how good Jason Bourne is in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). In fact, he is so good, it is unbelievable how good he really is but this is beside the point since we do not care if Bourne is a believable character or what his real name is. It does not matter at all. What matters is the action, the stunts, the chases, and more of the same, perfectly orchestrated to one big race with one winner, Bourne, of course.
Now, if you dig all that then you will enjoy this third installment, even though I must say the often praised shaky camera cinematography has been annoying at times in this one, pay attention to the camera shakiness and judge for yourself.
“War” (2007) starring Jet Li and Jason Statham is about an FBI agent Jack Crawford (Statham) seeking vengeance for the murder of his partner Tom Lone (Terry Chen). The mysterious hit man called “Rogue” (Jet Li) who killed his partner, wife and daughter comes back to San Francisco after 3 years and Jack is determined to get even by killing “Rogue” this time.
“Rogue” has an agenda on his own, inciting a war between the two rivaling Triads and Yakuzas, double crossing the bosses Chang (John Lone) and Shiro (Ryo Ishibashi) for reasons that become apparent in the end but are rather obvious early on.
If you want to see a “Jet Li” movie then this is not one of them. This is not necessarily bad and Statham and Li going up against each other is a good duo, however there is nothing more to it. It’s just that, lots of gun fights with a bit of martial arts thrown in.
The plot twist at the end is predictable and the suspense never really builds up. The character of “Jack Crawford” remains flat and two dimensional, a brute only driven by vengeance without any other purpose in life and the one phone call where the ex-wife reminds him of his son’s first basketball play doesn’t change that either. Bad script writing galore. I cannot shake the feeling that this could have been a much better movie if it were an Eastern one.
There is not much else to write about this movie except that it’s 103 minutes of mostly gun fights with strong bloody violence, sexuality and language, hence rated R. Don’t expect too much from this “War”.
I went to see “Shoot ‘Em Up” (2007) directed by Michael Davis without reading anything about it and so I was in for quite a surprise.
The film starts out with the hero “Smith” (Clive Owen) sitting on a bench at night waiting for a bus, munching on a carrot when a pregnant woman in a yellow raincoat stumbles by moaning. She disappears in a nearby alley and is being followed by a very angry man with a gun. This prompts our hero to get involved and angry, too. From that moment on it is all about shooting people.