Posts Tagged ‘action thriller film’

ONE SHOT: 3 STARS. “wall-to-wall video-game style gunplay.”

The title of “One Shot,” a new action movie starring Scott Adkins, Ryan Phillippe and Ashley Greene Khoury, and now available on VOD, is a double entendre of a sort. The adrenalized action heroes at the heart of the film have one shot to quell an attack, and director James Nunn has cleverly filmed all the action in “real time,” using camera tricks to make it look like this was shot in one, long continuous take.

The story begins with a squad of Navy SEALs led by Lt. Blake Harris (Adkins) airlifting junior CIA analyst Zoe Anderson (Khoury) to a remote Guantanamo Bay-esque prison to a “United Nations of terror” suspects. Anderson’s job is to extract Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi), a British national who pleads his innocence, but is suspected to be a mastermind of a 9/11 style dirty-bomb attack on all three branches of the American government.

Deputy Site Manager Tom Shields (Phillippe) stalls the prisoner’s release, inadvertently allowing time for the ruthless terrorist Charef (Jess Liaudin) and his insurgents to overrun the place, freeing captives and trying to kill Mansur before he can spill the beans on the plot to bring down the government.

“One Shot” isn’t about the characters, political subtext or even the siege story. It’s all about the “one shot” gimmick, wall-to-wall video-game style gunplay and a sense of urgency.

For the most part the gimmick works, although, if you’re like me, you’ll be taken out of the story as you try and see where the subliminal edits are. It’s a distraction that fades as the running times passes because director Nunn choreographs the action expertly, creating a sense of unpredictable immediacy. You never really know who is around the next corner or hiding behind a pile of sandbags. It’s edgy you-are-there filmmaking, aided by cinematographer Jonathan Iles, that makes the generic story and stereotyped characters somewhat interesting.

The relentless violence, however, becomes tiering after a while. The first gunshot happens around the 19-minute mark and the bullet ballet continues pretty much nonstop for the rest of the running time. There are breaks in the action, usually as someone tends to a wounded person, but they are few and far between.

“One Shot” is a b-movie with efficient brutality and some edge-of-your-seat scenes, but the script is as riddled with clichés—”Sometimes it is harder to save a life than it is to save one,” intones Anderson when the going gets tough.—as the characters are with bullet holes.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY OCTOBER 26, 2018.

Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” copy cat “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent,” the family drama “What They Had” and the operatic documentary “Maria by Callas.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard has a look at Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the family drama “What They Had” and Gerard Butler’s action-adventure “Hunter Killer” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

HUNTER KILLER: 1 ½ STARS. “so cheesy it should come with a side of saltines.”

If there was ever more proof need to put Pablo Picasso’s remark, “good artists borrow, great artists steal,” to bed it’s the new Gerard Butler film. “Hunter Killer” borrows and out right steals elements from any number of movies, “The Hunt for Red October” chief among them, but is neither good nor great.

“Hunter Killer” takes place on land, on sea and on the phone. Based on the 2012 novel “Firing Point” by Don Keith and George Wallace “Hunter Killer” sees Butler as an unconventional US submarine Commander Joe Glass. He’s on a mission to find and rescue a missing U.S. sub when he stumbles across a popular 1990s plot twist—a Russian coup that threatens to demolish world order.

Stealthily cruising through enemy waters he becomes part of a three-pronged mission to rescue the Russian president, being held hostage in Russia by rogue Defence Minister Dmitri Durov (Mikhail Gorevoy). At sea level are Navy Seals led by Bill Beaman (Toby Stephens), National Security Agency analyst Jayne Norquist (Linda Cardellini), Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common), and, back home in America, Admiral Charles Donnegan (Gary Oldman in post-Oscar pay cheque mode) who barks orders at minions and into phones. It’s American-Russian collusion that could change the course of history!

Throw in a craggy-faced Russian submarine captain, Sergei Andropov (the late Michael Nyqvist)—we’re not enemies, we’re brothers—and you have a run-of-the-mill World War III scenario that was better the first few times we saw it. “It’s not about your side or my side,” Glass says to Andropov, “it’s about the future.”

“Hunter Killer” is so cheesy it should come with a side of saltines. Much of the dialogue sounds cribbed from the “Tough Guy ‘R Us” manual circa 1986—“He’s gonna play the hand he was dealt!”—spoken by characters so wooden they could easily double as buoys in the above water scenes.

At almost two hours ”Hunter Killer” is a waterlogged thriller, a sopping wet excuse for Butler to grunt his way through another film that is beneath his talent.

CJAD IN MONTREAL: THE ANDREW CARTER SHOW WITH RICHARD CROUSE ON MOVIES!

Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” wannabe “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent” and the Alzheimer’s dramedy “What They Had.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY AUGUST 17, 2018.

Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg shoot ’em up “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR AUGUST 17.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the glitz-glammy rom com, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg actioner “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” AND MORE!

A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, “Crazy Rich Asians,” the new Mark Wahlberg shoot ’em up “Mile 22,” and the mystery thriller “Never Saw it Coming.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

MILE 22: 3 STARS. “plays like a first person shooter video game.”

If director Peter Berg’s oeuvre could be boiled down to one sentence it might read something like, “American heroes battle against overwhelming odds.“ Films like “Lone Survivor,“ “The Kingdom“ and “Patriot Games“ have carved out a singular niche for Berg in the action genre. True to form, his new film “Mile 22 “ pits Berg regular Mark Wahlberg and a small team of “problem solvers” against the military might of a corrupt government.

Wahlberg plays CIA operative James Silva, a fast talker and thinker who “only responds to two things, intelligence and pain.“ He heads a team who fight the “new wars,“ the conflicts that don’t make the front pages. They live in a world of violence and “unknown knowns.” “This is dark work,“ Silva says.

Their search for deadly radioactive powder, fear powder as Silva calls it, leads to Li Noor (Iko Uwais), a Southeast Asian informant who wants out of Indonesia. The informant has a disk containing the location of the deadly stuff but will only give the code to open the disc if they guarantee his safe transport out of the country. Trouble is, the corrupt government will do whatever it takes to keep him in their borders.

“Mile 22“ is a violent movie. How violent? The GNP of some small countries probably couldn’t cover Berg’s bullet budget. By the time the informant is scraping one of his victims Max back and forth against a broken, jagged window you may wonder how many more unusual ways there are to off a person. Their handler, played by John Malkovich, says they are involved in “a higher form of patriotism” but the film’s hyper kinetic editing and palpable joy in blowing away the bad guys suggest their elevated patriotism may have a hint of psychopathy mixed in.

Large sections of the film play like a first person shooter video game. There’s even a “scoreboard” where the vital statistics of the team are listed and then go dark as they are killed.

“Mile 22“ wants to make a statement about the murky depths our protectors brave to keep us safe but ends up expending more ammunition than insight.