I appear on “CTV News at 6” with Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. I’ll tell you about the superhero flick “Madame Web,” the survival story “Land of Bad” and the sublime “Perfect Days.”
Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to slam the door! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the music biopic “Bob Marley: One Love,” the superhero flick “Madame Web” and survival story “Land of Bad.”
I sit in with NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the music biopic “Bob Marley: One Love,” the superhero flick “Madame Web” and the survival story “Land of Bad.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres and streaming including the music biopic “Bob Marley: One Love,” the superhero flick “Madame Web,” the survival story “Land of Bad” and the sublime “Perfect Days.”
“Land of Bad,” a new military thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Russell Crowe, and now playing in theatres, uses highflying drone warfare as a backdrop for a story of survival on the ground.
Set in the South Philippines, the story begins with a covert Special Forces operation to extract a CIA asset captured by some very bad people.
Three highly skilled veterans, Sergeant Abel (Luke Hemsworth), Bishop (Ricky Whittle) and Captain Sugar (Milo Ventimiglia), are teamed with Sergeant JJ “Playboy” Kinney (Liam Hemsworth), a rookie whose nerves are showing even before they parachute into enemy territory.
Kinney’s job is to provide on-the-ground data to Captain Ed “Reaper” Grimm (Russell Crowe), a drone operator at a remote command post in Las Vegas. “I am the eyes in the sky,” Grimm says. “The bringer of doom.”
When the situation goes awry, Kinney is left on his own in hostile territory with only Reaper’s disembodied voice to guide him to safety.
“Land of Bad” asks (but doesn’t answer) questions about the role of technology in warfare, and if long distance battle, in the form of drones, is less barbaric than up-close-personal, Mano a Mano conflict. It’s an interesting, very twenty-first century issue, but it falls by the wayside as the action takes center stage.
Director William Eubank stages several exciting battles, provides lots of ticking-clock tension and plenty of obstacles—ie: baddies with guns and giant mountains between Kinney and safety—to keep Kinney’s odyssey edging the viewer toward the edge of their collective seats. There’s nothing much new here, but the action scenes are effective in creating a sense of immediacy and danger.
As a newbie in the group, Liam Hemsworth has an interesting arc, from nervous newcomer to reluctant hero. It goes a notch beyond the usual action hero portrayal, and humanizes Kinney as all hell breaks loose around him.
Crowe slides by on sheer movie star charisma. His take on Reaper is, by times, playful and powerful. But at the end of the day, he’s a stereotype of the anti-establishment figure who places emotion above authority. But, in the film’s unexpected dance scene he proves he can still cut a rug. Are You Not Entertained? Sure are, by the sheer absurdity of Crowe’s last twenty minutes on screen.
“Land of Bad” does not reinvent the war film wheel, but rolls along serviceably enough as an engaging action flick.
Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to strum a guitar! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the musical “Mean Girls,” the buzzy “The Beekeeper” and the divine “The Book of Clarence.”