Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD), the charming comedy “Golden Arm” (VOD/Digital) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD), the charming comedy “Golden Arm” (VOD/Digital) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
If you took all the gun play out of “Without Remorse,” the new Michael B. Jordan thriller on Amazon Prime Video, the movie would only be about 10 minutes long. The Tom Clancy adaptation is a bullet ballet that plays like a throwback to 80s matinee action movies.
When we first meet John Clark (Jordan) he’s leading an elite team of US Navy SEALs on a dangerous top-secret mission in Syria to liberate a CIA operative taken hostage by ex-Russian military forces.
Cut to three months later. Back in the United States, the quiet life Clark and his pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) have created for themselves is shattered by Russian assassins who invade their home. Looking for revenge, the Russian hit team kill Pam before Clark is able to off three of the four hitmen. The fourth gunman fires back, leaving Clark for dead, riddled with bullets.
As Clark recuperates in hospital, his colleagues, SEAL Lt. Commander Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) and Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay (Guy Pearce), determine how to best respond to a Russian attack on U.S. soil.
Not satisfied with the official way of doing things, Clark becomes a one-man army, seeking revenge and answers. He is the very definition of a man you don’t want to mess with. He’s a killing machine, especially when you take away the only thing he had to live for. He tracks down a Russian diplomat he thinks is responsible for the murder of his wife and coerces information out of him in a spectacular and completely illegal way. “They brought the war to my house,” he says. “The contract is broken. They’re going to play by my rules now.”
His act of retribution lands him in prison but he’s able to trade the sensitive information he garnered in his one-man mission for a second chance at revenge. This time with the cooperation of the CIA and military.
One secretive flight to Russia later, cue the carnage and conspiracy.
“Without Remorse” is an extremely violent movie with more bullets than brains.
Director Stefano Sollima stages intense action scenes and isn’t afraid to let the bodies fall where they may. Unfortunately, it’s in the handling of the other stuff, the intrigue, that the movie comes up short. In between bullet blasts a conspiracy slowly comes into focus, but it is never developed. Buried beneath an ever-increasing body count is the broader and more interesting picture of governmental tampering with world politics. Countries need outside enemies, it is suggested, or people will turn on their neighbors looking for someone to hate. It’s a timely message, a bit of debatable ideology, that could have been the underpinning for a rich subplot. Instead, “Without Remorse” is a standard issue shoot ‘em up.
Jordan brings charisma and physicality to the role, but is saddled with Steven Seagal-level dialogue. “Death follows me around,” he says in a line that could be from any number of direct-to-DVD action films from the last thirty years.
“Without Remorse” starts off with a bang—many of them in fact—but ends as a regression to cold war paranoia fuelled by bullets and brawn.
The proliferation of creature features starring hybrid animals like the Piranhaconda, Sharktopus and Dinocroc have overshadowed the more traditional nature gone wild horror movie. “Black Water: Abyss,” a new angry, apex predator movie now on VOD, brings back the old school when animals attack genre and throws in some spelunking for good measure.
The action begins when a group of friends, Eric (Luke Mitchell), Jen (Jessica McNamee), Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes) and Yolanda (Amali Golden), cast aside any fear of claustrophobia to descend into a partially submerged cave system in remote Northern Australia. They’ve been led there by Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe), who discovered the caves while on a search party for a Japanese couple who went missing in the area. What they don’t know is that the couple didn’t just disappear… they were eaten. When a tropical storm hits, flooding the caves, they are trapped with a herd of very hungry, very aggressive crocodiles
Cue the frenzied chomping.
Director Andrew Traucki has made something of a specialty of this genre, making giant shark movies like “The Reef” and “The Jungle” about a n Indonesian “forest demon.” He’s good with jump scares, the primal stuff like fear of the dark and claustrophobia and the mix of CGI and actual crocodile footage, but he’s let down here by a script that reduces his characters to sushi for hungry crocodiles and nothing more. It’s hard to create character arcs when the most interesting thing anyone says is, “We’re never going to get out of here, are we?”
“Black Water: Abyss” is a sequel to 2007’s “Abyss,” and while it has the occasional jolt and a breathless last few minutes, its lack of interesting characters will not croc your world.