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.
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 “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” the inspirational comedy “Uncle Drew” and a glimpse at the life of Vivienne Westwood called “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases,“Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” the inspirational comedy “Uncle Drew,” the sci fi b-movie “Upgrade” and a glimpse at the life of Vivienne Westwood called “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist.”
“Sicario,” Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 war on drugs movie, was a powerful look at a seemingly unwinnable battle and the toll it takes on its soldiers. Marked by tension and moral ambiguity, it wove complex quasi-morality and a sense of hopelessness into an edge of your seat story.
The new film, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” a sequel of sorts made without director Villeneuve or the ethical auras of Emily Blunt’s character, breathes similar air but is less nuanced. “Sicario” was an arthouse action film. The new one drops the art in favour of the action.
Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro return as CIA agent Matt Graver and assassin Alejandro Gillick. They are by-any-means-necessary black opps agents, tasked with creating chaos within the Mexican drug cartels after the president adds drug cartels to America’s list of terrorist organizations. Seems the drug lords have expanded from moving illegal substances across the border into the United States to importing humans.
Their plan is simple. Kidnap Isabela (Isabela Moner), a drug lord’s 16-year-old daughter, pin the blame on a rival, then sit back and watch the fireworks. “If you want to start a war,” says Graver, “kidnap a prince and the king will start it for you.”
Good plan, except it goes sideways when Isabela breaks free and hits the road. Gillick, who lost his family, including a young daughter, on the orders of Isabela’s drug lord father, rescues the youngster, stowing her in an out-of-the-way home where she becomes a pawn in a high stakes game.
Although the US-Mexico border plays a big role in “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” this isn’t a movie about a wall. Instead it’s a convoluted tale of corruption, fear, relationships, a young girl and the two men who change her life. For most of the running time it works well.
Brolin, the hardest working man at the box office this year, was born to play this amoral do-gooder. He’s a charming killer, a man who does what needs to be done, usually with a one liner and a gun. Like his other characters this summer, “Infinity War’s” Thanos and “Deadpool 2’s” Cable, he’s not above breaking the rules. Bingo. Few actors working right now could pull this off with the kind of steel jawed aplomb that oozes from his pores.
Ditto del Toro who brings an air of menace that positively drips off his perfectly sculpted cheekbones. He’s the boogeyman, a stone cold killer who lives on the edges of morality. This time around Gillick, however, has some softer edges, mostly due to his fondness for Isabela.
Herein lies the first bug-a-boo. When Gillick isn’t shooting people he’s displaying a warm and cuddly side looking after the well-being of the young girl. All of a sudden the guy who murdered kids in the last movie has a big heart. I guess it’s called character development but screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the original, sets up an almost impossible situation involving a child. Big dollops of hopelessness and nihilism return from the first film but Isabela’s relationship with Gillick feels forced, like a plot point and not an organic narrative twist. The sense that director Stefano Sollima and Company are more interested in creating a franchise than staying true to the characters or making a statement about the mess at the US-Mexican border hangs heavy over the film, particularly in the final twenty minutes.
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a wild ride until it stops making sense in the last reel. Cynicism and bleakness are still the name of the game but, strangely, Sollima and Sheridan take a u-turn near the end, pushing the limits of belief to create a platform for a sequel. It’s not a feel-good movie but it desperately tries to imitate one in its final moments.
A new 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 devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Brie Larson in “The Glass Castle.”