Category Archives: Action

A warning for fans of punk rocker-turned-actorHenry Rollins: Black Flag’s former lead singer doesn’t have much screen time in “The Last Heist,” a dinky bank heist horror-thriller hybrid. Rollins (“Sons of Anarchy,” “He Never Died”) plays Bernard, a creepy religious zealot who we soon learn is an eye-snatching serial killer. Bernard is the sour......
There’s a kitchen fight in “Central Intelligence” pitting a man with a butcher knife against a man with a banana. The man with the banana wins. I love scenes like this, where the movie seems to be saying, “This is the kind of movie I am—the kind where you can kill a man with a banana. Enjoy.” And you do. The film is a buddy action comedy in the vein of “T......
First, a confession: I have never played any incarnation of “Warcraft.” I’m just going to put that out there right now—be up front about it. We’re all friends here. We should be honest with each other. So I went in with an open mind to “Warcraft,” the movie based on the video game, and I’m reviewing it purely on its own merits as a stand-alone entity. Many of you out there may read this and......
The bad news is, there are about ten movies going on in “Captain America: Civil War,” which is at least seven too many. The good news is, most of them are fun, and there are enough rousing moments to elevate the movie to Marvel’s top tier. Although Thor, the Hulk and other recurring characters have gone missing this time (with somewhat vague explanations for their absence)......
I’m 100% in support of the “Now You See Me” films in theory. They’re lighthearted, original entertainments, they’re filled with charismatic actors playing hip, attractive characters, they aren’t remakes or adaptations of pre-existing properties, and they fully embrace their ridiculous premise: that rock-star-awesome magicians can play Robin Hood, standing......
It probably doesn’t matter that toy-commercial-cum-movie-shaped-object “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is better than its predecessor, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” It also doesn’t matter that “Out of the Shadows” was not designed to make any sense beyond extending the commercial longevity of four cartoon characters who no......
Xu Haofeng, writer of Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster,” returns to the martial art known as Wing Chun in “The Final Master.” This time, instead of chronicling Ip Man, the Wing Chun master who trained Bruce Lee, Xu focuses on Chen Shi (Fan Liao), a 1930’s-era master who wants to bring Wing Chun to Tianjin, a city in Northern China. Chen Shi wants to honor his master’s dying......
“X-Men: Apocalypse” is a confused, bloated mess of a film. There are several films crammed into one, all battling for the spotlight, and none of them wholly work; there is really no central storyline or heart to the film. The first hour is almost entirely in service of setting up new players and establishing what the veterans are up to. Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) ......
Spoiler alert: this is the opening sentence of the 1975 J.G. Ballard novel upon which this movie is based: “Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.” The sentence is quintessential Ballard: bone-dry, repellent and also deeply hooky, simple and pr......
Don’t let the tacky American-friendly title of “Kill Zone 2” fool you: the martial arts genre’s next big thing is here, and it is way meaner, more technically accomplished, and more exciting than its disappointing marketing strategy implies. Film festival audiences devoured “Kill Zone 2,” originally titled “Sha Po Lang 2: A Time for Consequences,......