Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Posts tagged “Liam Neeson

Film Review – Unknown

The main insult I’ve seen thrown at Unknown in the reviews I managed to read before heading into the theater to see it for myself was that the film is implausible. Unknown does require a very heavy suspension of disbelief but I don’t think that the plotline is anymore ludicrous than any other entry in the genre. Maybe those who find fault with the composition have the same qualms with Taken, although that film seems to enjoy a level of love that shoots that theory right out of the water. I don’t have a problem with Unknown, other than the fact that because of the level of absurdity in the plot the finale seems deflated and without a real sense of closure because the tone shift once the big reveal happens is so severe that any previous assumptions about how things would wrap up are tossed out the window.

I give Unknown major credit for keeping me guessing. The one thing that would have sunk this film entirely would be if I had been able to figure it out before the characters did. The twist is rather unexpected and therein lies a bit of the problem for some of the viewers who feel like the explaination to Mr. Neeson’s problems comes off as being from out of left field. I do agree that there was nothing previously indicated, no clue left that would point the viewer in this direction but the way it plays out is no less valid than whatever the viewer may have anticipated.

The only real problems I have with the film is the style of the action beats which are mostly obscured and dizzying. The phenomenon of the skakey-cam needs to go away sooner rather than later. I could tell that there was some decent car chase and fight choreography but that work was lost in the frenetic editing of the scenes. It doesn’t torpedo the movie entirely but it does take the viewer out of the action as they try to figure out what the hell is going on at certain points.

In the end, it’s not the mess some people make it out to be but neither is it the worthy successor to Taken that others hoped it would be.

Film Review : The A-Team

This summer movie season has been almost achingly limp thus far. Nothing has really assaulted me with over-the-head displays of greatness. Iron Man 2 came close, but my expectations weren’t blown out of the water the way they were the first time around. With the introduction of The A-Team, I think the summer movie season may have found it’s footing.

You see, the A-Team felt to me like Star Trek did when it first hit theaters. There were traces of what made the original so much fun with a modern edge thrown in that remedied some of the problems with the first go-around. In the case of Star Trek it was budget, while in A-Team it had more to do with bullets actually hitting what they were fired at.

What makes The A-Team work so well is the chemistry. Neeson, Copley, Cooper and Jackson all feel like they’re old friends, so nothing comes off as forced. Which really is a godsend, because if those guys couldn’t pull off the team dynamic, it would have been enough to sink the movie. The obscenely insane action sequences just would not have worked if the four team members didn’t bring their a-game to the roles.

Also, Patrick Wilson gets to play against his nice-guy type here, which is awesome because I think that dude is underrated beyond belief. I was hoping that Watchmen would have elevated his profile a bit but unfortunately that movie didn’t do anybody any favors.

A lot of the critics have been panning this film and I simply don’t get it. It’s like they’re forcing themselves to hate the movie because it doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s like all of a sudden every action movie has to be this hyper-realistic Jason Bourne/Casino Royale attempt at grounding everything to reality. But sometimes I want to see a parachuting tank shooting down predator drones. I don’t care that the laws of physics are being defied openly and with reckless abandon. In some instances, such lunacy is warranted, and here it works.

Just go with it, guys. It’s worth it.

Also, I want to lick Jessica Biel’s legs. Those things are proof of God’s existence.

Movie Review: Clash of the Titans

Uh…let me start out by saying that I actually do love the original Clash of the Titans and consider it to be a damned classic film, even aside from the Harryhausen effects. I mean, it’s got Laurence Olivier and Burgess Meredith totally hamming it up and having some good old fashioned fun. It was like a movie plucked from the early twentieth century studio years of Hollywood and transplanted into the late seventies.

The remake doesn’t really retain anything that will stand out in a way to make it memorable twenty years down the line. I think the problem with the film as a whole is that it’s so damned generic. I mean, the companions on Perseus’ quest this time around, though given plenty to do, don’t really register and I can’t remember any of their names.

In all honesty, the movie could have been given a new title because so much was changed. Characters origins change, mythology shifts, and arcs are passed around like a hot potato to suit the new narrative, which is pretty much held together with rubber bands and CGI. That is to say, it’s pretty damned flimsy.

It’s not a bad film. It’s just tepid. And if you’re going to remake Clash of the Titans, it shouldn’t be tepid. It should be just as over the top as the original so as to give people something to remember. And outside of a few impressive set pieces, there’s just not a whole lot of that here.