Category: Action

“Wrath of Man”

8.2

Divine darkness.

Guy Ritchie works his magic yet again. You want an over-the-top, tightly wound action film that’s a work of art at its core? He’s your man. Very similar to “The Gentlemen,” which was also a favorite of mine from last year. Plenty of twists and turns, gore, and Jason Statham growling at people as he methodically massacres in his hunt for justice. Think “John Wick” with just a few more lines of dialogue and a much different haircut.

God, I wish I could pull off stubble like Statham…

Some of the story points were predictable, which is somewhat a symptom of watching this many movies, but they are so well executed (pun intended) that you won’t care. One thing this crew does better than almost anyone in the biz is action. Strap in, and get ready for a wildly entertaining edge of your seat ride.

“Mortal Kombat”

7.8

Exceeded expectations! Definitely the strongest video game adaptation in quite some time.

Thankfully, the fighting is everything you imagine and more. It’s just the right amount of blood and cheesiness. A well-told story of tradition, facing adversity, and working together against a common enemy. Where they could have just made a cheap adaptation that just hits all of the high notes, this film really took the time to tell a story while also delivering on the action and adventure you would expect, all while keeping the runtime reasonable. Similar to “Godzilla vs. Kong,” it gives you exactly what you’re looking for, executed at the highest level of the craft.

“Salvador”

7.1

The story behind this film, to me, was much better than the film itself. If I may go off script, I highly recommend “Chasing the Light” by Oliver Stone. The man has lived a colorful life.

Essentially, this was the predecessor of “Narcos” and “Sicario.” The U.S. is meddling in another country’s affairs, fighting a proxy war on their turf, costing their lives instead of ours, with questionable morals. The commentary on U.S. foreign policy is brilliantly on display, including it going very, very wrong when we fail to learn our lesson.

James Woods and Jim Belushi make an unlikely but well rounded duo. The context of the autobiography added a nice richness to the already intense film.

Warning – A lot of violence and realistic gore, with an opening sequence flashing effect that will give even non-photosensitive viewers a headache. That discomfort sets up the overall theme of the film very well.

“Voyagers”

6.5

Where “Interstellar” and “Lord of the Flies” meet. I never thought that was going to be a combo I’d use in one of these. Also, a bit early for an on the nose commentary about society’s disintegration, as we resort to our primal instincts when overwhelmed with fear. Wild choice in release timing.

Technically speaking, a well-done action movie. Felt like a return to the glory days of YA thrillers back in the early 2010s (think Hunger Games and Maze Runner). Solid cast. Predictable story with very little nuance. A lot of weird subliminal messaging with the flashes of animal shots and water droplets or fire.

Don’t drink the blue kool aid.

“Godzilla vs. Kong”

7.9

Exactly what you want from it. No more, no less.

Short, sweet, and to the point. No cumbersome, Debbie-downer story to bog down the momentum of what you’re here to see. Strap in, and get ready to watch the giant gorilla fight a Kaiju, with just enough ordinary people story stuff to make it a movie. Beautiful cinematography, great acting by both fighters. Interesting directorial choices made in this one, especially the way that Kong and Godzilla are shot in a very human matter. They’re filmed similarly to a boxing movie, instead of the standard giant destruction machines doing their thing. For their size, they feel like very down-to-earth, relatable characters.

Best seen on the largest movie screen you can find, with the loudest sound system available. Still plays well in the safety of your living room on HBO Max.