A Week In Film #261: Netflixin’

The Purge title screen
The Purge
Decent spec-fic from James DeMonaco – who also did Staten Island, which was rather diverting – about a near-future in which unemployment and violence have been largely ‘eliminated’ by having an annual free-for-all in which rich people get to go around killing poor people with no consequences.

As with Staten Island has Ethan Hawke putting in the effort, here as a wealthy security consultant whose Purge-related success may not have endeared him to his upper crust neighbours. Good turns also from Lena Headey as his wife, Adelaide Kane as his teenage daughter, Edwin Hodge as a stranger in need, and Rhys Wakefield as a mysterious outsider.

By no means a masterpiece, but with plenty of ideas bubbling around and plenty of creativity in its execution. Sequel to follow!

Where The Buffalo Roam title screen
Where The Buffalo Roam
Tedious, boring, uninspiring adaptation of some of Hunter S Thompson’s gonzo journalism. If you’re making a movie of Hunter S Thompson’s gonzo journalism, don’t make it tedious, boring or uninspiring. (And how is it even possible, with Bill Murray in the lead?)

This is apparently what happens when a successful producer – here Art Linson – and let him direct a film.

Takers title screen
Moderately watchable – but not anywhere near realistic – heist business, with a Heat-like crew of young hoods (including Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen and Chris Brown) planning the Last Big Job as the cops close in. John Luessenhop writes, directs, cribs as best he can from superior proponents of the tropes.

Armored title screen
More like it – B-movie melodrama, everything is set up early on – bunch of cash-in-transit guards plan a perfect crime; but crimes are never perfect – and this one soon spirals out of control.

Great performances from solid character actors and past-their-prime mid-table stars including Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich… Columbus Short is the new guy.

Thoroughly competent stuff from Nimród Antal, who serves up a rollicking pulpy flick that would be at home on a bill with the likes of Trespass, A Simple Plan or The Last Seduction.

Madso's War title screenMadso’s War
Utterly shit South Boston Irish mob movie, which takes fascinating real-life source material – Whitey Bulger etc – and then fucks it up. Not quite sure why British soap actor Matthew Marsden is in the lead. Written by Christopher Bertolino, who also scripted the rather dull Battle: Los Angeles.

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