Nick Of Time
Absolutely inconsequential, but a pleasure to watch – an in-real-time thriller, with accountant Johnny Depp picked at random after stepping off a train in LA to carry out a political assassination by psycho Christopher Walken and his partner Roma Maffia, or risk his young daughter being killed.
Directed with vim by John Badham, written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (84C MoPic, Courage Under Fire), great little bit part for Charles S Dutton.
Lawrence Kasdan does film noir, in a sticky, sweaty Floridian coastal town, with William Hurt as a mediocre-at-best local lawyer letting himself be ruled by his dick, and jumping into an inappropriate relationship with a rich real estate magnate’s trophy wife (Kathleen Turner). Some really rather wonderful moments in it, and superb performances (from the leads, Richard Crenna as the creepy husband, Mickey Rourke in an early cameo, Ted Danson and JA Preston as the lawyer’s pals.
‘I quite liked that Haywire’ you said, ‘I wonder what else Gina Carano has done?’ A bunch of shit, it turns out. Here she is as a cop caught up in the aftermath of a casino robbery in Alabama.
British director Scott Mann is an interesting proposition – he was also responsible for The Tournament, which had a sort of Amicus/seventies genre feel to it, spliced with 80s Seagal-type action movies, but with more ambition than budget. For that one he secured big (or biggish, in their time) names including Robert Carlyle, Ving Rhames and Sébastien Foucan; here he has Bobby De Niro, former wrestler Dave Bautista, Morris Chestnut (big splash in Boyz In The Hood, more recently starring in TV series Rosewood and Legends) and, erm, Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved By The Bell.
It’s full of clichés, it’s leaden, there’s no real heartbeat to it, it lacks pace, but there are some moments of interest. Slapped arse-faced Jeffrey Dean Morgan makes for a decent enough lead here. And DB Sweeney has a supporting role, as seems customary in these fast turnaround VOD days. Written by Stephen Cyrus Sepher (who also plays a robber) and Max Adams.
Another contemporary grindhouse actioner, again written by Max Adams (with Umair Aleem), this time directed by Stephen C Miller, with Bruce Willis the big name in a bit part skilfully woven in to give the illusion of a bigger role – a veteran CIA field officer.
Meanwhile, the real heavy lifting is done by Kellan Lutz (from the Twilight movies) as his son, who has tried to follow his father’s footsteps into the Company but come up short, despite help from his dad’s pal (and now Jnr’s boss), DB Sweeney. Oh, and look, there’s Gina Carano as his ass-kicking Agency-employed old flame!
Nothing really of note – no really memorable fight scenes, and really no acting of any kind worth recounting. Though I do like how the plot – about a MacGuffin which will destroy the world – is purportedly stolen by international terrorists and then, uh, transported to New Jersey, meaning cheaper locations can be used.