Tag Archives: Jack Reacher

A Week In Film #445: Fullers

City Hall title screenCity Hall
An old faithful, with Harold Becker directing John Cusack, Al Pacino, Danny Aiello and Bridget Fonda against a backdrop of New York politicking and corruption. Never quite hits a proper climax, but enjoyable nonetheless, with a great score from Jerry Goldsmith, and strong writing from a bunch of New Yorkers (former Deputy Mayor Kenneth Lipper, mob-friendly journalist Nicholas Pileggi, Taxi Driver’s Paul Schrader, and Broadway playwright Bo Goldman).

Kuffs title screen
Kuffs
Silly stuff with Christian Slater doing his Jack Nicholson impersonation/mugging to camera thing as a slacker who visits San Francisco to see his brother Bruce Boxleitner, a private cop (under a peculiar Gold Rush-era ordinance), only for murder and shenanigans to occur. Milla Jovovich plays his girlfriend. Entirely disposable with nothing distinguishing about it.

Reasonable Doubt title screenReasonable Doubt
Up until a certain point, a quite enjoyable if inconsequential thriller, about a golden boy prosecutor (Dominic Cooper) who finds himself trying a man (Samuel L Jackson) accused of a crime he himself committed. That point will be obvious to you when you get there; it’s worth noting that Jackson is black, and Cooper white – this makes it all the more distasteful. Directed by Peter Howitt (yes, Joey from Bread, then the SAS officer in Some Mother’s Son, and after that the writer/director of Sliding Doors).

Alien: Covenant title screen
Alien: Covenant
It’s not an Alien(s) film, it’s a Prometheus sequel. Now, that film was not great, but it had visceral moments. This is just Ridley Scott shitting on his own legacy, rinsing audiences with callbacks to the xenomorph movies that he treats with such contempt. Michael Fassbender as synthetic human David, and now also Walter, is fine; and the crew of the terraforming ship Covenant does at least gel together more convincingly that that of its predecessor; but it’s like a Top Of the Pops LP, all reconstituted hits (Egg! Facehugger! Chestburster! Tunnel chase! Dropship through storm! Trying to set up comms! Powerloader fight! etc). Frankly, boring. I paid nearly £25 for two tix too!

White House Down title screenWhite House Down
Enjoyable Die Hard-style romp, with Channing Tatum as a recently-divorced blue collar shlub trying to repair his relationship with his daughter (Joey King) whilst trying his best to get a job in the Secret Service, who gets caught up in a terrorist attack on Washington. Roland Emmerich directs with a sense of humour and fun, and in all areas it’s a superior effort to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen.Nice turns from Jason Clarke, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Rankin.

Hot Fuzz title screenHot Fuzz
Edgar Wright directs his old Spaced pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the second of the ‘Three Cornettos’ trilogy – here with a metropolitan super-cop (Pegg) sent to sleepy Cotswold town Sandford, where he soon encounters rum happenings. Great cast of older British character actors (Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Jim Broadbent, Paul Freeman, Timothy Dalton, Kenneth Cranham, Stuart Wilson, Anne Reid), plus younger upstarts (Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Rory McCann) and Wright stalwarts like Julia Deakin, Bill Bailey and Bill Nighy. Silly, slightly overlong, but fun.

Yojimbo title screen用心棒 AKA Yojimbo
Kurosawa’s tale of a ronin-with-no-name (Toshiro Mifune) arriving in a town beset by two feuding gangs who sees an angle. Great samurai action interspersed with comedy and tragedy.

Jack Reacher title screenJack Reacher
So-so noir-flecked action adventure, with Tom Cruise as a mysterious ex-Military Policeman digging around into a spree killing in Pennsylvania apparently carried out by a soldier he had previously investigated for similar sniper murders in Iraq. Hardly ground-breaking, but with plenty going on. Director Chris McQuarrie throws in some signature long dialogue scenes, an argument outside a bar and a grumpy old man (here Robert Duvall). With Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins and Werner Herzog.

Enemy At The Gates title screenEnemy At The Gates
Visually impressive, this is basically just a love triangle (Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Joseph Fiennes) played against the backdrop of the Battle of Stalingrad, with Bob Hoskins in fake bad teeth as uncouth Party apparatchik Khruschev. Looks pretty, but Jean-Jacques Annaud doesn’t seem to have much to say about anything.

Brooklyn’s Finest title screen
Brooklyn’s Finest
Antoine Fuqua attempts a Robert Altman/Thomas Anderson-style intercut lives affair, with Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle and Richard Were a trio of differently burned-out NYPD cops who are heading for a collision on Brooklyn’s most dangerous streets. Watchable if not memorable.

A Week In Film #238: Feet under the table

The Sweeney title screen

The Sweeney
Bloody awful reboot, and yet from a promising cast: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Damian Lewis, Steven Mackintosh, Steven Waddington. Still, it is a Nick Love joint (if co-storylined by by Danny Boyle cohort Andrew Hodges), so we’re talking fantasy testosterone bollocks in the Outlaw vein – women as an afterthought, like ball-breaking team member Hayley Atwell cuckolding her husband with fat, undesirable slob Jack Regan (personal life impotence balanced by professional life potency as an internal affairs cop, etc).

Really, a mess without almost nothing to recommend it, from its resolutely reactionary subtext through to its pedestrian set pieces; from the pointlessly un-Britishness of such a thoroughly British show (giving the Gilbey Bros a run for their money on that front) to the… Oh, why bother, it’s just awful.

Jack Reacher title screen

Jack Reacher
Pretty decent hardboiled detective thriller-cum-actioner, with Tom Cruise in the lead as the eponymous ex-redcap drawn in to a spree killing investigation (and the shadowy conspiracy underlying it).

Based on a a novel I’d never heard of (One Shot) by a writer I’d never heard of (Lee Child), it’s scripted and directed by someone I have heard of (Chris McQuarrie). Enjoyed the set up, the crunchy unfolding of the plot, and the general tone, but less impressed by the final reel.

Pawn title screen

Pawn
Whilst imperfect, a decent low budget genre piece from debut director David A Armstrong working from barely more experienced screenwriter Jay Anthony White.

The set up: a diner robbery. A ticking clock. Hostages, robbers, cops – but who’s stealing from whom? A decent cast, with attention-grabbing cameos from the likes of Forest Whitaker and Ray Liotta, and solid turns from Stephen Lang, Marton Csokas, Common and Max Beesley(!). Young jobber Sean Faris doesn’t buckle under the pressure in the lead role, while Michael Chiklis is great fun as the bandit leader, despite the ridiculous attempt at a cockney accent.

The saccharine epilogue needed to be chopped, though.