Sunday, January 26, 2014

Movies 2013, Action, pt2

RED 2, or "I didn't see the first one and still thought this one was pretty good, and able to stand on its own."
Overall: 6/10
I am not sure this is an actual poster cause it looks kind of shit.
Though I guess if it were fan made it would look cooler, cause they would actually care.
            The ever ballooning genre of, "Old people kicking ass".  When did this become such a thing?  I understand where the market is coming from, people who were 20-40 in the 80's who liked action movies and never really stopped.  Those people got older.  They like the idea of people their own age having agency and impact in the world, and a lot of really good actors and Bruce Willis are willing to be in these things because they like being big action heroes.
            That being said this movie is pretty good.  It has good pacing, though you can tell it is a rather direct translation from a comic book, I can practically hear a page turn when you reach the end of each issue and the next one starts.  Set up, joke, action, cliffhanger, and repeat.  Actors are good, even Willis who I guess took some uppers or something to help him get out of whatever funk he was in for "GI Joe Retaliation", and there is a lot of set up and pay off in the script with gadgets and gags.
            All of the characters are very distinct, Malkovich is the highlight being the funny crazy one; Mary Louise Parker also doing well as the audience stand in character, asking questions and trying to keep pace with the heroes.
            Best compliment I can give: I never saw the first one, and I had no trouble following this one... Though I suspect that since Morgan Freeman was in the first one's marketing a lot and is not in this one he is probably dead (the character, not Morgan Freeman) so I guess I will be less shocked than I otherwise would have been when I go back and watch the other one.  Regardless, the fact that this movie works on its own without the barrier cost of having to watch number one makes it better.
            All of those compliments out of the way, the doomsday weapon of this movie is a glorified suitcase nuke, but they talk it up a lot and it is not worth the fanfare.  Aside from the heroes, the intelligence agencies are not good at their jobs... at all.  And I am treated to yet another scene of a young world class hit man getting his ass kicked by an ever more elderly Bruce Willis, who is more than a decade older (though their ages are closer than those in "Only God Forgives").

White House Down, or "The other 'Die Hard' in the White House movie that happened this year."
Overall: 6/10
This poster is the most awesome looking, but ironically is not at all accurate.
The ones with just Tatum and Foxx are probably more on the nose.
            Much like "Pacific Rim," if you know what this movie is about and still decide to go see it then you have no right to complain about how fucking stupid it is.  That being said it is really fucking stupid.
            There is a coordinated attack in Washington by an alliance of ex-black-ops soldiers, disgruntled government security and tech people, and domestic terrorists.  The ultimate goal of each group is to either kill the black President, subvert world peace, steal tons of money (because getting away with tons of money is totally going to happen), or... something.
            The movie is a little strange in that pre-established data is retarded.  For instance, at one point the people at the Pentagon are going to destroy the White House because a super-hacker is going to seize control of weapon systems (that would be bad) but earlier in the movie it is established that blowing up the White House would be meaningless to the bunker that has the weapon control systems in it, that a direct hit by an atomic bomb would be necessary to stop it.  The only thing bombing the white house itself would do is kill the hero who is trying to stop the bad guys.  And the corniness of how that attack is resolved borders on a parody of how this sort of uber-patriotic crap usually goes (I am actually half certain that this movie is a parody of other action films).
            It is pretty funny, though James Woods is miscast, he is too old at 66 to be playing a Secret Service Agent.  The secret Service like almost all Federal Law Enforcement have a required retirement at 57, ironically Bruce Willis would have been better for the role and might have been less an obvious villain.  Tatum and Foxx are okay as a buddy team.
            Small thing: there is a minor character in this who is a tour guide in the White House and I identified with him a great deal, he mostly just spouted trivia and did his best to mitigate the situation.  I liked him.

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