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Not Very 'Friendly'! Rupert Friend Means Serious Business In 'Hitman: Agent 47' [Trailer]

Rupert Friend Zachary Quinto Skip Woods

Agent 47 returns in a glossy re-boot of 2007 movie 'Hitman', with first time director Aleksander Bach at the helm and 'Homeland' star Rupert Friend taking over as the shaven-headed assassin intent on uncovering the mysteries of his past.

'Hitman: Agent 47' poster
Rupert Friend is looking mean in 'Hitman: Agent 47'

From the producers of the original film, 'Hitman: Agent 47' is another high-octane action thriller with plenty of rapid fire gun fights, massive explosions, kooky gadgets and infeasible escapes, and while it is marketed as a re-make in the literal sense, there appears to be little in the way of re-hashed material from the original movie, which is just as well given the poor ratings following its release. After its first appearance at San Diego's Comic-Con last year, the first trailer has finally been unveiled to the public.

Continue reading: Not Very 'Friendly'! Rupert Friend Means Serious Business In 'Hitman: Agent 47' [Trailer]

Sabotage Review


Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer. As in Training Day and End of Watch, Ayer is exploring that moral tipping point where the people charged with protecting society become a danger. But the formula sags badly in this sloppily written script, which relies on grotesque violence instead of a coherent plot.

Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the head of an elite DEA squad that has just stolen $10m in drug-bust cash. But someone takes it from them, after which the team members start turning up murdered in increasingly vicious ways. So Breacher and his colleagues - hothead Monster (Sam Worthington), prickly Lizzy (Mireille Enos), beefy Grinder (Joe Manganiello), hotshot Next (Josh Holloway) and smoothie Sugar (Terrence Howard) - band together to find the killer. Meanwhile, two local Atlanta cops (Olivia Williams and Harold Perrineau) are also on the case, clashing with Breacher at every turn. And shadowy goons hired by a drug cartel are lying in wait.

For about two-thirds of the running time, this is actually an intriguing whodunit, complete with clues and red herrings, suspicions and surprises. There's also a sense of urgency, as we never know who's going to get it next. Although the escalating grisliness is hard to stomach (it even reduces seasoned cops to retching wrecks), as is a hint of unnecessary romance. Then when the truth is revealed, the whole movie collapses into utter nonsense, desperately straining for moral resonance but undermining its own point with gratuitous brutality.

Continue reading: Sabotage Review

A Good Day To Die Hard Review


There really is no point in looking for logic in a fifth Die Hard movie; these films have become a parody of themselves, wallowing in their inane action set pieces and sassy one-liners without much concern for plot or coherence. And this is no exception. There may be the bare bones of a decent narrative here, as our hero John McClane gets in the middle of a messy spy situation. But the unsubtle filmmaking blunts everything. On the other hand, it's so committed to entertaining us that resistance is futile.

This time, John (Willis) takes an urgent trip to Moscow, where his estranged son Jack (Courtney) has been arrested for murder. But before John even gets into the courthouse, chaos erupts in the streets and John ends up on the run with Jack and Yuri (Koch), a fellow prisoner. As cars and buildings crash down around them, John discovers that Jack is actually an undercover CIA operative helping Yuri escape in exchange for a file of information about corrupt government official Viktor (Kolesnikov). As Viktor's tap-dancing goon (Bukvic) chases them into the countryside, there are a series of twists and turns that lead them to, of all places, Chernobyl.

But don't worry, an overdramatic scene establishes that the nuclear residue can be instantly eradicated by some sort of magical gas. So this frees our heroes for the usual antics involving enormous guns, mammoth explosions and lots of bad guys coming to inventively grisly ends. Along the way there's one of the most mind-bogglingly destructive car chase imaginable, like Bourne on acid, as well as a couple of preposterously fiery helicopter assaults. In between, Willis and Courtney have fun with the father-son dynamic, alternating between bitterness and emotional bonding before heading back out to "kill some scumbags". 

Continue reading: A Good Day To Die Hard Review

The A-Team Review

Jarringly over-edited with virtually no space for character or plot coherence, Carnahan's noisy movie strains to turn the corny 1980s TV show into something achingly hip and cool. But this only works in very brief moments.

Eight years after meeting during an action caper, four fast-thinking US Rangers are an unstoppable military team: organisational expert Hannibal (Neeson), charm-merchant Face (Cooper), tough-driving BA (Jackson) and riotously unpredictable Murdock (Copley). But when a CIA-sponsored raid goes wrong, they end up on the wrong side of the law, pursued by a slippery CIA operative (Wilson) and a hard-as-nails military officer (Biel) who has a history with Face. And they'll need to blast rather a lot of things to smithereens to prove their innocence.

Continue reading: The A-Team Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

You have to feel sorry for the X-Men franchise. It was once the standard bearer for comic book movies, a monopoly it managed to hold onto until Christopher Nolan and a certain Dark Knight raised and reset the bar substantially higher. Now, the mutant movie series is little more than a fading memory, a reminder of when Hollywood hoped to find a way to translate favorite graphic novels into massive motion picture successes. Oddly enough, Fox may have discovered the secret to staying relevant in a post-Batman reboot era -- and the answer is Hugh Jackman. Capable of carrying even the most mediocre effort, he singlehandedly makes X-Men Origins: Wolverine an excellent start to the summer 2009 season.

As a young boy, James Howlett (Jackman) was sickly. Doted on by his doctor father, a tragedy sends him out into the world alone -- alone, that is except for his half-brother Victor (Liev Schrieber). After surviving several wars together, the boys meet up with military man William Stryker (Danny Huston) and along with a group of fellow mutants, they search the globe for an elusive metal derived from a meteorite. When Howlett, now renamed Logan, sees the atrocities committed in pursuit of said goal, he walks away. Six years later, Stryker and Victor come calling, wanting their former ally to participate in an experiment. Fusing his frame with an experimental alloy, Logan becomes Wolverine. Unfortunately, he soon after finds himself a pawn in a much larger crusade against his kind, with his murderous sibling front and center.

Continue reading: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

Hitman Review

Gamers typically get all gooey when supposed console-less critics nitpick the big screen adaptation of their favorite platform title. It's part and parcel of the joystick jockey's mantle. Hitman, based on the popular series from Eidos Interactive, is the latest attempt to bring the PlayStation to the Cineplex. Begun in 2000, and with four gaming titles under its belt, players act as a hired assassin, working their way through various levels of intrigue and crazy, chaotic firefights. The purpose, clearly, is to slaughter everyone who's in your way. It's all bloodlust and cloying cat and mouse. Sadly, someone forgot to tell screenwriter Skip Woods about this. Instead, he's crafted something that plays like John Woo drained of all his slo-mo energy and drive. Even worse, it's then turned over to a director who further weakens the material's inherent excessiveness.

For three years, a top Interpol agent (Dougray Scott) has been chasing an elusive, unknown assassin. When a Russian politician is murdered, the cop clearly suspects that Number 47 (Timothy Olyphant) has struck again. The paid killer is informed that a prostitute named Nika (Olga Kurylenko) witnessed the crime. He is ordered to take her out. Of course, it's all a setup. Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), the supposedly dead candidate, shows up for a speech, and the Russian Intelligence community is out rattling 47's cage. Our antihero saves Nika from a bullet, travels to Istanbul to interrogate Belicoff's drug running brother Udre (Henry Ian Cusik) and returns to the scene of the initial shooting to discover why he was framed. Turns out, it has more to do with one man's paranoia and ambitions than a simple contract hit -- and 47 is destined to play a part in it all.

Continue reading: Hitman Review

Thursday Review

A definite sleeper, not for the faint of heart. Thursday features 24 hours in the life of a reformed drug dealer, who has been trying to put his life in order for the last four years. When his old partner rolls into town and drops a load of smack in his L.A. house, all manner of nefarious sorts stop by to collect it. Body count ensues, plus Paulina Porizkova in (and out of) a red, rubber dress. I'll buy that for a dollar.

Swordfish Review

About 30 minutes into Swordfish, the latest uber-action vehicle from Joel Silver, Hugh Jackman's character asks Halle Berry's character, "What the hell am I doing here? How did you guys talk me into this?" Is it the character or the actor asking the question? I couldn't tell.

In a vain attempt to copy the success of The Matrix, Silver has delivered another turkey of a summer movie. In Swordfish, John Travolta -- who has the largest face in the world and looks like a troll with his Eurotrash haircut -- stars as Gabriel Shear, a mysterious member of an equally mysterious black-op/covert government agency run by a U.S. Senator (Sam Shepard in one of his worse roles to date). And Gabriel is need of a hacker to, ahem, "construct a worm program, pop the firewall, upload the Trojan horse worm, and download the funds" from some shady backdoor government account with a $9 billion balance in order to fund some type of covert war on anti-American terrorism.

Continue reading: Swordfish Review

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