Showing posts with label Arnold Schwarzenegger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arnold Schwarzenegger. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Escape Plan

It was only natural that I became curious when I heard of a forthcoming film featuring the two super-heavyweights of 80s action. As any man who grew up in the 90s can attest to, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are part of my childhood. VHS copies of Commando or Cliffhanger might have been some of the first we owned and while most of their output has aged even worse than the actors themselves, I still get a little tingle at the thought of seeing them on screen. Escape Plan marks the pair’s first appearance as co-stars although they were seen on screen together in Stallone’s The Expendables. The pairing might have come twenty years later than most fans would have liked but it certainly draws more attention to this movie than it would have if only one man had featured. Joining Arnie and Sly are the likes of Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent so Citizen Kane, watch out!

Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a man who is paid by the US Government to break out of maximum security prisons; a job he excels at. The movie opens with a long, dull sequence in which the audience discovers just how good he is. He’s very good. He gets out. Although he barely has time to change out of his prison jumpsuit, he’s offered double his normal fee to break out of an undercover, off the grid, top, neigh, super-duper top secret facility. He literally grunts at the chance and is soon back inside. Immediately Breslin discovers that this is unlike any other jail he’s seen before and when his emergency escape code is laughed off, he realises he’s going to need all his skills (as well as fellow convict Emil Rottmayer – Schwarzenegger) if he’s going to escape. Breslin develops a plan – an Escape Plan.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger always promised that he’d be back and ten years since his last leading role he is, in Kim Ji-woon’s Action movie The Last Stand. For Arnie in front of the screen, little has changed. He may have lost some bulk in certain areas and gained some in others but his strengths and weaknesses remain constant. He remains a compelling screen presence and can still kick ass with the best of them but his acting hasn’t improved. I had no intention of seeing The Last Stand until I found to my surprise that its Director was one of my favourites, Kim Ji-woon, the highly accomplished Korean Director of the Asian-Western The Good, the Bad and the Weird and the grisly I Saw the Devil amongst many others. So, I got up at 8:30am on a Saturday and with my girlfriend away for the weekend, braved the snow and took a bus to our local multiplex. It’s safe to say that Schwarzenegger isn’t the box office draw he once was and there were 329 empty seats in the auditorium. How do I know that? Because I counted them during a first half which is full of needless exposition, crummy dialogue and weak characterisation. Things liven up in the second half but I’d been better off staying in bed.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Expendables 2

After battling Central American rebels in the popular but critically mixed 2010 film The Expendables, old school action stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and the gang are back for some more noisy, mad and blood splattering fun as CIA Operative Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists Stallone’s group of Expendables in tracking a downed Chinese plane inside Albania. The plane was carrying a valuable cargo which the CIA want but it is taken by international criminal and arms dealer (and I’m not making this bit up) Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his mercenary group of caricature Albanians. Stallone and his team must try to get to Vilain before the plane’s cargo leads him to some highly combustible merchandise.

Although first film had its fun and crazy moments I wasn’t really a fan. I’ve never been a big action movie guy and don’t really like Stallone. This time though a lot of the problems of the first have diminished slightly and it is improved with a better story, great cameos and improved special effects.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Total Recall

"You were dreaming. Doug? Was it about Mars?"

It’s 2084 and bored construction worker Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wakes from yet another dream featuring him and a mysterious woman on Mars. Quaid is bored and dislikes his surroundings and tries to get his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) to agree to a holiday on the red planet. She declines. On his way to work Quaid sees an advert for Rekall, a company that implants memories for a fee. He visits them and agrees to a two week implanted holiday on Mars where he’ll also take on the role of a secret agent. While he is being put to sleep but before the memories can be implanted Quaid has a violent reaction, claiming that they have blown his cover. He escapes the facility and after being attacked heads for Mars to uncover who’s trying to kill him and indeed who he is.

I first saw Total Recall about twelve years ago and certain things had stuck in my memory but I couldn’t remember the ending. What I did discover is that my memory of the film was much better than I now think it is.