Taking a brief break from the horror and going all action this time! The best of the bunch being The Night Comes For Us, the hot new Indonesian action movie from the director of Headshot. To put it simply, this movie is an insane fucking bloodbath. There isn’t as much crazy martial arts in this one compared to Headshot or The Raid since Iko Uwais actually isn’t the main character in this one, but there are still some pretty impressive moves by the rest of the cast and don’t think that this means there’s less action. This movie is almost non-stop carnage and it literally has more graphic violence in it than most horror movies out there. Just don’t expect anything from the plot!
The latest from Korean director Jee-woon Kim, who’s done some amazing movies like I Saw The Devil and A Tale of Two Sisters. Unfortunately, Illang doesn’t come anywhere close to either of those. Like many Korean films it really takes its time telling its story, but in this case I’d say its a little too slow with not a whole lot of payoff. The movie is beautifully filmed and the few action scenes in it are pretty nice, but for the most part its just a tedious journey that takes a very simple core premise and twists it into a needlessly over-complicated mess. I feel like it was trying to be a clever political spy thriller, but it just didn’t have the right flow or the compelling characters to make it rise above being average at best.
Bad news for Scott Adkins fans: this movie is garbage. I don’t know if Adkins lost a bet to be in this or what. It’s like a bad 90’s Sci-Fi Channel original movie. Terrible sets and characters, generic plot, and Adkins is completely wasted on this movie. They barely even let him fight and when he does the fight choreography and editing is so bad that it’s not any fun to watch. Like he’ll be fighting a guy and there will be quick cut angle changes literally every 1-2 seconds. It’s the kind of editing and camera work you’d see in some shoddy modern day Steven Segal movie where they’re trying to do everything they can to hide the fact that the guy can’t fight for shit anymore. Obviously that’s not the case with Adkins, so I can only assume that the creators of this movie just don’t know what they’re doing, which every other aspect of this shitfest would seem to support.
Ehhhh…seems to me that reusing the same director from the last movie was a mistake. Fallout feels very much like an inferior rehash of Rogue Nation to me. Same old Mission Impossible formula, same villain from the last one, same supporting cast and love interest, same defusing the bomb at the very last second climax, nearly identical car/motorcycle/free-running chases, etc etc. I swear, there were several times I thought “am I sure I didn’t accidentally put in Rogue Nation by mistake? This all seems so damn familiar”. Other than the cool helicopter chase in the end it didn’t really do anything particularly new or interesting. It really, really didn’t need to be two and a half hours long either. Wayyyy too much time spent on plot buildup, especially when the plot is so generic and predictable. You can see every single twist coming a mile away. Think it’s about time to put this series to rest unless they want to give it a drastic overhaul or reboot.
This on the other hand I expected to be a dud, but turned out to be a whole lot of fun. Trailers make it look like a simple siege movie, but that’s actually only a small part of it. It’s more about the interactions of all the different characters in this hotel and the cast, characters, pacing, and script are so good that there wasn’t a boring moment in sight even though there didn’t end up being a whole lot of action in it. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a consistently entertaining movie that left me wanting more in the end.
A decent revenge thriller, The Equalizer 2 doesn’t really do anything new or interesting either, but it’s well-paced, action packed, and has a typically charismatic Denzel Washington keeping things moving at a lively pace. It’s no Training Day or Tears of the Sun, but it’s an above average amount of fun.
Ok, ok, maybe I watched A LITTLE horror. Come on, what’d you expect? I just put this one on in the background while playing some portable games, not expecting to actually like it, but it ended up catching my attention. The Evil Within (no relation to the game) tells the strange tale of a mentally handicapped dude who starts receiving visits in his dreams from a nasty stranger. These visits quickly start crossing over into his waking life, to the point where the protagonist isn’t quite sure what’s real anymore and begins taking advice from this nasty stranger. Things go downhill pretty quickly from here and a lot of people start dying, naturally.
This movie clearly had a pretty low budget, but the director obviously had a lot of creativity and ended up producing some pretty interesting effects in the various nightmare sequences, despite the noticeable technical limitations. The story also ends up being pretty clever in the end. It’s one of those plots that seems very simple and straightforward at first, but once you get to the end you see that everything was connected in a pretty interesting way. I look forward to seeing what this guy can do with a bigger budget someday.
Also caught this weird lesser known (to me at least) one, Beneath Still Waters. This is a Spanish movie, but was directed by Brian Yuzna. It came out in 2005, but it looks and feels very much like an 80’s Italian horror. It’s cheap, ridiculous, and terribly acted, but it has a certain charm to it and some cool old-style practical effects.