An elite group of American operatives, aided by a top-secret tactical command team, must transport an asset who holds life-threatening information to an extraction point 22 miles away through the hostile streets of an Asian city.
For having a relatively low budget, the film's style and overall art direction are immensely impressive.
... View More
The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful
... View More
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
... View More
What a mess...and a major step down for the Mark Wahlberg/Peter Berg collaborations. This is easily the worst film I have seen in the year 2018. It is a testament to the worst qualities filmmakers can bring to the modern action film, ranked right next to such migraine inducing insults like "Tak3n" and "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter".The story is very basic and B-grade: an elite team of off the book operatives have to escort a whistleblower 22 miles to an airstrip to escape his corrupt Southeast Asian nation. If they do so, he will provide the location of a deadly weapon the U.S. wants to desperately find. Trouble is that everyone is going to try to kill them along the way. Despite that painstakingly simple premise, they manage to make the expositional buildup overly complicated. You are thrown into a conflict you don't understand over an objective that you don't feel the magnitude of. This is complete with characters referring to things that already happened with a previous mission that failed which we didn't witness. The exposition being confusing is something the filmmakers must have noted themselves because right before the escort begins, John Malkovich's character literally breaks down the entire setup AGAIN to make sure you, in fact, get it. That is lazy writing and shows that the filmmakers think that the audience is either stupid or is a victim of their own storytelling incompetence. The story is also told in "flashback" I guess as it keeps randomly cutting to Wahlberg's character retelling the event (more exposition for those that can't follow this basic premise...again) and also monologuing about random..."philosophical" things about special ops missions. Nothing he says is actually important. I think he is supposed to be trying to give the film a message or something like a wise man. He is no wise man though, he is just the movie equivalent to fortune cookies drunk on Jack Daniels mixed with Gatorade. Actually, this whole movie feels like a "Call of Duty" wet dream... written by those very annoying COD players that are 12 years old and are far too young to be playing a game meant for adults. There is also this constant cutting to some Russian characters. Based on the opening, you know that they have a purpose. The actual outcome of that purpose, however, is sort of like...."oh that's what the deal is....wait why do I care again?"Then there are the characters: all of them are either unlikeable, uninteresting, or an unholy combination of both. The most consistent example is the film's lead Jimmy Silva as played by the usually reliable Mark Wahlberg. His character is like this super hyper thinking soldier that is way off on the mental spectrum. He is super intelligent and obsessive about everything around him and has to use a rubber band on his arm which he pulls and slaps on his wrist to keep him calm. This is could be interesting, but instead, the character is an awkward embarrassment. He is a complete jerk to everyone around him, talks way too fast, and likes to just get right in everyone's faces to yell and complain like a whiny, little baby that lost his raddle. He is a complete a-hole and I honestly wished somebody would just punch him in the face. But his character seems to get off on violence so...perhaps that could just make things worse. He is a horrible character with an embarrassing performance by Marky Mark...right next to the "The Happening".Finally, there is the critical sin: the editing and cinematography. This is some the poorest, most incomprehensible action I have seen in quite awhile. Every shootout and fight scene is compromised by ADHD cuts to so many shaky cam angles over and over again. Furthermore, most of the camera work is shot very tight in either close-ups or medium shots. You never get a sense of geography. You never can tell where the "heroes" are in context to the enemy. You get the general sense that people are shooting bullets and that people are getting hit by said bullets. They have the guy from the "The Raid' films in here and they completely waste his talents in his TWO fight scenes. This man can do a whole fight in one shot and they insist on cutting shots every 0.5 seconds as if they are trying to hide poor choreography. But you can tell it's not!! You can tell that in better hands this would be amazing!!! And do not defend this movie's editing and camerawork as being "realistic". There are many directors that can pull this style off well. Heck, Peter Berg is one of them! Go watch "Lone Survivor", "Deepwater Horizon", and "Patriot's Day" because those are great examples done right. "Patriot's Day" contains one the best "realistic" shootouts I can remember in recent years. This is straight up garbage. This is why I praise a movie like "John Wick" for getting the action right. That's why "John Wick' is a 5-star movie in my book. If you think that the way they do the action in this film is good, I am sorry but you might have something seriously wrong with you. Bad taste...very bad. Screw this shaky cam crap! And that makes up half the movie...if not more.Horrible movie. Want something similar that is good, check the 2004 S.W.A.T. movie. It has a very similar plot with better characters, buildup, and action. Need something more recent? Try "Sicario".
... View More
The whole premise of the movie is based upon getting a double agent to a plane to come to America. Very action-packed and bloody/gory With lots of bone crunching involved. If you love those types of movies you will enjoy this movie. I was fine with it up until the end. Not something I would go watch again but definitely not something that was crap. My issue however comes because I like things to make sense logically. So it was at the end that Threw me off. It took me the drive home to figure out what set me off. Here's where the spoiler comes in: The double agent in fact turns into a triple agent for Russia. In essence killing everybody involved. I can live with this the only issue I have is that at the beginning of the movie that when they initially made that first bust it was because of the information this supposed double agent gave one of their agents. The feeling I got from the show was that because the secret agency went in and killed a bunch of Russians one of them being a rich ladies kid, the rich lady then hired this double agent to go in and kill the American agency. It still doesn't make sense because this double agent was the one that told them where to go to kill the Russians. Which means the kid shouldn't have died because the cop Was not hired until after the kid was killed.No way did the rich Russian woman have it all planned out and said hey you should go and kill my son. So maybe it's possible to think of some alternative reasons. They could be... A mark Wahlberg's character had a psychotic break down and either he went rogue or decided to kill everybody. Or the second situation is that another government hired the Triple agent to create all this chaos so that they could go in and kill this American agency. Regardless that's where they lost me.
... View More
That may be a low bar since Mission Impossible is probably the second best action flick that year. I tend to like Peter Berg movies and this is his best by far. The "shaky camera" a lot of people complain about has been a staple in Hollywood now for 2 decades and is no worse than the early Jason Bourne films. The plot is somewhat far-fetched (no more so than MI) and the action sequences don't go over-the-top. In fact the martial arts scenes are great. For some reason, Berg decided not to really use Rousey in the hand-to-hand fights.The characters are rough and sarcastic, kind of like the military in real life. All of the acting was good. Rousey especially impressed me, not that she was challenged to do some light romcom. But as some 90's martial artists (think Norris, Van Damme, Segal) proved, merely kicking and punching your way through a movie doesn't qualify as acting.So, who is this movie for? Do you like Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg? Are you willing to overlook some far fetched plot elements for some realistic action? And like the other movies I compared it to, this is the first installment on what they hope to make a franchise from.
... View More
It's not wonderful but what it does it does very well. Peter Berg. I think nailed it.
From start to end the movie kept me very interested and on the edge of my seat. The back and forth dialog was a bit forced but it worked well and walberg played someone that he does not normally play(mr cool guy.) He was rattled and unhinged and if you can look past the fact that most governments would keep this character away from guns and not make him the leader of anything. It is a movie after all and not fact. Think most people forget that. When they complain about everything. It was not the typical American ending and I liked that a lot about it. Check it out