This is a movie that caught me off guard. I suppose I ignored it because of the cast. But it proved to be manly when finally viewed. Tom Hardy and his redneck family are brewing moonshine during prohibition up in them there hills. First come first served. Turns out Uncle Sam and local gangsters don’t want to play nice. There’s an unflinching quality to this movie that seems vaguely reminiscent of Unforgiven, not that it is in even the same hemisphere of quality. But it’s more entertaining than something like Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. The violence is bleak and resists all temptation to be Hollywood-ised, the tough guys aren’t immune to a good attempt on their lives and the pissant weaklings, like LeBeouf, are equally as likely to go batshit if pushed. Lot of bullet holes in this movie – most of them in someones torso. Is this the movie where LeBeouf knocked out Hardy on set, by the way?
4) 21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street is a movie for anyone who went through highschool in the 90’s, or earlier. Even our nerds were manlier than todays emo faggot losers. Something that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum find out when they go undercover in the modern day highschool for a drugs bust. Upon first entering the school, 90’s jock Tatum (perfect casting) warns Hill that wearing your bag with two straps will make you look like a fag. But he soon finds out the opposite is true and that this is the least of what has changed, their school is a politically correct Stalin-ised shithole. What was once cool and politically incorrect is now frowned upon by fellow classmates. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this movie, I thought it would be some eye rolling American Pie deal. But its crude wrecking-ball humor and adult predisposition makes it a winner. “Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence.” In other words, too much for todays 16 year old bitches.
3) Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
This movie has more susbstance than garbage like The Dark Knight Rises, telling a better story in almost half the screentime. It’s kind of an appetiser for The Expendables II, borrowing heavily from that cast with Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and Scott Adkins. This is a violent and heavy movie, but not everyone will like it. It’s a departure for the series, an experiment of sorts. It works in some ways and fails in others. I got the feeling on reviewing it that it would find added appreciation on additional viewings. If nothing else though, the action in this movie will glue the eyes of even the most pompous faggots to the screen, the fight scenes in particular. They are spec-fucking-tacular. Only The Raid has outdone them in recent movies. And it doesn’t look as cheap as other Universal Soldier sequels, it was shot in the US, even got a theatre run.
2) The Expendables II
Schwarzenegger. Stallone. Statham. Li. Lundgren. Couture. Adkins. Norris. Van Damme. Bruce Willis. In a Rated-R movie from the director of Con Air. Even five years ago this would’ve been called impossible. But here it is. This movie is worth the price of admission for Stallone vs Van Damme alone, short though the fight is. Who cares if crtics took a shit on it, the same critics who adored The Avengers despite having very similar problems (An ensemble action movie with no story and crude humor)? This is blatant pandering to an audience starved of old school action, of whom there are more than the wine-sipper bitch critics would like to admit, now that the gross has passed 300 million. It’s not better than the first, not worse either. A rare sequel that is the equal of the original.
1) The Raid
This was officially released in January, so it counts. The Raid beats all comers, including the Expendables II. It is so unpretentious, its action is so fast paced and yet so pure. Its direction is so clear and coherent. Its sound is so devastating and its fight scenes are only rivalled in the past 20 years by Tony Jaa’s seat-shitting spectacles. The Raid is too busy being one of the manliest fucking things ever shot to give a flying fuck about mainstream rules or the status quo in Hollywood. It is, in a lot of ways, a 21st Century Die Hard – a man fighting for his life in a tower block full of armed enemies. There’s not a frame of CGI to be seen, the whole thing was created through a gifted director in a simple building and stuntmen earning their pay the old and hard way. People talk about getting The Rock or Vin Diesel for Expendables III. Fuck that, get Iko Uwais!