Three American students vacationing in Finland, cross the border into Russia for fun of it. When they are spotted by the Russian soldiers who are shooting to kill, it's not fun anymore. ... See full summary »
Vietnam. 1972. US Army Special Forces Major Cliff Marquette leads a squad ordered to investigate unusual reports and secure a remote jungle temple locals believe has mystical powers. The ... See full summary »
John C. McGinley,
Samantha Caine, suburban homemaker, is the ideal mom to her 8 year old daughter Caitlin. She lives in Honesdale, PA, has a job teaching school and makes the best Rice Krispie treats in town. But when she receives a bump on her head, she begins to remember small parts of her previous life as a lethal, top-secret agent. Her old chums in the Chapter are now out to kill her so she enlists the help of a cheap detective named Mitch. As Samantha remembers more and more of her previous life, she becomes deadlier and more resourceful. Both Mitch and Charly proceed to do the killing thing, the bleeding thing and the shooting thing. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There is a serious scene in this movie. A scene that lets you know that his film won't be pulling many cheap punches. It takes place in a crowded train station and the protagonists are ambushed by assassins with automatic weapons. They make a break for it and just manage to get out in a hail of gunfire. The main hall of the train station is now filled with corpses of innocent people that were caught in the crossfire. Some would call that too sad and/or grim to put into what is supposed to be an enjoyable action flick. I call it honesty. Most action movies tend to lean toward the "safe side" of showing violence and plot elements. This mostly means that in spite massive shootouts innocent people tend not to die or at least we don't see them die. The violence is all purely the good guys versus the bad guys with mainly the bad guys dying. A bit of common sense clearly shows this to be absurd.
Renny Harlin showed a hint of this in his first (and sadly only) hit, Die Hard 2. The villains intentionally crash a plane full of people to get their point across. The scene was also filmed with a backup scene of a cargo plane with only a few people on-board going down, but the grimmer and probably more realistic scenario ended up being used. However, to fit the spirit of the first film, Die Hard 2 was mostly a "fun action movie." Here, that grimmer and more convincing edge is pervasive. The violence is bloody. The one liners are hilarious, but with a certain style that more echoes natural human sarcasm than clichéd film wisecracks at key moments of action. The plot is also packed with more malicious intent than most action films. The villain is not just some rogue out for revenge or a mad grab at power. It is less ridiculous, but also more frightening than that. From recent films, the "Bourne" trilogy almost gets there with its less cheesy than usual action film style, but this film is from 1996 and 7 years before "The Bourne Identity" with Matt Damon made it to the big screen.
Another interesting aspect is that the main hero is actually a heroine. And this is well before the movie version of "Tomb Raider" became a hit. What's more is that this heroine genuinely looks like she could take down John McClane and then take his still lit cigarette. This movie marks Geena Davis's second action-heroine role and she still didn't manage to score a hit. While Angelina Jolie stars in "Tomb Raider" years later and scores a hit. The reasons are beyond me. Completely.
Lastly, this movie isn't all dark edged. There are many outrageous and spectacular set pieces that one can only see in an action film. The climatic explosion of a chemical bomb is an absolutely spectacular display of movie pyrotechnics, with more than one law of physics taking a convenient break. Thus, there is formula here, but it is the Anti-Formula for the everyday Hollywood Action Movie Formula. --- 9/10
BsCDb Classification: 13+ --- violence, profanity
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