When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his sons.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
An aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. There are, however, chaotic forces at work that prevent them from making it in one piece.
Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail.
Late at night, in an unnamed U.S. city, a solitary man sits at a bus stop. A pregnant woman runs by, pursued by a man with a gun. With reluctance, the man at the bus stop rescues her and assists with the baby's delivery, while additional pursuers fire at them, including the gang's particularly nasty leader, an intuitive man named Hertz. Our hero, known only as Smith, determines to save the child and find out why Hertz wants the baby dead. At a local bordello, he tries to employ a lactating hooker to watch the child, but things quickly escalate, and this makeshift family is soon on the run. Heavy metal music calms the baby. Why? A laboratory, gun factory, and presidential campaign all figure in Smith's quest for the child's safe deliverance.Written by
I wasn't really sure what to make of this movie before I went to the advanced screening. I heard from a friend of mine at the Chicago Tribune (she's female, and you'll see why that matters in a second) and she said, "It was so stupid! It was like, BANG BANG BANG, EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE, BANG BANG BANG! Then gallons of blood and we move on." For some reason, the little boy in me that loved the scene in Predator where all of the soldiers shoot at open woods for a complete minute, got very excited. She wasn't kidding, either, that's just what this movie was. Don't worry about the plot, it's not really a concern. Don't worry about the script either, the lines are so over the top and shallow that you know a man wrote this script without allowing anyone to comment on it.
At the same time, this movie is just plain fun. You will find yourself laughing from the moment the movie starts to the ending (which you won't be glancing at your watch while waiting for). There are funny lines, funny situations, and stuff that is so impossible in the real world that you can't help but chuckle. Various moments during the film, I found myself applauding along with the audience, maybe not for the film, but for how writer/director Michael Davis got our hero out of another situation.
The directing, as opposed to the writing, was done very well, especially for a movie like this. If you take the directing too seriously, the script won't work, which is probably why Michael Davis did both. Clive Owen delivers another strong performance, adapting to the cheesy script and outrageous events like a participant in a prank or gag. Monica Bellucci plays the most serious role in the film, and still takes to mocking her life and situation in this movie like the rest of them. My favorite character would still have to be the sly Paul Giamatti, who is given some pretty crazy situations himself but they are coupled with the only lines of any intelligence (or longer than about four words).
By the end of this movie, I was having a lot of fun watching a plot unfold that I didn't really care about. That doesn't deter the film, though, because it's kind of like a stunt show, you're not really concerned with the story. I loved it and, apparently, so did most of the audience. It really reminded me of seeing, well, a live action movie that was more like a video game (we even have coordinated colors for the costumes of the "bad guys" in the various "levels"). I'd like to use this film as an example to my (former) favorite critic Roger Ebert as a perfect example of how video games can be construed in the same light as video games, because Roger, this is clearly a movie made by a large video game fan.
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