Tag Archives: Action Movies

12 Strong Is a Weak War Movie

My biggest issue with 12 Strong, “the declassified true story of the horse soldiers,” is that it never feels likes a true story. It instead feels like stilted, tacky, and heartless attempt at a war picture.

For instance, there is plenty of “the warrior is in the heart” talk and dialogue that feels like it belongs in an installment of The Karate Kid or Rocky.

Chris Hemsworth and Navid Negahban in 12 Strong

Chris Hemsworth and Navid Negahban in 12 Strong

That probably wasn’t the intention of Danish filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig, but 12 Strong feels more like a campy action-movie rather than a serious, war-drama.

The movie tells the story of a dozen Army Special Forces (“Green Berets”) who are deployed into Afghanistan after 9/11. The group is ordered to work with a local warlord to strike down the Taliban, forcing them out of the country.

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The Commuter Is a Train That Should Be Stopped

In 2008 movie-goers realized Liam Neeson was an undiscovered, action icon after watching Taken. What they didn’t know is that Hollywood would exploit this idea for nearly a decade.

Liam Neeson in The Commuter

Liam Neeson in The Commuter

Fast-forward ten years and The Commuter, from director Jaume Collet-Serra, is now in theaters. Just four years after making a movie where Neeson is a gun-wielding hero on a plane, he is doing the same thing but this time—on a train.

After being fired from his job, a few years shy of his retirement, Michael (Neeson) sits on the commuter train debating how he is going to tell his wife and his son (a recently-accepted college student). That is when he is approached by a stranger (Vera Ferminga) and given a “hypothetical” question: would he be willing to identify a passenger who doesn’t belong for $100,000. With some persuasion, Michael accepts the task only to discover soon he is about to get way more than he bargained for.

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Central Intelligence Movie Review

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Warcraft Movie Review

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Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

**The following review doesn’t reveal any Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers except a brief synopsis and some details revealed in the trailers **

Ever since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, the world has been waiting to see the battle of a lifetime. Nearly three years later, people can now see the Dark Knight go one on one with the Man of Steel on the silver screen for the first time, thanks to director Zack Snyder. Snyder, in a way, has been chosen to lead Warner Bros. with their DC Comics film series. He directed this movie’s predecessor Man of Steel (2013), and will direct the upcoming Justice League films as well as produce Suicide Squad, The Flash, and Aquaman. It’s an interesting choice based on the fact that Snyder is quite the polarizing filmmaker; many critics and fans haven’t approved his work in some time. In fact, Man of Steel was met with a lot of criticism, hence why they didn’t make another solo Superman movie. Instead, they had to add Batman because he is a box office draw. Regardless, this is the beginning of what is to come from DC and Warner Bros., and the tone will be set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Ben Affleck (Batman) goes face to face with Henry Cavill (Superman) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Ben Affleck (Batman) goes face to face with Henry Cavill (Superman) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

 

The movie follows the final events from Man of Steel when Superman (Henry Cavill) battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon) nearly destroyed everything in sight in the city of Metropolis. However, the audience is given a different perspective in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We see the events through the eyes of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who sees his building destroyed, in which some of his employees perish during the brawl. Wayne (who is secretly the Batman) now believes Superman is a force that has to be dealt with, because though he is seemingly doing good, he could “burn this whole place down” and the world would have to watch.

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Watch as Jacob Tiranno reviews The Divergent Series: Allegiant. To watch more video reviews go to www.youtube.com/chasingcinema

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which is based on the Mitchell Zuckoff’s book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, follows the tragic death of American Ambassador, Chris Stevens. Stevens was killed on September 11, 2012, during an attack at the United States Consulate in Benghazi, and now a security team made up of men from different military branches have to defend their base and try to piece together how this was allowed to happened.

John Krasinski in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

John Krasinski in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

It is genuinely hard to critique a film like 13 Hours. No matter how bad or good it may be, at the back of your mind sits the acknowledgment that the events that are depicted on screen have actually occurred. The objectives of war films like 13 Hours and recently Lone Survivor and American Sniper are to remind us that these are the true stories of brave men and women fighting for our country. And in the last 15 minutes of 13 Hours, the movie hits its goal in stride as it bridges the pain and emotions felt by the characters to their real life counterparts. This is when the movie is at its most honest and impactful. After watching nonstop combat for mostly the entire duration of the film, and seeing the pictures of the very men who the characters are based on, the movie stops being an action spectacle and briefly becomes a sincere tribute to those men depicted in the film. Unfortunately, these emotions are not always present.

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