Tag Archives: Fast & Furious

Agent 47 lives to kill again (silently)…

Did anybody really want a “Hitman” reboot?  Twentieth Century Fox apparently did, as their 2007 movie with Timothy Olyphant, based on Eidos‘ series of stealth-based action games has a new titular killer in the form of…

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Paul Walker.

Yep, I’m as bemused as that casting as you possibly are.  He’s arguably not the actor who comes to mind when you think ‘cold-blooded, genetically-engineered assassin’, but I await with interest to see how he’s going to circumvent the typecasting that I’ve saddled the “Fast and Furious” star with.

Directing this time around is commercials graduate Aleksander Bach, whose ad work is at the link.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions – but as I detest adverts with every fibre of my being, I shall recuse myself from further discussion of his work (He seems to get all of the perfectly-sculpted, model butts nicely into the frame in the “Tom Tailor” advert, doesn’t he?).

For my money, we’d be better off with this gentleman as Agent 47:

Golden-voiced, stylishly menacing English gent, Mark Strong.

Golden-voiced, stylishly menacing English gent, Mark Strong.

He’s got the look, he can do menacing in his sleep and is a genuinely brilliant actor.  But I suspect that Fox would rather have a simpler proposition which they know how to sell.  If it’s cheap enough, I suppose that it will have been worth the effort to reboot the franchise, but something tells me that we’ll end up with a film which is near-identical to the not brilliant, not terrible Xavier Gens effort.

I live to be proven wrong – it’s about time that we had a decent, popcorn action flick based on a video game I.P. and this is one premise that should be hard to mess up too much.

 

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Fast and Furious 6 – The Explodening?

Oh, “Fast & Furious 6” – I knew that your Superbowl teaser trailer wouldn’t let me down.  Go watch it here.  You’ll know it when you see it – it’s the one where everything is (A) blowing up (B) about to blow up or (C) is newly recovering from having recently been explodified.

Tank!  Tank!   Tank!

Tank! Tank! Tank!

The word “AmazeBananas”, which I’ve just coined in reaction to this teaser, is the only possible response to it.  Well, that and ‘remember when they just used to nick the odd DVD player or six – talk about changing your career trajectory’.  The “Fast and Furious” crew, having stolen and wrecked most of downtown Rio in the last movie (spoilers!) armed with only a couple of muscle cars and some comedy bickering, have now graduated to the world stage.  Witness the trailer, which zips from London to Ibiza and thence Germany with nary a breath taken between awesome car stunts and shots of the cast looking super-buff.  We’re through the looking glass, people – it’s heist time, global style.

Vehicles flipping? But I thought this was a Merchant Ivory film?

Vehicles flipping? But I thought this was a Merchant Ivory film?

Expect stunts, more stunts, some gratuitous booty shaking which reminds you that the import tuner scene doesn’t exactly pass feminist analysis with flying colours, Vin and Mr The Rock buff-bonding in a wholly non-homoerotic fashion (clothes-line!), European locations (oh, hai there, London Village!) and the most ludicrous, trailer-capping action sequence that I’ve seen since the train job  in, oh, “Fast Five“.  Cargo plane – that’s all I’m saying.

London, shortly before a visit from Vin Diesel and The Rock rendered it a smoking hole in the ground.

London, pictured shortly before a visit from Vin Diesel and The Rock rendered it a smoking hole in the ground.

 

Cars with ramp attachments - seems legit...

Cars with ramp attachments – seems legit…

The gang's all here(ish).

The gang’s all here(ish).

By the looks of things, the only way to ramp up the seemingly inevitable seventh entry in the series is to set it on Mars (Don’t give Justin Lin any ideas).

Want now.  Is it May yet?

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“21 Jump Street” – or how I stopped worrying and learned to love remakes…

No doves, no love, muddy funsters…

TL:DR version?  It’s a hoot – go rent it.

When the 2012 reinvention of “21 Jump Street” was announced, I confess to having had misgivings about it.

For one thing, remakes are the work of enfeebled minds, so utterly in thrall to easy cash and terrified of producing anything original that they desperately seek anything to remake, as the heavy conceptual lifting has already been done by somebody else.  All that has to be done by the ‘creative’ brains trust bringing the new version to life is to cut-and-paste contemporary pin-up actors and new music into the mix and make the marketing campaign obnoxious enough to bring teens to the theatres in their droves on date night.

Yes, kids, this is how we dressed in the late eighties and early nineties. Try not to hurl.

For another thing, this is “21 Jump Street”, dude!  Though utterly rubbish in execution, possessed of severely reactionary politics and as plausible and true to life as a “Fast & Furious” movie, the Johnny Depp, Holly Robinson, Dustin Nguyen and Peter DeLuise baby-faced cops undercover tv drama was a staple of my teen years and any new pretender to the throne couldn’t possibly do anything to justify its existence.  Misbegotten, I say to you sir/madam – misbegotten!

“But where shall we secrete your Rocket Launcher?”

Happily, it turns out after a viewing of said foul remake that I’m full of shizz and can inform you that this remake of the 80’s TV show is arguably one of the funniest comedies in years, managing the tricky feat of balancing the demands of obnoxious bromance bobbins, fast-paced action, well-observed high school clique tale and meta, self-aware comedy quite brilliantly.

A large part of the success of this film, after the bonkers direction of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (previous film – “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”!) and Michael Bacall‘s deranged screenplay, is the playing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.  Their on-screen chemistry is so immediate and so convincing that you find yourself pleasantly surprised by it and wonder why nobody thought to combine the two before – their bickering, name-calling and self-aware idiocy are a delight to behold, from their initial meet cute to the middle of the film, where the script contrives splendidly to play with our expectations of the actors, making nerdy, chubby motormouth Hill the most popular kid in school and buff man mountain Tatum seek solace in the bosom of the school’s science nerds.

There’s a plot – something-something-designer-drugs-in-high-school-hey-guns-lots-of-guns! – but it scarcely matters when the jokes are as funny as they are in this film and when our expectations are pretty much undercut at every turn, from character to incident.  I’m not saying that this film reinvents our experience of cinema or anything as profound as that, but the combination of likeable characters, unexpected events, non sequitur wit and blithe mayhem does manage to make what could have been a by-the-numbers cop flick ever so more palatable and enjoyable than I ever expected it to be.

Tatum, for example, is a joy in this film – I had him pegged as a dopey pin-up with minimal acting talent but he’s the funniest and most charming leading man who you could hope for, given the right material.  After seeing this, I suspect that the decision to delay this summer’s “G.I. Joe – Retaliation” to 2013 has bugger all to do with slapping a 3D makeover on the movie and everything to do with the fact that Tatum’s character being killed off in the original version managed to unceremoniously get rid of the biggest movie star in the damn flick – three of his movies this year have cracked a hundred million at the US box office and I’d be willing to stake my size 14 Vans on the fact that he’s the reason for those numbers.

A rare sequel that I’m actually looking forward to – if it has more Ice Cube shouting and being grumpy, more unexpected cameos and more barely allowable filth, then I’m there on opening weekend…

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Giant Fracking Robots – first “Pacific Rim” poster online

Image via NeoGaf.com

Yes, the Summer movies of 2012 haven’t finished unspooling yet – we still have “The Dark Knight Rises“, “The Bourne Legacy“, “The Expendables 2” and, if the weather gets warm enough and I really need some air conditioning in a hurry, the “Total Recall” remake to look forward to – but it’s never too early to look forward to next summer.

To the likes of “Iron Man 3”, “Star Trek 2”, the next “Fast & Furious” and Superman reboot, “Man of Steel“, many a discerning nerd will be anxious to see Guillermo Del Toro‘s deeply artistic and emotionally resonant take on the Giant, Ass-Kicking Mech Robots genre, “Pacific Rim”.

Idris Elba, looking absolutely bad ass in “Pacific Rim”. Not that this is news, frankly…

I’m hoping for this to give one of the best living film makers out there a huge platform and the blockbuster hit which he really deserves – if the notion of the director of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy” doing a massive summer sci-fi pic and bringing his unique level of strange and beautiful vision to it isn’t exciting on several levels to you, there may be no hope for you.

 

 

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“Need for Speed” speeds to the big screen

The only good thing about "Need For Speed:Undercover" - Maggie Q...

In news which might have seemed like a hot deal right after the release of “The Fast & The Furious” back in 2001 but which now seems like a case of Hollywood being predictably behind the times, DreamWorks have emerged as front-runners in a battle to nab the film rights to EA’s long-running and iterated-up-the-whazoo racing games.

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I’d be reasonably happy to see a movie based on this franchise, as there’s always been an element of story attempting to knit together otherwise unconnected races, stunt challenges and general law-flouting, cookie-cutter rebellion – it couldn’t be any less absurd than the last Fast & Furious flick, but it would have to go a hell of a long way to be half as enjoyable as Justin Lim’s feverish nitrous dream.

John Gatins, who previously brought you robot-bashing hug-em-up Real Steel is down to write the script, which hopefully may aspire to more than sweaty, C-list CW studs calling each other ‘Bro’ and engaging in physics-defying, CG-assisted vehicular mentalism.  I also predict the reassuring presence of many hot ladies to carefully negate any sense that all of these devil-may-care, hot-headed rebels are eager to explore each other’s manifolds between life-or-pink-slip races.

All very nice for EA, I’m sure, but where’s my frigging “Burnout” movie already?

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