Haywire (2011)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) An ex-marine super soldier on her final assignment is betrayed by her boss.
2) A must-watch for the lovers of hand-to-hand combat actions. Gina Carano’s performance as Mallory Kane is franchise worthy like John Wick and Jason Bourne.
3) Watch out for the hotel fight scene between Michael Fassbender & Gina Carano.

 

 

CONS –
1) It’s a mediocre story with limited action scenes. The huge ensemble of stars is not helping.

 

 

QUOTE –
Paul: I’m assuming the motive of everyone involved is strictly professional?
Kenneth: Paul, the motive is money. The motive is always money.

Salt (2010)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Highly-trained Soviet double agents are deployed all over the United States substituted as real American children. Evelyn Salt is one such double agent working for the CIA, however, her loyalty to CIA/Russia is shattered when she actually fell in love with his boyfriend who moved heaven and earth to get her released from North Korea.
2) A solid action-packed spy-thriller with all elements of a great franchise like The Bourne Series.
3) Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt is absolutely stunning. A thoroughly entertaining movie from the first minute to the last.
4) Kurt Wimmer’s story is the real winner here. The core of the movie is the secret Soviet program that plants brainwashed children into American families. The final TV news report confirms that the new US president visiting Russia is one such child.

 

 


CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Peabody: How many more like you are there?
Evelyn Salt: Like me? None.

Black Death (2010)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 


PROS –
1) In 1348 plague-ridden England, a friar decides to join a bishops envoy to guide them to reach a remote village untouched by the plague. However, the monk is secretly planning to reunite with his love. The soldiers finally reach the village which is led by a fake pagan witch poised to eliminate the envoy.
2) The epilogue shows us the guilt-ridden monk, blinded by revenge becomes a soldier himself dedicates his life to find and punish the witch. The final revelation by the witch confirms that it’s not a zombie movie as she was fooling the villagers all the time by her resurrection act.

 

 


CONS –
1) A decent plot and superb cast ruined by bad execution and shaky camera work.

 

 

QUOTE –
Langiva: Oy, we’re not as bad as ya think. We’re worse.

Mad Max (1979)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) In a dystopian Australia, Max Rockatansky is a top pursuit man of highway patrol unit. The roads are terrorized by a crazy biker gang led by their psychopathic leader called Toecutter. Max took matters in his own hands after his family is attacked by the gang.
2) The violence and gore level is astonishing for a 1979 movie. An instant cult for that generation.
3) High octane chase and crash sequences.

 

 

CONS –
N/A


QUOTE –
Toecutter: That there is Cundalini… and Cundalini wants his hand back!

Under Siege (1992)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) An ex-CIA operative goes rogue and seize control of a U.S. battleship. Now, an ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can save the ship’s company and stop the terrorist from selling the ship’s nuclear-tipped Tomahawks to North Korea.
2) Tommy Lee Jones’ performance as the wacky villain compensates for Steven Seagal’s stone-faced acting.
3) It’s an obligatory must-watch 90s action movie with great entertainment.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Strannix: Meet at the bird cage as planned, Roadrunner, out!
Krill: You’re the roadrunner?
Strannix: Yeah, never been caught. Mee-meep.

Hard Target (1993)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A criminal organization that arranges human hunting as a sport for wealthy individuals messed up this time with the wrong person. Huge explosions, stylish gunfights, slow-motion action scenes, doves, round-house kicks, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Its John Woo in all it’s glory.
2) The entire action sequence with the bike chase is probably one of the best action scene in John Woo library.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Chance Boudreaux: Hunting season… is over.

Angel Has Fallen (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) This time it’s a war-monger Vice President who got Agent Banning framed for the attempted assassination of the President. Its the routine high-octane action where Banning got to prove his innocence and meanwhile save the President too.
2) Nick Nolte joining the cast as Mike’s father. This John Rambo type Vietnam-vet Clay Banning is one interesting character. Him blowing the entire cavalcade of bad guys around his cabin was the best action sequence. His chemistry with Mike in the post-credit scene was equally funny.
3) The franchise is tediously formulaic but surely entertaining. The action is so engrossing that Piper Perabo replaced Radha Mitchell as Mike’s wife and we didn’t even notice.

 

 

CONS –
1) Jada Pinkett Smith as FBI Agent Thompson was extremely annoying. A meaty role was given to a bad actor.

 

 

 

QUOTE –
Wade Jennings: War is about deception.

London Has Fallen (2016)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) Agent Banning again on the President’s rescue, this time in London, fighting Pakistani terrorists. A better story and better action sequences than the prequel.
2) The single-take shootout scene was straight out of an RPG game.

 

 
CONS –
1) The last movie wasted talents like Morgan Freeman, Robert Forster, and Melissa Leo in meaningless roles. This time they added Jackie Earle Haley to the list.

 

 
QUOTE –
Mike Banning: Why don’t you boys pack up your shit and head back to Fuckheadistan or wherever it is you’re from.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A secret service agent on a lone mission to evacuate US President held hostage in the White House bunker by North Korean terrorist.
2) A full-blown action pot-boiler.
3) Rick Yune as Kang was an apt choice for the role. No action movie is noteworthy without a memorable villain.

 

 

CONS –
1) Gerard Butler as the main protagonist is the biggest flaw of the movie. This level of movie in the 90s featured the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis or Jean-Claude Van Damme. Any contemporary action star like Jason Statham, Mark Wahlberg or even Liam Neeson would have fitted the bill.

 

 

QUOTE –
“Lynn : Banning is ex-special forces. Ranger battalion. He will move mountains or die trying!”

Commando (1985)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) Colonel Matrix has 11 hrs. to rescue his daughter from the wannabe President of Val Verde.
2) An era-defining 80s action film with uber violence and one hell of a body count. This movie is solely running on Arnold’s toned muscle power.
3) A quintessential Arnold movie in all its glory. Every Gen X kid would’ve found a character like Colonel Matrix in some comic books, video games, or in a pulp magazine story.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Cooke: This Green Beret is going to kick your big ass!
John Matrix: I eat Green Berets for breakfast. And right now, I’m very hungry!