Saturday, March 5, 2011


There are certain people you do not piss off in action films:  Black Mamba from Kill Bill, Nicolas Cage in everything, Clint Eastwood in most things, and more recently, Machete.  I did not include the Rock on this list because I think it would be intuitive for anyone to not kill the Rock's brother.  Just don't do it.  It's bad for business and it will not end well for anyone.  If you kill the Rock's brother, he will remember that and put your name on a list. 

I started this movie with a preconception; it was going to suck.  It doesn't.  This action movie has some soul in it.  Its characters have back stories and they are presented in more than a single dimension.  Unfortunately, it plays a bit dumb at parts and feels like it must help its audience along.  Characters are introduced with a title such as "Cop" and "Killer".  I don't think these are needed, even for people who would choose to see this movie in the theater.  It's also not good enough to stay away from the cliches.  The cop is naturally 10 days away from retirement, the Rock cannot just turn around in a vehicle, he must squeal out of everywhere in at least a 270 degree turn of smoke, and the idiotic dialogue includes such gems as, "I have a hunch," "Well, so did Quasimodo and look where it got him." 

The Rock in this movie reminds me a lot of Machete from last year.  If Machete 'don't text', then the Rock doesn't look both ways before he crosses the street; he just assumes cars will slam on the brakes and let him go.  He is on a mission.  He has one thing to do and he just goes out and does it.  Bravo on the initiative.  He also has tattoos on his forearms that only underworld gangsters and body builders can recognize. 

The casting sticks out.  Tom Berenger shows up very briefly; is he mad because he didn't get included in the fourth iteration of the Sniper series?  Mike Epps shows up as well.  The script is good, but do you really need to cast the minor characters as well known as these guys?  It's a distraction (remember Ted Danson in Saving Private Ryan).  Also, a good, but unorthodox, inclusion is the 'Killer'.  This is guy is Johnny Cage with a serious inferiority complex and says quips like, "I'm done with yoga, I beat it."  The ringtone on his contract killer cellphone is the theme song from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  That is not the only Clint Eastwood rip-off.  Remember the end of A Fistfull of Dollars?  *smacks forehead*

Take aways:  To the Rock, do more movies like this and stay away from crap like the Tooth Fairy and you will be ok.  To everyone else, do NOT kill the Rock's brother. 

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