by: Hawk Ripjaw –
This is it. Liam Neeson is finally retiring from action films because he realized what most of us noticed in Taken 3: he’s getting old, and it doesn’t look as cool anymore. Of course, he also said this shortly before Taken 3 came out, so maybe we shouldn’t close the book just yet.
Unfortunately, his “final” action film looks suspiciously similar to the same director’s earlier film Non-Stop (which, full disclosure, I actually loved):
1: Liam Neeson is going on a trip using public transport.
2: For some reason Liam Neeson is targeted by a mysterious villain who wishes to manipulate him.
3: The lives of others are threatened by this villain unless Liam Neeson does some stuff.
4: Liam Neeson’s going to crash this bitch when it comes time to stop the villain.
Worse, this trailer has the worst case of “you just watched the whole movie in two minutes”-itis than I’ve seen in at least the last year. Apart from the actual motivations of the villain (which we can only hope are somewhat connected to The Conjuring), it appears that many of the major plot beats in the movie, especially from the climax, are here in the trailer. Boy, nothing gets me excited for seeing a movie like saving me the time of actually having to watch the whole thing, right?
That said, director Collet-Serra is rarely not fun, even when reheated, and his movies often look pretty cool at the very least. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to see this over the weekend.
It was a fun chapter of Neeson’s career, but he’s way more than a pair of fists so I’m excited to see what he moves on to.
When I watched and reviews the first Paddington a few years ago, I went in expecting a decent family film with solid charm and good style thanks to director Paul King (The Mighty Boosh). I got what I expected, but more of all of it: the wacky humor had broad appeal without being generic, but still had a handful of weirdly specific jokes for those paying attention. The familiar family movie structure still felt fresh and wonderful. The tiny little flourishes (the Lost & Found sign behind Paddington in the station has the “Found” part burnt out, but it suddenly lights back up when the family encounters him for the first time) were great, welcome surprises. It did damn near everything right.
For this trailer review, I’m actually not going to watch the trailer, which is a little abnormal but given the wonderful surprises that the original Paddington consistently unwrapped, I want to go in fresh. I’m posting this trailer here without looking at it with the help of a friend to help me avoid the temptation.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to see a children’s film.
When I first saw the trailer for Proud Mary, I thought it was actually the trailer for Acrimony so I was 80% sure that Tyler Perry was continuing his descent into madness and the new trailer for Acrimony was just revealing a new plotline where the main character was so pissed about her marriage she just decided to start killing people. Obviously, that’s not the case (for the better? I can’t say), but dodgy CGI gun and bullet animation aside, this might be awesome. Taraji P. Henderson looks pretty badass as a hitwoman blowing the bad guys away, which the movie will need: the plot, involving her having to take care of a young kid she runs into during a hit, is about as generic as they come. Introducing a helpless woman or child is not how you make a hitman movie cool! Two Hitman movies alone should make that obvious!
It doesn’t help that Sony is doing the usual fucking up with the marketing, so hopefully this gets some traction.
Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Bruce Greenwood, and Bradley Whitford all working together on the same movie? Are you fucking kidding me?? Of course it’s going to be good!
Still technically a 2017 film, so I’m pretty confident this will earn a spot on some Best of 2017 lists. Journalism thrillers scratch a specific sort of itch that nothing else really does, so the infrequency with which these show up is always welcome.