torsdag 30 maj 2013


If you want your franchise or genre to grow it is important to make people think about the  what makes it work . UNISOL:DAY OF RECKONING is such a movie.Part action, part existentialism, part David Lynch and part Cronenberg .That is one helluva movie. One thing it is not and that is a  singularminded straightup action extravaganze. It´s more than that.

Some people dismiss this movie as just garbage, because it does not fit in within their own perception of what an actionmovie should be. Either they think it is boring or that the movie is "pseudo-intelligent". it has not enough action and it fails being smart. The low rating the movie earned on IMDB just proves the flaws of that website.

It is not a movie for a bunch of friends to watch on friday night,ordering pizza,drinking beer and having a laugh. You need to commit. And actionmovies usually does not require that and perhaps that is why it could be easily dismissed. For real  actionfans the admiration and appreciation of the movie sure enough are genuine. But it seems like it is just the actionsequences that get the praise, it´s little else.

It all began with the previous installment,REGENERATION. At the end of the movie the military injected Deveraux  with  double doage (of whtever it was) since they were desperate to stop the bomb at the nuclear plant. it wassaid they would not be able to control him afterwards  and sure as shit the shortsightedness of the U.S military  comes to fruition. He went rogue and when we get to DAY OF RECKONING Deveraux has built a guerilla resistance consisting of other UniSols he managed to reprogram to fit his own purpose.

The existentialistic motifs were also planted in REGENERATION with Dolphs character going off the rails,breaking programming, because of his identity crisis. By killing his creator who did not give Andrew Scott an answer to his existance, Scott decides to activate the bomb and in that process  trying to end his own cycle of returning as another clone. The "Waiting for Godot" kind of eternal spiral,waiting for someone to give you a sense of purpose. This

The whole identity crisis gets blown up into a fullgrown theme in DAY OF RECKONING.
Adkins character goes on this journey of selfdiscovery and has the opportunity to cleanse himself of the terrible memories of watching his supposed family to be brutally murdered, but he chooses to keep the memories, because even if they are not real, the memories fills him with a  purpose in life. An identity-defining moment not to become a puppet for neither side,not the state or Deveraux.  

Deveraux is a strange antagonist. Why does John (Adkins) want to kill Deveraux?What threat  do Deveraux present to the protagonist? The reason is because Deveraux is an obstacle to the path for our hero to gain an identity or a purpose in life.The moment John accept that the memories are his own and believes them ,even if they are fake, John feel the need to take revenge on Deveraux to make the memories real. By killing Deveraux, he makes the memories legit. He chooses to believe the memories are real, because it defines him as a person. And Deveraux  at the end is allowing John his identity by submitting at the end.  What kind of bad guy in an actionmovie does that?

That is a pretty cool revenge-angle.Who the real enemy to John is vague to say the least. You could also say the REAL enemy is the government who actually brainwash John with these memories for their own purposes to assassinate the rogue UniSols and in particular Deveraux.

It is not a simple question of good vs evil as the protagonist versus antagonist aspect of actionmovies usually are.  That is what is so subversive about the movie. And I love it for that!

onsdag 29 maj 2013


If THE EXPENDABLES franchise is going to be able to get past the nostalgia factor surrounding it, it could probably be a good idea for Sly to actually utilize the recent or upcoming actionstars to their fullest potential, instead of casting them in pointless fillout-roles as he previously have done.

Seriously,who remember the great Gary Daniels from the first one? I had to watch the movie three times to actually notice him. Scott Adkins fared better in the sequel, the confrontation with Statham was a bit on the short side, but apparently they had very little time to shoot that scene so it did end up quite good considering.

THE EXPENDABLES cannot rely on the old guys forever. What I like about the franchise is that it takes the larger-than-life old school DIRTY DOZEN approach with a bunch of wellknown weathered badasses on an impossible mission. With bringing on new people with each installment they become known to the public and after awhile considered just as much as veterans as the Sly,Dolphs or Stathams of the current bunch of legendary mercenaries.

Just don´t cast people like Liam Hemsworth. I liked him in EX2, but he is not one dedicated to action, for him it is just a springboard to "better films", so stick with guys known for their dedication and loyalty to the genre. The physicality of doing action requires certain individuals with a certain mindset. It cannot be about career-egos, or else the genre will most certainly die. A guy like Darren Shahlavi could really boost a franchise with his skills. He has a villain face like no other and can perform the shit out of a movie. Watch BLOODMOON or TAI CHI BOXER to see him at his best. He is chewing up the  scenery,spitting it out and roundhouse kick it to the dumpster and walks away.

We  also have guys like Cung Le from DRAGON EYES, Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovsky  from the UniSol-franchise, Thailands wonderboy Tony Jaa or  THE RAIDs Iko Uwais and Yayan "Mad Dog"  Ruhian. If  these peole can get more iconic performances it can inspire other people to take up the reign just like Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan inspired aforementioned acrobats.

There is absolutely no reason to stick with the metafictive,tongue-in-cheek postmodern references in a franchise when you have plenty of people battling to take a prestigous place among gods of action. It will only lead to stagnation hanging on to the past.

Action does not need to die, it just need people to inspire further.


I never thought I was going to say this, but I have fast become a furious believer of this actionpacked franchise. The themes of badassness marks this installment for the very first time in a big way. They jhave always been there, but the code of honor or the strong sense of family outside the society is more prevalent here.

In fact what I like is the idea that a family can exist outside the norm of the society. it doesn´t necessarily means two kids,a wife and a goddamn mortgage that are the kind of spoonfed thoughtpatterns of family system that  society relies on.Sure they are a gangster family with the usual movie-motifs of brotherhood and honor, but you don´t see much of that in movies anymore. I´d say that as far ass badassery goes, it blows THE EXPENDABLE-franchise out of the water in many ways.

Its a much better and genuine film  because it does not rely on nostalgia and also much more sincere in its testosterone-induced manliness. THE EXPENDABLES is kind of the equivalent of a coverband playing other peoples classic songs, because thats what the audience wants.They want the nostalgia, they want to hear the one-liners or the guitarriffs or whatever that they grew up with. They don´t want to hear the coverbands own tunes or what they can bring to the music. They are stuck in nostalgia and will eventually fade away, because eventually there is noone left who wants  to hear them.

FAST FIVE has of course a history, but it is a franchise not afraid to alienate fans of the original by going its own way. It´s a movie that decided to focus more on the heist aspects of the franchise , the stoic aspects of the characters and removing the nauseating streetracing from the previous installmenst which ,quite frankly, stunk. Now they have actually made a movie that has a lot of the elements I like to see in a big summer blockbuster and with a climax that surpasses anything seen earlier in the movie. The kind of action progression throughout the piece that most movies lack these days.With each action sequence the better and more spectacular they become.  A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD had the most spectacular scene at the beginning of the movie and the rest of the movie could not live up to it, doing the movie a terrible disservice in that way.

To sum it up. The future of action has to do with the execution, not being to dug in to the past. Nostalgia is a fleeting thing. But a good film lives forever.

måndag 27 maj 2013

DREDD (2012)

When most people think of Judge Dredd, it is because of the Stallone actioner from 1995 and not the very funny comic book sci-fi satire from british publisher 2000AD.I´m not sure if people would have though if not the interest of making fun of "cheesy" movies had caught  on the Interweb and getting some late undeserved recognition that way.If not,I still think that movie hurt the possibility of further ,more proper,installments in a series that never have gotten a chance to break into a real franchise. It was a big budgeted studiomovie that fell victim of the system.This is independantly produced.

This movie is far from "cheesy", it´s a gritty cop-actionmovie. The science fiction setting could easily have been substituted for perhaps a bordertown in the old West or a regular apartment complex with some slight adjustments. It is RIO BRAVO and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 in one.

Dredd is being told to evaluate a rookie-judge, also a mutant with psychic abilities by the name of Anderson and her first day on the job. Which is a real shitty day,being trapped inside an apartment complex ruled by druglord and bitchqueen Ma-Ma played by Game of Thrones´ Lena Headey. For Dredd it´s just another day in the deepend. Think THE RAID and you get the picture. If you still don´t get it,google it. It´ll help.

I reminds me of a lot of 80´s-90´s copactionmovies where  a more seasoned veteran is forced to work alongside a partner despite reluctance. The twist here is that Dredd is not the individual action hero prototype that likes to "bend the law" " or "trust his own instincts" over factual evidence. He is a strict lawman and order is needed in a post-apocalyptic world where the city is just a few steps away from anarchy.

There are plenty of things to like about this particular copmovie. For one, it´s not holding back on the grisly deaths. See, there is this drug in the movie called slo-mo and here is a picture of a severe sideeffect by taking it:
The sideeffect: getting a cool death.

It is a very stylish addition and makes for some fantastic looking shots in the slow mo shootout. The cinematography is great throughout the picture  with a lot of vibrant colours that´s usually lacking in most movies today. A lot of other cool setpieces are in this besides the druginduced shootout. Shit like this:
A "bright boy" failing to comply Dredd.
Also,some other severe headinjuries, including exploding heads and..well. I am not going to spoil all the gory details of this fine piece of adapted fiction.

What I like about this new interpretation of a culturally important piece of art is that they bring back the original comicbook concept of Dredd. The judge, jury and executioner part in the comics was dropped early on and the  Dredd in the comicbooks I have read have not condemned perps to death and executed them on the spot, but here he does.

In fact the Megacity One is being portrayed as a city on the verge on collapse and that justifies the harshness of the judicial system and after watching this talking motion picture (in full color,not available in black and white) I can understand the need of bringing order.How the hell they are going to fix a social system with an unemployment rate of 97%  however is beyond me.

In the comics with its insane logic they explain that people grow up with the very notion they will be unemployed, its part of the elementary  education system where kids are being taught that they have no future and should pick up a hobby of some sorts so they don´t go insane. Personally I don´t think a hobby is the solution.Collecting stamps  or solving crossword puzzles are not existential solutions,I think. Then again, the suicidal rate of Megacity One is unsurprisingly astronomical. In one issue they describe this "sunday night fever" where unemployed people  every sunday go on mass-suicides like lemmings. A ridiculous and fantastic piece of comicbookery, Judge Dredd is.

Pro Tip: Read the comics, watch this movie and forget about the Stallone-version. 

tisdag 14 maj 2013

Mission Objective:

This is my new blog dealing with actioncinema,all kinds of actionsploitation and all things badass in cinema. From Clint Eastwood to Jason Statham and Tony Jaa. Why? Because action is the most important artform ever. Its language is international and can be crossculturally adapted. A roundhousekick is still a roundhousekick no matter what language. Everyone can understand the awesome power of a good kick to the head or the burning sensation of a third degree burn from a bigass explosion.No misundertandings or translation errors. It just hurts as hell.

I also try my best to be a good writer and not go on any self-indulgent nerd-rampages regarding shit I don´t like. I aim to rise above that. That´s my personal goal with this blog.

I´m not always going to be posting reviews of movies I love, but try to discuss the pros and cons of the individual flicks I look at. English is not my first language so bear with me if  my grammar is not perfect.

I previously wrote on another blog:The Cinemashitter. But, please do not visit it. It´s pretty crappy and could possibly hurt your eyesight by reading some of the reviews there.Not recommended. Eyesight is pretty important. I might repost a few reviews, to see if I have grown as a writer or still  stuck in my old ways of writing shit.  Speaking of shit, my first step on my agenda was removing that very word  in the title of my new blog. At least one improvement. I can´t promise the word won´t appear in my reviews, though. I don´t like to limit my vocabulary.

I´m not sure the title makes any sense, but it sounds action-ey enough and gives an idea about what kind of movies I will be covering. The posting of reviews might be on a unregular basis and take some time to write because I like to do stuff as good as I can before I show them to global actionfans.So no reviews every day, perhaps once a week.

Please give me feedback at how the blog looks and how I can improve it. I consider it,like my writing, a work in progress. 

Stay tuned!