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John Wick Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem Dafoe, Marilyn Manson,John Wick: after his wife dies thugs steal his car and kill his dog, which forces former assassin and ‘bogeyman’ John Wick to go on a rampage of Archer proportions. No need to worry about the Bechdel Test with this film – as the only two women with dialogue appear as a video recording, and a sassy female hit-woman. No need to worry about the plot either, as it’s based around a hotel where assassins live and party with each other – and gold coins are the preferred payment method. Whilst Keanu isn’t the most watchable of frontmen he handles is action scenes with style, and Nyqvist, McShane, Dafoe fill in any gaps with fun roles. Reminiscent of 90s European / Asian action movies like Taxi, District 13, Hard Boiled etc – this is all about the guns, cars, pounding techo music and hyper styalised violence, of which there is shitloads. The action scenes are second to none: graphic and wild gunplay (most villains get ‘double-tapped’ – chest then head), there’s excellent combat which incorporates wrestling holds and slams, and a couple of nifty car chases. One of the directors is a stunt man, which shows as the action scenes are a cut above your standard affair. John Wick is a rarity these days – a no-brainer, balls out, gritty revenge / action film, that sticks to its R-rating and doesn’t claim – or try – to be anything more. It’s the kind of film that Taken 3 wishes it was.

Score: 8/10

John Wick 2 Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem Dafoe, Marilyn Manson,

Battle: Los Angeles – Aliens have come to invade our planet, and of all the cities in the world, we totally can’t lose LA!!! Hang on a second, I think I’ve seen something like this recently… There’s one simple thing would have made this better – a tripod. You spend around 80% of the time having no idea of what was going on other than ‘shit is being blown up’ and ‘it’s been filmed on shaky cam’. It’s more of a war film than any other invasion movie, made apparent by the film being propped up with the aid of every single war cliche you can think of. The music was a big miss, with ultra generic music – particularly the bursting-with-pride-and-sentiment soliloquies. Speaking of which, these solders are so amazing that it feels a bit like it could have been funded by Marines, and aimed at Marines. Just when you think it couldn’t get any more like a film you’ve seen before WHAM – Michelle Rodriguez pops up as a female soldier. For all the wrongs in Battle LA, you do have to see this in a cinema, but only because it’s so big, flashy and loud. The bottom line here is that Battle LA is Skyline, but with a bigger budget and MARINES instead of civilians.

Score: 2/10