Killer Elite: when his mentor is captured, a contract killer must avenge an Arab sheikh’s dead sons by killing several high profile ex SAS soldiers. The plot was actually decent enough to make the film a Syriana / Body of Lies affair, but with Statham at the helms it ends up being a bog-standard action vehicle – and a poor one at that. There’s absolutely nothing memorable about the film; from the humdrum action, to the bleak washed-out colours – honestly, one week later I can recall about two minutes of the movie. Despite being two hours long, it feels like a 4 hour megafilm that keeps teasing you, but never actually ends. De Niro continues to disappoint, carrying on his ‘cash for billing’ scam, giving the most bog standard of his recent 20-minute performances. The action editing’s not very good either – particularly with his hospital/Owen fight, which was so incoherent that it hurt my head. Even the travelogue aspect feels gratuitous and disappointing. Nothing much to see here other than a nuts and bolts Statham flick.
Children Of Men: Undeniably one of the best movies of 2006. Can’t really say too much without giving the story away other than it’s the perfect combination of plot, action, violence and cinematic genius. When I saw this first time round I was absolutely lost for words. The story’s bleak, but believable. Technically, this film is astounding. A lot of the key scenes done as single-takes, peaking with an 8-minute war shot that will leave your jaw in your lap. Some people will no doubt think that it’s too slow, but for me, it was just a great, well-told story. All the little details (posters, adverts, background chat) add greatly to the realism. The acting’s also top-notch, even Michael Caine, who I almost exclusively dislike. See this film at all costs, but make sure it’s on a big TV to get the full effect.
Shoot ‘em up: bit of a let down, especially after reading a load of reviews saying how mental / violent / bloody / gorey it was (and that it was the most fake blood used in a film ever!). So I sat through the whole film waiting for the mother of all gunfights… but it never kicked off! Clive Owen is once again cast to play another gritty hard man, he must be getting bored of doing these roles. Overall it’s a ridiculous over-the-top action-fest of a film, with little plot and awful one-liners. More watchable than Crank, but Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti are definitely better than this!
The International: Wasn’t impressed in the slightest. To me it was just another “multinational organisation controls every part of your life” film where only one guy can bring them down… and after the end, you realise it’s all fruitless!!! Loads of cheesy clichéd lines and have never really rated Naomi Watts, Clive Owen’s OK, but has been pretty much typecast as his ‘girtty-man-with-shady-past’ guise… Only saving grace was the shoot-up in the Guggenheim museum – which explained why the exhibit was so gash!!