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Strike Back Stonebridge Scott 01 Philip Winchester, Alexandra Moen, Sullivan Stapleton, Amanda Mealing, Eva Birthistle, Rhashan Stone, Michelle Lukes, Jimi Mistry, Richard Armitage, Liam Cunningham, Laura Haddock, Natalia Avelon

Strike Back: Project Dawn (Season 2) (Mild Spoilers): following on from the action-heavy British mini-series. Sky TV teamed up with Cinemax (aka skinemax) for season two, and as if by magic there’s more tits and ass in the first 5 minutes than the entire first season (and sex / tits / nudity at every possible opportunity moving forward!) Replacing believable badass John Porter with two new faces was a risky move, and it takes a while to adjust to the change, but they really shine from the mid-way point of the series: the British agent (Stonebridge) is played a touch too straight, and American Delta Force (Scott) a tad on the caricature side, but their chemistry, and “yo mama” style banter is thoroughly entertaining – like the highlights of a drunken Lad/Pub chat. Whereas the first season played out as a tight, tightly focused, serious political drama, season two is basically an action romp around the world – where everything explodes, everyone gets shot, and the American guy bangs every hot local in sight. The generic plot-lines only serve to deliver piece after piece of over-the-top action – chases, shoot-outs, sieges, espionage… it’s all there, it’s all good, and there’s 4 more episodes than the first outing! There’s very little resemblance between Season one and this, but they’re both great fun and totally entertaining in their own ways.

Score: 8/10

Strike Back Stonebridge Scott 02 Philip Winchester, Alexandra Moen, Sullivan Stapleton, Amanda Mealing, Eva Birthistle, Rhashan Stone, Michelle Lukes, Jimi Mistry, Richard Armitage, Liam Cunningham, Laura Haddock, Natalia AvelonjpgEpisode 1-2                                     “Die Hard in India”
Episode 3-4                   “Blown Away in South Africa”
Episode 5-6                                        “Taken in Darfur”
Episode 7-8                                   “Rambo in Kosovo”
Episode 9-10          “Every episode of 24 in Budapest”

Strike Back Stonebridge Scott 03 Philip Winchester, Alexandra Moen, Sullivan Stapleton, Amanda Mealing, Eva Birthistle, Rhashan Stone, Michelle Lukes, Jimi Mistry, Richard Armitage, Liam Cunningham, Laura Haddock, Natalia Avelon

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The Rock: when some miffed ex-military seize Alcatraz and aim chemical rockets at San Fran, a SWAT team is sent in to the save he day. Unlike most run-of-the-mill action films this is genuinely intense in parts, and has a substantial story – particularly the bad guys cause, which makes you question if it’s wrong to be rooting for them. Connery plays a blinder, reprising the James Bond role (great article here) and owning every scene he’s in with all the best lines. Cage does his crazy/comedy acting that somehow fits the tone of the film perfectly, and you couldn’t hand pick a better bunch of bad guys if you tried. The only downside is that there are some ridiculous attempts at comedy that fail terribly, and undermine / cheapen the film. Despite that little niggle, It’s almost incomprehensible that Michael Bay used to make films this good. Brilliant 1990s action affair. Ahhhh, Nicolas Cage and his green balls…

Score: 8.5/10