4 Movie Collection: Action
November 27, 2012
Antoine Fuqua, Kiefer Sutherland, Keith Samples, John Glen,
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Vincent Gallo, Kiefer Sutherland, Brian Geraghty, Jenna Dewan, Christopher Lambert, Kerry Fox,
The paper-thin plot of The Replacement Killers (1998) concerns a deadly assassin by the name of John Lee (Yun-Fat) who is hired to kill a cop’s son. But John suddenly develops a conscience and decides to spare the boy’s life. This doesn’t sit too well with the crime boss who hired him. And so he sends a whole slew of nasty guys with guns after John, who by now decides it’s time to split and enlists the aid of an ace forger by the name of Meg Coburn (Sorvino) to help him leave the country. Predictably, much stylish carnage ensues. I really wanted to like this film but it falls short on so many levels. First off, it is pretty obvious that the film’s director, Antoine Fuqua, is aping the style of John Woo’s Hong Kong action films. The Replacement Killers contains many of Woo’s visual trademarks: slow motion action scenes, two-gun action, multiple camera angles, and so on. He clearly lacks the visual flair and imagination of Woo’s films.
Truth or Consequences, N.M. marked the directorial debut of actor Kiefer Sutherland in what amounts to a wannabe Quentin Tarantino crime film – one of the many that came out in the wake of Pulp Fiction (1994). It’s too bad, really, because Sutherland assembled an interesting cast with the likes of Vincent Gallo, Kim Dickens, Max Perlich, and Rod Steiger among others. The set-up is one we’ve seen a million times: four small-time crooks rip-off a big-time drug deal but things go predictably bad – an undercover cop is killed and two people are taken hostage. This is the kind of film that allows pretty actors to grunge themselves up in an attempt to look like badass criminals while spouting pseudo-tough guy dialogue and fire guns. It is pretty easy to figure out how this all plays out.
In Love Lies Bleeding (2007), Duke (Geraghty) is an Iraq War veteran who stumbles on a drug deal gone bad. He finds a duffel bag full of money and takes it with the intention of using it to start a new life with Amber (Dewan), his new bride. They hit the road but of course it is never that easy and a corrupt DEA agent (Christian Slater) comes after them looking for the money. In these trying economic times it is easy to identify with Duke and Amber’s plight. Too bad their story is framed in a predictable lovers-on-the-run crime story we’ve seen before. On the plus side, Brian Geraghty and Jenna Dewan have nice chemistry together and it is nice to see Christian Slater playing a heavy.
After failing to kill a Palestinian terrorist, S.S. Agent Tony Eckhardt (Lambert) and his team are demoted. He believes they were set up but nobody believes him. Soon, his team is getting picked off one-by-one and this forces Tony to go after those responsible. The Point Men (2001) starts off as a tightly choreographed crime thriller as we see the botched assassination play out. However, at times, the film seems like a low-budget version of Ronin (1998) only devoid of A-list actors in favor of Christopher (Highlander) Lambert and the always interesting to watch Kerry (Shallow Grave) Fox.