21 Bridges (2019)

I can’t think of much to say about this. It was good, as in technically well made, but not inspired. There was nothing that made me think I want to see this again. It has the feel of an early nineties action movie. Lots of chasing and shooting and of course a deadline, but more grounded. None of the crazy hyper-real action set pieces they cram more contemporary rides. It’s all very simple. Our heroic policeman is tasked with capturing two cop killers on the run in Manhattan. On the way to capturing the bad guys, he uncovers more evil men doing bad things, and does the only thing he can, brings them to justice.

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The Assistant (2019)

A searing indictment of the damage to your soul that’s caused by working in an abusive environment. Here it’s the movie industry, but it could just as easily be any other work place. Abuse of power is corrosive to your mental wellbeing.

Extraction (2020)

There’s a lot to like about the full throttle, close quarter, carnage that accompanies the troubled mercenary Tyler Rake as he tries to save the kidnapped son of a drug lord. There’s not much in the way of plot, but what’s there is just the rails for the mayhem to speed along. There’s a ferocious car chase, done on streets doubling for Dhaka, that makes the one in The French Connection (1971) look like a go cart race. This sets the pace for the real action. Tyler moves like lightning, loves the double tap, and the multi stab. Meaning the body count is off the chart, dispatching an assortment of anonymous paramilitary types who just keep coming. I put this in the category of popcorn film, even though I watched it on Monday and not as it should be seen on a Saturday evening with a few beers.

Paradise Hills (2019)

Rebellious young women arrive at a mysterious island to be re-educated, turned into the perfect ladies each of their families wants them to be. This all happens in a world that’s somewhere between a Disney fairytale and Portmeirion, the Village in The Prisoner (1967–1968). There are inconsistencies in the plot, that leak a vicious morality. One for an audience who haven’t seen enough to realise the silliness of it all.

The Divide (2011)

It’s a long time since I watched this, and I’d forgotten just how brutal it is. A nuclear attack on Manhattan leaves a small group of survivors trapped in the basement of their building. Things go from bad to nihilistic as the worst impulses of people socialised in a rat race assert themselves. There’s a madness to it all that makes it truly horrifying.

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