Release Date: January 14th, 2020 (Melbourne, Australia premiere) Directed by: Torsten Hoffmann, Michael Watchulonis Written by: Torsten Hoffmann Music by: Joshua Keddie Cast: various
3D Content Hub, 86 Minutes
Those that follow Talking Pulp are probably aware that I’ve watched and reviewed several documentaries on Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain over the last few months. Well, I’ve been kind of looking for the perfect one. The main reason being that I’ve been in the crypto space for awhile but I’d like to find something that I can point newbies towards.
That being said, this is one of the better ones.
This film is a sequel to Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It, which is also directed by Torsten Hoffmann and Michael Watchulonis. I saw that one a few years back and really liked it and I should probably rewatch and review it, as well.
I jumped on this one, though, because it came out in 2020 and it is the most up-to-date documentary on the subject.
I thought that the things explored and laid out in this were well done and it presented a lot of criticism and multiple sides to every topic covered. I felt like the filmmakers didn’t really try to lean one way or the other too much and the viewer is allowed to take what’s discussed here and form their own opinion.
One of the coolest things about this was that it showed the inside of a giant crypto vault buried in a mountain somewhere in Switzerland. What they could actually show was very limited but it was neat seeing how heavily secured the vault was.
This also just looks at crypto from a lot of different angles, all of which I found interesting and informative.
If you want something to watch on the subject to expand your knowledge, this is documentary might be a good start for you.
Rating: 8/10 Pairs well with: other documentaries on cryptocurrency, blockchain or cypherpunk culture.
Release Date: July 11th, 2008 (Latvia) Directed by: Howard McCain Written by: Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain Music by: Geoff Zanelli Cast: Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Aidan Devine
Ascendant Pictures, Rising Star Productions, VIP Medienfonds 4 GmbH & Co. KG, The Weinstein Company, Virtual Studios, 115 Minutes
“If you truly believe that you write the tale of your life, then the end is up to you.” – Freya
This movie came and went and I didn’t know about its existence until recently. But when I saw that this film was about an alien humanoid crashing into the Viking era with a very deadly alien cargo, I had to give it a watch.
This movie is like Predator meets Skyrim where the monster that must be hunted down is an insanely deadly beast.
The cast in this is also really damn good from its star Jim Caviezel to Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman and the legendary John Hurt, who plays the Viking king in this film’s old world community.
This was a manly fucking movie that was just pure badass and a lot of fun. It’s action packed, deals with a pair of alpha males having to bro up and unite and the special effects are pretty damn decent. Also, the monster is strange but absolutely terrifying and seemingly unbeatable with the limitations of Viking technology.
What’s cool about this is the level of danger, the insane odds and how the heroes have to outwit and outlast the pissed off monster.
Outlander isn’t great but it’s a hell of a lot of fun and just a cool fucking movie that offers up real escapism and thrills.
The only real negative is that it should’ve probably been trimmed down to 90-95 minutes.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with:Pathfinder, Solomon Kane, The 13th Warrior and The Eagle.
Release Date: November 17th, 1999 (Los Angeles premiere) Directed by: Tim Burton Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker, Kevin Yagher Based on:The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving Music by: Danny Elfman Cast: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Christopher Walken, Ray Park, Lisa Marie, Peter Guinness, Martin Landau (uncredited)
Mandalay Pictures, American Zoetrope, Paramount Pictures, 105 Minutes
“Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.” – Ichabod Crane
This is one of my favorite Tim Burton movies and every time I watch it, it just makes me wish that he did more straight up fantasy horror films.
This is Burton’s take on the famous story by Washington Irving but it takes the Sleepy Hollow legend and makes it a lot darker and more badass than other adaptations. For many, the classic Disney animated version is probably the one they’re most familiar with. This Sleepy Hollow is very different.
I love that this is gothic horror at its core and you can see the influences of Hammer Films, as well as those Edgar Allan Poe movies with Vincent Price. In fact, Burton does more than homage Hammer, here, as he also includes some Hammer legends in the film: Michael Gough and Christopher Lee, to be specific.
This also features Ian McDiarmid and a visually obscured Ray Park, making it the only movie to feature Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and Darth Maul: Star Wars can’t even claim that.
Anyway, the film is led by Johnny Depp and I love him in this. He plays a sort of whimsical, awkward character and his version of Ichabod Crane shows early signs of what Depp would later create as his most famous character, Captain Jack Sparrow.
I love the humor in this movie and I don’t think that it would’ve worked quite the same way without Depp. Here we have a great investigator that has to get down and dirty… and often times bloody. The humorous bit is that he’s a germaphobe and winces every time he has to do something unsettling or gross. It’s a reoccurring gag throughout the film but it works every time and it isn’t overused.
Depp also has Christina Ricci to play off of and I always like when these two are together. I honestly wish that they worked together more often, as they have real chemistry and always tend to accentuate each other’s performance.
The rest of the cast is padded out with some immense talent between Christopher Walken, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Martin Landau, Jeffrey Jones, Richard Griffiths, Lisa Marie and Casper Van Dien, who had just come off of the cult classic Starship Troopers.
I enjoy the look and tone of the film and my only real complaint about it is that it seems a bit too drawn out. The story is too complex and should have been refined and tweaked to bring the film down to around 90 minutes. It doesn’t really need more than that but at the same time it could’ve also used a bit more head chopping and action.
Apart from that, the only other negative is that the CGI looks cheesy in two parts but both of those moments happen really quick and it doesn’t wreck the film. I just found it a little bit jarring in those split seconds and it does pull you out of this period piece setting.
In the end, this is still pretty solid and it’s one of the highpoints of ’90s horror, as the decade came to a close and gave us a new millennium full of subpar, mostly shitty horror.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: other gothic horror films around 2000, as well as other Tim Burton films with Johnny Depp.
Also known as: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (original German title), Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (alternative title) Release Date: January 17th, 1979 (France) Directed by: Werner Herzog Written by: Werner Herzog Based on:Dracula by Bram Stoker, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens by F. W. Murnau Music by: Popol Vuh Cast: Klaus Kinski, Isabella Adjani, Bruno Ganz
“[subtitled version] Time is an abyss… profound as a thousand nights… Centuries come and go… To be unable to grow old is terrible… Death is not the worst… Can you imagine enduring centuries, experiencing each day the same futilities…” – Count Dracula
Back in the 1970s, I probably would’ve been vehemently opposed to a remake of the 1922 classic F. W. Murnau film, Nosferatu. However, I would’ve been very wrong, as Werner Herzog, who was still a very young director back then, made an update that fit the time while also being very true and respectful to the source material it used as its blueprint.
This incarnation of one of the greatest examples of the German Expressionist style did its damnedest to try and recreate the original. It employed great art design in how it recreated the look of the characters, the locations and the overall tone.
This also had to be a big challenge, as far as the location shooting went, as they couldn’t return to the same spots as the original due to the Berlin Wall and communism being in the way. They did, however, find great spots that replicated some of the original film’s most iconic visual moments.
The biggest difference with this picture is that it is presented in color and with sound. Other than that, it feels as true as a nearly sixty year-old remake can.
What also makes this so great is the cast. There wasn’t a more perfect actor at the time to play the title role. Klaus Kinski had already made a name for himself as an extremely versatile character actor in Europe and his most memorable roles were the ones where he was creepy or villainous.
In this, Kinski is absolute perfection. He owns the role, gives it life (even though he’s undead) and has this unsettling presence and an aura of death every time he is present on the screen. Plus, he had incredible chemistry with both Isabella Adjani and Bruno Ganz.
The cinematography is excellent and even though this film had a pretty iconic visual roadmap to try and emulate, it was done so to perfection and with great care. Herzog and his cinematographer, Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, created a dark, gritty yet very lived in world that is full of atmosphere and nuance to the point that the scenery feels like a character in the movie.
My only real complaint about the film is that I didn’t like how they switched the character’s names to those in the Bram Stoker Dracula novel, as I always felt that the original Nosferatu really did a superb job in taking that story and reworking it into its own unique thing. I feel that to truly do an homage to the Murnau film, they should referred to the vampire as Count Orlok and not Count Dracula. I know it’s nitpicky but it’s just one of those things that is kind of jarring and takes me out of the movie. This could also be due to the fact that I’ve seen the original more than a dozen times.
Overall, this is how a remake should be done: just like a cover song. It should only exist if it can take the source material and build off of it and legitimately try to improve upon it. While this isn’t as good as the original, it is still a damn fine attempt and one of the best vampire movies ever made. Plus, seeing Kinski play an Orlock-like vampire is incredible because it feels like it was his destiny to do so.
Rating: 9/10 Pairs well with: the original 1922 film, as well as other film’s featuring Nosferatu-like vampires like Salem’s Lot and Shadow of the Vampire.
Also known as: Dennis Wheatley’s To the Devil a Daughter (Netherlands), Child of Satan (US VHS title) Release Date: March 4th, 1976 (UK) Directed by: Peter Sykes Written by: Chris Wicking, John Peacock, Gerald Vaughan-Hughes Based on:To the Devil A Daughter by Dennis Wheatley Music by: Paul Glass Cast: Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Honor Blackman, Nastassja Kinski, Denholm Elliott, Michael Goodliffe, Anthony Valentine, Eva Maria Meineke
Terra-Filmkunst, Hammer Films, 95 Minutes
“It is not heresy, and I will not recant!” – Father Michael Rayner
This has been a film I’ve wanted to see for years but I was never actually able to find it on VHS or DVD when I was still buying those things. Granted, I’m leaning back towards owning physical media again after some recent shenanigans by studios and streaming services but that’s a totally different article.
Anyway, this actually exceeded my expectations for it and it kind of sucks that Hammer was already fading away by the time this was released.
The movie features Christopher Lee, one of Hammer’s two greatest actors, but it also features the legendary Richard Widmark, Indiana Jones’ Denholm Elliott, Goldfinger‘s Honor Blackman and a very young Nastassja Kinski before she would go on to give stellar performances in Cat People and one of my favorite films of all-time, Paris, Texas.
While this is sort of your typical Antichrist movie, it stars Lee as an evil priest and Kinski as the daughter of the Devil. Kinski plays a nun and she’s been raised and protected by her father, who was forced into a pact with the evil priest and the Devil. However, he wants to keep his daughter away from her evil destiny and sends her to Widmark, a renowned demonology writer, who uncovers what’s happening and sets out to conquer the Devil and his top minion.
For a mid-’70s low budget horror flick, this is really well acted but, as I’ve already pointed out, it had a stacked cast.
What works most for this film is its atmosphere and the general creepiness of it. It also features some neat practical effects that make some moments in the film a real mindfuck. Needless to say, I was impressed by what the filmmakers were able to do with so little in regards to the production’s resources.
To the Devil A Daughter is sort of bittersweet in the fact that it’s so surprisingly good and it showed that Hammer was evolving with the times but it wasn’t enough to save the studio from having to focus more on television and not future feature films.
However, the damage was already done, as this was a co-production with a German studio. Because of that, despite this being a financial success, the profits had to be split with the other company.
While Hammer has never actually died off, this does feel like a worthy sendoff to the once great studio.
After decades of hibernation, Hammer started making films again in recent years.
Rating: 8/10 Pairs well with: other occult horror films with Christopher Lee or put out by Hammer or Amicus.
Also known as: Der müde Tod (original German title), The Weary Death (literal English title), Between Worlds, Between Two Worlds, Beyond the Wall (alternative titles) Release Date: October 6th, 1921 (Berlin premiere) Directed by: Fritz Lang Written by: Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang Cast: Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Destiny is a really intriguing motion picture. It’s also the earliest Fritz Lang movie that I’ve seen and that guy is hands down, one of the greatest filmmakers that ever lived, who made masterpieces from the silent era in Germany to his film-noir work in America, a few decades later.
I don’t put this on the same level as his masterpieces like Metropolis, M, Scarlet Street and The Big Heat but it’s still a superb picture for its time and it shows a guy that worked within the very expressive and surreal German Expressionist style but also had a more realistic grittiness than what was the norm.
Destiny is a story about a loving couple. They pickup a hitchhiker who is actually Death. Shortly after that, Death purchases some land nearby and builds a gigantic, ominous wall near the town’s cemetery. When the couple meets him again, in a local tavern, the man disappears. The woman, later sobbing in front of the mysterious wall is confronted by a group of ghosts that walk towards her and then disappear into the wall behind her. Putting two-and-two together, the woman confronts Death, begging for the return of her lover and thus, finds herself on a strange journey where she hopes that her love can conquer Death itself.
If the setup doesn’t sell you on the film, I don’t know what will.
However, the acting is superb and Lil Dagover, this film’s star, shines much brighter in this than she did in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the previous year.
Additionally, Fritz Lang already showed that he possessed a great eye and an even greater understanding of mise-en-scène. It was his early work in films like this that led to his incredible style being instrumental in the look of the film-noir pictures of the 1940s and 1950s. From the lighting, the use of shadows and having a genuine understanding of contrast and how to properly exploit it on celluloid, Lang was a legitimate master.
Although, I have to give credit to his cinematographers, as well. In this film, he worked with three: Fritz Arno Wagner, Erich Nitzschmann and Hermann Saalfrank.
Wagner should be better known than he is in modern times, as the guy would move on from this movie to work on films like Nosferatu, Lang’s M (one of the best looking films ever made), Spies and well over 100 other visually stunning pictures.
This is a film where everything went right. It pulls you in, looks phenomenal and you feel for these characters. I won’t spoil the ending but it is pretty emotional after going on this journey and seeing this woman risk her own mortality to save the man she loves.
For those strangely complaining that movies don’t have strong female heroes, maybe you should start your search back in 1921.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: other early Fritz Lang films, as well as other silent movies from the German Expressionist era.
Also known as: Heyday (fake working title), M:i:III (promotional abbreviation) Release Date: April 24th, 2006 (Rome premiere) Directed by: J. J. Abrams Written by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J. J. Abrams Based on:Mission: Impossible by Bruce Geller Music by: Michael Giacchino Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Simon Pegg, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Marsan, Greg Grunberg, Aaron Paul
“You can look at me with those judgmental eyes all you want, but I bullshit you not, I will bleed on the American flag to make sure those stripes stay red.” – Brassel
Mission: Impossible II was such a disappointment when I saw it in the theaters, that I never saw another Mission: Impossible film after it. However, I’ve heard great things about the more recent sequels and I’ve been motivated to go back and give the franchise another shot.
Having already revisited the first two films for review purposes, I have now reached the third one, which is the first one I’ve never seen. Granted, I knew about the gist of the story as a former roommate used to talk about the movie a lot. He was also a J. J. Abrams mark until 2009’s Star Trek kicked his hard-on into the sun.
Speaking of which, this is directed by J. J. Abrams. I actually have to say that this is one of the best films he’s directed, if not the best from the ones I’ve seen.
This actually doesn’t get wrecked by relying on too many of the tropes that have made some of Abrams’ other films and television shows, predictable and tiresome. Sure, there’s the whole MacGuffin thing and the big swerve and he also borrows heavily and obviously from other films, even ones in this picture’s own franchise, but the final product was entertaining and palatable.
The film is also helped by the performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Cruise and most of the other key players. Hoffman really stands out in this and I might even say that his talent far exceeded what was needed for this movie.
The action sequences were good, even if some of them felt familiar. The bridge battle, for instance, was very True Lies. However, at least sequences like that didn’t just outright copy their influences and tried to do something unique. Now had we had Cruise reaching for his wife to save her from her car going into the ocean, I probably would’ve called shenanigans much louder.
One thing I did like about this film is that it seemed more serious than the two before it. With that, it kind of reinvents the series and wipes away the gigantic misstep that was the second film. Because of that, this is the best film out of the first three.
In the end, this was a solid, fun movie with good action, good characters and a few performances that were much better than they had to be. Although, the twist ending about the bad guys having someone on the inside was just a rehash of the ending from the first movie and it was kind of lame. But I guess Abrams couldn’t help himself.
Rating: 8/10 Pairs well with: the other Mission: Impossible films.
Also known as: Orlacs Hände (original German title) Release Date: September 24th, 1924 (Berlin premiere) Directed by: Robert Wiene Written by: Ludwig Nertz (play), Maurice Renard (book) Music by: Pierre Oser Cast: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Kortner, Carmen Cartellieri, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas
Pan Films, Berolina Film GmbH, 92 Minutes, 113 Minutes (restored), 105 Minutes (2013 cut)
As big of a fan of Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as I am, I actually hadn’t seen any of his other films until now.
I’ve known of this one for quite some time but I never came across it until it started streaming on The Criterion Channel, recently. Being that it was only on there for a limited time, I had to check it out. Plus, it starred the legendary Conrad Veidt and all of his silent films showcase his great talent for acting in that very expressive style.
Like Caligari this film utilizes the visual style of the German Expressionist movement. It features a high contrast chiaroscuro aesthetic while also having a visually surreal quality. Everything feels dark and dreamlike and for Wiene, you can see a more refined style than what he showed just four years earlier with Caligari.
Honestly, this feels like a more mature and plausible film. It’s less fantastical, more gritty and it taps into the psyche a bit deeper, providing a sense of dread and horror that eclipses that more popular and widely known Wiene picture.
The story is about a pianist who loses his hands. So he’s given hands that could’ve possibly belonged to a killer. While he doesn’t get back his ability to play music, weird things start to happen that have the man believing that the hands are taking over his body and causing him to kill. There are some twists to the plot and there’s a big reveal scene at the end but even though this is a very old film, I didn’t find it to be predictable and it had a satisfying ending.
I don’t think that this film could’ve been as good, though, without Conrad Veidt in the starring role. He gives us some of his best work, as you really start to buy into his worst thoughts about himself while feeling for the guy, as he could possibly be an innocent victim, possessed by evil hands.
While I don’t like this as much as Caligari, it feels like it utilized the knowledge Wiene gained while working on that film, as well as his others that predate this one.
Additionally, it also features one of the best Veidt performances I’ve ever seen.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: other silent era horror films, especially those with the German Expressionist style.
Release Date: April 12th, 2004 (Los Angeles premiere) Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh Written by: Jonathan Hensleigh, Michael France Based on:The Punisher by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, John Romita Sr. Music by: Carlo Siliotto Cast: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton, Roy Scheider, Laura Harring, Ben Foster, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, John Pinette, Samantha Mathis, Eddie Jemison, Kevin Nash
“Vaya con Dios, Castle. Go with God.” – Candelaria, “God’s gonna sit this one out.” – Frank Castle
Holy shit! This film aged remarkably well!
It’s been well over a decade since I had last seen it but watching it now, reminded me as to why it is the best live-action version of The Punisher that we have ever gotten.
More than anything, the film’s greatness is due to just how good Thomas Jane was as Frank Castle. The dude was damn dedicated to the role and made this a better film than it really had any right to be. Especially, in an era where most comic book movies were still kind of shitty.
I might not have realized it in 2004 but this exceeds the well-received X-Men films of the time and it is also much better than the Daredevil movie that came out a year before it.
Back in the day, I thought that setting it in Tampa was a weird decision but now having a better understanding of budgets in regards to shooting locations, I get it. Re-experiencing it now, though, I really dig the location, as it gives it a completely different vibe from the other live-action Punisher things that came later, as well as other comic book films that generally take place in New York City or some other massive metropolis. Also, being that I have lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida my entire life, it somehow feels like my Marvel Comics movie.
This film, regardless of it being based on a comic book or not, is just a balls to the wall, badass action flick in the same vein as the Dirty Harry and Death Wish films. While it’s a wee bit toned down from those gritty ’70s crime flicks, it still doesn’t pull its punches and I was actually kind of shocked by some of the stuff they did in the film that I guess I had forgotten.
It gets really dark and it actually has some pretty gory and gruesome moments. But at the same time, it has more heart and charm that those ’70s classics I just mentioned in how there are good people that come into Castle’s life and try to give him back some of his humanity after the mass execution of his entire family.
It wasn’t just Jane that was great in this, it was the entire cast, top-to-bottom, including some of the people that had fairly small roles like a few of the gangsters and especially Mark Collie, who played Harry Heck, in one of the best sequences that has ever existed in a comic book movie.
Man, I forgot how great the Harry Heck character was and I kind of wish he would’ve been a much bigger part of the story. Maybe he could come back in a sequel but then again, I doubt one will ever get made, as ThePunisher has already been rebooted multiple times. Also, Heck’s death seemed pretty much confirmed by how he got taken out.
Getting to the story, I really like how Castle played John Travolta’s Howard Saint and tricked him into murdering his best friend and his beloved wife by cleverly convincing him, over time and by planting seeds, that they were having an affair. This was brilliant and it couldn’t have happened to a worse trio of people, as all of them were directly responsible for the execution of Castle’s family.
This version of The Punisher was as close to perfect as a studio could get. I know that the film wasn’t a massive hit, initially, but it did build up a solid fanbase over the years. The fact that a sequel never actually materialized was rather baffling.
Although, a fan film, also starring Jane as Frank Castle, was released in 2012. After revisiting this, I now have to fire that one up too and review it.
2004’s The Punisher is spectacular from beginning to end. It’s aged so much better than the other comic book movies from the early ’00s and it deserves to be displayed on a pedestal for all to admire.
Dear Disney and Tom Jane,
Please give us this Frank Castle again.
That is all.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with: it’s unofficial short film sequel, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, as well as the other Punisher films and television series.
Also known as: M:I-2 (alternative title), Mission: Impossible 2 (alternative spelling) Release Date: May 18th, 2000 (Los Angeles premiere) Directed by: John Woo Written by: Robert Towne, Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga Based on:Mission: Impossible by Bruce Geller Music by: Hans Zimmer Cast: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Serbedzija, Ving Rhames, Dominic Purcell, Anthony Hopkins (uncredited)
“[briefing his men] If you look at Hunt’s operational history, and I have, you’ll notice that he invariably favors misdirection over confrontation.” – Sean Ambrose
While I wasn’t a big fan of the first movie in this franchise, I have a much better opinion of it now. This film, however, is where I jumped off because it was terrible on just about every level. But recently I thought, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this one will seem better to me now, all these years later, as it’s predecessor did.
Nope. This is still shit. And even though I haven’t seen a Mission: Impossible movie after this one, it’s hard to imagine the well-received sequels that followed being as bad or worse than this. Luckily, this one is checked off the list and I can move on from it.
But for now, I guess I still have to review it.
Tom Cruise is fine in this. In fact, he’s about the only thing that’s fine in it. I mean, I liked Anthony Hopkins, but he’s barely in it and Thandie Newton was okay but even with some talent in this picture, it isn’t all that well acted or treated like a movie worthy of anyone’s time or effort.
The plot is pretty fucking boring and derivative as hell. Honestly, this plays like a mediocre Pierce Brosnan era James Bond film and then just slightly worse. Granted, it isn’t as bad as Die Another Die, which just went to an absurd level of crazy. This is almost that bad, though.
The action is goofy and implausible, even more so than the first Mission: Impossible, which nearly jumped the shark a few times.
Additionally, this film was expensive but somehow it looks like a mid-’90s action movie with a moderate budget. While I like John Woo, generally speaking, this tapped into his frugalness too much. It felt like it was well beneath Face/Off, which came out three years prior. Yet, this film had a budget of $125M where Face/Off‘s budget was $80M.
Everything comes to a head in the shitty motorcycle chase finale that defies physics to the point where it broke my brain. I don’t care about it being directed by a Hong Kong action director, the regular Joe in the theater has no idea what that should entail and frankly, it’s not a style that works for this franchise, which is probably why it was abandoned after this movie.
M:I-2 is honestly just a stinky fart in the wind. Luckily, it didn’t completely derail the franchise and we got sequels, that I’ve been led to believe, are far superior to this one. I’ll probably start checking those out soon.
Rating: 4.5/10 Pairs well with: the other Mission: Impossible films, the Pierce Brosnan James Bond era, the Bourne film series and the Kingsman movies.