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Kill Order (2018)

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Genre : Action
Country : USA
Director: James Mark

Cast:
Chris Mark
Jessica Clement
Daniel Park

Summary

When David, a troubled high school student who appears to suffer from mental illness, finds himself in a situation where he is about to be taken captive for reasons unknown, a dark power takes over his body opening the doors to a world of superhuman abilities and a past kept secret.

 

 

 

Something that always piques my interest when it comes to a movie is when a stuntman steps behind the camera. While writers or producers eventually sitting in the director’s chair has always been the natural progression, more recently stuntmen and stunt coordinators have been behind some of the biggest movies in action cinema. Dating back to the 70’s the legendary Hal Needham has been behind Southern fried cult classics The Cannonball Run and Smokey and The Bandit. More recently stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch worked together to create the runaway hit John Wick with Leitch going on to work on Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde. No doubt seeing these past successes stuntman and fight choreographer James Mark (Pacific Rim, Jumper) joins the fray writing and directing his own take on the superhero genre, Kill Order. It’s his first feature film and you can tell.

From the beginning he falls into a lot of the problems common in low budget cinema. For example, there is a an over reliance on slow motion effects. It looks good but after awhile it feels like padding the runtime more than anything else. There is also quite a bit of questionable CGI. Smaller effects like glowing eyes are look fine but blood splatter and explosions can’t help but look pretty bad. While not necessarily James Mark’s fault it adds up after awhile. Creatively speaking, Kill Order‘s plot is pretty rudimentary. A basic superhero origin story it hits all the familiar beats including a hero with a mysterious past, his love interest and an evil, secret organization. There is the occasional unsuspected beat (a certain death midway through the movie comes to mind) but for the most part it feels like your average CW comic book show. A lot of this is can be attributed to the film’s run time. Running only 77 minutes nothing really has time to sink in nor do we have a chance to learn about our characters.

 

Not that the short run time is a complete negative. Despite it’s length Kill Order never feels rushed. The familiarity of the story works well with only 77 minutes, never getting too complicated or becoming hard to follow. And while the story may feel overly familiar as a director James Mark is good on a technical level. More importantly he is able to film an action scene properly. Like most stuntmen-turned-directors he is able to film action perfectly showcasing every hard hitting punch. At no point does the camera have too much shaky cam or stay too sedentary. Collaborating with his brother Chris Mark (Suicide Squad, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) the two craft action scenes better than some of their direct-to-video contemporaries.

Working together they are able to create some spectacular action scenes.Clearly experienced in the field they blend martial arts, weapons and gun play into some creative and memorable scenes. Even more impressive is how long the scenes run. Typically lasting several minutes not only do they run longer than the typical action scene they are just as impressive as their big screen counterparts. It certainly has some early contenders for best fight choreography of the year.

 

Kill Order is a James Mark’s first film and it shows. A fairly typical direct-to-video action movie it’s wooden acting, overuse of slow motion and the cliché plot show how new director James Mark is behind the camera. Despite these flaws I can’t help but recommend it. What it lacks in polish or originality it makes up for with some good fight choreography, real knack for filming them and a good sense of pacing. Add the movie’s slim runtime and you have a fun, quick look at a director finding his voice. Kill Order is an assignment worth taking, just make sure you have some friends and a couple of drinks.

 

Rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

Kill Order is Available on DVD, Blu Ray and VOD on February 6, 2018

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Primal: You Can Safely Add It To Your List Of “Must See Cage-Movie”

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I just spent ten months in the jungle,
and this all smells like cat shit to me.

 

Films where animals mess with the protagonists’ life. There are a lot of those movies. Only recently you could see in “Crawl” how alligators tried to outwit a father and daughter with their immense mouths full of razor-sharp, meat-tearing teeth. In “A quiet place” there were creatures with such a developed hearing that they can locate any human sound and quickly go there to tear the source of the noise to pieces. Birds, dogs, cats, crocodiles, tarantulas, grizzly bears, monkeys, ants, snakes, and sharks. An entire segment of the animal kingdom has already been used. This movie “Primal” immediately reminded me of a movie I saw years ago. Namely “Burning Bright“. In this last film, too, it was a tiger chasing two innocent people. Only it took place in a kind of Pippi-Longstocking-house. In “Primal”, on the other hand, it’s a cargo ship that serves as a hunting ground. And Nicolas Cage is also present. Maybe that’s why it’s worthwhile to give this film a chance.

 

Primal

 

Nicolas Cage. My man.

Nicolas Cage. Man, I admire this actor enormously. He’s a phenomenon. I’m sure he’s aiming to reach a specific goal in his life. And that’s being able to announce on his deathbed that he broke the world record of “Actor with most appearances in feature films“. The man (known for his phenomenal roles in “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Joe“) did his utmost best in recent years. Every year he appeared in no fewer than six films. Of course, they aren’t all masterpieces. But La Cage seems to have an enormous endurance. I think he accepts every offer he gets. Apparently, his love for acting is infinite.

 

Primal

 

Let’s go hunting.

The crucial question you can ask yourself is of course: “Is this movie worth watching or is it completely rubbish?“. Well, the truth is actually somewhere in the middle. When Frank Walsh (Nicolas Cage) embarks on board a container ship, together with a whole load of exotic animals, he soon notices that he’s not the only one with a unique, life-threatening specimen. Frank earns his living by catching exotic animals, which he then resells to the highest bidder. And the white jaguar (“white jag” as Frank repeatedly pronounces) is a lottery ticket for him. A million to one shot and the guarantee he’ll own some real estate in Pine Lake. And suddenly the American authorities show up with a highly dangerous mercenary (Kevin Durand) in chains, a battalion of soldiers armed to the teeth and a personal female doctor (Famke Janssen) to ensure that the mercenary survives the trip. It has something to do with a brain abnormality and atmospheric pressure. A side issue afterward. You can already guess what’s going to happen. Soon Frank realizes he has to use his hunting instincts to hunt both the white jaguar and the perilous Richard Loffler.

 

Primal

 

It’s a ‘meh’ movie.

The film never really gets exciting. It looks more like a long version of playing “hide and seek”. The accompanying soldiers are systematically liquidated easily. That kind of looked ridiculous. Also, after a certain period, Dr. Ellen Taylor no longer had a real function. Famke Janssen restricts herself to some annoying protests about catching endangered species. She looks like a feministic environmental activist, who’s about to pull up a protest sign with slogans about animal rights. Even the jaguar only managed to convince in the opening scene. Afterward, the jaguar was nothing more than a sneaking shadow. Only the two characters Cage and Durand played, caused some excitement. Kevin Durand managed to play a psychopathic character convincingly. And Cage visibly had fun here. And to be honest, compared to “A score to settle“, “Kill Chain“, and “Running with the devil” (I shamelessly fell asleep while watching this last one), this Cage-B-film isn’t that bad. Are you a Nicolas Cage fan? Well, you can safely add it to your list of “Must See Cage-Movie”.

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Official Trailer – HD

When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

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Genre:

Action, Comedy, Crime

Release Date:

July 10, 2020

Director:

Jason Reitman

Cast:

Finn Wolfhard, Bill Murray, McKenna Grace, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Rudd, Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Coon

Plot Summary:

When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

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Wonder Woman 1984 | Official Trailer – HD

Wonder Woman squares off against the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Release Date:

June 5, 2020

Director:

Patty Jenkins

Cast:

Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Kristen Wiig,

Plot Summary:

Wonder Woman squares off against the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

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