It feels weird to be disappointed by The Last Stand, seeing as I went into it with relatively low expectations and only the hope that somehow Kim Jee-woon would make a smooth transition to Hollywood after two knockout genre films in a row in his native South Korea. However, what we end up with is a predominately dull action film that could have been so much better.
It's clear early on that plot doesn't matter and the structurally simple tale…
The first 40min are fairly painful; besides some interesting cinematography and much better world creation than the first film we are plagued by tinny dialogue and bad acting, melodrama seeping in through every pore.
When the games actually begin the film picks up. The most interesting aspect of the book was the darker twist on the games format and the action within. The film acts, from then on, as a fairly good adaptation of the source material, which is above and beyond the best of the three books [essentially the only one to be more than a page-turning YA novel].
This was a very confusing film to enjoy. On the one hand, it's completely idiotic and void of meaning (any attempt to find a point to the film is giving it more credit than it's worth) and on the other hand, in certain moments the cinematography is fantastic, it is really funny at times and is anchored by a very good James Franco performance.
I know it's bad, that much I can ascertain. It is not terrible, though. It's no…
The last film in Park Chan-wook's 'Vengeance Trilogy' contains many references to the first two films in terms of select shots and in casting decisions, however, it is a much more odd and surreal affair than Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.
Where those two films played up gritty realism and innovative cinematography, here Director Park throws in dream sequences and a pretty monumental shift in pacing and narrative direction as the final third approaches. It left me often at…