Joe Dante uses a fantastic premise - action figures are implanted with a military-grade AI - to feed kids a subversive tale which skewers militarism, consumerism and out of control corporations. At its best, this is almost RoboCop for kids, and it's a thrill to think of what Dante could do had he not been made to tone it down for the sake of McDonald's tie-ins - let alone what would Verhoeven would have made of it.
While I'm still grateful for a follow-up to Jack Reacher, Edward Zwick somehow stripped much of the personality from this sequel. It's been said that action movies are only as good as their villains, and if that were entirely true Never Go Back would be very bad indeed. Patrick Heusinger's "The Hunter" is as generic as the ponytailed mooks that appeared for a few seconds in '90s action fare; and why cast Robert Knepper as your main villain if he…
Representing Walter Hill's return to action movies after an absence of a few years, Extreme Prejudice was maybe too idiosyncratic to succeed even in the late '80s boom for the genre. Based on a years-old story by John Milius, it's a kind of neo-western indebted to Sam Peckinpah and set on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The film's odd marketing set it up as a battle between Nick Nolte's taciturn Texas Ranger and Michael Ironside's special forces "zombie squad", but the Ranger's…
The slow, steady, wordless but gripping opening minutes to Jack Reacher set up the assured, confident feel of this slick detective story - and all from a director whose one prior film was made over a decade earlier.
The Way of the Gun was an unheralded crime film which mixed tones very effectively and had some wonderfully grounded action sequences - in these areas, Jack Reacher is a worthy successor. As befits its origins as novel, it's more a procedural…