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  • Initiation

    Initiation

    ★★½

    Initiation tries to blend social commentary with decently gory kills in a somewhat ambitious slasher flick. Director John Berardo (co-writing with Brian Frager and Lindsay LaVanchy, who plays the protagonist) doesn't have a complete hold over his material, however, there's just about enough for slasher fanatics to give it a viewing. The elements in favour of Initiation include its progressive storytelling approach (in the #MeToo era), the neat inculcation of social media to disclose important plot points, and at least…

  • Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

    Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

    ★½

    Ugh, what a drag this one turned out to be! When you realize that Without Remorse is supposed to be the foundation for Rainbow Six (which went on to revolutionize first-person shooters), it comes off as an even weaker attempt. Taylor Sheridan collaborates with video game writer Will Staples on a script that's best described as a hotchpotch of action film clichés. Bad Russian sub-bosses, a broken ex-soldier, monologues on American patriotism, zero character development, big nonsensical conspiracy theories, and…

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  • Nobody

    Nobody

    ★★★½

    Ilya Naishuller’s “Nobody” repackages Bob Odenkirk as an ordinary man with a not-so-ordinary past, without flinching one bit when it comes to hard-hitting, superbly staged, visually appealing action. The film begins with a neatly shot montage showcasing how plain vanilla Hutch Mansell's life is. Writer Derek Kolstad thankfully wastes no time getting to the pivotal incident that reignites Hutch's "cleaner" persona. Thereafter it's an adrenaline-filled spotfest. There are at least a couple of clichés like Russians being the bad guys…

  • Mortal Kombat

    Mortal Kombat

    ★★½

    Mortal Kombat begins with a lot of promise, taking us directly into the legendary rivalry between Hanzo Hasashi (a.k.a Scorpion, played by Hiroyuki Sanada) and Bi-Han (a.k.a Sub-Zero, played by Joe Taslim). This particular 13-minute stretch won me over for its well-choreographed (gory) action, visual texture & CGI, and revenge plot setup. Thereafter, it quickly shifts to an altogether new character Cole Young (Lewis Tan). Did we really need a completely new character for audiences to understand the campy, self-aware nature…