Assassin Fallon is lying low in Malta, but trouble follows from London. A superior sequel, its simple story a set-up for an escalating series of well-shot and choreographed fight sequences balanced with slapstick violence. Deliberately cartoony, foregrounding a keen stunt team and solid location work throughout. Recommended.
A down-on-his-luck LA vampire hunter races against time to save his family. Splashy hybrid of horror-comedy and buddy thriller: From Dusk Till Dawn and John Wick are key influences: the plot is an excuse to hang a series of fun fight sequences on. Scott Adkins and Snoop Dogg (it’s that kinda film) pop up for good measure, and there’s even a Hellzapoppin gag.
Multiple gangsters and assassins with varying motives are aboard the same shinkansen. Too-pleased-with-itself slapstick thriller, adapted from the novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. Some early stuff works, but there’s little control over the premise, so it falls apart despite committed work from star Brad Pitt and others. A hack approach to Japan doesn’t help.
A princess must fight through her castle to save her family and her kingdom. Modest but broadly effective cod-medieval martial arts action comedy, with plenty of Nu Boyana stunt performers getting theirs. Joey King proves versatile in the lead, though the movie needs more Veronica Ngo.
A computer games designer discovers he’s in a simulation. Meta belated sequel with some fun ideas about reboots, too much clumsy cod philosophy, and plenty of decent performances. However, poor action staging, awkward recasting of key roles, and weak storytelling undo good intentions.
A martial artist seeking revenge for his father’s death joins a yakuza clan. While it looks good, this is an oddly pointless reboot with muddy, incoherent action, the wasting of some decent onscreen talent, and a miscast lead. Golding can be great, but he’s more George Clooney than the Sho Kusugi that the role needs.
A CIA black site comes under attack: a Navy SEAL team must extract a high-value asset. A sustained firefight shot 1917-style as a single take, cheerily lifting structural elements from Aliens. Bags of well-coordinated action, with star Adkins as committed as ever: an impressive job, with modest resources absolutely maximised.
An assassin tracks those who killed her mentor. While the script gets bogged down in backstory and complications, there’s a sense of unfussy confidence in the direction, action choreography, editing, and stuntwork that makes this a worthwhile watch. A decent – if to-type – cast helps. Some corners cut in production design don’t help.
The son of an immortal warlord must face his father. Patchy and nigh-plotless superhero action-adventure origin story, drawing on allsorts. Incidental pleasures aplenty (a poster for Walter Hill’s The Warriors) but this is for fans of the character and Marvel completists only. Still, some fun details are to be found, and there’s one gleeful supporting performance.
Two soldiers protect a case of missile chips against superior opposition. OK low-budget military actioner that doesn’t quite maximise its potential to do Assault On Precinct 13 in Afghanistan. Still, there’s some promise in the handling of limited resources, and there’s more to come from the talented Jean-Paul Ly.