6 Underground (2019, dir. Michael Bay)

A tech billionaire finances a vigilante squad dedicated to removing threats to global peace. Well-made fun-but-dumb action-comedy playing to the director’s trademark obsessions and strengths in mashing up Michael Mann and Tony Scott. An auteurist work; spectacular in both the Debordian and the blowing-shit-up-good senses.

Hobbs & Shaw [AKA Fast and Furious (Presents): Hobbs & Shaw] (2019, dir. David Leitch)

Mismatched agents team up to prevent a bio-engineered villain from stealing a deadly toxin. Dumb-but-fun-but-dumb again action-comedy sidequel to the later Fast/Furious flicks. Jolly bickering and star cameos help, but the film too-quickly becomes wearying in its CG excesses when it should be at least physics-aware.

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Dark Phoenix [AKA X-Men: Dark Phoenix] (2019, dir. Simon Kinberg)

1992: the orphaned young Jean Grey is exposed to an interstellar flare; her energies grow exponentially. Okay-but-formulaic last X-film, suffering in part because of the plot already being used by the film series before. Better than its predecessor Apocalypse, but this is for series completists only, despite solid work from those still under contract.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, dir. Jonathan Mostow)

John Connor, now a troubled young adult, is again pursued (and protected) by machines from the future. A slightly tongue-in-cheek threequel – apart from the pleasantly downbeat ending – which is heavy on chase-based action, though light on violence and plot. It’s entertaining enough, if a step down from its predecessors.

Overdrive (2017, dir. Antonio Negret)

Two car-criminal brothers have to steal a rare sports car to repay a debt. Glossy, slick, and glamorous escapist entertainment made with some skill. Indebted to Gone in 60 Seconds / Fast & Furious flicks, with a dash of Europacorp-ish South of France style. Fun while it’s on, and good-looking throughout.

Backdraft 2 (2019, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

A Chicago arson investigator tracks down the causes of a series of fires intending to cover a larger crime. While the reveal doesn’t quite work, this is mostly a superior DTV sequel which improves on the soapy early 90s original. And yep, Donald Sutherland pops up again, in a slightly enhanced reprise of his Lecter-ish firebomber.

Miss Bala (2019, dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

A young woman caught up in a nightclub shooting has to go undercover against a cartel. While its focus on people rather than action is perhaps commendable, this US remake of the 2011 Spanish-language original isn’t dramatic enough to deliver suspense, or feisty enough to please gunplay fans, despite a committed central performance.