Four schoolfriends are trapped in an underwater ruin. Passable teen-oriented thematic sequel. Doesn’t have the singular purpose of its predecessor, and too much is demanded of an inexperienced cast. No great shakes in the scares department, either, though subgenre fans will have an at least passable time.
A former agent’s son is kidnapped: a series of assassinations is the price of his freedom. It starts shakily, but this DTV spin on the Taken template soon gets motoring, with plenty of well-staged lo-fi fisticuffs and shootouts, good location work, and Mario Van Peebles charismatic in his villainy.
A young woman is targeted for termination; an augmented soldier is sent as a protector. This alt-timeline sequel (ignoring all but the first two films) is for series fans only. Some OK action, nice ideas and good jokes, but no purpose, some handwavey plotting, and too much weightless CG tomfoolery instead of grounded mayhem.
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.
An elderly man becomes a drugs runner for a cartel. Crime drama based on a true story. Baggy and indulgent in places, but with some charming moments, and a decent lead performance from Eastwood. The script’s the issue; we never quite get to the heart of the character, despite efforts to tell a rounded story.
A Vietnam veteran seeks revenge on the cartel that kidnapped a daughter figure. Hints of a more elegiac contemporary Western linger, but the released cut is a lumpy body-count flick with linear plotting and an oddly perfunctory attitude to the staging of its many kills. Best thing is the end credits, which strike the right tone.
Vacationing students journey to a ruined Mayan temple to find missing friends. Modest but effective horror flick, handled with some care and attention. Makes the most of what’s essentially a single setting, and doesn’t try to over-explain, or overstay its welcome
A group of students on a Mexican spring break vacation become embroiled with a murderous game-playing demon. Contrived but watchable low-budget horror with elements of Final Destination; played commendably straight, with some good moments and one neat idea.
Graver enlists Alejandro once more; this time to start a war between cartels. A focus on people trafficking rather than drugs second time around; terrifically stylish and well-executed, if flirting with some reactionary ideas.
A boy desperate to become a musician finds himself trapped in the afterlife. Sprightly quest narrative drawing on Mexican folklore; superficial similarity to The Book of Life dampens its impact, though this is a decent Pixar effort in its own right.