F9 [AKA F9: The Fast Saga; Fast & Furious 9] (2021, dir. Justin Lin)

The Torettos and friends search for a codebreaking device. More of the increasingly-interchangeable series: 150 minutes of soapy sentimentality, decent stuntwork, and terrible physics-worrying spectacle. Director Lin does what he can with the material tho, and there’s some fun moments from seasoned character actors like Shea Whigham.

Here’s the trailer. And here’s another view.

Dangerous [AKA Wake] (2021, dir. David Hackl)

An ex-con sociopath attending his brother’s wake defends a remote island from attackers. Messy action thriller with black comedy elements. It doesn’t hang together, but there’s neat moments throughout, plus a strong if mismatched cast each in their own movie.

Here’s the trailer.

F9: The Fast Saga (a.k.a Fast and Furious 9) (2021, Dir. Justin Lin)

Ridiculous extension of the tired franchise. So bereft of new ideas it borrows from its own cannon. The result is 2hrs of absurd plot contrivances, gravity defying stunt stupidity, terrible scripting and horrible acting from everyone. Cena is especially wooden and bloody awful. For die hard F&F fans only.

The Christmas Chronicles, Part 2 [AKA The Christmas Chronicles 2] (2020, dir. Chris Columbus)

Two years on, and an unhappy Kate Pierce is kidnapped by a cast-out elf aiming to get revenge on Santa. Sprawling grab-bag sequel, mashing up Milton, Gremlins and a hundred other properties. Messy and uncoordinated, though Kurt Russell is having fun, plus he gets another Blues Brothers-ish singalong set piece.

Here’s the trailer.

Transformers (2007, dir. Michael Bay)

A teenager finds he has crucial knowledge that might prevent an intergalactic war between battling robot armies. Spectacular – in the Debordian sense – SF comedy with excellent technical credits, but shot like the fever dream of a Sunny D-addled child. Excessive, and with a nasty after-taste. Four direct sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Black and Blue (2019, dir. Deon Taylor)

A rookie New Orleans cop – an Army veteran – witnesses crooked cops committing murder; she has to run. A straightforward but effective action thriller that touches on race, gender, class and deprivation as issues, but still tells its story. Solid genre entertainment for grown-ups.