Action Movies 2014 – Guide24.01.14 # Action Movies # 4 Comments
Kaboom. These are the guys that toss a lit cigar at a gas station.
Here’s the breakdown of the biggest and best new action movies, 2014.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster
Director: Peter Berg
Out: 10 January 2014 (U.S. Release Dates)
In 2005, four-man ‘SEAL Team 10′ is tasked with capturing or killing a notorious Taliban leader. But the mission goes spectacularly wrong, and despite rescue being on the way the result is a considerable loss of American life. Based on the true story, this was adapted by director Peter Berg several years back while he was embedded with a SEAL team in Iraq. He couldn’t get studio support to make it then without agreeing to helm ‘Battleship’ first. Consensus is it’s uncompromising, brutal and paints a vivid picture of the challenges fighting in Afghanistan. In other words, it’s given ‘Battleship’ a reason for existing.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Starring: Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Out: 17 January 2014
A young covert CIA analyst (Pine) uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. Knightley plays his fiancé, Branagh is the Russian oligarch villain, Costner the CIA liaison. This is the first Jack Ryan movie not based off one of Tom Clancy’s novels. They’ve already tried to reboot the series with Ben Affleck to little effect. Chris Pine, despite a couple of interesting early roles, has become a bland leading man and isn’t a patch on Harrison Ford, or the Alec Baldwin/Sean Connery team up that were the cornerstones of the earlier movies. Furthermore, Russia is a dull setting and antagonist Kenneth Branagh’s accent is pure ham. However it’s co-written by two of Hollywood’s best screenwriters, David Koepp (‘Jurassic Park’) and Steven Zaillian (‘Clear and Present Danger’). The final critical and public consensus is that it all works well enough. Box office success would have spurred on adaptations of Clancy’s ‘Rainbow Six’ and ‘Splinter Cell’, which are more interesting prospects, but unfortunately it has underperformed.
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto
Director: Stuart Beattie
Out: 24 January 2014
Frankenstein’s creature (Eckhart) has survived to present day due to a genetic quirk in his creation, and is now an intelligent, evolved man. Making his way to a dark, gothic metropolis, he finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans. Soon he is being hunted by demons wanting to learn the secret of his creation to build an army of the undead. Otto plays the queen of the gargoyles. Nighy is the film’s villain, a former angel who descended with Satan. It’s an adaptation of the graphic novel, from the producers of ‘Underworld’. Director Stuart Beattie is an established screenwriter (‘Collateral’, ’30 Days Of Night’) who recently made a shaky directing debut with ‘Tomorrow, When The War Began’. The lead actors did 3 months of martial arts training. If ‘Underworld’ was your thing, expect this to have a similar tone. Reviews have been absolutely dreadful.
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Sam Jackson, Abbie Cornish
Director: José Padilha
Out: 12 February 2014
Joel Kinnaman (TV’s ‘The Killing’) is the new Alex Murphy and the plot’s still about a crime-ridden city, this time in 2046, where a fatally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg, haunted by submerged memories. However Robocop himself looks and acts very differently to the 1987 original – for one, there will be no twitchy robotic moves. This version focuses much more on the transitional phase, about a man becoming part-machine. Oldman plays the scientist overseeing the transformation, Keaton is the possibly-villainous CEO, Jackson is a powerful TV mogul, Cornish is Murphy’s wife who’s initially led to believe her husband is dead. From the director of Brazil’s highest grossing movie of all time ‘Elite Squad’. The trailer revealed a number of weak choices that mean this seems destined for ‘meh’ status. But I love the original, so here’s hoping they surprise us.
Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kiefer Sutherland, Jared Harris
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Out: 21 February 2014
In 79 A.D. a slave turned invincible gladiator (Kit Harington, ‘Game of Thrones’) finds himself in a race against time to save his true love (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator (Kiefer Sutherland). As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him…. Aiming for the ‘Titanic’ action-romance-in-midst-of-disaster-tragedy, this is coming from dreaded director Paul W.S. Anderson (‘Resident Evil’, ‘Alien vs. Predator’, ‘The Three Musketeers’). With a bland pair of leads, there’s little chance it’ll be anything more than mediocre/mildly entertaining.
Three Days To Kill
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
Out: 21 February 2014
Darkly-comedic actioner about a dying Secret Service Agent (Costner) who retires to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Steinfeld) but is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in return for one last assignment. Now he must complete the mission while coping with the drug’s hallucinatory side effects. It’s great to see Costner back as leading man in an action movie, and Steinfeld did well in ‘True Grit’. McG is directing. Luc Besson’s production company (‘Taken’, ‘From Paris with Love’, ‘Transporter’) is behind it, and Besson also co-wrote the script. Expect it to be similar to those movies in budget and ambition. The recent trailer suggested a pretty cheesy film with a wooden performance by Heard.