Browse Tag: sniper

RECAP: Hitman

Hitman (2007): Xavier Gens

Video game movies were a hot item in the Aughts. Hitman sought to turn a fun, stylish action game into a movie with those same modifiers. Did it succeed? Read on.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An unnamed hitman with a barcode tattooed on his scalp navigates a murky Russian political scandal that threatens to end his life and that of a woman caught in it.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Free Fire

Free Fire (2017): Ben Wheatley

Would you survive a movie shootout? That’s the idea behind Free Fire. Get ready for characters who dislike each other and will sort their problems through firearms.

Trigger warning: the verb “to crawl” will appear many, many times in the following recap. Most of the characters crawl, shuffle, and slide to avoid being shot.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In Boston in 1978, a weapons deal goes wrong and a bunch of criminals try to kill each other with handguns in an abandoned warehouse. Continue Reading

RECAP: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor (2013): Peter Berg

A mission in Afghanistan in 2005 goes terribly wrong, and only one man survives. He writes a book. Peter Berg reads that books. It becomes an early 2014 hit.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: One Navy SEAL survives a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan in 2005.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity (2002): Doug Liman

Based on the Robert Ludlum series of books, The Bourne Identity came to theaters 22 years its eponymous novel. More importantly, the movie arrived on the heels of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an event that forced any movie dealing with the US government, terrorism, or Americans abroad and in trouble to be viewed through that lens.

The Bourne Identity was filmed before 9/11, and that probably saved it. Director Liman often battled with the studio, which wanted several reshoots and rewrites, and we can only imagine that a huge terrorist attack would have woven into the story had the timing worked. Somehow, the movie came out great.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A man with superior fighting skills awakens in the sea with no memory of who is, and he fights a lot of people until he finds out his identity. Continue Reading

RECAP: John Wick

John Wick (2014): Chad Stahelski

Somebody sent a script to Keanu Reeves, in which he could wear suits and shoot guns. Sign him up! One of our finest action stars, Reeves turns Wick into an action icon.

John Wick hit screens in October and went away quietly into the night, exactly the opposite of the way John Wick goes into the night. Slowly, the film built a cult following into a sequel movement.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: John Wick takes revenge on those who killed his puppy.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher (2012): Christopher McQuarrie

Lee Child’s novel One Shot served as the source material for Jack Reacher. Four years on, I can’t decide which title is better.

“One Shot” is practically meaningless, the least sexy title in recent memory. On the other hand, “Jack Reacher” is…quite a name. Better to be weird than boring.

Jack Reacher limped into theaters and strode out with more than $200 million global box office. That’s money that Tom Cruise gets you.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An off-the-grid ex-military cop investigates the alleged murder of five Pittsburgh citizens by a former Army sniper.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jarhead

Jarhead (2005): Sam Mendes

I’m trying something new here at The Exploder: reviewing an inaction action movie. Jarhead tells the story of Anthony Swofford, eventual private, in the US Marin Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

It’s a long story for a short war, as it kicks off at Camp Pendleton in 1989, two years before the fight against Saddam “Insane,” as one character refers to him.

Strange thing is, Jarhead is perhaps the only war movie in which the main character doesn’t fire a shot.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A young Marine sniper survives the Gulf War without sniping anyone.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Clear and Present Danger

Clear and Present Danger (1994): Phillip Noyce

Harrison Ford became the only person to play Jack Ryan twice, when he took another turn capably bumbling through a mission for the CIA.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Colombian drug lords pose a clear and present danger to the United States, and the president decides to fight against them, in secret.  Continue Reading