amusing b-western revamped for a multiethnic america full of jolly, law-abiding immigrants and one reeeal bad hombre who don't play by the rules. like, imagine if john wayne was john qualen and lee marvin was a mexican. kim jee-woon contributes to the americanized feedback loop of hollywood/korean/hollywood-korean action cinema that is so thick with cross-references and homages, there's almost no separating them now.
If a 15 year old year mind and 65 mind old were conflicting with each other and created beauty, this would be it! This is everything I want out of a genre movie... a movie that embraces every aspect of the genre, so shameless, so much energy!
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the screen as a small town sheriff facing a drug lord whose escape route to Mexico goes right through his town. A classic archetype from films such as HIGH NOON and RIO BRAVO, Schwarzenegger remains defiantly an action hero from another era, while the film plays to more self aware sensibilities. A thrillingly subversive upending of modern ironies falling before old fashioned honor.
Welcome to Hollywood Kim, where what earned you the title shot (physical camera that emphasizes his performers) is holding you back so let me take your coat and introduce you to the group who'll handle all your matters. Kim said about coming to Hollywood that he has a new found appreciation for "love". The biggest blemish in his oeuvre won't open a new chapter but close an old book.
For all that was wrong with this movie (and I'll admit there was plenty) I really didn't mind it all that much. The supporting cast was puzzling and the sets came off as a tad too synthetic. Harry Dean Stanton was a pleasant surprise and Peter Stormare's odd performance was right up there with anything Nicolas Cage has done in the past few years. Low expectations = an entertaining watch here.
An old school shoot-em-up with more one-liners and exploding body parts than you can shake a stick at. There's some great practical action scenes, but a lot of digital blood and carnage too (much to my chagrin). A lot of this film is quite stylish and has an interesting vibe, but it more so plays off as a misunderstood (or misinformed) pastiche. Good for action (and Arnold) fans, but not essential or memorable.
Solid fun but disappointing because Kim is so much more talented than this. The script si really weak and filled with one liners, it tries so hard to be an old school action movie. The action should have been more brutal and creative, and Arnie just looks so old...