Entries tagged with “Bruce Willis”.


There are films based on graphic novels (comics books) heroes and action stories and the genre is flourishing making happy studios and fans of all ages. And there are the ‘Sin City’ films which are graphic novels on screens.  ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For‘ directed by (who also created the books that inspired them) and is only the second in this genre. I liked it. I will try to explain the reasons and the difference.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481

 

The first thing to notice with ‘Sin City 2′ (as for the first one almost one decade earlier) is that it does not pretend to be anything else that it is. It is a comics story which is directly designed for the big screen rather than for the paper support of the graphic novels. The story (there are actually three almost independent story threads) is simple and relies mostly on action. No psychological or character development is to be expected from its heroes, they are from the first time they appear on screen until the moment they die or the end of the movie (what comes first) ‘The Drunken Righteous’, ‘The Dangerous Vamp’, ‘The Corrupt Senator’,'The Nice Face Gambler’, etc. The actors either wear masks () or they are their own masks (, , , , , ). Most of them create their own characters as graphical novel heroes. The only one who holds some mystery and hides – at least for some time – her real intentions is the character played by . All seem to enjoy themselves greatly to be in the film.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

All this concept is supported by a superb cinematographic solution which places the actors on sets that seem to be drawn in comics style and uses mostly black-and-white with touches of selected colors as in the mid 20th century comics books combined with the cinema masterpieces of ‘film noir’ from the same period. The execution is perfect, and the action scenes not only support the stories but also create moments of aesthetic wonder and fit perfectly in the atmosphere. The concept and the execution make of ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For‘ a rare combination of good entertainment and stylish cinema.

 

I must confess that one of my guilty pleasures is watching from time to time a movie like RED 2. I mean a movie that is made just for the purpose of entertaining, mixes action and comedy, brings to screen funny characters played by great actors, and is not shy about what it is meant to be. A movie that when watched feels like the actors and the team had themselves fun making it.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/

 

Such a film is RED 2, the second in a series which if you ask me can go on and on. Yeah, there is a story here which does not really follow the path of the logic as we may know it. The cold war may be over, but our retired (or pretending to be retired) hero-spies continue to fight it, and its aftermath, among other a non-detectable weapon of mass destruction of yesterday which risks to fall in the hands of the bad guys of today. No fortress, spy agency HQ, prison or government palace remains un-penetrable for more then 100 screen seconds. In any city they travel to they leave a pile of corpses and a trail of destruction that would have granted them centuries of punishments under any jurisdiction – no charges are ever pressed, of course, because this is the world of the action comedy which has its rules or lack of rules of its own.

 

(video source MOVIECLIPS Trailers)

 

I do not feel at all bad for this guilty pleasure of mine. Without any over-analysis I believe that I like these movies because they are sincere in their explicit intentions of entertaining – no more, no less – but actually this is very much. Then when well written and acted as it is the case here such films have a logic of their own. We actually do understand these retired spies and their run for thrill. The dialogs are well-written and funny in many moments, the situations follow well one after the other, and director Dean Parisot’s succeeds to make a film that does not look at all as the work of a prime timer.  All the big stars gathered on the same list of credits – Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins Catherine Zeta-Jones, Marie-Louise Parker – seem to enjoy themselves and this fact crosses the screen. If I am to recommend a fun and non-pretentious entertainment at the movies this would be one of them.

 

When actors who played spies in action movies get older they have an option. They can start playing roles of retired spies in action movies. At least the best and the luckiest of them. Same is true for westerns or for science-fiction movies, BTW.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1245526/

 

Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman are all among the good and lucky one. Some of them may have not even crossed the legal age of retirement in these times when the governments push the pensions limit higher for reasons I would not detail here. What counts is that all the members of this carre of aces are in good shape and have fun making us have fun in this story where the renegade and rogue agents are the active ones the the institution one should trust less than any other around is the government. Conspiracy is not a theory, it’s a fact of life whose credibility is not placed under question for one second in the script of the film directed by Robert Schwentke. who film after film builds to himself a name of one of the best action film directors in Hollywood and I expect him being trusted with one of more of the never-ending James Bond series entries sometimes in the future.

 

(video source trailers)

 

Did I forget somebody? Oh, yes – I should mention Richard Dreyfuss, one of the actors I mostly admired about three decades ago and who seemed to get lost into politics, to the point that I almost did not recognize him here in the retired villain role (sure, villains also retire). One could comment that only Willis is within his usual casting limits, while actors like Malkovich, Mirren, Freeman, or Dreyfuss could do more interesting things and certainly no Oscar was waiting for them behind the corner for the roles in RED, but, hey, this is entertainment, this is an action comedy, one of the genres Hollywood knows how to do well, the guys and the gal are having fun doing it, so get your popcorn and have some fun yourselves watching it.