A new week and a new batch of action movies for you. First we have War Pigs. I wanted to love this because it has Dolph Lundgren in it along with Chuck Liddell and Mickey Rourke, but unfortunately it just doesn’t get too exciting. Dolph plays a French Foreign Legion soldier who works with an American squad during World War II. It has some moments of cool action, but it’s your typical straight-to-DVD type film. Dolph is great (as usual), but I barely remember Liddell in it and Rourke isn’t much more than a cameo as a colonel/in charge type. It’s super digital looking which I don’t like especially in what should be a gritty war movie. It needed more one liners. It needed more (consistent) action and a plot that we haven’t seen a thousand times before. The bigger named actors (including Luke Goss) are good, but the lesser knowns don’t help much. Although as a Lundgren fan, I have to recommend it to other Lundgren fans out there. Just keep your expectations low, that might help.
Next we have The Golden Cane Warrior. I watch and like a lot of Asian film. I watch a lot of martial arts films as well. Unfortunately there’s a category of Asian films that I don’t always understand and this is part of that category. These films usually have great action sequences and beautiful costuming and set design. And oh yeah, a story I NEVER understand. This is that. The action is bad ass, everything you expect with weapons and kicks and over the top sequences. People are dressed meticulously and the backdrop is fantastic. Just don’t ask me what this is about or what happened. I get the gist of the story, but don’t ask me to really explain it or tell you if it works properly. I can’t. But it’s cool to watch and the action is worth seeing even if I really didn’t know what was going on story wise.
Third we have Four Warriors. Man, talk about a generic, typical straight-to-DVD film. Production value is fine for what it is, but the action is really lame. The stunts and fight sequences are overly choreographed and look it. The actors are too “pretty” to fit the look of the film. Costumes are too perfect, teeth are too white, hair is flawless as is the facial hair. It should be about Crusaders and have a Knights Templar/Vikings vibe to it, but it doesn’t. It feels like actors acting and doing choreographed fighting. Have any of these people ever held a sword before? If you miss this one, you aren’t missing anything.
Last we have Assassination. This is the type of Asian film I like. It’s a good mix of action and fighting (although not as over the top in this) with an easy to understand story. I call these Asian Crime Dramas because that’s what they are. The set design, costuming and look of the movie is pretty amazing. Set in Japanese-occupied Korea, the film is about a group of rebels that want to assassinate an Army commander, but the hitman they want is in prison. There’s a prison escape and a possible rat and the film is just entertaining. The gun work and action is really good. The acting is solid and the look is very authentic. If you don’t think you like Asian cinema, watch something like this. You’ll be surprised at how similar it is to what we consider Hollywood movies. Plot works great. It’s easy to follow. The film looks great. Set design highlights the era. Just a solid, well made movie.