Archives for posts with tag: action movies

After all these years, it feels like Gerard Butler should be a bigger star, like he should have been nominated for an Oscar or something. Or maybe he’s simply a hardworking, mediocre leading man who churns out formulaic flicks you don’t have to think too much about. Like “Plane” (2023), in which he emergency lands an airliner in a warlord-governed Pacific jungle, setting off a by-the-book, action hero storyline of hostage saving and machine gunning. I don’t know aerodynamics well enough to understand how preposterous his two Sullenberger moments are, but they probably looked damn good on the big screen.

I’m always fascinated how storytellers generate suspense despite the ultimate spoiler alert – a story based on actual events. You do realize Osama bin Laden is dead, right? Anyway, “United 93” might have done the best job I have ever seen with this challenge, but “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) comes close. And it’s just a straight up, chronological retelling of the years upon years it took CIA operatives to hunt down bin Laden. You really feel the pressure of the interrogations, the surveillance, the danger. Tiny flaw: SEAL Team 6 comes off a little cowboyish (but maybe they’re really like that).

Can a movie based on a true story be too true? Somehow, that’s the feeling I took away from “American Sniper” (2014). The real-life story of Navy Seal, sniper, Iraq war hero Chris Kyle is so anticlimactic, it casts a literal pall over the film. I imagine it would’ve been 10 times better if I hadn’t known anything about Kyle and could’ve approached the story unaware as to how it ends. Lacking that advantage, I was stuck in some netherworld, glad the movie wasn’t ridiculously glamorized for dramatic effect, but at the same time feeling as though something was missing.