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Silent Night: John Woo Returns With an Action Packed Christmas Classic

Full of some of the years best, and most explosive action, John Woo’s Silent Night is an Christmas action movie not too miss.

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After a 20 year hiatus, legendary action filmmaker John Woo makes his triumphant return with the action-packed Christmas flick, Silent Night . Fully void of dialogue, Silent Night shines with its explosive action. Not a huge surprise considering the films helmed by one of the best action movie directors of all time. Joel Kinnaman is a captivating lead, and despite the film lacking dialogue, Woo’s excellent camera work immerses audiences into this simple, but effective story, as well as its characters, and their relationships.

Silent Night is an exhilarating action extravaganza that warrants an annual rewatch every festive season. It may not be as steeped into the Christmas spirit as other festive action movies like Die Hard, or last years Violent Night for example, but its exceptional action will force you to come back year after year.

It is a slow burn, but the very second the action kicks in, audiences are in for a relentless final act full of blood, bullets, and explosives. With its unrelenting final 40 minutes of pure adrenaline fuelled action, as well as its simple, but impactful revenge fuelled narrative, John Woo’s Silent Night is an action flick not to be missed.

Still from Silent Night (Lionsgate Films)

On Christmas Eve, family man, Brian (Joel Kinnaman) witnesses the death of his son when the boy gets caught in the crossfire of warring gangs. After chasing down one of the two vehicles responsible for his son’s death, Brian is shot in the throat, costing him his voice. Despite being injured, Brian starts training in order to become the ultimate killing machine. Ready to punish those responsible, Brian embark’s on a vengeful quest full of blood, and bullets, on the night his son was taken from him.

As you might expect from an action movie helmed by John Woo, Silent Night‘s action certainly does not disappoint. John Woo, renowned for his legendary action movies, Hard Boiled, and Face/Off , delivers some of the most polished action of his career. Oozing with explosive gun fights and car chases, Woo masterfully uses the camera to accentuate every gun shot, knife slash, and explosion.

Most notable for his over-the-top shootouts, take Hard Boiled’s phenomenal Hospital Shootout for example, John Woo offers up one of the best finales of the year. The stairway shootout, shot in one continuous take – with hidden cuts of course – is a wild piece of cinematic greatness, which effortlessly flows into a visceral fist fight. Taking elements from his Hong Kong classic action movies, as well as modern day action epics like John Wick, and The Raid, Silent Night delivers some of the best, and wildest action of the year.

Still from Silent Night (Lionsgate)

Other than the movies astonishing action, perhaps the biggest draw is the movie’s lack of dialogue. And surprisingly it works. Through brilliantly nuanced performances and exceptional editing, audiences are fully immersed in the films simple narrative, and its characters.

Joel Kinnaman offers a silent, yet deeply powerful performance, proving why he’s one of Hollywood’s most underrated stars. Performing all his own fight scenes, Kinnaman’s physicality is very impressive, effortlessly elevating the movies action. Thankfully however, while Joel Kinnaman’s character is meant to be a badass killing machine, the movie, especially Kinnaman, never lets us forget that he is just an ordinary man. Showcased through the characters visible fear in all the shootouts and brawls, Brian is way out of his depth. He knows it, and the audience knows it. This subtle element create’s a vulnerability to our hero, making us adore him much more.

Likewise, Kinnaman’s subtle facial expressions adds dimension to his character, seamlessly delving into Brian’s grief, anger and vengeance. Made far more difficult without dialogue.

Still from Silent Night (Lionsgate Films)

But, with that said, the films lack of dialogue will occasionally make audiences tune out, and pine for the next action scene. It creates a needlessly slow burn early on, but if it can keep audiences attention, then audiences will be fully immersed into its narrative, and its impressively developed characters.

While Silent Night is heavily marketed as a Christmas movie, the only festive spirit comes in the form of a few decorations, and Brian’s vengeful Christmas Eve massacre. Perhaps if Silent Night enthused some Christmas music,or festive kills into the mix, then the film could have felt much more Christmas-y. Still, Silent Night more than deserves itself an annual rewatch, especially for action fans, but it won’t get you in the Christmas spirit.

All in all, Silent Night is an explosive, fun time at the movies, and makes an outstanding return for legendary filmmaker John Woo. It boasts some of the best action sequences of the year, and its lack of dialogue offers a unique, and mostly well executed gimmick. Joel Kinnaman kills it – no pun intended – as the leading man, and his subtle expressions create a vulnerability and a humanity to our hero. If you’re a fan of John Woo, and/or action movies, then Silent Night is for you.

Silent Night is available now in select cinemas, and will begin streaming on Sky/Now TV on December 23rd.

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Olly Dyche is an accomplished Film, TV, and Video Game Journalist from the UK. As a member of the International Film Society of Critics, the self-appointed professional nerd has earned his place as an established critic, writer, and interviewer.

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One More Shot: Scott Adkins Returns in This Kick Ass Sequel Seemingly Shot in One Take.

With many immersing and kick ass action sequences, One More Shot is another technically impressive action film from director James Nunn.

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Scott Adkins One More Shot

Bigger, better, and more kick-ass than the first, One More Shot is another impressive one-take action film full of tension, stakes, and adrenaline fuelled action sequences. Much like the first, One More Shot is another action film shot in one-continuous take. With hidden cuts of course. This one-take style adds a greater level of intensity to the film by immersing audiences deeper into the action, and connecting audiences closer to it’s characters. James Nunn’s work behind the camera is even more precise than his previous effort. Blending excellent camera work, explicit framing, and fluid editing Nunn leave audiences with punchy (no pun intented), smooth, and enthralling action movie experience.

Scott Adkins once again kicks ass as Jake Harris, delivering another exhausting performance as he takes out waves of bad guys with guns, knives, and of course, his infamous high kicks. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was pretty underwhelming with Alexis Knapp being the worst offender. Likewise, as exciting as it was to have Michael Jai White star alongside Scott Adkins again, he certainly doesn’t get the screen time he definitely deserved. White should have been the main antagonist. Not a high level bodyguard. With that said however, Michael Jai White’s and Scott Adkins’ brawl was a phenomenal piece of action cinema that action movie fans shouldn’t miss.

One More Shot is an action extravaganza with impressive work both on and off camera, and a brilliant early contender for action movie of the year.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

After the attack on the black site in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris must escort suspect Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi) to Washington DC for interrogation. However, after the two become trapped at an airport in the US by an army of armed mercanaries, Jake Harris must protect Mansur or else the fate of America would be on his head.

Much like its predecessor One More Shot is a very technically impressive action movie. Whilst James Nunn proved himself as a fantastic action movie director with his previous endeavour, it’s One More Shot that truly cements it. The filmmaker nails the tension, pacing, cinematography and framing of every fight. The airport setting is much more immersing setting compared to the previous one, allowing for much more creative, and tight action sequences.

Complementing Nunn’s excellent direction, was the casts breathtaking physicality. Unsurprisingly Adkins steals the show with his efficiently brutal, and fast paced martial arts which add a level of finesse, and polish to every fight scene. Likewise, Michael Jai White was another standout. His large physique, matched with his fast and incredibly precise combat proves a deadly foe. Despite the amount of times we have seen Adkins and White go toe to toe, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Both performers are expert in their craft and give every fight between the two their all. While it would’ve benefitted the film if Michael Jai White had a greater role to play, it was still an unrelenting, and exhilarating brawl. Fingers crossed he’s the big bad in the next one.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

While many have come to see fist fights, shoot outs, and explosions, One More Shot boast’s a surprisingly developed script that’s much deeper than its predecessor. Writers James Nunn, and Jamie Russell provide a well paced and intriguing story full of heart and tension. The characters are far more developed, and introducing audiences to Mansur’s wife, and unborn child greatly elevated the stakes.

The performances where perhaps the films biggest downfall. Adkins was fantastic, White was incredible, and Waleed Elgadi was captivating. As for the rest, their performances just felt lazy. They brought zero nuance to their characters, and seeing them on screen provoked a thought’s of “Damn, I can’t wait to they get killed off”.

One More Shot’s ending is a little abrupt, and while it does have a sweet resolution, the film sort of just ends. We don’t get to see much of the repocussions of the events that unfolding throughout the movie which raises more questions that answers. However, we guarantee that James Nunn and Jamie Russell are working a script for the final film, undoubtedly titled “One Last Shot”. Fingers crossed.

While it may be a little premature, One More Shot is damn great action film that could easily end up on many “Best Action Movie of the Year” lists by the time December roles around. It’s technically impressive, boasting great camera work, and imagery with many adrenaline fuelled action sequences scattered throughout.

One More Shot is available to purchase on demand January 16th

Check out the trailer below:

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The Beekeeper: An Action Movie As Sweet as Honey

Jason Statham kicks a ton of ass in his best film in years.

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“I’m a Beekeeper. I protect the hive. Sometimes I use fire to smoke out hornets”.

Full to the brim with ridiculous “Bee” puns – as evident from the above quote – David Ayer’s latest flick The Beekeeper, is a ton of fun. The film is undoubtedly absurd. However, David Ayer gleefully leans into the films absurdities resulting in a far more engaging and entertaining action flick. Its action is exhilarating, and expertly crafted allowing Jason Statham to kick a ton of ass.

The cast was a fantastic surprise, with the likes of Jason Statham, Jeremy Irons, Josh Hutcherson, and Phylicia Rashad headlining the films cast. While Jason Statham’s abysmal American accent may put some audiences off, The Beekeeper surprisingly puts a spotlight on it with a simple line of dialogue within the first 20 minutes. Thankfully, Jason Statham doesn’t do much talking anyway. He just kicks a lot of ass. Which is what you’ve come for anyway.

The Beekeeper is undoubtedly Stathams, and David Ayer’s best film in years. Especially compared atrocities likeThe Meg 2, The Expendables 4 , and 2016s Suicide Squad respectively. It’s fun, silly, and action-packed. If you like John Wick, The Beekeeper will do more than enough to satisfy.

MGM

Although ridiculous and full of unnecessary, yet brilliantly executed Bee puns, The Beekeeper’s revenge story is a fairly intriguing, and relatable one. And no, someone doesn’t kill Jason Stathams’ Bee’s. As brilliant as that would have been, The Beekeeper instead focuses on Corporate manipulation, scammers, hackers, and corrupt governmental power. The Beekeeper’s narrative slightly grounds the film, and while its a message, and a narrative that we’ve seen a thousand times before, The Beekeeper does more than enough to make it as engaging, and as impactful as ever. Plus seeing arrogant, trust fund dweebs, and corrupt government officials get their asses handed to them was very satisfying.

From its fluid camera movements, energetic editing style – which thankfully doesn’t cut from the action too much – as well as the fast paced fight choreography, and jaw-dropping physicality from Jason Statham. The action was fast, brutal and efficient. While the action may not go one for 10 minutes at a time, like a John Wick movie, for The Beekeeper it doesn’t have too. Jason Stathams’ character is the deadliest character in this universe – at least as far as we know – so with that, he takes down all his foes with ease and finesse. It’s quick and too the point.

MGM

The performances were what you may expect from Jason Statham led action film called The Beekeeper. Their over-the-top, and playing to stereotypes with some truly awful American accents from the British cast. However, these performance make for a far more entertaining watch. Like every movie he has ever appeared in, Jeremy Irons stole the show due to his calm, wise, and straight line delivery. Similarly, Josh Hutcherson played a great part as the main antagonist.

The Beekeeper was an absolute blast and a fantastic 2024 movie to kick your year off with. Sure, its not perfect, but its a ton of fun, with many kick ass action sequences that we are sure will top the best action sequences of 2024 list when December roles around. We hope many sequels are lined up, and if this became a new expansive action movie franchise, we wouldn’t have a problem with it.

The Beekeeper releases in cinema’s January 12th.

Check out the trailer below:

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‘Warrior ‘ Cancelled After Three Seasons

Netflix has acquired the rights to ‘Warrior’

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Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) has fought his final fight over at MAX, as the beloved martial arts show, Warrior, has been cancelled after just three seasons. However, fans may be happy, and hopeful to learn that streaming giant, Netflix has recently acquired all rights to the three seasons of the show set to start streaming February 2024. Does this mean we could get a fourth season after all? Well as we’ve seen with previous shows like Cobra Kai, one of Netflix’s biggest successes’, if Warrior does become a successful addition to the Netflix catalogue, then a fourth season is all but guaranteed. But only time will tell.

Starting its journey on Cinemax for its first two seasons, before landing an temporary place on MAX for its recent third season, Warrior now finds its third home in four years. Its first season premiered in 2019 on Cinemax through to 2020 before the the network announced the cancellation of all original programming. A year later, in 2021, MAX announced a third season of the show which premiered this summer.

Still from Warrior (MAX)

Series creator Jonathon Tropper shared in an exclusive article from Deadline that “Warrior is a show that simply refuses to die. Through platform and regime changes, the writers, producers, cast, crew, and our stunt team continued to make something powerful, relevant, and wildly unique. And now, thanks to Netflix, we’ve been given yet another lease on life, and I’m thrilled for everyone involved that millions more viewers around the world will discover it”.

Based upon the writings of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, Warrior follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy from China, who immigrates to San Francisco and a hatchet man for the most powerful Tong in all of China town.

For now though, Warrior is still available to stream on MAX

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