Connect with us

Action

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.

Published

on

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.

FILM RATING

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.

Action

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review – Smith and Lawrence Deliver Explosive Entertainment.

Published

on

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

Hollywood has been struggling as of late and a lot is riding on the success of the fourth installment of this beloved franchise. The directors Adil and Bilall have had a tough time after their last feature Batgirl was shelved, Sony is looking to move on from the Madame Web debacle and Smith is gearing up for his big comeback after the slap. Hollywood history also tells us that there aren’t a lot of franchises that are able to deliver blockbuster business in their fourth installments.

 

I went into this movie cautiously optimistic with Adil and Bilall returning to direct. They also directed the last entry, which turned out not only the highest-grossing movie in this franchise but also the highest-grossing movie of 2020, which are quite the achievements. This franchise is almost 30 years old now, but these two directors found a way to give it a modern touch while staying loyal to the legacy of these characters. In this entry, they take it up a notch and give us some of the most creative camera work and they never seem to run out of ideas throughout this movie.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

The main attraction of these movies has always been the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. Smith brings the style, and Lawrence brings the charm. As always, they are unreal together on screen and the movie is at its strongest when it is focusing on both of them. I was curious to see if the slap would affect Smith’s screen presence or his comic timing, but he seemed cool for the most part. Although, I did sense a hint of nervousness a couple of times. On the other hand, Martin Lawrence was having a blast.

 

Eric Dane is menacing as our main villain here, which is also thanks to the directors’ presentation of his character. Jacob Scipio is awesome in action sequences, while Alexander Ludwig and Vanessa Hudgens are great together. Rhea Seehorn and Ioan Gruffudd are our other new additions to this entry, but both of them seemed nowhere near their best. It was mostly due to the fact that they were portraying unlikeable, cliche, and predictable characters. But the real MVP here is Reggie. He gets his moment and it is awesome. There are also quite a few cameos which are all well-handled.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

The story is easily the weakest part here with not a lot of character development, especially for the supporting cast. The plot is thin and doesn’t have too many layers to it and even the twists mostly fail to surprise. But that doesn’t mean that the adventure that our characters are on isn’t fun. One can clearly see that the focus in the structuring of this movie was to make it as fun as possible. There are also some questionable editing choices, but the pacing of the narrative is really good.

 

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die delivers an explosively entertaining ride in one of the franchise’s best entries. It embraces its outrageousness and gives some wild action sequences. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry is unreal, while Adil and Bilall bring their A-game. Audiences will eat up this hilarious ride that will surely be one of the best movie-going experiences of the year. A treat for fans of the franchise. Hopefully, we get more of these.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFY_Fesa9Q&pp=ygUSYmFkIGJveXMgNCB0cmFpbGVy

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Action

Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

Published

on

By

Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Action

Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.

Published

on

I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_inKs4eeHiI&pp=ygUXa3VuZyBmdSBwYW5kYSA0IHRyYWlsZXI%3D

FILM RATING
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Popular Now

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW

Trending

CoastalHouseMedia.com is a property of Coastal House LLC. © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies/owners.

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x