CONSPIRACY

I haven’t seen a Val Kilmer film in a while.  I was kind of hoping for Island of Dr. Moreau caliber lunacy or Tombstone coolness, but Kilmer is kind of sleepwalking here.  I’m curious as to why he took the role. The clumsy swipes at Halliburton, the Minutemen, and the Iraq war?  A paycheck?  Whatever, it starts off looking like a First Blood rip-off but soon turns into Bad Day at Black Rock minus the stellar cast and fabulous desert vistas, but with lots of extra blood.  Even at 90 minutes it’s padded with flat sex scenes and lengthy transitions.  Rewatch First Blood and Bad Day instead.

FF=3

THE MAN WHO CAME BACK

A revenge story that has some satisfying retribution in its 3rd act, but you’ve seen it all before.  The hero is boring.  Billy Zane, in a supporting role, has the only character with a third dimension.  The rest of the bad guys spend the film twirling their mustaches.

FF=3

THE MARINE 2

I didn’t see “The Marine” 1 so I can’t compare. The upside: gorgeous Thai locations and excellent fight choreography. The downside: terrible dialogue, a predictable plot full of holes, and was there any doubt Michael Rooker would come to the rescue?

FF=3

THE BOX

Based on Richard Matheson’s very short story, “Button, Button,” which I recall as a riff on the old TV series “The Millionaire” – there the money came with no strings; in Matheson’s story, someone, somewhere will die if you accept it.  I’m usually a sucker for moral dilemmas like this, but the movie seems terribly jumbled and lacks a single interesting character.  I was not engaged.

FF=3

DEAD SNOW

Scandinavia gave us the existential musings of Soren Kierkegaard and the cinematic wonders of Let the Right One In, and now…Dead Snow.  I think it wanted to be a cross between Shock Waves and Evil Dead 3, but it turned out to be just another gorefest. Yawn.

FF=3