The Purge: Anarchy is B-movie fun with delusions of grandeur

PG2_31_5_Promo_4C_2F.inddLast summer The Purge was a surprise sleeper hit. On a $3 million budget, it made over $89 million worldwide, so a sequel was immediately ordered. Now, just one year later, that sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, is in theaters, which is kind of impressive (super speedy turn around), but would be more so if the script wasn’t 87% people whisper-yelling “get down!”, “stay back!”, and “follow me!”. Still, The Purge: Anarchy is dumb B-movie fun, as long as it’s not getting up its own ass with socio-political commentary. Movies like this don’t need to be smart, they just need to be entertaining, and The Purge: Anarchy is, if nothing else, entertaining. Continue reading “The Purge: Anarchy is B-movie fun with delusions of grandeur”

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2 Guns is forgettable junk-food cinema

2-guns-movie-posterThere is only one thing that offends me in cinema. I mean really, just one thing. I might not like a movie, I may even outright hate it, but the only thing that really offends me is a film that is utterly, completely forgettable—the kind of junk-food filmmaking that consumes time and brain activity and returns absolutely nothing. 2 Guns, the new movie from Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband), is both horribly mediocre and shamelessly pandering, and even just hours after seeing it I can barely remember anything about it except that I’m annoyed that I wasted my time.

This is the worst kind of movie to review because it’s just decent enough on a filmmaking level that I can’t complain about technicalities. This is a proficient film, competently made, that meets all the basic requirements of a visual medium. It isn’t headache-inducing, the action is easy enough to follow, there are no inexplicable camera techniques like Dutch angles or ramping to unnecessarily confuse the eye, and it’s mercilessly light on shaky cam. But nothing about how 2 Guns was made is ever any better than just “good enough”. At every level it’s the barest minimum of functional and no more, and that goes for the acting and writing, too. Continue reading “2 Guns is forgettable junk-food cinema”