‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’: A Master Class in Action Filmmaking

I blame my taste in action movies on Jackie Chan. Police Story 3: Supercop left quite the impression on me as a kid. I grew up during the action boom of the ‘90s. Movies like Speed, Hard Boiled, The Professional, Point Break, and Lethal Weapon (to name a few) were more memories to me than movies. Supercop is a particularly cherished one.

When Jackie Chan is dangling off that helicopter, or when Michelle Yeoh is hanging onto that truck for dear life, I was immediately engaged. They could fall! Indeed they do. When they fight teams of bad guys, it looks like they actually got hit, or hurt. They do, and when you see the end credits, you know that they did many times over. Both Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh did superhuman things, but they always came across as unpretentiously human. To me, that’s what makes a great action film.

I thought a lot about Supercop as I watched Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Continue reading

In Defense of Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’

If there’s any action director we took for granted, it’s Guillermo del Toro. Few recall that he did Hellboy. Even fewer remember Blade II. Admittedly, this is a hard thing to raise hell over especially with his recent Oscar-winning glory, one felt by critics and devoted fans. Del Toro is a critical darling who’s achieved occasional box office success, which is perplexing considering he’s done both the superhero and the summer blockbuster. Of his mainstream films, I can’t think of a more sorely overlooked summer movie than del Toro’s Pacific RimContinue reading

Seven Reasons To See Furious 7

When The Fast and the Furious came out in 2001, I don’t think any of us realized that we were witnessing the beginnings of a franchise. It is truly astonishing to see how far this series has come and what it has turned into over the course of fourteen years. Now, at the end of a long road that was met with tragedy, I can safely say that Furious 7 stands as a testament to a life and reinforces the immortal wonders of cinema.

Last night I saw an advanced screening of Furious 7 and I am still reeling with excitement. I get giddy recalling certain scenes, or I get choked up thinking about the film’s heartfelt ending. It’s a hell of a roller coaster ride filled with bittersweet moments, but the film is never bogged down by its emotional heft. In fact, the film transcends because of it. There’s a moment where Brian says to Dom, “Cars can’t fly!” And then they proceed to drive off a skyscraper and onto another. This sequence, in many ways, shows how this franchise has truly taken flight despite the odds stacked up against it.

I have come up with a list of my absolute favorite things about Furious 7. What the film did right, and did honorably; things that people will be talking about for a long time. Let’s face it, you’re going to see this movie regardless. So, to whet your appetite, here are 7 reasons why you will not regret it. Continue reading