Man of Tai Chi. Good fightin’. It’s rare that martial arts movies work in some good grappling and wrestling, but it really takes this one to another level. This makes a nice pairing with 99 Homes – about a hero’s incrementally ignoble choices leading to self-destruction. Filed under: Keanu Reeves, martial arts
The Raid: Redemption. This is an implausibly heightened* excuse for great choreography and fightin’. (*a pregnant wife; an innocent bystander who needs to deliver medicine to his bedridden spouse; an unauthorized mission without backup; corrupt leadership; sibling rivalry; etc.) I loved early parts of the movie, where there was more play with music vs. silence, shadow vs. light, when things felt more precarious. Once the shit hit the fan, it was still fun, but more predictable, and less interesting. Transitions got a bit awkward as the stories splinter and rivalries come a head, and people start talking more. I think I would have appreciated something leaner, and something that took more advantage of the architectural aspect like Die Hard. Good relentless fun, though. Two more things: 1) I am getting a bit too old and squeamish for gore, and 2) that moment when the camera drops through the floor (!!). Another movie that’s “pure gold when it comes to the art of moving cameras around moving bodies doing cool things”: Ninja.