Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review - Falcon Rising (2014)

I changed the look of my page again.  That Halloween-y, winter-y look to the page was mostly done for the fall/winter season, and frankly, I'm already sick of snow.  Yea, I know.  It's January.  Where I am, that's at least 4 more months of snow.  At least I can change how my page looks.  Also, I think this one is much easier on the eyes.

Something else that gets me through winter?  Action movies.  I know, a good horror movie is my bread and butter, but a change of diet now and then is good for everybody.  I love horror, like action movies, and rarely, I can tolerate a sappy romantic comedy.  Don't worry!  I had my fill at Xmas.  I won't be reviewing any romantic comedies here for some time.  If ever.

Falcon Rising (2014) is the story of a man with PTSD.  That's Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I can tell because I've watched a lot of movies, and the guy in this movie, John Chapman (Michael Jai White) has all the symptoms.  Come to think of it, I first noticed it in the movies in Clint Eastwood's character in FireFox back in the early 80's.  So, it's been around a while, now.  John has all the classic symptoms of PTSD, and he's medicating himself heavily.  With alcohol.  Which has been used to treat many afflictions for some thousands of years now.  John is making it through a typical week, downing vast quantities of liquor, when he gets a call about his sister, a volunteer working in Brazil to try and bring some aid to the poor living in the favelas.  That's a brazilian word, I guess it typically refers to the low-class, box-like apartment houses people live in.  If you need another look at what a favela looks like besides this movie, think The Incredible Hulk (2008 version, with Edward Norton).  Bruce Banner spends the first part of the movie hiding out in Brazil, in a favela. Anywho, John Chapman's sister has been assaulted, and left for dead.  John, an ex-marine martial artist (come on, you knew that was coming, right?), immediately heads down to Brazil to start kicking ass and chewing bubblegum... and he's all out of bubblegum.

I've been a fan of Michael Jai White's martial arts talent for some years now, and looking over his IMDB profile, I see he actually got his start working the Toxic Avenger films of the late 80's.  He plays a big, mean, ass-kicking marine in this movie, and he does a good job at it.  Since the movie is set in Brazil, you expect Capoeira to make an appearance in the fight scenes, and it does.  There's also a lot of gunplay, and an explosion or two, and some downright lethal ass-kicking that I'm not sure even has a style attached to it.  So, fun to watch, obviously.

There's even a guy who normally plays villains.  Frankly, he has been so typecast as a villain that I was positive he was the villain throughout the entire film.  I just KNEW the trail of corruption and evil villainy would lead right back to him, and then...  it didn't.  I was shocked.  It's not often I am wrong about the bad guy in the movies, but I was here.  Of course, all the OTHER bad guys?  Yea, called them right off.  Sometimes, it's just easy to tell.

Well, let's sum up.  Acting is not bad.  I mean, it's an action/martial arts flick.  The acting doesn't have to be stellar.  The martial arts fight scenes seemed pretty decent.  Above average, even for a film of this type.  The story flowed well, the action wasn't non-stop, but there was a fair amount of it scattered throughout the film, with your typical climactic fight scene at the end of the flick.  Not really any nudity (there's a woman laying on a table naked, covered in food, so she doesn't really count), which is just sad, given the Brazilian setting, but meh, I guess the movie does okay without it, even though I actually expected to see some at some point.  Mostly gun battles and melee brawls, with a little of the requisite villainous acts and such thrown in.  All in all, a fun watch, something I might catch again for the fight scenes alone.

The only thing I can really say against this movie is, there wasn't any one thing that made the flick stand out.  Sure, there was nothing really wrong with it, either (except perhaps the lack of nudity), but there wasn't any like, really cool parts that I could pass on at this point to explain just how great this movie was to watch.  In most movies, there's at least one scene where you can say something like "And then the guy takes the nail file, and uses it to saw the bad guy's head clean off!"  but nothing like that happens in this film.  SO, a good martial arts flick, but not a GREAT martial arts flick, you know what I am saying?  Still, a solid entry into the martial arts fight-flick genre, and hopefully the first of many Falcon movies.  Maybe the next one will end up with some guy cutting a guy's head off with a nail file.  One can only hope.

That's all I have for this week.  I don't even have any other new to speak of.  I think John "Falcon" Chapman sums it up in the movie as "Same shit, different pile."  I hope everyone likes the new color scheme to the blog page.  Frankly, I hope I like it, too.  I will probably change it again come spring and summer.  I like variety.  Next weekend, I may even have some horror flicks to review, and an update on Agent Carter and the other series I am watching.  Oh, and if you haven't already noticed, Grimm and Constantine are already back with fresh episodes, and supposedly, Flash and Scorpion, as well as Sleepy Hollow, are starting back up again soon as well.  Gotham, well, i don't know if it ever stopped, though I think it did take a week off around Xmas.  That's all for tonight.  Still hurting from all the snow shoveling I have been doing.  :-(

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