At one point in “The Gunman,” the new Sean Penn geopolitical thriller, our star goes surfing. It’s supposed to show he has a reckless side, since he’s surfing in unsafe territory, but it seems to have a larger, much more obvious purpose: To show us that Penn, at 54, is ripped. Very, very ripped.
Given that conformity is the scourge of the “Divergent” series and much of its young-adult ilk, it’s a shame the films, including the new “Insurgent,” do so little to stray from well-worn YA paths.
Liam Neeson's character in "Run All Night" makes Bryan Mills, the actor's trigger-happy CIA operative in three "Taken" films, look like Oskar Schindler.
In this age of revisionist, modernized Disney fairytales, where we've learned that some of our favorite characters really aren't what they seemed, the striking thing about the studio's sumptuous new live-action "Cinderella" may not be what it is, but what it isn't.
In the years since he strutted onto the scene – lean, handsome, mouth running a mile a minute – in Doug Liman's "Swingers" (1996), Vince Vaughn has become one of the poster boys for the mainstream American comedy: from romantic ("The Break-Up") to bromantic ("Old School"), pretty good ("Wedding Crashers") to very bad ("Fred Claus") to frankly unnecessary ("Delivery Man").
If you’re going to do a movie sequel that doesn’t quite measure up to the original and seems rather hurriedly cobbled together, well, OK. Many filmmakers have done the same.
If the mark of a good con artist is that he or she makes you think you know exactly what’s going on – when of course you haven’t a clue – that’s also the mark of a good con-artist movie, isn’t it? To make you feel like you totally get what’s about to happen – “Oh yeah, I’ve seen this in tons of movies,” you think – and then, boom. That’s not what happens at all. See, you lost your focus for a second.