A few years back, Kevin Smith threw what can only be described as a snit fit regarding the critical reaction to Cop Out (2010). A rather dreadful, wholly generic, and utterly unfunny buddy “comedy” starring Bruce Willis (who reportedly walked all over Smith on set and mailed in his performance) and Tracy Morgan, critics savaged Cop Out.
It’s the simplest things that remind you of film’s primacy as a visual medium, things that simply don’t translate well to the written word: images of leaves of grass blowing in the wind, a subtle shift in lighting that darkens or brightens a mood. We feel these moments more than we actually notice them, letting the beauty or the dread sink into our gut as the images wash over our eyes.
I can’t help but feel that The Expendables 3 is a sly warning from series mastermind Sylvester Stallone that the next generation of action star isn’t up to snuff. Kellan Lutz? Glen Powell? Victor Ortiz? Ronda Rousey? No thanks. I’ll take Sly and Arnie and Mel and Snipes and Dolph and Ford every day of the week.
“Awesome Mix Vol. 1” is the label on the cassette playing in Peter Quill’s Walkman when a giant space ship abducts him. The tape, a gift to the eight-or-so-year-old boy from his dying mother, is a collection of, well, awesome songs from the 1970s. They’re not the best ditties—pop FM staples such as “Hooked on a Feeling” and “O-O-H Child” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”—but they are all infectious, energy-filled trifles.
Imagine a feature-length film written in the style of an Andy Borowitz blog post.
That’s The Purge: Anarchy.
Like the missives fired off by Borowitz—the New Yorker’s roundly reviled “parodist”—The Purge: Anarchy is ham-fisted, the sort of satire that might appeal to the most rabid and ignorant elements of your cohort, but to no one else.