Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Quick Review

To celebrate today being Friday The 13th In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided back in 2014 to rewatch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I re-watched ever kill, every slash and every Jason death. So here it is – a complete look at the Jason Vorhees back catalogue…

Phil Hobden

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th (2013)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the documentary that started it all: Crystal Lake Memories is an exhaustive (and exhausting clocking it at a nearly 400 min run time) look at the history of the Friday The 13th films – from it’s humble beginnings right through Freddy Vs Jason and the studio remake and is a must see for fans of the films. Brough to you by the same team that delivered the equally essential Nightmare Of Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again no stone is left unturned.  Best of all far from a fluff piece this digs into what worked, what didn’t work and what happened behind the scenes.  Simply put this is both essential and fascinating. 

IMDB Rating: 

Any cast of note?   Almost everyone who has ever been in or involved with the films! 

 

[divider]

 

Friday The 13th (2009)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So in hindsight the remake of Friday 13th is actually pretty good.  Gone are the japery and silliness of the later Friday films, back comes the hardcore gore and nudity that was a hallmark of the series at it’s best.  Plenty of gruesome kills, a story which nicely remakes three Friday’s for the price of one and a cast that can actually act, it’s directed with a sense of respect to the better instalments whilst delivering a few nice new moments.  I liked it and, stood alongside the rest in the series, it comes across as very good indeed.  Recommended.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Sleeping bag then on fire.  Ouch. 

Any cast of note?   Danielle Panabaker, Nana Visitor

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena

 

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Find Similar Articles here

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Complete)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Complete)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

 

[divider]

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th (2013)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the documentary that started it all: Crystal Lake Memories is an exhaustive (and exhausting clocking it at a nearly 400 min run time) look at the history of the Friday The 13th films – from it’s humble beginnings right through Freddy Vs Jason and the studio remake and is a must see for fans of the films. Brough to you by the same team that delivered the equally essential Nightmare Of Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again no stone is left unturned.  Best of all far from a fluff piece this digs into what worked, what didn’t work and what happened behind the scenes.  Simply put this is both essential and fascinating. 

IMDB Rating: 

Any cast of note?   Almost everyone who has ever been in or involved with the films! 

 

[divider]

Friday The 13th (2009)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So in hindsight the remake of Friday 13th is actually pretty good.  Gone are the japery and silliness of the later Friday films, back comes the hardcore gore and nudity that was a hallmark of the series at it’s best.  Plenty of gruesome kills, a story which nicely remakes three Friday’s for the price of one and a cast that can actually act, it’s directed with a sense of respect to the better instalments whilst delivering a few nice new moments.  I liked it and, stood alongside the rest in the series, it comes across as very good indeed.  Recommended.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Sleeping bag then on fire.  Ouch. 

Any cast of note?   Danielle Panabaker, Nana Visitor

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena

 

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 24th March)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 24th March)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena



[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 17th March)

Blog: All Things Film – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed (Updated 17th March)

Quick Review

In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided to rematch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I will re re-watching ever kill, every slash and every Jason death.  This blog will be updated as I work my way through each of the films, cumulating with a final list of the films in order of greatness (or not… yes Part 5 i’m looking at you!).  So here we go.

Phil Hobden
July 2014

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Review: Curse Of Chucky (DVD/BR)

Review: Curse Of Chucky (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review (Contains Mild Spoiler):It’s been almost 10 years since the last Child’s Play film graced our screens and it’s fair to say a lot has changed since then.  Freddy, Leatherface & Jason have all returned, only to fall  foul of a fate much worse than their teenage prey- the box office Goliath’s of the Saw and Paranormal Activity franchises. In fact in this world of cheep scares and found footage jump shocks, Child’s Play seems very… 90’s.  So can the now 25 year old little demonic doll franchise compete with the shaky cam shocks of modern horror?  Well yes.  Just.

The Story: After her mother’s mysterious death, Nica begins to suspect that the talking, red-haired doll her visiting niece has been playing with may be the key to recent bloodshed and chaos.

Director Don Mancini has been responsible for all the Child’s Play films to date, from writing the 1988 original and the heavily publicised Child’s Play 3 directing the less well received Seed Of Chucky (2004)  so it’s only right that he should bring the devil doll back once again to cause chaos. For the most part he does a bang up job.  The film’s tense at times, and builds a good level of suspense working as both a sequel to the earlier Child’s Play films and a reboot to kick off a whole new franchise.

Okay so it does feel a little long and the kills are a little too long in arriving but for a second time director Mancini does a good job.  It’s also fun seeing (and hearing through the voice of the returning Brad Dourif) Chucky back in action, be it rat poison or the usual carving knife. The film is also expertly shot, with some glorious cinematography for what is a very modestly budgeted a DTV sequel. The story is simple but effective and throws in some nice curve balls near the end, which sets the franchise off in a promising new direction.

However for all the good and fun this film delivers, the biggest issue is the film just isn’t bloody enough.  You don’t expect more than a few cheap jump scares (which even those are few and when they do arrive signposted a mile off) but an early beheading sets a grisly tone that the film doesn’t quite pay off from, leaving it feeling like it needed a little something more.  The film just feels a little safe at times.

But just as you start to wonder if bringing Chucky back was a good idea, the knife comes out and the blood flows once more and you remember how much fun it is seeing a 3 foot high doll stalking adults to their inevitable and grisly death.

In conclusion: it’s good to see Chucky back in action but you cant help but ask the question, is this a film 10 years out of place? Is this an old school late 90’s early 00’s horror movie that doenst quite fit with the world how it is now?    But then you find yourself asking, what would I rather watch?  Someone throwing a camera around, inducing motion sickness for a half arsed jump scare 80 mins into a 90 min film OR a psychotic, possessed demon doll pushing a woman in a wheel chair off a landing or electrocuting a baby sitter?  And with that in mind… I can’t wait for the next one.

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden


CHILDS PLAY  is out on DVD & BR from 21st October.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/ or at www.thefilmpodacst.co.uk  

Review: Fast & Furious 6 (DVD/BR)

Review: Fast & Furious 6 (DVD/BR)

Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review: Boy, am I glad I checked out Fast Five last weekend. Not because seeing it was necessary to understand this one – my wife is proof of that – but because it alerted me to a fun, frenetic and energetic franchise that has evidently found its legs over half way through its own catalogue.

And I still haven’t seen parts 2, 3 and 4. I don’t think I shall bother, to be honest.

So why is this, then? Well, it’s plainly obvious to me that the reason everything from Fast Five onwards works well is because of director Justin Lin. And the hulking presence of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

And so this time the “team” are individually living the high life after striking it rich from bringing down Rio’s kingpin from part five. Some nasty car shit has gone down in Russia, and a photograph of a character from much earlier in the series has been spotted; Vin Diesel’s old flame, played by Michelle Rodriguez. This little spin enables Diesel to successfully call everyone back into a rented, fluorescent filled warehouse around a big table to wax lyrical about how they’re going to find Owen Shaw (this episode’s bad guy, played by Wales’s own Luke Evans), take him down, and grab Rodriguez back.

Yeah, it’s a flimsy story. But the action –a s you’d expect – is not so flimsy. Thankfully, perhaps mercifully, Jordana Brewster takes a back seat looking after her kid, while the remainder of the wisecracking, box-ticking demographic for worldwide market sales, all try to one-up each other on the wisecracks and safe cracks. This time, there is no safe. They’re all equal bounty hunters, and this time Steven Soderbergh’s wank-fantasy from Haywire, Gina Carano, tags alongside The Rock, acting as his new aid.

There’s a helluva lot of driving, bikini girls and a serious amount of humour. Writer Chris Morgan knows this is lightweight, nitwitted fluff and has the characters operate accordingly. There are some serious highlights, action-wise, in this film; my favourite being a modified vehicle with a ramp up its bonnet/hood, designed to dive into oncoming traffic and send it flipping and barrel-rolling into the air. The wanton carnage and incalculable loss of civilian life is absolutely mesmerising, and director Lin does a tremendous job of ramping up the action so hard and fast that you forget about the civilian casualties until the moment you’re filing out of the theatre screen.

There’s a big-ass airplane, a tank, and a fully-loaded London Underground foot chase/beat ‘em up section – the latter of which just about grandstands a similar scene from Skyfall.

This is a director’s movie – made by impatient, ADD-riddled filmmakers for impatient ADD-riddled movie goers. For maximum effect, it must be remarked that you should – like my wife and I did – see it at prime time dummy hour; Saturday, around 5:30pm. It’s a glorious wonder to behold if you’ve even the most fleeting interesting in psychology; when the ads, trailers and talky bits are on, mayhem from the cinema seats that nearly threaten to bleach out the tremendous Dolby 7.1 surround. When someone gets hit, or a car flips over, or Tyrese Gibson et al crack wise ass remark – utter, unfiltered silence. It’s almost schizophrenic to see this en masse – around a thousand “moviegoers” going from apathetic disregard to stupefied wonderment at the flick of an edit.

So, sounds pretty much like the fifth one, then. On the whole, yes. It’s just as long, there’s about as much action-to-running time ratio as before. Six is funnier, and genuinely so. It’s also, perhaps, more unforgiving – without revealing too much, I can say with a massive degree of certainty that two characters in the team from part five and six won’t be returning for part seven.

And after that daft “don’t try this at home” message which forewarns the closing credits – if you are intending to watch this film – make sure you stay sat for an extended sequence in which the prime antagonist makes his appearance. Not since the close of Back to the Future Part II has the end of a movie been more blatant in revealing its intentions. Mind you, this is Fast & Furious 6, so subtlety isn’t exactly a strong suit. Oh, and avoid visiting the IMDb till you see this film if you don’t want this revelation to be spoiled for you.

So, same time next year then for part VII? Yeah, go on, then. I’ll give it the same score out of ten, seeing as they’re going to all the trouble.

 

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay

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Review: Texas Chainsaw 3D (DVD/BR)

Review: Texas Chainsaw 3D (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review:  Wow.  That was pointless.  If you took scream out of the horror genre completely, forgot Cabin In The Woods was ever made and went back to the days where poor effects, girls running around in tight tops screaming and a general sense of deja vu was common place you still wouldn’t quite get to how mind numbingly dull this film is.

A direct sequel to the original Chainsaw (which forgets the pretty rubbish parts 2,3, Next Generation, Deep Chainsaw 9 and Texas Chainsaw Voyager or whatever the other films were called not to mention the remake and the prequel remake) , it picks up moments later with a cast that look nothing like the originals getting killed by a bunch or rednecks (oddly how does the Leatherface mask look WORSE in this film than in did in the micro-budgeted original?). .Jump forward several years and the last survivor (a baby) inherits a house that for some reason is massively more expensive looking that a family like this could ever afford.  She goes to collect her inheritance with some friends and guess what?  Leatherface didn’t die.  He’s in the cellar.

If that plot description sounds rather dull and lifeless, welcome to Texas Chainsaw 3D – one of the most dull and lifeless horror films I’ve seen in sometime.

I wasn’t a massive fan or the original film – all screaming and shouting.  The sequels weren’t much better.  The remake was terrible and the remake prequel no better.  But I can at least understand why people loved Tobe Hooper so much.  It was visceral, raw, brutal.  This is none of those.

Acted with all the finesse of a bad high school play and directed by someone who wouldn’t be amiss making camcorder films based on a kickstarter campaign, this film even drops the ball on the hohum SFX moments.  Wow.  Someone gets chopped in half by a chainsaw.

Sorry I SAW did that better

Hand chopped off? Yeah seen that a million times.

Chainsaw vs Crowbar?  Fuck you – Denis Hopper vs Leather face in a chainsaw vs chainsaw battle kicks it’s arse (one of the few TCM 2 highlights).

There is just NOTHING to care about here.  Plusses?  The ending’s quite nice (if totally unbelievable) and at least it has the decency to not run any longer than about 85mins.

Other than that?  Nothing.  Zip.

Oh I watched this in 2D but have been told that the 3D adds nothing and in fact makes the film even worse.

Second worse film of the year so far…

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

Join the debate on our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/Filmsploitation) or on our website (www.thefilmpodcast.co.uk)

Meet The Expendables: The Epic Press Conference Transcript

Meet The Expendables: The Epic Press Conference Transcript

Uncategorized

It was one of the biggest films of 2012, and finally delivered on the failed promise of the original Expendable movie.  That’s right is the DVD release of The Expendables 2 and to celebrate we have the full transcript of the film press conference with the cast & crew…

Interviewer: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of Lionsgate I’m delighted to welcome you to this press conference for The Expendables 2. Will you join me in welcoming our guests today? They are Sylvester Stallone, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Jason Statham, Mr. Dolph Lundgren, Mr. Scott Adkins, and Mr. Jean-Claude Van Damme.

I’m going to do one quick question to the top table and then we’re going to open it all to the floor. Guys, can I call you gentlemen, or alpha dogs, perhaps, this morning? I think that would be a good title for you.

You absolutely blew us away with the first film and it took something like $273m at the box office worldwide. How has the bar, in what ways has the bar, been significantly raised in The Expendables 2? Sly, could we start with you and then work our way?

Sylvester Stallone: Sure.

Interviewer: Thank you.

Sylvester Stallone: Real quickly, on the sequel you’ve lost the element of surprise, so you have to give the audience… Usually the first one you may not go very, very deep into character; second one you start to explore the character a bit more. But the odds that you can’t surprise them become, like I said, a lot heavier. So you have to work more and more to come up with some creative devices to keep the action flowing.

Interviewer: Arnold? How do you think the bar was raised?

Arnold: I was happy that I was asked again to be back.

(Laughter)

Arnold: For me it was really interesting because one day you are making policy and trying to stimulate the economy and trying to fix the budget problem of the state. Or talking about inmates or educational issues and all those things. The next day you’re on a set and having a shoot out with Van Damme and with Sly, with Bruce Willis and all those guys.

This has been the interesting part about my life, it’s really interesting, right? To go from one to the other. I was very appreciative that Sly asked me again.

I think this movie is going to really blow everyone away, because there’s so much great action and funny scenes. The movie made me laugh a lot. It had a lot of terrific funny scenes in there, which is important when you have an action movie to have some comic relief.

I thought that everyone’s performance was great. I thought that the first one was almost impossible to top. But when you see this one you’ll agree that this one is even bigger and better than the first one. I think it’s going to be very successful.

Interviewer: Jason, would you like to add to that?

Jason Statham: What was the question?

Interviewer: The question was, (Laughter), how…?

Dolph Lundgren: How old are you?

Interviewer: The bar being raised – how has the bar been raised this time round?

Jason Statham: Well, it always has to, ever sequel has to be bigger and better, otherwise the challenge isn’t there and the expectation is that. So you have to fulfil that requirement from the audience. But if anyone knows how to make action movies it’s Sly. So when he gets this crowd together, you know you’re in safe hands.

So I think that’s very important that so many people who don’t know how to make action movies, sometimes you come up and get… That situation’s not always a good one, put it that way. So when we’re in the company of the greats, we feel relaxed and then we know we’re going to do something good.

Interviewer: Dolph, what about you? What would you like to say on that? Was it a further physical challenge for you all as well?

Dolph Lundgren: Yes, it always is, it’s tough. We shot in Bulgaria for four months, enjoyed the tomato salads and cold chicken. But the movies, like these other gentlemen mentioned, it’s bigger, badder, better and funnier. That’s what we tried to do and that’s what I’d like to do. Because my character was funnier, I think – Sly came up with some pretty good jokes. Arnold of course had the funniest lines in the whole movie, as usual. But we all tried to live up to his comedy as well.

What do you think, Adkins? The bad guy.

Interviewer: Scott.

Scott Adkins: Bad guy. Well, for me as the newcomer, it’s just an honour to be asked to appear in this film with all these action legends. For me, I grew up watching these guys, so these are the guys that made me decide that I wanted to do this for a living. I’m just extremely honoured to be part of it.

Interviewer: Jean-Claude?

Jean-Claude: You know, when I walk on the street, in the airport, whatever, people come to me and they’re saying “Hey, when is your next movie?” So I’ve got to say something, [have a public 0:05:05] for DVD, one for theatrical and one for both.

Because of him, lots of us – I mean me at least – I’m going back to theatre, the big screens. So I’ve got to say thank you to Stallone for putting me back on the big screen because I’ve got those good eyes, good face, I do my best in the acting…

(Laughter)

Jean-Claude: We don’t see that on DVD; we have to over-exaggerate it. So thanks to The Expendables; thank you, Sly.

Sylvester Stallone: You’re welcome.

Jean-Claude: Mr. Stallone.

(Laughter)

Jean-Claude: They understand why I call you Mr. Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone: Yes, because I’m your grandfather.

(Laughter)

Sylvester Stallone: I get that. Don’t rub it in.

Interviewer: We’re going to throw it open to the audience now. If you could address your questions to one or two people on the panel, that would be great. We’ve got somebody in the front row here. We’ll work this side of the room first of all and then we’ll pass it over here. Tim, go ahead.

Male: I have a question for Sly. This is a physically demanding role. I understand that you suffered quite a bad injury when you were making the original Expendables movie. A couple of questions. Did that put you off doing a sequel? Did you suffer any injuries? Is there anybody in your life whose opinion you value who said “Don’t do this, Sly, because you’re taking too much of a risk”?

Sylvester Stallone: Yes, the doctors… I had my neck fused in the last one, with the stunt that went real bad. I had two back operations, a shoulder operation, Achilles operation. The last movie took its toll. The doctor said “Don’t take any rough falls. Let a stunt fellow do it.”

But sometimes you just have to do it. I don’t know why, I guess throw common sense out the window. So yes, there were some injuries; there were some tough ones in this one. But I can’t help myself. (Laughter). It’s a fool’s paradise for me.

Interviewer: There’s a gentleman there, just at the end of the front row here. Thank you.

Male: [Jan 0:06:58] from Belgium. A question for Mr. Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme. In the old days there used to be quite a bit of competition between you guys as action legends. How was it working on a project together? Was there competition on the set?

Sylvester Stallone: Very competitive. Very. No-one wants to be second, so that’s why everyone pushes very hard, and why these people have established the reputation they have. Because they want to be the best, and they usually are.

Arnold: I have to say that for me it was the opposite. I felt that everyone on the set was very helpful, because they knew that I have been out of the movies for eight years. So they actually went a little bit overboard thinking that I don’t know how to hold a gun anymore or how to throw a punch or anything like that, (Laughter). So everyone came together kind of and helped, which was really terrific.

But at the same time, we were very competitive, like you said. I think if you grow up and try to be the best then you have to be competitive. Because the more you compete the more someone ___ [0:08:14] is a challenge, the more your performance improves. So I think, because of that, of watching them with their action movies, I tried to step it up.

So we were always competing about who has the most defined muscles and who has the best body and who-

Sylvester Stallone: The bigger motor horn.

Arnold: Yes. Who has the least amount of body fat and who has the biggest gun, and who kills the most people. Who kills the most people in a unique way and all of this stuff. So there was competition like that all the time, yes.

Dolph Lundgren: Biggest watch…

Sylvester Stallone: Biggest watch, yes.

(Laughter)

Interviewer: Mr. Van Damme as well?

Jean-Claude: Can you repeat your question? Because I was so involved into the answer I’m sorry.

Interviewer: Was there a lot of competition?

Jean-Claude: No, I mean it was a great team. When I see those guys they are an inspiration for me, so I didn’t feel like competing. I felt like following their example and to be as good as them. Next.

Sylvester Stallone: Good answer.

Jean-Claude: Thank you. [Thank you as well 0:09:24] in Flemish. By the way, I felt something – do you have something under the table touching you?

(Laughter)

Sylvester Stallone: Yes.

Jean-Claude: I felt something strange… It was a Belgian joke.

Sylvester Stallone: See what I mean?

(Laughter)

Sylvester Stallone: Unpredictable.

Interviewer: There’s another question this side of the room and then we’ll go to the far side.

Male: Hi, Mr. Stallone, I’m Neil Smith from the BBC. You did mention the stunt guys and the film does carry quite a poignant dedication to the stunt performer who sadly lost his life during the course of the film. How hard was that for the cast and crew to deal with and to bounce back from?

Sylvester Stallone: It was incredibly hard. Especially the members of the stunt team, they took it very, very hard and shut down for quite a while. It’s still something they’re going through. It’s happened twice before in films I’ve been on and it’s never easy. It’s ongoing, I’m sorry.

Interviewer: The other side of the room. Second row, there’s that lady, Kim, yes, if we start with you. Then there’s two chaps beside you I think would like to ask a question, give them that mic there. Go ahead.

Female: A question for Arnold. You said yourself that you’ve been out of acting for a while. Some might say that there are a lot of parallels between acting and politics. What parallels have you found?

Arnold: I think there are a lot. You’re always as good as your last movie and I think it’s the same with politics. If you are successful with a certain policy then you’re hot, if you’re successful with the economy and with bringing down the unemployment rate, you’re hot. But if you’re not successful then things go south very quickly.

I think communication and how to talk to the people is the same as in show business. In acting class they taught you always about you have to be real, “Don’t act, be real. Connect with the people; connect with your partner that you’re acting with.” The same is also in politics. In politics you have to connect with the people.

Some politicians talk like they’re talking to a wall and they cannot penetrate. I think that one thing that is extremely important is to connect with the people and to bring the people in to become your partners, in order to be successful. So there’s a lot of similarities. But then there’s a lot of differences also.

Interviewer: Okay. The gentleman beside and the one beside that. We’ll just cover this little clique at the moment. Go ahead.

Male: It’s first of all an honour to have you all here with us today. Congratulations on an amazing film. My question particularly to Arnold and Sylvester.

Obviously I think for action fans, the finest moment of many action films is the one-liners. There’s so many great ones in this film. But I wondered, looking back over both of your illustrious careers, if you could perhaps share with us what you think in your opinion have been some of the best and perhaps worst that you’ve ever had the privilege to utter on screen. If anyone else wanted to join in, that’s great too.

Sylvester Stallone: I guess my best is “[Yo Adrian 0:12:43]…” It’s one thing you just can’t criticise. Some of the worst would have to be perhaps all my dialogue in ‘Stop! Or My Mom WillShoot’.

(Laughter)

Sylvester Stallone: Probably every line would be immortally bad.

Arnold: I think that one-liners are very important and sometimes you don’t even know when you make the movie that this is going to be a great line. I remember when we did Terminator and we did the line “I’ll be back,” I had no idea this was going to be an important line or something people will repeat.

As a matter of fact I had an argument with Jim Cameron about saying it “I will be back.” He said “No. I wrote it ‘I’ll be back.’” I said “I don’t like the way the L sounds the ‘I’ll’, it sounds a little soft. Maybe it’s more machine-like if I say ‘I will be back.’” He says “No. I wrote it ‘I’ll be back.’”

(Laughter)

Arnold: “So, do me a favour and just say ‘I’ll be back.’” (Laughter). “We shoot it 10 times, 10 different versions and then we pick one. But just say the line.” Anyway, so I did say the line “I’ll be back,” and sure enough when the movie came out I had people come up to me and say “Say the line, say the line.” I said “What line?” They said “I’ll be back,” and I said “I’ll be back.” They said “No, no, no; the way you said it in the movie.” I said “I’ll be back.” They said “Yes, yes, that’s the way…”

So I realised that line clicked with the people and it was a big line. But I did not know when I shot it. Then sometimes you do know. In Commando when I held the guy by his feet and said “I lied,” and then I dropped him. I knew that would be a funny line and would get a big laugh. So sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t know.

Interviewer: Quickly for the rest of the panel, can you think of a good line and a bad line that you’d like to nominate for our questioner here?

Arnold: I’ve never had a bad line.

Interviewer: There you go.

(Laughter)

Sylvester Stallone: There it is.

Dolph Lundgren: I’ve never had a good line.

(Laughter)

Dolph Lundgren: Except for the “I must break you.” Sly, I didn’t argue with him at that point, because I was a kid. He said “Say it that way,” and I said “Alright, I’ll say it that way.” “I must break you.”

Interviewer: Jason, would you like to?

Jason Statham: Yes, you’ve got to have a movie that people have seen, and I don’t think I have.

(Laughter)

Jason Statham: Apart from this one. [So it would be 0:15:10] irrelevant.

Interviewer: Jean-Claude, what about you? A good line and bad line from movies that you’ve appeared in?

Jean-Claude: Sometimes you can send the ball back like if he’s given me a bad line, a good line or whatever it is. I can look with the eyes and go…

(Laughter)

Jean-Claude: It’s enough, sometimes the eyes in movies they talk a lot if you mean a lot. So I [have to do 0:15:32] a line, I just relax, no dialogue [or] I take my [words] behind the camera.

Sylvester Stallone: So it’s good gesture, bad gesture.

Interviewer: The eyes have it. If you could pass the microphone to the gentleman beside and then if you could pass it in front after you. The gentleman with the glasses next, thank you.

Male: This is another question for Arnold. You mentioned this is your first film in eight years. I wondered what the feelings were on the first day of shooting. Wonder if there were any nerves at all?

Arnold: Well, the interesting thing is that when I was governor and I would visit a movie set, which I did quite frequently in Hollywood. Because I wanted to thank people for shooting in California, because it’s good for the economy. It’s a huge business for California. A lot of states have now got very smart and they offer tax incentives, so now productions go outside the state of California. So I always wanted to go and thank them.

Then when I walked away my assistant or aid would always say “Don’t you miss that?” I remember we were just coming from a set with Tom Cruise filming and he was in a harness. He was hanging upside down doing some fight scene, and I said “No. I’m so happy I don’t have to hang in this harness upside down and do this fight scene over and over. I’m happy being governor and I cannot imagine doing that again.”

Then all of a sudden, a few years later after I said that, I’m on a movie set and I’m having the greatest time. I think there was just the ideal movie to be in when you come back was Expendables. First of all because you’re working with the top action heroes. Everyone works together; the spotlight does not go on me but it is spread out amongst all of those action heroes. So it was a safer way to come back.

So I was very fortunate that Sly liked what I did in the first one, the little scene, the cameo I did, that he asked me to come back and to do a bigger role. I had the best time from the time I got to Bulgaria and we started filming. All the way to the end. It was difficult for me to leave because I knew that those guys are going to now have fun for a few more months and I had to leave to go to my next film, which was The Last Stand. So it was the perfect way to get into the movie business again.

Interviewer: Great. I’m going to try to take these in the order in which hands have gone up, so I’m going to move right to the back. Get the microphone please and go down to Stephen, I think, from Ireland right at the back. Yes, after this one, thank you.

Female: Hi, I’m Lorna from Denmark. This is a question for Sly, mainly. Almost all of you are used to being top of the bill when a movie comes out, so were there any clashes of egos at all on the movie? How did you handle it if there were? It seemed like you used humour a lot.

Sylvester Stallone: Well, I’d like to say there was, because it makes for a more interesting story. But no, there was ultimate respect. I think everyone just knew what to do with their job.

The key with men like us is very, very simple. If you give out respect, you get respect. If you disrespect then you’re going to get that too. It’s very, very simple.

But what it is – and I have to give credit to – not many people would do a film like this. This is a very risky film taking people – he said “I don’t know if this would work anymore.” But Avi Lerner created this kind of atmosphere.

He went around, and it’s very, very important where the producer and the financer has a personal relationship with everybody. So everyone – they don’t feel like they’re just hired hands, they’re like their friends. So there was no ego clash whatsoever.

Interviewer: We’re glad to hear. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to have to say that Mr. Jean-Claude Van Damme has got to leave us now; he’s got to go for a live television interview. So can we thank him for his attendance here today?

(Applause)

Interviewer: Thank you so much for joining us.

Jean-Claude: The bad guy – make sure if they speak bad about me behind my back… Let me know, huh? Room 236. [That’s a boy 0:19:36].

(Laughter)

Jean-Claude: See you guys.

Sylvester Stallone: Bye now.

Jean-Claude: I’m very shy.

Sylvester Stallone: Very shy. Bye.

Male: Is this working? Hello? Hi. My question’s for Mr. Stallone. Firstly can I ask are there plans going ahead for an Expendables 3? If so, judging at the timing of year, are you inspired by the Olympics? Would you consider any guest stars from any Olympian gold medallists this year? One suggestion I would say would be maybe Ireland’s Katie Taylor, the lightweight women’s champion.

Sylvester Stallone: Yes, see that would be an interesting choice. Really I think as we spread out, we are thinking about different concepts. Because the third one’s the hardest, by far. The second is the natural progression. Third one, that’s when the air gets rare.

We’re thinking pretty ambitiously about it. So she would fit right in there, because we’re going for odd choices – you have to. Now you have to give the audience something they don’t expect at all. Maybe even go into a different sort of genre, if you read between the lines, get out there a little bit. Maybe rip off one of your other films. Something like that.

(Laughter)

Interviewer: Right, this gentleman…

Male: Hi there, it’s Ben from Men’s Fitness. I’ve got a question for Jason. Obviously you’re in great shape for the film. What advice would you give to people who want to get into similar kind of shape? What would be your top tip for training, recovery and nutrition?

Jason Statham: Well, listen, I’m in and amongst people that have been a lot fitter and more in shape than myself. So, down the list, I’ll still answer the question, because I’ve trained a little bit myself.

But it’s just having the focus and the dedication and the restriction against eating the wrong foods. It’s a state of mind, really. If you can be good with your diet, that’s the first point. Then the rest comes easy. The exercise and the commitment and having a good environment. That’ll take you to a certain level.

Then obviously if you’re looking to achieve great things like some of the Olympians, I can’t answer that, (Laughter), because I never quite made it. But I’m sure Arnold, we’re in great company, can enlighten us on how to take it to an extreme level.

Male: For Arnold and Sly, obviously training now, you probably have to approach it slightly differently to how you would earlier in your career. How have you adapted how you train to meet those demands?

Sylvester Stallone: Mine is obviously going lighter and more scientific, and using the equipment that they are actually using with Olympians today, and plyometrics. It just seems to be… Actually, it’s more fun than just a regular iron game. Arnold is an expert of just ground and pound; he’s really going old school. But I think you’ve changed your routine a little bit too…

Arnold: Yes, I do the curls first now.

(Laughter)

Arnold: I do the squats last.

Sylvester Stallone: Totally different.

Arnold: I think that Sly always used a much more scientific way of training. Always, what I remember, you were hungry always what was the latest method and what is the latest findings and study and all of that stuff. He’s right that I come much more from the old school. I believe in reps and to just do it every day for an hour a day.

I do the same exercises I did 50 years ago and they still work. I eat the same food I did 50 years ago and it still works. I have a great time; I’m addicted to exercising; I have to do it every day. Have to do something every day and then also some cardiovascular training.

Here in London it has been fun because they have the Boris bikes all over London. So we go bicycle riding here and sightseeing at the same time and having a great time. But to me, exercise has always been part of my life. Also watching what you eat.

But it is, without any doubt, tougher as you get older. Your metabolism slows down, your muscles don’t respond exactly the same way anymore than when you do action scenes and fight scenes or running around. You take longer to recuperate. But, so what? It doesn’t matter. It’s not like we don’t get paid for it. It’s not like we don’t have a good time. It’s not like we’re not passionate about what we’re doing. It’s all terrific.

No matter what age you’re in, we have a great time. We had a great time working with all of the action stars that were in the movie. It was the first time I worked with Jason and it was terrific working with him. He’s such a talented actor and is so believable on the screen. He really shines in this movie again, so I’m happy about that. Everyone was terrific to work with.

Interviewer: Scott, as the newcomer on the physical side, were you able to teach these veteran gentlemen a trick or two, perhaps?

Scott Adkins: No, I was of course picking the brains of Arnold – I got to train with Arnold and Jean-Claude. But for me, at the young age of 36, (Laughter), I’m starting to feel the joints starting to go and I’m starting to re-evaluate the way I train. Try and go that more scientific route. But I don’t know, it seems as long as you train hard you’re going to get results.

Sylvester Stallone: No, but Scott, he’s by far one of the top 1% in the world at what he does. It’s just absolutely extraordinary. I wish we could have used him more. When he started films on his own he’s got an amazing body, amazing musculature and the coordination’s just staggering. I mean he really is a really amazing talent.

Scott Adkins: Thanks, Sly.

Sylvester Stallone: It’s true.

Interviewer: There’s a lady at the back and then if we can bring the microphone forward to the front row after that. Yes.

Female: Hi. I’m Charlie from AddictedMMA. This is a question for Scott. With a film like The Expendables 2, the bad guys are as important as the good guys, so that the good guys are believable. Coming onto the set working with guys like this, did you feel pressure to step up to the plate? Were you worried about overegging it or not doing enough to have that presence on screen of being a believable bad guy?

Scott Adkins: Sure, I was nervous. I’m nervous to be in the presence of them now. But I played a similar character before – I did a film called Undisputed 2 and 3 and there’s a character I played called Boyka, a Russian MMA fighter. He was very intense.

There’s a lot of fans out there for this character. It’s an underground movie, you’d have to seek it out. But I knew that that worked. So for The Expendables 2, on the big stage, I took what I did for that character, which was very intense. Because we were in Eastern Europe it made sense to make the character from Eastern Europe and give it that different flavour.

Just tried to bring that intensity to the part of Hector and hopefully I’ve got the audience to love to hate me. Because that’s what you want from a good villain. Yes, we have the end fight, me and Jason, so I think it’s what fans are expecting, really.

Interviewer: Okay, there’s two questions in the front row here. I think that might just about be wrapping it up after that, ladies and gentlemen, but we’ll see.

Male: Hi, Chris from [Belgium 0:27:40]; a question for Sly and Arnold. You guys practically invented this kind of action movie genre. But I just wondered, when you were younger, did you have a kind of role model for this kind of genre? I’m thinking about Kirk Douglas maybe or…

Sylvester Stallone: Yes, growing up I of course admired physically, the first time I saw Hercules Unchained, just something snapped in my brain. Because I was very, very thin and I had no direction, the usual adolescent insecurities. From that point on I had a real male role model. Of course [modelling 0:28:17] yourself after Hercules is kind of a difficult thing when you’re skinny, but that was it.

Then of course the actors at the time, I was just drawn to heroes like Kirk Douglas in The Vikings. That primarily was it.

But when Arnold and I got into the action genre, there really wasn’t an action genre. There’d be car chases and there’d be maybe a fist fight, but the actual genre is something that just grew up around us. We were pretty instrumental in it, but unwearyingly so, it just happened.

Arnold: I remember when I was around 14/15 years old I got to that age where physical strength and athletics, and looking like a he-man and all this stuff, really started meaning a lot to me. So I also watched Hercules movies. One guy in particular, Reg Park, which is a British bodybuilder who became Mr. Universe at a very young age, then won it a second time and a third time. Then landed in Rome and did Hercules movies.

So I thought he was my idol. I read everything about Reg Park and followed his footsteps and trained like him. I said “If he can make it, I can make it.” It was a blueprint, basically, of how to get there, how to win the championships. Here was the training laid out, this is how you get into movies, become a Mr. Universe and then make Hercules movies. I thought “This is terrific; this is exactly the route I’m going to go.”

So yes, he was an idol; he was a very important motivating factor for me that gave me a vision of where I could go and how I could get there. Then of course there was American stars, obviously Kirk Douglas, but John Wayne comes to my mind, I saw a lot of the John Wayne movies that were very heroic to me. So it was that age and they were very inspirational.

I took it a step further than most kids did that said “I like that, I’m going to go and work out a little bit.” To me it was right away “I’m going to win the championship; I’m going to get in the movies; I’m going to make millions of dollars like Reg Park. I’m going to get into the gym business; I’m going to have exactly the same life he has.” That’s what I did. I took it that little step further.

Interviewer: This is going to have to be the last question, ladies and gentlemen; I’m really sorry to those of you who had your hands up and we didn’t get to you. Time has been against us. Marian, please.

Female:                    You’ve had such a varied career with bodybuilding, acting, politics. What has life taught you? What have you learnt from life?

Arnold: I think most of my lessons that I learnt are from sports. I think that’s why I always emphasise to young kids, “Get involved in sports, because that’s where you learn about discipline; that’s where you learn about ‘Never listen to no’ or ‘it’s impossible’ or ‘you can’t make it’ because you can.” I’ve heard all my life that “This is impossible; you can’t make it; you will fail.” I didn’t listen to that and I made it.

You also learn how to get up when you fail and when you fall. As we go through life you will never be successful in everything. I remember as a lifter, the amount of times I tried to lift 500lbs on a bench press and I failed and I failed and I failed. But then one day at the German champions in power-lifting I lifted a bench press of 500lbs, after 10 times failing.

That’s why I remember in politics when we tried to do let’s say a policy like redistricting in California, or something like that, and we failed five times. The press ask me “Don’t you understand that people say ‘No, it’s over, don’t try it again’?” I said “Look, I failed in lifting so many times, I came back and then I did it. The same will be with this.” Sure enough in this particular instance, the sixth time, we won.

So you learn never to give up. So there’s a lot of important lessons that you learn in all of this. You have to have vision. No matter what you do in life, you have to have first the vision. You have to see your goal, you have to believe in it, you have to have faith in it, you have to chase it. Then it is fun to chase it. That is I think the most important thing. If you have no goal, if you have no vision, you’ve nothing. That’s what I’ve learnt.

Sylvester Stallone: It’s true.

Interviewer: Well, I think we’ve all enjoyed the vision for The Expendables 2. Ladies and gentlemen, our guests this morning.

Sylvester Stallone: Thank you.

 

Review: Bourne Legacy (DVD/BR)

Review: Bourne Legacy (DVD/BR)

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The Review: Five years after Matt Damon swam off into the sunset in what was then the final Bourne film, the franchise returns once more, this time with a new lead in the form of Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross and another set of battling government cover ups, black book operations and shady dealings that you wonder just how many secret programs and shady deals a nation can run at anyone time. The story: An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centred on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films. In short it doesn’t have one. Cross is part of another extension of Treadstone/BlackBriar/Outcome/or whatever codename that they use that means nothing, and as Bourne stirs up the shit in New York (the events of Ultimatum) a decision is handed down to cancel all agents. They fail. Cross escapes cue… well not much action but lots of people look at computers earnestly and shouting “Get Of The room” or “Get So And So to do this”.

It’s biggest issue is that it isn’t a film in it’s own right, neither fulfilling enough as it’s own story or clever enough as a continuation of the previous franchise. Without Matt Damon’s Bourne films, this film doesn’t exist and with the events of them played out in the background (and sometimes foreground) they only serve to remind you just how plodding this film is at times, retreading story and action beats we’ve seen many times before and done more excitingly.

Moreover this is a film that didn’t need to be made and by extending the mythology only serves to confuse as tory that only held together by the thinest of threads. Writer/director Tony Gilroy, who penned the previous films, is workman in his approach at best, but at least this time you can see what little action there is.

This all said, it’s not a bad film. But for a film that has a 2hour 15 min plus run time as the end credits role little has been achieved other than to set up a sequel. Yes another film that stops mid flow, rather than actually finish the story it’s trying to tell. What little action their is is okay and the cast are good, including cameos from previous Bourne actors (not Damon however). Renner once again is a good lead, showing that he’s got his action credentials firmly nailed on. The house escape is a particular high but that said nothing even touches the worst scenes of the previous three films in terms of action or suspense. And for all it’s good intentions the film get’s nowhere fast and by the end you can’t help but feel you’ve just wasted two hours of your life on something that didn’t finish or actually even get going.

Yes the curse of Hollywood strikes again – another film designed to kick off another franchise/trilogy (a sequel HAS been green lit).

How much you like this film will solely depend on either your insatiable desire to see another Bourne style film or whether you have a secret fetish for secret shady government agencies, black book operations and drug enhanced super Agents. If you don’t, or felt that Bourne Ultimatum tied up the series nicely there’s nothing to see here. Move along.

 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

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