Friday, February 22, 2013


Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Jason Richman & Michael Browning
Story By: Gary M. Goodman & David Himmelstein
Cinematography By: Dariusz Wolski
Editor: Mark Goldblatt & Robert K. Lambert

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Peter Stomare, Brooke Smith, Gabriel Macht, Kerry Washington, Garcelle Beauvais, John Slattery, Irma P. Hall, Michael Ealy, Daniel Sunjata

When a CIA agent is killed during a nuclear arms purchase, his partner Oakes, recruits his twin brother, Jake Hayes. Jake had no idea he had a twin brother, let alone that he worked for the CIA. Jake, a.k.a. Michael Turner, has nine days to fill his brother's place. However, the enemy terrorists learn of his secret identity and kidnap his girlfriend/fiancee. He has to rescue them and save New York city from an imminent nuclear terrorist act.

What originally started out as a sequel script to the Martin Lawrence film BLUE STREAK.

This is the ultimate Fish out of water tale. As Chris Rock looks totally lost in the film. He tries with the best of his abilities, but he just doesn’t have the right screen presence. I mean it doesn’t help that this film is a generic action film. It’s a Jerry Bruckheimer production so of course it’s expensive and lavish. It involves terrorism and spies with big action set pieces that work in a cliché sense yet bring nothing particularly new and noteworthy. I guess the fact that the film tries to be an action comedy is different but it plays like typical Bruckheimer action comedy little comedy that isn’t particularly funny but lightens up the tension and seriousness of scenes. Though the film is more heavy on the action which works out better for the film.

Surprisingly for a film that should be ridiculous it actually works and is entertaining as a popcorn film. It’s one where you can easily point out what’s wrong with the film, While smiling and enjoying yourself. It’s one of those films where you wonder what were they thinking, that is so out of the box in it’s thinking that it works. As obviously this film seems like a holdover from the action cliché 90’s and the main purpose of this film is to make Chris Rock a star as he was running hot at the time. So maybe widen his appeal and showcase him as an action star. It works out better here as he is the main star then his turn in LETHAL WEAPON 4 where he felt like just an addition.

One of the more unlikely elements is getting Anthony Hopkins to star in this film as one of the action heroes especially at his age. He seems more the villain type. I am sure the film paid him handsomely to be in this film. He seems a little too old to be this experienced dangerous spy doing all these stunts. I guess he is the stand in for Sean Connery who usually would still star in this type of film like THE ROCK. Since Anthony Hopkins over the years has appeared in films that he apparently more or less wants to do since he seems to work when he wants do. He seems less inclined to choose projects due to passion (THE WORLD”S FASTEST INDIAN) which once in awhile he does and is more inclined to do projects that seem fun or well paying. It appears at least that he is having fun for the most part no matter how ludicrous the project is as long as he enjoys himself it seems to him to be worth it, Sometimes his performances in these films are campy but he totally commits and ends up being one of the best things in the film (THE WOLFMAN, THOR)

Chris rock is an intelligent Comedian and actor who has an unlikely hard to place screen presence. In this film he tries to fit into the old Eddie Murphy Action hero type with being funny and believable in an action scenario. While Eddie Murphy is able to do it seamlessly rock isn’t as lucky as he is obviously out of his element. The filmmakers realize this and try to use it to their advantage for the film by making it seem like that is all part of the overall scenario, unfortunately it doesn’t work as it backfires and looks worse then it’s supposed to. When the filmmakers let him be rebellious against the formula and be funny and do diatribes he is excellent as he can handle the material. The action scenes though he seems stiff and unsure, Timid and nervous it looks like he is following a formula instead of being Spontaneous and loose. His style hasn’t worked for all of his screen appearances but over the years he has grown comfortable on screen and knows how to use his talents and expressions for the better on screen. He usually shepherds his own films writing and directing as well as starring. Which I believe is to do the best he can onscreen as before he didn’t seem to get roles or parts where the filmmakers knew how to correctly use him and his talents. He realized that so he made projects himself which best utilized him and allowed him freedom to use his comedy while also playing roles, of course a few of these ended up being remakes of foreign films or forgotten films. They still gave him a presence and showed he was getting better over the years.

Though it may seem harsh the things I am saying I am a fan of both men and I actually don’t mind the film. it’s a good time waster that is entirely predictable, but you enjoy watching it get to the points it’s supposed to


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