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Non-Review Review: Patriot Games

Truth be told, I think Patriot Games stands as one of the best American spy movies produced in the last thirty or so years. It helps that it has, for my money, one of the great leading actors in Harrison Ford, but I also think it works because it tries to explore something of how the American espionage services work, while functioning as a thriller in its own right. It’s easy to reduce the American intelligence agencies to mere window-dressing in a conventional action movie, or to heavily politicise the organisations as part of a political drama, but I think Patriot Games works best because it’s a spy movie that actually feels like it’s a thriller about the intelligence gathering community.

Family man or Company man?

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Iron Man 3: Tony Stark to Face Real World Baddies…

You know what? I was sad to hear that Jon Favreau wasn’t coming back to direct Iron Man 3, especially after Marvel so thoroughly mucked with his vision of Iron Man 2 – turning the second act into an extended infomercial for The Avengers. However, I was kinda glad to see Shane Black come on board, if only because his last collaboration with Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) was pure gold. Anyway, Black – as a screenwriter – will be writing the new Iron Man film, and he’s promising a Tom Clancy plot and “real world villains.” So what exactly does that mean?

The other "Man of Steel" (well, gold-titanium alloy)...

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Non-Review Review: Executive Decision

Are you manly? I mean really manly? In a way, Executive Decision is kinda what I was hoping for when I heard about The Expendables. It’s not an excellent movie, or even an exceptional one – in fact, it can be cynically described as Die Hard on a plane” – but it’s a perfectly serviceable action movie that gets bonus points for never trying to be anything more than what it is. There’s not tangential romantic plot or half-hearted attempts at characterisation: the movie is all business. And that business is attempting to give its audience testosterone poisoning. 

Not quite plane sailing ahead...


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