The Grisly, Goofy Starship Troopers Played Dumb To Make Hollywood Look Even Dumber

The moment when you discover what Starship Troopers is really about is one of the great eureka moments in the life of any young movie dork. I’ve got vivid memories of staggering out of a suburban multiplex in 1997 and sputtering, “What the fuck was that?” To my teenage self, it was basically Saved by the Bell plus…

Skin Trade Lets Dolph Lundgren Cook, And For A Dumb Action Flick, That's Enough

Dolph Lundgren has had a couple of cups of coffee with the American pop-cultural psyche: haughtily sneering over Apollo Creed’s death in Rocky IV, wearing a necklace of severed ears in Universal Soldier, that sort of thing. But he never crossed over to the upper tier of action stars, and it’s hard to say why, exactly.…

The Avenging Eagle Is A Great Shaw Brothers Flick For Kung Fu Novices And Experts Alike

Sometime in the last month or two, a whole pile of Shaw Brothers kung fu movies suddenly appeared on Netflix. The Shaw Brothers studio started making movies in Hong Kong in the ’20s, but it’s most famous for the incredibly huge catalog it cranked out during the ’70s and early ’80s. At its peak, the company was…

The Bank Job Is A Great Jason Statham Flick, Even Though He Hardly Kicks Anybody

The Bank Job is a movie that stars Jason Statham, but it’s not a Jason Statham movie. The chief attributes of his persona, as established in a long line of mostly-pretty-great action B-movies (like, say, this one or this one), are just not there. We don’t get the cold-eyed and square-jawed stare, or the explosive and…

First Blood Is A Darker, Sadder, And Better Rambo Flick Than You Remember

The climax of 1982’s First Blood isn’t a gun battle or a knife fight. It’s Sylvester Stallone, as John Rambo, breaking down into big, blubbery tears, trying to make sense of the world around him. He’s learned that he’s the last surviving member of his elite fighting force, that America has no further use for the kids…

The First Mission: Impossible Movie Is Very '90s And Very Necessary

There has never been a bad Mission: Impossible movie. They’ve all been ridiculous. They’ve all strained credulity. They’ve all had dense, convoluted plots that don’t really stand up to any scrutiny. They’ve all functionally served as Tom Cruise stunt reels, the plots reduced to incoherent connective tissue propping up…

John Woo's Mesmerizing The Killer Changed Action-Movie History Forever

The best John Woo movie, and the main reason action-movie dorks speak the guy’s name in hushed tones, is 1992’s Hard-Boiled. That’s the last one he made in Hong Kong before he came over to America and found ways to inject his bullet-riddled absurdism into Hollywood’s system, and it’s the one where he pushed his dazed,…