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And, wave 2: the "poster edition":
Linterna Verde is a cool name. Here he is called Grønne Lykt.
The name says is all. Warbeck would have been my #1 choice for a 70's/80's Bond.
I got around to watching The Foreigner yesterday. It’s a rather strange film as tonally it is rather misjudged. Martin Campbell does hold the film together competently. His directing isn’t flashy and the action is terrific, but it’s a shame about the script.
The marketing seems to suggest that this is Jackie Chan getting to show his special set of skills in his own hardboiled Liam Neeson-esque film. However, Chan plays second-fiddle to the politicking and muddled plotting. Most of the film revolves around some nonsense about the IRA coming back and backchannel manipulation, blah blah blah. The film is overly concerned with its stodgy and dull plot which untangles in a haphazard way. (There's also some worrying politics here about police brutality and vigilantism that the movie seemingly endorses)
Brosnan is the real lead of the story and has the lion’s share of runtime. He’s terrific as a Gerry Adams type politician who is more growler than his usual slick characters. It’s rather pleasant seeing Brosnan do something a little out of his comfort-zone. However, the real story is Chan and he is heartbreaking during the film’s more morose scenes. Naturally, the whole thing veers so far off track when it’s revealed that (inevitably) he’s a top secret government-trained assassin (yawn). I mean, he started the film working in a South London takeaway shop. During these early portions, there are some great moments that are reminiscent of Campbell’s Edge of Darkness series.
There is an undeniable thrill when Jackie does break out his usual tricks and stunts with Campbell staging them excellently. They’re always thrilling, coherent and genuinely exciting. It’s a shame that there are only a handful. This film needed to be 90 minutes of intense action, instead of the clunky inconsequential two-hour ‘political’ thriller we’re left with. This thing was in desperate need of a rewrite to focus the energy on Chan and his character’s struggle. There is some B-movie fun to be had, but it could have been better if it was truly a Jackie Chan vehicle.
Yes, less was more for a change.
It's nice to see some appreciation for Cleanskin. It rarely gets talked about when spy films are brought up.
I think what is remarkably similar about both films is how awkwardly they mesh together two entirely different plotlines that are only tangentially connected. At times it feels like someone found two DVD's in a bargain basement and decided to edit together the films into a fairly coherent piece.
The problem is the 'Jackie Chan revenge film' and the 'IRA political thriller' don't work together they are entirely different films that awkwardly coalesce. The Brosnan story is the much weaker of two and overwhelms Chan's story. It also means that Martin Campbell plays against his strengths as a action filmmaker.
The same can be said of Cleanskin. That film sells itself as 'Sean Bean action film' but it's actually something more interesting and occasionally more sophisticated. The Sean Bean sequences feel like they were cut-and-paste from another film entirely and could be edited out easily.
Don't go in to the film expecting glamorous locations and ott action sequences, and you might like it.
'Superb' may be overselling it.
The political thriller component is so inconsequential as it has next to no real world resonance to our current discourse. You can really feel that the writers are adapting a book from 1992 about the re-emergence of Troubles and awkwardly placing it in 2018.
For 2018 it's a terribly dated piece before the first titlecard. The smart thing would have been to set the film in the '90s. It would have had given the movie an interesting historic component and analogue feel (that would have suited Quan's MacGyver sensibility).
There are numerous boneheaded decisions across the board from the filmmaking team. Nonetheless, the fights scenes are terrific (but too few!). At best the film is a great paperback airplane thriller, but one you wouldn't take home and instead probably leave in your seat after finishing. Also, I'm a fan of Charlie Murphy (and not the one who got slapped by Rick James):
This has spiked my interest. Where are you from, @Pierce2Daniel?
Also, Campbell is finishing a pretty terrific sounding action film at the moment with Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton (!).
Pretty terrific stuff. More information on the plot:
That was the problem. With another lead, it would have improved a lot.
Really though, I don't think Campbell was right for that project, but I give him credit for giving it a crack.
According to one insider, the film was severely hit with interference from Warner Bros:
"One thing I feel needs mentioning: this is not Martin Campbell's cut of the film, but the studio's. I live in New Orleans where it was shot, I read the shooting script, all of which was painstakingly filmed with intense research, and all of that was left on the cutting room floor - a sort of combination of what happened to Daredevil (2003) and Watchmen (2009), respectively - character development sacrificed for CG, scenes made irrelevant by removing their setup. The movie in the theater starts with an explanation of mythos that is made redundant by the more natural, scripted questions from Hal when he gets the ring. Ten minutes of childhood Hal, Carol, and Hector that sets up Hal's first ring construct is reduced to an awkwardly placed flashback in the middle of another scene. The training with the ring is almost completely excised except for one minor scene. Most appallingly, the ending completely deletes the fact that Kilowog, Sinestro, and Toma-Re arrive at the end and help Hal defeat Parallax. Not to mention Parallax was supposed to be a 3rd act reveal after we spend the film worried about Hammond going evil, not the main villain for the entire film. I sincerely hope we get a director's cut or at least all the deleted scenes on the video release".
Ryan Reynolds and Martin Campbell clashed repeatedly on set. Campbell has stated in interviews that his first and only choice for the lead was Bradley Cooper. However, the studio was not willing to make an offer to him and ultimately cast Reynolds behind Campbell's back. This lead to an uncomfortable experience on set for Reynolds whose performance was constantly critiqued by Campbell who made him do many takes. Reynolds has stated in an interview with Variety that the film's failure was a huge relief as he had such an unpleasant experience and "dreaded doing it again."
In October 2007, Greg Berlanti signed to direct the film and co-write it with comic-book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim. A draft of the trio's 2008 script, leaked on the Internet, revealed a story that included the hero's origin and included Clark Kent and Green Lanterns Alan Scott and Guy Gardner in a cameo appearance, and appeared "to set up Hector Hammond as Hal Jordan's ... first major nemesis...." However, Berlanti stepped down to instead direct This Is Where I Leave You (2014) and handed direction over to Martin Campbell. But he remained on board as a writer and producer. Later on, Berlanti's producing partner Andrew Kreisberg confirmed that the studio slashed Berlanti's original script.
It’s a shame Warner Bros. did what they did. There was so much talent and potential involved. It is a guilty pleasure for me.
I’m not really bothered if his other none Bond films were good or not. However, I will say ‘The Devils Double’ (that Campbell directed and starring Dominic Cooper) is definitely worth a watch.
The Devil's Double was directed by Lee Tamahori, not Martin Campbell. ;-)
Ah yes....my mistake!! Ha ha. That’s it....when I watched it I thought it was good and why then had DAD been such a miss fire!
It's amusing how Campbell and Tamahori are the polar opposite - Campbell directed 2 of the best Bond films, and none of his other work come close (though I quite enjoy The Foreigner and Edge of Darkness), while Tamahori directed one of the worst Bond films (I still find DAD quite entertaining), but his non-Bond stuff is very solid (The Edge, Once Were Warriors, The Devil's Double).