ORBzine - Jason Statham/Vin Diesel Techno-Thrillers - Movie Reviews

TITLE & REVIEW

Death Race Franchise

Death Race

Death Race In a dystopian future, the biggest form of entertainment is televised death-match car races held in America's super-max prison. Champion convict Frankenstein (David Carradine, in an homage to the the original movie Death Race 2000 ) is indisposed, so Prison Governoress Joan Allen must secretly introduce a replacement. By apparent coincidence, Jason Statham ( Expendables ) is framed for murder and ends up in her prison.

Murderous mayhem ensues. This is an incredible series of car chases and explosions.

  • Death Race 2
  • Death Race 3: Inferno
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    Death Race 2

    Death Race 2 This is a prequel to the Death Race (2010) remake. Luke Goss ( Blade 2 ) is a professional getaway driver for a gang of armed robbers. He is best buddies with gangster Sean Bean ( Game of Thrones ), who gives him a high powered car as a gift. Unfortunately this car is bright orange, and it is a hatchback so the driver has to get out and pull the front seat down so the passengers can climb into the back seats. Naturally our hero ends up in prison.

    Lauren Cohan is a television reporter working for Billionaire Mr Weyland (Ving Rhames - Surrogates ). Weyland has a huge portfolio, including a TV network and the US Prison system. He may even be related to one of the founders of the Mega-Corp from the Alien series. Anyway, Cohan invents the idea of maximizing TV ratings by turning prison riots into a live, televised spectator sport. This is developed into the Death Race, and when Goss ends up in prison he soon becomes the top competitor.

  • Death Race (2010)
  • Death Race 3: Inferno
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    Death Race 3: Inferno

    Death Race 3: Inferno Billionaire Mr Weyland (Ving Rhames - Surrogates ) is victim of a hostile takeover by Dougray Scott ( Mission: Impossible 2 ). The new owner relocates Frankenstein (Luke Goss - Blade 2 ) and his pit crew to South Africa!

  • Death Race (2010)
  • Death Race 2
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    Death Race 4:

    Death Race 4:

  • Death Race (2010)
  • Death Race 2
  • Death Race 3: Inferno
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    Expendables Franchise

    Expendables, The

    Expendables, The A bunch of elite Special Forces types go for revenge against a rogue CIA goon. There have been two other films this year with exactly the same plot, and there is at least one other on the way! This one stars and is directed by Sylvester Stallone ( Demolition Man ).

    Stallone leads a rag-tag mix of mercenaries, from fellow 1980s star Dolph Lundgren ( Universal Soldier ) to more recent action heroes Jason Statham ( Ghosts of Mars ), Jet Li ( The One ) and token black guy Terry Crews. When not hanging out in the tattoo parlour of Mickey Rourke ( Iron Man 2 ) they kill Somali fishermen on behalf of a MegaCorp.

    CIA goon Bruce Willis ( Surrogates ) hires the Mercs to assassinate a Latin American dictator (the Cuban cop in Dexter). The real target is the dictator's backer, drug baron Eric Roberts ( Dr Who TV Movie ). In order to defeat the villains and save the predictable damsel in distress, the unstoppable crew must kill every man in the town between the ages of 15 and 50. No problems there.

    Among other things, this completely fails the Bechdel test. The only other proper female character is Charisma Carpenter , who is Statham's love interest long enough to give him an excuse to beat up a wife-beater.

    Basically, the film staggers from one unbelievably OTT action scene to the next one. There is no suspense, we know EXACTLY what is going to happen at every step. That said, nobody really cares. If you liked the most recent Rambo film, you will love this!

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    Expendables 2, The

    Expendables 2, The To say that this is a cliched action-fest is an understatement. It lacks the relative complexities of the first film, and that is saying something. The team is sent on a mission, which turns them against bloodthirsty villain Jean-Claude Van Damme ( Universal Soldier ). This is not really about a plot device, it is a revenge mission for the guys.

    The roster gets a shake-up this time. Stallone and Statham are still in charge, supported by Lungren, Couture and Crews. Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth both get a look-in, while the team also gets a token girl. Strangely, she is the only one who is a newcomer - an irony that while the men are all aged over fifty (except Hemsworth), the girl is in her twenties.

    One thing that is remarkable is the lack of swearing. Apparently the film was meant to be a PG-12, so it was dumbed down for family audiences. The word is that thanks to a backlash by fans, Stallone was forced to put in extra scenes of ultra-violence. However, despite the on-screen decapitations the dialogue is still child-friendly so Yanks can take their kiddies to see it.

  • Expendables
  • Expendables 3
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    Expendables 3, The

    Expendables 3, The The movie starts with a massive action sequence, where the team use a helicopter to attack an armoured train and free Wesley Snipes ( Blade ) from imprisonment for tax evasion. Then they go on a CIA mission to snatch an arms dealer. It turns out that the CIA’s info was incomplete, and the team end up in a shootout with another 1980s bad-ass – Mel Gibson ( Braveheart ). As an inciting incident, someone gets hospitalised. Is it one of the Token Black Guys? What do you think?

    Stallone retires his old team, even though they did great work in the previous two movies. The second act of the film is Stallone recruiting a new team (with help from Kelsey Grammer – Transformers 4 ). This includes relative newcomer Kellan Lutz ( Legend of Hercules ) and the first woman Expendable – Ronda Rousey (a slightly younger version of Gina Carano ). They are more hi-tech than the old mob, using 21st Century hacking techniques to bring this up-to-date with modern techno-thrillers. Of course, it all goes wrong so there is a cliffhanger at the end of the Second Act.

    Finally, the climactic third act features Stallone pulling his old buddies out of retirement. This is just as well for Statham, because Charisma Carpenter is nowhere in sight this time. The CIA get directly involved again, with Bruce Willis’ replacement (a foul-mouthed Harrison Ford – Ender’s Game ) arriving with more goons – Arnie Schwartzenegger and Jet Li!

  • Expendables
  • Expendables 2
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    Escape Plan

    Escape Plan Stallone ( Demolition Man ) is an escape expert, who has broken out of fourteen Supermax facilities in the previous eight years. His backup team includes Curtis Jackson (AKA 50 Cent) and Vincent D'Onfrio ( Men in Black ). Then he gets roped into a job to test the ultimate prison. Of course, things go wrong and he ends up trapped.

    The place is run by Jim Caviezel ( Passion of the Christ ), a vicious SOB who has used Stallone's textbook to construct an apparently escape-proof prison. The head guard is Vinny Jones ( Swordfish ), while the Medical officer is Sam Neill ( Alcatraz ). Yes, Christ and Damien Thorne are on the same side for once!

    Luckily, while on the inside, Stallone is befriended by his co-star from The Expendables series, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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    Escape Plan 2

    Escape Plan 2

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    XXX Franchise

    XXX

    XXX US Black Ops boss Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson - Marvel Avengers ) realises he needs a new type of Secret Agent, someone who can think outside the box. The top candidate is an extreme sports enthusiast, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel - Riddick ).

    Cage is subjected to a series of dangerous test scenarios, including an encounter with a dangerous drug warlord (Danny Trejo - Machete ).

    XXX is sent on his first mission. He must infiltrate a gang of Euro-Trash anarchists run by Marton Csokas ( Xena: Warrior Princess ). The good news is that he gets to hook up with tough-girl Asia Argento .

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    XXX 2: The Next Level

    XXX 2: The Next Level The IMF - oops, the XXX program - is disavowed. Xander Cage (Vin Diesel - Riddick ) is written off as killed in action. His replacement (Ice Cube - Ghosts of Mars ) is a career criminal who was somehow allowed to become a Navy SEAL. The result is a blaxploitation movie, with the most negative racial stereotypes since Big Momma's House.

    Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson - Marvel Avengers ) has a rival in the US military-industrial complex. The villain is Colonel Decker - oops, Defence Secretary Deckert ( Spiderman ). If only they had just made Nick Fury versus Green Goblin instead.

    Ice Cube teams up with Gibbons' informant, Charlie ( Sunny Mabrey ). Will he seal the deal with a white she-devil, described as black man's kryptonite in Undercover Brother ?

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    XXX: Return of Xander Cage

    XXX: Return of Xander Cage Samuel L. Jackson has stopped recruiting for Marvel Avengers , and is back to recruiting for the XXX program.

    US Intelligence boss Marke ( Toni Collette ) has obtained a super-weapon, Pandora's Box. This is just a codename, like the Rabbit's Foot in Mission Impossible 3 , not literally the ancient artefact from Lara Croft: Cradle of Life . She displays the device to a conference of her fellow Intelligence Heads, a group of rent-a-villains like Nigel Bennett ( Lexx ). Then a highly-skilled intruder (Donnie Yen - Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale ) breaks in and steals the weapon!

    Marke has a tech nerd ( Nina Dobrev ), but needs a team of specialists for field-work. She finds Xander Cage (Vin Diesel - Riddick ), who faked his death after the first film. Cage has his own team of buddies, including a stunt-driver (Rory McCann - Game of Thrones ) and a sniper ( Ruby Rose ). They go undercover, posing as crooks on the run.

    This is a cheesy and cheerful action extravaganza. It displays no respect for the laws of physics, although it dies display a lot of violence without consequences. Like the John Wayne movies of the Hayes Code era, a cowboy can get shot but he never bleeds. The film may have a PG-13 certificate, but that is only because of the language. Dobrev says This is f*cking great! at the end.

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    Fast And the Furious franchise

    Fast And the Furious (2001)

    Fast And the Furious (2001)

  • 2000
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    2 Fast, 2 Furious

    2 Fast, 2 Furious

  • 2000
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    Fast And the Furious 3

    Fast And the Furious 3

  • 2000
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    Fast And the Furious 4

    Fast And the Furious 4

  • 2000
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    Fast And the Furious 5

    Fast And the Furious 5

  • 2000
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    Fast And the Furious 6

    Fast And the Furious 6

  • 2000
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    Fast And the Furious 7

    Fast And the Furious 7

  • 2000
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    Fast and the Furious 8

    Fast and the Furious 8 Dominic (Vin Diesel - The Last Witch-Hunter ) is relaxing in the Carribean, just like in XXX: Return of Xander Cage . However, he gets dragged into a conspiracy when he is blackmailed into working for a supervillain named Cypher ( Charlize Theron ). It turns out that she has been behind the villains in the previous three films, so everything starts to link together plot-wise. Okay, this is retroactive continuity the same way that Spectre linked all the previous Daniel Craig movies in the James Bond series.

    The Rock gets the blame for Dom's defection. He gets a burn notice, and ends up in prison with previous villain Jason Statham ( The Mechanic ). Mister Nobody (Kurt Russell - The Thing (1982) ) gets them both out, but now they must work together. Nobody's sidekick Mister Nothing (Scott Eastwood - Texas Chainsaw 3D ) starts as a whiny pencil-pusher but soon becomes the team's token white guy, replacing the Paul Walker character (who has gotten his happy ending with Dom's sister). The result is a formulaic live-action cartoon that glamourises all kinds of car stunts, which is ironic because one of the main actors of the series died in a car crash.

    The trailer gives away everything and nothing. Basically the whole movie is two and a half hours worth of car chases, while the trailer is only two and a half minutes of the same. The street-racers use their super-cars to fight a submarine at the north pole. What is next - Fast and Furious in Space?

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    Soon

    Soon

  • 2000
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