The premise of Takers couldn’t have been better tailored to my cinematic interests. A team of criminals who engineer and pull off perfect robberies, with timing down to the fraction of a second, deciding to do one last job, even as they’re suspicious of the source of the information, while an obsessive cop is hot on their trail, determined to break the case.
Graphics novels are ripe for film treatments and many look just like storyboards, allowing moviemakers to jump start the creative process. Most graphic novel-based films tell the story but shed the visual style of the original work. A few have tried to present a hybrid view, notably Sin City and Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the first to offer up a unique hybrid where the action, the visuals, the sets and even the scene transitions mirror the style of the original artwork.
Sylvester Stallone! Jason Statham! Randy Couture! Dolph Lundgren! Jet Li! How can you be a fan of action movies and not love the idea of teaming them all up as a mercenary army ready to take on the biggest bad guys in the world? That’s how Stallone undoubtedly lined up the funding for this big, loud mess of a movie. Actually, The Expendables is worse than that, because the first half of the film is terrific, enjoyable, dripping in testosterone and insider jokes, including cameo appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Then it just falls apart, the story becomes completely incomprehensible and even the editing degrades to choppy transitions.
I take notes as I watch films so that I can remember salient plot points, great effects, and idiotic story twists. During The Other Guys, I wrote down “buddy cop film from hell”. That might well sum up the weird mashup that is The Other Guys, a movie that can’t decide if it’s a straight-up action film, a satire that skewers the well-worn buddy cop genre, or a daft, sophomoric comedy in the vein of Police Academy.