Two Mexican police officers (Benicio del Toro and Jacob Vargas) become embroiled in a corrupt drug investigation. Meanwhile a judge in Ohio (Michael Douglas) is tasked with heading the Office of National Drug Control, whilst his daughter (Erike Christensen) becomes more experimental with her own drug use. Even more meanwhile a DEA investigation (led by Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman) arrest a dealer (Miguel Ferrer) and keep him in custody to testify in court against a drug lord, whose wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) suddenly finds herself having to deal with her husband’s way of living with the help of her lawyer (Dennis Quaid). Continue reading →
A hard drive containing the identities of MI6 undercover agents is at risk of going missing, so James Bond (Daniel Craig) is trying to catch the thief in Istanbul, with the assistance of field agent Eve (Naomie Harris). When Bond is shot and presumed dead, his superior, M (Judi Dench), takes the blame, but when Bond returns from the grave, he must track down the files to save not only his country, but his boss. Continue reading →
Back in 2002, the espionage genre must have felt a little like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne at the start of this trilogy, floating unconscious in the Mediterranean Sea with a bullet in the back after the abysmal CGI tsunami of Die Another Day and the shallow, clichéd hotchpotch of Mission Impossible 2, although they may have envied Bourne’s lack of memory. Thank the heavens then for the metaphorical fishing vessel of star Damon, director Doug Liman and writer Tony Gilroy for bringing this energetic affair to the screen, both setting up Damon as a bona fide action star and throwing the gauntlet at the feet of Bond and Ethan Hunt to step it up a gear (both of whom willingly accepting the challenge with Casino Royale’s gritty realism and MI3’s intelligent action).
A kind of working class Alfie, this tells the story of twenty-something factory worker Arthur Seaton, spending his weekends getting fall-down drunk, chasing women and sleeping with a stiff co-workers bored wife. Seaton is played with an animal intensity by Albert Finney in a breakout role, captivatingly bitter and indignant (check out the primal glare he gives his opponent in an early drinking contest), but some of the supporting cast are terrible, notable Shirley Anne Field as Arthur’s latest fancy Doreen. Predictably plotted and having aged terribly (One character dreams of “a new house, with a bathroom and everything!”) this is notable for Finney’s portrayal of a man confined by his own sense of self, but little else.
As I’ve previously mentioned in my post about the remake of True Grit, I’m a massive Coen brothers fan, so when my girlfriend selected Miller’s Crossing from the DVD stack to watch last week, I was overjoyed.