criminal

Extraction (2013)

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Crackle, the online movie and TV site, unleashes an original film that combines shades of Die Hard and surprisingly, The Raid: Redemption with an ensemble cast.

The U.S. military are working closely with the CIA and FBI for a major assignment. A special unit of covert ops are sent to Chechnya, Russia to “extract” an ally to a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group. To extract means they must bust him out of the prison and bring him back alive. The man in question is Rudolf Martin.

When the group goes to the prison to begin the extraction process, they are caught by British-Russian warden Rudnovsky, who sends his guards to kill the entire unit. The entire unit is wiped out with one exception. Mercy Callo, a member of the squad whose parents years ago were killed by the same terrorist group Martin had funded, survives and goes forward to extracting Martin himself.

While Mercy goes for the extraction, FBI agent Natalie Meyers becomes Mercy’s only line of communication while Colonel Harding and CIA agent Kyle Black oversee the operation. Will Mercy successfully extract Martin or does Rudnovsky have something up his sleeve to prevent this from happening?

Written and directed by Tony Giglio, this is quite an interesting action thriller that capitalizes on films such as Die Hard and The Raid: Redemption. Giglio truly knows his action films and came up with a story that as it goes on, keeps bringing the viewer intrigued with the device of the plot twist. The plot twists here make the viewer want to see what happens next in a good way.

An ensemble cast takes over the film, led by wushu champion turned actor Jon Foo. Foo, who should have had his name known in the live action adaptation of Tekken, plays Mercy, the young maverick hero who decides to continue his assignment despite the rest of the team being killed off. Foo resorts to not only using firepower, but gets to unleash some brutal martial arts skills, combining some nice kicking skills with close quarter attacks.

While he proves to be the fighter on screen, one cannot hide the fact that pulling some interesting performances are the likes of veterans Danny Glover (as the colonel heading the mission) and Sean Astin (as the CIA agent who acts as a liaison for the extraction unit). Vinnie Jones mainly mugs for the camera, but gets some shots in as corrupt warden Rudnovsky.

In charge of the action are veteran James Lew and stuntman/stunt co-ordinator Lin Oeding. They pulled off some impressive action sequences that don’t go on the technical as much as the close quarters techniques. In fact, it is a welcome merging of the two with Foo leading the way. In a nicely shot fight scene, Foo finds himself taking on a bevy of guards and relies on using himself as a weapon, pulling off some impressive maneuvers in the process. While there is no real final fight scene, a fight between Foo and a prisoner combines some kickboxing style action but turned up on the brutality.

Extraction is definitely a fun action thriller. It is truly a welcome combination of military action, firepower, and martial arts film. This could be the role lead Jon Foo has been waiting for. Definitely worth seeing, and it is available on Crackle.

WFG RATING: B

Crackle Films present a Sony Pictures Television production of a Ranger 7 Films film. Director: Tony Giglio. Producers: Reuben Liber, Mike Callaghan, and Justin Bursch. Writer: Tony Giglio. Cinematography: Jesse Brunt. Editing: Peter Mengus.

Cast: Jon Foo, Falk Hentschel, Vinnie Jones, Joanne Kelly, Sean Astin, Danny Glover, Adam Croasdell, Branden Morgan, Adam Tsekhman, Maximillian Osinski, Ben Jenkin, Spencer Garrett, Paul Duke.

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Saban Films Acquires Whitaker-Bana Starrer “The Forgiven” and Sets March Release Date

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Forest Whitaker plays Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Saban Films’ upcoming film The Forgiven.

Directed by Roland Joffe, the film revolves around Tutu being appointed to head a nationwide investigation, which results in his being summoned to a maximum-security prison by a notorious murderer seeking clemency (Eric Bana). Inside the brutal prison walls, Tutu is drawn into a dangerous, life-changing battle with the cunning criminal.

The film was produced by Joffe, Craig Baumgarten, and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat with financing by The Fyzz Facility.

Saban Films has set a release date of March 9 in theaters before expanding its theatrical output on March 16 alongside a VOD and Digital HD release.

Three (2016)

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2016, Media Asia Film/iQiyi Motion Pictures/Milkyway Image (HK) Ltd.

Director:
Johnnie To
Producers:
Johnnie To
Yau Nan-Hoi
Writers:
Yau Nan-Hoi
Lau Ho-Leung
Mak Tin-Shu
Cinematography:
Cheng Siu-Keung
To Hung-Mo
Brian Cheung
Editing:
David Richardson
Allen Leung

Cast:
Vicki Zhao (Dr. Tong Qian)
Louis Koo (Inspector Ken Chan)
Wallace Chung (Sun)
Lo Hoi-Pang (Chung)
Eddie Cheung (Dr. Fok)
Lam Suet (Fatty)
Timmy Hung (Chak)
Michael Tse (Gangster)
Raymond Ho-Yin Wong (Gangster)
Stephen Au (Sgt. Tong)
Mickey Chu (Dr. Steven Chow)
Jonathan Wong (Hung)

How far will a doctor, a cop, and a criminal go to make sure their jobs get done and at what cost? The answer lies in this action-drama from the legendary Johnnie To.

When Sun, a local criminal boss, finds himself surrounded by the police, he decides to take the high road by shooting himself in the head. Forcing himself to be taken to the hospital, inspector Ken Chan is assigned to the case. At the hospital, Dr. Tong Qian, a workaholic, has been under fire from her superiors after her last operation left the patient paralyzed. When Sun is taken in, Tong is in charge of making sure the patient will be taken care of, much to the chagrin of Ken.

While in recovery, Sun decides to play mind games with Ken in an attempt to make sure his gang will plan a rescue mission for him. Ken can see through Sun’s methods and attempts to make sure Sun has no chance and even goes as far as mistreating him, which angers Dr. Tong. Sun and Ken are in constant disagreement over Sun as she feels Ken is not helping matters as she attempts to help the criminal recover with the bullet in his head. However, as this trio slowly go to extremes to get their job, what will happen if the gang does well on their promise to rescue Sun?

Johnnie To is truly a master when it comes to crafting films that blend action and drama extremely smooth. The filmmaker tends to either make the drama so tense that it leads to action or make the action lead to extreme tension. In the case of this film, it becomes a case of action leading to tension leading to action. That’s right. To has unleashed a triple (no pun intended) in meshing action and drama with this film and it is not only the layout of the story, but the title revolves around a trio who in their own manners, can be viewed as extremists in their professions.

Vicki Zhao is the extremist and workaholic doctor who will do what it takes, even if she has to deal with the backlash from the failure of her last surgery, to redeem herself when it comes to taking care of our villainous Sun, played with extreme slyness by Wallace Chung. Chung’s criminal mastermind goes to extremes and even keeps his injury in hopes for his gang to come rescue him. He goes as far as not only keeping the injury he sustained but uses it to his advantage to play mind games with the cop assigned to the case, played by the millennial version of Simon Yam, Louis Koo. Koo’s Ken Chan goes to the extreme as well in order to make sure Sun is brought to justice but when he realizes what he has planned, he decides to do the extreme and plays along in hopes to capture the whole gang and this all culminates in one of the most shocking and well shot long take, slow motion action sequences that all presents the results of the extreme methods of these three.

Johnnie To’s Three starts out with action, then some slow moving yet pivotal drama that shows the methods of the titular trio, and culminates in a shocking action sequence that only someone with To’s caliber can pull off. If you are a fan of Johnnie To, then add this to your list of his films to see.

WFG RATING: A

Well Go USA Home Entertainment will be releasing this film on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 4 and is currently available on Digital HD. To pre-order your copy, click the image below: