Thursday, 26 August 2010

Angelina, Tom, and Cameron run and shoot and run some more

Watching Angelina Jolie in Salt and Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on successive days this week means several precious hours of my life have been lost forever.
I was impelled to watch the films though action movies are not my standard diet, because a) I wanted see where the genre was at b) I had some time to kill c) It was raining d) At my age concessionary ticket prices are a relatively good deal for a place to sit in the dry.
I reasoned the stars are first-rate actors and wouldn’t attach themselves to inferior material even if it were of the shoot ‘em-up variety. All three showed why they deserve their star rating and their places in the Hollywood firmament. They carried their respective movies.
Each seemed to be having fun; an emotion I doubt shared in audiences by anyone other than their most devoted fans.
Both films dispensed with any decipherable plot after the first 10 minutes. So the usual double-agent tosh to get the films started was followed by a succession of chases, bullet spraying, and explosions done better elsewhere. The survival of the lead characters was never in doubt regardless of the dangers they faced.
In terms of involving the audience it was though Jason Bourne had never, well, been born.
Salt was the bigger disappointment. Angelina had proved her action credentials in the Lara Croft films. Her latest movie should have rung the changes having the first female lead in James Bond territory. But if humour was intended when she masked a security camera with her panties, it was soon abandoned for wham-bam. For the rest of the film she could have been a bloke.
As for Tom and Cameron, there was more chemistry between them in the publicity interviews they gave on television than anything on the screen. To be fair they played for laughs but were failed by a weak script. Spoiler alert: about halfway through Knight and Day, Tom closes his mouth completely.
Both films reminded me just how good was the Die Hard series and its star Bruce Willis as NYPD officer John McClane. They had not only all the action staples but also wit and, essentially, a hero who you were rooting for.

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