Stu already linked this in the MAN OF TAI CHI comments, but I thought it needed its own post. Ladies and gentlemen, this movie I never heard of before is now on my most-anticipated list with a bullet:
The boring 47 RONIN kinda put a damper on the roll Keanu seemed to be on with his excellent directorial debut MAN OF TAI CHI, but not enough to make me skeptical of this one. This is just a great trailer with many classical badass elements: the car, the implications of his past, the dramatic visual reveal of his backstory, the PAYBACK-esque first person narration, the fear on John Leguizamo’s face when he realizes which hornet’s nest his buddies have just kicked.
It’s got two directors, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, who are stunt performers and coordinators and second unit directors making their directing debut. Leitch has doubled Brad Pitt in several movies starting with FIGHT CLUB, and Van Damme in REPLICANT and THE ORDER. Stahelski was a choreographer for MAN OF TAI CHI and Reeves’ double for the MATRIX trilogy. He’s also a fighter in the gauntlet scene of MISSION OF JUSTICE and in BLOODSPORTs 2 and 3. Speaking of which, Van Damme sequel replacement Daniel Bernhardt is in this too.
Admittedly alot of the movies Leitch and Stahelski have worked behind the scenes on, including the Wachowski production NINJA ASS, have more shaky action than we prefer. But hopefully star/executive producer Reeves’ preference for clarity will win out. In trailer form the action definitely works and there seems to be alot of it. I’m impressed that the gunplay seems so dynamic. It’s been a long time since the John Woo heyday, so usually when the guns come out it seems like a lazy way to avoid real fight scenes.
The fight choreographers are pretty new, a duo named Nuo and Sunny Sun. They did TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, I guess? J.J. Perry is credited for stunts but not choreography.
Anyway, now we know what we’re doing October 24th.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.