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Director: Joe Carnahan Starring: Alexis Louder, Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo Running Time: 107 minutes


In a world where action movies have mostly been subsumed by the most dominant brands on the market, and therefore always subject to their demands – are they doing right by the character, will they keep the ‘universe’ moving forward – there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple and trying something new. Simple is a relative term for a director like Joe Carnahan, who in movies like The Grey and Smokin Aces has delivered B-movie thrills with a broader appeal and here in Copshop he’s in similar form with his stars. With Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo both in the producer’s chairs and on the call sheet, Copshop aims to be a certain kind of action flick – something smartly dumb built around two stars your dad can’t name but definitely recognises, the kind to keep him occupied of a Sunday afternoon. And it mostly delivers on that, occasionally and admirably attempting to be something more.

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Director: Destin Daniel Cretton Starring: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang Running Time: 132 minutes


As the Marvel Cinematic Universe grows and branches out and builds ever more enormous, into television, into another Phase, into so many movies at this point that even diehards might have trouble counting, the balance between variety and formula becomes ever more precarious. Marvel want to give you something new, just not too new, and this can even be seen in the genres of their movies. Honestly Marvel is becoming more of a genre unto itself in audience minds as the years go by, which suits Feige, Disney and co – so Black Widow is a spy movie, until it isn’t, and now Shang-Chi similarly offers the variety of a big budget, live action blockbuster martial arts movie – except every time it really threatens to shift into that gear, it parks itself with a hard jerk back into Marvel mode. And while that has its moments too, they’re not always two great tastes that work great together in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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Director: James Gunn Starring: Idris Elba, John Cena, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi Running Time: 132 minutes


The original Suicide Squad movie could at the most generous be described as a watchable mess. The hap-hazard editing, neon-splattered dour framing and tonal whiplash made for aggravating viewing and no doubt plenty of frustrating meetings at Warner Bros, but there was no denying that there was something there underneath, well, the Jared Leto of it all. That is partly because Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn undoubtedly struck a lasting chord with viewers, and in large part also because the ‘Suicide Squad’ is such a can’t-miss premise. Stick a bunch of mismatched misfit supervillains together in a team, and send them off on deadly, dirty op missions without worrying if any of them make it back alive. It’s a recipe for a blast of an action movie in the right hands, and that’s exactly what is delivered in James Gunn’s sequel.Read more…

Director: Taylor Sheridan Starring: Angelina Jolie, Aidan Gillen, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Bernthal, Medina Senghore, Finn Little Running Time: 100 minutes


Taylor Sheridan can dine out in Hollywood for some time to come still off the back of his Sicario script. The films that he’s gone on to direct – some good (Hell or High Water), some less so (Wind River) have struck a similar tone to that star-making work, serious but pulpy adult thrillers, simple stories of heists, hunts and murders that tried to ground themselves in real-American lives, the kind of stories of people struggling and suffering that you’d be as likely to see on John Oliver as on the big screen.

 

Sheridan’s latest Those Who Wish Me Dead is on the same page as those stories, but maybe comes in a paperback. It’s the kind of movie you used to get all the time in the 90s – your Peacemakers, your Paybacks, your Patriot Games – that relied on a few scenes of action and the wattage of a good star. Action thrillers, made for grown ups but not too high-brow. Those Who Wish Me Dead delivers this like a ready-meal, nothing mind-blowing but nice, filling and gets the job done, thanks to some strong storytelling from Sheridan and the draw of Angelina Jolie.

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With news, reviews and events in the fair city of film a little thinner on the ground at the moment, Film In Dublin will taking an occasional look at What’s On…The Shelf, taking a deeper dive in to some of the films in their personal collections. This time, Luke Dunne goes on long on John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China.

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Mission: Impossible  – Fallout makes this list because the each act of the film on their own are better self-contained action stories than most blockbuster fare put out this year. A stunning triptych on the altar of Tom Cruise’s  self-destructive self-regard, Fallout is built on a thorough reeling through the list of pretty much every set-piece director Christopher McQuarrie can dream up and Cruise can delude himself into being dying (not yet literally) to do. Ethan Hunt dives through the Parisian sky as lightning cackles around him, decimates a bathroom with a totality and violence not usually seen outside of Stephen’s Day jacks-visits, rams trucks into rivers, races motorcycles around every square inch of one of Europe’s largest cities, chases after man mountain Henry Cavill (if he doesn’t crush you, no giant thing will) with a broken foot and with over 90 minutes of his latest mission already clocked, the man and his film haven’t even really gotten started yet. By the time Hunt starts playing Helicopter Conkers in the Himalayas, you’ll be literally floored as you realise you’ve gone way beyond the edge of your seat.

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A nation divided? Once thriving cities reduced to ruins? Shambling, brainless monsters praying on the innocent, destroying all hope? It’s not just Brexit, it’s also Redcon-1; a new, independent British zombie action/war film.  Having screened in cinemas across the UK, the film is now making its way to Ireland, with some exclusive screenings for zombie fans in the fair city of film.

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Director: Patrick Hughes Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Selma Hayek, Gary Oldman Running Time: 118 minutes


Movies won’t appreciate what they have in Samuel L. Jackson until he’s gone. Not the highest highs, the Djangos, but the long, long list of unmemorable, mediocre or outright awful productions that have been raised one bar higher by the sheer presence of Jackson and the level and legitimacy he brings to every performance. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a better film than many of those, but it’s many rougher edges are a lot easier to look past when Jackson is cackling hard at the latest inconvenience he’s caused Ryan Reynolds, the titular bodyguard to his titular hitman. Recalling many of the dumb but cheerful odd couple action movies of the 1980, here the at-odds pair’s chemistry is just strong enough to prop up a deeply misguided plot international intrigue, which aims to be something like a comedic episode of 24 but is more like an episode of Chuck if they were allowed to say motherfucker.

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Director: Ben Wheatley Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Jack Reynor, Michael Smiley Running Time: 90 minutes


A high stakes deal between criminals. Clashes of personality, honour among thieves. A job that goes souther than south. And lots and lots of gun fire. If Free Fire was actually made during the decade in which it’s set, the 1970s, then it’s not hard to imagine its ultra-macho story being played considerably more straightfaced. Ben Wheatley and co-writer and co-editor Amy Jump on the other hand, choose to draw out the crime drama tropes to a near-breaking point, not past the point of absurdity but stopping just shy of it, resulting in a madcap action comedy that winds up its entertainingly clashing cast and then sets them against each other in a shoot-out that lasts for over an hour.

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