Bloody, violent, over the top action films are still favorites for the male, testosterone-fueled audience, and some women are fans of the genre as well. So here are two that stake their claims on being part of the genre, and providing hours of vicarious chills.
Copshop (Video on Demand) If you’re missing those good ole’ crazy action films, the ones where blood and wholesale mayhem were guarantees, then Copshop could well be the movie you’ve been waiting for. It’s very B-movie, trashy, loud, and violent – and that’s what makes it so much fun. It comes from Joe Carnahan, who previously directed Boss Level and The Grey. It stars Gerard Butler as Viddick, and Frank Grillo as Teddy, two damaged individuals who work as hired gun and local hoodlum. And there‘s Alexis Louder as Valerie, a young African-American law officer – how she ends up in the crosshairs of these two is a hoot, and part of the film’s batty premise. And then there’s Toby Huss as Anthony Lamb, the one who shows up halfway through the film, and gives deranged a whole new meaning.
Teddy is on the run, with a bounty on his head, and decides it’s a good idea to get himself arrested – that a desolate police facility in the Nevada desert would be the safest place to lie low. Of course, Viddick figures that two can play this game and he ends up in the cell across Teddy. From this simple premise, all hell breaks loose from the 30-minute mark of this action thriller. Corrupt cops, mistaken identities, crazy firepower in close quarters – they’re all elements of Carnahan’s ‘playground’. If there is a fault to be found here, it’s that not enough is done establishing our two main characters, and it’s like we’re dropped into the middle of a video game, and just asked to enjoy the carnage. But do watch this for the Anthony Lamb appearance!
The Trip (Netflix – Norway) – This film hails from Norway, and can boast of Noomi Rapace as one of the lead characters – she of Dragon Tattoo fame. It’s directed by Tommy Wirkola, and Aksel Hennie takes on the other major role. Lisa and Lars are a bickering couple, who we all know shouldn’t even be together anymore. He’s a hack TV Director, and she’s a wannabe actress. It’s the weekend trip to a country house in the forest that becomes the fulcrum of the action that follows. It’s marital discord brought to a crazy, violent level. There’s one-upmanship, as each partner tries to find more ingenious ways of dispatching the other, while ridiculing the efforts of the other. And outside elements come into play with hilarious and of course, violent, results.
There’s not much middle ground to take with this kind of film. You’ll either love the black comedy, take in visceral, blood-soaked vignettes, and think none of the ideas are over the top – or you’ll absolutely hate the film for the very same reasons; that it’s too dark, too blood-splattered, and completely over the top with no real motive or reason. And to be frank, there were points in the film when I did feel things were going overboard. To the credit of the actors, everything is done with a straight face and conviction to the director’s vision. The two are a couple who’s constant sniping would mean we wouldn’t want to spend more than a minute with either of them – so if you’re compelled to keep watching and see how it all ends, the film has succeeded.
Lisa Noomi Rapace Lars Aksel Hennie Tommy Wirkola, marital discord brought to a whole new level