As you all know, or if you don’t you’re about to find out, I’m a big fan of Asian cinema and so finding out Jee-woon Kim was to direct Arnold Schwarzenegger in an all out action film, I was excited.
Jee-woon Kim was the director of The Good, The Bad and The Weird, a rather strange, long running film from 2008 that both hit and missed but was directorially speaking brilliant to look at.
Kim directs from a script written by newcomer Andrew Knauer and has Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville join Schwarzenegger as the FBI lose a big, bad drug cartel boss (called Cortez, what else!) who’s fleeing to Mexico through the sleepy town of Sommerton Junction.
Schwarzenegger is the sheriff of Sommerton and, after some bad guys kill his deputy, he takes it upon himself to stop Cortez from driving through his town to Mexico.
To make sure he can make it to the border quickly, Cortez steals a prototype Corvette that has over 1,000bhp. This leads us to the first problem: Cortez is escaping from Las Vegas, this is around 350 miles to the border of Mexico and yet he doesn’t have to stop to fuel the car once. With a Corvette you’d be lucky to get 30 miles per gallon maximum and the car would probably have an 18 gallon tank…I’ll let you do the math on that one.
Then we get to the section of the film were the escaping Cortez overtakes two vehicles carrying the Swat team on their way to stop him. He handbrakes in front of them, reversing down the road, then breaks suddenly as one of the vehicles, somehow, runs up the Corvette and flips over. The Corvette escapes with just a scratch on the bonnet, not even a cracked windscreen, obviously I’m ignoring the car running up the bonnet of a car thing.
Or there’s the bad guy with the six-shooter (it’s never explained why he brings an old six-shooter cowboy gun when everyone else has sub-machine guns) that never seems to run out of bullets or get reloaded.
Having said all that, as I just have done, this is a fun film. It’s by no means a classic and it doesn’t have the fun and whimsy of TGTBATW but it’s a switch your brain off, have some fun and see the old man Arnie kick some ass once more.