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average score
New Zealand - 77 years old
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The inoffensive

The Foreigner

by Martin Campbell
2017 / 113m - UK
The Foreigner poster

Though not the most original film, The Foreigner comes with a pretty interesting setup, where none of the leads are straight-up good guys. It's obvious enough who're the people we're supposed to sympathize with (i.e. our titular foreigner, played by Jackie Chan), but even he's a pretty shady character.

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When a IRA bomb kills Quan's only remaining daughter, he's poised to take revenge on the bombers. He pesters police and politicians for the names of the criminals, but nobody's willing to help him out. Quan, a former military man himself, decides to take matters into his own hands.

The film's surprisingly grim, not something I expected from a Jackie Chan production. He fares well though, and his battle with Pierce Brosnan is quite entertaining. Cinematography, score and plot are rather basic, but if you're looking for some solid thriller filler this is not a bad option.

Worthy but flawed


by Martin Campbell
1995 / 130m - UK
Action, Adventure
GoldenEye poster

A return to form for Bond. After a short, 5-year hiatus the franchise returns with Brosnan in the lead and a lot more action to break up the crime/adventure elements. It's the first Bond film that feels like a true action flick, but it's also the first Bond where 007's often cheeky behavior is called into question. You can't have all the fun.

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007 finds himself entangled into some good old Cold War nonsense again, having to fight the Russians for a weapon (the titular GoldenEye) that could destroy the world. It's a quest that takes him around the world and pits him against an enemy that has a personal grudge against Bond.

Brosnan is a perfect fit for the character, the bigger focus on action adds to the entertainment and there's enough goofy franchise drivel to make sure the film never gets too serious. It's newfound social consciousness is a bit ill-fitting though and Sean Bean is a dull bad guy, the Bond girls aren't great either. But after the Dalton Bonds, this was a breath of fresh air.

Dubious filler

Edge of Darkness

by Martin Campbell
2010 / 117m - UK
Crime, Thriller
Edge of Darkness poster

Martin Campbell adapts his own miniseries into a feature film. I never watched the original, but it doesn't look like there was any reason to revisit this story. Edge of Darkness is set up like an extremely simple revenge flick, hinging everything on the performance of Mel Gibson. Not a smart bet.

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Detective Craven doesn't have the best relationship with his daughter, but when she's brutally murdered right in front of him his world crumbles. He starts digging into her past and hits a cover-up that links the company she worked for to a government operation. That's when Craven starts fearing for his own life.

The action is rather tepid, there's way too much (uninteresting) dialogue and the cast does a mediocre job. It's almost as if Gibson tries to compensate, with a performance that is way over the top. The cinematography and score are also of little consequence. The finale almost redeemed the film, but that final scene was the final blow.

Plain forgettable

The Mask of Zorro

by Martin Campbell
1998 / 136m - USA
Western, Adventure
The Mask of Zorro poster

Though I watched a fair number of Zorro episodes as a kid, it was far from my favorite series. Safe to say that I didn't expect too much from this film, not in the least because director Campbell has a pretty poor resume. The film turned out to be pretty much what I thought it would be, but with a few silver linings.

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Zorro was never very serious and it seems Campbell understood that very well. Especially during the first half there's a certain cheesy mood that makes the film a lot easier to sit through. Not that it was particularly great, but at least the pacing was decent and it never felt like it tried to be too serious.

The action sequences (apart from the explosive finale) are rather dull though and it's criminal to let a simple film like this cross the two-hour mark. The second half also loses some of its lightheartedness and the build-up toward the finale did drag, but I expected a lot worse. That said, I won't be seeing the sequel any time soon.

Big nopes

Casino Royale

by Martin Campbell
2006 / 144m - UK
Action, Thriller
Casino Royale poster

Ouch. By far the worst Bond in the series. Gone is the self-aware fun, the crazy, goofy elements, the over-the-top nonsense. In good old Hollywood '00 tradition and old franchise is revamped to be more serious and raw. Of course within the safe confines of marketable Hollywood entertainment, making for an extremely boring and glaringly nonsensical film.

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This is a little reboot for James Bond. He's on his very first assignment and still has to learn the tricks of the trade. He chases down a bad guy called Le Chiffre, the famed banker of a global terrorist network, in order to stifle their operations. But Le Chiffre isn't just some office stiff, making Bond's life much harder than he had anticipated.

The action scenes are bland, Q is dearly missed, the extra time spent on the characterization of Bond is an utter waste of time and the poker game that grinds the film to a halt halfway through is one of the dullest scenes in any of the Bond films out there. A disgrace, sadly it did well and we seem to be stuck with this Bond for the time being.

Irritation overload

Green Lantern

by Martin Campbell
2011 / 114m - USA
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Green Lantern poster