films seen
10
average score
2.75*
nationality
Finland - 63 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Finnish director who moved to Hollywood and ended up in China. Harlin follows the money, but he actually manages to make entertaining films with it. If you want solid/expensive genre fun, his oeuvre's a real boon.

Solid pieces

Bodies at Rest

Chen Mo De Zheng Ren
2019 / 94m - China
Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
Bodies at Rest poster

A simple but capable thriller that plays a little like Die Hard in a Chinese hospital. It's nothing too original or out of the ordinary, but the execution is on point, the actors do a decent job and there are a few scenes that do manage to get the juices flowing. Not a very memorable film, but extremely solid filler nonetheless.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

2013 / 100m - USA
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Dyatlov Pass Incident poster

The inoffensive

Legend of the Ancient Sword

Gu Jian Qi Tan Zhi Liu Yue Zhao Ming
2018 / 105m - China
Fantasy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Legend of the Ancient Sword poster

Renny Harlin, the man who follows the money. The Finnish director spent a long time in Hollywood, but moved to China when he saw opportunities in their budding movie industry. He directed a handful of Chinese blockbusters so far, and like most of his films, they aren't the greatest, but offer decent blockbuster fun for those who care for such things.

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Three warriors are looking for a unique ring, which supposedly leads the way to a lost martial arts master. When the ring is auctioned, they all show up, but they're not alone as an evil power also wants the ring for himself. The three vow to work together and learn that the ring is part of a legendary sword.

The CG is hit-and-miss, and the fantasy elements feel a bit random, other than that this was a fun and entertaining ride. The film's universe is creative enough, the action is pretty decent and the pacing hardly ever slows down. Exactly what you can expect from a Harlin blockbuster.

Skiptrace

Jue Di Tao Wang
2016 / 107m - China
Comedy, Action, Adventure
3.0*/5.0*
Skiptrace poster

Cleaner

2007 / 88m - USA
Mystery, Thriller, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Cleaner poster

Exorcist: The Beginning

2004 / 114m - USA
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
3.0*/5.0*
Exorcist: The Beginning poster

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

1990 / 124m - USA
Action, Thriller
3.0*/5.0*
Die Hard 2: Die Harder poster

Worthy but flawed

The Covenant

2006 / 97m - USA
Horror
2.5*/5.0*
The Covenant poster

A cheesy but dedicated horror film. It's a shame that Harlin is too busy courting horny teenagers, because behind all the tweeny nonsense hides a fun and amusing witch flick. The cinematography is nice enough, the visual effect are okay and the fights are adequate. There's some fun to be had here, but only if you can ignore the cheese.

Dubious filler

Cliffhanger

1993 / 113m - USA
Thriller, Adventure
2.0*/5.0*
Cliffhanger poster

Mediocre action flick that has a few tense scenes, but consists mostly of bad filler. Poor performances, dull cinematography and a boring villain make this a tough film to love. Typical 90s mainstream fodder that appears tepid, underwhelming and unnecessarily slow nowadays, but at least there are some decent moments.

Big nopes

1.0*/5.0*
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master poster