Chris Penn

Chris Penn

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Rush Hour 2 Review


Good
I enjoyed the original Rush Hour, the 1998 action comedy that grossed more than $250 million worldwide. Through its central characters, played by Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, the film provided audiences with a fresh, exciting combination of action and outrageous comedy. Although not a great film, and certainly not worthy of a sequel, director Brett Ratner admirably stitched together two immensely different characters, finding a charismatic delight in the diversity of Tucker and Chan.

Unfortunately Ratner does not find the same joy in Rush Hour 2, an occasionally amusing comedic adventure that leaves us with a profoundly annoying Chris Tucker fighting for attention while Jackie Chan fights one-dimensional Chinese villains with his bare fists. The film contains some neat action sequences, a great third act, and the most hilarious outtakes I can remember - but the clash of genres feels intrusive and awkward. I wanted more excitement, more character dimension, and a whole hell of a lot less of Chris Tucker's irritating mouth.

Continue reading: Rush Hour 2 Review

The Florentine Review


Weak
The Florentine has that desperate desire to be Reservoir Dogs, with a rogues' gallery of ex-cons, mobsters, and sad sacks all trying to make a go at life and intersecting at their favorite bar. Alas, few of their stories are worth paying much attention to, though James Belushi is (unintentionally) hysterical as a scam artist taking advantage of poor Luke Perry.

Masked & Anonymous Review


Bad
Masked & Anonymous, as a title, comes across as a vague, artsy moniker as inaccessible as the film it represents. But look closer at the name of this movie about revolution and despair, and you'll discover a clear reference to the film's writers; credited as Rene Fontaine and Sergei Petrov, the screenwriters have been unmasked, as it were, revealed to be the film's iconic star, Bob Dylan, and director Larry Charles (HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm).

The result of this combination is an overly ambitious film that's as muddled and cryptic as a mumble-filled Dylan vocal. Dylan stars as the symbolically named Jack Fate, an apparent musical legend, jailed in the midst of a brutally downtrodden America where the government has taken over, war is rampant, and even the counter-revolutionaries have counter-revolutionaries.

Continue reading: Masked & Anonymous Review

Deceiver Review


Good
It's becoming pretty trendy to try to surprise the viewer. It seems like, every time I turn around, some critic friend of mine is blurbing about "a twist ending rivaling such-and-such film." The such-and-such is normally some not-that-obscure, not-that-old film such as The Usual Suspects, 12 Monkeys, The Sixth Sense. My personal favorite would be calling it a "Nowhere Man" ending, after the short-lived ultraparanoid UPN series about a photographer whose existence is erased. At the end of it all, he finds that he was never a photographer to begin with and that he is the head of the organization he has been fighting against and created a new identity and memories for himself so that the security of their conspiracies could be tested.

Deceiver may not be the latest in this trend of trying to trick us, but it is, like most of them, incredibly easy to predict. You see, when you've watched enough movies, you become immune to their tricks. You see through them, know the killer ten seconds in from their first facial expressions.

Continue reading: Deceiver Review

Chris Penn

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Chris Penn Movies

Rush Hour 2 Movie Review

Rush Hour 2 Movie Review

I enjoyed the original Rush Hour, the 1998 action comedy that grossed more than $250...

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Masked & Anonymous Movie Review

Masked & Anonymous Movie Review

Masked & Anonymous, as a title, comes across as a vague, artsy moniker as inaccessible...

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