Only God Forgives & Man of Tai Chi

The final night of my action-movie binge!

ogf Only God Forgives (2013)

Red red everywhere
Brooding karaoke cop
You’re not in good hands.

What a strange, strange movie. I’d say David Lynch echoes strongly here (Blue Velvet weirdness and singing), plus a dash of Terrence Malick (minimalist dialogue and cinematographic beauty) and maybe a smidgen of Takashi Miike (sudden gore a la Audition). This is an extremely uncompromising work; the sole focus group was the director, Nicolas Winding Refn. If you liked Drive (I loved it), you might be disappointed with this. But one thing for sure if you do see it — it’s a refreshingly original movie. Oh, and Kristin Scott Thomas steals all her scenes, but what else is new. She’s just amazing.

mot Man of Tai Chi (2013)

After all these years
Keanu directs his first
but he still can’t act.

What a terrible, terrible movie. Really, this is bad. The lead actor, Tiger Chen, never looks comfortable in the role. Even though he’s got all the moves, he just doesn’t have any screen presence, and he’s so small and slight…sometimes he looks like a teenager. And the less said about Keanu, the better. His acting has never been worse, though it is so bad here that it’s actually kind of funny. There’s a scene where he is supposed to laugh haughtily at Tiger (Keanu plays the bad guy, so it’s one of these bad-guy chuckles); it should absolutely win the Razzies for worst acting this year. Keanu Reeves, comprised of Meryl Streep anti-matter.