Welcome to the Punch

Welcome to the Punch Trailer

For a movie made for $8.5 million, Welcome to the Punch is strikingly polished. While that’s a prominent amount of cash, writer and director Eran Creevy makes every penny count. For the brisk 93-minute running time, Creevy makes his routine thriller fresh enough to turn the gruff cop “with something to prove” and cool-minded criminal “pulled back in the game” scenario play exceedingly smoothly. When we’re first introduced to James McAvoy’s Max Lewinsky, he’s in hot pursuit of Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) and his goons, all of whom are dressed as suavely as possible. Max ignores orders to wait for backup — because whoever waits for backup? — and ends up chasing Sternwood by foot while his team rides off underground on dirt bikes. Max catches up with Sternwood, and the encounter goes as good as it can for the unarmed Max: he ends up with a busted kneecap. From the score to the composition, it’s a fantastic opening that establishes everything we need to know, especially the sleek style of Creevy’s film and his two leads.

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New on VOD: Lincoln

The Video On Demand Power Ranker returns this week with a batch of new movies to watch. Sure, there are some holdovers on the list, such as (the still excellent) Life of Pi, but our brain-implanted super computer appears to be feeling that which is fresh this week. Will you go along for the journey? Don’t say no. It doesn’t like being told no.

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Welcome to the Punch Trailer

Between Wanted, Danny Boyle’s upcoming Trance, and Eran Creevy’s Welcome to the Punch, James McAvoy is making a nice little cottage industry for himself out of starring in stylish, slick actioners. In the upcoming Punch, McAvoy stars as a straightlaced detective who has spent much of his career chasing after Mark Strong‘s Jacob Sternwood who has, in turn, spent most of his career being a  criminal. Sternwood is a bit of a changed man, though, and he’s about to really switch things up when he teams up with McAvoy’s Max Lewinsky to help uncover a conspiracy that has something to do with that bullet in Sternwood’s son’s stomach and all that weird writing on his hand. It’s all very glossy and shiny and slick and pretty to look at it and more than a touch confusing. Try to figure out what’s going on amongst all the pretty colors in the newest trailer for Welcome to the Punch, after the break.

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Oz the Great and Powerful

This January and February lived up to their dumping ground stigma. We saw a few satisfying films here and there, but we also saw A Good Day to Die Hard. Brian Salisbury gave that movie a whooping, and he, along with other critics, could have been much harder on John Moore’s bland nightmare of a movie. The good news about this March, though: no movies directed by John Moore. Instead we’re seeing films from Park Chan-Wook, Sam Raimi, Derek Cianfrance, Harmony Korine, and Antoine Fuqua, directors a bit more trust-worthy. Even though Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen didn’t make the must-see list, it looks like a better Die Hard movie than the one we just endured. Without anymore further mention of A Good Day to Die Hard (seriously, I think I’m hung up on it), here are the five films to check out this month:

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Welcome to the Punch Trailer

Over the last half-decade or so James McAvoy (Atonement, X-Men: First Class) has proven himself to be one of the most relatable young lead actors currently making a name in the film world. Conversely, Mark Strong (The Guard, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has spent his time playing a steady stream of dastardly villains. What would happen if you took the positive and negative forces of these two guys’ careers? It turns out you’d get a trailer for an action movie called Welcome to the Punch, and, honestly, the results look to be pretty generic. Sure, this movie seems to be full of enough gun fights and explosions to keep your attention, and there’s a mystery about some scribblings on a hand to add some extra intrigue, but other than that Welcome to the Punch seems to be the same urban crime drama with tough cops and slick robbers scowling at each other—all presented in an icy blue color palate—that you’ve seen a thousand times before.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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