If you want stripped down, grittier Chan films, he has done a few others. In his prime, he did Crime Story, which is a personal fave of mine. Still has all the action, but drops the comedy and goofiness and goody-two-shoes morality. Shinjuku Incident isn't as good, but it's even more grounded, more just straight gang violence. The last Police Story movie he did ("Lockdown") as also pretty much just a straight, gritty drama. And then of course many of his earliest kung fu films don't really have comedy and are just about straight-up revenge. New Fist of Fury is worth checking out.

I appreciated The Foreigner, too, but I think I found the way character motivations unfurled to be relatively unconventional. I think the film would've been more successful if it just followed a typical Liam Neeson arc!

--

--

I'm not generally much for controversial filmmakers, but I appreciated your perspective in this article. While some films generate controversy almost accidentally, there are certainly filmmakers like Von Trier or Gallo who seem to intentionally court it. It reads to me as a crutch, using the controversial material as a patch over other narrative or character shortcomings.

My favorite on your list though is Watership Down, which is actually controversial because it pursues the depths of its character (Fiver) all the way. Sure, a kids film could leave out his visions (as this sometimes does) but it sends such a more powerful message by showing them. It makes this film a passionate, emotional plee for sustainability and environmentalism, and maybe I can trace back some of those feelings I have all the way to being "traumatized" by this as a child.

--

--

I just did a rewatch of all the relevant material, and this was even more baffling to me. Characters and motivations are so thinly-drawn here as to be completely disconnected from the characters we know. I had the same issue with Michael Waldron's writing in Loki. He may be good for creative gags, but I've yet to see that he knows how to write actual character drama or develop them in an arc.

This movie was just...bad. Like, really, really bad. No Way Home is the exception that proves the rule: Marvel has completely lost its way post-Endgame.

--

--

Jeff Light

Jeff Light

106 Followers

Physical nomad converted to digital nomad; eating, drinking, reading, and tattooing my way around our little spinning rock. Panama-based, find me on Air B’nB.