Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Director Josh Trank Reportedly Fired From His ‘Star Wars’ Film For “Erratic" Behavior On The ‘Fantastic Four’ Set Director Josh Trank Reportedly Fired From His ‘Star Wars’ Film For “Erratic" Behavior On The ‘Fantastic Four’ Set Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Rumor: Jared Leto's Joker To Appear In 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Rumor: Jared Leto's Joker To Appear In 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' “ 'Blade Runner' Is Almost A Religion For Me”: Denis Villeneuve Talks Directing The Sci-Fi Sequel “ 'Blade Runner' Is Almost A Religion For Me”: Denis Villeneuve Talks Directing The Sci-Fi Sequel Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Plot Details And Opening Sequence Revealed For Gaspar Noe's 3D Cannes Midnight Movie 'Love' Plot Details And Opening Sequence Revealed For Gaspar Noe's 3D Cannes Midnight Movie 'Love' Why Female Directors Almost Never Get Blockbuster Gigs Why Female Directors Almost Never Get Blockbuster Gigs New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked

Review: After Dark Action Pics 'El Gringo,' 'The Philly Kid,' 'Stash House' & 'Transit' An Unven Offering Of Genre Fare

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist June 9, 2012 at 11:04AM

After Dark has been busy releasing a full slate of genre fare, and today we take a look at the After Dark Action lineup which dropped no less than four new movies in May. They each had a brief theatrical run are now available on VOD. Read on below to hear our thoughts on these movies featuring Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Jim Caviezel and more.
1

El Gringo
After Dark has been busy releasing a full slate of genre fare, and today we take a look at the After Dark Action lineup which dropped no fewer than four new movies in May. They each had a brief theatrical run are now available on VOD. Read on below to hear our thoughts on movies featuring Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Jim Caviezel and more.

"El Gringo"
Martial artist Scott Adkins stars in "El Gringo" as a popular action staple, the lone man with a big bag o' money. Wandering into a small Mexican town, it's not long before an endless wave of cartoon bad guys puts a bounty on his head. He responds with fists and feet. And there's your movie!

Eduardo Rodriguez opts for spaghetti western themes and hoary character archetypes that simply reveal he's mistaken Robert Rodriguez for Sergio Leone. Freeze frames highlight colorful character names (El Jefe is one), though they don't really get much to do to emphasize their identities amidst the action. In the middle of this chaos, Adkins shares a wry smile -- he's handsome, but amused more than amusing, and it's a testament to his notable skill that you root for him to get this money out of there.

Christian Slater shows up late as a corrupt cop looking for the cash, but as the film limps towards ninety minutes, it's clear his "celebrity" was what they were chasing by hiring him for a large but inconsequential role. "El Gringo" gets bogged down in overly-plotty nonsense, but the fight choreography and shootouts are fast-paced and inventive, allowing the film to come alive in spite of its time-wasting peripherals. Surprisingly, it's the most lively and inventive of the After Dark Action films, though that merely highlights the weirdly downbeat and dour nature of each picture. [B-]

The Philly Kid

"The Philly Kid"
After an elaborate only-in-the-movies misunderstanding that leaves a police officer dead, young Dillon (Wes Chatham) takes a trip to the hoosegow. Emerging ten years later, he finds old pal Jake (Devon Sawa: he's looked better) in deep debt with some shady gamblers. Jake manages to introduce Dillon to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, and suddenly A Star Is Born. But Dillion's attempts to stay on the straight and narrow are compromised by the same hanger-ons you'll find in the darkness of any sport, and soon he's pulled in all directions by the needs, and soon the threats, of others.

Chatham is a fairly humorless, wooden lead, but he looks good in the ring, and the combat sequences are vivid and believable. Too bad about everything else: new mentor L.A. Jim (Neal McDonough) is a compendium of every tough manager in any sports movie you've ever seen, while outside threats like Arthur Letts (Michael Jai White, essentially a cameo) simply comprise a line of indistinguishable grunts. Moreover, poor Sawa looks like he's been through some pretty ugly real-life ordeals to get to where he's at, and seeing him playing a chatty, possibly-diseased ball of impulse vices feels like the film's only authentic element. "The Philly Kid" never gains traction as a film about anything other than what it's about -- you've seen it before you've seen it. [C-]

This article is related to: Dolph Lundgren, After Dark Films, Jim Caviezel, Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates