INSIDE MAN: MOST WANTED
(US - 2019)
There's been flimsier foundations for a sequel, and INSIDE MAN: MOST WANTED is hardly the worst of these 1440 titles. Busy TV director MJ Bassett (ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, STRIKE BACK, ALTERED CARBON) began her career as a second-string Neil Marshall with 2002's supernatural WWI chiller DEATHWATCH and 2007's underseen gem of a survivalist thriller WILDERNESS before going on to SOLOMON KANE and SILENT HILL: REVELATION, and she keeps things moving briskly. Seehorn and McKee turn in solid performances, and British Ameel does a decent job of masking his accent by spending the whole movie doing a two-for-one impression of Will Smith and Kevin Hart. The South African supporting actors fare much worse, none of them even remotely convincing as New Yorkers and all of them sounding like Leonardo DiCaprio in BLOOD DIAMOND. INSIDE MAN: MOST WANTED is completely forgettable, but maybe worth a half-attentive glance if you liked Seehorn on BETTER CALL SAUL or have enjoyed Bassett's earlier work (definitely seek out WILDERNESS). Just don't think too hard about it, or else you'll be asking questions like "If the original Nazi diamond heist is such a legendary case in law enforcement, and they know it's a copycat case, then why don't they see any of the same shit coming long before it happens?"(R, 106 mins)
JARHEAD: LAW OF RETURN
(US - 2019)
What follows are a bunch of dull firefights and a lot of hardass Marine bro-downs, filled with witty dialogue like "Fuckface? He called me a fuckface! Hey, I'd fuck your face!" and "This ain't our first time swingin' at the pinata, lady!" when the female Mossad agent in charge gives a final run-through of the assignment. Because, you know, this is...what they do. Also note how some stock news footage early on shows Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking English, followed by some footage of Iran's prime minister with an English translator speaking over him, yet the slightly-accented translator's words are accompanied by subtitles like it's all pops and buzzes and we can't understand a word with these people. JARHEAD: LAW OF RETURN: come for the formulaic, by-the-numbers action, stay for the bonus One America News Network-pandering xenophobia. (R, 103 mins)
Note: Universal 1440 also released the DTV sequel DOOM: ANNIHILATION this week, directed by Tony Giglio (writer of the three Universal 1440 DEATH RACE sequels), but life's too short.