Joan Allen

nb-Retro-Review_FACEOFF

Welcome back to our “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. Our seventh entry is John Woo’s operatic Hollywood bullet ballet, Face/Off (1997)…

When John Woo was five years old, his family fled from the civil war occurring in Guangzhou, opting to put down roots in a rough Hong Kong neighborhood. As he grew, Woo was recruited by the local gangs, his refusal of their invitations to join earning him numerous beat downs in the alleys of the Shek Kimp Mei slums. Hoping for escape, Woo often found refuge from the violence in two different arenas: the Christian church and the local movie houses. Both helped him develop an unshakable moral code, as the director is quick to cite the unflinching spirit of brotherhood found in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid as easily as any passage in the Bible.

Throughout his career, spiritual and secular imagery amalgamated as he crafted numerous staples of Hong Kong action cinema (A Better Tomorrow I & II, The Killer, Hard Boiled), in which he often pitted two brothers-in-arms against the world, guns drawn and blazing (just like Butch & Sundance). All the while, he set his stories in the underworld he rejected as a boy, often seemingly attempting to understand the souls of the bad men who endeavored to corrupt his ethical fabric. But it wouldn’t be until he reached American soil and helmed his third Hollywood feature that he’d perfectly combine his fully ingrained interests with his search for identification in a childhood enemy. In many ways, Face/Off not only acts as the perfect culmination of Woo’s career up until that point, but also as the final masterwork in a long, celebrated filmography. (more…)

It’s going to be a very busy summer for action star Jeremy Renner as he not only co-stars in Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Hawkeye, but Renner shows off what he can do without a bow and arrow in the upcoming The Bourne Legacy, which will be released later this year on August 3rd.

Written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who penned the previous three Matt Damon-starring Bourne movies, this film takes a side look at the Bourne-iverse, and another agent from “The Outcome program” that got screwed by the man and is looking for some payback. Extreme payback!

Admittedly, we all have our concerns about this franchise going forward without either Damon or director Paul Greengrass, but can he refuse the year of Renner so out of hand? I think not.

The Bourne Legacy, stars Renner who’s joined fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn return from previous Bournes.

Check out the teaser below:

Source: /Film