Many action movies every day, but how many have a Heart-Beating rhythm?
It is often not easy to keep the right level of emotion during the entire duration of the story.
Many times, trying to overdo the pace, they end up boring the viewer to death instead.
With these three movies, there’s no danger of being disappointed.
The action flows neatly and smoothly, the characters do their honest work, and the directing is never trivial or ridiculous.
So make yourselves comfortable, push the magazine deep into your weapon, now we’ll get started.
1 – Bushwick (2017)
Bushwick begins with a day that seems like any other in New York.
A girl and her boyfriend are amiably walking out of the subway.
Suddenly, the whole neighborhood is under siege by a group of black dressed soldiers.
Saving herself by a miracle, she takes refuge in the house of a grim and silent caretaker.
The two have to move quickly, as the situation on the streets gets worse every moment.
So they set out together, desperately fighting in search of a safe place.
But there is no longer any safe place.
Indeed, they don’t know it yet, but some rebels have started a war for secession from the United States.
Their plan, however, went immediately wrong, and now the military is killing civilians without any mercy.
Abandoned to their own, New York citizens organize their army looking for weapons to fight back.
Civil war strikes back
Bushwick is a heart-beating movie with a great cinematic technique at the service of fantastic action sequences.
The whole story is divided into large blocks following the characters without any interruption.
These blocks are joined together with some clever tricks to give the feeling of a continuous narrative flow.
The result is total identification with the protagonists in their odyssey through a devastated city.
The urban guerrilla, as well as spectacular, is also realistic and credible.
Indeed, some delirious scenes have rabbis armed with automatic rifles or young bikers throwing petrol bombs at the black-dressed mercenaries.
The city’s daily scenario and its particular inhabitants become an arena without rules where everyone tries to survive the day.
Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow against the world
The two protagonists form a fantastic action pair, deftly compensating for each other’s shortcomings.
He is a former medical soldier who has already taken part in the battle and does not let himself be impressed under enemy fire.
His sad past makes him a closed and lonely man, taciturn and determined to fight from the first moments.
Vice versa, she is an open and confident girl, slowly becoming an indomitable warrior during the long day.
Although upset by the events, her first thought go to the family.
Despite the soldier’s protests, she immediately starts searching for her elderly mother and the beloved sister.
By facing the enemies together, street after street and block after block, a petty criminals group further helps/blackmail the survivor’s couple.
Together with them, they organize the revolt to besiege the only park in the city from which it is possible to escape by helicopter.
A talented couple in directing
Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion direct their second heart-beating action movie after the interesting Cooties, an horror action from 2014.
The couple confirms a great talent in the staging, realistic and credible, together with the ability to keep up the rhythm and tension.
The choice of making long sequence plans for their action scenes resembles that of the most famous John Wick movies.
A technique adopted not by chance, useful to better understand what happens on the screen and utilize the stuntman’s amazing skill.
Obviously, each of these scenes requires great organization and precision in coordinating the cast with the crew’s technicians.
Therefore, directing becomes essential to give a soul and an identity to a movie, otherwise reduced to a series of continuous breaks like an MTV music clip.
Bushwick has been a huge flop in cinemas, grossing almost zero money worldwide.
Even today, it is virtually unknown to the masses, despite being one of the best heart-beating movies of recent years.
So let’s bring it all together with the notoriety, talking about it and hoping that these two excellent directors will find another production with which to surprise us further.
2 – Boss level (2020)
Boss Level features a former soldier who relives the same day every morning since he wakes up until he dies again.
An incredibly stressful day, given that a platoon of picturesque mercenaries is costantly hunting him.
These killers are distinguished by their different abilities with which they repeatedly and continuously succeed in killing him each time.
Surprisingly, man is almost accustomed to the dynamic of this infinite day.
Powerless in the face of a phenomenon he cannot understand, he surrenders to the inevitability of fate, trying to reconcile with his ex-wife and son.
But it will be his wife, a brilliant scientist, who will possess all the answers he needs.
The soldier will then have to figure out how to get into his super-supervised lab.
Inside, he’ll find the final boss, a homicidal maniac who’s in charge of the killers who kill him all the time every day.
Thanks to the experience of the unlimited time at his disposal, the man launches himself into an unstoppable mission.
A mission that, how will discover later, is about him and his family and the destiny of the whole world.
Insert coin to continue
Boss Level is pure enjoyable, amazing entertainment, not pretending to be serious even for a minute.
Indeed, it is constantly the protagonist narrating voice joking first about his absurd situation.
The soldier curse is to be indefinitely an Action Movies hero into an endless series of Heart-Beating fighting and chases.
The action sequences are deliberately an exaggerated caricature of the video game’s style, clearly made explicit with joypad scenes against the son.
Since the first second he wakes up in the morning, a platoon of cartoonish enemies attack him with swords, guns, helicopters, and rocket launchers.
In short, the umpteenth variant, perfectly adorable and successful, of the infinite day as in the famous Groundhog Day with Bill Murray as the protagonist.
Choose your character and play
Frank Grillo undoubtedly plays the most absurd macho role of his career.
The actor was already skilled in serious challenging action, such as The Purge series or the villain’s role in The Avengers.
In this case, his character is placed in a demented and over-the-top context.
His enemies seem, minute by minute, to advance level increasing difficulty as in video games.
And just like in video games, his experience improves by dying and starting over every morning.
To complete the cast, there is then the usually beautiful Naomi Watts playing the princess in the castle to save.
Indeed, she’s a wife he always has a complicated relationship with, held hostage by the funny (and disturbing) Mel Gibson‘s villain.
Deceiving her bosses, she triggers the time loop on her husband, her only hope of salvation.
Finally, a small cameo for the always magnificent Michelle Yeoh.
She plays the teacher for a day that will turn the soldier into an invincible swordsman.
Relax, it’s just a game
Joe Carnahan directs with a clear desire to exaggerate and entertain this movie of simple and unspoiled entertainment.
Surprisingly, I have already read some nasty criticism despite, in the end, it is just an innocent pastime.
Perhaps some critics watch too many movies together with too little time to appreciate them in order to come out first with reviews.
If we reduce everything to a speed competition, we naturally forget what is cinema basically is and why it is an art so worldwide appreciated.
Obviously, I’m not here to shout Boss Level is an unmissable masterpiece, but in this case, the criticism is simply ridiculous.
The director is clearly committed to making the 100 minutes of its duration flying to the end without much rambling reflection.
Carnahan has already shown, if he wants, to be capable of more challenging and complex stories like The Grey or Narc, so his talent is not in question.
So let’s follow his example and cross our hands behind our heads, relaxing to enjoy this spectacular Heart-Beating Action Movie.
3 – Free Fire (2016)
Free Fire is the story of two small gangs meeting in an abandoned warehouse for an arms deal.
The transaction should be quick and easy, but there is an immediate mutual antipathy among the criminals.
Each of them cannot stand others’ methods and attitudes, barely kept together by a girl acting as a mediator.
In addition, mutual distrust is increasing, as weapons result different from those granted in their agreements.
Finally, when the two of them recognize each other for a brawl that happened the night before, a furious fight immediately starts.
The fight rapidly escalates into a shootout with numerous wounded on both sides.
All of them are bloody injured and well-armed, letting themselves go to anger and resentment.
Henceforth, they are stuck in the warehouse with no way out, firmly intent on killing each other.
90 minutes of Mexican stall
Free Fire is a great action movie with a heart-beating Mexican stall between exaggerated and hilarious characters.
Their small, initially funny, personal delusions and phobias grow exponentially to the point of slaughter.
Then all their differences in elegance, intelligence, or ignorance and ugliness vanish into thin air.
Under the guns’ fire, they all become democratically aching bodies fighting to survive, getting a bullet every time they try to move.
The shootings are spectacular and fun simultaneously, with the same macabre humor as movies like Reservoir Dogs.
Pride and Prejudice with automatic weapons
The warehouse where they were supposed to conclude the deal then becomes a universe on the verge of inevitably collapsing on itself.
Starting from a stupid petty argument, the fundamental wickedness inherent in the protagonists comes out uncontrollable.
Even if divided into two barricades, they also end up fighting each other regardless of which gang they belong to.
The movie is a tragic death dance full of international stars.
Above all, we have the couple made by Cillian Murphy and Brie Larson.
They seem, initially, to be the most rational of all the eccentric lunatics they are surrounded by, and it even seems a chance of romance can be possible between them.
Michael Smiley and Sharlto Copley instead play the two pride opposite gang leaders.
Both have an authoritarian and irritating attitude in their contempt for everyone else, leaving their prejudices to lead them into final madness.
Finally, it’s amusing the character of the drug addict and unfortunate Sam Riley.
The boy, indeed, is the spark starting the fire between the two gangs.
Recognized for scarring a relative of a rival, he insults and mocks his enemies by triggering the uproar.
A director, a guarantee
Ben Wheatley confirms his talent for directing movies with mean characters stylized in a perfectly cinematic way.
His writing commitment exploded at the highest level with Kill List, and then he went on to other great jobs like High-Rise or A Field in England.
These stories are very different in genre, development, and content.
As is always the case for true authors, they are connected to his worlds and characters’ elegant and realistic vision.
His dialogues’ naked wickedness are always perfectly balanced with a story able to fascinate from the first moments.
Free Fire is its biggest commercial success, talking about just over $3 million dollars against a minimal budget.
Therefore, Wheatley is a director who needs our help to grow his fame and help him continue his exceptional career.
Table of contents
- 1 – Bushwick (2017)
- 2 – Boss level (2020)
- 3 – Free Fire (2016)