Movies out today: Action heroes... and Hitchcock

Three films open in South Africa today. And it's all about the escapism, baby!

G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
Screening in 2D and converted 3D is this sequel to the silly 2009 sci-fi actioner, based of course on the Hasbro toy line and its related animated and comic franchises. Most of the original film's heroes are gone (Channing Tatum's Duke and Ray Park's Snake Eyes are exceptions), with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Bruce Willis and Adrianne Palicki stepping forward to avenge the elite military team exterminated by Cobra's Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), who's been masquerading as the US president (Jonathan Pryce).

For better of worse, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is more serious than its predecessor. Some have appreciated this tonal shift; others have said the fun has gone out of proceedings as a result. Either way, Retaliation is not short on explosive action scenes and impressive special effects. It's an unapologetically mindless popcorn flick. Currently 29% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.


Hitchcock:
It was clearly intended to be Oscar bait, but although it didn't rake in the accolades, biopic Hitchcock is sure to be of interest to movie buffs. Based on the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the film chronicles the challenges faced by the legendary director while making his groundbreaking thriller. Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock, Helen Mirren his wife and the all-star cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Kurtwood Smith, Jessica Biel and James D'Arcy. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Hitchcock is apparently a witty, well-acted treat. If you're looking for an introspective film that examines Hitchcock's dark side, this one won't be for you, however. It's more interested in being stylish, engaging entertainment than mining any psychological depths. 63% Fresh.



Maximum Conviction:
Get your straight-to-DVD thrills on the big screen with this B-grade action film starring Steve Austin and Steven Seagal.  The pair play black ops soldiers caught in a battle at a decommissioned  prison when two mysterious female prisoners are brought in. Almost immediately the facility is invaded by bands of mercenaries, and you can guess what happens next.

If this review is anything to go by, fans of ridiculously violent, ridiculously macho action flicks should have a blast. Everyone else, beware!


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