Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers: John W. Richardson (screenplay), Christopher Roach (screenplay)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy
Liam Neeson continues his action streak with his portrayal of a U.S. Air Marshall, who encounters lethal threats against the passengers of his transatlantic flight. As is typical of these modern heroes, he’s alcoholic and has other personal demons that serve to add needless baggage (pun intended). The whodunit aspects are compelling: there are a limited number of passengers and suspicion bounces around the cabin. The action is often too jumbled to get a grip, but anxiety rises from time to time. It’s just doesn’t sustain or build tension and spends too much time in paranoid chatter to be the gripping, non-stop ride it promised. NOTE: Look for TheatreVCU grad Jason Butler Harner as the co-pilot.
GAY ANGLE: Neeson is Neeson.
3 Days to Kill
Writers: Adi Hasak (screenplay), Luc Besson (screenplay)
Stars: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
With all the young hero types filling the tights of comic book characters, Hollywood has turned to middle-aged men to handle reality-based action. Kevin Costner plays a “cleaner” for the CIA, who retires so he can salvage his relationship with his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld). He’s also got cancer with a 3-month death sentence, until an operative (Amber Heard in a succession of over-the-top glamour poses) promises a cure in exchange for one last job. Luc Besson penned the story, so it’s got interesting developments on the personal and action sides. Director McG has managed to balance both angles with warmth and some inventive fights. While it’s in not way unique, it’s passable entertainment and Costner manages to carry the burden effectively.
GAY ANGLE: Costner is well past his sexy years and, luckily, there’s no attempt to recapture them here.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.