Green Street 3 (2013)

Green Street 3 (2013)- * * *1\2

Directed by: James Nunn

Starring: Scott Adkins, Jack Doolan, Joey Ansah, Kacey Barnfield, and Spencer Wilding

Searching for answers about his brother’s murder, Danny (Adkins) returns to Green Street and his old Firm (apparently a collection of soccer hooligans who support a certain team) after some time away.  If it’s one thing the GSE, or Green Street Elite, like to do, it’s brawl. But the brawling went too far, and Danny is mad. He’s also disappointed that the once-triumphant GSE has decayed and is no longer on top. So he takes second in command, Gilly (Doolan), and whips him and the Firm into shape with a comprehensive training regimen. Meanwhile, Danny and DCI Jones (Ansah) are at odds with how to deal with murder and hooliganism in the Firm (s). In order to get close to the truth, Danny has to now fight in brutal, no-holds-barred group Punchfighting free-for-alls with various other UK Firms. He also finds time for love with beautiful barmistress Molly (Barnfield). The inevitable final battle eventually takes place with arch-baddie Mason (Wilding), and there are some twists and turns along the way to justice…but will Danny get there in one piece?  Find out today!

We loved Green Street 3, and we’re happy that the franchise was re-purposed from an Elijah Wood drama to a Scott Adkins Punchfighter in two easy steps. Notice they took out the word “Hooligans” from the title. Kind of like how Rambo III (1988) should be First Blood III, but who’s counting? Anyway, GS3 is everything this kind of movie should be, and perhaps just a bit more. It relies on tried and true 80’s traditions to come out with a completely winning formula. Hey, why mess with perfection? The filmmakers had the wisdom to realize this when so many others don’t. That’s just one reason why GS3 delivers the goods in spades.

Notably, GS3 would totally work as a drama if all the fighting was taken out. It has that gray-skies, “kitchen sink”-style drama the British are so good at - what we call Brit Grit - it just so happens that they added Punchfighting and brawling to the mix, to excellent effect. Fan favorite Scott Adkins is in his element and in top form, and the rest of the cast is top-notch as well. The cinematography is effective and non-junky looking, thankfully. Awesomely, the score by Paul Arnold and Andrew Barnabas is synth-drenched and you can’t help but recall the golden 80’s. The movie even ends on a freeze-frame. As if that wasn’t enough, one Leavon Archer contributes two Totally 80’s-style songs, “Pushing Back” and “Trouble”, further reinforcing the coolness.

And there ought to be 80’s-style songs, as there are - get ready for this - SIX training montages. We haven’t seen this many training montages since Rocky IV (1985). We love a good training montage, and we give the movie a lot of credit for having the guts to do this and not caring what anybody thinks. If the music wasn’t good and we weren't invested in the story and Scott Adkins wasn’t involved, it might not have worked, but it totally does. We wanted to get in shape like Gilly and the gang and we were cheering. Also, they PRACTICE their head-butting technique on the heavy bag. And Gilly goes into Punchfighting brawls wearing a sweater and a collared shirt. Only in the UK, we guess.

So wipe away your depression, grab a few pints, and enter the Punch-brawling (yet another new term?) world of Green Street 3. You’ll be glad you did. 

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett 


April Rain (2014)

April Rain (2014)- 1\2 *

Directed by: Luciano Saber

Starring: Luke Goss, Andrew Keegan, Ryan Guzman, Vincent Spano, and Ming-Na Wen

Watching The Weather Channel provides more thrills and excitement than this movie. Here’s our forecast: you won’t be watching this anytime soon. Man, we really suffer for this site. We’ve sat through plenty of turkeys, and...this is another one. While this does have that low-budget, painfully DTV look, those aren’t the main problems. The whole tone of the movie just seems off - it will occasionally lapse into being a soap opera, then there’s a silly shootout, then some horribly-written dialogue delivered flatly, then maybe some gangsterism, then some CW channel-style teen drama, and all of it comes out of nowhere and serves no real purpose.

Is this supposed to be an action movie? It’s hard to tell what the filmmakers were thinking, or even if English was their first language. Maybe something got lost in translation. But they did manage to get some DTV-level names for the cast, which is more than you might expect. Former teen heartthrob Andrew Keegan isn’t on the cover of Tiger Beat magazine anymore...here he’s some sort of Russian mobster. And Vincent Spano is a SWAT team member with marital problems. Okay. Luke Goss is a cop who is somewhat on the edge, but doesn’t seem to be able to muster up enough enthusiasm to really be on said edge. Ming-Na Wen is his boss. There’s a bunch of overlong dialogue scenes that are pretty childish. And speaking of stuff that’s juvenile...

A main part of the threat that our heroes are fighting against in this movie is the potential onslaught of terrorists on scooters. SCOOTERS. This is taken gravely seriously in the world of April Rain. To prove this point, there’s an amazingly not-badass scooter chase that director Luciano Saber probably thought was amazingly badass. Rather than a fighting force of anti-terror warriors, it looks like a dry-run rehearsal for a Sugar Ray video. 

During one of the unnecessary soap opera scenes, which takes place in a kitchen, Luke Goss is on one side of the screen, his wife is on the other, and a bag of Kettle Chips are dead center between them. For a long time. The Kettle Chips steal the show. The dialogue WE were having during this scene was more drama-intensive: “Oh, this family buys Kettle Chips? Cool.” “I wonder what flavor?” “Well, that’s the red bag, so, what is that...” “I think it may be barbeque.” “I don’t like barbeque flavored chips. That’s like taking a bite of barbeque sauce. I find that gross” “Okay, whatever, weirdo.” This is sparklingly witty dialogue compared to the leaden dullery that is April Rain. And there’s some of our hated bathroom humor/dialogue that we hate and always rail against. The strikes against the movie are piling up fast.

If you - yes, YOU reading this right now - got your friends together, broke out the old Go Pro or some other video camera, and tried to make a movie, odds are it would be vastly better than April Rain. How unmitigated crud like this gets made and distributed will always mystify us. Looks like it’s heading for the sewer...

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty