Kate Beckinsale is rarely acknowledged as an action star whose credentials in the genre rival Sigourney Weaver’s, but she should be.
She held off wolves, vampires and assorted snarling lowlifes in Underworld (2003) and its underrated sequel, Evolution (2006). She forcefully avoided becoming the star of Frank Whaley’s next snuff film in the scrappy thriller Vacancy (2007). And early in Whiteout, long before she’s called on to tame a masked killer, she gamely hops in the shower, dutifully pandering to her male demographic.
It's a tradition older than The Land Before Time II – building direct-to-DVD franchises on the foundations laid by popular originals, including blockbuster titles like Home Alone, Ace Ventura and Bambi.
Don’t bother trying to understand the curious logic of Daybreakers, in which the world of the not-too-distant future is overrun with vampires and mankind teeters on the brink of extinction.
It’s a familiar scenario, treated oh-so-seriously by Australian directors Michael and Peter Spierig, whose no-budget 2005 debut, Undead, was sloppy but diverting enough to earn them a call-up to the bigs. This time they’ve upped the ante with expensive-looking CGI, handsome cinematography and a veteran cast featuring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, and the improvement is marked.
How does one begin to describe a film like Antichrist, aptly characterized in the press notes as director Lars von Trier’s latest provocation? It is repulsive and perplexing. It is also brutally effective.
This is not a film for the squeamish. It is, by design, a disquieting experience, filled with images of extreme violence, often perpetrated for no compelling or discernible reason. The question is not so much whether you’ll enjoy the film, but whether you have the stomach to tolerate it.