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Film Clips 1.19

Jan. 17, 2017
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Patriots Day R

Mark Wahlberg portrays Sgt. Tommy Saunders, a fictionalized character useful for recounting the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing investigation. Composited from several cops, Saunders serves as our conduit to the attack and pursuit of the perpetrators. We meet officials, potential victims and several citizens—the latter of whom prove instrumental in preventing the brother bombers from mounting a second attack. The film spends considerable, memorable time with the Tsarnaevs (Alex Wolff, Themo Melikidze), young men chillingly unable to comprehend the horror of their actions. 


Split PG-13

With Split, M. Night Shyamalan makes a frighteningly good addition to his writer-director résumé. James McAvoy steals the show with his portrayal of Kevin—afflicted with multiple-personality disorder when he kidnaps three young women. Popular girls Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) panic following their abduction, but their companion, moody outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), immediately begins probing to find their captor’s weaknesses. Locked in an underground bunker, the girls struggle to make sense of Kevin’s different personalities. Despite leaving for regular visits to his psychiatrist (Betty Buckley), Kevin manages to foil their repeated efforts to escape. With an evil, as-yet-unseen personality ready to purge his other personalities, he poses a more imminent danger than the women realize. Casey wields her dark side and iron will as weapons, but her adversary is formidable. 


XXX: The Return of Xander Cage PG-13

The CIA recruits Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) to retrieve “Pandora’s Box,” a stolen weapon capable of causing military satellites to literally drop from the sky. To out-compete cyber-baddie Xiang (Donnie Yen), Xander recruits a handful of thrill-seeking cohorts (including an ex-girlfriend played by Bollywood hottie Deepika Padukone). Together, they learn of a deadly government conspiracy behind the weapon’s theft. Though the plot makes little sense, franchise viewers come for the action set pieces and stunt work. An international cast should increase global appeal, adding to expectations that the film’s overseas box office will exceed its domestic take. 


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