film reel image

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Arsenal 2017 * 1/2 Stars

ArsenalDirector: Steven C. Miller
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * 1/2 Stars
Cast: John Cusack, Nicolas Cage, Adrian Grenier

2017's Arsenal is my latest review. At just over an hour and a half, it feels irrelevant and contains blackish cinematography. More importantly, it's a turgid, bloody mess.

Arsenal stars Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. These are two guys you rarely see in commercial movies anymore. They wear sunglasses the whole time, perhaps to indicate that they're embarrassed to be on screen. I don't blame them. Arsenal ain't no surprise sequel to Con Air people.

Arsenal also stars Adrian Grenier. Like in his TV show Entourage, Grenier's trouper takes care of, and/or succeeds his older brother. Grenier at age 40, literally looks like he's in college. Seriously, what's that dude's secret?

Image result for Arsenal movie scenesFinally, Steven C. Miller is Arsenal's schlock director. As a D-list monger, he has a routine. His movies mostly have one word titles, his movie posters all have the same Sicario-like resemblance (look at Extraction, Arsenal, and Marauders), and he lets other, Hollywood aspirates write his scripts for him. The only thing missing from Miller's latest is paycheck happy, Bruce Willis. Oh wait, Willis is set to appear in Miller's upcoming First Kill. Hmm, I can't wait for that one.

In regards to watching Arsenal, you can tell that Steve Miller has a real hard-on for sensationalized violence. He's "The Joker" or just a joke (subtle musical reference for ya). His film may be listed as a crime thriller but it comes off as nasty horror fare. There's jilted camerawork, slow-motion images of bullets, and slow-motion depictions of overdone bloodletting. Characters endure beatings and torture so outlandish, you'd think they'd land in a coma (but they don't). It's all so perverse and utterly ridiculous.

Image result for Arsenal movie scenes
The plot, which includes a long-winded flashback between young bros, is about kidnapping, drugs, mob ties, and southern chic (Mississippi to be exact).

Arsenal has Nic Cage playing a hammy crime boss named Eddie King (that sounds original... not!). He looks like a 1960's relic with parted mop top and Marlboro mustache in tow. Meanwhile, Jonathon Schaech channels Mikey Lindel, the dude King takes hostage. Schaech with unrecognizable scruff and standoffish demeanor, comes off as the poor man's Jon Hamm (ha ha). Adrian Grenier (mentioned earlier) takes on the role of JP, a successful business owner who turns cutthroat trying to save Mikey from the clutches of Eddie. Lastly, John Cusack sort of phones it in as blowy confidant and dirty detective Sal. Johnny boy was probably too busy worrying about his Chicago Cubs (and their inevitable World Series title) to push his performance. There's a shocker.

In conclusion, I'm not sure why this movie is titled Arsenal. I guess it's because there are some guns involved. How convenient. How avant-garde. Oh and how the heck did I get duped into paying $7.99 to watch this thing. Ugh! Rating: 1 and a half stars.    

Written by Jesse Burleson

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