For action fans looking for new movies to stream, there are plenty of car chases, explosions, and fist fights to go through. We help by providing some streaming highlights.
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I like inventive micro-budget films. It is rarer to find these treats in the action genre, as the form often requires higher production values. But “Agent Revelation” by writer-director Derek Ting manages to deliver thrills on a smaller scale.
Ting also stars in this high-profile sci-fi film as Jim Yung, a CIA reject infected with an alien-made biological weapon: red dust known as Ash. Although generally fatal to humans, the ash gives Jim increased reflexes and strength. When Dr Victoria Jansen (Carole Weyers), head of a secret underground military installation, hears about Jim’s survival, she recruits him for tests, leading him to undergo dangerous exercises. These claustrophobic battles featuring tactical movements through mazes provide the film’s greatest action moments.
But just as impressive is the intelligent world building. Jim comes under the watchful eye of the wealthy base benefactor, Alastair (Michael Dorn), the Morpheus of Jim’s Neo. Alastair teaches Jim how to harness the energy of his powers to fight against alien invaders. A cross between “The Matrix” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Agent Revelation” places a great sci-fi imagination in a modest package.
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Ever since the 1975 premiere of “Jaws” made sharks a six-letter scare, toothy predators have remained a staple in movies for easy scares and over-the-top action. “Great White”, an Australian film by director Martin Wilson, follows in the footsteps of “Deep Blue Sea” and “The Meg” to deliver breathtaking survival sets.
Financially overwhelmed husband and wife Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko) and Kaz (Katrina Bowden) offer private airplane tours for travelers. Well-to-do couple Joji (Tim Kano) and Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi) employ the guides and their cook Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka) to transport them to an isolated atoll. Then, the menacing title character deactivates their plane, leaving them adrift in a raft. To cope, the stranded humans engage in savage sea battles with the relentless shark, leading to an abundance of over-the-top methods of defense involving paddles and flares armed against a sharp set of pearly whites. After watching “Great White” it is still not safe to return to the water.
‘His name was Jo’
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If you’ve turned Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” into a road movie, you might end up with something like writer-director Joe Duca’s intimate adventure “Her Name Was Jo”. The 10-year-old main character (Mary Cate Williams) lives along the Shenandoah River with her abusive and drug addict stepfather. She dreams of one day traveling to Los Angeles to find her real father, a folk singer whose records she often listens to for comfort.
When her stepfather overdoses, Jo decides to take her best friend Selma (Elisa Duca) across the country in search of the singer. Along the way, the couple steals a car, is taken hostage by violent men, helps a pregnant woman deliver her baby, and makes their way through all obstacles. Closer to a drama than to a great action or adventure show, “Her Name Was Jo” receives a tragic side through a thrilling score mixed with touching folkloric ballads.
For the gang savvy audience, South Korean writer-director Park Hoon-jung’s “Night in Heaven” may hold some surprises in store. On the contrary, the simple crowd thriller gives bloody solace in its familiarity. Park Tae-goo (Um Tae-goo) is a brash executioner of suave crime lord Mr. Yang (Park Ho-san). After the assassinations of Park’s half-sister and niece, he is convinced the blow was placed by a rival hub of the Bukseong clan, which prompted Park to assassinate this mafia boss with tough-to-man savagery. cook by Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”.
Park flees to the small island of Jeju to hide, where he forms a platonic bond with the terminally ill Jae-yeon (Jeon Yeo-been). The stoic companions navigate a huge, bloody power grab between Yang and Bukseong’s ruthless new leader, Chief Ma (Cha Seung-won), as Park becomes their common scapegoat.
The director of the film takes great pleasure in the carnage. An extravagant barnyard shootout leads to spurts of blood bathing the screen, and later there’s a bloody one-on-twenty brawl involving a car key. Vicious knife fights also transformed public baths into slaughterhouses. And all of them are captured with a clean, firm hand, allowing viewers, with a cheerful smile, to marvel at the unrepentant brutality.
“Riders of Justice”
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When you first see salt and pepper bearded Mads Mikkelsen as Markus, a Danish soldier stationed in Afghanistan, you assume that Anders Thomas Jensen’s “Riders of Justice” will offer only clue action. ‘high octane. The death of Markus’ wife from a train bombing, however, adds a deep and unexpected heart to this revenge flick.
Now single father of his daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg), the stoic Markus must punish the perpetrators of the attack and fight against his pent-up anguish. Jansen explores how grief causes a person to seek answers in the inexplicable. It is this quest that makes Markus sensitive to a theory from two serious scientists (Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lars Brygmann) and a computer genius (Nicholas Bro) that the bombing was carried out by a gang to silence a witness.
Mikkelsen gives a well-formed performance by adding outward emotional textures to a character whose inner turmoil makes him prone to outbursts of rage. Its nimble game makes “Riders of Justice” a singularly humanistic action film.