KILL 'EM ALL
(US - 2017)
ENTER THE WARRIORS GATE
(France/China - 2016; US release 2017)
THE GREAT WALL underperformed in US theaters. It's not without its moments of KARATE KID-like retro charm, but at the same time, it feels awfully late to be jumping on the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON bandwagon, making you wonder just how long Besson and regular writing partner Robert Mark Kamen (TAKEN, THE TRANSPORTER) had this one stashed away before Besson got around to assigning it to someone (in this case, COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES director Matthias Hoene). Jack Bronson (Uriah Shelton, most recently seen on Netflix's 13 REASONS WHY) is a bullied gamer who lives with his busy-single-mom-too-distracted-to-notice-all-the-shenanigans-going-on-in-her-house Annie (Sienna Guillory). He blows off his homework for video games and works part-time at antique shop, where his Chinese boss Mr. Chang (Francis Ng) gives him an ancient crock that turns out to be a portal to another time. He's visited through the crock by Zhao (Mark Chao), the chief guard to Princess Sulin (Ni Ni), who he leaves in the care of Jack, believing him to be the fabled "Black Knight," confusing him with his gaming avatar. Zhao has brought Sulin to the present day in order to escape Arun the Cruel (Dave Bautista), a despot who has murdered Sulin's emperor father and intends to claim her as his bride as he takes over the land. After Jack takes Sulin to the mall for some ice cream and some tired culture clash/fish-out-of-water comedy, some of Arun's men get through the time portal and end up trashing Jack's mom's house. This sends Jack and Sulin fleeing through the portal back to her time, where she's abducted by Arun, forcing Zhao and Jack, who's definitely not the Black Knight that Zhao was expecting, to set aside their differences and work together to rescue Sulin...if they don't kill each other first!