Who's in It:
Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Tate Donovan, Ned Beatty
The Basics: They killed his target spotter, they framed him for an assassination he didn't commit, they even bumped off his dog and now they're after him. But these sinister government men don't realize that now they're all Marky Marked for death. It's a bad idea, really, to mess with a lone-wolf mountain man who can do trigonometry in his head, factor in the rotation of the earth and shoot at a moving target from a mile away and still hit it.
What's the Deal? Back in the '80s, when the Rambo movies were adopted as part of the Ronald Reagan peace-through-strength propaganda machine, it seemed like the blow-'em-up-real-good school of filmmaking would be forever linked to right-wing ideology. But this movie's hero is a disillusioned, distrustful military man (he was in Somalia; Iraq isn't mentioned, but it sort of hovers over the whole thing) that "they" decide to permanently silence with Glover-led murderers. It's kind of a revenge fantasy for fans of The Daily Show.
Besides the Obvious Pleasures of Insane Violence and Massive Fireball Explosions, Here's What's Cool: There's enough unsettling paranoia that you don't exactly know how it's all going to turn out. It feels more like it could have come from the early '70s, when happy endings might not necessarily be right around the corner.
Not For: The easily grossed out (home surgery!), people squeamish about movie violence (uncountable body count!) or members of the Bush administration (obliquely referred to as "thugs" by Wahlberg's character).
That Dumb Mark Wahlberg, What Will He Say Next? He was recently quoted as saying that the script for Brokeback Mountain gave him the creeps and that he was glad he didn't get a role in it. However, his female co-star Mara was in Brokeback, which makes you wonder if he washed his hands a lot to make sure the cooties didn't get on him.