No-frills actioner hits its mark
In the espionage thriller “Beirut,” Jon Hamm is cast as an alcoholic former United States diplomat, Mason Skiles, who must “revisit” his painful past in war-torn Lebanon to save the life of Cal Riley (Mark Pellegrino), a former colleague.
The 40-year-old widower’s bosom buddy has been kidnapped by rebels with next-to-impossible demands and a huge ax to grind.
Unfortunately, Mason only has CIA agent Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike, reliable as always) to keep him sober and on track.
She helps him figure out the bureaucratic maze and life-and-death mess they find themselves entangled in. But, can she be trusted?
Devoid of yarn-spinning gimmicks, the fast-paced actioner benefits as much from director Brad Anderson’s straightforward storytelling style as it does from dashing Jon Hamm’s compelling presence.
Its no-frills approach allows viewers to get invested in its deeply flawed but likable characters’ backstories and enjoy the action-packed ride.
Fusty and musty ‘Ghost’
Tony Y. Reyes’ ’80s-channeling horror-comedy caper “Da One That Ghost Away” is as silly as its cringe-worthy title suggests—about a ragtag group of scammers, led by Carmela Monserat (Kim Chiu), who must pull off a million-peso racket to avoid getting evicted from the Monserats’ debt-ridden ancestral home.
Their mission: Exorcise an old mansion that is haunted by ghosts!
If it’s any consolation, the fusty and musty comedy deftly demonstrates how far the lovely actress has come as a performer.
The task to keep “Dotga’s” cumbersome humor afloat is a tall order, but Kim isn’t afraid to make bold (comedic) decisions and acting choices that could fall flat on her face.
Having said that, with Kim risking thespic life and limb to add a dash of excitement, variety and a measure of versatility to her “maturing” career arc, couldn’t her handlers find a project worthy of all that effort?
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