Ambition and nightmares fuse rather nicely throughout Nightmare Alley, a modern spin on the defiant, dormant neo-noir genre. Every so often, a creative will come along and be so sure of their abilities in reviving it. Naturally, whether the work they offer is great or godless, they are met with stirring reviews and a box office bomb. Nightmare Alley is on that course regardless and probably knew it. To know that and persevere is bold and inevitable because Nightmare Alley is a certainly grand film and far closer to the top of the Best Picture pile than any of the others to be given such a nod. It is at least filled with worldbuilding and experimentation, which is no surprise since Guillermo Del Toro helms this delightfully twisted feature.
What wrath does Guy Ritchie really have left? Brooding musical notes, bullets fired and a whole load of curses stagger through the streets as a heist goes off once more. A few days in the life of H (Jason Statham) provide us many a problem for H to handle. He does so, inevitably, throughout Wrath of Man. But the wrath of man is a mixed bag, one that has no real status in the modern action flick. Not even Ritchie can convince us of its severity, it is why he mocked it so severely and effectively with his previous film, The Gentlemen. But he has doubled down on his mixed bag of action tropes and hard-knock heroes with a tatty display of veterans posing as rookies, saving the day with the talents only they have.
Winter wonderlands are the recent love of Liam Neeson. Had Cold Pursuit satiated his desire to star in colder climates, then there is doubt looming over the mere existence of The Ice Road. Taking the action legend (who promised he’d retire from said genre several times over the past five years) to another vehicle-bound thrill ride, the latest feature from director Jonathan Hensleigh is mired by a desire to cause tightly-driven chaos where its setting provides the random terror of adaptation. Drivers traverse man-made roads over frozen rivers, the opening crawl tells us, and with that, there is danger abound. But it is how this danger is presented and its troubling disconnect, which makes for such an insufferably tedious affair.