Posts Tagged ‘John Malkovich’

Murder, he schemed: A bourgeois sociopath strikes again in the masterful ‘Ripley’s Game’

February 12, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 12, 2015

About two-thirds of the way through the 2002 movie Ripley’s Game, after Tom Ripley has snuffed out the lives of a few Eastern European gangsters, his appalled companion notes that he hardly knows the man standing beside him.

This is a statement, not a question, but Ripley — played with a cool detachment by John Malkovich — regards it as an invitation to explain a little about himself. In one of the longest speeches of the movie, Ripley says, “I’m a creation. A gifted improviser. I lack your conscience, and when I was young that troubled me. It no longer does. I don’t worry about being caught because I don’t believe anyone is watching. The world is not a poorer place because those people are dead. It’s one less car on the road. It’s a little less noise and menace.”

Ripley’s nonchalance is both chilling and thrilling. How cold-blooded it is of him to dismiss the deaths as “one less car on the road,” never questioning whether the dead men had a parent or a sibling or a child or a lover who might miss them.

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The retirees of ‘RED 2’ provide chuckles and thrills

July 25, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
July 25, 2013

RED 2 is an enjoyable but superficial romp that finally answers this inessential question: If you can’t have fun with the prospect of millions of innocent people being incinerated by a nuclear terrorist, what can you have fun with?

Director Dean Parisot’s sequel centers on retired/extremely dangerous — RED, get it?! — American secret agent Frank Moses. He finds himself unwillingly dragged out of a quiet retirement, along with his action-hungry girlfriend, Sarah, when officials suddenly begin asking questions about one Operation Nightshade. The pair join with Moses’ eccentric former partner, Marvin, to figure out why a botched long-ago operation in Russia has become newly relevant.

The fast-paced RED 2 sends the group to Paris, London and Moscow as they go about unraveling the mystery. Along the way, they tangle with Jack Horton, a murderous American officer who’s determined to keep Nightshade buried; Katja, a Russian frenemy whose old romance with Moses fuels an intense jealousy in Sarah; a retired British agent named Victoria who has been hired by MI-6 to kill her two former colleagues and friends; and Han Cho Bai, a deadly Korean mercenary with a grudge against Moses whom the Americans hire to assassinate Moses and Marvin. Read the rest of this entry »

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