Tuesday, 15 June 2021

‘Without Remorse’ and ‘Loudermilk’ both land on Amazon



‘TOM CLANCY’S WITHOUT REMORSE’ Rated R

Tom Clancy fans probably don’t need the on-screen general trivia note to tell them that the film “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” bears no resemblance to the plot of the novel except that the lead character named John Clark was a Navy SEAL.

In fact, the book was the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark. In the film, the character is John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) until the middle of the end credits reveal his new identity as the ghost he’s expected to become.

Performing heroic acts in war-torn Syria, Senior Chief John Kelly and a small crew rescue a CIA operative taken hostage by ex-Russian military forces. After an ugly firefight, the Americans barely escape only to return home to more danger.

Three months later, in apparent retaliation for the mission, members of Kelly’s unit end up dead mob-style or by a hit-and-run. Kelly’s pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) is murdered during a home invasion.

Despite being shot multiple times, Kelly manages to kill all but one of the Russian assassins before being rushed to the hospital, and you know revenge is on his mind.

Meanwhile, Kelly’s commanding officer Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) meets with CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) and Defense Secretary Thomas Clay (Guy Pearce) to plot response options.

Not waiting for direction, Kelly goes rogue and takes matters into his own hands to track down the Russian diplomat who gave cover to the murderers. An explosive scene takes place at Dulles Airport that strains plausibility, but so do other actions.

Sent to prison for assaulting the Russian official, Kelly bargains his way out by knowing that the surviving assassin is hiding out in Russia. He then joins Greer and Ritter on a top-secret mission.

Their plane trip to Russia gets shot down and plummets into the Bering Sea, in what is perhaps the film’s thrilling action sequence that tests the survival skills of the SEALs.

Before long, the plot veers off into a vast international conspiracy theory orchestrated by powerful political figures. Don’t know that we can or should sort it out, but that’s where we stand.

The mid-credits offer the almost certain prospect of a sequel in the works, and if not, the audience has been left hanging. Whatever the case may be, one may hope the next installment would have more depth for its characters and a more coherent plot and storyline.



‘LOUDERMILK’ ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

The Audience Network was a pay television channel that was owned by AT&T and delivered a mix of original and acquired series, specials and feature films and existed for the approximate length of one presidential election cycle.

The comedy series “Loudermilk,” that premiered on Audience Network back in October 2017 with a run of two seasons before the third season had to find a new home, was watched by as many viewers who could fit into a phone booth.

All three seasons are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and the half-hour episodes are worth watching if you enjoyed Ron Livingston’s nonchalance in striking back at the soul-crushing absurdity of the corporate structure in “Office Space.”

As the titular character, Livingston’s Sam Loudermilk takes indifference and emotional detachment to a new level as a former music journalist and author who is a recovering alcoholic and now spends his time in Seattle as a substance abuse counselor.

Warm and fuzzy is not how anyone would describe Loudermilk (almost everyone calls him by his last name). He’s often a grumpy misanthrope whose words are so unfiltered you’d think he has Tourette’s Syndrome.

Loudermilk brings tough love to his therapy sessions with a collection of colorful characters, including the dimwitted Mugsy (Brian Regan) and a bookie (Jackie Flynn) who manages to get most of the group in debt to a mob boss.

The group meets at a local church, where Father Michael (Eric Keenleyside), often at odds with Loudermilk’s cavalier ways, threatens to boot him out of the meeting hall unless he starts counseling messed up stripper Claire (Anja Savcic).

What’s more, Claire becomes a roommate at Loudermilk’s apartment that he already shares with his best friend and sponsor Ben (Will Sasso), who happens to harbor secrets and is perhaps the only person able to abide Loudermilk for more than ten minutes.

A new neighbor next door is Allison (Laura Mennell) for whom Loudermilk is smitten and yet incapable of carrying more than a brief conversation before undermining whatever charm he may have displayed momentarily.

True to his sardonic nature and antisocial behavior, Loudermilk sporadically launches into rants, whether berating a barista for her affectation of a haughty accent or randomly chastising a smoker waiting for a bus.

The titular character has his own demons and finds his situations often descending into absurdity.

“Loudermilk” is a smart, clever comedy with crude humor and sometimes on the dark side, but it would be good to check out while it remains on the Amazon Prime Video platform.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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