Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Thrown straight into a dangerous mission with none of his memories intact, a man must escape death while trying to figure out who he is, how he ended up here, and who is the mysterious voice in his ear calling him “Carter”?
Review: I never thought the day would come when I would need motion sickness pills to watch a movie, but that’s exactly how I felt watching the action-packed, camera crazy antics of Netflix’s Carter.
Written and directed by Byung-gil Jung (The Villainess, Action Boys) Carter takes the well-worn trope of a hitman with amnesia and amps everything up to a thousand, which in this case is a bad thing. We open with a group of mercs converging on a hotel room where a man awakens to find his memories gone (as well as his clothes) and a cross-shaped scar in the back of his head. The only lead to his identity seemingly lying with a mysterious voice in his ear that refers to him as “Carter”.
If you threw Crank, Hardcore Henry and The Raid Pt. 2 in a blender you would get Carter. As with most South Korean action movies the plot seems straightforward, but as Carter is forced to follow orders from the voice in his ear to rescue and protect a scientist’s daughter things only go from crazy to crazy and unnecessarily complicated. Lead actor Joo Won as Carter has the look and the skills to pull off the action heavy role and, while the movie is South Korean, there are a few Western actors that turn up here as well, with Camilla Belle (Push, 10,000 BC) as Agnes, an agent who claims to know Carter’s true identity, and Mike Colter (Evil, Luke Cage) as a CIA Agent with a grudge against Carter.
While the acting is fine, the action, and in particular the camerawork, is what will have people talking about Carter. As I mentioned earlier, Carter draws from other memorable action movies with the hopes of delivering the kind of sequences fans will want to rave about; but unlike those movies, Carter suffers from an over-use of shaky cam, first person POV and every other trick you could possibly think of in its arsenal. If you’re anything like me you’ll find it more nauseating than fun.
There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing and while Carter gets points for a couple of entertaining action sequences, such as the one where three vehicles are racing down the street together at the same speed and Carter is jumping from one to the next to take out his enemies, the constant spinning camera makes it difficult to focus and instead you’ll just find yourself wanting it all to end.
While no means terrible, Carter tries to do way too much and loses its way in the process. What’s meant to be a high-octane action movie turns into something that feels like a cartoon that runs for too long. And while I can appreciate how much technique must’ve gone into executing some of these scenes, I would be lying if I said Carter was a movie I would recommend sitting through when there are so many others that did it better.
Score: 5 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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