The last few months have provided us with some iconic imagery of police violence in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement -- Lt. John Pike casually pepper spraying a group of UC Davis students like he's Febrezing a sofa, 84-year-old Dorli Rainey being helped away from a confrontation in Seattle after being doused herself, Marine Scott Olsen getting carried out through a haze of tear gas in Oakland with a fractured skull. These recent events lend Oren Moverman's Rampart a queasy immediacy even though it's set in the '90s, as the LAPD's Rampart Division struggles through the notorious police misconduct scandal that ended up implicating dozens of officers and inspired the likes of Training Day and The Shield.
Savvier and less cartoonish than those posters of Mark Wahlberg with stacks of cash taped to his famous torso might have you believe, Contraband is a remake of the 2008 Icelandic smuggling thriller Reykjavík-Rotterdam, directed by the original's star, Baltasar Kormákur. The action's been transported to New Orleans-Panama City, the goods upgraded from bootlegged liquor to counterfeit cash, and the whole enterprise daubed with some Hollywood gloss, but it's still an obligingly tense, scruffy addition to the one-last-crime genre.
One look at the gun-crazy poster for The Mechanic and you know what you're in for with this week's hit-man thriller: Lots and lots of gun porn. Pairing Jason Statham as a calculating, composed assassin and Ben Foster as his boss's loose cannon of a son, director Simon West remakes the original 1972 Charles Bronson flick of the same name with a greater focus on his characters. But the initial appeal, as Foster tells Movieline, was the prospect of getting to "blow sh*t up" with Jason Statham.