If what you seek from a samurai film is the friction between communal duty and personal honor, join the orderly queue to see 13 Assassins. But if what you seek is action, spend the talky first hour at a sushi bar before barging into the theater for the bloody good finale.
It's funny but (sorry, ladies) unrealistic that Jake continuously sneaks away from his young wife to canoodle with Jane. Baldwin is a blast, but the role requires him to indulge in indignities such as a naked webcam conversation.
Fuqua is a proficient action director, and the boxing scenes deliver plenty of whomp. But the music-saturated scenes involving the media, the law and a turncoat friend played by Curtis (“50 Cent”) Jackson are trying to appeal to fans of “Empire,” not “Raging Bull.”
The documentary Live from New York is a separate thing. It doesn’t try to be wild and crazy, and it can’t be comprehensive. Like a land shark, it’s an uncomfortable hybrid that bites off more than it can chew.
On that vicarious-pleasure level, the movie version delivers. Yet for anyone with a sense of irony or social justice, it’s also frustratingly soft around the edges, with no real sense of the drugs-and-violence underside of show business or the spiritual cost of failure.
Be forewarned: The 100-Year-Old Man is edgier than its title would lead you to believe. Bad guys are bludgeoned, blown up and even crushed by an elephant, and the two duffers take a lassez-faire attitude toward disposing of them.