Land of Bad

The underappreciated Land of Bad has flown criminally below the radar in a season overflowing with toilet bowl bobbers.
78/100131421
Starring
Liam Hemsworth, Russell Crowe
Director
William Eubank
Rating
R
Genre
Action, Thriller
Release date
Feb 16, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story/Plot
60%
Visuals/Cinematography
78%
Performance
75%
Direction
79%
Non-Wokeness
100%
Rating Summary
Some heroism, thrills, quality gunfights, and a US military that isn't the bad guy. Land of Bad is a solid action war flick with good performances, crisp and economical dialogue, and terrific pacing. It's totally worth it.

The history of military drones dates back to the early 1900s. During World War I, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were used for reconnaissance missions. These early drones were primarily balloons equipped with cameras. However, in World War II more sophisticated drone systems emerged. These drones served as targets for training as well as for intelligence gathering. In recent years, armed UAVs like the MQ-1 Predator have played a crucial role in military operations, including combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Land of Bad shows audiences how far they’ve come.

Land of Bad

When his Spec Ops team is ambushed, Air Force Sergeant JJ Kinney’s only hope of survival lies with drone pilots thousands of miles away to guide him through 48 hours of hell.

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Falling somewhere between SISU’s relentless and over-the-top action and Guy Ritchie’s The Covenanent’s grounded depiction of combat, Land of Bad is a surprisingly engaging action war thriller. It may not add much new to the genre, but it manages to deliver what genre fans want: compelling and realistic men depicting visceral heroism while unironically exploring universal themes of duty and survival under impossible conditions.

Its limited cast does its duty by giving equally natural performances that expertly hook the audience and provide them with a raw connection to the film’s stakes. Hemsworth, who gets the lion’s share of the film’s focus, proves that he has what it takes to be a serious action star. Were it not for every other aspect of the show, his turn as Sergeant Kinney would be more than enough to give Witcher fans hope. Admittedly, though, there are one or two very brief moments in which his intensity isn’t quite commensurate with that of the scene’s.

The rest of the cast is brimming with enough charisma to work quickly within the constraints of their relatively brief screen time to infuse a richness to their characters that lesser performers would have missed. This is especially true for the once-svelte star of Gladiator, Russell Crowe. Crowe proves that his talent is as expansive as his waistline by infusing a character that could have easily been omitted with heart and purpose. He delivers a magnetic performance for an otherwise cutting room floor subplot.

Land of Bad isn’t a perfect movie. Its plot has been recycled from countless other films, and it overlooks some basic details (especially toward the end). Still, for those few things it gets wrong, it more than makes up for with its primal stakes, perfect pacing, and some first-rate cinematography.

It’s been a while since I left the cinema with a smile on my face. I’m happy to mark Land of Bad as Worth it.

Role Models

  • The self-sacrificing, no-quit, complete-the-mission attitude that exemplifies the best of U.S. soldiers is on full display and honors those who have sacrificed much for more.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

None

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

13 comments

  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    February 28, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    For reference, what I didn’t understand before is that I need to look for the phrase “Worth it” from your reviews and not the word “Based.”

    I mention this to assist with others reading who may draw my same false conclusion.

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    1

    Reply

    • The Original John Doe

      February 29, 2024 at 1:38 am

      Well if you only use “worth it” in your search you will get movies with woke content that are recommended as “worth it”.

      I pointed out in a different post that this website is named “Worth it or Woke” which for anyone who understands the English definition of the word OR knows that the website title implied the movie is EITHER “worth it” OR “woke” but that it can not be both.

      And in this website’s infancy, they kept true to their guns. But then they started deciding that some woke movies are “worth it” and I implied that should never happen with the title they chose or they should rename their website like Musk did with Twitter to X.

      My post seemed to offend the person who created this website, James Carrick, and he launched into his defense of how they let the reader decide how much woke they want yadda yadda yadda. But the fact still remains that if that is what they want to do then the website title is very misleading.

      Anyway, they decided to put more and more of their content behind a paywall so the best places to go for non-woke movies and TC is the site https://www.notwokeshows.com/ which doesn’t recommend anything with even the smallest amount of wokeness. And if the author of notwokeshows misses anything woke, you just post a comment explaining what is woke, and presto upon verification the film is re-rated as woke.

      And they have way more titles than this site as well.

      Reply

      • Sweet Deals

        February 29, 2024 at 8:25 am

        I think the rating system here is that “based” means minimal woke content, but “worth it” means a good movie. Just because a movie is “based” doesn’t necessarily mean it is good, while the site proprietor also recognizes that a movie with certain woke elements can be well-made if the viewer is willing to shrug them off. It gives him the right to pick which movies are his favorites.

        I understand that the reviews are the opinions are the site proprietor. Considering that most of what I read and see on the Internet consists of self-important nerds whining about how much they either loved or hated their favorite movies and video games, I’ve since learned not to take too much stock in anyone’s opinions. I see people online whining how much they hate everything and people offline saying how much they love everything. In the end it’s up to me to choose what I want.

        I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. It doesn’t really matter what I think.

        Reply

  • Reine Rush

    March 2, 2024 at 11:18 am

    I always figured a movie might still be “worth it” even if it has some woke elements. I guess it depends on how much “woke” each person can stomach to make that decision. I still enjoy reading this site’s reviews, and will try the other site mentioned in a comment, too. If I’m going to spend $15 for a movie ticket, I won’t waste it on a film with too much woke crap. After laughing through Ben Shapiro’s 45-minute review of the new “Barbie” movie, I avoided it like the plague!

    Reply

    • James Carrick

      March 2, 2024 at 12:17 pm

      It’s never been my mission, nor that of the site’s to tell people what to do or think. My only goal has ever been to provide the best quality information that I can.

      I completely understand and respect that some people can’t stomach anything woke in films.

      Reply

      • Reine Rush

        March 3, 2024 at 10:48 am

        Sorry, James, I wasn’t trying to imply that you are some kind of “movie dictator”; I really look forward to your reviews! Just saw “Boys in the Boat” after reading your review and absolutely loved it. And I hadn’t even heard of “Land of Bad” but will now go see it, too.

        Reply

        • James Carrick

          March 3, 2024 at 10:51 am

          No need to apologize. I’m sorry if I came across as defensive. I absolutely appreciated your comment.

          Reply

    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      March 2, 2024 at 1:17 pm

      To me, it knocks me out of the movie whenever they have woke stuff.

      For example, I never saw Barbie, but I heard about how they changed the board of directors on Mattel to erase all the women. In the real world, the board has several women, but they have to remove them all from the movie just to make it seem as though women aren’t allowed on the board.

      The woke mentality is just so disparate from reality that it’s easier to believe in superheroes and dragons than it is that the woke are correct in any world, and that such a world could even function.

      Reply

        • Bunny With A Keyboard

          March 2, 2024 at 1:42 pm

          That was meant to be to Reine. Sorry.

          Reply

          • James Carrick

            March 2, 2024 at 2:00 pm

            No worries. I took it in the spirit in which it was given.

      • Jared

        March 29, 2024 at 6:16 pm

        I absolutely loved this movie. It was full of heroism and heart ..the end was intense and I was on the edge of my seat .

        Everyone was awesome ..no complaints.

        Reply

  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    March 3, 2024 at 7:17 pm

    James, unrelated to the article but I just saw an article about the so-called “Climate Reality Check,” and figured you should be made aware same way you’ve probably heard about the garbage Bechdel test that even Bechdel doesn’t think should be a real thing.

    I feel like the people who came up with this test have set a standard for if something is woke, and as such, it’s a good standard to use. Use their own standards against them.

    Reply

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