Vegas (CBS) pits a sheriff against a Chicago mobster and premieres September 25th. Vegas stars Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Jason O’Mara and Carrie-Anne Moss. High hopes for this one.
I can’t help but compare Vegas to Boardwalk Empire (HBO) or Magic City (Starz). The only thing that they really have in common is that they are all American gangster stories & time period series. From there the differences are as broad as the eye can see. Boardwalk Empire is really a political drama set to the backdrop of Prohibition, gambling, corruption and the mob in Atlantic City during the 1920′s and 30′s. Magic City is about business and corruption, specifically the hotel business and the mob, set to backdrop of Miami during the 1950′s. Vegas is more of a drama-western about the mob in Las Vegas during the 1960′s. So we have three distinguished plots and shows that can hold their own (cast, writing, etc..) Another point to make is that the two established series are from premium cable networks whereas Vegas isn’t. That doesn’t necessarily mean the production value and overall quality can’t and won’t match up, but we’ll see.
‘The Beast‘ is an action thriller and director Hwang Yu-Sik‘s debut film and co-screenplay. Its also actor Jung Suk-Won‘s debut film (he’s appeared in numerous Korean drama series). He comes from an action school background (stuntman) which enabled the constrained (low-budget) film to be shot in one month. It was also shot at night in dark places. So, the production value is absent but that’s not to say a small film like this can’t be entertaining. But.. it really isn’t. In-the-box action choreography with a weak and predictable plot are overbearing. So, instead it comes across as a very cheap rip-off of “The Man From Nowhere” and “Taken” which the director admits were an influence (AsianWiki):
Moderator – Before “The Beast” there were similar films like “The Man From Nowhere” and “Taken.” Did those movies influence “The Beast?”
Hwang Yu-Sik (director) – I won’t deny those movies had some influence, because when I planned the “Beast” those films were popular.
It’s about some elite special forces guy who goes AWOL to find and rescue his kidnapped sister who has is a victim of human trafficking into the underground market of online rape/porn. Full synopsis