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He has never really taken on a role that required him to be a two-fisted, gun-toting hero in a traditional action film narrative. Watch Get Hard Online

Since his latest film, "Movie," requires him to delve into both of those relatively unfamiliar areas, there are some moviegoers out there who may be curious to see what it is about this particular project that piqued his interest. Watch Insurgent Online

This tale of international intrigue, for lack of a better term, begins in 2006 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Jack Terrier (Penn) is a former Special Forces soldier working as a security advisor for a mining company. Watch Cinderella Online

With a small group of associates, he moonlights doing the kind of shadowy covert jobs that corporations will pay big money to have done off the books. Watch Run All Night Online

Eight years later, a newly ennobled Terrier has returned to the Congo to legitimately help the locals by digging wells for an NGO in between officially verboten surfing jaunts. Watch The Gunman Online

When he is attacked by three thugs who have been sent to kill him—and to bring back 50 cc's of genetic proof of his demise—he begins to surmise that his long-buried past has come back to haunt him and then some. Watch Kingsman The Secret Service Online

After the ambush, Terrier flies to London to begin investigating who might want him dead by looking up his former comrades to see if they might have any information. Watch Do You Believe Online

Based on the 1981 pulp novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette with the admittedly awesome title of "The Prone Gunman," "Movie" is, at least for the first two-thirds, rudimentary beyond belief. Watch The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Online

The action scenes are executed by director Pierre Morel with none of the grace and style that he brought to the big set-pieces in such previous efforts as "District B13" and "Taken." Watch Focus Online

Unlike those beautifully orchestrated ballets of brutality, the fights here have the lets-get-this-done feel of a television series that has fallen a day or two behind in its shooting schedule. Watch Chappie Online

Leading to an unavoidable sense of dramatic wheel-spinning, and the occasional attempts at adding a sense of political awareness to what is otherwise an unabashedly pulpy storyline are more off-putting than engrossing. Watch The SpongeBob Movie Sponge Out of Water Online

Even sillier is the big climax at the bullfight in which people are running around the crowded arena waving their guns willy-nilly without anyone noticing, a tortured visual link between Terrier and the bull is awkwardly established. Watch Fifty Shades of Grey Online

And bad guys are eliminated in ways so goofy that I found it hard to believe that anyone involved with this project could have thought that they could have worked dramatically. Watch Jupiter Ascending Online

For Penn, "Movie" is a cross between a vanity project and an apparent attempt to reinvent his career in the same manner that Liam Neeson did under Morel's guidance in "Taken." Watch The DUFF Online

Penn has delivered the occasionally awful acting turn over the years (as anyone who saw "I Am Sam," "All the King's Men" and "Gangster Squad" can attest) but he at least committed to them, which is more than one can say for the listless performance he gives here. Watch Unfinished Business Online

He is certainly fit enough to take on an action hero persona—between the surfing scenes and the numerous moments where he takes off his shirt to show off his ripped arms. Watch The Lazarus Effect Online

The film give us as many trips to the gun show as it does gun battles—but two-fisted ass-kicker is just not a persona that suits him. Watch Paddington Online

Movie isn't the worst action film that you will see this year—you will be lucky if you remember anything about it a couple of weeks after seeing it—but in its waste of a gifted cast. Watch The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Online

A normally effective choreographer of cinematic chaos and a potentially provocative premise, it will probably go down as one of the more dispiriting ones. Watch The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies Online

This isn't to say that Penn could not one day make for an effective and believable action star—he is still one of our best actors and a gifted filmmaker to boot. Watch Home 2015 Online
 
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