I got passes to a screning of this film. Waiting in line some of the other folks and I discussed the violence of the video games in the lobby in that polite, well mannered, educated liberal manner. Then we settled in to watch the movie, and got to the climax scene where the good guy punches out the villian. You could literally watch the same group of well educated, properly opinioned liberals sit there, with there hands held out in front of them, perplexed. We knew we were supposed to clap, but then again Kelsey Grammers' character would have tugged at our emotions in the same way to elicit the same response. As such we were left as an impass as to what the correct behavior was, our gut saying clap and our brains saying don't. That is the sheer brillance of this movie--it doesn't say what to think, it just says think.
This movie is very bloody--to the exent that some people wil not want to watch it. If you have a weak stomach turn it off. However, that can be points in its favor. I was particualrly happy in the scene with the blond prostitute. She was the sort of character that only enters the scene to get killed by the bad guys, but she actually fights back. The scene is bloody and everything, but she didn't just lie there and wait for them to finish her off like so many other horror film women.
The best thing about this film is that every single second is dedicated to forwarding the plot. There is no extraneous speeches to forward the theme or create the characters--it is very nice to have a film that doesn't assume that we are stupid. There is some very good dramatic tension and some wonderful twists as characters are tested and changed. That being said this isn't an Oscar film. It is a popcorn film, a fairly straight forward action film. It is, however, refreshingly, an action film that lets you think.