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Tom Hardy

It's 'Basic': Buckle up and pay attention

Basic is anything but. Instead, it's a Rubik's Cube of a movie, where nothing is as it seems, no conclusion is pat, and plot lines can unravel at the snap of a finger.

At times the pace is dizzying, and frequently the effort required to follow what's happening can make your head hurt. Then again, if you're that worried about ensuring that point A flows smoothly into point B, don't be. Things eventually become clear. Instead, enjoy the whip-cracking plot turns and the marvelously cocksure performance of John Travolta, whose blue eyes and buff physique (nice to see him back in lean, mean, fighting-machine mode) are in service to a role that allows him to overplay in a manner that...