Tag Archives: Thriller

What are the best thriller-spy movies in Hollywood?

Had originally written this post on Quora.

  1. Casino Royale

2. Munich

3. The Mission: Impossible Series

4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

5. Skyfall

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Ghosts-Part Two.

To read Ghosts-Part One, click here!

THE HIT SQUAD

Mumbai

February 14, 2016

4:30 pm

“That son of a bitch got away,” thought Ranjit. His earlier conversation with Rohit was still playing in his mind. Two of his former colleagues were dead.  He, along with the only other surviving member of The Hit Squad, was now the target of a dormant monster from their past that had risen up to devour them whole.

He remembered that day as if it had been yesterday. The bullets. The bodies. The blood.

 Five Years Ago

They called themselves ‘The Hit Squad’. A generic title which left no doubts about what they were meant to do. Officially, they didn’t exist. They specialised in black operations, which meant doing the dirty work for the government.

Rohit Singh. Ranjit Gill. Vikram Mehta. Sagar Dhawan.

Despite their non-existence on paper, tales of their conquests were spread far and wide, treated with respect from the intelligence community, and fear by those on the wrong side of the law.

A notorious drug kingpin.  A mass-murdering terrorist. The head of an organised crime syndicate. All were taken out with sheer perfection and ruthlessness by The Hit Squad.

No member of The Hit Squad had any qualms about the work they did. They were willing to delve into dirt that no-one else, in Ranjit’s words, “had the balls to touch.”

__________________________________________________________________________

Vikram was staring through his binoculars at the empty road. According to the intelligence they had received, a car would be coming down this road within the coming minutes. In it, would be the head of the biggest crime syndicate in the country. A man who had eluded capture for decades. Intelligence had finally turned up a solid piece that provided a golden opportunity to cripple the syndicate, and the government didn’t want to take any chances, hence had sent their very best to finish the job.

According to the report, the Don, as he was called, would be accompanied by three of his bodyguards. The plan was to ambush them on the deserted road. On Vikram’s signal, Rohit would drive a truck into the path of the moving car from a sidestreet.  Ranjit and Sagar, on the back of the truck, would open fire on the car, with Vikram providing support from behind. The stakes were higher than ever. If this attempt were to fail, the Don would vanish into the smoke, never to be seen again.

Vikram noticed movement. He zoomed in, but what he saw sent shivers down his spine. He picked up the radio.

“Bravo, this is Alpha, come in.”

“This is Bravo,” replied Rohit from the other end.

“Three cars. Black. SUVs. Will reach Point Delta in 5.”

“Fuck! Three! We were told there would be one! I bet the other cars are filled with bodyguards. Four of us against twelve.”

“Your call, Bravo.”

Ranjit chimed in on the radio,” This is Tango One. I say let’s get ‘em. The more, the merrier.”

Sagar said,” Hells yeah. Three of them for every one of us. Ranjit will probably kill them all in a jiffy, stud that he is. Leave some for us, bro.”

“Sure, mate, if you’re fast enough” replied Ranjit.

“We’ll see.”

“Shut the fuck up, you two,” said Vikram.

Ranjit said,” I ain’t joking, man. This is a golden chance. The bastard might not surface for another ten years if we let this go. Three of them for one of us? I say, bring it on!”

“Hells yeah!” exclaimed Sagar.

“ETA Two minutes!” said Vikram.

Rohit hesitated. Then spoke,” All right. Let’s give them some love.”

“T-Minus Twenty Seconds,” shouted Vikram into the radio.

Rohit revved up the truck engine. It was a monstrosity, twenty feet long.

“Here we go!”

He drove the truck onto the road. The foremost car rammed into the side of the truck.

Ranjit and Sagar opened fire on the foremost vehicle with their sub-machine guns. Blood splattered on the shattered windscreen. Vikram was coming approaching from the opposite end of the road, opening fire on the rear vehicle, while Rohit got out of the truck and joined the firing.

Just then, the door of the middle car opened. A glance passed between Ranjit and Sagar, echoing the innumerable missions they had taken together. They nodded to each other.

Sagar opened fire on the windscreen of the middle car, while Ranjit aimed at the open door. The windscreen turned red, but Ranjit’s bullets were only able to hit the door, and not who was hiding beyond.

Then the crack of a pistol was heard amid the barrage of gunfire. Vikram collapsed to the ground, clutching his leg.

The firing stopped at once. A new voice was heard, this one coming from the behind the door.

“All right. Nice and easy. I’ve got my pistol pointed at your idiot friend’s forehead, so drop your guns if you want to see him alive.”

“Damn you! Kill me, asshole. Look me in the eye if you have the guts, and pull the goddamn trigger,” replied Vikram.

“So we have a patriot here. Good. I’m counting to five. You all know what you have to do.”

Sagar, Rohit and Ranjit exchanged glances. They were thinking the same thing. No, Vikram didn’t deserve to die at the hands of this maniac.

“Okay, we’re dropping the guns now!” shouted Ranjiit, throwing his gun to the ground. Rohit and Sagar followed suit.

“Damn it! What the-” began Vikram, but he was cut off by the Don.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to get into this car, my gun pointed at your fallen friend. I’ll drive away. But you better hide yourselves in the deepest hole you can find, because when I come back, I won’t let you die so quickly.”

The Present Day

Ranjit remembered how he had felt that day, the moment he had dropped his gun. Powerless. Angry. The scene had been bloody. The windshields of the cars were peppered broken and red. Bodies laden with bullets lay still on the seats, drenched in blood.

The Don had climbed into the car and driven away.

It had been the first operation the Squad had failed at. The Don had disappeared from The Grid, as it was called. The tale of the operation had spread far and wide, on both sides of the law.

The Hit Squad had disbanded after that. It had been a mutual decision. They had decided never to contact each other again.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosts

PART ONE

THE HUNTER

Greater Noida, NCR Region

February 13, 2016

9:00 PM

The sky, a thin veil separating life from the infinite expanse, was giving way to the unbounded darkness that lay beyond. The setting sun was casting long shadows, engulfing the world in a reddish glow.

The Assassin was lying on his stomach and gazing with his right eye into the scope of his rifle, trying to focus on The Target, which was in its apartment in the opposite building. The Assassin had a lithe, muscular figure, his arms slowly directing his rifle, his index finger on the trigger.

He could see The Target now. It was playing with a small Expendable, which could not have been more than 6 years old. It was laughing aloud, making the action figures enact various fantasies, as the Target looked on in amusement.

“Patience,” thought the Assassin.

Just then, another Expendable came into the room, brandishing a notebook. The smaller Expendable began to cry, and after a lot of struggle, quietly took the notebook and went into the other room.

The Assassin knew this was his moment. He drew a deep breath, his hands now holding the rifle steady, the crosshairs focused on the Target’s forehead. Holding his breath, he pulled the trigger. The Target collapsed, its blood splattering on the wall behind. The Expendable began to scream.

The Assassin allowed himself a rare smile. It had been a perfect shot, and for a moment he thought whether he could make two perfect shots in a row. His trigger finger was itching, his scope now focused on the Expendable. However, he would be paid only for one kill anyway. He relaxed his arms and stood up. Pulling out a cellphone from his pocket, he typed a message.

“1/4. Wire payment. Update on No.2 tomorrow”

Chandigarh, Punjab

February 14, 2016

8:00 am

He didn’t need a rifle to eliminate this Target. It lived alone, so there would be no collateral damage. His disguise was that of delivery man, and he had added a dense moustache and beard to make sure there were no loose ends. The nameplate read ‘Rohit Singh’.

He rang the bell.

“Who is it?” asked a loud voice from inside the apartment.

“Courier, sir. Carrying your phone bill.”

“Be there in a minute!” came the reply.

This was almost too easy. This Target had let his guard down, something that the Assassin never did himself. He pulled out the silencer-equipped Berretta .32 caliber from its holster, and waited. He heard the sound of footsteps, and saw a shadow fall over the peephole. Raising his gun to the peephole, he pulled the trigger, and heard a scream. He stepped back and emptied the entire magazine on the door. He then slipped away and hailed a taxi, and typed another message on his cellphone.

“2/4. Wire payment. Update on No.3 at evening today.”

Mumbai

February 14, 2016

4:00 pm

The flights from Delhi to Amritsar,  and Amritsar to Mumbai would have tired out a normal person, but the Assassin was anything but normal.

This Target was similar to the previous one. It lived alone in one of the several high rises in the city suburbs. He had been warned about this one. It was the best of the lot, as dangerous as the Assassin himself.

The nameplate read ‘Ranjit Gill’.His disguise this time was that of a pizza delivery guy. He would take special care of this one. He rang the bell.

“Who is it?” asked a deep voice.

“Pizza, sir.”

“Didn’t order any pizza, mate.”

“I’m sorry sir. My bad. Could you please help me locate the address given?”

“And get my eye shot off? No, thanks. Your game is up, asshole!”

The Assassin felt a chill that had nothing to do with the wintry air.

“Sir, what are you-”

“Shut the fuck up and listen to me very carefully. See the peephole in front of you? You can’t shoot me from there, because yours truly is always aware of what assholes like you are capable of. It’s a security camera that focused on you, newbie. I currently have a very beautiful shotgun in my hand pointed at the door, so take out your gun and set it down in the floor if you don’t want me to blow a large hole in your body. You have five seconds. I assume you can count.”

This was an unprecedented hindrance for the Assassin. His brain was racing, calculating the possible permutations. He could take out his gun and set it on the floor, accepting defeat. Or he could take a shot at outwitting the Target.

He had never accepted defeat before in his career. It was a point of pride. He could not accept it now. There was only one way.

He took out the gun and feinted downward motion, changing track at the last moment and firing at the door.

He could fire only one bullet before he heard a loud bang. His shoulder was on fire and his shirt was now turning red. The pain was excruciating, one that he had never felt before.

He did something he had never done before. He ran.

Mumbai

8 hours ago

Ranjit was woken up from his deep sleep by the ringing of his cell phone. The caller ID displayed the name of a person he had thought he would never contact again.

He hesitated for a moment. Why would Rohit be calling him? Had he forgotten the pact? Had he forgotten what had happened that had made them agree to the pact? Or had the ghosts of their past finally caught up with them?

Curiosity got the better of him, and he picked the call.

“Roh-”

“Listen to me, Ranjit. They got me. I don’t have much time, so listen to me very carefully. ” The voice was strained, as if coming from the wrong end of a speaker.

“God damn, Rohit. What do you mea-”

“Shut up and listen. They’re coming for us. I tried to call Vikram. He’s dead. Call up Karan and warn him as well. They are coming.

“Tell me what happened, goddamit!”

“Rookie mistake on my part. Let my guard down. Son of a bitch shot me through the peephole and then emptied an entire magazine on me.”

“Fuck! I’ll call an ambu-”

“No. My time has come. Run.Save yourself. Save Karan. It’s them.”

“Who’s them?”

“You know who. I’ve held on for long as I could. Goodbye, Ranjit.”

“Talk to me, Rohit! Goddamn!”

“They…they are coming,” said Rohit, as the last vestiges of his life left him.

“Rohit? Rohit? Answer, damn you! Rohit!!”

There was no reply.

Ranjit’s fingers were numb. The wall between his past and present had disappeared. His old colleagues were dead. He was next in line.

Rohit had told him to run and save himself and Karan. However, running away went against his every instinct. There was something going on that he simply couldn’t escape from. He wouldn’t rest until he got to the bottom of this.

It’s them,” Rohit had said. Ranjit knew perfectly well who he meant.

TO BE CONTINUED….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Recommendations: #78

The Dark Knight(2008)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart,Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman,Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal. the dark knight The Dark Knight is, without a shred of doubt,  the greatest superhero film of all time.

Batman(Christian Bale,brilliant as ever) faces his nemesis, The Joker(Heath Ledger), a criminal mastermind who wants to give Gotham city “a better class of criminal.” Meanwhile, the new district attorney Harvey Dent is Gotham’s White Knight, an idealistic man with a no-nonsense brand of justice who trains his guns on organized crime.

There are several factors that set The Dark Knight apart from other superhero films. Christopher Nolan took the Batman franchise and turned it into a work of art. The film focuses on several themes such as morality,heroism, chaos, tragedy, and the battle between good and evil.Heath Ledger’s electrifying performance, for which he received a posthumous Academy Award, made The Joker one of the greatest villains and most memorable characters of all time. There were great performances from the supporting cast, featuring cinema greats such as Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman.

The film also features enthralling action sequences and wonderful cinematography.It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.

Movie Recommendations: #73

Collateral(2004)

Director: Michael Mann

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx,Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo.

collateral

 

Collateral is a crime thriller film . It follows taxi driver Max Durocher(Jamie Foxx), who is held hostage by ruthless contract killer Vincent(Tom Cruise).

Tom Cruise is seen in a role that is poles apart from the “goody two-shoes” roles that cemented his position as a movie star. His portrayal of the cold, calculating and intimidating Vincent ranks among his finest performances, and certainly scores points on the “serious ” actor board. Jamie Foxx was splendid as Max, a cab driver who dreams of driving a limo someday,and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

If you’re a fan of neo-noir crime thrillers, Collateral isn’t a movie to be missed.

Movie Recommendations:#68

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(2011)

Director: David Fincher.

Starring: Daniel Craig,Rooney Mara,Christopher Plummer,Stellan Skarsgard.the girl with the dragon tattoo

Based on Steig Larsson’s bestselling eponymous novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a thriller film that will keep you hooked till the very end.

After losing a libel case against businessman Hans-Erik Wennerstrom , disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig) is hired by business magnate Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his grandniece, 40 years ago, in exchange for information that could incriminate Wennerstrom.Eccentric and troubled Lisbeth Salander(Rooney Mara), a brilliant programmer and investigator, is subject to horrific sexual violence at the hands of her guardian. Blomkvist later asks Salander to help with the investigation, and both uncover the trail of a serial killer.

The dark setting, gripping story and background score make it one of the best ever films in the thriller genre. The cast delivered brilliant performances, Rooney Mara in particular as the idealistic, strong-willed and intelligent hacker Lisbeth Salander.

Movie Recommendations: #65

Source Code(2011)

Director: Duncan Jones

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal,Michelle Monaghan.

source code

 

Source Code is a science-fiction thriller film which explores the concepts of alternate realities and time-travel.

The complex and meticulously crafted storyline follows U.S Army Pilot Captain Colter Stevens(Jake Gyllenhal), who finds himself on a train where everyone believes him to be Sean Fentress, a school teacher, his last memory being about a mission in Afghanistan.As he struggles to comprehend his situation, the train explodes, and he wakes up in a dark cockpit where he communicates with the masterminds of the unique operation.

Source Code is a thrilling, gripping and intense brain-teaser of a film which will keep you hooked till the very end, and is highly recommended for all sci-fi lovers out there.