Can no one stop Ed Zwick’s reign of mediocrity? The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond director delivers yet another one of his action-packed historical dramas with Defiance, in which heroes brood, hunks curl up with hotties under warm blankets, brothers squabble, and stuff goes kaboom with deadening predictability. Zwick’s trademark talk-explosion!-talk-gunfire!-talk template is at this point so set in stone that his latest could have been directed by any second-unit director, though there’s little about this reality-fashioned-into-fantasy “true story” – aside from leading man Daniel Craig’s participation – that might reasonably entice aspiring auteurs. In 1941, with Nazi-collaborating Polish police forces slaughtering Jews (including their parents), brothers Tuvia (Craig), Zus (Liev Schrieber) and Asael Bielski (Jamie Bell) flee into the Belarusian woods, where they establish a makeshift camp that’s soon inundated with Jewish refugees from neighboring towns. Tuvia and Zus are at odds over how to combat this National Socialist terror, with Tuvia choosing to function as protector-savior-Moses to the exiles and Zus opting for kill-'em-all military duty alongside the forest’s scheming Soviet forces. The particulars of their ostensibly stirring tale, however, aren’t of any real concern, since they merely fill in the gaps between conventional romantic gazes, noisy combat and valiant speeches. Defiance smacks every clichéd note with maximum gusto, but given the absence of depth and mystery to its narrative and characterizations, there’s virtually no reason to even pay attention – if you’ve seen any of Zwick’s prior faux-serious slam-bang period pieces, you’ve already seen this one too.