Insurgent is the difficult middle instalment of Verionica Roth’s teenage rebel sci-fi dystopian trilogy Divergent; so more of the same running, jumping, fighting, crying, and ‘it’s all about family, innit’ [copyright Eastenders or your choice of soap here].
Expect more punch-ups, shoot-outs, train-jumping, big CGI landscapes, teary heroines, betrayals and a bit of snogging (but not too much, we can’t have teenage sex in the movies).
What’s most disturbing is the sheer amount of gunplay and violent death in what is supposed to be a 12A certificate movie. No wonder the American psyche is so screwed up with this perpetual Western frontier mentality of solving every problem with a bullet. Continue Reading
A man walks into a bar and tells the daftest life story imaginable. The resulting contrivance of twisty plot devices, unlike 2013’s Looper, is disappointingly loopy.
Writer/producer/directors the Spierig Brothers deliver an understated new take on Heinlein’s classic sci-fi tale of causal loops in time travel, but which can’t escape the Twilight Zone tropes to it’s all too predictable conclusion.
Ethan Hawke (the brilliant Gattaca and not-so Daybreakers) is reliable as ever as the rugged time agent, while newcomer Sarah Snook is an amazing leading lady but possibly the least convincing leading man in cinema history. Continue Reading
I’ve seen it so you don’t have to: Liam Neeson’s latest addition to his modern day The Searchers franchise proves to be the cynical, money-making, watered-down, lowest-common denominator pop-corn fodder everyone said it would be.
While the first Taken had a certain brutal post-Bourne, post-Ronin style glossing it’s very xenophobic, hunter-killer, mechanical, plot, and relying on Neeson’s ruthless and chilly ex-spy, Taken 3 may be a sequel too far. Although that hasn’t prevented Fast and Slightly Peeved 27… Continue Reading
Re-inventing, then re-re-inventing the comic-book hero from WWII saviour to man-out-of-time in the present day, the two Captain Americas are as different from each other in tone and style as chalk and cheese.
But while Captain America pulls off the all-American, White Hat hero with spotless morals, there’s an oddly asexual, homo-erotic theme in both movies – and not just in the amount of leather bondage-wear sported by both casts.
Impressive action sequences can’t disguise these boy’s own fantasies as anything more than comic-book wet-dreams with extraordinary budgets. Continue Reading
Gaenocologist Catherine (Julianne Moore – Magnolia, Mockingjay) believes college professor husband David (Liam Neeson – Taken, The Grey) is having affairs with his students. So she hires up-market call-girl (aren’t they all) Chloe (Amanda Seyfried – In Time, Red Riding Hood) to see if he falls to temptation. Like you do. But Chloe develops an obsession with Catherine.
Respected and prolific art-house director Atom Egoyan (Erotica, The Captive) remakes French erotic thriller Nathalie, and despite stellar performances from Moore and Seyfried, the whole preposterous melodrama collapses under French bourgeois angst. Continue Reading
Jupiter Ascending is the latest extravaganza from the Wachowskis – spoiler alert!
Mila Kunis’ (Ted) Jupiter Jones leads a hated poverty-trap life cleaning other people’s loos with her Russian immigrant family in Chicago. A chance decision to sell her own eggs to an alien-infested fertility clinic lands her into the chaotic realisation that she has inherited planet Earth from herself, and her son/fiancé is none too happy about it…
So far, so promisingly bonkers, but is it any good? Nowhere near as much all-out fun as Guardians of the Galaxy, which it resembles. Continue Reading
Jake Ghyllenhaal (Source Code, Prince of Persia) stars in and produces this queasy thriller of a nocturnal LA news reporter chasing the ambulances in search of ratings.
Opening with Ghyllenhaal’s Louise Bloom trying to fence metals stolen with violence and trying to talk himself into a job, we already know that his immensely polite and wide-eyed openness is a thin veneer; Bloom is a unique and distinctive anti-hero.
Speaking fluently in the language of teach-yourself-business books and self-help courses, Bloom flagrantly manipulates everyone around him in single-minded pursuit of the American Dream. Continue Reading