The A-team of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass return to the Bourne franchise to give us more of what we want. It may not be original, but it has grit, tension and that visceral quality that made Bourne the go-to spy-guy. That was then, what about now?
Damon matures well as the battered survivor Jason Bourne with the extreme espionage skills, although the extended origins plot is now getting a little thin. We go further back into Bourne’s family history, turning the whole Bourne franchise into an Inigo Montoya revenge tale. Continue Reading
Closing the series, this expensive YA sci-fi remains predictably hokey, as the increasingly bland Tris (Shalene Woodley) and action-eye-candy Four (Theo James) lead the Divergent crew into the wasteland beyond the city walls. If they’re unlucky, they’ll meet the Scorch Triallers coming one way and the Hunger Gamers coming the other. But it will all be fine in the safe hands of the gently benevolent Jeff Daniels (Looper). Won’t it? Continue Reading
Duncan Jones (Moon) almost pulls off a triumph in bringing the Warcraft online game to life. His stock fantasy world is fully realised, where even the Orcs can be good guys; there’s plenty of bash, crash and smash, griffons, golems, wizards, fell beasts, wargs and that bloke from Vikings getting all angsty. So it’s Paula Patton (MI4) who takes the honours as leather-bikini-clad Garona, half-orc warrior, acting the rest off-screen through a set of joke-shop fangs whilst painted green like one o’ them birds out of Start Trek TOS. Continue Reading
An Avengers movie in all but name, this shambolic sequel contains too many Marvel franchise promotional puffs, looks like a cos-play comic convention, has one ludicrous action set-piece too many, a superfluous Bourne car chase, and, as everyone in it points out, no Thor and no Hulk.
Whilst Chris Evans ups his acting game again, neither he, nor Downey Junior, nor the excellent Daniel Brühl (Rush) can save this civil ho-hum-trying-too-hard franchise behemoth. Continue Reading
Marvel’s audacious X-men/Wolverine spin-off-spin-off wants to have it’s cake and eat it: sweary, subversive and knowlingly parodic, it is also puerile, violent, gory and laughs too often at its own jokes.
Which is presumably why they got puerile, self-referential Ryan Reynolds in the lead, despite his dubious track record (Blade Trinity, Green Lantern). Continue Reading
The critical hammering this 70’s cop-show reboot received on release in 2013 kept me away from it; catching up with it now, I was probably right. Abandoning the ramshackle charm of TV’s lovable rogues Regan and Carter, director Nick Love (of various terrible Danny Dire movies not worth naming) goes sweary and loud in an attempt to make this the British Heat, right down to a running street battle across Trafalgar Square. Ambitious but foolhardy, this Sweeney misses the mark, like the automatic fire in all its set pieces.
Worth seeing only for the monumental performance of Ray Winstone (Snow White, Hugo) as out-of-control dinosaur cop Jack Regan, the rest of this under-budget crime ‘thriller’ is by turns cliched, ludicrous, laughable and cheap. Does anyone really think this is how the modern Met Police operates? Continue Reading
This prequel/sequel to Snow White and the Hunstman smacks of cynical profiteering; visually stunning design it’s poorly served by a script that is Snow White’s not-so-Greatest Hits with leftover bits of Narnia and assorted Hobbitses.
Clichéd, formulaic and derivative, this bargain-bin script is left without a Snow White and can only afford four fairly redundant dwarfs. Continue Reading