Favourite French film bloke Luc Besson (Lucy) aims to rival his own commercial and cult classic Fifth Element with a grand space opera and love letter to the comic books of his youth. Visually exuberant, whimsical and packed, as always, with more ideas than will fit on screen, Besson fans will love it whilst still seeing the flaws that kept multiplex audiences away. Continue Reading
Cross Ridley Scott’s 1989 Alien Nation with 1995’s Bad Boys, add Tolkien’s Elves and Orcs, prisoner-escort thriller 16 Blocks and what you’ve got is a sweary, violent, cop-buddy-movie-fantasy crossover from Netflix by Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer that’s divided critics and audience alike. Continue Reading
“What if Debbie Harry had been a British spy in the run up to the fall of the Berlin Wall? This is the entire basis of Atomic Blonde‘s derivative Tinker-Tailor hokum meets video-rental exploitation, with Charlize Theron alternately looking magazine-cover cool or battered senseless in gratuitously over-the-top action sequences. It’s hardly feminism’s finest moment. Continue Reading
If you like cool, retro-feel, heist-caper movies with a retro jukebox sound track, Michael Mann-style shoot-outs and a compelling central character, then Baby Driver is one for you. There’s a direct line between this and 70’s classics such as Vanishing Point, The Getaway and The Driver, right up to Winding-Refn’s Drive. What could have been merely a ‘me-too’ knock-off is strong enough to stand on it’s own. Continue Reading
Since the two Guardian‘s movies made a pile of cash, every Marvel movie now has to look and sound like Guardians; hence the third instalment of Thor is a gargantuan smash-bash-and-crash sci-fi comedy that ditches the mythic sweep of Dark World in favour of waspish one-liners a la Big Bang Theory in an early franchise reboot. Droll Kiwi actor-director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, ‘Wilderpeople, Moana) is a fine choice if this flavour of comic-book action floats your spaceship. Hip, flip and glib, The Dark Knight this ain’t. Continue Reading
Guy Richie’s King Arfur Daley is a geezer movie – think Lock Stock and One Smoking Excalibur. Too long, with too much going on and several parodic Richie fast-cut exposition sequences, it makes A Knight’s Tale look like pure Chaucer. And yet, despite the cringingly awful mockney-cockney banter, there’s good work from principal villain Vortigen (Jude Law) and chivalrous Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) to keep us watching. Continue Reading
A taut and efficient thriller from director Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival, Prisoners), Sicario is embroiled in the US-Mexican drug war, as Emily Blunt’s DEA agent struggles to stay on the moral high ground as part of a covert intelligence task-force. It’s a dirty war with moral and physical hazard at every turn; violence is sudden and brutal.
Sicario (“hit man” in Spanish), shows it’s cards even from it’s very title and is obliged to switch focus from Blunt to Benicio Del Toro’s driven avenger. It’s a messy and distracting switch, and while Del Toro is at his best in years, there’s a bigger question over Blunt’s casting. Continue Reading