Too-short Cruise does the running-jumping-shooting-punching thing, this time ripping off Taken right down to a version of that phone speech to the principle bad guy. It’s a polished version of the middle-aged-guy-with-skills-and-guns alright, but it’s no more than that. Never Go Back? Only if there’s a big franchise pay-check.
Charismatic, but increasingly asexual, Tom Cruise is now such a big movie star that every project he takes on becomes a Tom Cruise vanity project; look how Tom can run, jump, shoot, punch. And how much he now looks like a waxwork of himself.
Ex-military investigator Reacher drifts from case to case and positively trips over this one. His army successor, Major Turner (Coby Smulders – Avengers – holding the screen rather well) has been falsely accused on treason charges. Add in the revelation of a tearaway teen daughter he didn’t know about (an excellent Danika Yarosh), with the bad guys on their tail, there’s a military conspiracy to uncover. Continue Reading
An amusing genre mash-up of horror and classic literature tumbles out of the one-joke, no-budget, B-movie drawer. The cast has a whale of a time turning Jane Austen into the Walking Dead with bonnets, but for all it’s knowing winks and attractive stars, it’s little more than an overstretched French and Saunders sketch.
If you’re in the narrow, venn diagram demographic of classic literature, period drama and bloody body-horror fans, you will appreciate the genre clash, but maybe not all the way to the creaky, Hammer-inflected climax. 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
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
Having run the maze and escaped from the wicked, err, WCKD agency, teen Thomas and his Glade-dwelling crew are whisked away to a full-on zombie apocalypse – for which it seems they hold the cure.
But more conspiracy guff abounds in this expensively-rendered, post-apocalyptic(sic), Y-A, dystopian fiction sequel. Expect evil corporations, mad scientists, abusive adults and fast zombies. Continue Reading