This dour and violent DC Comics adaptation is mostly a cynical marketing pitch for a whole string of movie franchises that instead should be stepping up to meet Marvel Studio’s brio. Technically brilliant, it’s loo long and very, very dull. Very dull.
In the aftermath of the Kryptonian 9-11-like invasion of Earth, evil genius Lex Luthor ferments a war between DC’s two greatest superheroes. For two and a half hours. Which is about an hour too long. Did I mention it’s quite dull?
Maybe it’s just me, but Superman was always so overloaded with powers, so invincible he can survive a nuclear explosion (spoiler), that writers always had to come up with increasingly daft threats to put him in danger, usually alien, and/or Kyptonite. So it ever was, so it is now. Guess what director Zack Snyder and writing team resort to? 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
In a relentless drive to up the ante in Marvel comic-book sequels, it’s only Joss Whedon’s sense of humour that saves this noisy, CGI-laden behemoth from crash, bash and smash tedium.
The script is a load of portentous twaddle about artificial intelligence, monsters, mayhem and extinction-level events, or, put another way, any excuse to run out our current favourite superheroes. It’s an awful lot of epic for your money, and you can tell Whedon has put his usual care into the dialogue, but at nearly two and a half hours, you have to ask; do we need quite so many metal-fetishised CGI robots smashing cities to pieces? Continue Reading
Welcome to the futuristic San Fransokyo, where misfit robotics prodigy (aren’t they all) Hiro takes on his late brother’s project, a medical robot, Baymax. But soon Hiro and his band of misfit science geek friends (aren’t they all) are out to catch the evil genius (aren’t they all) who stole Hiro’s invention and caused his brother’s death.
Disney’s direct re-invention of How to Train Your Dragon is an manga-inspired mashup of The Incredibles and Wall-E; a comic-book romp that has eye-popping action and the now-obligatory flying sequence over a glorious San Fransokyo which steals the show. Drop me off in town to go exploring and pick me up when the super-heroics are over. I can guess the rest – it’s all about family, innit? 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
De-bunking the Hercules myth and rebuilding it as a sword-and-sandals Magnificent Seven (count ’em at the end), Big Action director Brett Ratner builds big stupid fun with plenty of hacking and slaying around Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson.
The cheeky script from Radical Comics’ revisionist Hercules leaves no cliche untouched in this CGI-laden romp, but it’s the best of British – Sewell, Hurt, Fiennes, Mullen and McShane – who steer it home. Continue Reading