Netflix’ military-sci-fi-action-thriller mashes Bourne with the Terminator, a dash of District 13 and I, Robot‘s moral maze. The battle of wits between naive Damson Idris’ drone pilot versus Antony Mackie’s charismatic super-cyborg gets pushed aside by the toys, the action and the explosions.Continue Reading
This Twilight Zone-format, sci-fi thriller has PTSD-afflicted George Almore (Theo James, Divergent) trying to recreate his dead wife Jules (Stacy Martin) as an artificial intelligence inside the Archive. It’s a taut, claustrophobic, high-concept piece from writer/director Gavin Rothery.Continue Reading
Imagine if David Cronenberg had mashed his Naked Lunch with Existenz to make an unsettling, bloody, low-tech assassination thriller. You don’t have to, because his son, Brandon Cronenberg, has done just that with Possessor.
There’s a direct line from father to son in this twisty, high-concept, body-swap sci-fi, including alienated, unsympathetic characters in a trippy, lo-fi, VHS-horror style.Continue Reading
Netflix’ latest mashes up The A-Team meets Highlander in Charlize Theron‘s latest kick-ass chick, immortal, action heroine vehicle. With a bit of obligatory John Wick beat-em up, shoot ’em up. And some proper actors. Maybe Chewetel Ejiorfor and Matthias Schoenarts took a wrong turn out of the rehearsal rooms of a Lyn Ramsay drama? All this is adapted from a graphic novel.Continue Reading
What can Christopher Nolan possibly do to top this impossibly twisty, timey-wimey, too-clever-by-half, labyrinthine, high-concept, sci-fi-espionage-heist-action thriller? A movie so dense, one of the characters has to give us instructions at the start: ‘don’t think it, feel it.’ I’m feeling they should have called it Inversion. But that’s not a palindrome.Continue Reading
The final instalment of the X-Men reboot is an unruly tangle of belonging, family and identity with plenty of CGI mayhem and big action set-pieces. Stuck with the mis-casting of Fassbender and MacAvoy, it relies on Sophie ‘Mahogony’ Turner stepping up as the empathetic core and she’s just not that kind of actress. Blown away by Jessica Chastain’s icy villain and Jennifer Lawrence’s too-short stint as Mystique, Turner is the weak nail in the wall from which the whole thing hangs. Continue Reading
Don’t be deceived by the trailer that looks like Aquatic Aliens, Underwater is actually a sensitive documentary about the conservation of coral reefs in the pacific…
Of course it isn’t. At the bottom of the Mariannas Trench, a drilling rig suffers a catastrophic failure, leaving Kristen Stewart and a handful of survivors to escape the rig, the deep ocean, and an undiscovered race of ancient hungry nasties. Continue Reading
Having missed the previous two instalments of this third Spiderman reboot in two decades, checked in on Far From Home to discover it’s National Lampoon’s European Vacation overloaded with smash-bash-and-crash, CGI-tastic, urban destruction and another terrible villain. However sparky and charming are it’s young leads, Jake Ghyllenhaal is more Mystery Men than Mysterio, in a paper thin plot that grumpy Nick Fury should have seen through in two minutes.
At what point are we allowed to call out Zack ‘300’ Snyder’s multi-layered, teenaged boy’s masturbation fantasy that includes child abuse, strippers, gangsters, a mental hospital, four women in bondage outfits and one infantilised actress in a schoolgirl costume fighting giant samurai, zombies, knights, dragons and robots in a CGI-tastic gun-fest? Never mind ‘live-action manga’, this has the sexual politics of a 1960’s exploitation B-movie. Continue Reading