THE WORLD'S END
The team up of writer-director Edgar Wright and actor-writer Simon Pegg is staring to get tired. From the lofty heights of brilliant television show SPACED, chronicling 20-somethings in London living their lives through films, to the first rom-zom-com in SHAUN OF THE DEAD, they were on a roll. However, THE WORLD’S END joins HOT FUZZ as another genre take down, apocalypse here as opposed to cops previously, adding hilarity but not much else to sink one’s teeth into. Wright is certainly improving when it comes to the portrayal of kinetic set-pieces. The action in HOT FUZZ was amateurish, while with SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD and THE WORLD’S END he found his mojo, delivering well choreographed, adrenaline-pumping fisticuffs. Overall though, the Wright-Pegg combo is on a downward trajectory of delivering a satisfying experience taken as a whole. [To read more, click here.]
Comic book adaptation RED had an all-star cast, had elements of fun, but was ultimately forgettable. RED 2 on the other hand, is a total blast. The action sequences have bone-crunching kinetics, the harshness offset by spry banter and humorous asides.
Opening on a Costco supermarket trip, Frank appears to be settling into the quiet lifestyle a little too much for girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). Her beau wants to wrap her up in metaphorical cotton wool, to shield her from the cavalier attitude to life and death that his former occupation is prone to. And that blasé response to killing has seeped into the fabric of RED 2. There is a gleeful shrug of the shoulders to the huge body count mounting up as we progress. Sarah, much to Franks’ chagrin, is craving risk and adventure and espionage. That comes immediately when Marvin rocks up to spoil the latter’s claimed idyll. At one point Marvin gives relationship advice to Sarah saying that her boyf is a simple creature needing just killing, eating, “sexting”, killing, eating. For all Frank’s vocalised reluctance at entering the fray again, when called upon, he is adroit at leaving a wake of carnage. [To read more, click here.]
DESPICABLE ME 2
Slipping a political agenda into animated fare is nothing new. SOUTH PARK, WALL.E, THE SIMPSONS are soaked in liberal, establishment-baiting; holding a mirror up to societal hypocrisy and hatefulness. It is a shock then, to have a conservative influence writ large on a Hollywood product. For all the lowbrow divertissements that too frequently pour out of Tinsel Town, at least they often have the fragrance of broad-mindedness and some form of humanism (when multitudes are not being massacred in action flicks of course; or romantic-comedies that set back the Suffragette movement; or kid flicks geared towards selling merchandise). DESPICABLE ME 2 is shockingly retrograde. [To read more, click here.]