Two years ago Fast and Furious 7 accelerated the Fast and Furious franchise into the super league. The James Wan directed sixth sequel to the 2001 original managed this not only by blowing its predecessors out of the water in terms of box office returns, but also by ejecting any and all remaining vestiges of sanity within the series, in favour of effectively reimagining its protagonists as actual superheroes. Fast and Furious 8, sees everyone’s favourite crime fighting/causing international aid/hindrance gang back for plenty more of the same. Wan may have made way for Straight Outta Compton’s F. Gary Gray, but – fear not – Chris Morgan once again has helmed the script, having done so ever since the rightfully-maligned Tokyo Drift, and the result is as familiarly (and preposterously) barmy as ever. Indeed, with great horsepower comes great irresponsibility.
Continue reading Fast and Furious 8 | Review →
There are a great number of cinematic obstacles that Ronnie Thompson’s The Hatton Garden Job utterly fails to navigate in the process of transforming 2015’s so-called ‘largest burglary in English legal history’ into a caper-y heist romp for the big screen. First and foremost is that common issue of how to stir in the audience a sense tension and intrigue within a story that’s outcome lingers so freshly in the memory. Furthermore, how does said film deal with the gaps for a news event in which the detail remains still shrouded in mystery? Finally, of course, there remains the problem of how to make twenty minutes of drilling remotely engaging.
The Hatton Garden Job answers as follows: you don’t; a daft and underdeveloped subplot, involving unconvincing, continental mobsters; and, again, you don’t. The result is an intrinsically tedious waste of time, talent and money. Miss. Miss. Miss. Drill. Drill. Drill.
Continue reading The Hatton Garden Job | Review →
London, 1940. Bombs fall nightly in devastating Blitzkrieg air raids. A nation’s morale is at stake.
Lone Scherfig’s latest film, Their Finest, is not her finest. No, that remains the Danish-born director’s 2009 Oscar-nominated An Education. I suspect Their Best Available was, however, seen as a title that would have been rather harder to sell. Not that this a film short on selling points. Their Finest’s cast list alone boasts Gemma Arterton as its plucky heroine, alongside a well-cast ensemble comprised of Sam Claflin, Richard E. Grant, Rachel Stirling and Helen McCroy; not to mention, of course, its showpiece Bill Nighy, nailing the role of Bill Nighy. The problem is that Their Finest tries so hard not to descend to quaint sensibilities, as common in such WWII period fare (Dad’s Army most recently), that it does so at the expense of much attainable charm, exposing in the process an ultimately uninspired plot. Whilst Gaby Chiappe’s inaugural feature screenplay certainly hints at more biting possibilities, these moments are too few and far between to sustain any memorable momentum.
Continue reading Their Finest | Review →