Space. The penultimate frontier. Apparently. Or so Justin Lin and the makers of this, the NINTH feature in the Fast and Furious franchise. Quite how a little early noughties flick about drag racing and stolen DVD players morphed into one of cinema’s biggest titles must be among the biggest mysteries of the twenty first century. And yet here we are. Allegedly, it’ll be ten and out for Dom Toretto and company. Where Lin can take the story after a plot that genuinely does launch a Pontiac Fiero beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is anyone’s guess. To say this was lunacy would hardly doesn’t do it justice.
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The unusual level of vitriol afforded Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard by most critics will likely baffle general audiences. Most of whom will, surely, like it. More or less. This is the knowingly vulgar sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Second time around, the rules are much the same. Every other sentence in Tom O’Connor and Murphys Brandon and Philip’s script is loaded with a hefty handful of f**ks. There’s cartoon violence, gratuitous bloodshed and stereotypes to make a seventies sitcom star blush. That said, the cast give it some welly and the budget goes as far as a cool fifty million can. Make of this what you will but it’s really not that bad.
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Life itself is the chief antagonist of In the Heights. Here, ‘fights and endless debts and bills to pay’ are the status quo. Or so the chorus sing. This is Jon M. Chu’s infectiously buoyant adaptation of the eponymous Lin Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Broadway hit of 2008. It’s a tale of dreamers, dancers and star crossed lovers. Gorgeously – almost distractingly – shot, this is a film that reminds as much as West Side Story as it does the blushed up beginnings of the Step Up franchise. The transition from stage to screen here borders on seamless. If it’s a little too blunt to be powerful, the film is nigh on impossible to dislike. In this day and age, that makes In the Heights a bonafide triumph.
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