WONDER WOMAN – REVIEW

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen
Director: Patty Jenkins
Running Time: 141mins
Rating: 12A

With the questionable failures of DC films recently and what I thought was a lack in general promotional material and marketing; Wonder Woman seemed to be set up to fail at the box office.
While writing this; official numbers haven’t of course come in yet, but whether or not it will make a significant impact isn’t necessarily a sure thing after watching it.

While Wonder Woman is by no means terrible, it isn’t great and leaves a lot to be desired in ways of script, pace and action. What action we do receive is few and far between and while Gal Gadot looks amazing in her fight sequences, I felt a lot more could have been done with them.

The film opens in Themyscira; Princess Diana’s home and we discover a paradise of beautiful and incredibly skilled Amazons led by Queen Hyppolita. It’s during these scenes that we get the most thrilling fight scene as we see what the Amazons are capable of both on and off horseback, one can do something amazing with a bow and arrow! However; once we leave Themyscria and head into the world of man; all the fun pretty much gets left behind.

The rest of the film moves slowly, too slowly and should never have been that long; especially when nothing is really going on. Despite having seen her outfit already; the uniform reveal was a bit weak and could have been a bit punchier – as it was in Batman v Superman – and provided more of an impact.

Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana Prince, while very honest and in some ways relatable, got a bit annoying at parts. Not her acting but the naivety and impulsiveness started to get on my nerves. I understood that she was a secluded princess and didn’t really understand the implications of real war; but when this was explained to her; she refused to listen and came away looking a bit stupid which fed into the helpless female stereotype which I didn’t really like.

The villain is another story altogether as it felt rather weak. The film took a kind of fantastical turn by the end that wasn’t particularly impressive or believable. In addition, the rest of the supporting cast were rather pointless and didn’t really add anything to the film.

While I enjoyed the Amazons and Themyscira and Diana fighting; sadly, this wasn’t enough to make the entire film a great piece of work. Where BvS overdid the action; with this there wasn’t enough. Wonder Woman is a fabulous character and through the years of comics and the television show; studios just need to know what to do with her.

BAYWATCH – REVIEW

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra,
Director: Seth Gordon
Running Time: 116mins
Cert: 12A

When it was originally announced that there was going to be a Baywatch movie, it was met with a lot of skepticism. Unfortunately, this was proven to be warranted by the disastrously pointless film that is BAYWATCH.

While i have not taken this film seriously by any means; even in is stupidity it lacks any real humour or comical narrative. For once, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has not blessed a film with his star power and created a hit.

Its quite simply ridiculous and only serves as 116 mins of eye candy. This isnt a problem of course lol, but what could have been very funny, had crap one liners; shit punchlines and a copious amount of swearing that was highly unnecessary.

The story was weak; the editing was abysmal, the acting was lacklustre and the villain was a bore. While her accent was wonderful to listen to; there was no mystery to Priyanka Chopra’s villain.

Of course the original series was far fetched and cheesy; and this definitely pays homage to that, but its not don correctly in the way that 21 Jump Street was for example.

While the cameos from David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are fun, the film is just weak.

ALIEN: COVENANT – REVIEW

Starring: Michael Fassbender
Director: Ridley Scott
Running Time: 122mins
Cert: 15

Some of you may remember my review of Prometheus; the much anticipated prequel to the Alien franchise and the disaster i thought that was.

Alien: Covenant is no exception.

While this film actually wraps up any loose ends as to how the Xenomorphs were created and why; it was still let down by the acting and the lack of real action. The ultimate revelation at the end of the film is definitely insightful and a little shocking; but this was let down by everything else that went on before.

In short, Ridley Scott basically re made Alien with more unknown characters and a monster that because this being prequel of course; a monster we had already seen. The shock factor of the Xenomorph was lost in many ways because we’re not particularly scared of it anymore. Sure, its still shocking and gory but the ‘fear of the unknown’ of the original films is lost because now you’re just anticipating when the facehugger is going to come out of the egg or when the extra mouth is going to pop out of the black adult alien.

Sadly, it was all very cliche and it didnt even have characters that you could sympathise with or relate to in this outing. For people who are meant to be scientists and prepared for medical emergencies or ship malfunctions etc. once something bad happened; they all seemed to fall apart very quickly. Within an hour; half the crew were dead and you either didnt really care or thought it was their own fault.

The one saving grace of the film is of course, Michael Fassbender. The one star in the film; of course not counting Guy Pierce in the opening credits and James Franco in a throwback of a home movie. His portrayal of the androids David and Walter are amazing. His movements, his speech; his lust for art and culture while in David form is fantastic and more so very believable.

I anticipated his scenes as they created a sense of foreboding that had you on the edge of your seat. Not physically of course but more so in anticipating what he was going to and when; where everyone else was pretty predictable.

The film gets points for nostalgia purposes but generally, its really…plain. Theres nothing to gloriously praise or even criticise. Its just kind of…there.

Alien: Covenant is out May 12th.

 

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD – REVIEW

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Honsou
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 126mins
Cert: 12A

Aaaand, we’re back!

This time with the legendary/fantasy epic-cum-East End Gangster film; that is Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword!

As the title suggests, this take on the King Arthur legend; focuses on the legendary sword Excalibur and the power which it possesses. In this rendering; the powers of Excalibur have been linked to the blood line of Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana); father to Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and brother to the jealous and vengeful Vortigern (Jude Law).

Now, think of the movie baby of Troy, Green Street and The Lion King and you can get an idea of the feel of this film as well as see the initial story; jealous uncle takes out the noble King and sets his sights on the rightful heir to the throne. However, that my friend; is where the cliches end and where the real fun begins.

Ritchie has managed to take the Arthurian legend and adapt it in a way that it is both modern ridiculously entertaining. Arthur for example, lives in Londinium a few days ride from Camelot which gives the whole thing a time frame that was never really established before. Magic is explained as a contained entity that is manifested through powerful individuals called Mages and while the infamous Merlin is mentioned; he plays no major part. Instead, Ritchie has focused on the sword’s power as well as the devil-may-care but good natured soul of Arthur, which Hunnam executes perfectly.

While Arthur, in the beginning has no understanding of who and what he is; by the time he comes into his own and accepts the power of the sword (this scene is probably the best part!); he does so in a way that is believable and current. The character that was built up prior to his ascension; is maintained throughout the film and you are able to sympathise with his reluctance as well as rejoice in his acceptance of his birthright.

The only let down of the film is probably the heavy use of SFX in a few of the fight scenes. While I realise that these were used to highlight the magnitude of the sword’s powers; the final battle for example goes very quickly and is hard to follow. While SFX are used well in some parts; at one point it looked weird like when Neo had to fight all the Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded and his body went all funny looking! Other than that, everything else works amazingly well.

While I’m not a huge fan of Jude Law, he plays a decent villain in this film. Quiet and refined though innately petty and cruel; he does very well. There is a scene in which there are some cleverly placed props and gestures that remind you of a certain German dictator. While creepy; so so good! The supporting cast of British talent including Aiden Gillen aka Peter Baelish from Game of Thrones; encompass the Kray era/Merry Men attitude to the film and make it an incredibly hilarious and entertaining watch. Arthur’s advisor and link to his royal lineage in Sir Bedevere (Djimon Honsou) provides copius amounts of banter that will have anyone giggling. The soundtrack is spectacular and the use of alternative camera angles and SFX takes you on an a exciting journey that has you hooked from the very beginning.

Lastly, if all the reasons above havent made you want to see it then the fact that David Beckham is in it should do the trick!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is out May 8th.