FANTASTIC FOUR – REVIEW

Review

F42015Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Toby Kebbell
Director: Josh Trank
Running Time: 100mins
Cert: 12A

Fantastic Four is by no means bad, but where it needed to be great, disappointingly, it fell really short. With so much criticism  coming from all angles about rebooting the franchise in the first place, this installment needed to blow some caps off which it failed to do.

The film is in no way terrible but as someone on Twitter perfectly described: “Its not bad. Its not good. Its hugely meh”

Disappointingly, Fantastic Four falls flat in a lot of areas that could have made it a contender in the battle for film creds. Here we are with fresh, young, talented faces who werent used to their full potential.

So, what doesnt work?
The story was lacking.
By the end of the film – that by the way, was way too long – we still hadnt achieved anything. While we were set up with the genius child and his rough and tumble play mate turned surly teenager back story, everything up to the point of the gang gaining their powers lost any sense of urgency or importance because of the irrelevance of what came after. Johnny and Sue’s relationship isnt entirely clear. Its obvious she is his adopted sister but whether or not they like each other was a bit confusing. Reed and Ben’s relationship works well but the set up of Victor as the villain was rather pointless with unnecessary shots of his intense eyes that seemingly show his anger and reason for wanting to take over the world Pinky and the Brain style.

There is an obvious lack of action.
There’s not enough fighting and shocking effects and the ones that are – when they get to some other dimension, look really cheap. While Johnny Storm (Jordan) provides the most cool effects, his flying doesn’t look as awesome as the original and i dont think he is really used to his full extent; in both acting and ability. The way he turns his flame on and off is awesome though! While Sue Storm (Mara) showcases the variety of her powers, loses any awe factor because she’s so boring. She never smiles, her wig constantly keeps changing and where Jessica Alba had sex appeal to have Victor and Reed going at it over her, in this instance, it really makes no sense. This may be a girly thing to comment on her looks but it really lets the side down. Although she had some Violet Parr telekenisis bubble going on, she could have done a lot more in the way of fighting.

Moving from the negative, where the film does work however, is Ben. The Thing looks so much grittier and realistic in this version and Jamie Bell’s emotional performance of having to deal with such a physical change is actually quite good. Their transitions were my favourite part of the movie as it highlighted how the physical change could and should be quite painful. It made it more believable to register their fear at the changes that were happening to them rather than the blind acceptance that was featured in the original.

To round up, Fantastic Four wont blow your socks of but its not an entirely tiresome watch. I had really high hopes for it that were let down but i hope they take note and apply more to the sequel in 2017. The cast were good but the film let them down. Fox should let go of the reigns on this one and give to more worthy films makers to bring it to the glory it could have.

Fant4stic is out Thursday 6th August across the UK

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STARRED UP – REVIEW

Review

 

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
Director: David Mackenzie
Running Time: 106mins
Cert: 18

Speechless. Absolutely speechless…so ill type instead of talk about the amazing film that is David Mackenzie’s Starred Up!

There are a few posts on the blog that have built up the excitement for this film and i am so happy that it did not disappoint. Starred Up is a gripping and insightful film about the internal social structure of prison but more so about the relationship between a troubled father and son.

Eric Love is transferred from juvenile detention to adult prison prematurely and in doing so has to survive the internal struggles that he will undoubtedly face. While facing the shame, depression and violence that incarceration brings, Eric finds himself in the same institution as his father Neville. Its here that the real story unfolds as Eric as to come to terms with the type of man/prisoner he wants to be or ultimately the type his father could make him.

For those that haven’t seen the film yet, i don’t like to go into a synopsis of films but rather just point out the things that make a film good or bad. In this instance, the realism and grit of it make it absolutely fantastic. The authenticity of language and powerful performances by Jack O Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, make the characters relatable even to people who have never come into contact with prison, prisoners or their way of life. You find yourself becoming sympathetic to their individual situations and rooting for various inmates to survive the chaos of their confinement.

During the hour and forty minutes of this film that left me wanting more, you will laugh, cry, be shocked and appalled at the things that take place in prison. There is no question of its authenticity and you genuinely fear for Eric and those that grow close to him.

O Connell’s performance is riveting and engaging and sentimental in its deliverance making him a force to contend with in the coming years. The supporting cast consisting of David Ajala and Anthony Welsh are a welcome addition that provide comedy and ultimately a sense of family to an otherwise seemingly bleak situation.

Starred Up is simply a gem of British talent and film and could possibly be the best original film ill see this year.

THE WOLVERINE – REVIEW

Logan

Starring: Hugh Jackman
Director: James Mangold
Running Time: 126mins

Shirt off, beard grown and claws drawn; the ever wonderful, talented and undeniably sexy Hugh Jackman is back as The Wolverine!

Now, needless to say, Wolverine has been the most popular of the X-Men considering that he has already had his own movie but here we are, yet again and this time in Japan. Our adamantium hero comes face to face with blacked out ninjas, skin shedding vixens and silver Samurai robots! Sounds awesome right? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news (once again) but its not.

Before I divulge into the negatives i will concentrate on the positives:

  • Hugh Jackman is topless
  • Hugh Jackman is topless and;
  • Hugh Jackman is topless.

What can i said, the guy made plaid shirts sexy!
I joke, i kid 🙂 Yes, there is plenty eye candy ladies but there is also action. Albeit only three full on significant scenes of it but still action. Watching our reluctant hero take on ninjas with just his bare hands (and some well placed adamantium blades) was a sight to see. The force of his strikes, the fluidity of his movement is all testament to Jackman owning the character and his actions. The train fight sequence is undoubtedly awesome and the ninja moves from his affectionately deemed “bodyguard” (Rila Fukushima) are incredible to watch but that is ultimately where the praise ends.

The plot, although allowing Logan to go to Japan is loosely put together. It is understandable but basic in its execution as there are additional characters who don’t seem to serve any real purpose. Their “powers”, though creative in terms of CGI didnt create any real danger. Who is on who’s side and why is questionable until the very end and even then, the reasoning isnt exactly justified. You may think that this would mean suspense in plot direction and character development but only creates confusion. The ultimate fight is unfortunately an anti climax and even the final scene leaves you hanging on an edge. Not in anticipation of what is to come but more in confusion as to why you have been sitting on a plane with no destination (you’ll understand when you watch it).

As with all Marvel films however, you always have to stay until the end and there is indeed a little surprise there that i wont bother going into as it worth it for all the die hard comic book fans 😉

The film is initial quite slow, the action not evenly spaced out leaving room for thought which you dont really want in a hero movie! Counting down the seconds until the next fight scene is never a good thing (unless you’re Superman and want to fight at every possible second and destroy New York City). Ultimately, there is no driving imperative. What you thought was the point turns out to not be the point and then we are back at square one!

Hugh Jackman delivers as always and watching his eternal battle with his immortality and what it must mean for his humanity is always going to drive a narrative forward. However, The Wolverine is good because Hugh Jackman is good but it could have been much better 😦