I’ve always enjoyed the X-Men movies but in recent years they seemed to have fallen out of favour with the critics. I stood alone it seems in my liking of Apocalypse and I think going by the reaction to this latest offering, I remain in a minority on this one also.
With mutants more accepted into society and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) able to continue running his school for gifted children … all seems well. That is until a fairly routine mission to rescue some astronauts goes bad and Jean Gray (Sophie Turner) gets caught in a blast that drastically increases her powers to an uncontrollable level.
This might not have the epic scale of say, Days of Futures Past and with the focus (mostly) on a single character, some of the series’ most memorable characters are sidelined (especially Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique / Raven). However with decent turns from McAvoy and the always dependable Michael Fassbender as Magneto as well as Sophie Turner delivering an occasionally menacing Jean Gray – I still found myself absorbed. There is some terrific action too (particularly the train sequence) and the effects work throughout is great.
There’s just something missing. It lacks the drama and depth of previous movies and Jessica Chastain‘s villain is woefully under written. Turner despite best intentions just can’t carry the movie either. She was wooden in Game of Thrones and isn’t that much better here. So, a lesser X-Men movie but if you’re a fan as I am there’s still much to enjoy.
I only have vague memories of the original made for tv two parter in the early nineties – but I strongly recall being underwhelmed by the second part. However having liked the first in this re-adaptation, I sat down to this with anticipation and optimism. Twenty seven years after the events of the first movie, following an incident involving a young man as well as several disappearances of various children, it’s time to get the losers club back together in hope of putting an end to that f***ing clown, once and for all.
In the hands of the same director and with solid choices made when casting the adult counterparts of the first movie’s young cast, I was quickly drawn into this again. It’s filmed with panache and no end of style. Like last time there is a focus on character that works brilliantly, with a welcome dose of flashbacks to the young cast delving deeper into the gang”s friendship where clearly additional scenes were filmed rather than just copy and pasting from the last movie. It helps build up each individual character and made me care for all of them – very important when Pennywise turns up to deliver a wealth of set piece scares.
It’s here with a reliance on said set pieces that the movie falters, and it quickly dawned on me the approach here was maximum frights instead of gradual menace, meaning some of those scares just aren’t earned. It helps that the set-pieces are often imaginative and visually freaky – there’s just so many of them it does get exhausting. Thankfully performances across the board are great, with names like Jessica Chastain,James McAvoy and especially Bill Hader all delivering.
This may be a sequel that considers bigger is necessarily better … more subtlety and a stronger sense of mood (with a need for about 30 minutes chopped from that run time) would have made this equally as good as the first movie. As it stands, this makes up for such shortcomings by still being solid entertainment that’s well acted and brings the story to a (albeit drawn out) decent enough conclusion.
I was on the fence about this. I liked but didn’t love Split, and having watched Unbreakable a while back and feeling mixed about it … I wasn’t exactly jumping to watch M Night Shyamalan’s somewhat forced-feeling shared world third entry.
This picks up not long after the end of Split and introduces us to a psychiatrist who brings the three main characters together in an institute to try and convince them that they’re not special or super human. The concept is certainly interesting and brings a realism to it that works well to explore the idea of superheroes in the real world. Unlike last time, James McAvoy’s multi-personality character is far more explored and I grew very impressed by the performance and when ‘the beast’ personality was in full-throttle I was getting Wolverine vibes from the guy who currently plays Doctor X! Bruce Willis is good but is a little overshadowed by McAvoy and of course Samuel L. Jackson who surprisingly steals the show for a character who doesn’t speak a word for a good portion of the movie.
There’s times when the world-building gets a bit convoluted and a final twist whilst welcome also threw up its own questions. Yet for me, this is certainly the best of the trilogy and creates plenty of potential for further movies if Shyamalan cares to pursue the idea. So I went from initially dismissive of this to actually surprised and impressed. Recommended.
Charlize Theron is certainly now one of those bankable stars and somewhat a chameleon who can deliver the goods in a wide variety of roles. Following her action-star making turn in Mad Max Fury Road previously, carrying her own action vehicle seemed an obvious progression (as long as we forget Aeon Flux). So we get an 80’s set espionage thriller that see’s Theron as Lorraine, a highly trained spy who’s given the task of tracking down a stolen micro-film containing the real identities of tons of secret agents. Along the way she teams up with James McAvoy’s under-cover agent, with the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin wall as set dressing.
This felt like it was trying too hard to be cool, minus the director’s actual ability to marry cool looks and cool action with cool music (leave that to either Tarantino or Nicolas Winding Refn). However, with Theron’s obvious presence, an interesting setting with all that cold-war intrigue and political unrest … what we get is an energetic and at times gutsy thriller, somewhat in search of it’s own identity. You see, we’ve seen this plot many times, the story is basically Mission Impossible #1 and well, Theron’s Lorraine isn’t that far removed from Angelina Jolie’s ‘Salt’. McAvoy also didn’t add much, looking like Tyler Durdon and grimacing and doing his quickly grating McAvoy-thing throughout. The story wasn’t that easy to follow either, told mostly in flashback with a wealth of double crosses, twists and misdirection. After a while it gave me a bit of a headache.
Which is a shame as beneath it’s flaws and familiarity, there’s potential for a great movie here. We do get one incredible, superbly-choreographed sequence involving Theron, an army of bad guys and a stairwell, but when the story confuses and characters hide so may secrets and agendas, I just had difficulty caring. It’s worth a look for Theron and some decent action, but otherwise there’s better thrillers out there.
It’s probably safe to say that acclaimed director M Night Shyamalan has been off his game for a few years, with such poorly received movies as The Last Airbender and The Happening. However recently there seems to have been a slight return to form, what with the well received The Visit and now this much talked about thriller. James McAvoy plays a disturbed man who suffers from dissociative personality disorder and claims to have 23 different personalities all vying for attention. Told with a combination of visits to his psychiatrist and the kidnapping of three young women by his more sociopathic personalities, this sets the stage for a clever little thriller, held together by a demanding and often eye-opening performance.
The initial impression I got from the trailer (and I tend to avoid trailers for the most part) wasn’t all that positive despite plenty of good word-of-mouth. McAvoy you see delivers a myriad of different performances here, some menacing, others it has to be said rather absurd and silly (do we really need him to do a rather dodgy impression of a nine year old boy, complete with a lisp?) and less said about the campy female personality the better. Which is a shame as Shyamalan’s direction is tight and atmospheric, full of eerie camera movement not unlike something from a Hitchcock movie and great use of claustrophobic locations. The three turns from the kidnapped girls are also good, especially from The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy (an actress who continues to impress). However a final twist involving a 24th personality throws the movie into schlocky horror, doing away with it’s otherwise semi-realistic tone … and well, we get a final scene that adds a connection to an earlier Shyamalan movie that just felt forced.
However with what has to be said is a colourful and impressive turn from McAvoy (his transitions from certain personalities are damn freaky) and bags of tension I still found myself entertained. Just sad the idea promised much more than the movie could eventually deliver.
Mensen maken de samenleving en nemen daarin een positie in. Deze website geeft toegang tot een diversiteit aan artikelen die gaan over 'samenleven', belicht vanuit verschillende perspectieven. De artikelen hebben gemeen dat er gezocht wordt naar wat 'mensen bindt, in plaats van wat hen scheidt'.