TL;DR – A powerful exploration of what happens when all the institutions that are meant to protect us from abuse of power fail
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are films that are perfectly timed in their release, sometimes it is the
world shifting around you, sometimes you get lucky and just so happen to be shining
a light on something that is about to come to the foreground, and sometimes it
is always good to be reminded of speaking truth to power. Well, today we get a
film that does all three of those as it explores the absolute mess that was the
justifications for the Iraq War. A mess that America, UK, Australia, and others
found themselves in through no one’s fault but their own.
So to set the scene, in 2003 the world was on the cusp of war as America in the
wake of September 11 has set its sights on a new foe Iraq. Not happy to just
sit and wait for the weapon inspectors to do their jobs, they were placing enormous
pressure on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution allowing
the war. As this is happening, Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) was working in
the UK’s signal intelligence agency GCHQ as a translator, when she receives a
memo from her superiors asking them to support NSA efforts to pressure UNSC
diplomates to vote for the war. As this goes against her job and is quite
possibly illegal, she takes a copy of the memo and gives it to a trusted friend
to see if it is as bad as she thought it was, and well it was.
TL;DR – This is a paint by numbers film with no direction or heart, a real disappointment, and the better title is probably Pirates of The Caribbean: Coincidence on the High Seas
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a post-credit scene
So here we are looking at the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and I’m sitting here wondering where it all went wrong. The first Pirates of the Caribbean was one of those breaths of fresh air that pop up every now and again, a brilliant standalone film, reinvigorating a genre of film that had disappeared, and it had one of the greatest character entrances in film history. Its two follow-up films which completed a trilogy of sorts were not as good as the first but fine films in their own right. However, the last film felt more like a continuation out of necessity rather than a new story that they felt needed to be told, and this continues in Dead Men Tell No Tales. So at this point, it should be no surprise that I didn’t like the fifth Pirates of The Caribbean film so we’re going to break down what worked and what didn’t and one of those lists is going to be bigger than the other.
TL;DR – Collateral Beauty has me wondering how projects in Hollywood gets greenlit, how did this mess of a film pass through so many different layers of approval, and at no point did someone go ‘Hey maybe this is a terrible idea for a film’
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
It is ironic that a film about an advertising company would be lambasted in the press and critic circles for the advertising of the film. Indeed, all of this would actually be quite amusing if not for the fact that Collateral Beauty fails spectacularly on nearly every front. How a film with this much talent, yet such a clearly terrible premise for a film, got put into production I do not know. Of course there are a few saving graces for Collateral Beauty, which is what stopped it from getting a lower score than this, but I can tell you right now, unless we have a truly terrible year for cinema I know this will be on my worst films of 2017 list, and we are only three films into the new year.