TL;DR – This is a film that captures you in the first frame and does not let you go until the ending credits start scrawling
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Sometimes you go into to see a film and you have no idea that what you are about to watch has been almost tailored just for you. In this case, we have a war film, about just two characters, presented as if it was all filmed in one take. If I was explaining to you what would be the perfect film for me this would not be far off. I bring this up to put some context down before we dive into the world of explosions, gun shots, and every trench under the sun.
So to set the scene, we are in the heights of World War One on the front lines in France, with Germany and their allies on one side and Brittan and their allies on the other. This is trench warfare and every centimetre of territory has been won through a considerable loss of life. It is here where one day Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is roused from his sleep and asked to go on a mission with Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) by General Erinmore (Colin Firth). For you see, overnight the German forces have retreated and many commanders believe that they have them on the run. However, it is actually a ruse, the Germans have just retreated to a more fortified line and they are leading those chasing them into a trap. The boy’s mission is to cross into no-man’s land, travel through enemy controlled territory so they can make it to Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) in time to call off the attack and save 1600 lives. Now due to the nature of the film and that it has a staggered release date across the world, I am going to be a bit more cautious with my examples so as to not spoil anything.
TL;DR – By finding a focus, Shazam! shows that DC can really make great films when they focus on something, in this case, the role of family.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene
By now, I am sure you have heard about the issues with the DC Extended Universe,
in the race to get that big multi-film spanning Cinema Empire they jumped the
gun too early and rushed forward before finding out if people wanted what they
were giving. During its First Run,
there was only one film that was both a critical and commercial success, Wonder
Woman, this was because it had its own heart and was not just here to
push a cinematic universe, and it has something to say. Since then we have had Aquaman
that while not perfect was at least trying to do something interesting, and
today we get a look at the next film that found that fun is fine, but heart is more important.
So to set the scene, we open as a young Thad (Ethan Pugiotto) is on a car trip
with his unpleasant family in the 1970s when he is sucked into another realm
run by Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) the last of the council of wizards left. He is
trying to find someone pure of heart to be his successor, but alas Thad is not
the one. Fast forward to December 2018 when we find Billy Batson (Asher Angel)
helping the police out, but it a ruse to get into their computer because he is
trying to find his mum that he lost as a child. Well,
it didn’t work out and Billy is put with new foster parents Victor (Cooper
Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans), not that he plans to stay long. However,
everything changes when a subway trip leads him to a dark cave and he yells out
the word Shazam becoming someone completely else (Zachary Levi).
TL;DR – A great follow-up, but it does struggle to find its feet in places.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So the original Kingman: The Secret Service was one of the first films we reviewed back in 2015 when we started (and you can read it HERE). Overall we really liked the film, it had great action, a fantastic cast, a magnetic lead villain, and it was a star-making turn for lead Taron Egerton. Overall the movie worked bar one ill-placed ‘joke’ at the end which was out of place, tacky, unnecessary, and literately brings the whole movie to a stop to get it out, but that didn’t stop Kingman from getting on our Top Films of 2015 list (see HERE). So I was wondering if they could make the follow-up as good as the first film and I think they may have just pulled it off.
TL;DR – An abomination of film with no redeeming qualities, don’t waste your money on this drivel
Score – 0.5 out of 5 stars
Oh Mark Strong, you are a good actor, a really good actor, by why, oh why do you end up cast in these truly terrible films. Grimsby tells the story of two brothers split up in their youth, one moves to London and becomes a spy for the MI6 and the other stays in Grimsby a post-industrial decline town in the coast of England. After being apart for thirty years they crash into each other’s lives and mischief occurs, and just now you are thinking ‘hey wait that actually sounds like an interesting premise to a film, it has all the makings of a solid narrative’, and you would be right, it could have been a great film, but it’s not, to put it in perspective it is –
TL;DR– A really great action film, with a good story and great action set pieces, let down a bit by a ‘joke’ right at the end that fails.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
This is a really interesting film, but one should say straight off the bat, it is nothing like what the trailers portrayed it as. This isn’t some kind of young Bond film that you can take the family to, it is extremely violent and contains a lot of course language etc.