This might be the most disturbing film I’ve seen in a long while. Complicated family dynamics are hidden behind closed doors, as a sadistic patriarch abuses and exploits his family in equal measure.
This can best be described as more of the same but different. The sequel that feels like a prequel. Macho gun touting mayhem that feeds on a righteous certainty. Mad, bad, and more than a bit Dudley Doright!?!
I thought this was interesting, with a strong narrative drive that comes from a compelling premise. The sun kills people. A small group of people, with assorted personal demons, find themselves on a plane trying to outrun the sunrise. As tensions build between the passengers, they must hop from airport to airport, scavenging food and fuel as they go. It’s not perfect. There are several moments where you question the choices made by the writers. They seem expedient rather that actual. In the end, it’s that constant pressure to move, the pressure to stay ahead of the sun, that ramps up the energy of the story, and makes it so compelling. It’s an interesting devise used to great effect.
An interesting essay on the use of the Dutch angle in The Third Man.
A thriller with quite a strong cast, and some good performances, that suffers from a leaking plot. In the end it doesn’t feel real because the plot and characters are drawn from other reels. It’s a thriller that’s swimming in the logic of film, instead of rafting the rapids of a reality.
This is a beautifully constructed piece of cinema, that follows a war weary soldier with a brutal past, as he is forced to escorts his nemesis across the country to his ancestral homeland before he dies. Like all westerns this sits in the conflict that exists between old and new, tradition and progress. There’s a lot in the story that goes unsaid, sitting in the silences between things. In the end actions speak louder than words, as Christian Bale’s gruff Captain slowly comes to see his charge as an honourable man. They’re both soldiers who have done horrible things. They both carry the emotional and physical scars. Of all the films Scott Cooper has directed there isn’t one that’s not worth seeing. This is not exception.
This lacks the novelty and exuberance of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Neither does it have the confidence of possibly his best film RocknRolla (2008). A film that seems to have more of a sense of itself than this one. Richie manages some mild originality from the scenario, but he’s ploughing the same asphalt as his earlier films. Even King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) is a gangster film wrapped in mythic cellophane. Hugh Grant stands out as the slimy private investigator telling the story. A device that manages to keep the pace and interest piqued. I like this device. It gives the storytelling a certain style and rhythm. Other than that, it really is business as usual for a bunch of smart mouthed mock gangsters doing their t’ing. As The Jam proclaims at the end of the film “That’s Entertainment”, Mr Richie style.