There’s a twisted version of a superhero story at the core of this post apocalyptic teen drama. A virus in the rain kills most of the population. A few survivors battle the virus and a malignant corporation to put the world to rights. It does well to keep going for three seasons, funnelling everything down all the love and loss, and sibling rivalry, to create a suitably optimistic conclusion.
It’s hard not to draw compassions between this and the Final Destination films. Our troubled millennial downloads an app that tells her she only has a few days to live. She does everything in her power to escape the curse she agreed to when she signed the terms and conditions. Another film with its eye on a franchise rather that making something both original and scary.
A hero’s journey in its rawest form. Sound and images telling a story. There’s dialogue but it’s either a made up language or some kind of ancient Native American dialect. Who knows? The point is you don’t know what they’re saying, but you do fell the emotion of it, and that in itself is a marvel. Plot wise it’s relatively simple. An adolescent boy, out on his first hunt, gets into a fight with a buffalo, is thrown off a cliff, and is reluctantly left for dead by his father. The tough kid survives by battling all kinds of beastly foes. Along the way he saves a wolf he injures. As they struggles back to the boys tribe they bond, forming the archetypal bond. It’s simple, but powerful, and I like this more than I should’ve.
A troubled cop, with a do or die attitude, battles to save the kidnapped daughter of his former partner, all the time having his battle live streamed by a feisty young reported. At its core you’re watching a buddy movie, with a grumpy old man sparring against an optimistic young woman. He saves her. She helps him. They fight a bad guy with a gun. He defies death a dozen times, ultimately winning back his self respect, and the respect of his community. The ending felt as implausible as it was sweet. As if trying to rewrite the reality of live streaming news events. I might be wrong but for me it inflated the bubble of disbelief to bursting.
It’s a film that so desperately wants to be a franchise, it forgot to be a film worthy of another instalment. I for one don’t want to sit through a sequel.
For me this might be Guy Ritchie’s most accomplished film. He takes his version of mock cockney to it’s apotheosis, with more of the usual geezas with guns. The world he creates only exists in Mr Richie’s imagination, but he does manage to make it intriguing and watchable. Playing on all kinds of stereotypes he unpicks our expectations. Although even with all of his inventiveness, I still can’t escape the idea that I’m watching is a posh boy deconstructing working class roughness.
A wealthy father dies leaving his daughter to protect his darkest secret; he has a man chained up in a bunker in the woods. Torn between just letting the man go, protecting her family, and her father’s legacy, she goes looking for the secrets that surround the man. It’s intriguing enough to keep you watching, with plenty of twists and turns. Performances are workman like, as is the direction, which desperately wants to look and feel like an early David Fincher film. Simon Pegg revels in a rare serious role, summoning enough weird to make him more than a bit creepy. There is a problem with the plot, something that only struck me at the very end. Early in the story, the daughter watches a video of her father asking her to protect his secret. But he makes a weak excuse and doesn’t tell her what it is or why. It feels contrived. I would’ve lost the video. All you need is a letter that tells her to look in this place only the two of them know. Also I would’ve put most of the revelations you get at the end, at the mid point. From there the moral dilemmas faced by the daughter could’ve been more complicated, and more difficult to resolve. I would’ve tortured her a little more for the sake of the story. Watch it and decide for yourself.
Ex-cop, and now an ex-convict, puts the world to rights, battling dirty cops and corruption like a superhero. He’s a kind of blue collar Batman, with a smart mouth, a thick head, fast fists, and a schoolboy morality. There’s a strange kind of purity in its desire to entertain.