Despite its promising cast and iconic London setting, All Things To All Men fails to grab your attention and run off through Regent Street with it. Slow paced, confused and anti-climactic, the best part of the film is when Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way is, for some reason, blared out over the credits; allowing you to get your air guitar on with careless abandon. What is it with action films set in the capital and their inability to be remotely entertaining?
Side Effects may cause drowsiness: Steven Soderbergh’s neo-noir cum psychological thriller is contagiously dreamy, until it evolves into a nightmare. It’s brilliant. If Soderbergh really is retiring, he’s certainly ended on a high. Side Effects encompasses some of the key themes he has explored throughout his career (it has the sex, it has the lies, it has the videotape) and forms a tribute to past cinema, channeling a Hitchcockian narrative, style and tone.
I have a headache. From the outset, Broken City had all the markings of a truly classic thriller: a stellar, academy-award recognized cast, a trailer that made it look gritty and intense and a premise that should have meant at least a few seat gripping moments and sharply veering twists. High hopes that amounted to a whole lot of nothing. Let the ranting begin…
From the outside it seems as if this latest British crime thriller ticks all the right boxes. Mark Strong as a bad guy? Tick. Ridley Scott producing? Tick. Cop versus criminal, car chases, bullets flying everywhere and anywhere? Tick. Trouble is, one can’t escape the feeling that someone’s thrust some big-name actors and an exhausted plotline into an A Level project, making Welcome to the Punch mediocre at its best and laborious at its worst.
Gangster Squad is based on the true tale of a group of LAPD officers and detectives in the late 1940s who used, shall we say, extra-judicial methods to smash the operations that allowed gangster Micky Cohen to control the underworld of the US west coast. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who has mainly worked in the worlds of advertising and music-video production, but has two previous films (Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less) to his credit. An ensemble cast including Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte and Emma Stone play out a plot we get the feeling we have already seen before.
Originally released in France in 2010, Alain Corneau’s psychological thriller aims to be a nasty little chamber piece centered around the sadistic office politics employed by a high-flying business executive. Regularly punishing her administrative assistant in public and private, the relationship between the two comes to a head as Love Crime takes a sharp detour midway through the film and struggles to find its feet.
A thoroughly unnecessary and totally uncalled-for reboot of the Morgan Freeman-led Alex Cross films unites mediocre director Rob Cohen with the flop magnet that is the actor/director/screenwriter/producer/general nuisance Tyler Perry. A clumsy, forced script, an inexplicable central plot, and muddled direction makes Alex Cross a flamboyant train-wreck where the mangled carcasses of a buddy movie, a cop caper, and a psychological thriller are barely distinguishable.