Following on from 2007’s acclaimed Elite Squad, this sequel returns to the murky world of the BOPE, Rio de Janeiro’s famed and feared military police battalion. Genre fans will doubtless find much to coo over, but for all its bombast it’s difficult to tell whether there’s actually any substance hiding under the bulletproof vest.
Fred Cavayé’s last film, Pour Elle, was a tight and well-made thriller which was almost totally derailed by its catastrophic American remake The Next Three Days. We do hope the same won’t happen to his latest effort. Exhilarating, fast-paced and only a little bit unbelievable, Point Blank is exactly what people who liked Taken should be watching instead – it’s an action film, yes, but it’s far more than macho drivel.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a Grand Theft Auto game done with real actors and a tiny effects budget? Then look no further! Blood, Breasts and Stock Characters in Africa: or, Viva Riva!, the first full-length feature film to make it from the Congo to the US, could scarcely be a more crude and depressing reflection of the worst and most pointless aspects of Hollywood. For shame.
Here’s another one to add to the already overly saturated real-life Italian-gangster film pile we have festering in the corner. Angels of Evil is a biopic about Renato Vallanzasca; the legendary thief, kidnapper, gangster and fugitive from justice whose name still haunts the streets of Milan. Judging by director Michele Placido’s past work on the brilliant Romanzo Criminale, we assumed that this was going to be a doozy of a gangster flick. Instead we left the cinema a little deflated.
Another disturbing classic from some of the best known names in Korean cinema. I Saw the Devil starts screaming and finishes kicking. Kim Jee-woon has included everything from secret agents to cannibals and with terrifically bloody fight scenes, torture that would make the inmates of Guantanamo Bay writhe in fear and amazing performances all round this is not one to be missed.
An eclectic amalgam of Cold War thriller, girl’s-own coming-of-age yarn and superhero origin story, Hanna could have easily wound up resembling a cinematic patchwork of half-baked genre constituents. It’s a great relief, then, that Hanna is much more than the sum of its (many) parts.
Imagine a scenario in which movie execs decided that the cast of Gossip Girl resembled something akin to actual actors…now picture an insidious conspiracy in which these cast members began to appear in actual films, based solely upon this diabolical premise of untruth. Alas, you are not the first to envision such a hideous reality – someone has beaten you to it, and The Roommate is that very nightmare.
If you choose to frolic with the idea of political extremism – whilst maintaining a reasonable degree of credibility – the undertaking should be informed, cautious and precise. Blooded is none of these things and consequently every bit as heedless and unjustified as the extremist ideology it claims to condemn.