Tag Archives: CGi

FILM REVIEW: Deadpool

 

 

Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is a bit of a messed up anti-hero. An ex-special forces, now mercenary idiot who, through a combination of charm and wise-cracks just about masks the unsavoury deeds he performs and the rather unsavoury character that he actually is.

On discovering that he’s been stricken with terminal cancer, he has a life or death decision to make. Does he remain stoic in the face of the inevitable and see out his final days alongside his sweetheart, Vanessa, (Morena Baccarin), or does he sneak away and take up the bizarre proposition that’s been offered to him by ‘the recruiter’ (Jed Rees), to undergo some bizarre experimental procedure to be cured of his cancer, whilst simultaneously adopting super-human powers in the process?

With the latter option a formality, he quickly wishes he’d not bothered as the procedure is particularly gruelling to say the least. Things are not helped with it being performed with unnecessary relish by the sadistic Ajax (Ed Skrein), leaving Deadpool with total face and body disfiguration.

A few explosions and a bit of falling debris later, left for dead and understandably not a happy camper, Deadpool vows revenge on his tormentor and thus a rather large amount of carnage commences…

There’s really not much more to Deadpool than that. There’s much CGi wizardry , some additional super-human characters join the fray attempting to keep Deadpool on the straight and narrow, and a larger than average body count piles up in savage fashion.

Shackled by such a dead-end plot, the film really hedges its bets on Ryan Reynolds’ lead character as he cracks one-liner after one liner and attempts to rip up the Marvel hero rule book, poking fun at the nuts and bolts of the genre with great glee, albeit in considerably reverential fashion.

It’s fast-paced, it’s crude, it’s violent and it rattles off the gags at break-neck pace. Some hit the mark, but a fair amount whistle by, a good deal wide of the target. Above all though, it’s all annoyingly self-aware and smug in that ‘we’re going to rubbish our own scene before you have the chance to’ manner.

Ryan Reynolds, in a role that has a tendency to come across as a sort of vulgar Jim Carey – lite, is sufficiently amusing in places to just about pull this one out of the bag, but it really is nowhere near as amusing or clever as it thinks it is, or indeed needs to be. Add to this, there really are only so many gross-out gags and scenes of super-human characters pointlessly pummeling twelve bells out of each other to no avail in a sea of spurious CGi trickery, that you can watch before it borders on the boring.

Ultimately, the whole contrary, sending one’s self up approach has been done to death and more importantly, done far better than it is here.

There’s a point in the film when someone delivers some smart-arsed, glib comment suggesting that there’s a Deadpool film franchise to be made out of it all.

I dare say there is and almost certainly will be.

There are plenty of people that would whole-heartedly back that sentiment I’d imagine if the screening that I attended was anything to go by, but it’s a rare event for a sequel to ever top its predecessor and considering Deadpool is nothing to write home about at its best hit and miss, and at its worst, tiresome, I won’t be holding my breath for the next installment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FILM REVIEW: Terminator Genisys

Whilst critics appear to be universally panning Terminator Genisys, it’s only fair to say that when it comes to the action blockbuster genre, there have been far worse.
I have my suspicions that the fire alarm-driven evacuation of the O2 Cineworld, thirty minutes into my particular screening, was infact some sort of pre-meditated, built in opportunity for the audience to ‘get the hell out – keep on going and never look back’ – (to steal a parlance from the film).
It’s certainly flawed. The plot is overly convoluted, feeling rather shoe-horned in although that may be as much to do with my inability to fully grasp its salient points, it’s true.

As for the casting, Jai Courtney plays Kyle, the man sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor. Sarah herself (Emilia Clarke) is an unusual casting, perhaps a refreshing one even? Pretty, yet not overly so, Clarke is certainly not the all-action shape or type we’ve been brain-beaten into expecting over the years (Lara Croft et al). That said, her diminutive frame does seem to detract a little from any real gravitas she may exude and this in turn contributes to a role that overall, fails to convince.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is pretty much the only one that holds up his end of the bargain. Stoney-faced, all one-liners as we’d expect, with the occasional flash of a forced smile; apparently it’s something he’s ‘learned’ through his extended time spent in the company of Sarah Connor, over the years. A little older he may be, but he’s a safe bet and a box office draw and it’s good to see him back reprising this role. It shouldn’t come as any surprise of course, he said he would be.

Goodies, baddies they’re all present and correct and things progress predictably and in a visually impressive, big-budget manner, but therein lies the age-old problem.

Previous Terminator forays have been a minimum fifteen in their certification, whereas Terminator Genisys plumps for the sell-out, 12A, bums-on-seats rating. You can’t blame them; you’ve got to pay for that CGi somehow, but unsurprisingly, at a cost.

At its outset, Genisys hints at something much darker and considerably more sinister; recapping the rise of the machines and their ruthless battering into submission of the human race. Had things continued more along these lines, Terminator Genisys may well have been a very different beast indeed.

As it is, it’s a harmless enough, expensive, popcorn movie – a slap across the face for Terminator’s  die-hard fan base, no doubt – but a fairly innocuous couple of hours of light entertainment for the rest of society.

Hardly the director’s intentions, I’d imagine.

 

 

FILM REVIEW: JURASSIC WORLD

Jurassic World has no right to be good.

The original Jurassic Park, whilst quite standard fare in its plot and construction, had the wow factor of CGi dinosaurs, not to mention the direction of a certain Steven Spielberg and all that that brings to the party.

It’s fair to say that CGi dinosaurs aside, the Jurassic Park dynasty had long since faded away as is the way of many dynasty following  a run of inferior sequels.

Here we are in 2015: Enter Jurassic World, a further, seemingly unnecessary chapter in a franchise long since past it’s best. Or is it?

I’m not sure what provoked this fourth Dinosaur-fest, but it’s here and it’s actually rather good.

Spielberg is on board, albeit in an executive producers role, whatever that may entail. It’s hard to know how much input he actually had in proceedings but Jurassic World has all the tell-tale signs of Spielberg’s tinkering, so either director Colin Trevorrow is a big fan of Spielberg, or the man himself has had a hands on role here, to some extent at least.

Jurassic World is a huge Dinosaur Kingdom and theme park situated on a remote Costa Rican island. It’s a Mecca for boat load after boat load of entertainment hungry tourists to indulge themselves within.

John Hammond’s original, ill-fated Jurassic Park may be consigned as a footnote in history, but the hunger for its content has ensured that this new shrine to the dinosaur has now been built in its place. There’s just one problem though; as the park’s director of operations (and the film’s leading lady) Claire (played with real savvy and attitude by Bryce Dallas Howard) says: and to loosely quote… “Kids these days consider seeing a Stegosaurus to be no different to seeing an elephant.”

There is of course a sad irony to this comment considering the rate at which elephants are being plundered for their ivory, something that will soon see their numbers far closer to the actual numbers of living Stegosauruses.

Essentially though, there’s an ongoing need for bigger, better and more exciting and with this in mind, the geneticists and the Kingdom’s enthusiastic, yet slightly misguided owner have created a savage, mutant DNA-fest of a creature to satisfy the public’s appetite.

Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are brothers sent by their parents on holiday to Jurassic World. The idea is that Claire (who also happens to be their aunt), will spend some quality time with them, showing them around the place in a rare opportunity to bond with the nephews that she rarely sees; but Claire is far too busy in her business-centric world of pie charts, stats and spreadsheets and her assistant is therefore assigned the task of taking care of the boys. The boys give her the slip and with a marauding, hybrid dinosaur on the loose, that’s the cue for all manner of shenanigans to unravel.

Of course, all good blockbusters need a hero and Chris Pratt steps up to the challenge with aplomb, playing Owen, the park’s resident velociraptor whisperer. In his waist coat and exuding all manner of charm, one could be forgiven for drawing comparisons with another notable Spielberg hero of yesteryear; he just needs a whip and a hat.

Much as before, Jurassic World boils down to a familiar message of ‘don’t mess with nature or it’ll come back and bite you’, literally in this case, for telling the possible ramifications for mankind should he not take heed and resist his desire to control and be the master of all he creates or surveys.

Naturally, all of this is never going to end well and lessons will always be learned (and then of course forgotten once again it would seem, to keep those sequel gravy trains a’rollin).

Jurassic World is a story of Good guys, bad guys, misguided fools and a whole truck load of dinosaurs thrown, en masse at today’s attention span-light, hard to please generation.

I should be running like a squealing pig, pursued by a T-Rex from such formulaic output as this, particularly when you throw in the gratuitous product placement and the predictability and somewhat cliched nature of the plot, but in spite of everything, Jurassic World holds it’s own. It’s damned good fun, it’s damned entertaining and probably the best, big budget family blockbuster I’ve seen in many a long year.

Ok Hollywood, this time you’ve got me!

Well and truly sucked in!