Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

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The third entry in the most recent Star Trek franchise, this time directed by Fast Five’s Justin Lin, recaptures some of the original series’ magic through its dedication to character and ridiculous fun. As scripted by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg (who carves himself out a more substantial role as Scotty), the narrative is messy, often dull in its midsection as Krall (Idris Elba), a ruthless enemy, destroys the USS Enterprise and captures the crew in an attempt to lay his hands on an artifact that will help wipe out the entire Federation. Continue reading “Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)”

Review: The Book Of Life (2014)

The Book Of Life

Experienced animator Jorge R. Gutierrez teams up with fan-favourite producer Guillermo Del Toro for his directorial debut The Book Of Life, a visually dazzling but regrettably stale spin on the Mexican holiday Day Of The Dead. Best friends Manola (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) have one thing in common: their love for Maria (Zoe Saldana). Using their differing skills, they duke it out for Maria’s affection under the watchful eyes of Xibalba and La Muerta, two powerful mythical entities with an age-old score to settle. Continue reading “Review: The Book Of Life (2014)”

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Guardians Of The Galaxy

With a line of successful franchises already set up, Marvel take a risk with their latest, Guardians Of The Galaxy, a largely unknown comic book property. It’s safe to say their bet has paid off, with director James Gunn delivering a ludicrously entertaining space-set adventure that fizzles with humour, rat-a-tat interplay and marvellous action set pieces. Continue reading “Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)”

Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Out Of The Furnace

Out Of The Furnace, Scott Cooper’s follow-up to the award-winning Crazy Heart, boasts a all-star ensemble cast and accurately barbed, but not much else. This revenge thriller, if you can call it that, suffers from a conventional, extremely plain narrative that trudges along drearily, flinging cliches every which way, but never offers anything meaty enough to sustain its lengthy run time, nor its deserving-of-better cast and the qualities it emits through its production credits. Continue reading “Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)”

Review: Colombiana (2011)

Centring on a young girl, Cataleya¬†(Zoe Saldana), Colombiana is the latest in Luc Besson’s trademark line of action-thrillers. Unfortunately, that trademark now seems to mean chock full of commonplace tropes, overcooked narrative devices and poorly constituted characters. Here, Cataleya witnesses the brutal death of her parents, catalysing her transformation into a deadly assassin, hellbent on revenge.

Generic and unequivocal, Besson and his fellow screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen have constructed an uneven, overwrought screenplay, plucking ideas from other films in the genre and piecing them haphazardly together in Continue reading “Review: Colombiana (2011)”