Sunday, 24 February 2013

60 Second Film Reviews #1

Quick movie reviews, without the waffle. 60 Second Film Reviews is a regular feature where I compile together brief reviews of recent films I've watched at home or at the movies - and generally couldn't be arsed didn't find time to write a proper review for. 

This month, we have Total Recall, Rise of the Guardians, The Expendables 2, The Bourne Legacy

Total Recall (2012)

Visually impressive and action-packed from wall to wall, Total Recall was highly stylised and glossy but ultimately a little thin on substance.

Whilst this remake isn't a complete waste of your time, it did feel as though it's character were a little two-dimensional and underdeveloped. Colin Farrell was ok, but not remarkable as the lead whilst Jessica Biel's character was a little underwritten.

Meanwhile, what Total Recall lacks in storytelling it makes back in visuals. The elongated action set-pieces that zoom across the futuristic cityscapes look brilliant on the surface but ultimately are covering the thinly spread plot hidden underneath.

I give Total Recall: 5/10

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Released in the run-up to the festive season, this charming family flick is another entertaining entry into the Dreamworks' hall of fame that follows along the same vein as Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon

Centred on young and lonely Jack Frost, this animated film is supported by an all-star cast including Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin and Jude Law. It is an all-round great time, with mythical characters such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy all being brought to the screen in unique and distinctive ways.

Rise of the Guardians has it's own distinct feel and look that sets it apart from the swathes of animated features we usually see. Whilst it isn't perfect (the overall message/moral of believing in something isn't anything new or radical), it is an endearing family film that will please all ages.

I give Rise of the Guardians: 7/10

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Everyone's favourite troupe of geriatric action heroes are back in the saddle for this bonkers second outing. Everyone from Stallone, Statham, Norris, Willis and Schwarzenegger are along for the ride and this time it's a lot smoother. 

The Expendables 2 dispenses with any pretence that it is a serious war film and embraces its true home; being ridiculously OTT fun that comes riddled with as many groan-enducing one-liners as it does bullets. With Jean Claude Van Damme's baddie about to get his hands on uranium...or plutonium...or some element of the nuclear variety, Stallone's band of merry mercenaries must band together to bring him down. The narrative however is buried underneath numerous swathes of death and destruction, the varied and ridiculous action set-pieces side-lining any notion of a coherent plot being strung together.

Whilst this may appeal to some, the action sequences do begin to drag on and the cheesiness may begin to grate (pun intended). The end result is a film that is a whole lot of fun, but forgettable in T-minus 10 minutes (Chuck Norris cameo aside).

I give The Expendables 2: 4/10

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

With a new lead man, the Bourne series enters a new era. In this instalment, Aaron Cross (played by a noteworthy Jeremy Renner) is forced to go on the run from his own government when Jason Bourne's actions (in Bourne films 1-3) lead to the exposing of Operations Treadstone and Blackfriar. 

As a stand-alone film, The Bourne Legacy is by no means a bad film. It is a hugely enthralling and gripping spy caper that is punctuated with pulse pounding chases and action. 

It is only when the film is stacked up against it's siblings Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum that Legacy looks a little like the least favoured child. For many fans, Legacy suffers through Matt Damon's absence, but in my mind Jeremy Renner does not do the lead role a disservice.  

The Bourne Legacy therefore is by no means a waste of your time or money. Renner launches himself into the role with grit and determination that shows from the off whilst his co-star Rachel Weisz brings both the necessary brains and beauty to proceedings. Viewed on its own merits, it's a whole lot better than you think and have heard. 

I give The Bourne Legacy: 7/10

Be sure to check back to feeling fuzzier in the next few weeks for more features, reviews and opinion pieces on all of your favourite films! 

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