Sunday 13 October 2013

60 Second Film Reviews #8

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 G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Internship and The Heat.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

If ever there was a film that can be summarised by simply shouting "HELL YEAH, AMERICA!", it would be G.I. Joe: Retaliation. I will however endeavour to pad this review out a little more than that.

Starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis and Adrianne Palacki, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to 2009's critically-panned Rise of Cobra

Populated with a ridiculous plot, hammy dialogue ("Extraction? What are we, teeth?"), and more testosterone-boosting techno music than you can shake a stick at, Retaliation is a silly, messy popcorn-munching hoot.

The martial arts sequences are athletic and brilliantly choreographed, as are the bigger, noisier action scenes. It's all really fun and cartoonish, the kind of stuff that makes this film a real winner with 11-year-old boys.

Because after all, that's who this film is marketed at. It's a film based on action figures for Christ's sake; what else can you expect? All the characters are codenamed things like Roadblock, Jinx and Snake-eyes - it's like one big play-time on the big screen.

In this case, G.I. Joe: Retaliation whole-heartedly fulfils its purpose of being goofy, over-the-top fun. It'll be the source of many dubious eye-rolls for anyone who doesn't get on-board but otherwise, a whole lot of fun.

I give G.I. Joe: Retaliation: 5/10

The Internship (2013)

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn join forces for another easy-on the brain comedy in The Internship. The set-up is simple; Wilson and Vaughan play two mid-forties men who have been left behind in the era of Google, Facebook and blogs. 

After losing their jobs as salesmen, Vaughan's character lands them both the opportunity to get a job at Google; the catch? They have to go up against dozens of Gen Y'ers in a highly competitive internship program in order to land the job. 

I found that The Internship was really formulaic in both characters and narrative. Nothing in this film surprised me or subverted my expectations of it being a run-of-the-mill comedy that works around the 'fish-out-of-water' premise.

I'm not saying it didn't make me laugh, because it did. Once or twice. Both of the leads seem to be running on auto-pilot but granted, they work best when put together in this kind of movie. I'm just saying that the film stuck to the script way too rigidly and didn't bring anything new to the table. There are some funny parts to do with the outcasts our lead duo are grouped with but other than that I yawned my way through this one. As a M-rated film, it doesn't even try to top the hilarious crassness of Wedding Crashes or, dare I say it, Starsky and Hutch.

I give The Internship: 3.5/10

The Heat (2013)

The Heat is best described as an American attempt at recreating Hot Fuzz with added oestrogen.

Two apposite cops are paired together on a case and their stark contrast prompts foul-mouthed madcap action and shenanigans. Sandra Bullock plays Detective Ashburn, an uptight and lonely agent who is moved to Boston and paired with Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), a rough and tumble officer who doesn't take shit from anyone.

Like Hot Fuzz, the chemistry between the two leads is the biggest winner here. Bullock and McCarthy gel together well and are genuinely funny. It does feel forced at times (a lot of the jokes are centred around Mullins being generally brash and rude) but I had a good time with The Heat.

As buddy-cop comedies go, The Heat sticks to the formula in terms of plotting. The pacing was okay but I felt it could have been tightened up a little. That and they could have gone full Lethal Weapon on us and added some seriously outrageous action. The big 'reveal' at the end was as easy to spot as a badger in the fridge and a little underwhelming.

The movie has a pretty awesome soundtrack though, everything from The Hives, Jack White and LCD Soundsystem, all being thrown into the mix.

Some people might turn off as a result of the excessive language which I found kind of bothered me. McCarthy's character in particular swears like a Marine so be warned if that kind of thing puts you off. On the whole, a solid if predictable buddy-cop movie that lacks the spark to propel it to the next level.

I give The Heat: 6/10

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