Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Critical Week: Who dares wins

The big press screening here in London this past week was for the lively action romp The Losers, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans and Idris Elba as a team of experts trying to get revenge on someone. Or something. But the thin plot is only one of the film's problems - and none of this will matter at the box office as it's clearly going for the same audience as Kick-Ass or the upcoming The A-Team.

Two other Hollywood star vehicles wobble as well - both are watchable, but neither is as good as it should be. I'm talking about Miley Cyrus' weepy chick flick The Last Song and The Rock as the Tooth Fairy. A much better effort from America is The Joneses, in which Demi Moore and David Duchovny are perfectly cast as a desirable, affluent couple, although the film's smart satire kind of runs out before the end.

So we turn to smaller budgets, and the biggest surprise of the week is Britain's first movie designed and shot in 3D, StreetDance. Amazingly, this film manages to rehash that Step Up/You Got Served plot into something that's actually engaging. There were also two inventive historical foreign films: Women Without Men, about Iran's 1953 coup, and The Time That Remains, about Israel's partition in 1948. And finally we have two gripping British documentaries: the privacy-issue action doc Erasing David and the football-as-religion 1990 World Cup doc One Night in Turin.

Next week we have Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up Plan, Bruce Willis in Cop Out, the provocative British terrorism comedy Four Lions, Francis Ford Coppola's personal project Tetro, Alain Resnais' acclaimed Wild Grass, and a little blockbuster called Iron Man 2.

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