Christmas was an overload of new Blu Ray discs and DVDs. Watched whilst demolishing the last of the festive turkey scraps, the final Quality Street chocolates, and the few remaining Twiglets. Afterwards it was good to get to the cinema to see some new films on a big screen for a change.
But what a mixed bag this trio of blockbusters turned out to be. One fantasy CGI filled adventure, one rom com come thriller and one movie about a guy trapped in a ravine by a fairly sizeable chunk of rock.
Narnia; Voyage of the Dawn Treader sees many characters from the first two films reunited on a sea voyage visiting weird and wonderful distant lands. Prince Caspian displays enough bicep to keep the young female audience happy. But I found myself irritated both by the character and whiny voice of newcomer, Cousin Eustace. It was gratifying to see the big mouse whip his arse early in the movie. When he got turned into a dragon he lost the annoying voice at least. Although redeeming himself towards the end of the adventure, initial impressions prevailed.
The film is gorgeous to look at but lacks the spectacle of the first movie and also desperately needs a villain on a par with the White Witch.
Aslan the lion makes a appearance to allow the mouse to travel over the crest of a big wave into Aslan’s country – an unsubtle biblical reference.
Whilst the Narnia actors seemed to be going through the motions, those in The Tourist were more wooden than the hull of the Dawn Treader.
Johnny Depp usually chooses interesting and quirky roles. So what possessed him to accept this one? He looks lost, bored and uninterested all at the same time. Angelina Jolie attempts to be cool, calm and collected and simply comes across as characterless and emotionless, whilst trying hard to maintain the integrity of her pout.
The only reason for Depp’s character to be attracted to Jolie’s would be as a result of intense chemistry and bubbling sexual tension between the two of them. There is neither. There’s some action maybe, and a few plot twists that are so well sign posted you can’t miss them coming, but compared to Salt, Jolie’s other recent thriller, this is one Tourist that should have stayed at home.
I’m sure the adventurer in 127 Hours wished he had stayed at home after he falls into a ravine and gets trapped by a huge rock. With only one main setting, the ravine, and only one main character, this film could have struggled to engage the attention over 90 minutes. But it succeeds.
As the adventurer’s plight gets more futile and he runs out of water and options, a series of increasingly psychedelic flashbacks increase the tension to nail biting proportions.
You know what he is going to have to do to escape, and the anticipation of this is worse than the reality of the amputation he has to perform on himself. I’ve seen more gore in TV’s Casualty but Danny Boyle makes that tension unbearable. So the big rock wins in this otherwise lack lustre threesome.