Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
Due Date is really trying to be Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and while Robert Downey Jr. does a great job of filling the uptight Steve Martin role, Zach Galafianakis is nothing but stupid, annoying, and downright unlikeable. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against Galfianakis as an actor, but his character is just so despicable and idiotic that he really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities to speak of, and as such, the movie overall is just an exercise in annoyance. On top of that, there really aren’t any chuckle-worthy jokes to speak of, and the film is completely forgettable. It’s not a terrible movie, but the work mediocre might be a bit too good for it. If you’re planning on watching Due Date, do it so you can see RDJ punch a small child in the stomach.
2.5 out of 5
The animation on display in Rango is tremendous, but the subject matter may surprise viewers in that the film really isn’t a comedy, and is closer in tone and plot to a Western remake of Chinatown with an all-animal cast – which begs the question: what demographic was this movie made for? The strange visuals were the real selling point of the film for me, and while the voice actors (Johnny Depp in particular) all do fine jobs, I didn’t find myself overly invested in the story. But as I said, the look of the movie is top-notch, and I’d recommend this film to people who are tired of animated movies all looking the same (see the visual style of most of Dreamworks’ catelogue for examples). Rango stands out as a real oddity in the world of computer animated movies, so if you’re looking for something different, look no further. Beyond the visual design, though, I found myself…a bit underwhelmed.
3 out of 5
Hanna is one heck of a wild ride, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. This strange pseudo-fairytale about a girl assassin plays out like a more sombre, snow-covered version of the Hit-Girl/Big Daddy storyline from Kick-Ass, and it works terrifically. The action and suspense are great (keep an eye out for a fight scene involving Eric Bana that was shot all in one take), the plot is solid and keeps you guessing, the performances (particularly Saorsie Ronan) are good, and on top of it all, the score by the Chemical Brothers rocks the soundtrack. Perhaps the greatest compliment that I can give this film is that it doesn’t seem to employ any digital effects, which gives the action serious weight and makes every punch feel very real. I got more than I expected out of Hanna, especially considering I’m not a fan of director Joe Wright’s previous works. This is a film I will definitely watch again.
4 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!