Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Following in the footsteps of the Man Of Steel and Captain America, Gnomeo and Juliet become the latest characters to have their sequel hijacked by a bunch of different characters as the franchise tries to position itself as a vehicle to reimagine classic British literature, a sort of anthology of garden toy stories. When garden … Continue reading Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

There was a howl of outrage heard around the world when plans were first announced to make another “Jumanji” film. Up until then, I don’t think anyone had really been aware of in what high esteem the original – albeit fondly thought of – had been held. Turns out the Robin Williams CG-heavy jungle adventure … Continue reading Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) Review

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Review

With the exception of perhaps “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, has there ever been a (belated) sequel which arrived under so much pressure of expectation as “Blade Runner 2049”? Picking up the baton from Ridley Scott’s lionised 1982 sci-fi noir, visionary director Denis Villeneuve leaps us further into the chillingly realistic dystopian future. Following the … Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review

“Kingsman: The Secret Service”, a gleefully disrespectful, violent and funny action reworking of “My Fair Lady” was an unexpected delight, right up until it ended on a decidedly bum note. Regrettably, in tuning up for the sequel, write Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughan have taken that same note as the opening for their latest … Continue reading Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

Yet another in the bafflingly long list of animated films which didn’t deserve a sequel, the follow-up to 2014’s “The Nut Job” is now in UK cinemas. Here’s the surprising bit: it’s not that bad. When the Nut Shop is suddenly destroyed, Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) is faced with the prospect of returning to … Continue reading The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Among this movie’s few achievements is the coining of the instantly cliché tag line ‘This time it’s personal’. It also, like many “Jaws” fans, pretty much ignores “Jaws 3” completely, although not – it has to be said – to deliver a higher quality and more fitting end to the “Jaws” saga. When Sean Brody … Continue reading Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Cars 3 (2017) Review

“Cars 3” begins by doing what most right-thinking people do, which is pretending “Cars 2” simply doesn’t exist. It then moves on to hoping you don’t really remember “Cars” particularly well as it sets out to tell the same story once again, only this time it’s Lightning McQueen who’s the reigning champion raging at the … Continue reading Cars 3 (2017) Review

War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017) Review

As a rule, I’m not a fan of prequels. But rules were made to be broken, and “War For The Planet Of The Apes” manages to thwart two of mine: it’s a superb prequel and it’s the third chapter of a trilogy which is the best of the three. In the aftermath of Koba’s betrayal … Continue reading War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017) Review

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

Dead men may tell no tales but dead horses are still ripe for flogging it seems as Disney cranks out yet another sequel to the surprise 2003 smash hit based on a veteran theme park attraction. When a down-on-his-luck Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) trades his precious magical compass for a bottle of rum, he unknowingly … Continue reading Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

Do you think that somewhere, there’s a Twentieth Century Fox Executive kicking himself for not just giving Ridley Scott the money he wanted to make a sci-fi movie about the origin of intelligent life and the concept of meeting one’s creator? Maybe then we wouldn’t be here now, watching him tank the “Alien” franchise into … Continue reading Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Review

The weight of expectation resting on the follow-up to 2014’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a testament to just how spectacularly Marvel’s big gamble paid off. But like “Avengers Assemble” before it, the challenge of following up a nearly flawless success is a daunting one. After a spot of mischievous larceny by Rocket angers their … Continue reading Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Review

T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Choose a sequel. Choose mounting a follow-up to an iconic 1996 film and hope that the audience cares. Choose revisiting old favourite characters to see what new shenanigans they’re up to And choose watching history repeat itself. Choose looking to the past instead of embracing a future. Choose Renton, Sickboy and Begbie unchanged but older … Continue reading T2 Trainspotting (2017) Review

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review

Rivalling “Suicide Squad” for worst editing of 2016, “Mechanic: Resurrection” is a confused and underwhelming mix of lush location footage and studio bound cut scenes which feel more “That Riviera Touch” than a modern action thriller. The pseudo-Bond exotic location hopping feels arbitrary and slapped together in service of a plot which promises much more … Continue reading Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) Review

Jason Bourne (2016) Review

“Jason Bourne” sees the reluctant super-spy facing his deadliest foe yet: the irrefutable sense of unnecessariness. When Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) reaches out to an isolated and off-grid David Webb Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), it kicks off a chain of events that leads the CIA to try once again to capture or kill the errant … Continue reading Jason Bourne (2016) Review

Finding Dory (2016) Review

With the exception of the “Cars” franchise, Pixar themselves are the exceptions to the usual law of diminishing returns which normally plagues sequels. However, in landing a sequel to “Finding Nemo”, a perfect story which really needed no follow-up would Pixar flounder or would the carping prove bass-less? A year after Nemo safely returned to … Continue reading Finding Dory (2016) Review

Ghostbusters II (1989) #Rediscovered

“Ghostbusters II” is the sequel nobody wanted to make, and boy does it show. It betrays the ending of the first film in a worse way than “The Matrix Reloaded” does. If you’re currently girding your loins to decry and condemn the unnecessary remaking of the original 1984 classic “Ghostbusters”, you might want to start … Continue reading Ghostbusters II (1989) #Rediscovered

Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Review

There’s a tendency among long running movie series – especially those which have no business being there – to launch into outer space. And so, in its fifth and conspicuously tired outing, the “Ice Age” franchise looks to the heavens for salvation. When Scrat (the spiritual descendant of Wile E Coyote) accidentally reactivates a buried … Continue reading Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Review

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Review

Just in time for the phrase to become politically loaded and potentially tarnished, “Independence Day” returns to cinemas with a sequel two decades in the making. As Earth prepares to celebrate 20 years since the last alien invasion, it falls to current President Lanford (Sela Ward) to reset the counter because – whoops, apocalypse – … Continue reading Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Review

Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

While 2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” may have left critics unimpressed, audiences embraced its restless, kooky energy as Lewis Carroll’s mastery of the absurd and impossible was filtered through the dark kaleidoscope of Tim Burton’s vision. Six years later, “The Muppets” & “Muppets Most Wanted” director James Bobin has been tasked with delivering a sequel. Alice … Continue reading Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) Review

So, is “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” a prequel or a sequel? In truth, it’s a bit of both, forming a wraparound tale which actually turns the original film into the dull middle chapter of a decent fantasy trilogy. “Winter’s War” takes us back to the beginnings of the Evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and we … Continue reading The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) Review

Vacation (2015) Review

Aggressively stupid and often stupidly aggressive, “Vacation” is the latest RebooMaQuel™ to believe that mining our collective nostalgia and upgrading that fondness with much edgier, filthier gross-out humour and profanity will deliver something new and entertaining. Like those that have gone before it, it fails because it doesn’t understand what made the originals work.The “National Lampoon’s Vacation” … Continue reading Vacation (2015) Review

Minions (2015) Review

I saw “Minions” accompanied by Mertmas and four of his friends as part of a 9th Birthday treat, so here’s their perspective: “Minions” pretty much hits its target market spot on. The Minions themselves retain their goofy adorability and their mix of slapstick comedy and inferred verbal repartee still amuses, as do moments of potty humour. Although … Continue reading Minions (2015) Review

Final Destination 5 (2011) Review

Always at the more tongue-in-cheek end of the horror scale, the previous four instalments of the “Final Destination” franchise have been gruesomely lightweight shock fests, full of invention and sly dark comedy although they haven’t been immune to the law of diminishing returns. But this fifth instalment…? Meh. This time around, the precognitive vision which … Continue reading Final Destination 5 (2011) Review

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Review

Where “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” was a pleasant much-better-than-expected surprise, it’s sequel (the sequel to the prequel after the [failed*] reboot of the franchise) has a much higher standard to live up to. Set ten years after the events of the previous film, “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” picks up … Continue reading Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Review

22 Jump Street (2014) Review

The first "Jump Street" movie was a textbook example of how to take an old TV property and transfer it to the screen. Simultaneously respectful of its source material while also irreverently mocking the premise, the knockabout, shameless comedy powered through thanks to a knowing script and the terrific chemistry of its two leads. It's … Continue reading 22 Jump Street (2014) Review

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) Review

Did you enjoy “Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy”? Yes? Then the chances are you’re going to enjoy “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, even if parts of it feel  a little familiar. “Anchorman 2” is a funny sort of hybrid creation: part sequel, part remake with just a little bit of reboot thrown in. The … Continue reading Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) Review