The brothers Cairnes stage their escalating series of unfortunate events with lackadaisical confidence, propelling things ever forward with jovial efficiency that’s as inventive as it is absurd. They spill a lot of blood, throwing guts and bits of flesh all over the place, doing it with a gorgeously energetic joy that’s continually impressive.
Emmerich knows how to stage action with the best of them, and in Tatum he has an action star willing to throw himself here and there with excitable ferocity. More, unlike Olympus Has Fallen for some reason this one ends up being a little easier to accept and take with at least a modicum of seriousness if only because the filmmakers refuse to treat their audience like imbeciles. White House Down isn’t exactly good, I’d never call it that, but it can be fun, and as such I can’t really begrudge anyone from making the choice to give this latest cinematic assault on the White House a chance.
The pacing, while measured, some might even go so far as to call it leisurely, felt spot-on as far as I was concerned, everything building with an unhurried malevolent elegance that kept the tension building and the suspense continually omnipresent.
I’m not sure what to write about Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. The movie is as observationally distant as many of her previous films, especially Somewhere, to a lesser extent Lost in Translation, looking at its vapid, materialistic, fame-obsessed central group of teenage reprobates with the same disaffected malaise they themselves project. It’s aggressively nonjudgmental, the film choosing to view its protagonists with a detached superficiality that doesn’t connect emotionally but still manages to pack something of a major, uncomforting wallop all the same.
[Maniac] takes the basic idea from the previous film and then runs energetically into an entirely new direction, upping the slasher game by crafting a first-person you-are-there narrative structure that in large parts makes this effort the Enter the Void of B-grade exploitation terror.
I didn’t dislike Man of Steel, not at all, but I just as readily didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I wanted to, either. Nothing about this latest Superman iteration captivated me, none of it connected on an emotional level, and while the action theatrics fly considerably higher than any previous adaptation the shortcomings found in the human department frustratingly kept the project as a whole from soaring.
Yet what it’s talking about, the thematic subtext behind all of this horrific carnage and depravity, that does have basis in the here and now, and one could easily imagine certain talking points coming from the mouths of various political candidates and television cable news hosts sounding terrifyingly similar. Say what you will about either movement but the heart and soul of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party did bring about conversations about wealth disparity and cultural (and corporate) privilege in this country, those ideas taken to a grotesquely unsettling extreme in the world imagined by DeMonaco.
In the end, Now You See Me isn’t anything to get worked up about one way or the other, and while I’d never recommend the watching of it I have this sneaky suspicion it will play rather well on Cable television for viewers with short attention spans and other things on their minds.
Unlike a lot of summer monstrosities that label themselves as being nothing more than “dumb fun” but forget to treat the audience with respect, Fast & Furious 6 remembers that people who do in fact watch this might actually have brain. While the movie itself is pretty stupid, it doesn’t treat viewers as being so themselves, understanding and respecting the audience in a way big budget enterprises of similar ilk rarely do.