Following the success of Bhoothnath, in which a ghost is befriended by a small boy, the veteran Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan returns for another supernatural outing.
This time, he’s got more problems to worry about than a family living in his old bungalow. With corrupt politicians battling it out for local elections, the film franchise branches into political satire as it casts Bhoothnath as an opponent of a dodgy candidate played by Boman Irani.
It’s a welcome distraction from the otherwise serious business of the Indian elections for the 16th Lok Sabha which the film’s release has been scheduled to coincide with.
Jude Law like you’ve never seen him before. Gone are the days of a svelte young Law in The Talented Mr Ripley or as the measured and wise accomplice of Sherlock Holmes. Instead, enter stage right, Law’s burly, brash and loud new take on petty gangsters.
The film picks up with Dom Hemingway, a former safecracker, leaving prison. He’s been in jail for 12 years, and during that time he’s been dutifully keeping his silence in order to protect his old crime bosses. And now it’s time for them to pay.
With Richard E. Grant at his side, playing Hemingway’s best friend, Dickie, the two set off for the south of France to collect the money Dom feels he’s owed.
But with an ego the size of the Arabian Gulf, and as tempestuous as its worst storms, Hemingway finds himself broke, cast out, and worse still, recovering from a near fatal car crash.
Ultimately, it’s a paradox of a film. There’s some great acting from Law and Grant in a script that has enough twists and plot turns to keep the audience entertained. But Law’s character is so utterly dislikeable in his yobbish, outlandish behaviour that the film struggles to create any connection between him and the audience. It’s a bizarre situation for the director, Richard Shepard, to create when you consider that most of our favourite and most highly rated films (from Rocky to Dark Knight to Gladiator) have us gunning for the star. You might like the film, but you’d be hard pushed to like the man.
Reviewed by Tom Robertson
It seems that Blu’s trip to Rio de Janeiro in the first movie was just the start of his adventure with his partner, Jewel. This time, he’s heading into the dangers of the jungle, along with their three children, to find a lost group of macaws. But, when Jewel finds her estranged father deep in the rainforest, it seems that dealing with the wildlife is going to be the least of Blu’s problems, compared to dealing with his new family.
The Last Days on Mars
Yet another attempt by the film industry to come up with an original take on martian exploration. Sadly, the storyline goes something like this; isolated team carries out scientific work, crew member finds alien life form. Life form not friendly, tries to kill all humans. Crew trapped in desperate struggle to survive. It’s all been done before and is horribly predictable, but some half-decent acting just about saves the day.
The Raid 2: Berandal
Hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed 2011 action spectacular, The Raid, director Gareth Evans is back with the next instalment.
Having escaped the gangster-filled building in the first movie by the skin of his teeth, the protagonist, Rama (Iko Uwais), is thrown straight back into the fray. Tasked with bringing down the city’s top crime bosses, he’s sent undercover into a prison to gain the respect of a crime kingpin’s son and join a notorious gang.
Gratuitous violence won’t be to the taste of everyone but for fans of the first film, and the martial arts genre in general, The Raid 2 is non-stop action that almost verges on exhausting.