It’s a relatively simple premise for a film and just as simple an order for someone to follow; find a bag, deliver it to someone and then get paid for an efficient courier service. But when it’s Robert De Niro asking you to do so, alarm bells should start ringing. Especially when his character, Dragna, is a infamous crime boss.
And if that doesn’t make you sweat, how about delivering the goods to a seedy motel in the middle of nowhere? And that, essentially, is the plot.
Predictably things go wrong for John Cusack’s run-of-the-mill delivery man, Jack, with the involvement of a mystery woman (Rebecca Da Costa) who he meets prowling around the rendezvous point.
It’s a film that aspires to the dark action of Tarantino but, sadly, doesn’t necessarily hit the mark.
Yes, there’s gore, gun-play, and strange and weird characters, but there’s no riveting performances that are so central to a Quentin movie and that glue the film together. Cusack’s Jack unfortunately falls some way short in delivering a charismatic performance to rival the likes of John Travolta’s Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.
Neverthless, the film’s plot twists are enough to keep an audience watching. If anything, what The Bag Man does do, is salute an era of Jackie Browns and Kill Bills.
Just don’t expect another quality installment of noir-action that audiences have come to know and love. With few challengers on the horizon, those days may be gone.
Hot shot lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz) thinks she’s found Mr Right when she meets slick, Aston Martin-driving Mark (Nicolai Coster-Waldau). She decides to give up her freewheeling lifestyle and settle down until she discovers he is married to sweet and hopeless Leslie Mann. The pair square up and then become friends, hitting the town together and plotting revenge. They follow Mark to the beach only to find his third squeeze, Sports Illustrated cover girl Kate Upton, who they join forces with to teach the cheating playboy a lesson. The Other Woman wants to be a feminist revenge comedy in the Bridesmaids mould, but it doesn’t have the conviction or the charm.
In the fifth film in Disney’s Peter Pan-based series, we follow Tinker Bell and friends as they pursue the pirates who want to get hold of fairy dust. Outcast fairy Zarina comes to Pixie Hollow to steal the blue fairy dust and hand it to Captain Hook so he can make his ship fly. A superior children’s sequel.
Zombies, robots and Dolph Lundgren – it’s a combination that guarantees testosterone-fuelled action. Dolph is an elite soldier dropped into a city to rescue a woman from the deadly hoards of virus-infected flesh-eaters. Then the robots arrive to even up the odds.
The Wind Rises
From Japan’s Studio Ghibli comes Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated epic, the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the real-life designer of the mythical Zero fighter aircraft. Stunningly crafted in the inimitable Miyazaki style, this story is reality-based rather than the fantasy settings of his previous films, but it still has the unique dreamlike quality you expect from this master filmmaker. It takes us through the turbulent years from the 1920s to the 1940s through the eyes of Jiro, his admiration for Italian aircraft designer Caproni and Nahoko, the girl he falls for. The boy’s visions of flight become a disturbing reality when his designs are used for war. Sadly, this is 74-year-old Miyazaki’s final film, and probably his most personal to date.
A Christian boy in Egypt is sent to a public school and decides to hide his religion from his fellow pupils to avoid prejudice and humiliation. From Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama (Asmaa, Tahrir 2011) this powerful Arabic language coming-of-age drama has wowed audiences on the festival circuit.