This week, Y’s movie critic, Kevin McIndoe gives his take on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Here Alone, Berlin Syndrome and Spiderman: Homecoming.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
When I was a kid, many children’s films morphed into movie classics that any adult or subsequent generation could enjoy.
The Railway Children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, later on, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial had us sat together, swatting each other’s hands away as we reached for the popcorn while tapping into the themes of innocence and experience that we all share.
This is not one of those movies.
Never has an appendage to a movie title been so appropriate. Never have younger cinemagoers been so patronised, talked down to and generally treated like infants.
In the original, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the protagonist Greg is desperate to be liked by his classmates. The only trouble is he’s not really a “wimp” as such but a spoilt, cocky little pest who can’t even be nice to the one boy willing to be his friend. Why we are supposed to derive any enjoyment from constantly seeing him fail to make any progress is beyond me.
In this, Greg (Jason Drucker) finds out his family is going on a road trip to see his grandmother on her 90th birthday, The thought of being cooped up in an RV for days is not his recipe for a good time. But when Greg hears that his favourite video game YouTuber Mac Digby (Joshua Hoover) is hosting a video game seminar at a venue near his grandmother’s home, he hatches a plan to duck out of the family bash.
And that’s when the trouble starts. He and his family encounter a series of toe-curling calamities and mishaps that, while not entirely implausible, are just jaw-droppingly ineffective in inducing any laughs. Avoid.
Review by Kevin McIndoe
After an epidemic outbreak that is turning people into zombies, Ann (Lucy Walters), her husband Jason and their baby daughter flee into the forest where Jason was raised. When her loved ones die, Ann has to find the strength both to carry on and face up to an almost insurmountable battle just to survive, and stay sane. The zombie thing has been done so many times it’s almost tedious. However, in this; unimaginable loss, pain, isolation and desperation are themes competently handled; and combine to make for a solid, taut, well-acted, decently paced psychological thriller that treats its audience like adults. Well worth a look.
While on holiday in Berlin, Australian journalist Clare (Teresa Palmer) meets Andi (Max Riemelt), a charismatic young man to whom she takes a shine. What appears to be a holiday romance takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare finds herself locked in Andi’s apartment. Well, it could happen to anyone. Except that Andi has no intention of letting her go. Ever. In this, once again, our initial perceptions of what people are get a thorough going over. Initially, it’s Clare who seems a bit dippy while Andi seems to be an urbane, totally together man-about-town. It’s another psychological thriller with depth: edgy, sinister, and often riveting.
After dipping his toe into what is to be his calling (in Captain America: Civil War) Peter Parker/Spider-Man starts off his career as the webbed wonderman while trying to balance his high school routine. I haven’t managed to see a preview DVD of this (once again). I’m not a Marvel fan and frankly have lost track of which superhero has done what, when and as part of which group. For my generation, The Avengers was always the classic British detective show of the 1960s. And I’m quite sure the lithe and lethal Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) could see off any number of Spider-Man’s foes, and would do so with minimal fuss or fanfare.
Oman Release Date: July 6