This week, our resident movie critic, Kevin McIndoe, voices his opinions on War for the Planet of the Apes, The Hunter’s Prayer, Mehrunisa V Lub U and the Dark Towers.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Caesar (Andy Serkis) is a world-weary ape leader with some hefty weight on his hairy shoulders.
He had been hoping to retire in the lush and bountiful forest that is his home.
But then he and his cohorts are forced to defend their habitat against a battalion of human interlopers.
Instead of killing them, he displays humanity (ironic) and sends them home as a gesture of peace.
However, his gesture fails to impress their leader, the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), a blond-haired messianic nutcase (remind you of anyone?)
A deadly virus has rendered humans speechless and reduced them to the role of animals.
The malevolent Colonel, while wishing to relieve the human race of those infected, rejects Caeser’s largesse and launches his bid to wipe out the apes.
Caesar knows there’s never going to be peace and harmony between anthropoids and humans. It’s all heading for a showdown, and a pretty spectacular one at that.
This, the third in the current franchise, is a gritty war film with admittedly a bit more chest-thumping than most.
There’s a nod to Apocalypse Now (with the Colonel more than a little Kurtz-like) as well as the dystopian original Planet of the Apes, which starred Charlton Heston.
It’s also a masterclass of modern CGI, and some of Caesar’s close-ups betray more emotion and gravitas with one flick of a furry eyelid than any forced grimace your average action hero could muster.
It’s a great film but one for adults. It’s dark in places (in every sense) with some scenes of ape suffering so leave your young ones at home.
Review by Kevin McIndoe
The Hunter’s Prayer
Lucas (Sam Worthington) is a hitman hired to kill a young woman Ella (Odeya Rush) who has no idea of the dodgy deals that led to the murder of her family. When Lucas can’t bring himself to pull the trigger, his employers aren’t best pleased, to put it mildly. He ends up having to team up with Ella in an uneasy alliance to escape his employers and find out who killed her family and bring the culprits to justice. It’s not a bad little action thriller but not particularly enthralling. The hitman-for-hire-with- a-conscience theme has been done rather a lot in recent years, too.
Mehrunisa V Lub U
Ali (Danish Taimoor, pictured) and Mehrunisa (Sana Javed) are a happily married couple living in Karachi. However, there is but one blott on their otherwise perfect domestic harmony: they are having trouble bearing a child. This delightful rom-com tastefully and skilfully treats a subject that could easily have sunk into syrupy mawkishness. We may have seen films about couples trying for a child before eg Maybe, Baby but this is a very accessible mix of romance, comedy and action, with something to say. Both leads deliver deft, nuanced performances, and Javed (a cricketer) proves you can moved from the world of sports to film in her big-screen debut. David Beckham, take note.
The Dark Tower
Roland Deschain aka The Gunslinger (Idris Elba, pictured) trudges around a Wild-West landscape where the world has moved on, in search of Walter O’ Dim, also known as The Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey). The former is in a battle with the latter over the Dark Tower, which is key to holding the universe together. The two men are destined to fight it out in the ultimate battle of good vs evil. It all sounds very promising, and anything adapted from a Stephen King novel must be worth checking out. I always thought The Man in Black was the epithet earned by the legendary Johnny Cash, though.
Oman Release Date: August 3