This week, Y’s movie critic, Kevin McIndoe gives his take on Ares, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Role Models and Khammis Wa Juma.
According to most tourism polls, France is still the most visited country in the world.
And apart from its national drink, some wonderfully smelly cheeses and an overabundance of culture and artistry, the French really know how to do an intelligent film.
In this, it’s 2035 and the country has 10 million people out of work (sounds more like the UK of 2017, but never mind).
Ares (Ola Rapace) is a man with nothing much left to lose after the death of his wife except to protect his nieces from an omnipotent pharmaceuticals company bent on world domination.
It may sound faintly Orwellian but what makes this dystopian sci-fi action thriller so appealing is its resonance for the modern age.
The sense of impending doom is palpable throughout, and its basic premise – ie that the general population is simply fodder for powerful multi-national companies – is really not that far-fetched at all. In fact, the human condition is given as gritty a going-over as in any Shakespeare play, and through the prism of a world in which the economic schisms of the wealthy and corrupt are juxtaposed with those of the disenfranchised and exploited masses.
The acting is excellent, the cinematography superb and the action sequences are tautly handled and untainted by too much flashiness or CGI.
Writer/director Jean-Patrick Benet manages a quite magnificent melange of action, emotion, tension and suspense; all of which provide a sense of foreboding that oozes like a tangy tranche of Camembert.
This is a film for adults, in terms of both its plot and message.
Congratulations to Vox Cinemas for giving us some of the best of French cinema!
It’s Tom Holland’s second chance to squeeze into the Spandex, and shinny up a few skyscrapers in full superhero mode.
This time, though, we see more of Peter Parker in a more mundane role as a regular college student. Since his debut in Captain America: Civil War, Parker/Spider-Man just wants a regular life and routine.
Alas, when the venal Vulture swoops in to threaten his world, he realises he’s going to have to morph into web-slinging superhero mode once more. Even if you’ve had your fill of Marvel protagonists this one is still great fun. With Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jnr.
Gautham (Fahadh Faasil) is a man whose passion for life seems to consist of timing his trips to the office water cooler.
For him, fun is an inconvenience and serves no useful purpose in life. When he hooks up with his old college buddies, they are shocked to see his transformation from the gregarious guy they used to know and hang out with.
But could it be that Gautham’s malaise is due to his failure to win the love of Shreya (Namitha Pramod), who might just have been the love of his life? His beleaguered and bewildered mates go to Goa to find her, and find out for sure.
Khammis Wa Juma
Despite not having seen a preview of this Kuwaiti comedy, the portents are good. Two elderly men (Tareq al Ali and Abdullah Zayed) escape from their nursing home to stop the daughter of the former plighting her troth to a man he deems totally unsuitable for her hand. The fact that he hasn’t seen her in ages is neither here nor there. The duo’s foray from the clutches of their confinement has plenty of scope for hilarity, with a slight dig at how society generally treats the old, ie as invisible or to be simply tolerated in “God’s waiting room”. I’m looking forward to this one.
Oman Release Date: July 20