Friday, 24 November 2017

Justice League (2017)

Finally, here is a DC movie that works just about right at all the levels. Clever, singular action, a passable The Lord of the Rings kind of central premise, a hefty but one-dimensional villain, good inter-superhero chatter, some "we crack jokes too" laughs, another world-threatening mission, and CGI overload, within the sharp 121-minute running time, Justice League manages to keep us entertained.

Better than Batman vs Superman 
A giant leap from the flimsy, irritating terrain of the hugely disappointing Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). No common mother names here, nor the strange question, why did Batman and Superman hate each other anyway?! 

Why So 'Darkious'?  
The dark, melancholy Zack Synder ambiance worked in the impressive Man of Steel (2013) as an ominous shade. Here it adds heaviness and unwelcome gloom.

The Cast Saves the Day
It is the lead characters that stand out for us. Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller and Henry Cavill are all good. Jason Momoa stands out as stellar casting as Aquaman, right next to Gal Gadot.     

Forced Humor
The goofy jokes only suit Miller's The Flash though. That Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman start cracking one-liners out of the blue and context, doesn't fit in. Neither does Cyborg's "Booyaa!" 

Good, Not As Much Fun
Though Justice League doesn't rock and there are no impressive set pieces, it makes enough noise to not end up as disappointing.

Watch Justice League in 3D for a better visual experience. The wait gets longer for that one standout DC movie since Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008).  

Friday, 17 November 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)

Jaya (Parvathy), a 35-year-old single woman meets the older Yogi (Irrfan Khan) on an online dating website.

In the tradition of romcoms, man and woman meet, clash, travel, clash, clash, clatter, meet the man's ex-lovers, travel, have a cathartic moment, clash, clatter, clash, travel, realization dawns, the end.

If Tanaju Chandra's Qarib Qarib Singlle doesn't go the irritatingly tiresome, similarly themed, Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) way, it is largely because of its great lead casting and their performances.

Irrfan Khan again crackles in brilliance in making an underwritten role work at so many levels. Parvathy, a Malayalam film regular, is the x-factor here, playing a dull, stagnant, evasive, troubled and uniquely engaging character.

The story offers nothing much in freshness. The central premise is flimsy and potato-wafer thin. Yet there is a tangled breeziness to the proceedings. Irrfan and Parvathy make every scene together come alive. The couple's varied dynamics gives the film a genuine 'opposites attract' feel to it.

Somewhere between the conversations is the hidden unwoven literature that this film could have been (the double "ll" in "Singlle" take, among other touches).

The dour end doesn't help, but Qarib Qarib Singlle has enough laughs and moments to be a good three-stars-out-of-five watch at the movies.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Much like its predecessor, Kingsman: The Golden Circle celebrates its own illogical, nonsensical, pop culture bursts and spy spoof vibes. This is how an assuring badly made and overplayed James Bond movie would look like. Kingsman: The Golden Circle knits its own little yarn to make it a clever, show stagey mockery.   

The drippy, laughing-at-itself spectacle entangled me to this one. The American addition 'Statesman' is a nice rowdy peg too. 

British-American Tango
The action sequences are a real bang-beat rhythm of a roller coaster, as are the straight-faced wit-spewing characters. Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth...The best ensemble cast assembled this year? By a long shot!  

Moore makes a bitchy baddie, but she can't top Samuel Jackson's subtle delicious villainry in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014). Firth is ever-dependable, Bridges gets a nice cameo, Egerton holds his own. Strong, Berry and Tatum bring in adorable wackiness. 

Themes, Toys, Kicks
Going anti-drug is a nice, cute theme. The Donald Trump caricature is overemphasized and blunt. John Denver songs, cowboy twang, one-eyed return, fabulous landmine death scenes, surviving bullets shots in the head, whiskey, ginger ale, champagne and Elton John. Umbrellas, butterflies, retrograde amnesia and a menacing robotic future. Everything looks slick, bright, kicking, dodging and alive.   

Glaring plot holes roll as big and rumbling as bowling balls. But this is an action comedy spoof genre that loves not having a watertight story. 

Gross, Oh Yeah!
Somehow, director Matthew Vaughn makes us digest cannibalism, minced human meat, atrocious body slicing, a graphic sexual act for implanting a tracking device and still kept me atrociously entertained. He makes grossness and utter disgust an art here.      

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is as boisterously frivolous as it intends to be and I love this film series for that consistent, creative cheekiness.