This time last year I reported a slow start to August following the idiots that decided to riot and loot in Birmingham. What a difference a year makes, I didn’t see a movie for the first two weeks of the month but for a positive reason, the spirit of the nation has been on a high following the Olympics. I made up for lost time with six movies in the second half on the month.
The Bourne Legacy: After doing a great job with the screenplays for the original Bourne trilogy and a impressive directorial debut with Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy was an obvious choice to direct the new film. Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are all well cast but are sadly and surprisingly let down by a week script and poor direction. Ultimately the movie is little more than an attempt to cash in of the success of the Bourne trilogy. Ultimately it lacks both the heart and the intelligence of Paul Greengrass and Doug Liman’s movies.
Ted: When you take out the concept of the living teddy bear this is nothing more than a slacker comedy and not a very original one, it is however funny enough to get away with it. Worth watching for some great cameos and a perfect deadpan opening narration by Patrick Stewart.
The Expendables 2: The Hollywood rulebook says the sequel to an action movie has to be bigger, louder and dumber than the original. All those things are true of The Expendables 2 and it is all the better for it. Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme join the cast and we get more of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this is at the expense of and underused Jet Li.
Brave: I can’t get excited about animation so tend not to bother with them, I’m happy to report Brave wasn’t bad, a little lightweight but not bad. It lacks the charm and humour of Toy Story and is let down by Emma Thompson’s annoying attempt Scottish accent. The Pixar short La Luna shown before the film was brilliant.
Shadow Dancer: A spy drama unlike what we have come to expect of the genre. Everything is bubbling under the surface giving a realistic feel to the story. The big name stars Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson play supporting roles leaving Andrea Riseborough to shine. A really good film, but it lacks the tension that would make it great.
Total Recall: A remake of a minor Sci-Fi classic. Well cast and with some great action scenes, it lacks the humour of the original but this isn’t really a problem. Colin Farrell is a likeable hero, Jessica Biel looks great but her character is bland and isn’t given enough to do and is overshadowed by Kate Beckinsale whose part is extended from the one played by Sharon Stone in the original, it pays to be married to the director. Ultimately it is little more than a routine action movie but entertaining enough.