Category: Thriller

Summary: 
A family on a tropical holiday discovers that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 22nd July 2021 (Australia), 23rd July 2021 (UK), 23rd July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Screenwriter: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: Nikki Amuka-Bird (Patricia), Gael Garcia Bernal (Guy), Kathleen Chalfant (Agnes), Embeth Davidtz (Adult Maddox), Francesca Eastwood (Madrid), Emun Elliott (Adult Trent), Mikaya Fisher (Kara Aged 11), Gustaf Hammarsten (Resort Manager), Jeffrey Holsman (Mr. Brody), Daniel Ison (Greg Mitchel), Kailen Jude (Idlib), Vicky Krieps (Prisca), Abbey Lee (Chrystal), Ken Leung (Jarin), Thomasin McKenzie (Maddox Aged 16), Aaron Pierre (Mid-Sized Sedan), Nolan River (Trent Aged 6), Luca Faustino Rodriguez (Trent Aged 11), Eliza Scanlen (Kara Aged 15), Rufus Sewell (Charles),Matthew Shear (Sidney), Alexa Swinton (Maddox Aged 11), Alex Wolff (Trent Aged 15)

Running Time: 108 mins

Classification: M (Australia), .15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR OLD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Old Review:

I want to preface what I am about to say here by saying that I am normally the person in a conversation that will defend M. Night Shyamalan as a film-maker. Aside from The Last Airbender and After Death I have enjoyed all of his films and have even found merit films like Lady In The Water and The Happening that some seem to despise. That being said though I found Old to be his worst film to date – it is a film that has a brilliant premise but sadly is badly executed.

The premise to Old is simple. Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal – Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Prisca (Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread) are a married couple who decide to take their children on one last holiday before they divorce.

Once arriving on the island paradise it is suggested that visit a beautiful secluded cove and they taken there by the resort staff alongside another married couple, surgeon Charles (Rufus Sewell – A Night’s Tale), his trophy wife Chrystal (Abbey Lee – Mad Max: Fury Road) and their daughter. However the trip to the cove quickly takes a turn for the worst when a body washes up which Charles instantly assumes is the work of the mysterious Mid-Sized Sedan (Aaron Pierre – Krypton) who can’t stop his nose from bleeding.

Without giving anything away the premise of Old and the reveal of why it is happening is pretty amazing, and to be honest Old could have turned out to be an absolute masterpiece but for many reasons this film ends up becoming seriously flawed. From unnatural, over-written dialogue through to some really bad acting performances from some of the cast make the film feel like something has gone horribly wrong with the film-making process somewhere along the way.

Then there is the fact that even though characters are aging at an alarming rate nobodies hair, beards, body hair or fingernails ever seem to become out of control despite the fact that it is unlikely that anybody would have packed grooming products to go on what was just supposed to be a picnic. Like time travel often does in movies the premise of what is supposed to be happening here trips itself up on a number of levels throughout the film.

It also feels like the events that are happening in the film all happen too quickly. A film like this does need to have a body count but not people dropping like flies – not unless the director is better at portraying the panic that that would put the other characters in than what Shyamalan is here. Perhaps the best way to have handled the subject would have been in a real-time drama series, like 24, where one hour of television could have shown what happened to that character in that hour (ie eight years) of their life.

The worst possible crime here for me though is the badly written dialogue. While it is to understand that Trent’s dialogue is different due to the fact that his character is autistic it doesn’t makes sense to why the dialogue of characters like Prisca also speak in such a disjointed and over-explanatory way. Add that to the fact that some of the acting here, and I am not talking about the young cast members, makes The Young And The Restless seem Oscar-worthy and the result is you have a lot of characters that become hard for the audience to warm to.

The saddest part of this film is that it finally grabs the attention of the audience towards the finale. Once the big reveal happens the film becomes interesting but sadly that is all too little too late and I dare say that if the screening that I was in is anything to go by some people may have already left the cinema.

I get a strong feeling that in years to come Old will be shown at film schools as a good example of ‘great idea but poor execution.’ While the idea of the film is a stroke of genius the many flaws of the film means it is not a film that is a pleasure to watch. That seems even more of a crime when you know that when he is at the top of his game M. Night Shyamalan is one of Hollywood’s best filmmakers.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: 
A corrupt Sheriff’s department in a rural mountain town comes undone when an unintended witness throws a wrench into their shady operation.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 16th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 2nd August 2021 (UK)

Country: USA

Director: Mike Burns

Screenwriter: Bill Lawrence

Cast: Mike Burns (Officer Frank), Kendall Dombek (Claire), Kelly Greyson (Pam), Lala Kent (Billie Jean), Jaime King (Shannon), Keagan Lasater (Pete), Megan Leonard (Joanna Kern), Tyler Jon Olson (Tom), Michael Sirow (Hank Rivers), Bruce Willis (Jack Harris)

Running Time: 95 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), .R (USA)

OUR OUT OF DEATH REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Out Of Death Review:

Sometimes it is the most simplest of plots that seem to work the best. That is certainly the case for Mike Burns (Peace, Love & Beats) fictional feature debut Out Of Death that takes the western cop feel of a show like Justified and brings it to movie format.

The plot itself is pretty basic. Photographer Shannon (Jaime King – Sin City) heads to the hills to scatter her father’s ashes, but as she does so she witnesses corrupt Police Officer Billie (Lala Kent – Hard Kill) execute a man when a drug deal goes wrong.

Knowing that her actions have been witnessed Billie calls in back-up from her colleague (who burns a flame for her) Tom (Tyler Jon Olson – Force Of Nature) and her criminal master-mind and local Sheriff Hank Rivers (Michael Sirow – The Good Guy). Hank is furious at what has happened and orders Billie and Tom to ‘put down’ Shannon as quickly as they can.

Unbeknownst to them though also in the area is retired Police Officer Jack Harris (Bruce Willis – Die Hard) who has come to the hills to visit his niece Pam (Kelly Greyson – Little Boy) after the death of his wife. The result is a cat and mouse game with Billie and Tom doing all they can to kill Shannon while Jack works hard to protect her.

Out Of Death is certainly not going to win any Oscars but it certainly isn’t the worse film that you are going to watch this year either. First-time Screenwriter Bill Lawrence shows that he has some great writing talents by doing something that films like these rarely do – and that is give most of his bad guys (and gals) characterisation. Both Billie and Tom are made interesting with some pretty basic tricks – making Billie a single Mum acts as giving her at least one redeemable quality while making Tom a hard-edged character but with a flame for Billie also adds to his character. It’s a pity the same element couldn’t have also been used with Hank but he admittedly does become a token bad guy and at times you almost wonder whether or not he is needed or not.

The action sequences are largely kept pretty basic not only because of budget restraints but also because Covid restrictions restricted how many people could be on set in one day. But that back-to-basics feel actually doesn’t work against the film – instead it makes the film feel more natural which in turn at times adds to the suspense of the film.

Those Covid restriction also meant that the film’s star, Bruce Willis, could only be on set for one day, which again doesn’t show in the film. Willis does what he has to do – points his gun at a few people, snarls during face offs and throws a few punches. He is certainly not disappointing in any way.

Having said that though in a strange move from the norm it is Lala Kent and Tyler Jon Olson that carry this movie most of the time. It is a strange thing to say but they do such a great job that there are times as an audience where you find yourself wanting the point-of-view to switch back to the two villains to see what they are doing. The banter between them, especially when they discuss their life choices, is one of the highlights of the film and the two actors seem to relish the roles that they are given. In a lot of ways Kent and Olson are the reason that Out Of Death is a more pleasurable viewing experience than a lot of people would expect it to be.

Like I said Out Of Death is certainly not going to be an award-winner but at the same time you aren’t exactly going to be wasting your time by watching it either. Bruce Willis is serviceable in the film while Bill Lawrence decision to give Lala Kent and Tyler Jon Olson some interesting characters to work with makes this film a good way to waste an afternoon or evening.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: 
The bodyguard Michael Bryce continues his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 10th June 2021 (Australia), 14th June 2021 (UK), 5th August 2021 (Thailand), 16th June 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA, UK

Director: Patrick Hughes

Screenwriter: Brandon Murphy, Phillip Murphy

Cast: Michael Aston (Giuseppe), Barry Atsma (Moreno), Ivor Bagaric (Young Bryce), Antonio Banderas (Aristotle Papdopolous), Bekka Bowling (Stewardess Clare), Brian Caspe (Wlter Fiscer), Anna-Maria Everett (Elena), Morgan Freeman (Senior), Caroline Goodall (Crowley), Michael Gor (Livtin), Richard E. Grant (Seifert), Frank Grillo (Bobby O’Neil), Salma Hayek (Sonia Kincaid), Tom Hopper (Magnusson), Samuel L. Jackson (Darius Kincaid), Jonny James (Johan), Tine Joustra (Renata Casoria), Kristofer Kamiyasu (Zento), Alice McMillan (Aislo), Dragan Micanovic (Vladimir), Gary Oldman (Vladislav Dukhovic), Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce), Blake Ritson (Gunther), Tsuwayuki Saotome (Kurosawa), Venice Smith (Gary), Gabriella Wright (Veronika), Milos Yerolemou (Carlo)

Running Time: 100 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Review:

I’ve noticed over the years that often one of the reasons why sequels fail is because the filmmakers behind them try to make them too different to the original. There is often a hint of ‘well the hero learnt his lesson so he is different’ or ‘we wanted to go bigger and bolder than the first film.’ The end result is often a film that the fans of the original film end up giving a thumbs down.

Luckily Australian filmmaker Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) did not have any of those notions in his head when he approached The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. I said in my review for the original film – 2017 The Hitman’s Bodyguard – that it was a big dumb yet fun action film and that is exactly the same way that the sequel should be described.

Set a couple of years after the events of the first film legend-in-his-own-lunchbox bodyguard Michael  Bryce (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool) finds himself de-registered as a bodyguard, something that he is having a difficult time trying to accept.

Just as a therapist talks him into taking a holiday Bryce suddenly finds himself in the middle of a blood-bath caused by the demanding and possibly psychopathic Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek – Dogma) who orders him to come with her and rescue her husband, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction).

As that rescue takes place though the trio soon find themselves being roped into an Interpol investigation being headed up by Bobby O’Neil (Frank Grillo – The Grey) who believes that Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas – The Mask Of Zorro) is about to conduct a huge terrorist attack that could potentially affect the whole of Europe.

I’ll be honest this certainly isn’t a classic nor is it a film I’ll probably ever watch again but did I have fun while I was watching it – yes!!! Screenwriter Tom O’Connor (The Courier) brings the same recipe to the table that made the first film so enjoyable. As I watched this film I found myself laughing one second and then gasping the next as O’Connor again finds the right mixture of comedy and action an brings it all the table.

His screenplay does provide good laughs for Hayek and Jackson but as I was watching the film I found myself beginning to wonder whether Ryan Reynolds will ever get the opportunity to play a character that isn’t ‘cocky’ anymore. With the trailer for Free Guy seemingly showing him play another character in this realm it really is starting to feel like he has been reduced to a one trick pony – a shame when you know that he is capable of so much more.

I would also be lying if I said there isn’t another major flaw with The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife. It almost seems as if having both the characters of Aristotle Papadopolous and Vladislav Dukhovic (Gary Oldman – The Dark Knight) a bit redundant. Both characters seem pretty similar and while it is fun to watch two legendary actors having fun with their characters it does seem at times throughout the film like we are being inundated with characters that only have limited screen time, so surely melding the two in together would have been a great option.

For the most part though The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a fun film to watch. It’s wise cracks actually did make me laugh – which rarely happens in action comedies – and the action sequences were just enough to keep an action junkie happy. Unlike many action-comedies the action here is pretty full-on with head shots galore but what else would you expect from a director that gave us the very under-rated Red Hill. If you were a fan of the first film then chances are you are going to like this one as well. The same wit and action is there to please and this time around Salma Hayek steals the show.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hitman who must testify at the International Criminal Court. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

Year: 2017

Cinema Release Dates: 31st August 2017 (Australia), 17th August 2017 (UK), 18th August 2017 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Canada, UK, France

Director: Patrick Hughes

Screenwriter: Tom O”Connor

Cast: Barry Atsma (Moreno), Dijain Campbell (Young Kincaid), Joaquim de Almeida (Jean Foucher), Michael Gor (Livitin), Richard E. Grant (Seifert), Rod Hallett (Professor Asimov), Salma Hayek (Sonia Kincaid), Sam Hazeldine (Garrett), Samuel L. Jackson (Darius Kincaid), Tine Joustra (Renata Casoria), Yuri Kolokolnikov (Ivan), Nadia Konakchieva (Mrs. Asimov), Marko Mandic (Goran), Mounir Margoum (Zidane), Kirsty Mitchell (Harr), Gary Oldman (Vladislav Dukhovich), Ori Pfeffer (Vacklin), Zlatka Raikova (Widow), Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce), Tsuwayuki Saotome (Kurosawa), Valentin Stojanov (Petr Asimov Jnr.), Vladimir Vladimirov (Fabio), Elodie Yung (Amelia Roussel)

Running Time: 118 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review:

Back in 2010 an Australian film was released that deserved a lot more credit than it ever received. The film was called Red hill – an amazing action meet western film that showed all cult cinema fans that Aussie director Patrick Hughes was a director to watch. The next step in his was to direct the star-loaded The Expendables 3, which sadly took a hit at the box office because of the film being heavily pirated before its release. Now Hughes is back with The Hitman’s Bodyguard – an amazingly good action film that also has moments of comedy that truly work.

The film centres around Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool, Green Lantern) who once had a AAA rating as a bodyguard. He relished on that fact until the day it all went wrong. One of his charges, a criminal, was shot and killed – something that Bryce has always blamed on his then girlfriend, who he has never stopped loving, Interpol Agent Ameilia Roussel (Elodie Yung – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gods Of Egypt).

After years of depression and looking after seedier clients Bryce suddenly finds Amelia calling him and asking for help with a huge case. Notorious hit-man Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight) has turned crown witness in a trial for war criminal Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman – The Dark Knight, Batman Begins) in return for the freedom of his wife Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek – Desperado, Puss In Boots). The problem is though Interpol realise that they are way out of their depth trying to keep Kincaid alive before the trial and Bryce is the only man who do it, but Bryce and Kincaid have a history of their own as Kincaid has tried to kill Bryce many times before.

We’ve seen a lot of action films try to mix comedy in over the years, and a lot of failed miserably. Luckily Hughes and his screenwriter, Tom O’Connor (Fire With Fire) seem to have learned a lesson from films like Bad Boysand Lethal Weapon from through the years, as they get the mix of action and comedy one-hundred per cent spot on. In a way they know that you carefully have to keep things separate, so one moment you get a brilliant car and boat chase through Venice and then the next minute you get a comical scene involving Sonia in her prison cell… and it works. Without giving anything away plot wise there is also a brilliant comedic surprise as one character is suddenly flung through a car window as well… perfect comedic timing.

The big thing that comes through with this film though is that Hughes is one of the most exciting action directors in the world at the moment. The previously mentioned car and boat chase, to the strains of Australia’s own Spiderbait, is right up there with anything that you would see in The Fast & Furious franchise. Then these is the great hand-to-hand combat scenes, like the ones in the kitchen or in the hardware shot, that are equal to the fights that we have seen in the John Wick franchise. These scenes are going to impress even the most hardcore action fans out there.

Of course the key to making a film like The Hitman’s Bodyguard work is the chemistry between the two central characters. Here Jackson and Reynolds are amazing together. Reynolds has cut his mustard in some good action films over the years, Deadpool and Safe House being among his best, and throughout his career he has shown that he can handle the odd comedic moment as well. He’s perfect to play Bryce and his performance here is enough to let us forgive him for making R.I.P.D. Likewise Jackson is perfect for Kincaid, he’s believable as the ‘cool’ hitman and he doesn’t let age slow him down through any of the stunts either.

Casting Gary Oldman to play a Russian war criminal was a brave casting choice. It could have been a choice that blew up in the casting agent’s face badly and had people saying ‘remember when Gary Oldman tried to play a Russian,’ but he is a good enough actor to pull it off without the character ever feeling clichéd. Salma Hayek also delivers her comedic lines to a tee playing the foul-mouthed Sonia while Elodie Yung is sensational as the romantic interest for Bryce.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is perhaps the most well-rounded action film that we have seen so far in 2017. Interesting and believable characters mean the audience cares for them from the get-go and then when that is mixed with some sensational action sequences from Hughes you end up with an action film that is going to be talked about for years to come.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 15th July 2021 (Australia), 17th September 2021 (UK)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: France, Germany, USA

Director: Navot Papushado

Screenwriter: Navot Papushado

Cast: Freya Allen (Young Sam), Samuel Anderson (David), Jack Bandeira (Crow), Angela Bassett (Anna May), Joanna Bobin (Rose), Billy Buff (The Mummy), David Burnell IV (Shocker), Chloe Coleman (Emily), Paul Giamatti (Nathan), Karen Gillan (Sam), Joshua Grothe (Dracula), Carla Gugino (Madeline), Lena Headey (Scarlet), Lee Huang (Wolfman), Ralph Ineson (Jim McAlester), Ivan Kaye (Yankee), Adam Nagaitis (Virgil), Hannes Pastor (Frankenstein), Michael Smiley (Dr Ricky), Konstantin Widjaja (Wolfman), Michelle Yeoh (Florence)

Running Time: 114 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Gunpowder Milkshake Review:

People who have only just discovered my reviews over the past twelve months will probably think that I am the kind of person that loves films that are obscure and arty… and they wouldn’t be wrong. But I am also a very big cult genre film lover as well. I’m the kind of person that buys a season pass to a festival like MonsterFest simply because I don’t want to miss anything that screens there. Keeping that in mind and given my love for films like Baby Driver and the work of Quentin Tarantino there was always a good chance that I was going to like Gunpowder Milkshake.

From Israeli born cult film maker Navot Papushado (Rabies) Gunpowder Milkshake is a film that I enjoyed so much that I decided to watch it twice before it had even been released in Australia and to be honest I have shut up about it since I watched it.

It centres around deadly assassin Sam (Karen Gillan – Guardians Of The Galaxy) who does every dirty job that her employer – the criminal organisation known as The Firm – tells her to do. That loyalty comes from the fact that The Firm’s head honcho, Nathan (Paul Giamatti – Cinderella Man), took her under his wing after her own mother, Scarlet (Lena Headey – Game Of Thrones), abandoned her.

Now though Sam finds herself on the run after killing somebody she shouldn’t have. That leaves her trying to protect the life of eight year old (sorry eight and three quarters) Emily (Choe Coleman – My Spy) while turning to Scarlet’s mentors the mysterious group known as The Library – Anna May (Angela Bassett – Black Panther), Florence (Michelle Yeoh – Crazy Rich Asians) and Madeleine (Carla Gugino – Watchmen) – for help.

For me Gunpowder Milkshake has the perfect mix of style and substance. Papushado creates a noir look throughout the film that mirrors what we have seen previously in films like Baby Driver and Drive but is also skilled enough to give this film its own edge. With movies like John Wick and Nobody surfacing over the past few years the only way a director can make an ultra violent film like this and do things a little bit differently is to be creative with their fight sequences and it is here that Papushado comes to the fore.

The fight sequences in this film are creative and memorable. Yes, despite the flood of these types of films recently Papushado comes up with creative ways to kill and maim people while still making the plot viable and better still having the audience warm to Sam and of course The Library.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I ended up becoming so interested in the characters in this film that I started to plot ways the franchise could continue. Of course I would love to see a sequel but I also feel this franchise could benefit from a prequel that shows a younger Scarlet first teaming up with The Library. Yes despite the brilliance of Karen Gillan throughout this film, and she truly is amazing, it is Angela Bassett and Michelle Yeoh that steal the show. If a prequel was made about their characters then I would be one of those people yelling “shut up and take my money.”

The star here though is Gillan and she does enough in Gunpowder Milkshake to warrant the term ‘action star’ to be added to her resume. She delivers a powerful performance here and is well supported by young Chloe Coleman who continues to show why she is one of Hollywood’s next big things. Then there are the scenes between Gillan and Headey which again added a whole new element to the film.

If you don’t like graphic violence then Gunpowder Milkshake is not the film for you – if you do then you are in for a treat. With a serviceable plot, a noir feel and female leads putting in memorable performances this is a film that is going to wow you from start to finish.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 8th July 2021 (Australia), 29th July 2021 (Thailand), 7th July 2021 (UK), 9th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Cate Shortland

Screenwriter: Ned Benson, Eric Pearson, Jac Shaeffer

Cast: Ever Anderson (Young Natasha), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Young Antonia), Nanna Blondell (Ingrid), Jordyn Curet (Young Ingrid), O-T Fagbenie (Mason), David Harbour (Alexei), William Hurt (Secretary Ross), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Olga Kurylenko (Antonia/Taskmaster), Michelle Lee (Oksana), Violet McGraw (Young Yelena), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Olivier Richters (Ursa), Liani Samuel (Lerato), Rachel Weisz (Melina), Ray Winstone (Dreykov)

Running Time: 134 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR BLACK WIDOW REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Black Widow Review:

Despite the fact she has many people’s favourite Avenger it was easy to start to think that Black Widow was the forgotten Avenger. Hardcore Marvel fans were furious when Captain Marvel became the first female led Avengers movie, they saw it as disrespectful to Black Widow who had basically been there since Day One.

Well now Black Widow gets her chance and finally actress Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) gets her chance to step up in a film that not only tells the origins story of Black Widow but also fills in the gaps of what happened to her in between Civil War and Infinity Wars.

Directed by award winning Australian director Cate Shortland (Somersault), who was hand-selected by Johansson for the job, Black Widow reveals Natasha Romanoff’s (aka Black Widow) Russian spy ‘family’ including her ‘mother’ Melina (Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener), ‘father’ Alexei (David Harbour – Suicide Squad) and ‘sister’ Yelena Belova (Forence Pugh – Lady Macbeth).

While Natasha is on the run from Secretary Ross (William Hurt – Lost In Space) she reunites with Yelena and despite a testy relationship they decide to find Melina and Alexei and get them to help hunt down the man who created them and now wants them dead – the evil Dreykov (Ray Winstone – The Departed).

The early stages of this film have Shortland’s DNA all over them. When it comes to directing Shortland normally prefers gritty dramas and early on it feels like Black Widow is going to be more like an episode of Alias or La Femme Nikita then anything we have ever seen in the Marvel universe previously. To be honest that look and feel suited what kind of film Black Widow should be and it was almost disappointing when the film seemed to capitulate about halfway through and become yet another all action and very little plot clog in the Marvel machine.

That is not to say that Black Widow is not an enjoyable film – it is to a certain extent. But you would have to stay that the clichéd ending to the film makes it an average film rather than the brilliant film that could have changed Marvel forever if it had continued with the Shortland hard-edge that the film had during the open scenes. Most of the disappointing aspects of Black Widow lay with the screenplay – the finale is derivative of the end action sequences of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and introduces us to a villain that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the lamer James Bond films.

On the plus side though are the acting performances. Johansson shows that she deserved her own Avenger film a lot sooner with a performance that shows both heart and pure action skills no matter what she has to do during a fight sequence. David Harbour steals the show with his comedic timing while Florence Pugh puts in a brilliant performance and it is exciting to know that we get to look forward to her character returning in Hawkeye later this year. Eager fans will notice that the post-credit scene with Black Widow strongly shows how she will enter into the Hawkeye series.

While some people feared that Shortland’s style of filmmaking would not fit the Marvel universe the truth is that her style almost pulled off one of the best Marvel films to date… it’s just sad that it was pulled back by her overly Marvelised ending. The film does hold up due to the acting performances of its leads but it could have been so much better.Black Widow is currently available on Disney+ and will be released in Phuket cinemas on July 29th.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of Black Widow in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/black-widow-return-of-a-true-marvel-80707.php

Trailer:

Nobody quite does twisted horror like M. Night Shyamalan and if you are a fan of his you may want to check out this new giveaway that we are doing for the release of his brand new film Old – The new edge of your seat thriller from Writer & Director M.Night Shyamalan.  OLD, Only in Cinemas July 22

Thanks to our good friends at Universal Pictures we have some double passes to the film giveaway.

For your chance to win simply go to the Subculture Entertainment Facebook page and private message us the word ‘Old’.