Saturday, 18 June 2011

Movie Mini-Reviews: The Adjustment Bureau, Thor & X-Men: First Class

The Adjustment Bureau

Being based on a Philip K Dick short story, I will admit I was surpised that this movie was only 'sci-fi lite' at best. However, as a psychological/romantic thriller,
The Adjustment Bureau is fairly effective. Damon and Blunt do a good job of protraying a couple striving to be together, only to be torn apart by destiny, and the use of New York as a setting fits very well with the narrative. The quasi-religious undertones are a tad contrived, but overall this isn't a terrible flim. There are definitely better Philip K Dick adaptions, but equally there are others that are much worse.

Try this is if you like: The Time Traveller's Wife, Blade Runner, The Bourne Trilogy
Rating: 3/5


Going into this movie with no prior knowledge of the Marvel comic book series is not necessarily a bad thing. Thor does a really good job of bringing the viewer up to speed with the mythology and background info, without letting it feel exponential or clunky. Although the plot is fairly good, it's the performances that really shine in this film, with Tom Hiddleston deserving special note. Playing the trickster-villain Loki, Hiddleton toys with our empathy, causing the audience to pity him as much as we despise him. Apart from some minor flaws, such as continual and obvious nods towards the upcoming Avengers movie, Thor stands out as one of the best superhero movies this year.

Try this if you like: Iron Man, 300, X-Men
Rating: 4/5

X-Men: First Class

I think it's important to clarify one thing about this film: it is intended to be a reboot - this portrayal of the X-Men characters and story-lines will not marry-up with previous X-Men films. The main strength of this movie is also its main weakness - the subject matter. The film does a great job of telling the origin stories of Magneto and Charles Xavier, but it should have stopped there. Too many other characters are crammed in, and fairly weak characters too. However, the narrative of the movie is solid, making great use of historical events to frame the plot. McAvoy and Fassbender carve out original portrayals of their characters, and Kevin Bacon is an effectively sinister villain (and possibly the only new character with a cool mutant power). Not an awful film - still not sure why all the female characters had to be semi-naked though...

Try this if you like: Wanted, X-Men, Inglourious Basterds
Rating: 3/5 

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