The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality
for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews
that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
"Can they get to the next stop before we get there?"
What a strange film, not only because of the idea that hackers look like 'Chris Hemsworth' but also the pacing, the quick cuts to the next destination, the obnoxiously loud gun battles. Very odd, if you ask me. Michael Mann the man that more or less started teh handy cam fight scenes movement in movies is back after 5 years out of the directing game with a spy thriller about hackers and stock market conspiracies.
It's the old - convict helps the FBI to find who's causing all the problems. This time as I said it's hacking a fairly timely topic given teh attacks on the various game networks among others. So you can say it gets points for that. It follows 'Hathaway' (Chris Hemsworth) a hacking expert who is drafted in to help teh FBI and Chinese Government track down those responsible for a spike in the stock market as well as something more physical. The problem is despite this being a very on the nose topic it's still difficult to make clacking of keyboards and over-used tech talk sound interesting.
There's a fair amount of travelling but the story always seems a couple of steps behind, it's often a slow burner with spurts of information that don't mean anything due to the aforementioned tech talk. Sure some of it makes sense but it's all very overly explained when it needs to simple, possibly a character involved in the investigation that's more on an average viewers level would have helped things.
There moments of action spread throughout using Mann's patented close and personal handy cam technique accompanied by booming gun-fire against the rattling of metal or echoes. Some it works for, others it doesn't feeling more obnoxiously loud than (like the underground tunnel) in the thick of things with the characters.
And for a thriller that questions things as it goes there are little moments of tension - other than an excellent one towards the end involving a swarm of people. Despite the mentioned excellent scene it's all under-cut by a uninteresting villain (in the end) that looks like 'The Dude' and a very anti-climatic epilogue.
At the end of the day clicking and clacking of mechanical keyboards and heavy detailed explanations aren't all that interesting because it gets in the way. There are moments of delight with a few great gritty and personal action sequences with guns blazing - as well as moments where tension is high. But it's story and characters don't do much, even throwing in a clichéd romance story for good measure - which doesn't seems natural. In the end it's just watch-able.
"I get it, you're my best man but nobody's friend when it counts".
Comedies, comedies everywhere so let's give them a watch. That's a song iv'e been working on as of 1 minute before I wrote it. Irrelevant? yes but with so many bland comedies releasing nothing can be considered relevant if they are. Just as over-saturated as horror, comedies ironically have become a bit of a joke but not for the reason they'd want. TV is easily the best place for the genre (Community, Bob's Burgers, New Girl etc) and movies only has a handful of good one's every few years (Seven Psychopaths may be the last great one for me).
It then comes as no surprise that 'The Wedding Ringer' sits comfortably into the glut of bland but just about watch-able comedies. Starring 'Josh Gad' as friendless but soon to be married 'Doug Harris' he hires a wedding ringer (see!) 'Jimmy' (Kevin Hart) to be his best man (or should I say Bic). The premise in itself is a little far-fetched. Doug's fiancée 'Gretchen' (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) has some how never asked or met any of Doug's friends presumably making excuses up. But surely living with someone for so long - you'd know. But, hey, this is a movie and I suppose there's a minuet possibility that could happen. Like most in this films class it's evident from the get-go the direction the movie is heading. It hits all the typical beats of a middle-of-the-road comedy. Even going so far (seemingly) to go out of its way to make sure you know.
Having no friends at all (something it decides to explain arbitrarily halfway through) 'Jimmy' has to construct what he calls 'The Golden Tux' - essentially fabricating 7 identities of grooms-man and making it go swimmingly. This opens more questions than answers about other things but we'll gloss over that. Despite its story short-comings 'Gad' and Hart' worked fairly well together - the favourite of mine being when 'Jimmy' first learns his new name will be 'Bic'. There are moments here and there but there are just as many flat and all too familiar ones too. And the end is rushed with everything just thrown at the screen with quick - brief resolves.
'The Wedding Ringer' is kept somewhat afloat by Kevin Hart's energy and Gad's sincerity. Even with some genuinely funny scenes it can't be saved from a flat atypical story arch that rushes itself to the finish line and shows everything it has to offer in the first 20 minutes - setting up the inevitable ending. It's just another comedy to throw on the pile, but I didn't expect anything more so at least I didn't get less.
Good ol' 'Aardman' back with another clay-mation delight. this time giving us the world of 'Shaun The Sheep' based on the 'kids' (I put quotes because it's one of those kids things adults can get a kick out of too) TV show about...well a sheep named 'Shaun' and his mischievous escapades with his fellow sheep, the farmer and his dog, 'Biitzer'.
I love me some clay-mation, their previous 'Pirates' and further back still 'Wallace & Gromit' series of movies and shorts are some of the best animated movies (and movies in general) ever made. Masterpieces could be used to describe them and while 'Shaun the Sheep' isn't that, there's certainly plenty to love about it. The premise of the show more or less matches the movie just with a little more to it - to ramp the stakes up. After 'Shaun' gets into some shenanigans and the farmer ends up in the big city - the group go off to find him. Like the show this is largely silent with some bleets and muddled speech for humans. But it doesn't need it, the comedy all comes from the actions and with the great animation from 'Aardman' there's plenty.
It's slapstick at times but it's also full of clever series of events and ridiculous and absurd set-pieces. Managing to elicit a lot of laughs out of silent characters show how strong teh animation and how subtle movements and the writing has to be. In it's short run time it utilises it perfectly the adventure is swift and when it takes a breather it packs it with jokes. The story like with most things is just a vehicle for jokes and towards the end it gets surprisingly dark compared with the breezy nature of the rest of the film - and to a point normal villain.
While the story isn't much more than it needs to or could be the characters here play as much a part as the humour. You'll quickly get attached to them Shaun and the flocks endearing qualities, Bitzer's stern but lovable personality and teh farmers obliviousness and facial expression are all here to put a smile on your face - and you won't stop, I didn't.
'Shaun the Sheep' brings the small time kids show to the big screen with resounding success. It's still very much in the spirit of the TV show but on a slightly grander scale. The attractive and sleek clay-mation from 'Aardman' is as present here as ever. It's not just good it's great and genuinely sits among Aardman's pantheon of animated master-classes.
So Jupiter Ascending has finally come out, after what seems like an eternity in development hell. It was going to be released a year ago or so and never emerged, but now, now we are here. But that extra time (seemingly) hasn't helped. It must be hard having a project feel unfinished when you're at your release date, needing more time. Particularly on a film that had some sizeable expectations on its back - a new original concept from the makers of 'The Matrix' is a nice prospect. So it's all the more a shame when it doesn't come together as you'd expect.
The Wachowski's are known for special effects and flare, first shown in 'The Matrix' and as recently as 'Cloud Atlas'. They have a knack for creating awe a rare commodity. They've in the past easily come by it. Those two (and while the latter seems to have a 50/50 split) have the special commodity in droves, But it's severely lacking in their latest efforts. 'Jupiter Ascending' tells the story of normal girl 'Jupiter' finding out she's the queen of essentially the world - having descended from the previous royalty. With family members all vying for her in some manner - to either rid or as a tool so they can have earth and do as they will. All the while being protected by 'Caine' a genetically engineered warrior, werewolf...something.
There's a clear intention to create something 'epic' so to speak. Unfortunately it's dialogue and flimsy story are a big big problem. It feels like its had too many re-writes, too many 'fine tuning' in an attempt to get that elusive 'Star Wars' status. It was never going to get that. It's a victim of it's own ambition, but everything feels fake, the golden beam of the ships, the facial make-up that isn't quite right. The events and the world invented here isn't quite realised for me, it's on the precipice close at time way off at others. And with a sci-fi adventure that sees warring factions their homes, ships need to feel tangible as oppose to just a set, a back drop like they're a side-step away from a car-park. The visual effects are mostly solid but given all the extra time they should probably be better. The oranges and pelting of greys don't help either.
The romance that develops at the heart of the story is a little thin as are the characters as a whole. It zips too quickly past characters some given less than 10 minutes to develop and then discarded bizarrely - despite the potential in the story. A couple of thing I did like was the soaring score (even if it feels out of place in the action sequences that don't match the energy of the music) and the tug of war between the family factions.
The biggest disappointment comes in Oscar nominated 'Eddie Redmayne' giving a very contrasting performance from his sublime 'Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory Of Everything'. Not entirely baffling due to the at times laughable dialogue on show - character trying to sound deep and philosophical instead coming off ridiculous.
A film that's quite clearly a victim of it's ambition and development time 'Jupiter Ascending' only occasionally shows it's potential among the fake visuals and under-developed romance between the two leads. In an attempt to create something huge and expansive the Wachowski's have created something that feels severely lacking in depth. Potential stays potential forever if it isn't used. Despite it's problems I get the feeling it somewhat out of the casts hands and that extra time cost it - it's more of a syfy original than Star Wars for the visual generation.
"This is suppose to be the part of the film where I tell you my plan'
With so many adaptations of something it's hard to tell more and more whether something Is 'original'. As that's what I thought 'Kingsman'; was - original creation. But as with so many it's a comic book adaptation. it does make you wonder the state of writing in the film industry - naturally there are original scripts. But I'd be willing to bet adaptations outweigh originals. Not necessarily a bad thing as plenty of adaptations are fantastic, also why make an original script when there are so many great ideas out there ready to be shown on the big screen?
And indeed with 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' being another proving in favour of adapting that is already available. Based on the comic-book by Mark Miller (Kick-Ass) and illustrated by Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) 'Kingsman' is about a troubled street kid, 'Eggsy/Gary' (Taron Egerton) who is drafted by 'Galahad/Harry' (Colin Firth) to join the secret service (hence the title) Kingsman. The best way to describe this film is James Bond mashed together with both the bowler hat Avengers and Marvel Avengers. But it is certainly its own thing, a film with an abundance of style and a sophisticated use of violence.
The thing I'll remember most from this film is it's blending of dynamic action sequences and poise. It's eclectic fight sequences are by far the best part of the film- even with a occasional odd sfx look to them. They made the weaker aspects of the film not matter so much for me. Which is (and no surprise) the story element. The principle villain 'Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) is a quirky one - adverse to blood and violence despite his end goal being, well, those two things. The violence was actually something I didn't know going in but makes sense given the writers other work I'm familiar with. So the left field turn involving a church came as genuine explosive shock - the good kind.
Beyond the weak story and some jokes that weren't to my taste 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' is complete fun, frantic and full of so much energy you could fill another 3 films with it. Those with an adversity to violence need not apply as this gets surprisingly (and I'd say gloriously) violent in parts. From the cast to the outlandish and very comic-book feel of the characters and villain I can't see there being another film this year being as fun, sincere in its goals and just damn cool.