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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About -

Bridge of Spies (M) Steven Spiel­berg’s first film in three years is a grip­ping real-life Cold War story of the ar­rest and trial of a Soviet spy (Mark Ry­lance) in New York and the ef­forts of his ap­pointed defence coun­sel (Tom Hanks) to see that he’s treated fairly. The film, co-scripted by the Coen broth­ers, also en­com­passes the story of Gary Pow­ers, the pi­lot of the U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union, and its af­ter­math. One of this fine film’s in­ci­den­tal achieve­ments is to make the viewer care about the fate of the Soviet spy who, we are re­minded, is only do­ing the job to which he was as­signed.

David Strat­ton

Crim­son Peak (M) Mex­i­can di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro likes his ghost sto­ries and fairy­tales. Del Toro has said of Crim­son Peak that he wanted to make an old-fash­ioned haunted-house film such as the ones he watched in his youth, cit­ing The Omen, The Ami­tyville Hor­ror and “the Ever­est of haunted-house movies”, Stan­ley Kubrick’s The Shin­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, Crim­son Peak is not even in the foothills. It’s main prob­lem is it just isn’t scary. An­other missed op­por­tu­nity with del Toro’s film: the cast seems to take it far too se­ri­ously. The set-up — a di­lap­i­dated man­sion in north­ern England, the creepy brother and sis­ter who live in it, the Amer­i­can heiress who moves in — lends it­self to a bit of melo­dra­matic hu­mour, but there is al­most none. It’s all so earnest and, as a re­sult, pre­pos­ter­ous.

Stephen Romei The Walk (PG) Robert Ze­meckis and cin­e­matog­ra­pher Dar­iusz Wol­ski recre­ate the feat achieved in 1974 by French­man Philippe Pe­tit (Joseph Gor­donLe­vitt) when he crossed from the north to the south tower of the ill-fated World Trade Cen­tre in New York on a nar­row wire. The use of 3-D makes this ex­tra­or­di­nary ad­ven­ture ap­pear all too real (suf­fer­ers from ver­tigo, be­ware!), but un­for­tu­nately the rest of the film fails to live up to the cli­max, with lack­lus­tre treat­ment of the events that led to the walk, and Gor­don-Le­vitt, with his very strange French ac­cent, mis­cast in the lead­ing role.

DS

Leg­end (MA15+) Tom Hardy is ex­cep­tional in his dual role as Reg­gie and Ron­nie Kray, the gang­ster twins whose crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties in Lon­don’s East End and Soho in­volved politi­cians in the 1960s. Aus­tralian Emily Brown­ing is also very fine as the teenage girl who, against the wishes of her par­ents, mar­ried the su­per­fi­cially charm­ing Reg­gie and lived to re­gret it. Brian Hel­ge­land’s very well made thriller is cer­tainly vi­o­lent, but Hardy’s con­tri­bu­tion makes it es­sen­tial view­ing.

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