Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke re­view the cur­rent cinema re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | FILM -

AVENGERS: AGE OF UL­TRON ★★★ Di­rected by Joss Whe­don. Star­ring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruf­falo, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Chris Evans, Jeremy Ren­ner, Don Chea­dle, El­iz­a­beth Olsen, Aaron Tay­lor-John­son, Paul Bet­tany, Sa­muel L Jack­son, James

Spader, Julie Delpy The lat­est co­ag­u­la­tion of su­per­heroes find the gags wear­ing very thin. There is, of course, enough ac­tion to go around. Tol­er­ant afi­ciona­dos will savour the sup­pos­edly tan­ta­lis­ing in­di­ca­tors to fu­ture plot de­vel­op­ments. Jo­hans­son, Downey Jr and Ruf­falo all put shoul­ders to the wheel. But the Tulip Fever that is su­per­hero ma­nia must be close to break­ing. The pat­tern that goes “Bang, big­ger bang, RDJ quips” is par­tic­u­larly ex­haust­ing. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 141 min DC

BIG GAME ★★★★ Di­rected by Jal­mari He­lander. Star­ring Sa­muel L Jack­son, Onni Tom­mila, Ray Stevenson, Felic­ity Huff­man, Jim Broad­bent Sur­pris­ingly amus­ing ac­tion thriller from the Finnish direc­tor of

Rare Ex­ports. Pres­i­dent Jack­son crashes in La­p­land and, with the help of a teenage hunter, seeks to evade the at­ten­tions of mean Ray Stevenson. It’s not en­tirely clear how much of Big Game is funny on pur­pose, but it hardly mat­ters when the ac­tion is so slick and the dia­logue so ripe. “Find the pres­i­dent, kill the sons of bitches who are af­ter him,” Broad­bent’s se­cu­rity hon­cho shrugs. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 90 min DC

THE CANAL ★★★★ Di­rected by Ivan Ka­vanagh. Star­ring Ru­pert Evans, An­to­nia Camp­bell-Hughes, Steve Oram, Calum Heath, Kelly Byrne A film ar­chiv­ist feels that house is haunted. This dis­turb­ing hor­ror film from the enor­mously promis­ing direc­tor of The Fad­ing Light moves from Bergman in­ten­sity to genre scares. Odd, dis­jointed ed­its muddy the line be­tween fan­tasy and re­al­ity, half-glimpsed fig­ures dart around the edges of the frame, low-an­gle shots make for psy­cho­log­i­cal un­ease, and a dirty public lava­tory se­quence makes the viewer yearn for the com­par­a­tively san­i­tary con­di­tions of the Ed­in­burgh equiv­a­lent in Trainspot­ting. 16 cert, lim re­lease, 94 min TB

CHILD 44 ★★ Di­rected by Daniel Espinosa. Star­ring Tom Hardy, Gary Old­man, Noomi Ra­pace, Paddy Con­si­dine, Vin­cent Cas­sel Hugely dis­ap­point­ing, sur­pris­ingly bor­ing adap­ta­tion of Tom Robb Smith’s novel con­cern­ing the hunt for a child mur­derer in Soviet Rus­sia dur­ing the 1950s. The ex­em­plary ac­tors all do what they do: Hardy’s vul­ner­a­ble mas­culin­ity swells at the brim; Old­man needs no sea­son­ing to make the scenery de­li­cious. The gloomy set-dress­ing is suf­fi­ciently dap­pled to sat­isfy An­drei Tarkovsky. But the story is a con­fus­ing bore that leads achingly slowly to a so­lu­tion as per­func­tory as it is im­plau­si­ble. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 137 min DC

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