Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke

re­view the cur­rent cin­ema re­leases

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

AMER­I­CAN MADE

Di­rected by Doug Li­man. Star­ring Tom Cruise, Domh­nall Glee­son, Sarah Wright Olsen, Ale­jan­dro Edda, Caleb Landry

Jones Amus­ing, break-neck true-life thriller con­cern­ing Barry Seal (oddly age­less Cruise), a TWA pi­lot who was re­cruited by the CIA for sur­veil­lance and ended up run­ning drugs and sup­ply­ing the con­tras. The film flings it­self off a ledge in the open­ing mo­ments and then flails in panic for the suc­ceed­ing two hours. But it’s brash, funky, ex­cit­ing and, cru­cially, al­lows Cruise to have some fun with who he used to be. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 115 min ANNABELLE: CRE­ATION

Di­rected by David F Sand­berg. Star­ring Stephanie Sig­man,

Mi­randa Otto The lat­est in the scary doll fran­chise will do well enough. Lights Out direc­tor Sand­berg honed his skills with roller­skate dol­lies and no-bud­get shorts. His im­pec­ca­ble hor­ror tim­ing makes for ter­rific and ef­fec­tive dread. Jump scares are with­held and ra­tioned with sci­en­tific pre­ci­sion. Nurs­ery items are not overused. Un­hap­pily, the film stut­ters once the mon­ster is re­vealed in all his de­monic CG dull­ness. But this series con­tin­ues to do the busi­ness. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 109 min ATOMIC BLONDE Di­rected by David Leitch. Star­ring Char­l­ize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodma Fit­ful es­pi­onage drama set in Ber­lin as the Wall is com­ing down. Theron works fu­ri­ously to bring some small weight to a char­ac­ter so feath­ery she barely man­ages to re­main at­tached to the screen. The ac­tion se­quences are stun­ning. But the outer frame­work is shabby: a thread­bare es­pi­onage plot mounted on a mass of clunkily ob­vi­ous 1980s pe­riod de­tail. They just stop short of hav­ing Boy Ge­orge at­tempt to run Char­l­ize over with a Sin­clair C5. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 115 min DC THE BIG SICK

Di­rected by Michael Showal­ter. Star­ring Ku­mail Nan­jiani, Zoe

Kazan, Holly Hunter Lively, funny ro­man­tic comedy that fol­lows the clas­sic tem­plate while find­ing fresh in­no­va­tions. Nankiani plays a comic who falls for Kazan’s bright spark. He de­cides not to tell his Pak­istani par­ents. Then Zoe’s char­ac­ter falls se­ri­ously ill. Nan­jiani draws on the story of his ro­mance with cowriter Emily V Gor­don to con­struct a twisty, unusual en­ter­tain­ment. The fe­male lead is miss­ing for a good third of the pic­ture, but she feels present through­out. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 120 min DC CAP­TAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

Di­rected by David Soren. Voices

of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms Sling your hook, Spi­der-Man. Twelve books and 20 years into Dav Pilkey’s best-sell­ing Cap­tain

Underpants se­quence and the in­ap­pro­pri­ately at­tired su­per­hero has fi­nally made his movie bow. Stray grown-ups will find plenty to amuse, par­tic­u­larly those adults whose in­ner child is think­ing: “You had me at underpants.” G cert, gen re­lease, 89 min TB NEW RE­LEASE DARK NIGHT See re­view, pages 10-11 THE DARK TOWER

Di­rected by Niko­laj Ar­cel. Star­ring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Tay­lor, Jackie Earle Ha­ley, Den­nis

Hays­bert Elba’s Gun­slinger bat­tles with McConaughey’s dark an­gel in a puz­zling film in­spired by Stephen King’s ho­mo­phonic fan­tasy series. The Dark Tower is not the worst film of the sum­mer, but it does feel like the most mis­con­ceived re­lease of the sea­son. A sense of aw­ful panic hangs over it. Sadly, that panic has de­liv­ered a movie that will sat­isfy nei­ther fans of the books (too loosely con­nected) nor those un­fa­mil­iar with the source (far too much un­ex­plained mythol­ogy). 12A cert, gen re­lease, 94 min DC DESPICABLE ME 3

Di­rected by Pierre Cof­fin and Kyle Balda. Voices of Steve Carell, Kris­ten Wiig, Steve

Coogan De­light­ful third episode in the mas­sively suc­cess­ful an­i­mated series. Hav­ing ac­quired three daugh­ters in the first in­stal­ment, a wife in the sec­ond film, and now a twin brother, Gru, the lov­able vil­lain turned Anti Vil­lain League op­er­a­tive, could be weighted down. Despicable Me 3, how­ever, is such a clev­erly cal­i­brated con­struc­tion that we never no­tice the ex­tra pas­sen­gers. Think of it, in terms of qual­ity, as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Despicable Me films. G cert, gen re­lease, 90 min TB DETROIT

Di­rected by Kathryn Bigelow. Star­ring John Boyega, Will Poul­ter, Al­gee Smith, Ja­son Mitchell, John Krasin­ski, An­thony Mackie, Jack Reynor,

Han­nah Mur­ray Bigelow ex­am­ines the no­to­ri­ous Al­giers Mo­tel siege dur­ing the 1967 Detroit ri­ots. Three teenagers were killed and nine other civil­ians bru­talised by po­lice dur­ing an in­ci­dent that res­onates to­day. Mak­ing spec­ta­cle of such an event re­mains eth­i­cally prob­lem­atic, es­pe­cially when the film con­structed around the racial vi­o­lence is so un­cer­tain. But the ac­tual stand-off is as bru­tal and nerve-wrack­ing as any re­cent se­quence in Hol­ly­wood cin­ema, a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally vir­tu­oso piece of film-mak­ing from Bigelow. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 143 min TB DUNKIRK

Di­rected by Christo­pher Nolan. Star­ring Fionn White­head, Harry Styles, Ken­neth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cil­lian Mur­phy, Mark

Ry­lance Nolan tack­les the re­treat from Dunkirk in dis­ci­plined, jaw­drop­ping fashion. Dunkirk has been fash­ioned with min­i­mal CGI, us­ing real aero­planes, peo­ple and equip­ment where pos­si­ble, and shot on the beaches in France where the events de­picted took place. Thou­sands of ex­tras and a re­tired French war­ship were in­volved in the ef­fort. The crunch­ing re­al­ism, as cap­tured on large for­mat film stock, is un­mis­tak­able, and puts ev­ery ri­val sum­mer spec­ta­cle to shame. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 106 min TB THE EMOJI MOVIE Di­rected by Tony Leondis. Voices of TJ Miller, Anna Faris, Sofía Ver­gara, Pa­trick Ste­wart Ut­terly cyn­i­cal at­tempt to ex­ploit a phe­nom­e­non wor­thy of only con­tempt. This is a story about the lit­tle emoji that doesn’t quite fit in. Our ugly duck­ling is ex­pected to rep­re­sent “meh” – that’s pointed lack of in­ter­est, grand­dad – but he can’t stop him­self be­ing out­wardly happy, an­gry, sur­prised and so forth. So he must search about the menu screen for re­pro­gram­ming. Ugly, wit­less, non­sen­si­cal. We award it five big poops. G cert, gen re­lease, 91 min DC THE FARTHEST Di­rected by Emer Reynolds Su­perb Ir­ish doc­u­men­tary on the Voy­ager space pro­gramme. Lighter touches blend with denser science to cre­ate a sub­stan­tial but eas­ily di­gestible stew. The film is metic­u­lous, epic and – Kate McCul­lough’s char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally fine cin­e­matog­ra­phy jus­ti­fies the­atri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion – beau­ti­ful through­out. What most sur­prises, how­ever, is how mov­ing The

Farthest turns out to be. Our world is so frag­ile. We are so in­signif­i­cant. But we can do hugely am­bi­tious and gen­er­ous things. PG cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI/Light House, Dublin, 120 min DC A GHOST STORY Di­rected by David Low­ery. Star­ring Casey Af­fleck, Rooney Mara Low­ery fol­lows up Pete’s Dragon with an en­gross­ing ex­per­i­men­tal piece star­ring Af­fleck as a spirit who – lit­er­ally draped in a sheet -– lurks around

his be­reaved girl­friend (Rooney) as she re­cov­ers from his death in a car crash. The gim­micks do not dis­tract from the film’s sen­ti­men­tal en­ergy. Shot in a nar­row ra­tio with rounded cor­ners that sug­gest old pho­to­graphs from a lost al­bum, A Ghost Story swells with med­i­ta­tions on the un­kind­ness of time: how we re­mem­ber and, worse, how we for­get. 12A cert, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 92 min DC GIRLS TRIP

Di­rected by Mal­colm D Lee. Star­ring Regina Hall, Tif­fany

Had­dish, Queen Lat­i­fah Messy, broad comedy con­cern­ing four mid­dle-aged women be­hav­ing badly in New Or­leans. Girls Trip is full of pe­cu­liar shifts in at­ti­tude and phi­los­o­phy. The film fea­tures tor­ren­tial uri­na­tion from a very great height. Yet it ends with a speech so pi­ous that one half-ex­pects it be fol­lowed by What a Friend We Have in Je­sus .Itis proud of its shout for per­sonal in­de­pen­dence. But it is des­per­ately in thrall to the cor­po­rate and the con­ven­tional. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 122 min DC NEW RE­LEASE GOD’S OWN COUN­TRY ★★★★★ See re­view, page 9 THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD Di­rected by Pa­trick Hughes. Star­ring Ryan Reynolds, Sa­muel L Jack­son, Gary Old­man, Salma Hayek, Joaquim De Almeida, Richard E Grant Reynolds comes off least badly in a film that cer­tainly com­poses its clunky set-pieces on a grand scale. It’s all there in the ti­tle. The some­time Dead­pool plays a bodyguard who is re­quired to de­liver Jack­son’s hitman to a trial in The Hague. Old­man is de­press­ingly aw­ful as the evil war crim­i­nal. The film al­most com­pen­sates for its howlers with a series of elab­o­rate ac­tion se­quences. Un­for­tu­nately, the sur­round­ing id­iocy is too ir­ri­tat­ing to en­tirely for­give. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 118 min DC AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER Di­rected by Jon Shenk and Bonni Co­hen. Fea­tur­ing Al Gore As the for­mer VP of­fers a fol­low-up to his Oscar-win­ning en­vi­ron­men­tal doc, there’s a new or­ange vil­lain in town. As Gore has it: “You al­ways have a plan un­til you get punched in the face.” But he makes an op­ti­mistic pre­sen­ta­tion. We meet var­i­ous well-wish­ers (John Kerry) and self-pro­mot­ers (Justin Trudeau) as we jour­ney from the Antarc­tic to Texas, where an ami­able Repub­li­can mayor has in­tro­duced 100 per cent so­lar-pow­ered elec­tric­ity, and on to Florida. Sober­ing, but not with­out hope. PG cert, lim re­lease, 99 min TB NEW RE­LEASE THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM See re­view, page 11 LO­GAN LUCKY Di­rected by Steven Soder­bergh. Star­ring Chan­ning Ta­tum, Adam Driver, Far­rah Macken­zie, Ri­ley Keough, Hi­lary Swank, Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes, Charles Hal­ford, Seth MacFar­lane Soder­bergh emerges from quasi-re­tire­ment with a suc­cess­ful heist flick set among blue-col­lar ec­centrics in ru­ral West Vir­ginia. Our as­sem­bled odd­balls tar­get the cash drops at a race­track dur­ing the big­gest Nas­car event of the sea­son. Craig is the safe­cracker. Ta­tum is the (ahem) mas­ter­mind. None of it is very prob­a­ble, but the stars work the switches and the direc­tor’s char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally sharp vis­ual sense re­mains a de­light. More fun than we de­serve. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 118 min DC MAUDIE Di­rected by Ais­ling Walsh. Star­ring Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke

There are peo­ple who will re­main un­moved by Walsh’s won­der­ful study of the late Cana­dian folk artist Maud Lewis. There are also peo­ple who wil­fully stand on spi­ders. I can’t say I’d like to spend any time alone with such a fel­low.Hawkins is heart­break­ing as the ti­tle char­ac­ter: a sim­ple, de­ter­mined woman who sticks to her paint­ing de­spite the ad­vance of se­vere arthri­tis. Hawke gives a crafty per­for­mance as the bru­tal fish­er­man who be­comes her hus­band. Es­sen­tial. 15A cert, IFI, Dublin, 116 min DC NEW RE­LEASE MOONDOGS See re­view, page 11 THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NA­TURE Di­rected by Cal Brunker. Voices of Will Ar­nett, Maya Ru­dolph, Jackie Chan, Kather­ine Heigl, Bobby Can­navale Surly’s back! You know, the law-dodg­ing squir­rel from The Nut Job (2013)? Re­mem­ber the clos­ing cred­its of an an­i­mated Psy per­form­ing

Gang­nam Style? But that was the high point. This su­per­flu­ous sequel wastes Ar­nett (BoJack

Horse­man) on a pur­ple ver­min who steals and sulks. The prat­falls may suf­fice for very young au­di­ences. But the pun-heavy script (“I am a weapon of mouse de­struc­tion,” de­clares Chan’s ro­dent) and an­i­ma­tion is al­most as low-rent as one might ex­pect from a film called The Nut Job 2:

Nutty by Na­ture. Al­most. Bring back Psy. G cert, gen re­lease, 91 min TB NEW RE­LEASE PATTI CAKE$ See re­view, page 11 ROUGH NIGHT Di­rected by Lu­cia Aniello. Star­ring Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Kate McKin­non, Jil­lian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, Ty Bur­rell, Demi Moore Jo­hans­son is run­ning for state se­nate and pre­par­ing for her wed­ding when she is joined by her col­lege chums for a bach­e­lorette party in Mi­ami. Long story short: ladies night is in­ter­rupted when one ac­ci­den­tally kills their hooker-strip­per. Hands up who wants to see a fem­i­nised ver­sion of the misog­y­nis­tic Very Bad

Things? Un­sur­pris­ingly, the rank­ness of the con­ceit – hi­lar­i­ous dead sex worker! – isn’t made palat­able by the gen­der flip. The script jumps from heart-to-heart con­fes­sional to sup­posed high­jinx to gross-out to ir­ra­tional­ity. Laugh count: zero. Come back,

Girls Trip, all is for­given. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 101 min TB SPI­DER-MAN HOMECOMING

Di­rected by Jon Watts, Star­ring Tom Hol­land, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa

Tomei, Gwyneth Pal­trow Spide is back to bat­tle The Vul­ture and en­dure be­ing a teenager. Among

Homecoming’s many virtues is an ac­knowl­edge­ment that these su­per­hero things are es­sen­tially for chil­dren. The new film con­vinc­ingly casts a 21-year-old as a 15-year-old. His friends seem younger still. None of this means that the pic­ture is facile, cheap or lack­ing in am­bi­tion. Spi­der-Man:

Homecoming is more sat­is­fy­ing than any film to date in the Mar­vel Cine­matic Uni­verse.12A cert, gen re­lease, 133 min DC TERMINATOR 2: JUDG­MENT DAY

Di­rected by James Cameron. Star­ring Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, Linda Hamil­ton, Robert Pa­trick, Ed­ward Fur­long, Joe

Mor­ton Buffed-up 3D reis­sue of Cameron’s leg­endary 1991 sequel to his own cy­borg-from-the-fu­ture break­through from 1984. Terminator 2 re­mains spiff­ing and still worth see­ing on the big screen. Most will agree, how­ever, that the ret­ro­spec­tive 3D was not a par­tic­u­larly good idea. Sure, T2 looks pris­tine, but the 3D – dis­ap­point­ingly for those hop­ing to duck when a liq­uid metal arm-hook swipes into the au­di­to­rium – is the care­ful, im­mer­sive (and rather point­less) kind. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 137 min TB NEW RE­LEASE UNA See re­view, pages 10-11

Let the chips fall: Chan­ning Ta­tum, Ri­ley Keough and Adam Driver in Lo­gan Lucky, out now on gen­eral re­lease

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