Not crazy about this ‘comic’ tale of rich Asians...
Crazy Rich Asians (12A)
★★ arrives after enjoying considerable commercial success in the US and whipping up fair old dollops of excitement and hype here too. But for the life of me, I can’t see why. First impressions were that it’s noisy, shouty and just not funny enough.
Maybe I just don’t have the right cultural reference points, being neither Chinese, Chinese-American, nor hugely wealthy. But I do like a nice romantic comedy, and this surely falls short.
Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, a New York professor of economics who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, for a friend’s wedding. But what Nick (Henry Golding) hasn’t told Rachel is that his family are crazy rich. Which makes Nick the most eligible bachelor in Asia… and Rachel the most hated girlfriend. Let the fun begin… or not.
Harry Dean Stanton died a year ago this weekend at the age of 91, a fact you really need to know before seeing Lucky (15) ★★★★ and one that turns a film that might otherwise have smacked of art-house indulgence into something that not only makes you think about the big stuff but genuinely moves too.
Stanton plays the title character, a Navy veteran living in the shadow of death in a small desert town. His daily routine consists of yoga exercises, a visit to the diner to do his crossword, afternoon TV shows and an evening visit to the bar. It’s a slow and initially gloomy tale but it confounds our expectations quite beautifully and Stanton could pick up posthumous nominations for his wonderful performance.
Shane Black appeared in the original Predator in 1987; now he returns to co-write and direct The Predator (15)
★★, a sequel rather than a reboot. Cue much rushing around and an awful lot of shooting as army sniper Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) foolishly takes some alien souvenirs from a crashed Predator spacecraft, only to regret it when a new ‘super-predator’ arrives and wants them back. It has the odd moment but without the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover or Adrien Brody the cast feels under-powered. For hard-core fans only.
Superfly (15) ★ is a remake of the 1972 drugs thriller but made, this time around, in the style of one of those controversial ‘gangsta rap’ music videos that celebrate criminal wealth, gun violence and the sexual objectification of women. Doesn’t really chime with the times, does it?
WonDerFul: Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky