Llanelli Star - - Film Reviews -

SEARCH­ING (12A) ★★★★★

A FA­THER’S quest to track down his miss­ing daugh­ter un­folds in over­lap­ping win­dows on a desk­top com­puter screen in writer-di­rec­tor Aneesh Cha­ganty’s thriller.

Tap­ping into timely con­cerns about cy­ber­bul­ly­ing and so­cial me­dia peer pres­sure, Search­ing em­ploys the same stylis­tic con­ceit as 2014 su­per­nat­u­ral hor­ror Un­friended and its se­quel, to test the bond be­tween a par­ent (John Cho, pic­tured) and 16-year-old child (Michelle La) in a 24-hour dig­i­tal age where ap­pear­ances can be dan­ger­ously de­cep­tive.

We are in­vited to piece together ev­i­dence by fol­low­ing the dis­traught pa­ter fa­mil­ias’ cur­sor as he clicks on video files, ini­ti­ates a video con­fer­ence call or makes sev­eral wrong guesses at his daugh­ter’s pass­words.

Ev­ery sec­ond could mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween the clos­ing shot of a funeral or a tear-filled re­union.

BLACKkKLAN­S­MAN (15) ★★★★★

SPIKE LEE’S con­science-prick­ing satire is based on a me­moir by re­tired Colorado Springs of­fi­cer Ron Stall­worth, a black po­lice de­tec­tive who in­fil­trated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.

Ron (John David Wash­ing­ton, pic­tured) is per­suaded to join the lo­cal po­lice force as part of a di­ver­sity drive. As part of his work he re­sponds to a news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ment for new mem­bers for the Ku Klux Klan and im­presses lo­cal chap­ter pres­i­dent Wal­ter Breach­way (Ryan Eg­gold). He fool­ishly gives his own name over the tele­phone so when the time comes to meet Wal­ter in per­son, De­tec­tive Flip Zim­mer­man (Adam Driver) poses as Ron and spits out racist bile on cue to per­pe­trate the de­cep­tion.

Wal­ter’s sec­ond-in-com­mand isn’t con­vinced but his con­cerns are over­ruled when the real Ron de­vel­ops a tele­phone friend­ship with David Duke (To­pher Grace), the for­mer Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who is due to visit Colorado Springs in a few weeks.


SU­PER­MAR­KET cashier Audrey Stock­ton (Mila Ku­nis, pic­tured) meets Drew Thayer (Justin Th­er­oux) in a bar and sparks fly.

Their whirl­wind ro­mance ends abruptly with Drew dump­ing Audrey by text. She seeks so­lace in the com­pany of best friend Mor­gan (Kate McKin­non) who rec­om­mends that Audrey cleanse her­self of Drew by burn­ing his be­long­ings.

Be­fore the first squirt of lighter fluid, Drew re-es­tab­lishes con­tact. He re­veals that he is an un­der­cover CIA op­er­a­tive and had to ter­mi­nate the re­la­tion­ship with Audrey be­cause the crim­i­nal fra­ter­nity was pre­pared to hurt her to get to him.

Audrey is touched un­til bul­lets fly and she goes on the run with Mor­gan and a flash drive en­crypted with de­tails of a ter­ror­ist net­work’s di­a­bol­i­cal plans.

The Spy Who Dumped Me pro­motes girl power with ev­ery pre­dictable twist and turn.

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