Sunday, March 13, 2016

Movie Review … Zoolander 2



Comedy sequels aren’t anything new as the ‘Pink Panther’ and ‘Austin Powers’ series proves.  Making them stand out is how they bring freshness to their comedic formula.  Some have succeeded while others have stalled.  ‘Zoolander 2’ sits comfortably in the former.  An endlessly ridiculous ride of mammoth proportions, much effort has gone into creating laughs.  There are plenty as the well-drawn and well-dressed characters face one outrageous situation after another.

Derek Zoolander’s (Ben Stiller) influence is still felt in the fashion world even if he has been surpassed by more gorgeous models.  When a bevy of beautiful people are killed while wearing Zoolander’s famous ‘Blue Steel’ look, he is asked by Interpol to investigate.  Infiltrating the new world of high fashion with his friend Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson), Zoolander also has to avoid the machinations of arch-enemy Jacobim Mugato (Will Ferrell).  With friends and foes on either side, Zoolander still has to dodge constant arrows while wearing Prada.

Co-writer, creator and director Ben Stiller knows how to have fun.  Which is just as well as ‘Zoolander 2’ has an abundance of it.  It doesn’t always work although it’s doubtful there’s such a thing as a ‘perfect comedy’.  If a gag falls flat there’s always another to replace it within seconds.  Stiller knows how such films move with his comedic rhythm rarely faltering.  Zoolander is such an idiotic character it’s easy to laugh at and along with him and with his co-conspirators in mirth-making equally adept.

Like a live-action adult cartoon ‘Zoolander 2’ looks colourfully glorious.  Mixed with the always eye-catching Italian locations, ‘Zoolander 2’ has a glossy veneer worthy of many fashion parades.  The scenery is a mere back-drop to the preposterous plot which the cast enjoy playing.  Will Ferrell in particular grabs his character’s weird antics with gusto.   Although some plot holes don’t make sense if you think too hard, the film delivers laughs so fast such questions quickly vanish.

‘Zoolander 2’ occasionally falls flat but overall it’s a fun laugh-fest.  You can’t expect much else as it presents another adventure for one of the cinema world’s best dressed, if intelligently challenged, fashion icons.




Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.


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Movie Review … Deadpool



There have been so many superhero films recently it is hard to keep up.  Whether this glut will impact box office profits remains to be seen.  In the meantime, yet another is wheeled out for adoring fans.  Thankfully ‘Deadpool’ is more fun than most.  First appearing in a spin-off from the Marvel X-Men comic book series, Deadpool has gained a huge following. Quirkier than other heroes, his flair for action and quips ensure his adventures are never less than scintillating.

Desperate to cure his cancer, former special-forces operative Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) takes part in an experiment.  Leaving him with heightened powers and a twisted, unstable mind, he soon renames himself Deadpool.  Using his skills and new abilities, he aims to avenge the wrongs against him.  One of his targets is evil scientist Francis (Ed Skrein), whose wickedness is no match for Deadpool’s witticisms and heroic acrobatics.

Debutant director Tim Miller gives ‘Deadpool’ much of its kinetic energy. Energetic it certainly is as it never lets up from its first dazzling frame.  Unlike his more earnest brethren, Deadpool is a hero living on the edge and determined to enjoy his heroics. While his actions are very violent and sometimes shocking, his intentions are clear with the villains easily hiss-able.  The rhythm and stylised direction make ‘Deadpool’ an unpredictably enjoyable ride perfectly capturing its comic-book origins.

Reynolds is undoubtedly the star of the show grabbing the role with gusto.  Long a contender to play the character, he makes Deadpool an easy hero to like with his everyday persona equally sympathetic.  Much ado may be made about the violence and language but it is refreshing watching a film unafraid in going full throttle.  Deadpool exists in a nasty world with evil baddies but the package is done entertainingly well with the CGI and action first-rate.

If you only see a few superhero films a year then ‘Deadpool’ is worth the dollars.  Delivering on its promise of tons of thrills and quirky spills, it zips along at a furious pace.  Not playing it safe can work sometimes as ‘Deadpool’ proves and hopefully more will follow his consistently diverting, oddball style.




Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.




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Movie Review … London Has Fallen

 We can blame Bruce Willis for ‘London Has Fallen’. Since his star turn in the ‘Die Hard’ series, dozens of movies have attempted to copy its formula.  The brash American bodyguard/cop ready with a gun and a quip battling an array of foreign villains has been oft used.  ‘London Has Fallen’ uses this motif in the laziest way possible. A sequel to ‘Olympus Has Fallen’, it’s a film on auto-pilot from its first predictable frame.  Those wanting mindless viewing will enjoy even if its soul-crushing Hollywood production-line feel becomes tiresome.

When the British Prime Minister dies, U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) attends the funeral.  Travelling to London with trusted body-guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), the President hopes all goes smoothly. Unfortunately terrorists strike during the service with explosions and guns almost decimating the city.  The President and Mike are isolated and on the run from unseen enemies bent on revenge.  Using their wits to survive they take on any forces standing in their way of freedom.

‘London Has Fallen’s appeal lies in its slim run-time.  This is just as well as it hasn’t got much else going for it.  Although filled with requisite explosions and noise, it adds nothing new to a weary genre.  Performed by actors with their eyes on the pay-check, it’s difficult becoming involved in their character’s dilemmas.  Butler and Eckhart go through the motions with little enthusiasm in a direction devoid of innovative imagination.

Occasionally there are tense moments as the leads walk through London’s deserted streets.  Unfortunately these scenes are replaced by more ranting by the film’s ‘rent-a-villains’ and more loud noise. The expected car chases are fine even if they drag.  The shoddily shot CGI and bombastic orchestral score add to the overall shrillness with the screenplay quickly running out of ways to put its characters in even more ludicrous situations.

‘London Has Fallen’ isn’t even a poor-man’s ‘Die Hard’.  It’s a tawdry plod through the action-movie back catalogue revelling in the genre’s clich├ęs.  It’s a miniscule effort unworthy of viewer’s eyes which hopefully will be spared a dreaded sequel.



Movie Review Rating out of 10:  1

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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