Movies

Movie review: Ant-man, Peyton Reed

Movie review: Ant-man - Peyton Reed

SHAUN SPROULE

The latest cinematic instalment from Marvel Studios has been released, with one of the lesser-known Marvel superheroes, Ant-Man, as its main character. The movie follows former burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as he is recruited by mastermind and former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The technology behind his suit’s ability to shrink in size is under threat of falling into the wrong hands, and Pym, the inventor of the technology, needs to ensure it stays safe. Pym needs to recruit a new protégé before his former apprentice invents and sells the technology to Hydra, a terrorist organisation. Before this happens, Lang must prove himself as an able superhero in order to save the day.

Some were reluctant to accept the casting decision when it was announced that Paul Rudd would be cast as Ant-Man. Rudd has starred in films such as This is 40 and Role Models, and his is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking about a superhero. Rudd pulled the role off convincingly, however, with his comedic skill adding to the film as a whole.

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Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller

KOJO ESSAH

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film in, and a reboot of, the Mad Max movie series directed by George Miller. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by vast deserts, where water is a scarce and extremely valuable resource. Max Rockatansky, a survivor, is caught up in a conflict between Immortan Joe, the ruthless leader of a gang called the War Boys, and Imperator Furiosa, a tough woman seeking redemption for her actions. Miller has created an intriguing film that is visually stunning, full of action and well-acted characters.

The film uses its expansive setting and lore to create a simple and easy-to-follow plot that sees the unlikeliest of characters working together to achieve their own goals. The script might be  seen by some as bare and minimalistic, but the main focal point of this movie is its action, which it has in spades. The entire film is a nearly two-hour action sequence, with spectacular action set pieces involving vehicular and hand-to-hand combat, with the focus being the vehicles the inhabitants of this wasteland have managed to create with what resources they could find.

Another main aspect of the film is its characters. The world of Fury Road is filled with characters ranging from normal to downright bizarre, and it is the phenomenal acting that brings these characters to life. Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa bring a sense of desperation and ferocity to the film by doing whatever they deem necessary to survive. Other characters, notably Nicholas Hoult as Nux, add a little humanity to the story to balance out the cast. One drawback is that there is no character development, which leads to some one-dimensional characters. However, this is overshadowed by the brilliant performances of the main and supporting cast, as well as the fairly large roster of characters. Fury Road’s soundtrack, created by Junkie XL, is a wonderful score that brings every facet of the movie to life, from the action sequences to the more emotional scenes.

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron: Joss Whedon

BYRON MCLEOD

The long awaited sequel to The Avengers is finally upon us and director Joss Whedon really delivers in the action department. The Avengers: Age of Ultron finds a balance between its fight scenes, and portraying its characters and their back stories in an intimate way. The movie starts off in the nation of Sokovia where an agent of Hydra, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Krestschmann), has been using Loki’s staff for experiments, along with his two prize subjects, twins Pietro and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Wanda and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). The Avengers discover Wolfgang’s base and in true Marvel style, they make quick work of the Hydra operatives. After seizing Loki’s staff, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) use the staff to try to create an artificial intelligence that could potentially ward off any threats the earth could face in the future, known as Ultron (voiced by James Spader). This is where the true story begins.

Throughout the film, The Avengers: Age of Ultron’s running gags really help to lighten the mood during this somewhat serious movie. The Avengers: Age of Ultron also brings a realistic feel to the film with multiple back stories induced by the Scarlet Witch’s ability to meddle with people’s heads. This ability helps the film to connect to more of the side characters that haven’t been given a lot of focus in previous films, particularly Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and her training in becoming an assassin.

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Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck: Brett Morgen

ELMARIE KRUGER

The opening scene of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck looks and sounds like the exact situation this documentary’s title would suggest. It features what appears to be random shots from 60s American television intermingled with footage of Cobain’s early life and recordings so experimental that they wouldn’t seem out of place on a John Lennon and Yoko Ono collaboration album.

This mosaic of sights and sounds plunges the viewer deep into the psyche of the cryptic Kurt Cobain: Nirvana frontman, rock icon, and tortured genius. Instead of being a chronological start-to-finish retelling of Cobain’s life story, Montage of Heck manages to do what few other Cobain-centred books and films could: it humanises him.

So often fans and documenters focus on the despondent rock star that they neglect to consider Cobain as a son, brother, husband and father. Documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen has approached Cobain’s story with great sensitivity, tact, and, most importantly, with the support of the Cobain family.

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Movie Review: Get Hard by Etan Cohen

KOJO ESSAH

Get Hard, directed by Etan Cohen, follows the story of wealthy hedge-fund manager James King (played by Will Farrell) who seeks the help of humble car wash owner Darnell Lewis (played by Kevin Hart). King is in need of preparation for life in jail in less than 30 days after he is sentenced to San Quentin for fraud, despite maintaining his innocence during the ordeal. Although the movie offers up some laughs, it is brought down by a familiar and cliché-filled plot, over-reliance on rape jokes and offensive stereotypes.

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