Monday 12 September 2011

Quadruple Bill Mini & Cine Musings: Action, Frights & Jet Black Comedy...

From the Luc Besson stable comes this quick bit of wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am action (directed by Olivier 'Transporter 3' Megaton), although that said, when compared to the likes of District 13, Taken (in particular), and From Paris With Love (all Directed by Pierre Morel), this flick isn't as punchy and blistering as I'd expected. District 13 was stylish, fast-paced, and had a great hook with the use of parkour ... Taken was brutal, smart about it's combat efficiency, and turned Liam Neeson into a formiddable middle-aged action hero ... and then From Paris With Love was just barmy but really quite good fun. Colombiana is much more generic and less brash than those three flicks ... it's a brief bit of fun, but Zoe Saldana needs a ballsier shoot 'em up if she's going to ascend to true action heroine status.

Slaughter High:
A cheap and generally silly slasher from the 1980s (featuring Caroline Munroe who - then in her mid-30s - begins the movie playing a bitchy teenager in high school). There's a few good kills, a couple of chucklesome lines, and one stand-out genuinely nifty scene featuring an electrified bed. Apart from that it's no classic and really only worth seeing if you're a hardcore horror nerd.

Fright Night:
Another beloved genre flick gets the remake treatment, but nevermind that, this is the original 1980s horror comedy that many of a certain age hold dear to their hearts. It has the same fun-loving cheesiness exhibited by the likes of Return of the Living Dead, and while scripts these days wouldn't be allowed to get away with thinly sketched protagonists and brushed-aside leaps in the plot, the decidedly 1980s style and sense of fun propels it foward. It's just a big shame that 5* (the TV channel cashing in on the Colin Farrel-starring remake being out in cinemas) failed to air it in the correct aspect ratio - it was as if they'd just chucked in some dusty old VHS tape they found on a shelf somewhere.

Four Lions:
Chris Morris' incredibly jet black comedy about a group of inept, Westernised terrorist wannabes sounds like an exercise in extreme bad taste - and yet it's really quite entertaining. Everybody in the film is a bit of an idiot (even the police have no idea what they're doing - at one point two snipers argue about the difference between The Honey Monster and a Wookie when trying to identify a target), but even when it reaches its climax it doesn't avoid the chilling side of terrorism ... albeit in the context of an utter bugger up. Simply, it's well worth seeing, and if you're a fan of the likes of Brass Eye, then it's an absolute must-see.

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