Steven Soderbergh does the intersecting lives ensemble thing again, this time about a fast-spreading virus which soon kills off loads of people. Jude Law as a WAKE UP SHEEPLE homeopathic huckster is at least more engaging than Laurence Fishburne’s dull public health official, but the cod Australian accent is… odd.
A heavyweight cast (Sean Penn, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, Jasmine Trinca, Ray Winstone) attempts to reverse engineer the late career action thriller success of Liam Neeson, but end up with a lightweight genre piece that is effectively a glossier take on Burt Reynolds’ or Charles Bronson’s 1980s movies. Pierre Morel (Banlieue 13, Taken, From Paris With Love) directs, eye Travis (Omagh, Vantage Point) contributes to the script, and there’s even a production credit for hit-in-the-face-with-a-shovel ex-mercenary Peter McAleese.
Clint Eastwood directs a sombre tale of child abuse, lost friendships, miscommunication and loss, based on Dennis Lehane’s Boston-set novel, scripted for the screen by Brian Helgeland. Strong performances from Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon as three childhood friends who drifted apart after a childhood trauma, but who as adults have been thrown back together.