A Week In Film #541: Down one

Mile 22 title screen
Mile 22
Peter Berg teams up with Mark Wahlberg again (after Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day) with a silly thriller about a crack paramilitary team trying to escort an intelligence source to safety in hostile circumstances, against a backdrop of Russian interference. There’s a twist at the end that a better film would have capitalised on more strongly, but hey ho. With Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey, John Malkovich, Terry Kinney etc.

Yardie title screen
Disappointing adaptation of Victor Headley’s blistering pulp thriller about a Jamaican country boy becoming a top London gangster, with Idris Elba helming his first feature. Shortcomings are mainly in the script (by Martin Stellman, who did great stuff in the 80s/90s) and Brock Norman Brock, which pares away too much in a bid to simplify things. A shame, because it’s stylishly done, and there are strong performances (Shantol Jackson, Riaze Foster and Stephen Graham stand out).

The Equalizer 2 title screen
The Equalizer 2
Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua have a second crack at the TV show reboot, with super soldier-turned-vigilante Robert McCall going after the killers of his friend (Melissa Leo). Absolutely watchable, completely inconsequential.

The Simpsons Movie title screen
The Simpsons Movie
One of the few TV-show-stretched-out-to-feature-film conversion jobs which worked, thanks to a storyline that both serves the characters well, and makes good in-universe sense.

When The Sky Falls title screen
When The Sky Falls
Alright taken on the story of Veronica Guerin, a rather unlikeable Irish crime journalist who was assassinated by the hoods she wrote about. Better than Joel Schumacher’s 2003 version, but still somewhat stodgy. Directed by John Mackenzie, with Joan Allen excellent in the lead, Patrick Bergin less so as a Gardai detective, Pete Postlethwaite, Liam Cunningham, Kevin McNally and Gerard Mannix all different degrees of scary as various gang bosses.

ReMastered: The Miami Showband Massacre title screen
ReMastered: The Miami Showband Massacre
Somewhat MTV-ed up documentary on the attempt by British security force-connected Loyalist paramilitaries to murder a popular cross-border group of musicians and fit them up as Republican terrorists. It’s a film in search of a form, and hops around between a search for truth and meaning by survivor Stephen Travers, an historical overview of collusion (with whistleblowers Fred Holroyd and Colin Wallace), and some ropey Northern Ireland for beginners type stuff.

The Dawn Wall title screen
The Dawn Wall
Documentary about a pair of free climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, tackling a sheer face on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Very unflashy, but interesting.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 title screenGuardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Very enjoyable second outing for the space-trotting Marvel team, helmed by James Gunn, with a fun cast led by Chris Pratt. No fucking idea what was going on.

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