Nope – Review

Rating: 15
Featuring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott
Written and Directed by Jordan Peele
Length: 131mins

Richard Burton and Johnny Depp, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Wes Anderson and Bill Murray. There are a great number of classic director/actor combinations which have developed throughout the years, and the dynamic duo of Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya seems to be creeping up amongst them. The intelligent and thoughtful gaze of Kaluuya compliments the eerie and unpredictable nature of Peele’s stories, in a manner which reflects the audience’s own ideas, but perhaps in an even calmer way. The horror and thrill of Peele’s recent – and already impressive – back catalogue (Get Out, Us, Nope), may contain moments to make an audience leap from their seats, but would only get a slight widening of the eyes from his leading man. Although Kaluuya remains absent within 2019’s ‘Us’, the madness of ‘Get Out’ and this years’ ‘Nope’, can be explored in even more tender detail thanks to the brilliance of this director-performer combination.

Jordan Peele has absolutely reached a stage now where he can truly go in any direction he likes. His 2017 breakthrough onto the filmmaking scene, ‘Get Out’, showcased talents which were reinforced within the sophomore release, ‘Us’. For this third film, maintaining originality whilst also wanting to repeat the success of his previous work may have been a difficult task, but ‘Nope’ delivers one of the most exciting and original thrillers I’ve seen in recent years. Plotlines, ideas, and characters all lead the story into fascinating avenues that are unlikely for any audiences to hypothesise about before taking their seat. Although the motivation behind some actions, or the plotlines of some characters, can at times seem slightly erratic or untidily rushed, the film mostly delivers one exciting turn after another, resulting in perhaps the strongest film from Peele since ‘Get Out’. 

As for the story of ‘Nope’, I can’t recommend enough going in with as little knowledge as possible. Even those with a vague understanding of the concept or plot line will still be in for a treat though, as the film revolves around the sci-fi genre in a manner which hasn’t felt this intriguing since Denis Villenvues’ ‘Arrival’ in 2013. Although completely different films, both come as the work of a director firmly hitting their stride, as they explore ideas which were present in their previous films, but begin to traverse completely new regions in equal, or greater measure. 

Of course the story is great, the performances work well within the context of the story, but also this is just a film which looks incredible. The colour palette is consistently dusty and barren throughout, to match the horse ranch setting, but moments of dynamic and colourful imagery, dotted precisely throughout, re-engage the audience with their fascinating composition. Whether that be a setting as simple as a supermarket, late-night diner, or live television set from decades ago, each scene holds the audiences gaze in a well-crafted way so as to constantly reinforce the idea that these are people mixed up in an exciting and unpredictable adventure.

Definitely not the creepiest or most thrilling of his films, I would most likely categorise Peele’s new film as more of sci-fi/western/adventure. In fact, aside from the occasional intensity of a small handful of scenes, many of the supposedly more edge-of-your-seat moments, play out beautifully thanks to the incredible composition and set designs of the visuals. Though it may not contain the social and political depth of ‘Get Out’ – at least not any that has surfaced so far – ‘Nope’ is a film which simply makes for compelling viewing. A perfect cinema film.

Where the Crawdads Sing – Review.

Rating:15 Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickenson and David Strathairn. Directed by Olivia Newman. Written by Lucy Alibar (screenplay) and Delia Owens (based on the novel by). Length: 125mins. 

The film is set in the beautiful and dangerous marshland of North Carolina in the 50s and 60s, a place ‘where the crawdads sing’. Edgar-Jones plays Kya, a young woman who has basically raised herself in a remote shack deep in the marshland. She’s had to learn to survive when her drunken and violent Pa drove her mother and siblings away after years of domestic abuse; that is until her Pa dies leaving her to fend for herself. As a teenager Kya is basically on her own, making a living by selling mussels to the local store, roaming wild and free on the wetlands in her boat and drawing pictures of the nature that she’s so at one with. This unusual lifestyle separates Kya from the ‘normality’ of the townsfolk and she is treated with contempt by most, with few allies and, once an adult, catches the attention of two young men. The first, Tate, taught her to read and encouraged her artistic talents but soon went off to study. The second, Chase, picks up the pieces of her somewhat broken heart and does his best to win her affection… 

The opening scenes of the film show the discovery of a dead body in the marshland, the body belonging to Chase. He’s a popular man about town and everyone is in shock at his demise. Considering the location of his body Kya or ‘the marsh girl’ as she’s known becomes the number one suspect and we find our plot. Kya is arrested and the film jumps between her trial and her story. While in the present we see evidence against her and the noble defence of the outcast girl, broken up appropriately with Kya’s upbringing, experiences and life as a young woman all leading up to the moment that Chase lost his life. 

I find films like this to be so interesting. First and foremost, this being based on a best selling book with a large fan base – often when popular books are made into movies there’s an element of disappointment at the result, however every single fan of the book that I spoke to said it was just as good as the book, a rare situation indeed! Secondly, I was baffled by the majority of the critics reviews being so very negative. Yes, this film is not perfect, but for some reason critics seem to focus on unusual elements such as costume choices or details around Kya’s hygiene rather than the plot, performances, direction and cinematography. It seems as though there was an agreed upon opinion for this film from the very beginning, one which I’m pleased to say I disagree with and in speaking to vast audiences, so do the masses. 

I do agree that perhaps the ending is a little cheesy and that there were definitely moments that felt slow, but as a general rule the movie was engaging, interesting and shot beautifully. A personal criticism is the choice in names for the male leads, I found myself forgetting who was Tate and who was Chase as their names were so similar but that is likely just me and not really a criticism at all! Where the Crawdads Sing is a really solid film and I would highly recommend, it’s definitely one to watch to form your own opinions on but it is worth noting that it does include some upsetting scenes. 

Thor: Love and Thunder – Review

Rating: 12A
Featuring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson and Russel Crowe
Directed by Taika Waititi
Length: 119mins

Taika Waititi first made a name for himself as a charming, witty and touching director of some of New Zealand’s finest films, both short and feature length. His ability to create familiarity, particularly when exploring childhood, has won over audiences every step of the way, and a career-beginning with just two second hand motors has flourished into one in which the trappings of a major Marvel franchise rests upon his soldiers.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ was all set to deliver the same loveable qualities which made Waititi and Marvel’s first collaboration, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ feel like a fresh bolt of lighting amongst Marvels’ ever-repetitive filmography. The introduction of seasoned professional Christian Bale, as well as the return of equally qualified Natalie Portman promised a new depth to the performances on display. Despite all this, the film sadly feels like a slightly messier, if slightly funnier variation of the same film which Marvel has been repeatedly reproducing for the last decade.

Christian Bale’s introduction as the god-slaying villain ‘Gor’, seems a sizeable enough opposition to Thor’s recently reinstated powers, but serves also as a reminder of how far Marvel’s constant ambition has led, with audiences wondering where they’ll be able to go next in search of a suitable bad guy – perhaps Gaia herself will wage war on the Avengers? Despite Gor’s character arc having a slightly rushed feeling at times, he maintains a status as one of the more vaguely memorable villains within the MCU in recent years, even if it is only the lack of a CGI-disposable army, as well as the film not entirely relying on fisticuffs to reach its resolution. There’s a little more depth to his origin and intentions which, paired with Bale’s performance, draws the viewer in.

Taika Waititi’s signature humour is somewhat visible amongst the studio influence and desire for establishing future projects which Marvel is known for, but often the jokes within this comedy feel completely off-the-cuff and inconsequential, which isn’t unusual for a Marvel film, but appears as a great contrast amongst the rest of the directors films, which so often are able to intertwine humour with a feeling of the narrative driving forward. This isn’t to say the film should be viewed as any detriment to Waititi’s career. Given the opportunity to direct some of the biggest names and hardest-working crews in the industry, as well as recieve a paycheck sizeable enough to fund plenty of smaller, more director-controlled stories, such as Waititi’s upcoming ‘Next Goal Wins’, I imagine we would all jump to the clap of the puppet masters hands for a little while.

As always, Marvel have released another feature which will most likely be thoroughly enjoyed by those who have a vested interest in the company, whilst being considered as one more among many by most other viewers. It has its moments of enjoyability, intrigue and excitement, but does little to rise above anything else we’ve seen from this fantastical universe in recent years.

Minions: The Rise of Gru – Review 

Rating: U Cast: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Russell Bran and Julie Andrews. Directed by Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val. Written by Matthew Fogel and Brian Lynch. Length: 87mins.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is the second of the Minions movies (its prequel opening in 2015) and is a spin off series of films from the hit movie trilogy – Despicable Me. It’s not difficult to see why film makers have jumped on this opportunity. When the small yellow minions took a supporting role in the original trilogy their silliness, gobbeldy-goop language and obsession with bananas stole the hearts of many children (and adults) across the world. But how many stories can be told about this group of minions? In this new release, film makers take us back to Gru’s childhood, with a glimpse of how the minions joined Gru and on an adventure to assist Gru to his dream; becoming the world’s greatest super villain. 

The story is relatively simple, no surprises there…Gru wants to join the vicious six (a league of the most evil super villains) when they kick out one of their own. They laugh Gru off for being a child so Gru steals from them and ends up being kidnapped by the wronged villain who is no longer in the ‘gang’ and the minions take it upon themselves to rescue Gru. With the minions splitting up – one on a mission to regain what was stolen and three determined to find and rescue Gru we get to follow our little yellow heroes along their adventure. The plot changes direction a couple of times but lets be honest – audiences aren’t really there for a gripping adventure plot. 

While full of slapstick style gags, the humour is average; unlike the Despicable Me films which didn’t fail to make audiences of all ages laugh. The good news is that Minions: The Rise of Gru is quite a short film and so didn’t feel like too much of a waste of time. It seems to be a film that will pack in audiences purely for it’s previous charm and history – I don’t think anyone really cares about the quality of the content.  

I wouldn’t tell anyone to rush out and see Minions: The Rise of Gru. If it’s raining and you’re looking for a way to waste an hour or two then it’s a perfectly reasonable way to entertain the children, but other than that, you wont miss anything from not watching it. I imagine they’ll make more minion movies but it’s just a money making thing at this point. They know children love minions and will just throw any old storyline together to produce something for them to watch while the dollars flow in through the box office.  

Last Night in Soho – Review

Rating: 15
Featuring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Rita Tushingham and Michael Ajao
Directed by Edgar Wright
Length: 117mins

Over the last twenty-odd years, Edgar Wright has slowly and surely been establishing a clear and exciting style for himself, which makes its mark through impeccable timing, a great attention to detail, and simply a feeling of joy and excitement shining through in his work – showing that directing really is his true calling. At the turn of the millennium, Wrights’ hilarious and fascinating take on the sitcom genre won over a large crowd of British TV viewers. His later ‘Cornetto’ trilogy would have the same effect on the next generation of British moviegoers, and you’d be hard pressed to find any young adult on this island who couldn’t finish the quote, “No luck catching them swans then…” In more recent years, action-packed ‘Baby Driver’ would catch eyes and ears on a more global stage – particularly within Hollywood – through its eclectic soundtrack and constant feeling of rhythm – skills honed by the director since the very start of all of this. As a result you’d expect his latest film, ‘Last Night in Soho’ – a high budget thriller with huge names attached, appearing under the credit of a director who so far doesn’t have seemed to have missed a beat his entire career, to have moviegoers queuing around the block, with rave reviews following soon after. And yet things don’t seem to have quite panned out that way.

For this review, the term ‘latest’ is probably a littler generous. ‘Last Night in Soho’ reached UK cinemas in October of last year, but has more recently been creeping its way into households through its addition to various streaming services. Despite this, as well the previously mentioned number of attributes attached to the film, it seems to have all passed by with very little fanfare. Described frequently as ‘disappointing’, ‘underwhelming’ and at times, strangely rough around the edges compared to Wrights’ previous filmography, and I can’t say I completely disagree.

The film explores the supernatural connection which forms between a young, nostalgic fashion designer named Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), who’s just beginning her studies at UAL, and similarly aspirational, but seemingly more confident Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy) – a resident of 1960’s Soho with grand aspirations of becoming a famous performer. However, as Eloise bears witness to the progressively-worsening series of horrors which play out for Sandy all those years ago, her own position in the big city seems to become all the more disturbing.

The two lead performers are, of course, really strong, and make for an interesting driving force within the narrative, as despite their intertwining connection, it’s rare that the two ever communicate. Like a false mirror, Eloise is helpless to only watch Sandy’s heartbreaking story, and Sandy seems to remain almost entirely unaware of the presence of the other.

‘Last Night in Soho’ deals with some deeply traumatic themes, and uses the thriller/horror genre to explore the root of these issues. It’s not an entirely new idea, but one that can work extremely well if executed with a deep consideration and clear perspective for such a story. Films like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’ spring to mind. However, unlike these classic films, Wrights approach with the subject matter of the film feels misguided, and, at times, straight up uncomfortable – a far cry from his reputation as an extremely concise director in terms of his storytelling ability.

The visual style too seems extremely unlike previous works such as ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim’, which really holds back a film which aspires to create tension and thrills, as what is shown, or perhaps not shown, remains a key element to having the audience digging their fingernails into any unfortunate sofa cushion.

Of course, to measure the failure of a filmmaker against their previous successes does, in this case, highlight ‘Last Night in Soho’ as an anomaly within Wright’s body of work. It still has some interesting and exciting moments both visually, and in terms of narrative, and would probably work well as a throwaway evenings’ viewing, but will hopefully be looked back on more as a small blip in the career of an otherwise extremely innovative modern director.

Elvis – Review

Rating: 12A Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Written by Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce. Length: 159mins. 

The release date for Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ has arrived and it’s sure to get audiences dancing. We seem to be going through a phase of legendary musician biopics and this one falls slightly out of the framework pattern but that isn’t a surprise to those who know the previous work of Luhrmann. This is the story of Elvis’s dramatic rise to superstardom and the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of those he trusted. 

The film opens with a voiceover by Elvis’s former manager, the infamous Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks (unrecognisable beneath layers of prosthetics and unflattering makeup). After sharing details of his gambling addiction, he finishes with the ominous reveal: ‘some people say I robbed Elvis … some even say I killed him’. We get the basics of Presley’s career: the early days of hardship, the profound influence of black music, the blues and gospel; a glimpse at his days on the country circuit before signing for Parker, his huge success, military service in Germany, marriage to Priscilla, a flash of Hollywood, the Comeback Special and the long Vegas goodbye…considering this is the basics and not really in too much detail, it’s an awful lot. With a run time of 2hr39 it’s a bit of a slog but having said this I would have no idea what you can cut. The challenge of a biopic is that audiences need to see a journey, but when the journey includes so much it’s inevitably going to be a lengthy watch.  

This is a very technical film that screams awards season which is unusual for a movie released at this time of year. I hope that it is recognised for what it is as the performances, scoring, editing and direction are bold and deserve acknowledgement. I do feel like some audiences might be disappointed with Elvis – not because it’s bad, it’s actually quite brilliant. It’s just that the trailer presents a movie that is very appealing to the masses. It suggests a straight forward story with a few well known songs and it’s much more complex than that. It’s full of interesting cuts, colours and a wonderfully fused score of music of the era and contemporary hits. 

Elvis is a brilliant film, it’s not one that I would watch again but I would definitely recommend that people give it a watch. It’s another reminder that the grass is not always greener on the other side and that when people appear to have it all – there’s often a lot going on that isn’t known.  

Spiderhead – Review

Rating: 15
Featuring: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett and Tess Haubrich
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Length: 107mins

Spiderhead’ tells the story of the necessary once-in-a-lifetime genius for this kind of film, with the equally as expected tropical lair to match. Inside, the trials of a handful of volunteers are unfolded, as they take part in a strangely enigmatic research process that brings laughter, fear and tension in equal measure.

Miles Teller and Chris Hemworth lead the film, and despite sharing a great amount of screen time, never seem to build any form of powerful relationship that the audience is able to connect with. Their individual talents feel a little wasted on the film, with the story allowing them little more to work with than the kind of archetypal prisoner/prisonee tropes this type of narrative so often delivers. Perhaps if the writing was stronger during their shared moments, the two actors could have created some great moments of tension and intrigue.

In terms of set design, the layout of ‘Spiderhead’ seems to draw a lot of ideas from the works of early Black Mirror episodes being released ten years prior. A cold and minimalist tone rests over the design of the architecture and the clothing, and resonates further into the film itself. It never seems to find its footing any deeper than a simple overarching story, or the barebones and forgettable locations in which our action plays out.

Perhaps by moving away from attempted one-liners, vague psychological observations, or desperate requirements to show the likely already created spotify soundtrack, ‘Spiderhead’ could have resulted in a decent little thriller inspired by the likes of ‘Lord of the Flies’ or ‘The Stanford Experiment’, but unfortunately it feels a little more like another failed Netflix experiment than any major breakthrough.

Top Gun: Maverick – Review

Rating: 12a Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer and Glen Powell. Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Written by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie. Length: 130mins. 

 Thirty-six years after Top Gun was released and became a smash hit, Tom Cruise is back doing what he does best – flashing his superstar smile and jumping into an aircraft for this brand new blockbuster that doesn’t fail to take your breath away. Top Gun: Maverick re-joins our hero – Naval captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, not quite where we left him at the end of the first movie. He’s still flying, he’s still fast and he’s still unapologetically himself. He’s recalled to Top Gun, to train the Navy’s best young aviators for an almost impossible, dangerous and time sensitive mission. While the mission is a challenge in itself, Maverick has to face (and train) the son of his ex-wingman and best friend ‘Goose’ as well as reuniting with an old flame… 

What is so wonderful about this film is that the original was a perfect standalone – it didn’t need a sequel, it was so well rounded just as it was and was released in a time where it was much more common to release a film on its own. BUT, come 2022…delayed ever so slightly due to Covid:19 the sequel lands and it is almost perfect. It embodies just the right amount of nostalgia and reference to the original, the plot is interesting and exciting – different to ‘Top Gun’ but is so well thought out and fitting with the first film. I just think it’s so difficult to create a really great sequel full stop, but to manage to create a sequel over 30 years later and for a film that no one expected a sequel for seems like an impossible task and the creative team nailed it. 

I don’t know enough about how much Tom Cruise was involved, other than I expect him to have been the driving force and quite frankly he deserves a pat on the back. This film released at the perfect time, bringing audiences of all ages back into cinemas and reminding folk what watching motion pictures on the big screen, as they were designed, is all about.  

Tom Cruise doesn’t drop a beat with his Maverick; I expect the initial role was so important to him and he seems to pick the character straight back up with ease. The casting was perfect. Particularly in the selection of Miles Teller as ‘Rooster’. Not only does Teller look like his fictional father but he brings really authentic emotion. This character ‘feels’ so much in this film and is really going through all sorts while still competing to be selected for this mission and Teller nails it. It’s really quite wonderful to watch the character develop and grow in confidence throughout the movie and see his relationships change with him. Jennifer Connelly plays the beautiful, confident bar owner Penny who, of course, captures the eye (and heart) of Maverick. My only slight comment here was that the romantic element wasn’t really necessary. It’s nice – it’s well performed, it breaks up the story a bit and of course the romantics are there for it but it didn’t progress the plot. Maybe I’m scraping the barrel for criticism, but that’s all I’ve got!  

Top Gun: Maverick is simply, a brilliant piece of cinema. Everyone should watch it, at least once, on the big screen. It has a relatively short running time but it holds its audiences from the first moment and doesn’t drop them.  

This Much I Know to Be True – Review

Rating: 15
Featuring: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Earl Cave, Andrew Dominik, Marianne Faithful
Directed by Andrew Dominik
Length: 105mins

Though the story of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s dynamic relationship may not be one familiar to too many people, the echoes of their influence reverberates out to a greater number than many may realise – whether that be through the haunting performance from Cave and his band, ‘The Bad Seeds’, on tracks such as ‘Red Right Hand’ and ‘O Children’, popularised by Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter respectively, or the Cave and Ellis collaborative effort which brought to life the scores of films such as ‘The Assassination of Jesse James..’, ‘The Road’ and ‘Wind River’ to name a few.

So within this intriguing context – what is the story of ‘This Much I Know to Be True’? Sadly, it’s one born of tragedy, as the narrative documents Nick Cave’s grief-stricken attempts to find some consolation through art after the death of his son, Arthur, six years prior. From purely a listeners’ perspective, the fallout being three of perhaps the greatest art rock/chamber pop albums released this side of the millennium. 

Cave and Ellis may appear as if they’ve only recently stumbled out of some desolate Aussie landscape and only vaguely attempted to meet any societal norm – but this unorthodox perspective on life has culminated in some truly beautiful music, which the two perform throughout the documentary whilst accompanied by mesmerising lighting setups and captivating camera movements led by director Andrew Dominik (Assassination of Jesse James, Killing Them Softly, Blonde).

It would be wrong to say that this is a film for the average movie-goer, as at least a vague familiarity with these artists’ work allows for an even greater appreciation of what’s being presented here. However, the brilliance of the performances on display is perhaps matched only in quality by the dynamic and exciting visuals, culminating in something which, for me, became one of the most impactful cinema experiences so far this year. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are endlessly watchable, both as tirelessly entertaining friends, and genius’s at play.

Even if you only know the voice of Cave through his dramatic ‘Red Right Hand’ performance, or the haunting charm of his ‘O Children’ accompaniment to Harry and Hermione’s waltz in the penultimate Harry Potter film, I would highly recommend taking up any opportunity to see this film. Like D.A. Pennebaker’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ chasing after the unstoppable Bob Dylan of the mid-60’s, or Peter Jackson’s recent revitalisation of a Beatles teetering on the brink of collapse in last years ‘Get Back’, it’s not often you get to witness the whirring cogs of a working genius up close and personal, but ‘This Much I Know to Be True’ gives us this chance once again.

The Lost City – Review

Rating: 12a Cast: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Brad Pitt. Directed by Aaron Nee and Adam Nee. Written by Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, Adam Nee and Aaron Nee. Length: 112mins

In the Lost City Sandra Bullock plays Loretta, the author of a novel franchise-series that focuses on fictional stories around archeological realities that Loretta and her late husband studied together while he was alive. Her Lara Croft style adventures feature her own character going on adventures with her lover, a character named Dash. What real life Loretta isn’t too keen on, is the reality that her cover model, Alan (Tatum), is a key factor in selling the books and some have trouble separating the fictional characters from the real life. The story ramps up though, when Loretta is kidnapped by an evil British billionaire who takes her to a mysterious Island which is about to be destroyed by a volcano in the hopes that she can help him find an ancient treasure; meanwhile Alan takes it upon himself to rescue her and quickly discovers that ‘Alan’ isn’t quite the natural hero as his character in the books…

The Lost City isn’t a particularly ‘unique’ film – it fits neatly into the genre of ‘adventure comedy’ and it’s not shy about using cliches like a seemingly charming British villain or a volcano due to erupt at any point…but it’s okay. I think most of its audiences are very aware of the ‘type’ of film that they’re going to watch and as long as that is the case, then there won’t be any disappointment.  

Bullock is an absolute master at this level of comedy, she brings such an authentic feel to ridiculous situations and I think just having her lead a cast automatically relaxes an audience into something that’s a bit familiar. Tatum is also playing his stereotype – the handsome idiot – but it’s his stereotype for a reason and he’s very good at it. It was interesting to see him play a more family friendly role and was nice to see that he doesn’t solely rely on some of the more, perhaps, cheap laughs around language or sexuality that we’ve seen him do so many times. The real genius that probably comes from their sheer level of experience is that both Bullock and Tatum are smart enough to know how silly the whole thing is. They perform in a way that suggests ‘they know that we know, that they know’ how ridiculous the action is.

The Lost City is the perfect film for escapism. It isn’t the best in its genre. In recent years I would suggest that films like Jungle Cruise hit the mark a little better than this one. But, it’s a solid, amusing film to watch when the real world just gets a little too much.