DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Captain America Civil War

Captain America: Civil War (12a)

Dir. Anthony & Joe Russo

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“You know what's about to happen. Do you really wanna punch your way out of this?”

Here it is then – the second super smack-down of the year following the darker, slightly incoherent but epic Batman v Superman. Disney’s Avengers get their turn to beat each other up in a slick movie which is easily the best Captain America film to date, but might feel a little neutered for fans of the Mark Millar comic book it’s loosely based on.

"The heavy metal fans"

The plot sees an incident involving the Avengers causing yet future collateral damage in a foreign country and shrugging it off with a sheepish ‘sorry’. But a mixture of fear and condemnation from the public raises the political pressure to put some form of accountability on the super team.

This splits the Avengers as Steve ‘Captain America’ Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t want to sign up to new rules and would rather protect his brainwashed baddie pal Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) from justice. Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) however is all for a new level of government oversight and accountability in the face of the whole Ultron affair which he is still feeling the guilt over.

"Winter is coming"

The Russo brothers who directed The Winter Soldier and who will get their chance to ‘go big’ with the next full scale Avengers film ‘Infinity War parts 1 & 2’ do a great job of character development. Effortlessly bringing in new faces which include the movie stealing Spiderman (Tom Holland), the cool and funny Scott ‘Ant Man’ Lang who has a new trick up his sleeve and the noble Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Plus there are the returning Avengers who each get some quality screen time – on team Cap we have Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, on team Iron Man it’s Vision, War Machine and Black Widow. Hulk and Thor are MIA.

"Best thing in the film? yep!"

There are great supporting cameos from Community’s Jim Rash and Fargo’s Martin Freeman too – as well as the obligatory Stan Lee moment.

Civil War is at heart quite a personal film, with less actual threat level which you can view as both a good and bad thing. The fights and chases are great but there’s never a feeling that anyone’s really in mortal peril – good news for those wanting to enjoy spectacular super action with young people in tow.

"Quick - do the iconic scene!"

Exciting and funny, this is a super treat for the senses which gives great fan service without upping the ante too far. Normally war is hell but this one is a blast!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Pick a side and leave grinning)...

Awesomeness öööö – Rocks some great set pieces and hits some real highs

Laughs öööö – Nicely observed funnies (thanks Spiderman n Antman in particular)

Horror öö –  action violence and threat but nothing too grim

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö – take a stand

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Bastille Day

Bastille Day (15)

Dir. James Watkins

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Release the Hashtag...”

Meet Sean Briar (Idris ‘Luther’ Elba) – a maverick CIA Agent described as “reckless and irresponsible” in his official assessment. When a bomb is stolen and kills innocent people on the streets of Paris, Briar goes off the deep end punching, shooting and generally cutting a swathe of destruction across the city in order to stop the criminals behind it.

Unwillingly aided by desperate pickpocket Michael Mason (Richard ‘Game of Thrones’ Madden) the scene is set for a buddy action race against the clock to foil a daring violent heist.

"buddy cops go go go"

Alas it’s just not very good. Director James ‘Eden Lake’ Watkins throws ideas at the screen like his life depends on it but even with Elba going ‘full Die Hard’ this can’t rise above the level of generic ho-hum. Whilst hardly high art, this is the sort of film that Luc Besson does with brutal style, and so it’s dispiriting that Watkins’ effort feels like a cheap knock off.

British actress Kelly ‘True Detective’ Reilly gives a good account of herself but is under used, unfortunately the other supporting cast are pretty dismal and that includes the laughable main bad guy who comes across like an out-of-shape French Robert Downey Jr.

To be fair not all the action scenes are poor and there is one exciting rooftop chase which wouldn’t look out of place in a bigger budget action film, there are also elements of cinematography by Tim ‘Snatch’ Maurice-Jones that work but gaping plot holes and a frankly shoddy ‘climax’ make this one Bastille Day that won’t be celebrated by many.

"viva la hastag"

At least Elba isn’t the problem (well, not until he starts singing and rapping over the end credits which is beyond cringe) – it’s everything else that lets the side down.

It massively undoes any tension when you can’t help but smirk at the ‘edgy’ subtitles which repeatedly show the hashtags used by the baddies to stir up public violence and disorder. The writers should take a long hard look at themselves after making Elba and co try and keep straight faces in the face of this lazy plot device. In this day and age such shoddy, lazy writing shouldn’t be tolerated.

This isn’t a terminal headshot for Elba’s action film credentials but it is certainly a film you don’t need to waste your time on.


Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(2 - Not so much ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’, more ‘l'action moyenne médiocre’…)

Awesomeness öö – Couple of good scenes

Laughs öö – Laughable in places

Horror öö – Not very grim

Spiritual Enlightenment -ööö - Fear the hashtag

Monday, April 18, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Eye In The Sky

Eye In The Sky (15)

Dir. Gavin Hood

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review: The Gazette

“Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.”

Hey, terrorists – we’re watching you… You can’t see it but as well as the satellites tracking you, cruising overhead is most likely a Predator: medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system piloted by ace U.S. Top Gunners. Closer to your base there are most likely covert remote control spy cameras too, some look like birds, others like beetles. Yes, there’s almost nowhere to hide…

Watching the feeds from these various pieces of high tech kit are military officers from around the world, one is Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen ‘Trumbo’ Mirren), based at RAF Northwood - just around the corner from LST where I work - a top secret drone operation controller.

"say cheese - wherever you are"

Tasked with trying to capture dangerous Al-Shabaab terrorists in Kenya, Powell has tracked several high level targets to a possible rendezvous / suicide bomber preparation base. As the suspects include both radicalized British and U.S. citizens, the tracking team is made up of American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron ‘Triple 9’ Paul) aided by his A1C (Phoebe Fox), the Brits in Northwood and native operatives on the ground in Kenya.

When Powell discovers the targets are planning an imminent suicide bombing, the mission escalates from a ‘capture’ to a ‘kill’ right under the noses of the watching MPs and General Frank Bensen (Alan ‘Die Hard’ Rickman).

"high stakes Skype"

As the seconds tick by, the tension mounts and then just as the strike order is about to be given a young Innocent girl enters the kill zone triggering a crisis of morality amongst those watching. Could this girl cause an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government? What value do we put on one life’s worth?

Director Gavin ‘Enders Game’ Hood handles this flashpoint collateral-damage-em-up with an effective grip. The key players in the both Government and Military, who have to make the agonizing decisions as to whether the ‘cost’ of innocent lives are worth the ‘win’ of taking out those committed to carrying out acts of violence against many more are well handled.

"Working from home!?"

This is nail biting stuff (literally, the woman beside me in the cinema was audibly chewing on hers throughout) and despite the moral dilemma at the heart of the plot it keeps you entertained. Kudos must go to the late great Alan Rickman for giving a fine final performance here too.

Keep an Eye out for this military grade thriller that will leave you with much to ponder.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3.5 - Welcome to the new front line! )

Awesomeness öööö – Heart in mouth scenes

Laughs ö – Little to smile about

Horror ööö – Limited by hard hitting war death

Spiritual Enlightenment -ööö - How many deaths for greater good!?

"RIP - Alan Rickman, you were a legend!"

Monday, April 11, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Hardcore Henry

Hardcore Henry (18)

Dir. Ilya Naishuller

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review: The Gazette

“Fight back! You're capable of more than you think.”

So you wake up in a high tech lab, with no memory, seemingly resurrected from the dead and given cybernetic ‘Robocop’ like limbs … You’re greeted by a beautiful blonde who introduces herself as ‘Estelle’ (Haley ‘The Equalizer’ Bennett), who says she is your wife. Before you can fully comprehend what is going on, or even get your voice module connected, the lab is stormed by a maniac named Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) who has psychic powers and leads an army of heavily armed mercenaries.

"The road wars"

Akan kidnaps Estelle and leaves Henry for dead (again) and thus the scene is set for a what is probably the most violent cinematic action adventure of all time…

Can super-soldier Henry overcome insane odds, rescue Estelle and find out the truth about who he really is? It’s great fun finding out as long as you have the stomach for seriously gory death and destruction – all presented from a unique first person viewpoint. The ‘witnessing the plot entirely from Henry’s viewpoint’ might make some unsettled due to the vertigo inducing kinetic action but it creates a film that feels very much like a big screen mix of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty – with a huge body-count.

"Your wife - worthy of rescuing by any means necessary"

Hardcore Henry is the most insane carnage-em-up to grace the screen since The Raid. Director Ilya Naishuller is obviously a fan of over the top action and he packs the film with every sort of death imaginable. It feels at times like a homage to the cheesy violent action of Arnie’s ‘80s movies like Commando, it even packs a good deal of darkly comic one liners.

Henry’s only ally in his quest is a mysterious agent named Jimmy (Sharlto ‘District 9’ Copley) who seems to have the ability to jump for body to body. Jimmy is a great sidekick, with his British soldier body / personality the pick of the bunch – dropping lines that are equally offensive and funny – certainly got the biggest reaction from the crowd I caught this with. So strap in for a totally insane blast of bad taste violence, swearing and hyperactive eyeball straining action.

"Baddies with low life expectancy!"

Hardcore Henry certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact there are reports of many people walking out of screenings in the U.S. but as long as you know what you’re getting in to this like a turbo charged shot of pure adrenalin to the heart. Enter at your own risk!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Mad, bad and dangerous all over)

Awesomeness öööö – Insane adrenalin pumpung action scenes

Laughs ööö – Laughing out loud at the sheer wrongness

Horror öööö – Very brutal violence - gory and in-your-face

Spiritual Enlightenment -ö - Violence in and of itself

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Darkmatters shares Star Wars ROGUE ONE trailer

ROGUE ONE (A Star Wars Story) TRAILER...

Matt Adcock (@Cleric20) is feeling The Force again...

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is the first film in the new series of standalone Star Wars movies from Lucasfilm. It tells the story of how a group of unlikely heroes unite to undertake a daring and seemingly impossible mission to steal the plans for the Death Star...

Darkmatters already love Star Wars...

Read the Darkmatters review of The Force Awakens: Here

Watch the fan made Darth Maul short film: Here

Here's what happened last time Matt went to see a Star Wars film at the cinema...

Film fan from Hitchin dresses as a Sith for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens midnight premiere at Stevenage Cineworld

Read the story: The Hitchin Comet

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Eddie The Eagle

Eddie The Eagle (PG)

Dir. Dexter Fletcher

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Hemel Gazette

“I've been kicked off every team before I even got a chance to prove myself.”

Here we are then, a tale of courage, of death defying daring-do and erm, well, true British ‘heroic failure’. Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle (directed by Dexter ‘Wild Bill’ Fletcher) is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron ‘Kingsman’ Egerton), a lifelong loser who became an Olympic athlete.

"Is it a bird? Is it a plane?"

Despite the superb Marv production team that includes Matthew ‘Kick-Ass’ Vaughan, I didn’t have high hopes for this tribute to the unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself. I shouldn’t have doubted – Eddie The Eagle is an absolute blast of underdog-makes-good euphoria inducing fun.

I remember being a bit confused by Eddie’s ski jumping effort when I followed his infamously average progress live on TV back in 1988. It was a mixture of pride that we had a Brit stepping up to take on the frankly terrifying, incredibly dangerous sporting challenge, and of embarrassment that he simply wasn’t very good at it. This film strikes a great balance of showing the hard preparatory work (cue Rocky-esque training montage), the adrenalin pumping climax and yet doesn’t over glamorize the fact that Eddie still came last!?

"Don't stop believing!"

Egerton is charismatic and does an excellent job bringing the geeky Eddie to life – showing immense range after his super cool Kingsman Agent turn last year and eating up the screen, making Eddie a very likeable British Champion. Also on hand to lend some A-list cred is Hugh Jackman who plays his reluctant coach Bronson Peary, and a strong cameo from Christopher Walken too.

The ski-jumping ‘action’ is superbly shot and pulse racing, plus the film scores major points for a cracking ‘80s soundtrack. There is a palpably sense of joy that flows through the movie and it’s hard to resist. Everyone looks like they’re having a good time - the supporting cast include stereotypical foreign ski-jumpers, a snooty British Olympic Committee and Eddie’s working class parents.

"Winner at heart"

There are plenty of laughs to be had here too – and whilst Eddie is definitely a figure of fun, the vibe is more that we get to laugh along with him rather than just at Eddie’s seemingly overpowering hopelessness at sport.

Eddie The Eagle is a lovely movie worthy of seeing on the big screen!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - British Olympians FTW!)

Awesomeness öööö – You'll almost believe man can fly!

Laughs öööö – Lots of funnies

Horror ö – Very little to worry about

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - Dream it, do it

Darkmatters Review: Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally (PS4)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

With apologies to Carly Rae Jepsen:  I really rally rally rally rally rally like you…

"Ah the Lancia Delta (used to own a non rally variant of this great car!)

Dirt Rally is a beast – a beautiful, brilliant and breath-taking beast that will humble you, drive you mad and leave you grinning like an idiot once you master it’s brutally tough driving challenges. Think Bloodborne but with cars and you’ll understand about the punishing pleasures awaiting those brave enough to strap in and tackle what can only be adequately described as ‘the ultimate console rally experience’.

"Fire up the Quattro!"

Developed by driving game specialists Codemasters, Dirt Rally ditches much of the glamour trappings and novelty tack ons of recent racing games and gets back to thrilling high speed basics.
Get a corner wrong here and there’s no ‘rewind time’ function to save you from the vehicle damage and lost seconds that will see you slip down the leaderboard with your stage time in ruins.

"Things go 'VROOOM'"

Packing a burning overall ‘one more go factor’ as you strive to shave seconds off a stage you’ve been grappling with in a new car and what you have here is pretty much a glimpse of rally heaven. Speaking of which if there is such a place as rally heaven, the legend that was Colin McRae RIP is almost certainly up there playing Dirt Rally on his PS4!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Total Rally Joy - and pain but it hurts so good!)...


Friday, March 25, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (12a)

Dir. Zack Synder

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Luton News

"You don't owe this world a thing - you never did..."

Here it is then, the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: Son of Krypton (Henry Cavill) versus The Dark Knight (Ben Affleck).

"God vs Man, day vs night..."

Seeing these two titans of comic book history come to blows on the big screen has been the fantasy of fans ever since Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ pitched them in battle way back in 1986. Now Zack ‘Man of Steel’ Synder has made it happen.

The plot sees Superman viewed with fear and mistrust by many since his city wrecking take down of General Zod which caused serious collateral damage. Bruce Wayne can only see Supes as a danger to society and fears what will happen should the powerful red caped alien be left ungoverned. He decides to stop Superman and gears up in some kick ass new Bat-armour to do the job. But just when it looks like the fight is over a new bigger threat emerges along with a movie stealing Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). From then on all bets are off as to where we end up.

"The graphic novel that inspired B v S"

Dawn of Justice certainly takes its sweet time building up to the title fight, revisiting Batman’s childhood trauma, some dark and scary ‘what if’ dream sequences and a ground zero re-viewing of the Zod / Superman battle. Some might want things to move along a bit quicker, or grumble as the coherence occasionally flounders, but I found it a sheer joy to get to spend so much time with the two icons.

All the cast are on good form, Affleck’s older, more grizzled Batman is great plus Jeremy Irons is quality as his butler Alfred. Cavill is an earnest Superman who is fond of a tortured look of consternation when not shooting lasers out of his eyes, whilst Gadot is absolutely superb as Wonder Woman, not letting her skimpy armour detract from her fierce, feisty Amazon warrior credibility.

"the new superhero trinity"

Jesse Eisenberg brings a fascinating new Lex Luthor and there’s good supporting work from Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Holly Hunter as Senator Finch and Laurence Fishburne’s news mogul Perry White.

The writers have lots to pack in – setting up the DC super team of Justice League, yep with The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg too. That they manage to deliver some meaty philosophical elements as well as a dose of unmatched and utterly jaw dropping super action spectacle should be applauded.

"A woman apart"

Maybe a little grim for youngsters and slow burning in parts but comic book fans the world over should embrace the epicness Batman V Superman delivers - the gauntlet has been thrown down for Marvel’s Civil War.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - This Super Dark Knight Kicks Ass)...

Awesomeness öööö – packed with both endorphin rush action and thoughtful scenes

Laughs öö – occasional mirth

Horror öö – heavy duty action violence and threat

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö – still packing that Christ imagery


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Darkmatters: High-Rise

High-Rise (15)

Dir. Ben Wheatley

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review: The Northampton Chronicle

“You just sit there... and think about what you've done…”

The future isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to Ben ‘Kill List’ Wheatley we have High-Rise – the big screen version of JG Ballard’s ‘70s freak out novel that charts the complete breakdown of a community who live in a high-tech tower block.

"The mind is multiple"

Meet architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons). Royal symbolically lives in the Penthouse of the utopian living block he designed where the floor structure is ‘the higher you live the richer / better’. Things get shaken up when Doctor Robert Laing (Tom ‘Thor’ Hiddleston) moves into an apartment on one of the upper middle floors but is happy to befriend those both above and below him. Laing finds a society of divided loyalties, class injustices and dangerously fragmented tribes. With tangible tension and unhinged madness in the air, there will certainly be ultra-violence before the credits roll.

The denizens of the High-Rise are a fantastical bunch including sexy single mum Charlotte Melville (Sienna Miller), sinister oddball Nathan Steele (Reece Shearsmith), dangerous ‘Begbie-alike’ Richard Wilder (Luke Evans) and his good natured pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss).

"Dance time"

High-Rise boasts jaw-dropping cinematography, everything reeks of a sinister future chic as only could have been imagined in the ‘70s, it’s similar to that of ‘A Clockwork Orange’. The sprawling car park at the foot of the tower is filled with Triumph Stags, the inner décor is avant-garde to the max and the fashions include icy cool business wear, funky print dresses and Blur-esque track suits.

As the ‘Lord of the Flies’ tribal differences turn from insanity to violence, there is an infectious escalation of frenzied scheming which the plot can’t quite keep up with. When a full bloodied class war breaks out between the lower and upper floors, all bets are off as to who will survive and whether or not the Penthouse will be able to keep themselves in white wine.

"Keeley Hawes"

Hiddleston is incredible in the lead role – fully embracing the weird and wonderful casual savagery with a restrained cool that can’t hurt his possible audition to be a future Bond. Wheatley is on top directorial form, obviously relishing having a bigger budget to play with, combining the feel of Ballard’s novel with his own freakish imagination.

High-Rise is a fabulous dystopian psychological breakdown writ large on screen, it makes The Hunger Games seem like light comedies. It won’t be for everyone, those of a squeamish nature should certainly not apply, but for anyone up for a fully wild adventure – this is ‘High’ly recommended viewing.

"Clothes optional"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Welcome to the high life...)

Awesomeness öööö – Freaky fun going up in the world

Laughs ööö – Very dark mirth at play

Horror öööö – Disturbing English 'Mad Max' alike violence

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Class / War

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Darkmatters welcomes: Darth Maul Apprentice Star Wars Fan-Film


Reaction by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

The Force is very much with T7 Production who bring Star Wars fans something a bit cool...
Step up Ben Schamma - the new face of Star Wars uber baddie Darth Maul who gets to kick copious Jedi butt in this pre-prequel fan film.

Using some nifty lightsaber effects and decent fight choreography (handled by Vi-Dan Trantice) this funky insight into Maul's pre-Episode One life hit the web last Saturday, and has been seen over 1.2 million times (and counting) on YouTube.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (Very cool)

If you haven't seen it yet, take a few minutes out of your day and enjoy it below...

In the mood for another cool short film? Check PREY ALONE which is superb... 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Hail, Caesar

Hail, Caesar (12a)

Dir. Joel and Ethan Coen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Gazette

“Squint against the grandeur!”

Gird your cinematic loins. Prepare for a mind-bending day in the life of ‘50s Hollywood Studio Exec fighting to maintain a semblance of order in the midst of a madcap volley of problems, the sort that only the genius minds of the Coen Brothers could unleash.

"Capitol Studios Fixer Extraordinary"

Hail, Caesar could be described as a part sequel to the Coen’s Barton Fink (same fictional studio at the heart of the action), or even a sibling screwball comedy to their classic kidnap caper The Big Lebowski. More than anything though, this glorious tribute to the heyday of elaborate musical flicks is stuffed to the brim with pure Coen references and quirks. For some that will mean scratched heads and a sense of ‘what have I just seen?’ – for others, Hail, Caesar will delight with a life affirming crackle of manic energy backed up with a deep spiritual charge.

We join Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) who works for Capitol Pictures, he’s having a trying day as his leading man Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) has suddenly disappeared. Meanwhile B-movie rodeo cowboy star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) gets seriously out of his depth when asked to make the jump into high class drama for picky director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes).

"Pure class"

Add into the mix scandal courting pin-up leading lady DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) as a grumpy synchronized swimming mermaid with man problems. And there’s cheeky tap dancing comedy star Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) who might just be caught up in a sinister communist movement known only as ‘The Future’.

All bets are off when scandal seeking journalist sisters Thora Thacker and Thessaly Thacker (both played by Tilda Swinton) start to pry into the studio’s dirty laundry. Can Mannix survive in the face of such pressure

The Coens are basically having a high old time with this homage-em-up which doesn’t confirm to any standard plotting. There is plenty of fun on offer but it’s mixed up with savvy political comment and a vein of spirituality, the likes of which is rarely found so blatantly presented on the big screen. The climactic speech by Clooney as a Roman Centurion facing the dying Jesus on the cross even makes this into a fascinating ‘Passion Play’ of sorts and makes it perfect Easter watching!

"Which way to Rome?"

Fans of the Coen brothers should make seeing Hail, Caesar top of their ‘to do’ lists – whilst those looking for more standard cinema comedy should see this with an especially open mind.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Lights. Camera. Abduction.)

Awesomeness öööö – Joy that goes soul deep!

Laughs öööö – Great fun

Horror ö – Very little grimness

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - Life affirming stuff!

"Wonder Woman!?"

Monday, February 29, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Grimsby

Grimsby (15)

Dir. Louis Leterrier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

When the world is threatened by an evil plot, can MI6's top agent Sebastian Butcher (Mark ‘Kingsman’ Strong) find a way to save us? It’s a big ask, especially as he’s in an emotionally vulnerable state after a reunion with his long lost brother Carl ‘Nobby’ Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen).

"unlikely team"

These Butcher brothers are made of stern stuff, they hail from Grimsby after all. Meet big hearted and foul mouthed Nobby, an unlikely working class hero. Part football yob, part idiot benefit cheat with 9 children (named Django Unchained, Skeletor etc) – is this the man who can help his brother foil a attempt to assassinate leading humanitarian Rhonda George (Penelope Cruz)? With Sebastian’s cover blown and only his faithful handler Jodie (Isla Fisher) willing to help, he doesn’t have a choice.

Director Louis ‘The Transporter’ Leterrier changes up the ‘usual’ Sacha Cohen tom foolery by injecting some balls out (in every sense of the words) action scenes, up there with Mission Impossible et al. Strong is erm, strong in the super spy role whilst Cohen is brings his cutting satire comedy lens to bear on broken Britain – putting the ‘grim’ in Grimsby.

"Northern family"

Get ready then for a seriously bad-taste-em-up action comedy that will offend as much as it amuses, get your adrenalin pumping and leave you laughing (even if hating yourself for it). Cohen just doesn’t have a PC filter and here the biggest laughs are crafted from seriously gross out scenes – the elephant orgy alone is liable to burn itself into your mind forever.

There is a cleverness at work behind the scenes though - making cutting social points such as when Nobby gets into a shootout and tells Sebastian “I understand why you love guns so much now…It completely detaches you from the guilt of your actions.”

"Gun nut"

Some of the targets work better than others, Donald Trump makes this feel very ‘of the moment’ whilst quite what Daniel Radcliffe has done to deserve such treatment we can only wonder at. There are a ton of fun cameos that include Rebel ‘Pitch Perfect’ Wilson as Nobby’s Northern Mrs - Lindsey, Gabourey ‘Precious’ Sidibe as Banu the Cleaner and Ricky Tomlinson as Paedo Pete.

Not everything works – the jokes about AIDS and wheelchair bound children are hardly fitting as mass crowd-pleasers but Cohen’s horrible gift is in getting you laughing along despite yourself and thus losing the right claim moral high ground.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - Heavy duty laughs - that will dirty you up)

Awesomeness ööö – Outrage(ous) set pieces a go go

Laughs öööö – You want funny, be careful what you wish for

Horror ööö – Gross out!

Spiritual Enlightenment ö - none

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