Spider-Man: No Coming Home (12A) ****
You could skim through a review’s word count trying to describe even a tiny bit of the plot of Spider-Man: No Coming Home. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker’s third solo outing expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into an interdimensional multiverse with a dazzling piece of narrative jujitsu that ties together various elements of Spider-Man lore in a way that manages to be entertaining without feeling like craven fanservice (at least, not entirely). While major spoilers are just a click away from Google, picking up where the lackluster Spider-Man: Far From Home left off, returning director Jon Watts and returning screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers manage to recapture the endearing spirit of Hollande’s first film. exit asking the newly unmasked Spider-Man to let his sense of personal injustice fueled by teenage angst lead him on a half-baked quest to help his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) to get into college after fucking increase their chances.
No good deed goes unpunished in the world of Peter Parker, however, and after recruiting the MCU’s resident wizard Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help him fix his mistakes, it’s not long before his teenager mingles of the fabric of the universe only sees him having to deal with some Spider-Man villains from very different eras. Nods to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films (still the best of the bunch) duly follow, as do the decidedly more average pre-MCU reboots that fell apart after just two installments. But the film does something interesting with all of these returning characters by rooting them in a cinematic universe more attuned to the power of redemption. What it lacks is the kind of visual inventiveness that Raimi brought to this world. Watts does well to keep all the plot points flowing as smoothly as he does, but the sets are done in the seamless House of Marvel style and there’s still no time to compete with the upside-down kiss. of Kirsten Dunst / Tobey Maguire from the first Spiderman Movie. Still, it’s fun enough, with some joyful final act twists.
There’s something a little difficult Titanium, Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’or body horror film about an exotic dancer turned mass murderer who has sex with a car and soon finds herself impregnated and on the run. It has striking visuals, but its transgressive desire to shock and amuse feels a bit derivative, like a chopped up version of cult classics Crash, Eraserhead and Tetsuo, with a bit of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Under the Skin added. for good measure.
The film’s protagonist is Alexia, whom we first meet as a teenage survivor of a car accident she caused in an effort to get the attention of her indifferent father. Left with a titanium plate in her head, she grows into the androgynous form of newcomer Agathe Rousselle, who fully commits to the role of adult Alexia, a scar-headed punk underdog who makes a living by dancing. in auto shows for perverse car. passionate. Alexia has a metal fetish and animalistic instincts and seems to exist in a permanent fight or flight mode consistent with survivors of neglect and abuse. When this begins to manifest in gruesome and deadly violence, she is forced to leave her old life behind.
It’s here that the movie suddenly gets a little more interesting as Ducournau switches gears with a plot that’s largely reminiscent of Bart Layton’s 2011 documentary The Imposter. With her face all over the news, Alexia poses as the adult son of Vincent (Vincent Lindon), a firefighter whose child, Adrien, disappeared a decade earlier. What motivates this emotionally damaged man to accept Alexia without a DNA test interests Ducournau less than exploring the ways its gender-nonconforming protagonist tests the limits of male desire and fatherly love – though once you have exceeded all the eroticism apart from the suspicion remains that Ducournau takes you on a ride rather than on one.
Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence are a crop in more ways than one in Don’t look up, Adam McKay’s painfully unfunny comedy satirizing government incompetence in the face of impending calamity. The calamity in this case is a comet on a collision course with Earth – a plot recycled from the 1990s blockbusters Deep Impact and Armageddon, although the supposed joke of this film is that world leaders are now so incompetent and selfish that they won’t. do the right thing, even in the face of some frustration. The plot takes shape around DiCaprio’s nerdy astronomer and Lawrence’s doctoral student as they attempt to alert the world to his impending doom while Meryl Streep’s Trumpian President dithers and pivots in order to strike a deal with a eccentric tech billionaire (Mark Rylance) to solve the problem. in a more profit-oriented way. It’s all very smug and obvious, without the bite of McKay’s opus on the financial crisis, The Big Short.
After steering his gentleman-spy comic book franchise The Kingsmen into the ground after just two installments, director Matthew Vaughn is rebooting it as a prequel in The king’s man, a caricatured version of world history starring Ralph Fiennes as a reluctant war hero forced to renounce his pacifist beliefs in a last-ditch effort to save England from annihilation during World War I . Although Vaughn trained in the prequel department – he revived the waning X-Men franchise with X-Men: First Class – he loses the plot here by reimagining the Great War as the brainchild of a Scottish nationalist. chippy eager to bring England to its knees by forcing King George into a disastrous war with his German cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II and his Russian cousin Nicholas II (all three roles are played by Tom Hollander). There are some truly bizarre settings, but a sudden shift to serious melodrama with a Gallipoli-esque portrayal of the horrors of trench warfare only serves to underscore the film’s utter tastelessness.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now; Titanium is in theaters from December 26; Don’t Look Up is currently available on a select version and on Netflix from December 24; The King’s Man is in theaters from December 26
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