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The Mummy Review

OK

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky visuals with exaggerated action. It's certainly nothing like the involving classic monster movies they're trying to reignite, such as the 1932 Boris Karloff classic The Mummy. But this movie has more in common with Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher blockbusters, with added swimming zombies.

Cruise plays Nick, an American army officer and mercenary who with his cohort Vail (Jake Johnson) has just located a long-lost burial site deep in Daesh-controlled Iraq. Somehow, the hot archaeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) arrives immediately to stop him from plundering this tomb. It turns out that the sarcophagus contains the remains of ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who was mummified alive for making a pact with the evil god Set and then murdering her father and brother. Now transported to London, she returns to life with a vengeance, casting a spell on Nick to help reassemble Set's dagger and finish her nefarious plan. So Jenny turns to her deeply unstable boss Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) for help.

There's rather a lot of mythology building going on here, setting things up for the further adventures of Jekyll's secret society, which is trying to deal with ancient evil like a mash-up of Men in Black and Night at the Museum. Without the humour. There are some throwaway gags here and there, but director Alex Kurtzman stages everything with a gloomy sense of foreboding that simply never gains traction. The thin plot seems constructed merely to connect a series of enormous action set-pieces, which are all very well choreographed but never remotely exciting. It doesn't help that everything on-screen has been extravagantly over-designed, with cavernous sets that have been made deliberately dark and sooty. But this leaves the entire movie feeling artificial, random mayhem in fake places.

Continue reading: The Mummy Review

King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer


Arthur might have an extraordinary destiny, but after his birthright was taken from him at a young age, he has grown up an agent of the streets of Londonium and now the idea that he has royal blood is almost laughable. That is until he manages to unsheath the mighty sword of Excalibur from a stone; a feat that can only be achieved be he who is worthy of the throne. This forces him to make a choice, he can ignore the destiny that is pressing in around him or he can seize it once and for all. He joins the kingdom's resistance and it's there he meets the beautiful Guinevere who encourages him to learn of the power that he wields and defeat the tyrannous Vortigern, avenging his parents and ending his rule for good.

Continue: King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer

Piggy Review


OK
Stylish filmmaking makes this dark thriller worth a look, even if the tricky premise feels rather stale. We understand from the start what writer-director Hawkes is doing here, so the way it plays out feels frustratingly flat, especially as the grisliness escalates.

Working as a messenger in London, Joe (Compston) is a loner who doesn't like to be around people but is bored with his repetitive, numb life. Things improve when he reconnects with older brother John (Maskell) and his girlfriend Claire (Dylan). But Joe is terrified of violence, and rightly so, as both he and John are attacked in the streets. Then he meets John's street-thug friend Piggy (Anderson), who wears a rubber pig-nose as a disguise. He makes Joe feel eerily safe as he teaches him how to get revenge.

Continue reading: Piggy Review

Kill List Review


Extraordinary
British filmmaker Wheatley follows up his terrific debut Down Terrace with another genre-bending film that continually catches us off guard. This time we're watching a freak-out horror movie wrapped in a thoughtful exploration of the tides of relationships. Among other freak-outs.

Jay and Shel (Maskell and Buring) have a mercurial marriage, with full-tilt arguments followed by moments of tender closeness. Perhaps this has to do with their military backgrounds, but their young son Sam (Simpson) doesn't really understand. And neither does Jay's army pal Gal (Smiley), who visits for a tense dinner party with his girlfriend Fiona (Fryer). Then Jay and Gal embark on a business trip as a hitman duo, and as they progress through their kill list, they begin to fall into the clutches of what looks like a sinister pagan cult.

Continue reading: Kill List Review

Ghosted Review


OK
This dark British prison drama is a bit too overwrought to keep us engaged right to the end. Without much subtlety, it tells an inflammatory, somewhat contrived story of guilt and redemption. But the actors make it worth seeing.

After four years in prison, on the anniversary of his young son's death, Jack (Lynch) finds out that his wife is leaving him. Meanwhile, new young inmate Paul (Compston) is quickly taken under the wing of tough-guy Clay (Parkinson).

Seeing this, Jack and his friend Ahmed (Malik) start to worry about Paul's safety. Sure enough, things turn violent, so Jack arranges to help Paul cope with the situation and becomes his mentor-protector. But there are more tensions brewing between various factions of inmates, and clearly things are going to get much worse.

Continue reading: Ghosted Review

Tony Review


Weak
Billed as a week in the life of a London serial killer, this film shows lots of invention in its low-budget vibe, but the script is too contrived and the performances too cartoonish for it to spring to life.

Tony (Ferdinando) is a lonely guy who feels like he's constantly being assaulted verbally and physically for looking at the wrong people the wrong way. It seems that everyone is taking advantage of him, including a couple of junkies (Russo and Pope), a thug (Grover) in a pub, a moronic job centre worker (Maskell), a hooker (Flack)--everyone he meets, really. And it only gets worse when he brings a guy (Camporese) home from a gay bar, explaining away the smell of rotting bodies as a problem with the drains.

Continue reading: Tony Review

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Neil Maskell Movies

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

King Arthur Trailer

King Arthur Trailer

Arthur grew up as a peasant on the streets of Londonium having escaped the terror...

King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer

King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer

Arthur might have an extraordinary destiny, but after his birthright was taken from him at...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Trailer

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Trailer

For the most part, Arthur has taught himself all the life lessons he knows, he...

The Rise Trailer

The Rise Trailer

Harvey Miller had only just got out of prison having spent 12 months inside. Once...

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