With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries to be both a new version of those 1950s Biblical toga epics and a generous dose of camp silliness. The result will be a guilty pleasure for some in the audience, especially those who enjoy watching grown men leap around in short skirts. The actors are sometimes lost in the overwhelming animation, and the casting of Westerners as North Africans is more than a little dubious. But the script is smarter than it looks, and director Alex Proyas is clearly in a playful mood.
The premise conflates the golden age of the Pharaohs with the ancient world of Egyptian gods. And things kick off when the bitter god Set (Gerard Butler) launches a reign of terror by killing his brother, blinding his nephew Horus (Nokolaj Coster-Waldau) and taking over the mortal world, enslaving all humans. Horus' greatest fan is the muscly slave Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who, encouraged by his glamorous girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), sneaks into Set's palace and steals one of Horus' eyes. He then strikes a deal to help Horus assume his rightful throne. But this means travelling into the sky to confront his grandfather Ra (Geoffrey Rush), then teaming up with sneering god of wisdom Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) and duplicitous Hathor (Yung) to take on Set.
All of this is so ridiculous that it's difficult to stop giggling. And that seems to be part of the idea, as Proyas merrily cranks up the snarky wit in every scene, especially as he indulges in a series of ludicrous set-pieces that feel like videogames populated by toy action figures. The digital effects continually engulf the characters, transforming the gods inexplicably into animal-headed metallic robots. But they also create some genuinely gorgeous moments of spectacle, with sprawling landscapes and whooshing action. Basically, the actors have little choice but to hang on for the ride along with the audience.
Continue reading: Gods Of Egypt Review
When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset, non-more so than his wife Isis. Piecing her husband - and fellow god - Osiris back together, she manages to resurrect him for long enough to conceive Horus. So begins a lifetime of battles for the Kingdom.
Set, the brother of Osiris and god of storms, disorder and violence on one side and Horus, the son of Osiris on the other. When Set and Horus go head to head in combat, the mortal citizens of Egypt hope for one victor (Horus) but in a moment of weakness, Set makes his move and steals the eyes of Horus.
Soon after the downfall of Horus, Set takes over Egypt and enslaves the mortals, knowning there's little hope of being saved, one mortal hero decides to help steal the eyes of Horus back in order to gain the trust of the cast out god. To take the kingdom back (and save Bek's love), he and Horus face vast armies of mortals and immortal demons cast under Set's spell.
Continue: Gods Of Egypt Trailer
Far more entertaining than it has any right to be, this is a big, messy blockbuster retelling of the Greek myth that thankfully has a sharp sense of humour and some surprising twists up its sleeve. The cast is also packed with veteran performers who know how to make the most of some eyebrow-raising innuendo, generating intrigue while keeping the audience laughing with them rather than at them.
The premise takes a revisionist approach, grounding the legend of the demigod Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) in real stories that have been exaggerated by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who travels with him as a kind of toga-era marketing expert. Their team of mercenaries includes wryly fatalistic seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), quick-witted blade-thrower Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), bow-wielding amazon Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and loyal mute warrior Tydeus (Aksel Hennie). When they're offered a fortune by Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to quell a rebellion, they find themselves in the middle of a massive battle that doesn't go the way they expected. And as events take unforeseen turns, Hercules and his gang have to dig deep to turn the tide in their favour.
Johnson is a natural in the role, so massively pumped up that he looks like he could be popped with a pin. His hulking physique and just enough back-story give the character's reputation some weight, both literally and figuratively, so even if he's not half-god his achievements are still pretty impressive. (There are also plenty of hints that he may turn out to be a god after all.) And the surrounding characters add to this with cleverly written roles that are expertly played by British scene-stealers Hurt, McShane, Sewell, Mullan and Fiennes. McShane is so good that he essentially walks off with the whole movie. But relative newcomers Ritchie, Hennie and Berdal more than hold their own.
Continue reading: Hercules Review
Max Morden is an art historian who's determined to re-discover his own history following the heart-breaking death of his ill wife. In a bid to re-visit his childhood, he descends upon an idyllic seaside town where he enjoyed much of his summer holidays alongside the Grace family. The boarding house he used to visit is now run by Miss Vavasour and is co-inhabited by a peculiar man named Blunden, and his own daughter is anxiously trying to convince him to return home. Instead, he reflects upon his time as boy, where he found himself infatuated with the dazzling Mrs. Grace and subsequently drew closer to her children, the hypersexual Connie and her brother Myles. He begins to remember significant details from his time there, including an affair between the children's nursemaid Rose and another member of the household, and starts to wonder just how accurate his childhood memories are.
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Hercules is a bitter and haunted demi-god filled with resentment for the people and the gods (including his father Zeus) who put him through the Twelve Labours; a series of arduous tasks that saw him dance with death on a number of occasions. Now, alone and with no family of any kind to turn to, his only comfort in the world is fighting to the death in battle, alongside a group of other like-minded warriors who similarly have nothing left to live for. However, they face a challenge of a more ominous kind when the King of Thrace enlists them to train up as the most formidable army ever created in a bid to overthrow a powerful general. This is a fight of a different kind for Hercules; he may have more strength than the average man, but just how far will that take him?
Dwayne Johnson stars as Hercules in the latest adaptation of the Greco-Roman myth. Based on the graphic novel 'Hercules: The Thracian Wars' by Steve Moore, the movie has been directed by Brett Ratner ('Rush Hour', 'X-Men: The Last Stand', 'Red Dragon') and written by Ryan Condal ('The Sixth Gun') and Evan Spiliotopoulos ('The Nutty Professor', 'Battle for Terra'). 'Hercules' is scheduled for UK cinematic release on August 8th 2014.
Rufus Sewell talks about where he fits in the actors' pecking order.
Rufus Sewell may have moved to LA, but a bulk of his acting work still comes from the UK. The Dark City star has been in the UK for his forthcoming movie All Things To All Men, which is set in a cold grey London. He spoke to The Mirror as he stood standing at a “cold, windswept Battersea Power Station,” which serves as the backdrop for the movie. “It’s a bit cold to be doing this,” he complained, before heading to his caravan for shelter.
He explained that the source of his workload took a perverse turn when he decided to settle down in the States. “Since the moment I decided I'll stay in LA, the interest in England has sparked up. I've actually done more work for the BBC in those four or five years than I had done in the 15 years previously.” When it comes to landing roles, Sewell is also acutely aware of the competition and knows that there’s a pecking order in the acting world, which sometimes means he doesn’t get the roles he wants. “If a film role is still obviously good on page 10 my heart sinks because I know I'm probably out of the running. However, if only I can see how it's a great role, then maybe I'm in there.”
Sewell also explained that he’s not keen on just playing bad guys and is hoping not to get stereotyped. “As far as I’m concerned, the idea of just playing bad guys is really boring… a career that’s just comprised of playing one-note villains is not an interesting career for me.
Sadly, there has been such a glut of gun-packed London crime thrillers, that it simply isn't enough to make one that looks good and has a fierce energy: you need a solidly structured plot that goes somewhere unexpected. And that's where this film struggles. It's slick and atmospheric, with a terrific cast, but the story is so overcomplicated that it's almost impossible for us to maintain any interest in what happens.
At the centre is Detective Parker (Sewell), a shifty cop who's playing a very dangerous game as he tries to crush mobster Corso (Byrne) by undermining his cash-flow and threatening his son (Mascolo). Parker gets help from his rather reluctant partner Sands (Maynard), but rookie Riley (Gregory) is horrified to see the corruption he has wandered into. Then the efficient hitman Riley (Stephens) walks straight into the middle of everything, unaware of what's going on. He hides out with an old friend (Paraky) whose husband was also caught in the crossfire. And none of them realises that they're on a deadly collision course.
Isaac has a superb eye for catching London on-screen, using striking iconic locations and placing the action within the sweeping scale of the city. But his overuse of shoot-outs and car chases makes it feel deeply implausible. And his screenplay makes little concession to the audience, as dialog is peppered with references to earlier events we know nothing about. Clearly there are all kinds of interconnections between these people, but it's impossible to untangle them so that things make sense. Much more interesting is the way everyone gets caught up in the moral ambiguity of each decision they must make.
Continue reading: All Things To All Men Review
Young Abe Lincoln (Walker) is determined to get revenge against the sinister Barts (Czokas), who had something to do with his mother's death. But it turns out that Barts is immortal, so Abe's new friend Henry (Cooper) trains him in how to fight vampires. Meanwhile, Abe pursues a career in politics, marries Mary (Winstead) and discovers that the alpha vampire (Sewell) is using the Civil War as a cover for bloodsuckers to take over America. Along with his intrepid friends (Mackie and Simpson), Abe sets out to turn the tide at Gettysburg.
Continue reading: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review
As a boy, Abraham Lincoln learns from his father, Thomas, that vampires are real. Worse still, it was vampires that took the life of Abe's mother, Nancy, rather than 'milk sickness' as he previously believed. The news, understandably, shocks Abraham, who vows to avenge his mother and hunt down and kill vampires.
Continue: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailer
Elisa (Jolie) is a sleek, overdressed woman of mystery who is being stalked by a tenacious British detective (Bettany). When she boards a train from Paris to Venice, his men are in hot pursuit, so she sidles up to American touristFrank (Depp) to throw them off the scent. He looks similar to her boyfriend, who's wanted by the cops and a vicious Russian mobster (Berkoff). Once in Venice, Frank finds his world turned upside both by this ludicrously elegant woman and the army of goons pursuing him at every turn.
Continue reading: The Tourist Review
Date of birth
29th October, 1967
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