Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) ramps up this reboot franchise with a strikingly well-written action-drama, which takes an unusually complex route through the story. By refusing to have any simplistic villains, the film encourages viewers to see all sides of the conflict, which draws out vivid emotions and some unusually relevant political themes. It's also a technical triumph, obliterating the line between animation and actors.
It's been 10 years since the events of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Caesar (Andy Serkis) has built a thriving ape community in the woods north of San Francisco. They haven't seen any humans in years, since the simian flu has killed all but one in every 500 people. But there's a tenacious group of human survivors in the city, and when Malcolm (Jason Clarke) and his team venture out to search for a source of hydroelectric power, they run into the ape community. Both Caesar and Malcolm are willing to talk about cooperating, but Caesar's second in command Koba (Toby Kebbell) finds it impossible to trust men after they so viciously tortured him as a young chimp. And Malcolm's sidekick Carver (Acevedo) is more than a little trigger happy, as is the community's leader Dreyfus (Oldman) back in the city.
Instead of concentrating on the conflict between apes and men, the film's perspective is through their family units. Caesar's mate Cornelia (Judy Greer) has just given birth to a son, while their older son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) struggles to make sense of the clash between humans and apes. Meanwhile, Malcolm's scientist partner Ellie (Keri Russell) and his observant teen son Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee) offer similar emotions from the human side. The script's clear suggestion is that the next generation may offer more hope for understanding, which makes the stakes startlingly high as violence threatens to break out. Indeed, the film is a bracing exploration of how our decisions today will affect our future.
Continue reading: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review
Meet your Doctor Doom, British actor Toby Kebbell
Toby Kebbell has just landed the role of super villain Doctor Doom in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, meaning the British actor is certainly someone worth getting to know. The rising star already has a pretty impressive CV, which includes an upcoming appearance as an ape (more on that later). With Kebbell announced as the latest Fantastic Four cast member, what better time is there to have a look back at his career so far?
Meet Doctor Doom Toby Kebbell
Yorkshire born Toby Kebbell broke into the acting world with a starring role in Shane Meadow’s acclaimed 2008 thriller Dead Man’s Shoes. For his performance as Anthony, Paddy Considine’s brother, Kebbell was nominated in the most promising newcomer category at the British Independent Film Awards. Having achieved early recognition, he followed up the independent flick with small parts in two more mainstream outings. First he was seen in Oliver Stone’s historical epic Alexander and then, thanks to Woody Allen seeing his performance in Dead Man’s Shoes, he was cast in the director’s tennis themed thriller Match Point, alongside Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Continue reading: Get To Know Fantastic Four's Doctor Doom, Toby Kebbell
Toby Kebbell is the chosen one for The Fantastic Four - but will it work?
As we predicted a couple of weeks back now, British actor Toby Kebbell will play villain Victor von Doom, aka Doctor Doom, in Fox's Fantastic Four reboot. The role was being chased by a number of rising stars including Jack Huston, Domhnall Gleeson and Sam Riley though the studio has plumped for arguably the least known of the contenders, according to Variety.
Toby Kebbell Will Play Doctor Doom in 'The Fantastic Four'
The casting of Kebbell completes a fresh looking cast for the new movie, with Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell forming the herpic quartet. The movie starts shooting in the Spring.
Continue reading: Toby Kebbell To Play Doctor Doom in 'Fantastic Four' - But Who Is He?
The 31 year-old Brit will star as the villainous character Doctor Doom in the superhero reboot, which is due for release summer 2015.
British actor Toby Kebbell will be starring in his first superhero movie.
The 31 year-old, who first gained widespread attention in 2008's 'RocknRolla,' is in talks to play the villain Doctor Doom in the reboot of 'The Fantastic Four,' Variety reports.
Before Kebbell was 20th Century Fox's favorite choice, the film studio were reportedly looking at the rising talents of Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne and Domhnall Gleeson.
Continue reading: Toby Kebbell Cast As Villain Doctor Doom In 'Fantastic Four' Reboot
The casting of 'Dr Doom' in the Fantastic Four reboot is nearing its conclusion, but who will play the villain?
The casting of Dr Doom in the new Fantastic Four movie has reached its final stages, with four actors in with a shot of playing the main villain. So who will be the one to terrorize the new line-up of superheroes, Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell?
According to The Wrap, casting directors have singled out Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne, Toby Kebbell and Domhnall Gleeson as the final four. A fifth actor, Jack Huston, was also in the mix a couple of weeks back though it's unclear whether it remains a possibility.
Continue reading: One Of These Four Actors Will Play 'Fantastic Four's' Dr Doom
This film proves that all the right ingredients don't necessarily make a movie work. Even with top-drawer filmmakers and actors, this dramatic thriller simply never grabs our interest. It looks great, and everyone is giving it their all, but the story and characters remain so badly undefined that we can't identify with either.
The story's set on the US-Mexico border, where a slick lawyer (Fassbender) known as "the Counsellor" has slightly too much going on in his life. He has just proposed to his dream woman Laura (Cruz), while he's planning to open a nightclub with Reiner (Bardem). For extra cash, he's organising a massive cocaine shipment with Westray (Pitt). And it's this drug deal that goes wrong, creating a mess that engulfs Reiner and Laura, as well as Reiner's shrewd girlfriend Malkina (Diaz). As his life collapses around him, the Counsellor scrambles to salvage what he can, even as he realises that it'll be a miracle if anyone survives.
There are problems at every level of this production. McCarthy's first original script is simply too literary, putting verbose dialog into the actors mouths that never sounds like people talking to each other. Fassbender and Bardem are good enough to get away with this, but Pitt and Diaz struggle. Both Fassbender and Cruz bring out some wrenching emotions in their scenes, but their characters are never much more than cardboard cutouts. In fact, no one in this story feels like a fully fleshed-out person. And the little we know about each character makes most of them fairly unlikeable.
Continue reading: The Counselor Review
Despite a bunch of cold characters and a deeply contrived plot, this film is so infused with hot topicality that we are held in its grip all the way through. The issue is corporate irresponsibility and grass-roots activism, both of which feel ripped straight from the headlines to give the movie an edgy, almost documentary urgency. On the other hand, it's nearly impossible to get involved in the story's inter-personal dramas.
Director Batmanglij is reteaming with Sound of My Voice actress-cowriter Marling, who this time plays Jane, a corporate-security spy assigned by her shark-like boss (Clarkson) to infiltrate the eco-terrorism group The East. The goal is to prevent them from attacking any of her clients. It takes Jane awhile to worm her way into the anarchists' inner sanctum, where she immediately finds an affinity with leader Benji (Skarsgard), medically trained Doc (Kebbell) and flamboyant Luca (Fernandez). It takes longer to warm to the prickly Izzy (Page), but eventually Jane finds herself part of the core team, invited to participate in a series of jams in which The East gives company bosses a taste of their own toxic medicine.
In the cast of a pharmaceutical giant, this is quite literally the case: they infect the executive (Ormond) with the dangerous drug she's selling to the developing world. And the gang also stages assaults on oil companies in ways that are eerily easy for us to identify with, because the activists are making an important point. Indeed, we never really doubt where the filmmakers' sympathies lie: even if their actions are illegal and rather nasty, these "terrorists" are the good guys. At least this moral complexity gives the film a brainy kick.
Continue reading: The East Review
While this sequel is just as loud and chaotic as 2010's Clash of the Titans remake, it's also considerably more fun due to some exhilarating action and a refreshing sense of humour. It also looks amazing in 3D on an Imax screen.
Years later, the now-widowed hero Perseus (Worthington) is trying to live as an anonymous fisherman with his pre-teen son Helius (Bell). Then he hears about stirrings of a coming calamity. Indeed, his father Zeus (Neeson) has been kidnapped by Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) as pat of a plan to release Zeus and Hades' evil father Kronos from the underworld. So Perseus teams up with Queen Andromeda (Pike) and rogue demigod Agenor (Kebbell), son of Poseidon (Huston), to rescue his father and stop his brother, uncle and grandfather.
Yes, this is one seriously dysfunctional family, as four generations of men set out to either destroy the world or save it. To be honest, it's never clear why Hades and Ares are so hellbent, as it were, on cataclysmic destruction, but at least this also allows for changing alliances as the story progresses. Not that there's much story, really, as the plot essentially just links a series of action set-pieces.
Fortunately, most of these sequences are entertaining enough to keep us gripped. Highlights include a rather fabulous dragon attack and a desperate, full-on fight with cyclops-giants in a forest. Less convincing are a convoluted underworld rescue-battle and the climactic assault on the volcano-sized Kronos, who rains down fire and destruction rather selectively. (There's also the problem of how the filmmakers can top Kronos in the probable sequel.)
Along the way, there are some refreshing moments of deranged humour, mainly in Kebbell's snarky dialog, Pike's sharp glances and a particularly colourful turn by Nighy (as super-spear smelter Hephaestus). But as the story progresses, there's more than a whiff of Lord of the Rings (the fires of Mount Doom, plus some pointless two-torsoed Orc-a-likes), Harry Potter (the three-pronged Deathly Hallows) and even Star Wars (all that father-son angst). But filmmaker Liebesman keeps things moving briskly, wowing us with so much eye-candy that we just sit back and enjoy the rickety ride for what it is.
In early 1900s Devon, teenager Albert (Irvine) lives on a farm with his impulsive-drunk father Ted (Mullan) and his tough-minded mum Rose (Watson).
When Ted overpays for the wrong horse to work the fields, Albert adopts the horse, names him Joey and teaches him the ropes. But when war breaks out in Europe, Ted sells Joey to a cavalry captain (Hiddleston). At war, Joey changes hands between British and German officers, a young soldier (Kross) and a French farmer (Arestrup). Meanwhile, Albert joins the army, heading into the trenches to search for Joey.
Continue reading: War Horse Review
After the President is murdered in 1865, inexperienced lawyer Frederick (McAvoy) is assigned to defend Mary Surratt (Wright), who is charged with conspiracy alongside eight others. As a war hero from the North, Frederick is horrified to get this job, but is convinced by his boss (Wilkinson) that she at least deserves a fair trial. Of course, in the hysteria following the war and assassination, that's not likely. The judge (Meaney) clearly takes sides, the prosecutor (Huston) is relentlessly arrogant and the war secretary (Kline) has already decided on a verdict and sentence.
Continue reading: The Conspirator Review
Bobby (Kebbel) returns from his final tour of duty in Afghanistan with no plans for his life, although two separate groups make rather insistent offers. First there's the top thug (Thomas) on his grim South London estate, who requires him to join his gun-toting heavies. But Bobby instead wants to help the little brother (Ayemere) of his friend Fahad (Jeremiah), get out of the gang.
Meanwhile, government agents (Curran and Cox) ask him to help shut down a terrorist cell by contacting their rogue informant Alayna (Bielski). But all of this smells fishy.
Continue reading: The Veteran Review