Kelly MacDonald is wonderful at bringing the protagonist to life. The cast of voice-actors includes Billy Connolly ( Boondock Saints ) and Emma Thompson , but MacDonald has to carry every scene and she does so magnificently. The Scottish accents are toned down so as to be understandable, although the one character who uses a genuine Scots dialect is unintelligible - a deliberate joke on the film-makers' part.
Visually the film is reminiscent of Disney's works. Comedy magic, a menacing monster and a beautiful princess ... It is child-friendly - there are scenes of mild menace, but any violence is off-screen. There is also an after-credits scene, for anyone willing to sit through five minutes of the names of all the Pixar staff (and their babies).
Sandler has success at work when he fixes his sleazy boss (David Hasselhoff - Nick Fury ) up with his wife's friend ( Jennifer Coolidge ). However, he neglects his wife ( Kate Beckinsale ), so she ends up with Sean Astin ( Lord of the Rings ). But at least his daughter grows up to be a well-padded Katie Cassiday .
The bad news is, the gangster sends a couple of Triad hit-men after the crooks. Even worse, the cottage is near a village filled with old people who wander around like a plague of zombies.
The story has a genre shift at the midpoint, much like From Dusk Til Dawn , where it changes from crime thriller to straight-up horror. Actually this goes from comedy-thriller to slasher, but the comparison is close enough.
There is an after-credits sequence with Tracey's stepfather (Stephen Berkoff - Werewolves Vs Strippers ).
Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network ) has worked unnoticed in a Kafkaesque office managed by Wallace Shawn ( Princess Bride ). His life, ever on a downward spiral, gets worse with the arrival of a doppelganger - James Simon. Surreal events ensue, involving his love interest ( Mia Wiakowski ).
This is a typical British film about a midlife crisis ... enlivened half way through when it is revealed that the town's population has been taken over ...
While on their road trip, our heroes encounter lots of Cameos - including several by Seth Rogan. The movie really plays up the old rivalry with fans of Star Trek . However, to ease things over the film-makers have William Shatner ( Star Trek: TOS ) play a major part in helping the protagonists.
The General, Chris O'Dowd ( Laura Pyper 's BF from The IT Crowd) realises that something does not make sense. Jack is still alive, and yet he claims that he died when the Titanic sank! Yes, the General is the one to root for. He is portayed as a villain, but he takes responsibility - compared to the so-called hero who cons a nation of people so they can build his dream home for him.
The film does have some good SPFX, though - if you like steampunk giant war machines - and the film was shot on location at Blenheim palace, so the architecture is spectacular.
Superstar actor George Clooney ( From Dusk Til Dawn ) is meant to be making a Biblical epic akin to Ben Hur . Unfortunately he is kidnapped and held for ransom. It turns out he is being held by screenwriters who have been blacklisted as communists. In fact, not only are they commies but there is a Russian submarine lurking off the coast of California, ready to take their leader to Moscow. Luckily, the ransom is pocket change compared to the studio's slush fund ... but it is sorely needed in mother Russia!
In an unrelated subplot, Scarlett Johannson is pregnant by Christopher Lambert ( Highlander ) Unfortunately, she is single and he is married to someone else. In the 1950s, an era of repressive morality, this situation would be publicly unacceptable. As a result, the Studio plans to have her fake an adoption.
The real show-stealer is the young Western genre star. He is an expert rodeo rider who does all his own stunts, but is completely out of his depth when cast in a costume drama directed by Ralph Feinnes ( Grand Budapest Hotel ).
A mad scientist cryogenically freezes a US Army soldier (Luke Wilson - Charlie's Angels ). Unfortunately the cryo-capsule gets lost, and the soldier wakes up centuries later in a post-apocalyptic future. Even though the protagonist is something of an idiot, IQs crashed so badly that he is now one of the smartest men alive.
The soldier falls foul of the local laws. Luckily, he gets a lawyer (Dax Shepard - CHiPS (2017)). The bad news is, Rehabilitation in the future is public execution by Monster Truck, broadcast live on the Violence TV Channel.
The President (Terry Crews - Expendables ) hires our hero, and gives him a team including Sara Rue . The human race will die out due to a massive crop failure. Can anyone work out the meaning of the word isotonic in time?
The plot is simple enough, a cliché used as an excuse to make low gags happen. There are lots of celebrity cameos, as one can expect from something with Keith Lemon in it. But the real joy of this film is to spot all the Belfast landmarks being passed off as parts of English cities.
Eddie Murphy's last really good film was Bowfinger - all the way back in 1999. But this is an under-appreciated film that deserved wider distribution and acclaim. It ticks a lot of boxes humour-wise. There is slapstick, fish-out-of-water misunderstandings, character stereotyping, bodily function references: Nothing too sophisticated, in other words. But nice and un-threatening, just a family-friendly film.
Unfortunately, evil billionaire Tex Richman (Oscar-winner Chris Cooper) wants to buy the Muppet studio and demolish it. Our heroes must re-unite the Muppets for one last concert, to raise enough funds to save the studio.
This is a wonderful example of what movies used to be like. It features delightful musical numbers (written by the songwriter from Flight of the Conchords) and celebrity cameos, such as the unexpected appearance of Jim Parsons (Sheldon in Big Bang Theory).
The film is filled with references to Campbell's earlier works in the Genre. Ted Raimi ( Skinner ) plays several roles, so you should know what kind of movie to expect.
Victorian military officer Flashman (Malcolm McDowell - Clockwork Orange ) falls foul of ambitious young German politician Otto Von Bismark (Oliver Reed - Assassination Bureau ). The result is a comedy-thriller pastiche of Prisoner of Zenda.
The all-star cast includes Britt Eckland, Rula Lenska , Michael Hordern, David Jason, Joss Ackland, Bob Hoskins and Bob Peck.
Scott (Michael Cena - Zombieland ) falls for a hipster chick ( Mary Elizabeth Winstead ). But before he can date her, he must defeat her seven evil exes - including Chris Evans ( Fantastic Four, Sunshine, Captain America ).
Scott also has to come to terms with his own exes, because his personal life has had complications of its own.
The visuals are incredible, bringing the story to life in comic-book style. The cast is also excellent.
A small band of survivors cling together, and turn on each other, in hilarious ways. The more OTT the situation becomes, the funnier it is.
Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) has a cameo as a Heavy Metal-hating preacher.
Unfortunately, twenty years previously the area was the scene of the Memorial Day Massacre. A group of college kids, familiar with the tropes of horror movies, think that our protagonists are bloodthirsty murderous hillbillies. The kids arm themselves in the way that horror movie victims ought to (but rarely do), spiralling down into a Lord of the Flies situation. And violently hilarious, hilariously violent mayhem ensues.
The obvious comparison is with the above-mentioned Joss Whedon film. However, this is played entirely for laughs. It is original insofar as the film is from the hillbillies' perspective. Every survival movie from Deliverance onwards has a set of tropes that are mocked here.
The girls have to help their community survive the crackdown. Even Vlad Tepes (Malcolm McDowell - Clockwork Orange ) is on board with it. However, the girls’ maker ( Sigourney Weaver ) is a psycho killer, and thus is a danger to everyone around her.
This is quite an enjoyable little film, made on a low budget with a great cast. The supporting actors play it straight, and the special effects support the story without undermining it through over-use.
Our mis-matched team carry on like a bunch of Citizens On Patrol - yes, this idea was covered in the Police Academy series a couple of decades ago. And then they discover that their suburban neighbourhood has been invaded by alien monsters that can pass themselves off as humans ...
This is a predictable bog-standard Hollywood comedy, mixed with a predictable Hollywood Alien Invasion. The one thing that is particularly impressive is the presence of Ayoade, a British comedy talent who has now transplanted himself across the Atlantic. He may be the new Ricky Gervase ( Invention of Lying ) - but this could be a curse for him instead of a blessing.
The two idiots are exiled from the clan, so they go exploring. They meet biblical figures like Cain and Abel and Abraham (Hank Azaria - Godzilla (1998) ), who enjoy pastimes such as killing close family members and mutilating peoples' genitals in the name of religion.
This is not just a standard Rom-Com. There are shades of Dr Doolittle , because Mr Zookeeper talks to the animals! The Lion (Sylvester Stallone - Demolition Man ) and his fellow beasts give their keeper some helpful advice. And hilarity ensues.
The storyline is familiar. A bunch of misfits discover that ghosts are real, so they team up to save the world from supernatural terrors. So far so good. In fact, many younger viewers might prefer this to the original because there is more CGI and more humour derived from bodily functions. However, the film is not without its problems.
The problem of casting a reboot to a much-loved original was always going to be an issue. In fact, we are lucky they did not cast the predictable faces (James Franco, Dan Fogler, etc). However, the new take on the characters is not an improvement on the old. In the original, Venkman (Bill Murray - Zombieland ) is a bit of a slick conman. In contrast, the Kirsten Wiig character is a self-pitying victim. Melissa McCarthy is toned down from her usual level, and is noticibly less funny than in her other movies. Kate McKinnon , the mechanical genius of the group, is the best of the bunch. And the token black woman is a walking minstrel show, reciting every cliched negative stereotype of a black woman we have seen since Big Momma's House. Seriously, people should stop complaining about percieved racism on the Internet and pay more attention to it in the script. This movie could be taken as proof that a white hetero male, no matter how well-intentioned, can struggle when attempting to portray a woman of colour. Or perhaps, and this is a lot more likely, it is just a poorly-written script full of cliches and negative stereotypes.
The original team were middle-aged men who had to content with obstructive authority figures, who were also middle-aged men. The new team are younger women (McKinnon is only thirty, she was born the year that the original film was released), and they encounter a number of authority figures. The obstructive ones are male (cameos by the three surviving original Ghostbusters - Murray, Ackroyd, Hudson), while the helpful ones are female ( Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver ). Yes, the Old Girl Network has helped women progress in ways that were impossible for men thirty years ago. Ackroyd's character had to take out a third mortgage on his parents' house to buy the old fire station, while the lady Ghostbusters just rely on handouts from the female-friendly authorities.
In the original movie there were three main female parts - the secretary, the love interest and the antagonist. Here these have been squeezed into a single role filled by Chris Hemsworth ( Marvel Avengers ). He is also the butt of a lot of jokes in the way that the original characters were not. Similarly, the nearest equivalent to the Rick Moranis character has been seriously downgraded The original character, Louis, was a somewhat successful (if nerdy) accountant. This new character is a loser doing a menial job, and he is so angry at society he has become an out-and-out villain. He shows empathy for the Black Ghostbuster, who does a similarly menial day-job, but despite him visibly being worse off than the women he gets absolutely no sympathy from them. Likewise, one cannot imagine any of the male Ghostbusters (even Venkman, who is a nimrod) speaking so dismissively to Janine as the women speak to Hemsworth at the end of the movie.
MIB Agent Jay (Will Smith - I Am Legend ) needs a new partner. Ell ( Linda Fiorentino ) has returned to the morgue, and Tee (Patrick Warburton - The Tick ) did not meet the job's exacting standards. Jay pulls his former partner, Kay (Tommy Lee Jones - Space Cowboys ), out of retirement.
Serleena takes over the MIB HQ, and interrogates the boss (Rip Torn - Beastmaster (1981) ). This leaves Jay and Kay to go off the grid, so they must stop Serleena without backup.
It is business as usual for MIB Agents Jay (Will Smith - I Am Legend ) and Kay (Tommy Lee Jones - Space Cowboys ). However, Agent Zed (Rip Torn - Beastmaster ) has passed away. His replacement (in a Jenny Sheppard kind of way) is Emma Thompson . But before we discover what she and Kay are hiding from Jay, Boris changes history and deletes Kay!
Jay must go back in time and save the world. The plan is to time travel back to 1969, then head off to Cape Canaveral for the Apollo 11 launch. Just like in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged me .
Time travel naturally leads to confusion. Each of the films gives a different version of Kay's life. In the 1950s he took flowers to his GF, and gave them to an alien ambassador instead. In the 1970s he had a doomed love affair with an alien princess. And here in 1969 he has UST with co-worker Alice Eve , who is meant to be the 40-years-younger version of Emma Thompson . In reality, they cannot be more than about ten years apart in age.
The bottom line is - This is a decent film. Better than the second, not as good as the first. But to anyone old enough to have seen the originals in the cinema (ten years ago for the second, fifteen years for the first!) it is just not original.
Molly ( Tessa Thompson ) is obsessed with Aliens and MIBs, ever since she witnessed an incident in childhood. Instead of having a social life or accepting a job in the FBI, she works in a call centre and obsesses about UFOs. She breaks into the MIB HQ in NYC, where Agent Oh ( Emma Thompson ) recruits her as a probationary Field Agent. Remember how Will Smith had to pass a series of tests in the first film? Well, Molly - who is at best only qualified for desk work - bypasses the tests and gone straight to field work.
Molly, now Agent Emm, is sent to the London HQ. She is attracted to Agent H, so she convinces him to let her tag along on a mission. They have to escort an alien Prince, Vungus (Kayvan Novak - What We Do In the Shadows ) - who looks like poor CGI version of Fungus the Boogeyman. Well, it seems like the film-makers ran out of ideas.
Our mis-matched heroes must fight alien assassins, saveguard a superweapon, and save the world. In the original movie, Jones was the straight man and Smith was the comic relief. Now there are TWO comic relief characters - the male slacker and the female amateur. In case that is not enough, they team up with Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani - Twilight Zone (2019) ) - a THIRD comedy character.
H must contact his ex-lover, Risa ( Rebecca Ferguson ), who is an interstellar arms dealer. Luckily, Molly the shut-in is a world-class free-climber who can scale a sheer cliff without any equipment. This subplot is reminiscent of the Mission: Impossible movies that Ferguson is best known for, but Molly does not have the training of Ethan Hunt.
Finally, everything builds to the climactic Third Act. Nothing original, every cliche is used. Just like the rest of the movie, in fact.
Wahlberg has a girlfriend ( Mila Kunis ) and is in line for promotion at work. He has to start acting like a grown-up, so his old friend Ted has to go.
Unfortunately, when Ted tries to adopt a kid it is revealed that the US Government does not consider him to be a person. He was a slacker so his lack of citizenship was never an issue, but now the legal rights he took for granted are stripped from him. Luckily, he and John find a pro-bono lawyer ( Amanda Seyfried ) who is willing to help.
The first movie focused on John’s relationship with Lori ( Mila Kunis ). Now he has divorced her, so there is a romance subplot with the lawyer. She is ten years younger so she does not get many Ted’s movie references, especially two that apply to her. Her name is Samantha L Jackson, making her the namesake of the actor from Kingsman . Also, her big emotive eyes and pointy feminine chin give her the same facial features as a certain character from Lord of the Rings .
Donny (Giovani Ribisi – The Gift ) is back, plotting to sabotage Ted’s law case. He wants Ted for himself – no mention is made of his creepy son.
The climax is at the NYC Comic-Con, where Guy (Patrick Warburton – The Tick ) and his new lover (Michael Dorn – Star Trek: TNG ) dress up as their Sci-Fi Alter-Egos The Tick & Lieutenant Worf and beat up nerds. Sam J Jones ( Flash Gordon ) also gets a couple of appearances in.
His predecessors (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobb) leave him a special set of instructions ... Naturally he does not bother to read them, or the story would lack certain comedic elements.
After sundown, the inanimate objects in the museum come to life. Jed the cowboy (Owen Wilson - Zoolander ) and Octavius the Centurion (Steve Coogan - Tropic Thunder ) are an inch high, but carry on constant war against each other.
Evidently the reason there is no CCTV in the building is that the boss is so tight with money he only bothers to employ a single security guard. Of course, this story is based on a book written in 1993. But even the 1988 film Mannequin had the idea of CCTV being installed to replace the night-watchman.
The Pharoah's usurpatious relative (Hank Azaria - Mystery Men, Godzilla ) teams up with other ruthless historical figures and tries to take over the Smithsonian. This leads to the battle of the film's title.
In the modern day, the NY Met Director (Ricky Gervase - Invention of Lying ) gets Ben Stiller to hold a special exhibition. Unfortunately something goes wrong with the magic tablet, and it makes Teddy Roosevelt act like Robin WIlliams!
Stiller discovers that the only one who can fix the tablet is the Pharoah's father. He arranges to take the tablet, and the Pharoah's mummy, to the British Museum in London. The British Museum's security guard is a Mockney girl ( Rebel Wilson ) who is the equivalent of Jonah Hill in the previous film. She is not the only problem he faces.
Some of the familiar faces have tagged along for the ride. Roosevelt, Sacajaweyo, the tiny Roman and the tiny Cowboy ... as well as Laa, a waxwork neanderthal who was cast in Ben Stiller's image. Also, the British Museum's own waxworks include Sir Lancelot ( Vamps ), a mythologicial figure who somehow crept in.
Previously, the other films were about Stiller's interactions with a love interest - Carla Gugino in the first one, and Amy Earhart ( Amy Adams ) in the second one. However, they are not referred to this time - nor is there a third love interest. Instead, our hero's goal is to bond with his teenage son (who has decided he wants to drop out and be a DJ instead of attending college).
The protagonist is Marlon Wayans ( Scary Movie ), veteran of many such comedy films. The actress who plays his girlfriend is a stand-out, easily the equal of such an experienced star.
Instead of relying on slapstick, this film builds characters and uses dialogue to create humour. A lot of it functions around everyone's dysfunctional sex life.