DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Darkmatter Review: David Brent Life On The Road

David Brent: Life On The Road (15)

Dir. Ricky Gervais

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“I’m gonna roll you over, and rock you stupid, and leave you there just humming...” 

David Brent is back. I never thought I’d write those words but here is the middle-aged master loser – on the big screen as a documentary team follow his dream of a ‘rock tour’ to save him from life as a sanitary products sales rep.

The Office was incredible TV, that made you wince and laugh in equal measure, the likes of which we haven’t fully seen since. David Brent: Life On The Road picks up the potent unfulfilled dreams of Slough’s favourite office manager and presents the full horror of what happens when Brent cashes in his life savings and pensions to finance a tour for his band ‘Foregone Conclusion’.

T-shirt gun massacre

The good news is that this the best Gervais has been in years – capturing the brilliant comedy / pathos at the heart of The Office and delivering big time both in the laughs and the cringe inducing awfulness of Brent’s socially awkward overdrive. This isn’t for those who are easily offended or just after some gentle humour – Life On The Road is a comedy-tragic-em-up that will rip your heart out even while you’re spitting popcorn.

This older Brent is a lonelier than ever, his hired bandmates won’t socialise with him or even let him on the expensive tour bus he’s shelled out for, - he even has to pay them to have an after show drink with him at one point. The expected adoring crowds don’t exactly turn up and the record company scouts are more interested in the genuinely talented aspiring rapper Dom Johnson (Doc Brown) who Brent has guest rap on some of his songs in an effort to make them both ethically friendly and youth.

Too much detail

The excellent Tom ‘Love & Friendship’ Bennett is great as Brent’s one Lavichem office pal and Diane ‘Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe’ Morgan has a fun cameo as a PR tasked with the impossible job of making Brent ‘cool’. Doc Brown though steals all his scenes with looks to camera of such sheer uncomfortableness that I’d love to see him get his own spin off movie.

Life On The Road takes mid-life desperation and blows the door off it in fine comic style. You’ll laugh, you might even cry but be warned you might also very well hurt yourself due to the unsafe levels of cringe.

Wondering where it all went wrong

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Might tear your soul apart)...

Awesomeness öööö – Goes beyond the cringe threshold

Laughs öööö – Superb but painful

Horror öö – Swears and middle age desperation

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Everyone has a need for redemption (even Brent)

Darkmatters Review: Pete's Dragon

Pete’s Dragon (PG)

Dir. David Lowery

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there”

Prepare to believe in dragons once more as the powers that be re-image Disney’s original boy-and-dragon-em-up Pete’s Dragon. Step this way or an adventure which sees unfortunate orphan Pete (Oakes Fegley) surviving in the wild thanks to his unusual best friend Elliott (a kind hearted furry green beastie).

Pete and Elliot’s worlds are shaken up when Pete runs into Forest Ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who has somehow managed not to notice the wild boy and his giant green pal living on her patch of forest for several years. He’s whisked off to civilisation and introduced to Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill.


As Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about his dragon – whilst the townsfolk decide to catch Elliot to make money out of him. Can the two mismatched kids and kindly dragon believing old timer Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) – who tells the local children tales of a dragon residing deep in the woods – find a way to triumph?

Well, without wanting to spoil it, this is a Disney childrens’ fantasy but it does at least throw in some mild scares, a spot of tension and an impressive fire breathing finale. This new take on Pete’s Dragon updates the 1977 live-action / animation mixture removes lots of the cheese and adds some nice though provoking themes. Director David ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ Lowery does a decent job in making the whole tale bounce along with a bittersweet grounding that should appeal to both kids and those who can still find their inner sense of childlike wonder.


Everyone goes about the fantasy fun and occasional peril with good spirit, Redford is the best I’ve seen him in years and the two young leads are very watchable. Howard has strong recent form with giant lizards after Jurassic World, plus there’s also Karl ‘Star Trek’ Urban and Wes ‘American Beauty’ Bentley to round out a great cast.

Pete’s Dragon is a family pleaser which stands above the cash in summer kids efforts and is certainly worth a look. It is even possible you’ll find your local church doing a Pete’s Dragon themed service as a special pack of resources has been created around the film for churches to use…

Check out the resource pack for yourself at: ETHOS MEDIA

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - Puff ain't go nothing on Elliot)...

Awesomeness ööö – Some great set pieces 

Laughs öö – Some fun but not a comedy

Horror ö – Not grim but tense and occasionally scary

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - BFF's whatever species you are...

Friday, August 05, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (15)

Dir. David Ayer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“We're bad guys, it's what we do…”

In a world rocked by the super threats highlighted by the destructive antics of ‘metahumans’ from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman the government decides to bring together a back up plan to handle the next attack.

"Soul sword"

Meet Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) the cold-hearted agent who creates ‘Task Force X’ by assembling a super team made up of metahuman villains forced to fight for us, not against us. And thus the ‘suicide squad’ is born – comprising of some of DC Comics’ most famous bad guys: Crack assassin Deadshot (Will Smith), Psychotic femme fatale Harly Quinn (Margot Robbie), Dangerous ‘Captain’ Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Flesh eating Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Fire manipulating El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Messed up Slipnot (Adam Beach), Powerful sorceress Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and Expert martial artist Katana (Karen Fukuhara).

Can these ‘worst heroes ever’ actually work with special forces marines led by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) for reduced jail terms or death-via-mini-bomb-in-their-necks if they disobey or try to escape? It’s a blast finding out.

Director David ‘End of Watch’ Ayer brings Suicide Squad to the screen as a sequel and worthy companion to Batman v Superman. Batman (Ben Affleck) gets some cool short action scenes and there is a fun cameo from another member of the soon to be formed Justice League. Suicide Squad works well as a stand alone adventure but also helps build the DC Cinematic Universe in fine style.

"stars of the show..."

This ‘Skwad’ of expendable baddies tear up the screen in an action packed romp which manages to be both dark and funny, and whilst these characters are the ones you’ll be rooting for, you’re not aloud to forget that they are nasty and each have heinous crimes to their names. Pick of the bunch are the perfectly cast Deadshot – Will Smith really delivers a top performance, and Harley Quinn - Margot Robbie might have to wear the most sexist outfit ever but she’s hypnotic and will steal many hearts with her cracked humour as much as her shapely form.

"Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha..."

Also mixed up in the action is Harley’s ‘Puddin’ - The Joker (Jared Leto trying his best to follow in the huge shoes of Heather Ledger) and succeeding, creating a wicked new take on the Clown Prince of Crime.

Pick apart the pacing of the plot and knock the ‘darker than Marvel’ tone all you want but Suicide Squad is a comic book fan’s dream writ large and I left the cinema grinning – both at what I’d just witnessed (stay for the end credits extra scene), and in anticipation of more to come!

"These criminals are animals!"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - In Skwad we trust)...

Awesomeness öööö – Awesome and messy, high adrenaline stuff

Laughs öööö – Mucho dark humour

Horror ööö – Earns the 15 rating as grim in parts

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Who are you anyway?


DISCLOSURE: I loved Man of Steel and Batman v Superman - if you're a hater of the recent DC output you might want to knock off one star from the rating... But also, I pity you!?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne (12a)

Dir. Paul Greengrass

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review over at: The Luton News

“The next bullet's in your head!”

So Matt Damon’s back, yes he’s ‘Bourne again’ for a fourth espionage-em-up as rogue super-spy, Jason erm Bourne. The good news is that just by being in this entry to the franchise, Damon makes this better than the weak spin off The Bourne Legacy which proved that Jeremy Renner should really stick to Avengers films.

"Jason was hoping for a 4 star review"

Also back is director Paul ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ Greengrass and he certainly knows how to make an impressive action scene or two. In fact the two main action set pieces in Jason Bourne are both jaw dropping works of high tension. The first is set against a violent protest rally in Greece and sees Bourne meeting up with fellow secret government program Treadstone agent Nicky Parsons (Julia ‘Dexter’ Stiles) – only to be pursued and shot at by the seemingly unstoppable ‘Asset’ (Vincent ‘Dobermann’ Cassel). In the second scene Bourne is still being pursued and shot at by the Asset but now in Las Vegas and the result is like a carmaggedon scene out of The Fast & Furious.

In between these two bookend action sections there is an awful lot of Bourne walking about looking puzzled and perplexed plus plenty of discussion amongst the CIA top brass who include Tommy Lee-Jones about ‘what are we going to do about Bourne?’. The plan the CIA go with is to let agent Heather Lee (the awesome Alicia ‘Ex Machina’ Vikander) try and bring Bourne back in. The back up plan is to have him killed. The thing is both of those are pretty tall orders due to the fact that Jason Bourne is a one man killing machine – a kind of ‘man with no name’ for the 21st Century.

"Trouble from above"

Jason Bourne packs some great cinematography and a killer soundtrack which both help make up for the fact that in places it gets a bit dull and confusing. Fans of the original trilogy will enjoy seeing Bourne kicking ass again but there’s little here that feels very innovative or new. Sure the plot has a social media wrestling with government interference strand but even that is all a bit ‘Mr Robot’-lite. Otherwise it’s high tech hacking, getting chased, fighting and escaping again in between the tedious bouts of explanatory dialogue – basically Bourne business as usual.

Pick a date with Jason Bourne and you’ll be mostly entertained, just don’t expect him to call back (although if this makes enough cash it probably wont be the last we see of him).

"He's behind you..."

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - you still know his name)...

Awesomeness öööö – Gets seriously awesome but doesn't sustain it

Laughs öö – A few laughs but not many

Horror öö – Fairly lite on the torture n scares

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Who are you anyway?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Darkmatter Review: Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek: Beyond (12a)

Dir. Justin Lin

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Captain's Log, Stardate 2263.2. Today is our 966th day in deep space - A little under three years into our five-year mission. The more time we spend out here, the harder it is to tell where one day ends and the next one begins.”

"If you only knew the power of the dark side..."

Star Trek is back – you know the ‘other’ sci-fi franchise that has never been quite as cool as Star Wars but which has legions of devoted fans… Well, following in the intrepid footsteps of Director J.J. Abrams who reinvigorated the Trek cinematic universe before turning to the dark side and jumping spaceship to make The Force Awakens, comes Justin ‘Fast & Furious’ Lin.

And Star Trek: Beyond is everything a Trekkie could wish for! Nice nods to the original TV series abound – the opening scene in particular could be a HD reworking of one where Captain James T. Kirk (Chris ‘Smokin Aces’ Pine) is set upon by furry little space critters. The good news keep coming though in that Beyond feels very much part of the new Star Trek cannon – helped by having returning key cast members such as Spock (Zachary Quint), Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin RIP).

"groovy 3 some"

The scale of threat in this sequel has been suitably ramped up – with a new baddie Krall (Idris ‘Luther’ Elba) intent on mass extermination of human kind. Also new the party this time is butt kickin female alien Jaylah (Sofia ‘Kingsman’ Boutella) who pretty much steals the entire movie with her broken English phrases and kinetically exciting fighting skills. With the Enterprise out gunned and the crew dispersed, this is probably the most intense Star Trek film to date. A friend saw this in 4DX and told me he felt like he’d been ‘beaten up’ by the end, so be warned,

With top notch special effects, nail biting tension and some great humorous touches, this is sci-fi that can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone (it may be a little scary in parts for younger children, but there was an 8-yr-old at the screening I was in and he left telling his folks that it was ‘awesome’,

"Kirk gets fast and furious"

The Star Trek franchise shows no sign of slowing down and indeed is now giving the Star Wars films a run for their money. You should definitely ‘boldly go’ and see this as soon as your teleporter can beam you to your local cinema!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Boldly go to see this!!)...

Awesomeness öööö – Great set pieces and good throughout

Laughs ööö – Enough for a sci-fi to feel good

Horror öö – More tense than scary but occasional disturbing scene

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - It's a big universe out there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (12a)

Dir. Paul Fieg

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the Observer newspaper version of Matt's review: The Leighton Observer

"It just makes me feel so warm and tingly inside!" – “That's probably the radiation."

You know the drill: If there’s something strange, in the neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Well, now there’s a new ghost busting team – a fractious bunch of women who have the smarts and the science to take down any and all supernatural presences, but the big question is ‘can they re-engergise this classic film franchise?’

"ready for action"

Meet professor Erin Gilbert (Kristen ‘The Martian’ Wiig) a scientist desperately trying to distance herself from her wacky earlier days when she and her friend Abby Yates (Melissa ‘The Boss’ McCarthy) wrote a book claiming ghosts are real. The two are reunited when a ghost terrorizes a local historic mansion (which they catch on film) and so with Abby's oddball scientific assistant, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate ‘Sisters’ McKinnon), they decide to start a ‘Department of the Metaphysical Examination’.

As more and more things start to go ‘bump in the night’, another plucky wannabe ghost buster joins the team in the form of sassy underground worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) who witnesses a distressing manifestation on the tracks near her station. Throw in a dofus receptionist in the shapely form of Kevin (Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth) and stand well back as the bustin kicks into gear.


Alas just when the film has built up a solid base from which to let rip – the actual ghost busting sections of the film are some of the weakest. So it’s ‘nice effects – shame about the plot’ but to some extent the film gets by on a few funny moments and the sheer energy of the main cast.

The plot is a sort of rerun of the 1984 classic just with the coolest bits (Sigorny Weaver’s Zuul) removed – New York is about to be overrun with ghosts thanks to the nefarious work of bad guy Rowan North (Neil ‘Veep’ Casey). There are some good set pieces but no real memorable lines, the female cast tackle the listless script however all proton guns blazing and it’s never dull, just an entirely predictable and not as fun as could have been. Parents should note that it does get a bit scary at times too.

"Oogie Boogie style"

The after credits scene sets up a teaser that, should this make enough money, see the girls come back for some more bustin antics and I hope they do because there is potential here to build a better sequel.

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - Bustin makes me feel good, but not enough)...

Awesomeness ööö – Good in places

Laughs ööö – Some but not enough

Horror ööö – Actually scary at times

Spiritual Enlightenment öö – Science vs ghosts is a close call

Darkmatters Review: The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon (18)

Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives etc)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"You know what my mother used to call me? 


'You're a dangerous girl'. 

She was right. I am dangerous."

"All that glitters..."

Meet young aspiring model Jesse (Elle 'Somewhere' Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, her youthful natural good looks and vitality immediately mark her out to a group of beauty-obsessed models who look incredible but are utterly evil on the inside...

Nicolas 'Drive' Winding Refn is fast becoming the new 'go-to' for strange, violent and highly creative movies. Films that will make you think, challenge, excite and disturb you all at the same time... Think David Lynch crossed with David 'Gone Girl' Fincher - another wild card director who is tearing up the rule book.

"Feel the voodoo vibe"

Refn's catalogue of films have crossed genres and styles but all have been excellent in their own way. Bronson was a crunching true life based prison tale, Valhalla Rising was a brutal Viking saga, Drive in 2011 was his masterpiece of cool crime romance and yes, nasty violence again... Then came the super charged samurai cop nightmare Only God Forgives - his most divisive movie until now...

Now we have The Neon Demon - an arcane treaty on beauty, innocence, horror and perception - a twistedly brilliant stomach churning power trip that gets inside your mind and wrecks it.

"mean and moody"

Fanning is incredible in an instantly iconic role. But she's not alone, as Jena Malone is amazing as Ruby - a seemingly good hearted make up artist and friend? who introduces Jesse to Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee). All the female cast are outstanding, and boy are they made to work hard with the freakish material on offer here...

Speaking of freaks Keanu Reeves is on hand to give a very creepy and turn which sees him very much playing against his well worn 'good guy' persona.

"Motel Hell owner..."

But it's Malone who has the worst of it... There's one scene that she has which is possibly the must unsettling and downright grim for many years but she gamely goes about it all with aplomb. The Neon Demon is a tough but brilliant watch. If you've a strong stomach and want a glitzy shallow spotlight on the dark nature that lurks just below the surface tension of our human condition...

"Friend or Foe?"

This is a film that will leave you in pieces.

It will be fascinating to see where Refn goes from here but it's bound to be a wild ride!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Beauty isn't everything it's the only thing)...

Awesomeness öööö – stunning overall feel and spectacle

Laughs öö – Acidly amusing in places

Horror ööööö – CAUTION - very sick and violent in places

Spiritual Enlightenment -öööö – Everything is rotten at core

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Visiting a Grand Kingdom on PS4

Grand Kingdom 


Reviewed over at Push Square by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

I love me some tactical battle gaming and so it was with much joy that I was asked to review Grand Kingdom by the PlayStation dudes at Push Square.

"meet the team"

This is a strong tactical title that will ignite your inner sellsword. Some minor difficulty spikes can't upset the entertaining strategy action being served up here, and with tons of content on offer, this is a game that you could potentially still be playing this time next year.  

"fire when ready"

Rocking an art style reminiscent of films like Howl's Moving Castle or games like 
Ni no Kuni - this is a great game to pick up and sink lots of time into this summer!

Read the whole review at PUSH SQUARE

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - A heavenly kingdom)...

Friday, July 08, 2016

Darkmatters Review: The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan (12a)

Dir. David Yates

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the Observer version of Matt's review: The Leighton Observer

"He is no normal man. He was thought to be an evil spirit, a ghost in the trees.”

Edgar Rice Burroughs' fabled 'Lord of the Apes' is back on the big screen in David ‘Harry Potter’ Yates’ take on The Legend of Tarzan. We’re treated to a sumptuous visual spectacle, populated with gorgeous actors and staggering wildlife effects which plays out like a feel good superhero movie.

The latest incarnation of the Englishman raised by apes is Alexander ‘True Blood’ Skarsgård - rocking the best muscles since Captain America. We see some of his background through flashbacks - the death of his parents, his ‘adoption’ by the female ape Kala and his first encounter with his future mate the impossibly attractive Jane Potter (Margot ’Suicide Squad' Robbie).

"fashionable heroes"

The monkey business on hand is packed with lovely little details - Tarzan's hands have been changed by years of running on all fours, utilising Skarsgård’s natural English as a second language feels just right, his interaction with the animals is intimate and mostly believable.

Bad guy of the piece is Léon Rom (Christoph ’Spectre' Waltz), who carries a spider silk rosary that doubles as an evil choking weapon, he gives good 'boo hiss’ villainy as a devious envoy to the Congo. You see Rom is seeking to deliver Tarzan to a vicious tribal leader Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) whose son he killed, and who is willing to pay in huge diamonds for Tarzan. Along the way Rom’s catalogue of dastardly doings includes capturing Jane, shooting apes, murdering Tarzan’s tribal friends and opening the doors to widespread slavery – not a nice guy.

"going ape"

Robbie is great as Jane, she makes her a strong character, every bit a match for Tarzan and much more than just a very pretty face. She gets some killer lines too, I especially liked her railing against being seen as a damsel in distress and her rapport with the local tribespeople is genuinely touching. Also on the scene is American ambassador George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who proves to be a useful sidekick for Tarzan and at who delivers one superb laugh out loud comic moment.

Enter this jungle for brutal fights, a jaw dropping stampede and some memorable set pieces. This Legend of Tarzan is a great escapist romp which does justice to the much loved King of the Swingers.

"mates for life"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Quality monkey business)...

Awesomeness öööö – Tasty action, stunning spectacle

Laughs öö – One very funny moment!

Horror öö – Not too grim but slightly scary / violent in places

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – Human Nature.

"Gonna do that Tarzan workout!?"


Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (15)

Dir. Mandie Fletcher

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read The Telegraph version of this review: Northamptonshire Telegraph

“I'm being trollied on twitter...”

It's official, sweetie darling, the much beloved British slightly past their best women behaving badly have hit the big screen, hit it hard. Yes, taking no prisoners and striking a comedy blow for aging PR people everywhere Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are so accustomed to. But all is not well in their world of shopping, drinking and generally being ‘fabulous’ across London's trendiest hot-spots.

Eddie’s PR business is on the slide, mostly due to her not having a clue as to how to adapt to the new social media world of Instagram and Twitter, where even her best celebs clients – Baby Spice and Lulu, can self promote at the click of an iPhone.

"still got it?"

In search of a holy grail AAA level fashion celeb in the shapely form of Kate Moss the tragic duo crash an uber fashionable launch party. In true Ab-Fab style, everything goes pear-shaped though when they inadvertently set off a media storm so huge that they have to flee the country, relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.

It’s a fun premise which milks plenty of laughs from seeing the glam women having to adapt to a penniless life on the run in the glamorous playground of the super-rich - the French Riviera. Might this be an unforeseen blessing in disguise?

Joanna Lumley is the main deal here – rescuing what could have easily been a damp squib of a spin off from the classic TV series with a superb performance, most of the best lines and a movie stealing self Botox-em-up moment.

"Kate - classy as ever!"

The expected cameo list is long and reasonably distinguished – Tinie Tempah, Abbey Clancy, Graham Norton rub up against the fashion world’s glitterati of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, Alexa Chung and Perez Hilton. If these bit parts dilute the comedy hit rate somewhat, the sterling efforts of June Whitfield as Mother and the long suffering Julia Sawalha as Saffron compensate nicely.

Also popping up to grab funny moments are Rebel ‘Bridesmaids’ Wilson and Robert Webb – and it is the sheer energy of all concerned that makes what amounts to an extended episode of the TV show into a worthwhile cinematic comedy effort.

"Norton cameo alert"

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie certainly isn’t a classic but it is a good fun potential swan song for the iconic characters and a must see for all you darlings who’ve enjoyed the small screen story so far!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3 - Age will not weary them)...

Awesomeness ööö – Still a good time to be had

Laughs ööö – Some but not enough overall

Horror öö – Beware older women in tight clothing

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – Sweeties for all

Monday, June 27, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Independence Day Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence (12a)

Dir. Roland Emmerich

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Read the newspaper version of this review over at: The Luton News

“Today, you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation.”

If you can remember 1996, there’s a good chance you saw and enjoyed Independence Day – with it’s iconic destruction of earth’s best loved landmarks, cheesy B-Movie plot and exciting ‘humans fight back’ narrative. So there’s a weight of expectation on this belated follow up…

"not just totems"

Welcome to earth where we’ve spent the last 20 years utilising the advanced alien tech our nasty intergalactic enemies left behind, just in case they decide to come back. Yes we’ve got nifty anti-grav helicopters, stashes of alien laser rifles and a massive space canon built on the moon. This time we’ll be ready to fight.

Alas it seems that the aliens haven’t been idle either – and when their inevitable resurgent assault comes, it’s bigger than we could possibly repel. Yes, it’s big screen extinction level events a go-go again, and Director Emmerich is a master of eye popping devastation.

"There goes the planet"

This time there’s a mysterious second alien race to contend with, plus a good looking new cohort of hotshot Earth Space Defense (ESD) fighter pilots who include obligatory maverick Jake Morrison (Liam ‘Hunger Games’ Hemsworth), Dylan Dubrow-Hiler (Jessie Usher) – the son of sadly not returning because of death Steven Hiller (Will Smith). There are some female representatives this time too in form of Chinese pilot Rain Lao (Angelababy) and Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe) who is Jake’s love interest and skilled pilot too.

Waving the flag for the survivors of the first film are scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) plus former President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and alien specialist Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner).

"Perturbed heroes"

Independence Day: Resurgence isn’t big on character development or anything other than human vs alien visually incredible thrills and it packs some planetary sized plot holes. But the good news is that there are plenty of bigger scale threats to go round. How about a 3,000 mile enemy mothership complete with a new alien queen on the block who chases a school bus full of teens? Yep!

Is it as good as the first one? No, not really, but this is decent fun summer blockbusting fare. The only way to really appreciate this is to switch off your brain, kick back and let the slick dogfighting action and human bravery in the face of impossible odds light up your endorphin receptors.

"The kids are in peril!"

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3.5 - They're back and it's stupid summer sci-fi fun time)...

Awesomeness öööö – Exciting space monster action is ON

Laughs öö – Limited but occasional laughs to be had

Horror öö – Nothing too grim but very tense in places

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – Humanity fights for each other!

"Alien Queen 2.0"

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