The Avengers return for another adventure, there are plenty of car chases and Keanu Reeves kicking some serious ass. Plus Jon Stewart steps away from skewering politicians to make his directorial debut
Fast & Furious 7
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez
Everyone got rather over-excited when they declared this a 5-star film, probably caught up in the Walker send-off which has overshadowed this movie since production. In fact, it’s Walker’s bits that are the best here because frankly, just like every other F&F, it’s essentially utterly ludicrous.
Plot is pointless, characters are ridiculous and the stunts… Well, on one level they’re incredible. But then again, even they are getting beyond absurd to the point where you may as well be watching a big-screen computer game.
We want impressive action, yes, but please can the filmmakers of number 8 look to flicks like Mission: Impossible or Bond to at least give F&F a tiny sense of reality.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Does pretty much what it says on the tin, as the team reunites to battle a sentient robot created, duh, by Tony Stark.
There’s plenty of pithy banter, lots of CGI, a smattering of interesting character work. It’s undeniably entertaining.
But Marvel better start thinking about the future, because these films are beginning to feel REALLY samey.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist
A smash hit return to form for Keanu in the States, this is a simple, gritty revenge thriller in which a hitman (Reeves) is brought out of retirement to kill the bad guys who destroyed his life. Stylish, exciting and brutal, there’s already a sequel in the works.
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Dimitri Leonidas
Probably best known for being satirist Jon Stewart’s big-screen directorial debut, this low-key effort tells the story of a Iranian-Canadian journalist who was detained and tortured by Iran as a suspected spy. The politics are fascinating and it’s a great start for Stewart, whose polemical spirit we could use more of in cinema.
Starring: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Arévalo, María Varod
A smash-hit in its native Spain, this clever thriller follows two detectives desperately trying to trace a serial killer, despite their unlikely partnership. Taut, direct, tense as hell.