Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Tom Cruise makes entertaining action movies. Well, the biggie of this week’s four new cinema releases sees Cruise return in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Meanwhile, Trolls provides colourful escapism for the kids, and Hands of Stone and Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween round out the rest of today’s movie offerings.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Age Restriction: 13 LV
Investigator Jack Reacher springs into action after the arrest of Susan Turner, an Army major accused of treason. Suspecting foul play, Jack embarks on a mission to prove that the head of his old unit is innocent. After crossing paths with the law, Reacher must now go on the lam to uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy that involves the death of U.S. soldiers.
2012’s Jack Reacher didn’t exactly set the box office alight, but here we are with the second big screen adaptation of Lee Child’s popular novel series. And this time the bone-crunching fights come to IMAX. But what is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back like? The most common critical response is “Generic.” Never Go Back is one of those throwback action thrillers which you’ll either consider corny or refreshingly straightforward. Either way, it’s a standard watchable popcorn movie, neither amazing nor terrible.
Age Restriction: PG V
Princess Poppy and Branch live in a colourful, wondrous world where infectiously upbeat Trolls always feel a song coming on… only to find their optimistic way of life under threat. The crazy and cute duo embark on a hair-raising quest to save their world from the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are never happy until they have a troll in their belly.
DreamWorks couldn’t possibly be trying to revive the old toy craze and cash in on merchandise sales, could they? If you can suppress your cynicism, musical comedy Trolls is relentlessly cheerful, cute and colourful. It’s no classic but it’s likely to please the Under 8 crowd. For older viewers, consider it a disposable pleasure at best or annoying at worst.
Hands of Stone
Age Restriction: 16 LVSN
The boxing world will never forget master in-fighter, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Durán, who made his professional debut in 1968 at the tender age of 16 only to retire decades later in 2002 at the age of 50. This film chronicles the highs and lows of the legendary Panamanian boxer’s career with a special focus on his relationship with world champion trainer, Ray Arcel.
Biopic Hands of Stone is apparently very well-acted, but suffers for trying to cram too many subplots into its 105-minute running time. It never seems able to decide on a focus, and lurches between hard-hitting scenes (the fights are electric) and tired content we’ve already seen in a hundred sports dramas.
Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween
Age Restriction: 10–12PG L
Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.
There are only a few certainties in life: Death, taxes and regular Tyler Perry Madea movies. It’s not clear which of these is most terrifying. Boo! A Madea Halloween is obviously trying to cash in on the holiday, combining comedy and (mild) scares. Like most Madea films, Boo! hasn’t been screened for international critics, so there’s no word as to how good, bad or – most likely – mediocre it is. Out of interest, the movie stems from a parody trailer created for Chris Rock’s 2014 film Top Five.
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Last Updated: October 21, 2016