Mad hatters, mad cap comedy and mad action take centre stage with this week’s new releases. Pity none of it is very good…
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice returns to Wonderland to find she’s the only one who can save the Mad Hatter and prevent the whimsical kingdom from being transformed into a barren wasteland. Turning to Time himself, she realises that the only way to rescue her friend and restore order to Wonderland is to travel back in time to retrieve a magical sceptre.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is a stunningly beautiful movie, and will no doubt be a jaw-dropping spectacle on IMAX. Pity everything else, from the move away from the original story, questionable character motivations to over-plotted and over-stuffed side stories lets this movie down. At least the acting is solid, and Sacha Baron Cohen as Time is wonderfully hilarious. Overall Alice Through the Looking Glass is an entertaining visual treat, according to Nick’s 3/5 star review.
Academy Award (R)-nominated star Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy) headlines The Boss as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. McCarthy is joined in The Boss by an all-star cast led by Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates.
A half-baked, middle of the road comedy, The Boss is a major let-down. It’s coarse and crude in the way that only Melissa McCarthy can do, even though critics have said she’s basically on auto-pilot for the duration. This one’s strictly for the pure, die-hard fans of McCarthy’s work (so, not Darryn), for everyone else the 19% on Rotten Tomatoes will be pure torture.
Michael Mason is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar, the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.
Idris Elba is determined to show that he’s an action hero worthy of tackling the role of James Bond, and Bastille Day is the perfect showcase for that. It’s a pity that the rest of the movie lets him down with its paper-thin plot that looks somewhat insensitive after the November 2015 attacks in Paris (which isn’t really the movie’s fault, as it was filmed in 2014). But now that Elba has more than more than proven his action hero credentials, maybe it’s time they cast him in something that will get more than 51% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Road Within
After the passing of his mother, Vincent (Robert Sheehan), a young man with Tourette’s, finds himself at a center for those dealing with similar psychological disorders. Soon, he finds company in Marie (Zoë Kravitz), a young woman at the center for her anorexia, and Alex (Dev Patel), his OCD-stricken roommate. These unlikely companions, with clashing personalities, find themselves on a three-day journey, making for hilarious antics and unexpected new friendships. With Dr. Rose (Kyra Sedgwick), the head of the center, and Vincent’s father (Robert Patrick) in pursuit, Vincent, Marie and Alex find they’re perfectly capable of living their lives according to their own rules, while breaking some others in the meantime in this coming of age road comedy.
The Road Within might be praised for its cast and performances, but unfortunately it’s let down by too many sentimental clichés stuffed into a formulaic plot, which results in a bland and cloying movie. It handles the subject matter of personality disorders with grace though, and doesn’t beat you over the head with a message. Still, that doesn’t save it from only earning 33% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Last Updated: May 27, 2016