Again, a few months late, but August’s Film Fight has 4 films…
First up, Guardians of the Galaxy represents a change of pace for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Where the earlier films are straight-faced without being dour, Guardians is out-and-out comic book crazy as we see the wider cosmic parts of the universe. The cast are great, managing to pull off fun action with genuinely funny moments; playing the right level of knowing insight into the absurdity of, for example, a tree that is best friends with a psychotic raccoon. The storytelling is a little exposition-heavy at times, but you won’t mind when everything else works so well. Very good. (See my Guardians of the Galaxy Twitter review).
The Inbetweeners 2 is the result of extending a series way beyond breaking point. Where the series was funny, and the first film was okay, there’s barely anything left for a second film. There are a handful of horrible but funny moments, but most of the film is just the same reheated filler. Avoid. (See my The Inbetweeners 2 Twitter review).
The Expendables 3 is another sequel that should never have been made. As is par for the course, the opening and closing action sequences are big, extravagant indulgences that can be greatly entertaining. The problem is everything else: the awful acting, the terrible dialogue, bad pacing, pointless subplots etc. There’s very little to like when something isn’t exploding on screen. Also avoid. (See my The Expendables 3 Twitter review).
Finally, The Rover is an exceptional, cold-blooded revenge thriller against the backdrop of a society that no longer has meaningful consequences. Set in a post apocalyptic world, reminiscent of The Road, Guy Pearce delivers one of his best performances as the not-quite-right lead. Brutal, relentless and breathtaking. Very good. (See my The Rover Twitter review).
The winner is The Rover for being such a cold but gripping film.