December 01, 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Film Fight: November 2005

We are sequel-rife this month, with three of the four films having a predecessor. More pertinently, it’s a good month for cinema.

Ghost In The Shell 2 is the sequel to the excellent look at the nature of human existence and consciousness, viewed from a future where the human body is no longer a necessary part of our lives. This time around Batou has become the main character, picking up an investigation into why a new line of cyborgs are murdering people and then trying to kill themselves. While this film is still quite insightful and asks a lot of questions of the viewer, it does it a lot more overtly than its predecessor, going directly to the issues rather than presenting scenarios in which they are explored. The reappearance of several old characters (one in particular) also just seems like pandering to the fans, and detracts from what is, on balance, a reasonable film.

Let me say now that I hated Saw. I wanted to like it, but the woeful acting (Cary Elwes, what happened?), blip cuts to ruin tension, and unshocking finale (I had seen Audition not long before-hand) were too much. It was with some surprise that I found Saw 2 to be quite enjoyable. Sure, it’s a cheesey horror film, with some annoying looks at the Jigsaw killer’s motivations, but I found it unpleasant to watch in all the right places, squirming at some of the more fiendish plans that had been dreamt up. The ending was unexpectedly clever (well, part of it was, the other part was a non-event). Shame the tension was let out again by those bloody blipcuts.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Rolling Stones so I didn’t know anything about the back story of Stoned; a film about the downfall of Brian Jones, a founding member of the band. It’s quite an interesting tale (which I won’t ruin for you, if you are in the same position as I was), but quite depressing, seeming like rock star cliche all over the place. There are no shocks in this film, no great stand-out moments, but nothing particularly bad either. Fairly average.

If you’ve seen the first Transporter, you’ll be wondering why I went to see the sequel, Transporter 2. I was thinking the same. I have to say that, like Saw 2, it’s a sequel that in some ways overcame a poor predecessor. The choreography is outstanding, outlandish and over the top, just as all good fight scenes should be. Sure, Jason Statham is an atrocious actor, the plot is paper-thin and some of the lines are hilariously bad, but I enjoyed it as a light-hearted action film.

This month is very hard to pick a winner, but I’m going to go with Saw 2, largely because it beat expectations by a long way.