March sees just three films reviewed…
First up, In Darkness deals with a Polish sewer worker using his knowledge of the passages under his city to hide Jews from persecution, for a price. As you can imagine, living in a sewer has a great physical cost and the film shows many horrible moments. However, the film really fails to bring any weight or insight to the tragedies. It fails to make any deep emotional connection. Exactly how or why it failed, I am not sure, but I know this film has been done better before this. Disappointing. (See my In Darkness Twitter review).
Having not read the books and going in with very little knowledge, The Hunger Games was a relatively pleasant surprise. It has serious pacing issues, showing far too much of the story before the titular games and thereby compressing the more important acts to a greater extent than necessary. That said, we do get quite a vivid picture of the world the games are set in, and are left with no doubts about the inequalities in the society presented. For the teen fiction genre, this stands out as quite an enjoyable watch. (See my The Hunger Games Twitter review).
Finally, 21 Jump Street was an excellent surprise. Where I expected yet another formulaic US comedy with Jonah Hill, I actually got something of a classic. It’s just dumb enough to be funny without pandering, it’s self-aware without being groan-worthy, and it’s ridiculous enough to pull in the big laughs without being overly weird. It’s pacy, it tries mixing in a lot of different styles of comedy, and is, most importantly, amusing from start to finish. The funniest film I’ve seen in a long time. (See my 21 Jump Street Twitter review).
The winner for March is 21 Jump Street. The Hunger Games were good, but this comedy was better.