April was a relatively quiet month for cinema, with only three films viewed.
First up, Noah is a heavily dramatised and expanded telling of the story of Noah and the ark, as imagined by Darren Aronofsky. I’m a fan of much of Aronofsky’s work (particularly The Wrestler and Black Swan) so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in tackling what appeared to be a dull subject. I was wrong to do so as there is almost nothing worthwhile in this movie. Visually, it’s horrendous: bad green screen, awful CG, and colour-graded in the least tactful way you can imagine. The story is overblown, the performances lack any subtlety, and the dialogue is, to a line, atrocious. I cannot begin to imagine why anyone thought this was worth filming having seen a script, but all we can do now is avoid it. One of the worst films in recent years. (See my Noah Twitter review).
A few years ago The Raid was a surprisingly brilliant action movie, full of intricate choreography and a relentless pace, confined to a small tower block. The Raid 2 sees the scope expand across many more characters and locations, but keeps the essence: a fair plot that is fast moving, but with stunning fights. The stunt set pieces throughout are brilliant. From the prison riot through the nightclub brawl, you won’t be disappointed. The story itself is a little more convoluted, and told out of order, but don’t let that throw you too much. Enjoy the action, enjoy the movie. (See my The Raid 2 Twitter review).
Finally, Calvary is a strangely dark story about a priest forced to represent the better side of humanity to a largely unseen antagonist (and a cast of other broken people), beyond what he should have to bear. While that sounds high concept, the film is very much grounded in humanity. Shot through with a dark humour, it’s an oddly affecting film that can be laugh out loud funny one minute and tense the next. From the look through to the performances, this film rarely slips. Exceptionally good. (See my Calvary Twitter review).
The winner, as should be obvious, is Calvary; an unexpected gem.