May was a reasonable month with five films for Film Fight.
First up, Blue Ruin is a strange revenge thriller, where a man seeks vengeance for the murder of his parents. The story and twists are doled out in a careful manner, with just enough exposition to keep things moving. It’s shot through with a dark humour arising from the fact that, while the protagonist is reasonably determined, he’s quite far out of his depth. Beautifully shot, and often brutal, Blue Ruin manages to juggle a number of balls effectively. Very good. (See my Blue Ruin Twitter review).
Bad Neighbours is a Seth Rogen comedy about maturing, told from the competing perspectives of new parents and their new fraternity neighbours. The arc of the story is much as you’d expect, and many of the gags could be used in just about any similarly styled comedy. That said, it’s an entertaining enough couple of hours, with a pace that keeps things moving along. It’s hard to get excited about the film, or to pan it. Good, not great. (See my Bad Neighbours Twitter review).
If you’re looking for an odd indie film with a weird sense of humour, Frank fits the bill. It’s based very loosely on the time writer Jon Ronson spent in the company of Frank Sidebottom, but allowed to slip quite far from reality. It’s full of oddball characters and awkward interactions, with a great cast (particularly Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal) making the often on-the-nose writing work. Quirky and enjoyable. (See my Frank Twitter review).
Another Godzilla reboot can surely only be better than the last. Well, yes, it is, but it’s still really quite poor. It opens well, with some big action coupled with some emotional beats, but quickly slides into awfulness. There are some great action set pieces throughout, but this is the dumbest movie I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t just mean that it’s a shallow action movie. No, it’s utterly moronic. The dialogue is dumb, the plotting makes little sense, and the contrivances that hold it together are, at times, painful. It doesn’t come close to recent genre entries, like Cloverfield or Pacific Rim. Very bad. (See my Godzilla Twitter review).
Finally, X-Men: Days of Future Past does something that none of the other movies in the series have managed: showing a complex, cohesive and, fundamentally, comic-book plot in a fun an exciting way, whilst great actors put on a hell of a performance. Fassbender and McAvoy get to pit their characters, each with increasing depth, against each other whilst a giant, time-hopping plot plays out behind them. The action sequences are fun, the gags work well, and there’s little to let this down. A great superhero movie. (See my X-Men: Days of Future Past Twitter review).
There were a number of good options this month, but I think the winner has to be Blue Ruin. Dark, brutal, but with just enough of a funny edge to make it less bleak. Great.