April is a little quieter, with just three films…
First up, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is a documentary that covers the early years of Cobain’s life, through his success with Nirvana, his relationship with Courtney Love, and ultimately his death. It starts off strongly, by showing a side of the icon that we rarely see, his formative years, in such a way that we both get insight into and sympathy for his later struggles. There are powerful moments throughout the piece, but the presentation is somewhat lacking. Lengthy montages over Nirvana songs make up the bulk of the piece, and these are the weakest segments by a long way. It works far better when it’s being a more traditional talking-heads documentary. Languid pacing ultimately ruin an otherwise interesting take on the man. Mediocre, meandering, maybe dull. (See my Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck Twitter review).
Keanu Reeves has a reputation for being a little wooden as an actor, and John Wick does very little to shake that, even amongst a movie full of forgettable performances. The story is pretty weak, and the world building is a mess, but it does have some fairly spectacular action sequences. The action choreography works extremely well, stylised and efficient gun play throughout. It’s fun but absolutely mindless. (See my John Wick Twitter review).
Finally, Avengers: Age Of Ultron gives us exactly what we now expect from these films: a large ensemble (including some newcomers), fight against a huge threat (in this case, the titular Ultron, played well by James Spader), in a series of increasingly large scale battles. It’s a high quality blockbuster action film with everything that implies. It’s polished, fun, exciting, but very much of its genre. If you like the rest of the Marvel canon then you’ll know whether you want to see this; it’s not the best in the franchise, but it’s certainly not the worst. (See my Avengers: Age of Ultron Twitter review).
The winner for April is Avengers: Age of Ultron. It wouldn’t win in a stronger month, but I’d watch it again long before seeing the other two films.