Returning is the name of the game this week. We have second shots at superhero glory, sequels, remakes and a life or death effort to return to civilisation. Basically, the perfect thing to lighten stormy winter blues.
First up is Deadpool as Ryan Reynolds dons a mask for the second time (technically he’s been Deadpool before but this time it’s all about him). The less said about Green Lantern the better, especially as this might just wipe it off the map. Going for a darker, wittier, sexier superhero film, Reynolds brings his winning combination of neediness and machismo to the fore as the solider of fortune tortured and turned into Deadpool, a hero complete with accelerated healing and black humour. There’s a simple revenge story underneath it all, but the fun comes in watching Deadpool go about his business. Watch out X-Men, there’s a new, and much more unstable, sheriff in town.
Rumours of a sequel to 2001 cult comedy Zoolander have been knocking about since the last film debuted. Now, almost a decade and a half later, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are back as once-upon-a-time premier male models Derek Zoolander and Hansel McDonald. This time, they must foil a plot to kill the most beautiful people in the world. Where the first film had a real satirical kick, it appears the follow-up is content to stay with crazy silliness. It’s seen this anticipated return flop with critics.
Still full of beautiful people, but telling a very different story, there’s Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash. Loosely based on La Piscine, this erotic thriller sees the calm holiday retreat of Tilda Swinton’s rock star and her filmmaker boyfriend Matthias Schoenaerts invaded by old flame Ralph Fiennes and his sexually precocious daughter Dakota Johnson. Fiennes in particular is a phenomenon, his Rolling Stones dance worth the admission alone, before quirky relationship dynamics take a dark turn. A cool, stylish experience, it’s beautiful filmmaking with a strong aftertaste.
Away from the cinemas The Martian arrives on DVD. Immensely enjoyable, Ridley Scott’s Mars survival adventure that turns stranded Matt Damon all Blue Peter to construct ingenious ways of staying alive proved a massive hit at the box office. It’s even nominated for several big awards. While not a particularly memorable film, it’s great fun, and a nice antidote to much of the seriousness of awards season.
I’ll leave you there for now. See you next week for top drawer heisting from John Hillcoat and co.