Things to do in Glasgow this weekend
Films showing this weekend
The title hints at where this 3D Disney adaptation of the Rapunzel story is heading. Referring not just to our heroine’s hairdo but to her complex personal life, it nods at the breezy, flippant, tween-friendly tone the film adopts. Erstwhile popstrel Mandy Moore voices Rapunzel, whose lonely existence imprisoned in a tall tower with only a cheeky chameleon for company is enlivened when she meets brash outlaw Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), and sets out to discover her true identity. Taking its cue from the likes of ‘Shrek’ and ‘Enchanted’, ‘Tangled’ tries to keep kids entertained while tipping ironic winks to their parents, meaning it veers wildly between being charmingly off-kilter and annoyingly glib. With two such bland heroes, it’s good that plenty of attention is paid to the supporting characters, notably old-school witchy villain Mother Gothel and a bad tempered but loveable horse. The result is brisk, witty and entertaining, but far from classic Disney.
Tom Cruise is 56 years old. Fifty. Six. And he’s been making ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies for 22 of those 56 years. By all rights, ‘Fallout’, his sixth high-flying mission, should be to ‘M:I’ what ‘A View to a Kill’ was to Roger Moore’s Bond (Moore being only a year older than Cruise is when he made his final 007): tired, creaky and a bit embarrassing.Astonishingly, however, the opposite is true. This is easily the best, slickest and most daring ‘Mission: Impossible’ instalment. Not only that, it’s the finest action movie of the year so far. The bait-and-switching, double-crossing plot twists and twists again, with Hunt still haunted by his now-incarcerated ‘Rogue Nation’ nemesis Solomon Lane (a superbly creepy Sean Harris) and dealing with the global terrorist power vacuum left by Lane’s capture, but you won’t care with all the sinew-straining spectacle on show.This is thanks largely to writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. Being the first director to return for a second go at the franchise, he brings a sense of continuity hitherto lacking. ‘Fallout’ is a direct sequel to ‘Rogue Nation’, bringing back most of the key players and upping the stakes from the most knowing of perspectives. McQuarrie also builds on the last film’s self-aware level of wit and, most importantly, its set-piece-crafting sophistication.No action sequence is allowed to peter out, or be chopped to ribbons in the edit, or lean on the crutch of CG augmentation. From a frantic Parisian chase to a brutal br
Superheroes may save the world, but parenthood requires skills far more advanced than extendable limbs. Brad Bird’s 'Incredibles 2' – Pixar’s most spirited sequel since 'Toy Story 3' – lovingly expresses this certainty through a bighearted familial portrait wrapped in ’60s-inspired design. But the film’s disarming appeal lies in its simpler moments of domesticity, in which the members of the all-superhero Parr family lift each other up and fight for relevance in a world of indifference. Still underground with criminalised superpowers and a destroyed home, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their children, Violet, Dash and the explosive baby Jack-Jack, quietly live in a dingy motel. Their luck turns when a pair of wealthy siblings – the naive Winston and brainy inventor Evelyn (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) – offer them a chance to restore the Supers’ reputation. While the sensible Elastigirl serves as the fearless face of the mission, Mr. Incredible hilariously Mr. Moms his way through the kids’ homework, boy troubles and newly emerging superpowers. When the state-of-the-art villain Screenslaver disturbs the picture, the entire crew, including the previous film’s charismatic ice maker Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), joins the good fight. 'Incredibles 2' comes supercharged with timely, sophisticated themes around societal apathy and gender parity. While slightly overplotted in its finale, the sleek sequel still glows with grown-up wit, with cr
Full of the sleepy rhythms of rural life, this beautiful-looking French drama has a powerful story of emancipation stitched into its period garb. It’s set over a five-year period that takes in the early days of the Great War and runs through to its shattered-but-hopeful aftermath in 1920, and while it barely ventures beyond the scenic fields of the Paridier farm in western France, it charts a world in flux with subtlety and grace. With the menfolk away in the trenches, it falls to the women of the family to keep the farm ticking over. Steely matriarch Hortense (Nathalie Baye) brings in a hired hand (terrific newcomer Iris Bry) to help in the fields. The passing of seasons brings new-fangled machinery – technological leaps spawned by the war – as well as a gentle love story, and eventually American soldiers. Hortense’s married daughter fraternises with one of them, threatening scandal and prompting the film’s one dramatic plot turn. Yes, there is a lot of farming – expect to learn more than you need to know about threshing – but in the spirit of seminal German mini-series ‘Heimat’, its spiritual cousin, there’s so much more going on amid its Auguste Renoir-like vistas. Director Xavier Beauvois uses slow pans and close-ups to show the toll war has taken on the villagers. For the women, we see how necessity brings real empowerment. It’s an aptly named film: they’ve become the hard-working custodians of a landscape that flourishes under their care. Who needs men?
As irresistible as the fresh carrots that grow in Mr. McGregor’s garden, Peter Rabbitgives Beatrix Potter’s classic a modern makeover, complete with intricate animation, cute quips for older audiences and a sweet-natured journey that has you rooting for a happy ending for all involved. Vying for gorgeous grounds and his human next-door neighbor (Rose Byrne), the audacious Peter Rabbit (confidently voiced by James Corden) goes head-to-head with sour Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who unexpectedly inherits the beautiful property of his estranged late uncle. The only thing the finicky Londoner detests more than the English countryside is the “vermin” inhabiting the land, so naturally we’re braced for a duel. Peter’s shenanigans, though certainly adorable, could have been curtailed for the sake of pacing: One electrocuting gag is plenty. But the lovable supporting crew—Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and Benjamin (Colin Moody)—makes up for any overdone mischief. Some may cringe at director-cowriter Will Gluck’s modifications (a bunny that twerks, music from the likes of Vampire Weekend and the ubiquitous Rachel Platten), and the heart-wrenching backstory of Peter’s parents might not be appropriate for the smallest of bunnies. (Save this one for young rabbits who can handle more mature content.) It’s certainly a new spin, but those who make the leap will do so vigorously.
Part horror yarn, part political parable, the ‘Purge’ franchise is a fascinating one, each film serving up grisly episodes from the conceit (12 government-sanctioned hours of legal crime). It began as a take on class, then took on race, and increasingly each time, politicians – this prequel, released on July 4, with a Trump-baiting promotional campaign and overt references to real-world events within – one handsy psycho goblin is screamed at for being a ‘pussy-grabbing motherfucker’ – is, as is already clear, not subtle. But subtlety is not a friend of these films. The timeline is bewildering but prescient. The first film, released in 2013, was set a few years in the future, informing us that the first purge took place in 2018. And now we have that first purge, indeed in 2018, reflecting current happenings more keenly than ever. Staten Island plays host to this inaugural, experimental event, in which residents are financially incentivised to stick around for the night, and paid yet more to actively participate (ie kill people). The idea, the public is told, is mass soul-cleansing. A social catharsis. Nobody quite buys it, least of all the ruling party the NFAA, who announce that ‘the American dream is dead’, promising a rebirth. There is, of course, more sadistic stuff at play. This film realises the conceit more wholly than its predecessors, and for an hour or so feels properly nightmarish as we ride along with purgers and protectors, notions of good and bad, right and wro
You could be forgiven for spending the first twenty minutes of ‘The Festival’ wondering if you’re watching an Inbetweeners spin-off. Iain Morris, who co-created that show, directs Joe Thomas, who played Simon, as Nick, a recent university graduate who is middle-aged before his time. Nick finds normal teenage human interaction incredibly uncomfortable and can turn even the most casual social situation into a bum-clenching nightmare of awkwardness. Essentially, he’s Simon with a different name. Those similarities are far from a problem. ‘The Inbetweeners’ movies were a hoot, as is ‘The Festival’, albeit a slightly quieter one. After a humiliating break-up with his girlfriend (Hannah Tointon), Nick reluctantly goes to an unnamed festival with his friend Shane (Hammed Animashaun) in the hopes of taking his mind off things. Because Nick is a selfish arse who can ruin any fun, the weekend becomes a series of catastrophes as he makes a horrible job of trying to relax. Morris and Thomas’ history really pays off here, with the director getting the most from his star’s skill for making a complete tool sympathetic. Nick is objectively horrible, but Thomas roots his awfulness in sadness, so you’re (just barely) on his side. He’s surrounded by highly loveable, lesser-known comic actors, notably Animashaun, announcing himself as a major screen talent, and Australian comedian Claudia O’Doherty as a festival loner who is as upbeat as Nick is down. Some of its comic set-pieces feel like t
This fun, pacy addition to the dino disaster franchise doesn’t do much that’s particularly new – though what it does, it does with a fair whack of panache. That’s largely thanks to gifted Spanish director JA Bayona, who brings to bear the macabre touches that made ‘The Orphanage’ such a spooky treat. Short of bringing Mr DNA back as a flesh-craving zombie, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is as close as the ‘Jurassic’ movies are going to come to a horror film and it gels nicely with a franchise that’s always had a gleefully sadistic streak. It’s at its most fun when things (limbs, mainly) are going bump in the dark in a third act that pays homage to classic horror films. Kicking off where ‘Jurassic World’ left off, we find cloning corporation InGen picking up the pieces after the catastrophic collapse of its dinosaur park. Not only is Isla Nubla now overrun with prehistoric critters, the island’s dormant volcano is erupting – seriously, were there no islands without volcanos? – and about to make them all extinct again. Cue dino rights activist Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, swapping the heels for boots this time) and wisecracking raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to help with the seemingly suicidal rescue mission and share some feisty chemistry. Jeff Goldblum’s Dr Ian Malcolm returns with doomy warnings about where all this Dino Lives Matter fervour will lead. There’s more than an echo of ‘Jurassic Park: Lost World’ in all this, right down to the gnarly and extremely edible m
Fulfilling humankind’s urgent need for cuddly stuffed bears in the marmalade-sweet wake of ‘Paddington 2’, Disney’s live-action-animation hybrid ‘Christopher Robin’ – starring the honey-loving Pooh – is big-hearted yet unexciting. While the newly imagined adventures of the grown-up Christopher (Ewan McGregor, a long way from ‘Trainspotting’) and his amiable childhood pals from Hundred Acre Wood place journeyman director Marc Forster straight back into enchanting ‘Finding Neverland territory, this mid-20th-century tale doesn’t quite summon the same magical, childlike wonder. Still, there is ample sweetness here for especially young kids and enough nostalgia for adult devotees of A. A. Milne’s beloved stories. Channeling ‘Hook’s workaholic ex-Peter Pan, Christopher unhappily cancels his countryside travel plans with his loving wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and precocious daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), to toil overtime for his notoriously brutal employer, Winslow Luggage. Unexpectedly reuniting with the ever-hungry Winnie and the rest of the lovable clan over a weekend (sarcastically gloomy Eeyore, enthusiastic Tigger and the fearful Piglet, among them), Christopher remembers life’s simple pleasures and rekindles his youthful spirit. He learns an especially important lesson about family when Madeline teams up with the loyal critters to save her dad’s job by delivering him a misplaced briefcase. Startlingly basic for a film jointly written by team that includes brainy ind
As a former CIA assassin-turned-vigilante, Denzel Washington was easily the best thing about the dour first ‘Equalizer’ movie. The sequel(izer), reteaming him with director Antoine Fuqua, is an improvement – in part because, unlike many action-film second courses, it doesn’t just hurl its hero into fresh mayhem. There’s a pleasing, easy-going rhythm to the first half of ‘Equalizer 2’ that allows the bursts of brutal violence to connect as intended. This time out, Washington’s Robert McCall is working as a Boston cab driver and helping out his neighbours, including a high-schooler flirting with bad elements and an elderly man trying to reclaim an heirloom. Less conspicuously, he’s also a violent righter of wrongs and avenger of the innocent – both at home and abroad. It’s satisfying enough to watch McCall take out a bunch of intern-abusing corporate bros, and a whole film in which he takes on such real-world scum feels like a fun idea. Instead, the plot kicks in and the film becomes a rote, if well-crafted, lone-man-against-a-global-conspiracy melodrama. Washington has the quiet authority, and Fuqua the stylistic chops, but the story they’re telling becomes more predictable as it goes along. Once it’s over, you won’t necessarily be itching for an ‘Equalizer 3’.