The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Hey do you like movies which invite you to spend 90 minutes laughing at (rather than with) their characters? Me neither. Unfortunately, that's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone in a nutshell. Despite a real knowledge of and fondness for magicians and their craft, the film can't overcome its fundamental mean-spiritedness.
Incredibly, Burt Wonderstone couldn't pull so much as a chuckle out of thin air. I should have cleaned out my house's raingutters, instead.
Elysium is Matt Damon's shot at a Big Concept, Big Budget science-fiction adventure. Unfortunately, the Big Concept is that Rich People are Bad, which is laughable coming from a studio owned and run by rich people.
Sanctimony, however, isn't Elysium's greatest flaw. That honor gets divided between dullness and ugliness. Elysium is dull because its hero takes so long to get from “self-absorbed jerk” to “hero” that we've lost empathy by the time he's made the transition. It's dull because its villains are so villainous that they aren't even interesting. It's dull because its internal contradictions glare so brightly that they keep the audience from suspending disbelief. And it's dull just because it drags. Elysium is ugly because – heck, I don't know, maybe director Neil Blomkamp (of the remarkable District 9) just likes ugliness.
This is a tedious, dull, annoying, ugly film. Pass it by.
I saw The Wolverine about a week ago, and I've already forgotten nearly everything about it other than a ridiculous hand-to-hand battle with a cyborg samurai. It's as if the movie had never even existed.
If you liked Taken, you'll like Taken 2. It's an unapologetic rehash of the first film, set this time in Istanbul. Hey, I liked Taken. I like Istanbul. I got my money's worth.