Fast & Furious 6
Director Justin Lin takes the high-speed action franchise to London, with Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson along for the ride
Warren Beatty's attempt to bring to life the long-running comic strip private detective. Good looking, but unwatchable
Released a year after the hugely successful first instalment of the Batman franchise, Dick Tracy had the same level of hype and the same ruthless marketing strategy (accompanying Madonna album, extensive use of Dick Tracy brand symbolism throughout the film and a huge list of tie-ins), but had nothing like the same scale of money-churning success. The simple explanation is that it's catastrophically boring.
The enthusiasm of the art department did produce one of the most striking-looking movies of the decade, skilfully melding a cartoon aesthetic with a noirish down-at-heel detective setting. However, while all the buildings, cars and toys look great, and the daring colour scheme, mainly using the brash colours from the comic strip, is original, the human characters look ridiculous. Beatty's garish yellow coat sits uncomfortably under his ageing, lined face while Al Pacino's villain, Big Boy Caprice, fitted with hunchback, padded hips and Hitler moustache, looks as threatening as a bag of laundry.
The erstwhile coolest man in Hollywood also delivers a performance of shouty excess that makes Jack Nicholson's over-the-top Joker seem positively tame - and considerably more watchable. The other villains, usually named after their physical disabilities (Lip Manlis, Shoulders etc) are certainly grotesque, but are just archetypes - as flat as the comic-strip they come from and completely unengaging. The one exception is Dustin Hoffman's frantically fast talking Mumbles, whose incomprehensible mutterings provide the most entertaining dialogue in the whole farrago.
Of course, it says something about the script that the best lines are the ones you can't hear. It's lousy. A ludicrous, rambling plot drags us from set-piece to set-piece with no aim in site while the dialogue alternates between witless and excruciating. "There was one Napoleon, one Washington, one me!" screams Caprice. Dick Tracy's big joke is "Take the bad men away, they frighten me," while the supposedly erotic interaction between him and Madonna's Monroe clone, Breathless Mahoney, is a text book example of how not to ape Raymond Chandler: "I'm on duty" "What's your day off?" "Sunday." "It's a big world... must be Sunday somewhere".
By the time it all staggers to the inevitably ridiculous conclusion the only source of entertainment is reminiscing about the days when Beatty used to make good films.
A waste of time and money.
Catherine Bray switches off her inner monologue and finds The Coen Brothers Competition entry, Inside Llewyn Davis, to be one of the most absorbing films of the festival [caption id="attachment_2374"
Suffused in a blue-grey wintry light and flecked with brown, beige and burgundy, Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis plays out in a low-key melancholy mood broken only when simmering frustration