Every cloud has a silver lining, or so my Nan keeps telling me.
First the cloud.
As it seemed I was not going to be able to fit in a trip out of the county to watch The Tree of Life I decided the best thing to do was catch up on what I’d missed. The South West must be deemed not ready for Palm d’Or winners right now (don’t get me started on that again).
I ducked into a show of Transformers: Dark of the Moon with a heavy heart. My appreciation for the robots in disguise ended around the age of 10 when I’d completely worn out my toys and they transformed for the last time, into trash. There was a brief nostalgic flirtation on the release of the first film but 120 minutes of ILM’s finest eye-exploding effects were enough to drag me into the cold light of day.
With the amount of hope and enthusiasm that wouldn’t trouble Ratchet’s meagre memory banks, I switched my phone off and put my 3D glasses on.
What followed could be politely described as ‘blockbusting Hollywood entertainment’. What it would be honestly described as is not fit for print. Suffice it to say Michael Bay has proved himself once again to be the epitome of all mouth and no trousers; the master of sound and fury with absolutely nothing driving either of them.
The film lurches loudly and uncomfortably from set piece to set piece with barely a thought towards plot and coherence. The 3D only serves to be a nauseous distraction – although it does help take your eye off Shia LaBoeuf, who has long outstayed his welcome on cinema screens as far as I’m concerned. And [pullthis id="1"]Plymouth girl Rosie Huntington-Whitely shows precisely why she is such a great underwear model[/pullthis].
The nicest thing I can say about it is it is not as bad as the last one, just.
Now the silver lining.
While I cast my transformer toys to the four winds many years ago, when age and maturity had finally broken our relationship and forced me towards more adult pursuits, this doesn’t seem to have dulled my enthusiasm for the Harry Potter franchise. Since getting the first two ‘adaptations by numbers’ out of the way I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my regular meetings with what has now become a British institution.
[pullthis id="2"]Imagine my inescapable delight at being offered a seat at the regional premiere to the very final instalment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 [/pullthis]on Thursday night!
Although you read ‘premiere’ in that last sentence, you cannot imagine anything more ordinary. It just meant we got to watch all the important people lording it up at Trafalgar Square before the film; which was fun for 20 minutes. After two hours I was a little less enamoured with hearing about what ‘Gringotts goblin number 2’s favourite part of filming was.
Thankfully all thoughts of stuffing the red carpet microphone down the throat of the nearest sound bite evaporated as soon as the film started. With the tenacity and good sense of a franchise with £6 billion in the bank it doesn’t hang about, picking up almost immediately from the end of part 1, the hunt for the remaining Horcruxes is back on and characters you have been acquainted with for 10 years are fighting for their lives.
The no doubt suffocating pressure that has been mounting on this final instalment to deliver the ending the fans demand is luckily only present on screen in the intensity of the final battle.
Director David Yates has successfully trodden the line between the expected level of bang and spectacle for the finale and emotional resonance with the characters. The main cast deliver heartfelt and sensitive performances that never get over shadowed by the vast array of battling giants, mystical creatures and blue lightning bolts. It’s a great way to end a unique film journey, including that daft ending.
So Nan is right, you’ve just got to wait for that silver lining. Thank goodness after 10 years it was worth it, but where’s the next one coming from?