Romantic comedy would seem to be out of character for Ed Zwick, macho director of lavish melodramatic epics like Glory, Legends of the Fall and Defiance, until one scours his IMDB back catalogue and discovers About Last Night lurking in the wings. An intimate story of passion and affairs starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, it was the kind of small-scale project on which Zwick made his name; Love and Other Drugs marks his return to such material.
Adapted from the third book in CS Lewis’ landmark Narnia series, The Dawn Treader comes bearing the kind of unfortunate name that seems to pre-empt critics and audiences having their knives out. ‘Simply treading water’; ‘Fails to make a splash’ -the list goes on.
Those who’ve followed the buzz on The Tourist will notice it’s been lambasted to hell and back by critics and audiences alike. From allegations of zero chemistry between leading stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp to a so-called haphazardness in tone, it’s less Cary Grant than Cary Can’t, many have claimed.
In the Tony Scott school of hard knocks, it’s not content for a character to merely get knocked to the ground in a fist-fight. The fist must connect with the face from five different angles -preferably in slow motion once -before a hectic montage sees the body fall to the floor accompanied by ear-bleeding sound effects. If he’s feeling especially energetic, he’ll speed the camera up and then slow it down.
“It appears to be normal,” intones Wilford Brimley gravely, as he dissects the hideously twisted and monstrous corpse of an unidentified creature, observing it has a complete set of internal organs. As if on cue, we cut to the cadaver’s face: a horrific tableau of pain, horror and terror. The fact that it seems to be fusing with an additional head next to it should alert those nearby to the imminent threat.
Status update: The Social Network is one of the best films of the year. But to reduce the film to the glib terms of the website whose origins it dramatises is to undermine its importance.