3 items from 2017
Tom Hiddleston’s talents are lost in this jumbled jungle caper that repeatedly indulges in anti-climax and silliness
Deep in the distant jungle … the undergrowth stirs, the lagoons froth, the branches shake and a huge monster rears terrifyingly up on its haunches, blotting out the sun. Run for your lives! It’s a 700 ft turkey, making squawking and gobbling noises and preparing to lay a gigantic egg.
This fantastically muddled and exasperatingly dull quasi-update of the King Kong story looks like a zestless mashup of Jurassic Park, Apocalypse Now and a few exotic visual borrowings from Miss Saigon. It gets nowhere near the elemental power of the original King Kong or indeed Peter Jackson’s game remake; it’s something Ed Wood Jr might have made with a trillion dollars to do what he liked with but minus the fun. The film gives away the ape’s physical appearance far too early, »
- Peter Bradshaw
The new aquatic adventure film The Chamber – where a submarine mission goes badly wrong – is the epitome of an underwater thriller. It plunges you into the action and makes you feel as if you’re right there with the crew fighting amongst each other, and fighting for their lives, sinking into the depths of the Yellow Sea. Here are eight more deep sea chillers that’ll have you struggling for breath.
“Race from outer space to seven miles below the sea … with amazing aquanauts of the deep!” In this classic sci-fi adventure Walter Pidgeon is in charge of a nuclear submarine whose very mission is to save the planet Earth. Directed by Irwin Allen, who went on to make disaster movies like The Poseidon Adventure and The Swarm, the film features the sub being attacked by a giant octopus, which should be recommendation enough. »
- The Hollywood News
Michael Caine had an interesting run of genre flicks starting in the late ‘70s. The Swarm (1978) was laughed off the screen, Dressed to Kill (1980) was enjoyed by audiences and critics alike, and The Hand (1981) dropped his batting average once again. Nestled in between all those was The Island (1980), a killer pirate movie from the author of Jaws and directed by the man behind The Bad News Bears. What could go wrong? Well, everything, according to most folk. It’s an odd one to be sure, but the wild tonal shifts that prevent the ship from staying on a clear course make it a fascinating treasure that gets better with each viewing.
Released in June by Universal, The Island had a surefire pedigree for success; the Jaws juggernaut of producers Zanuck and Brown and author Peter Benchley (here, adapting his own novel) promised a good time to be had by all. »
- Scott Drebit
3 items from 2017
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