Nowhere to hide for criminally bad “Suicide Squad”

So awful is “Suicide Squad” that, in relative terms, “Batman v Superman” deserves an Oscar and a collective apology from critics who thought that it was as low as recent superhero (sorry, metahuman) movies could stoop. This pile of stinking, incoherent garbage won’t be the final nail in DC’s coffin, but the door is swinging closed very, very fast.

Where to begin. The plot? Non-existent. The supposedly villainous titular squad? Either one dimensional or trying too hard to be relatable. The Joker? Ugh.

Anyone capable of constructing a cohesive human thought should hate “Suicide Squad”. The worst part about it is that it’s not even bad enough to be good; not even fun enough to make you forget its flaws. All of those alleged “Deadpool”-related re-shoots done to “lighten up” the movie were a waste of time and money. Ours and the studio’s. The vast majority of gags fall flat on their face, much like the action sequences and dialogue. Only through these pathetic links is the film remotely consistent.

We start the movie with the camera approaching a reddish wasteland, harbouring a mega-prison for the world’s “worst of the worst”, soundtracked to the familiar strains of the original “House of the Rising Sun”.  Oh look! There’s Will Smith’s Deadshot sweatily punching a bag. A few words are exchanged with a guard. A blink-and-you’ll miss it torture scene is tacked on. But, hey, I’m on-board. Then, he’s gone and another song takes over. This time “You Don’t Own Me” echoes onscreen, as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is introduced. A little bit of snappy dialogue and… oh, she’s gone, too. It’s time for a backstory bonanza – and you’ve got an invite to the show.

20 minutes. 20 minutes of exposition. 20 minutes of the most cluttered, rambling, barely-edited cinema you may ever see. We’re supposed to care about Colonel Rick Flag’s (Joel Kinnaman) relationship with an archaeologist (boringly) played by Cara Delevingne, who has been taken over by an ancient evil witch known as Enchantress. We’re supposed to care that the Joker is a pimp-ish underground gangster wannabe who only exists to get his girlfriend (Harley Quinn) back from the clutches of government agent, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). But we don’t, because nothing in this thundering turd of a film makes any sense or gives us any reason to care about anyone or anything.

Jared Leto’s Joker is an insult to the character, but luckily he stops featuring after a while. Even if Nicholson, Ledger and Hamill didn’t exist, this portrayal would still be considered a flop. Will Smith is, as ever, watchable and Margot Robbie shows something, but is underused. Everyone else may as well have been CGI-d into the movie, so little is their impact.

Some stuff happens that has no consequence or logic – and any small redeeming qualities the film may have won’t be mentioned here, because they’ll detract from the deluge of abuse “Suicide Squad” deserves.

Whatever the opposite of squad goals is, this is it.

 

The good, the bad and the gooey: “Ghostbusters” offers up a mixed bag

I’m not sure how many reviews you’ll come across that compare “12 Years a Slave” and “The Passion of the Christ” with this new imagination of the “Ghostbusters” universe, but I’ll give it a shot.

Those first two movies are examples of cinema challenging our perceptions of history, society and faith, presenting us with potentially uncomfortable arguments about the state of the human race. As a bare minimum, those harrowing spectacles made us think about our actions as a community and how we treat our fellow man.

“Ghostbusters” is a movie about shooting slimy ghosts. It’s a likeable not-quite-Disneyland theme park come to life. It’s a film about hokum science, relatable friendships and having fun. In all the furore surrounding the release of its initial trailer, it seemed that people had forgotten that “Ghostbusters” was never – and will never be – ground-breaking or thought-provoking. Quite the opposite, in fact – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

What makes this incarnation of “Ghostbusters” good is that it’s pure popcorn porn. There’s no grand statements about feminism or girl power, nothing to provoke even an iota of faux-masculine keyboard-warrior-condemnation. At best, it’s a watchable, funny romp that starts well and wanes considerably in a disappointing third act. At worst, it’s a misguided attempt at cashing in on the sequel and reboot fever that has entranced the film industry for too long.

In the same way that “Ghostbusters” shouldn’t be damned by its detractors, it should not be held up as a beacon of feminine kickass-ism by its defenders, because the truth of the matter is that this film is fine. Just… fine. After a promising open, it falls a little too much in favour of pandering to its popular predecessors. The cameos are predictable and over-used, while the final sequence is just plain silly, with very little drama or sense of danger at any time.

The positive outlook emanating from this film, however, owes so much to its outstanding cast. Melissa McCarthy is, and always has been, a tremendously funny actor. Leslie Jones brings vibrancy and vigour to the show, letting loose and enjoying herself, while Kate McKinnon is a delight, relishing a role that gives her so much movement to make an impact. And who doesn’t like Kristen Wiig? This all goes without mentioning Chris Hemsworth, who thrives off his casting as the dim-witted receptionist.

Plot-wise, there’s not much to talk about. It’s derivative and unimaginative, but, hey, so is so much being spat out of Hollywood these days. “Ghostbusters” shouldn’t take all the flak for it. It’s simply something your young kids, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews will enjoy – as will you if you’re willing to click the “OFF” button on your overworked brain. It’s about as offensive or noteworthy as “The Haunted Mansion”.

Let’s get real here: don’t get pissed off about women wearing outfits worn once or twice by a bunch of funny guys 30 years ago. Don’t read too much into “Ghostbusters”, period. Just relax and enjoy the movie.

This is becoming Ted-ious now

Seth MacFarlane is highly-intelligent, musically-gifted and (supposedly) creatively-astute, but he is fast-becoming a terrible parody of himself.

Between this bland effort and the arrogantly-woeful, “A Million Ways to Die in the West”, MacFarlane’s willingness to patronise his audiences with fart, drug and dick jokes has already worn thin. Can he keep getting away with this?

Let’s be clear: “Ted 2” is not awful, but it’s also not shocking, nor interesting, nor good enough to be memorable. Its biggest crime is that it’s predictable. In the most cynical sense, like the vast majority of sequels, it’s a money-making machine for MacFarlane: you can almost see his gleaming grin as he watches the cash tumble into his bank account, filling his pupils with endless dollar signs. Minimal effort, massive success.

“Ted 2” opens with the titular, foul-mouthed bear’s wedding to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), best-manned by best buddy, John (Mark Wahlberg). It’s followed by (surprise, surprise) an elaborate musical number, which, although well put together, is not funny. Yes, it isn’t trying to be funny, but, if so, why is it there? Who is it for?

The second tale of Ted continues from here, with the sudden realisation that, as a toy, Ted is not actually human in the eyes of the state. His marriage is annulled, his job is lost and all his previously-assumed “human” rights are revoked. It’s time for Ted to claim back his civil rights.

Such is the thinness of this story, “Ted 2” is peppered with random scenes and gags that are actually much better than the primary plot. Liam Neeson’s short cameo involving a children’s breakfast cereal is hilarious, while a trip to an improv comedy night brings out some of the biggest laughs of the screening, mainly through the fact that these are the kind of jokes that show MacFarlane isn’t afraid of poking fun of even the most recent of tragic events.

And, weirdly, this scene actually serves to highlight what’s gone wrong with Ted: where before he was hard-edged, naughty and almost criminal, he has lost his selfish sparkle. Nothing he does now is surprising. We know he speaks, we know he drinks and we know he smokes weed; only, this time, he is verging on becoming a nice person, which is not his USP. To facilitate the plot, to become more human, Ted becomes boring, with nothing new to be garnered from his character.

What’s more, such is the dearth of imagination present, MacFarlane drags up the villain from the first film, Giovanni Ribisi’s creepy Donny, who now works as a janitor for toy manufacturer, Hasbro – and, once again, looks to steal Ted for himself, a layer of the movie which collapses and gives up on itself before the end.

One would think that Ted’s tale is now surely over, but, knowing MacFarlane, knowing how much he likes to flog a dead horse, it might not be long before we see Ted tip-toeing back into our theatres. Someone, please make it stop.

Excellent “Jurassic World” brings franchise back into wild territory

Jurassic World

For many of its fans, Jurassic Park sits in the prehistoric era of film, a time before summer blockbusters consisted of endless sequels, prequels, threequels and unbreakable superheroes. Now, a generation later, Steven Spielberg’s adventure classic has a follow-up worthy of its name.

The premise, once again, is simple, but undeniably entertaining: Jurassic World (because who needs a park when you can have a world?), is, apparently, in decline, with visitor attendance dropping year-on-year. And why? In a nod to society’s ever-increasing need for constant upgrades and improvements, the answer is that dinosaurs just aren’t that interesting anymore.

The theme park, run by the determined, if slightly cold, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), is in need of a dinosaur-sized kick, a new attraction that will draw back the gawkers and put paid to the naysayers. What it gets is the Indominus rex, a genetically-modified hybrid creature, comprised partly of various dinosaurs – and partly of a multitude of mainly undisclosed animals.

When the Indominus rex escapes its pen, it’s not long before carnivorous carnage ensues, with the hybrid’s path of destruction paving the way for a domino effect of uncontrollable carnage across the island, this time with thousands of unsuspecting guests waiting to be preyed upon.

One thing you need to do when watching “Jurassic World” is to forget the two previous installments in the franchise. As far as this film’s makers are concerned, they never happened: Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum’s contribution ended 22-years-ago – and a Tyrannosaurus rex didn’t end up doing a Godzilla in San Diego.

Once you’ve done that, set your brain to nostalgic mode, as numerous references are made to the original entry in the series, without ever being forced down your throat, “Terminator”-style. With Chris Pratt’s undeniable (if slightly cheesy) charm driving the film, it’s easy to stay on-board, as he, a dinosaur researcher and skilled Velociraptor trainer, sets out to save Dallas Howard’s two nephews, who have disappeared into the far reaches of the island.

It’s safe to say that, if “Jurassic Park” never existed, the public may not have bought into “Jurassic World”. The CGI creatures we see today are no longer new, nor more impressive than anything we’ve seen in similar movies. However, so many people hold “Jurassic Park” close to their hearts, that all they needed was for this to emulate its creator, to revere it, not to distance itself. This is why “Jurassic World” is such a joy to watch: it knows it only exists because something even more special came before it.

What’s more, Spielberg’s presence can be felt all over it, so that, even without his direction, the project flourishes, remaining riveting and pulsating throughout, with touches of emotion that will resonate with lovers of the initial tale.

Of course, as we’ve come to expect, the scenery is gorgeous, the dinosaurs are magnificent and the love story is bland. No harm there: the park is open again – and things are bigger and better than they’ve ever been.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”: big, but just not bold enough

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I’ll start with a confession: I’m really not that into comic books. Although I have long-since come to accept that I am a fully-formed nerd, I was a late-comer to the comic book party. Growing up, it was only Batman (and, to a lesser extent, Spiderman) that drew my attention to the glamorous clamour of the world of superheroes.

This might explain why I have found it so hard to enjoy both “Avengers” films. In this post-Dark-Knight world, many people are seeking a little more light in their superhero flicks – and, if that’s what you seek, that’s what “Avengers: Age of Ultron” provides.

Look, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is, at times, very, very funny and, for plenty of people amongst us, that carries it through. The exchanges between Thor, Iron Man and Captain America, especially, are a treat for us all, but they also dilute the seriousness of the action unfolding around them. I can’t get into a frame of mind where I can accept that Tony Stark is cracking witty one-liners at the same time as the world is, quite literally, about to explode.

What’s more, in both “Avengers” films, there has been a distinct lack of evil in both of the primary villains, with far too much empathy shown from characters apparently hell-bent on destroying/ruling humanity. As great a character as Loki is, he was a puppet in the first film – and he lost all of his evil credibility when Hulk was able to pick him up and smash him around like a ragdoll.

Similarly, here, Ultron believes he is doing worthy work in attempting to exterminate the Avengers and the world around them. Misguided, yes, but, as a computer programme/machine, he cannot be classified as evil. What I like to see in a villain is unpredictability, but you simply don’t get that with Loki and Ultron, as their plans are laid bare for all to see.

Given a choice between the most recent Batman villains (the complicated, distorted qualities of the Joker and the mysterious, haunted personality of Bane) or Loki and Ultron, I would choose to watch the former pair over and over again. Perhaps it is their human realism that engages me, but, simply put, they are more convincing (and more entertaining) at being bad guys.

Of course, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is not without its many merits. As expected, it looks fabulous – and it will be hard to better this version of a raging, tormented Hulk/Bruce Banner, whom Mark Ruffalo portrays so well.

And, not to labour the point, the film’s comic timing (excuse the pun) is exquisite, exemplified in Thor’s Chris Hemsworth, who brings a refreshing enthusiasm to the role. Moreover, in giving the lesser-known pair of Hawkeye and Black Widow more time to share their stories, those characters become much more developed than they were in the first instalment.

Simply put: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is good, but give me bruised, brooding Batman any day. Bring on 2016.

FACT: “The Theory of Everything” is all that is good about cinema

the theory of everything

It often rings true that those who put on a bit of make-up and immerse themselves into a role are the ones bringing home the gongs come awards-time. It also rings true that these aren’t always the fairest results. This time, come February 22nd, if Eddie Redmayne walks away with the award for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars, he, and this extraordinary film in which he plays the most integral part, will go down as one of the most deserving winners in recent times.

For those of us who haven’t known a life without Stephen Hawking’s universally-renowned robotic voice, “The Theory of Everything” is the perfect blend of history lesson, dramatic storytelling, lavish film-making and A-standard acting.

And, to think, it could have all gone so wrong.

In general, biopics about people that are still alive (or who have recently passed) can be divisive affairs (think Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Steve Jobs in “Jobs” or Idris Elba taking on the role of Nelson Mandela and you get the idea), but what we have here is a perfectly-balanced representation of the life of one of the greatest minds in our lifetime.

What could have easily descended into “The Notebook”-like schmaltz ascends into cinematic superiority, with wonderful, evocative performances from the two leads, Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and Felicity Jones as his girlfriend-then-wife, Jane Wilde.

Director James Marsh does an excellent job of mixing sentimentality with hardcore drama, while also presenting honestly the lengths to which Hawking has had to go in order to survive, but never overpoweringly. What we get here is a true sense of the man: loving, a little dorky and, most importantly, brilliant. Redmayne does a sterling job of portraying Hawking, taking on all the effects that motor neurone disease brings, without fear – and never overdoing it.

Jones, as the kind, caring, but ultimately frustrated wife, is a revelation, guiding the audience to understand her character and the difficulties she had to endure as Hawking’s partner.

But great acting alone doesn’t make a great film: it’s what surrounds “The Theory of Everything” that concretely cements its place as one of the greatest pictures of its generation. The score, composed by Johann Johansson is subtly brilliant, while the cinematography is, at times, scintillating. There’s nothing that this film hasn’t thought of perfecting.

If you were to be picky, and, for the sake of balance, you have to be, it could be said that the film is a bit of a timeline of Hawking’s life, jumping from important event to important event, possibly not stopping enough to examine the true effect of each setback. But, like I said, you’d have to be picky, for, as was so correctly pointed out to me today, the concept of time is something that took even Stephen Hawking a long time to get close to grasping, so it makes sense that a film about him would struggle with that concept too.

In case my gushing didn’t give it away: don’t miss this one.

Problems plague “Exodus: Gods and Kings”

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Hark! the herald angels sing: the Bible is mainstream again.

Following on from this year’s good-but-not-great interpretation of the story of Noah comes a good-but-not-great revival of the tale of Moses – and his attempts to free his people, the Israelites, from the slavery imposed on them by their Egyptian rulers.

Christian Bale, playing Moses, faces off against Joel Edgerton’s Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses, while a supporting cast of astonishing stature looks on.

This, in fact, is problem number one with “Exodus: Gods and Kings”. For a long time now, Hollywood has successfully managed to make excellent movies involving foreign lands and ancient stories without employing extremely famous white actors in its primary roles.  Now, director Ridley Scott has returned us to the early- and mid-twentieth century, where these famous white actors have been painted a different skin colour and popped into funny-looking clothes in order to sell a film.

We don’t need this anymore. There are plenty of less famous, more authentic actors, who could have played any of the roles on show here. The fact that Scott had to battle accusations of racism in advance of the release of the film says it all.

This leads us onto problem number two. If a director insists on using these high-profile white actors in high-profile films, should they not at least make decent use of them? Sir Ben Kingsley is employed chiefly as a means of exposition, while Sigourney Weaver appears in approximately five scenes and speaks in two, uttering only a few words, none of which add any value to the story. Aaron Paul, beloved by “Breaking Bad” fans, plays the barely audible Joshua, who is seemingly present only to spy on Moses as he talks to God. These immense acting talents are all unforgivably wasted, especially when one thinks that they could have been utilised to push this film beyond a simple good-vs-evil battle between Bale and Edgerton.

The film does, however, deserve credit for its portrayal of the plagues, all of which are magnificently executed onscreen. From the turning of the water of the River Nile into blood, all the way to the deaths of the first born sons of the Egyptians, each plague looks terrific, as does the parting of the Red Sea when its time comes.

However, this seems to be where the core problem of “Exodus” lies: in all its focus on the big moments, the little details were forgotten. The accents are muddled; the supporting actors, underused; the story, displaced.

For those leaning on the religious side of the fence, God is portrayed as a spiteful little shit (in child form), who stood around doing nothing about slavery for 400 years before finally deciding, seemingly on a whim, to get someone else to do something about it. This depiction, surprisingly, works quite well, but may be lost on some of Christianity’s more fanatic followers.

Overall, it’s frustrating to know that something great could have been done here and, despite strong set piece scenes, it wasn’t.

Unfamiliarity breeds contempt in “The Battle of the Five Armies”

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The adventure is finally over. Thirteen years since the formation of the Fellowship, Middle Earth has, at last, closed for business. The only thing it needed to do was to end well, to leave us with a satisfying taste – and to justify its split into three lengthy motion pictures.

Unfortunately, it does none of these things. This third entry in “The Hobbit” trilogy strangles on its own narrative cord – and offers conclusive proof that Tolkien’s 365-page source material did not need to be made into three films.

What is most disappointing is that “The Battle of the Five Armies” lacks familiarity. With “An Unexpected Journey”, there were parallels with “The Fellowship of the Ring”. With “The Desolation of Smaug”, there was a strong sense of something enormous coming, as it was in “The Two Towers”. With this film, the structure is so all over the place, with so many different story strands, that it becomes slightly tedious viewing. This doesn’t feel like the Middle Earth movies we know; it feels like an excuse for extensive CGI and for one, final (somewhat irrelevant) battle scene.

The dragon, Smaug (voiced magnificently by Benedict Cumberbatch), the focal point of “The Hobbit” story, is dispatched in the opening portion of the film, which, as it turns out, is the best part of it. After this, too much time is devoted to the coming of a 45-minute battle, which, in the end, has no winner and no purpose, mainly because the film-makers have changed the original story so much that they have forced themselves into an inescapable plot corner.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” has one core problem: it is simply not important enough to warrant its own existence. Where the war in “The Lord of the Rings” had repercussions for all in the vast world of Middle Earth, this battle for gold and silver by a mountain near a small town is quite an underwhelming spectacle.

Of course, this was acceptable in the book, as the titular battle was an after-thought to the Smaug saga, a way to resolve the differences between the dwarves, the elves and others who sought to take some of the riches buried in the Lonely Mountain, but there is simply not enough material in that part of book to legitimise a two-and-a-half hour film.

What’s more, the film-makers attempts to rectify both the lack of familiarity and importance in this film are forced and extremely off-putting. In trying to make it relevant, they have stretched the whole story far too thin – and, by the end, there is very little left to savour.

In its defence, the battle does, as expected, look fantastic and some of the individual scenes feel spectacular (for instance, the final showdown between Thorin and Azog). The key performances are, again, dependably excellent, but they are not enough to save the film from its certain position as the least-satisfying entry in this long-running tale.

This battle was lost. Thankfully, the war was won long ago.

There’s life in the old “Mockingjay”, yet

mockingjay 1

It’s been a long journey from the first games to the depths of District 13, but it’s never been a dull one. What was always going to be questionable about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” was, having already split the final book in the series into two films, whether it could cope without its initial main draw: the Hunger Games themselves.

Thankfully, the question is answered positively, not through wonderful visuals or scintillating scenes, but through powerful performances. From Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss, to Liam Hemsworth’s Gale – and even to the normally listless Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta – we have real emotions to contend with here.

Visually, it was always going to be difficult for “Mockingjay – Part 1”. Most of the book takes place in the surly dullness of the underground bunker that is District 13 – and only moves out into the world in fits and starts. “Mockingjay – Part 1” needed its characters to bring life to a story that could easily have slipped into extinction – and that they do, just.

Following Katniss’s removal from her second games in “Catching Fire”, we now find her practically imprisoned in District 13, a place she had long-since believed had been destroyed by President Snow and the Capitol. Keeping her there are Plutarch Heavensbee (the ever-reliable Philip Seymour-Hoffman, whose presence will be sorely missed) and Alma Coin, the leader of District 13 (played by the not-so-reliable Julianne Moore). They want her to be their mockingjay, the symbol of their rebellion against the Capitol, but all Katniss wants is to rescue Peeta, now caught in the clutches of the Capitol.

Of all the future dystopia novels-cum-films we have been forced to endure over the last few years, “The Hunger Games” is the only one with an emotional backbone. These characters are people who could exist in our world today and, for that, they resonate well with audiences. Moreover, the actors have grown with the series – and the series is better for that.

The strength of the performances is the key to unlocking a troubling tension throughout the film. Nothing monumental truly happens, especially to Katniss, but you always get the feeling that something is about to, which is why “Part 2” is going to need to be excellent for “The Hunger Games” to go down as a truly memorable set of films.

Where this film falls down is its lack of bait provided for non-fans. Where each individual entry in “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” series’ could be viewed and enjoyed by anyone, this is not the case here. People don’t need to be spoon-fed the plot, but it would be nice if there was something a little more enticing (more battles, more conflicts) for outsiders to understand why “The Hunger Games” has become such a phenomenon.

The stage is set for next year’s final chapter and, with the introduction out of the way, it will be time for “The Hunger Games” to justify why the odds should forever remain in its favour.

“Interstellar” fails to launch

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Thanks, “Gravity”, you’ve ruined space movies for everyone.

Last year’s visual masterpiece, winner of seven Oscars in March just gone, has set the standard for what we now expect from space exploration films: stunning visuals, genuine human stories and suffocating realism. “Interstellar” attempts to fulfil all three – and, in doing so, only achieves partial success in each category.

Let’s get this straight: “Interstellar” is not a bad film, but it is not what it should have been. The plot, so cleverly hidden by the trailer that made mouth-watering viewing, is ambitious, bordering on absurd. This, of course, would be fine, except for the fact that “Interstellar” wants to be taken very, very seriously. “Look at what we’re doing to the world!” it screams, “Look what could happen to us!”

Initially, “Interstellar” focuses on the plight of Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a farmer in a future not too far from now, facing down the barrel of yet another blight; one that will more than likely spell the beginning of the end for mankind.

Luckily for said mankind, Cooper, with the help of his precocious ten-year-old daughter, Murph, stumbles upon the secret hiding spot of the now-underground NASA, which, in an attempt to save the human race, is about to send a group of brave astronauts (including Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi and two infuriating sarcastic robots) into a wormhole to a new galaxy, where three worlds with the potential for life are located. McConaughey is enlisted – and hi, ho, it’s off to space they go.

It is safe to say that “Interstellar” is affected by the same afflictions that blighted one of director Christopher Nolan’s other hotly-anticipated works, “The Dark Knight Rises”. There are massive jumps in storyline, while, as noted by The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard, the whole idea seems a bit over-dramatic. Should we not try and solve the problems on Earth before jumping into bed with another galaxy?

The performances of the key actors are exemplary, but that is now almost a minimum requirement for a film with notions of award-time glory. McConaughey is as strong as we have come to expect, while the support from Hathaway, Bentley, Gyasi, Jessica Chastain and the young Mackenzie Foy add as much depth to the human elements of the story as they can.

Nolan tries to stir up some empathy, with much attention paid to the idea of family, love and relationships, but this is often lost in the bullshit science of the film, which is sometimes so difficult to follow that you wonder if it was Nolan’s intention to confuse us.

Very little is offered in the way of ground-breaking imagery, while the ending is as potentially divisive as “Inception”, which, although a great talking point, is perhaps not so great for those who want solid answers after giving up three hours of their lives for this.

“Interstellar” is good, but it will forever be in the shadow of the much sharper film it followed into theatres – and that is unfortunate.