At the Cinema: May 2010

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2010)

Quirky, exciting, darkly comedic thriller about a New Orleans cop who gets deeper and deeper in to trouble with the police, rival criminal gangs, his girlfriend and his family in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Great performance by Cage. 4/5

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Rather flat adaptation of the long-running computer game franchise. Stop-start nature of the plot, slightly wimpy hero and gibberish storyline overcome the potential fun of the premise. 2/5

Robin Hood (2010)

Rather dry and dull re-telling of the origins of the Robin Hood legend. Uneven pacing and uninteresting characters make this a disappointing adaptation. 2/5

Four Lions (2010)

Dark comedy (or light tragi-comedy if you prefer) about a group of Muslim men in northern England who are desparate to join the ranks Al-Qaeda and the like, and so plot to launch a suicide bomb attack. Trouble is, they are not the most competent of terrorists, and their efforts to strike at the evil West are foiled by their own idiocy. Director Chris Morris (The Day Today) has crafted a film that is as funny as it is thought-provoking, as well as occasionally very moving. Performances are all pitched perfectly, while the film itself neatly avoids offending either Muslims or victims of terrorism. It simply shows the would-be attackers for what they are: real people, misguided and flawed, but people all the same. 4/5

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Slightly messy but still enjoyable sequel to 2008’s Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr. returning to the role of Tony Stark, billionaire and not-so-secret superhero. This time, Stark faces two separate villains, Mickey Rourke as a Russian technical genius with a personal grudge against him, and Sam Rockwell’s businessman who is in competition for lucrative U.S. military contracts. Add to this the problem of Stark’s suit slowly poisoning him, problems with his business, and interest in his technology from covert governement agencies, and you have a very busy plate. The film does sag a bit in the middle, and feels a bit overly busy, but it remains fun all the way through. This is mostly down to Downey Jr, who fits the role of Stark perfectly, and whose energy and charisma keeps the story buzzing. Director Jon Favreau handles the action well, but crucially keeps the stuff inbetween engaging too. 3/5

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