Film Round-Up: Angel Has Fallen, Brightburn and The Hustle

The Angel has Brightburned The Hustle! There SEO, be happy.

Angel Has Fallen

Gerard Butler must once again do some actiony things because he’s been accused of the assassination attempt on the President. London Has Fallen got a pasting in the press because it was accused of Islamophobia and I can at least report this has got none of that, the villain being a bland military dude. But it’s still not good. The action mostly takes place in day-to-night action shots meaning you don’t see anything at all. Why any movie still decides to do this is bewildering to me but wondering what the hell a lorry is doing in a very mediocre chase through the woods became incredibly irritating. Other than that there’s nothing to note other than how loyal it is to action tropes, so much so that it does in fact end with the hero and villain on the roof having a knife fight. Unfortunately it’s because both have ran out of bullets rather than the two deciding that this should be decided manomano. Basically a bland, poor action movie that won’t do much for anyone. Except my friend Sam who inexplicably loves these movies. Weird bloke.

Brightburn

Superman is actually evil in this twisted version of the classic superhero story. Well it’s not actually Superman but the story is quite similar I imagine that Warner Bros lawyers had their cursor ready and poised to send a Cease and Desist to the Gunn family who were behind this. And while Evil Superman is something that has been done a lot, mostly by DC Comics, this is a very good interpretation of it. The movie is suitably tense and creepy as we slowly realise how evil Brandon Breyer is. Yes they did the same initial thing, that’s how on the nose this movie is with them replicating the Superman story. The best part of the movie is a surprisingly stunning performance from Elizabeth Banks as Brandon’s mum. She is incredibly good at portraying the anguish of a mother who is starting to realise that her beloved child is not what she wanted him to be. I wish this was more developed as a theme and I also wanted a bit more explanation as to why Brandon has turned now but this is a dark but enjoyable look at the superhero genesis story.

The Hustle

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels gets a female remake but also a name change because then you don’t get boycotts and trolls. Anne Hathaway slides into the Michael Caine role while Rebel Wilson is Steve Martin. It’s a largely by the books remake which is far poorer than the original. The jokes do not land and worst of all, the ones that might get close are wrecked by an incredibly irritating soundtrack which is constantly in your ear grabbing as much attention as the stars. It might as well come and stand on your foot and shout at you ‘PAY ATTENTION TO ME’ because it really does distract from what you are seeing on screen. But then again the movie sans soundtrack is a generic comedy with just one or two jokes that work. It’s a shame as I like both Hathaway and Wilson but neither seem to click together in this one and they struggle to have any sort of chemistry together. This is certainly not giving them what they want.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.