Film Round-Up: Emma, Birds of Prey, The Invisible Man and Trolls Worl Tour

It’s a four-film special!

Emma

Emma lives an ideal life of matchmaking other people she knows but will she ever get a man herself? This is a nice movie, in fact I don’t know many other movies which suit that adjective more. This is just a nice and pleasant thing to watch. Unlike a lot of period films, this is very light and frothy. There’s no real drama to be had, no dastardly villains and the stakes are not much higher than an ant’s belly. This is a plus and a negative. It means you just float through the film like Emma floats through life, mildly chuckling on the way. But it also means the film doesn’t matter at all and it’s as easily forgotten as its watched. You watch this film, you enjoy it as it's well-acted and inoffensive, and then once it's over you go and do something more productive with your time. If you like period pieces this is a nice piece of froth to watch but it’s nothing that’ll raise the pulse.

Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn breaks up with the Joker but without the Crown Prince of Crime by her side, she is targeted by all the people she’s done wrong in Gotham. We all remember Suicide Squad and while I do enjoy the movie, it’s fair to say most people hated it. In fact, people seem to rank it below both Batman v Superman and Justice League in the DC Universe which is something to marvel about. Ba doom tish. But this feels like what Suicide Squad was trying to do in its last few edits. A colourful lively piece with fun characters doing fun things. This movie pops with energy and colour, it’s a movie that has the energy of Harley Quinn, which is a metaphorical way of saying it’s like a child that’s eaten all the sugar in the jar. The main problem though is the Birds of Prey in the title. The film’s idea is all about badass ladies coming together to takedown the Blask Mask, played by an amazingly maniacal Ewan McGregor. Yet they don’t all come together and decide to fight together until the final action scene and that’s a huge disappointment as it feels like we miss out on some great scenes. But other than that, it is a fun blockbuster which shows the DC Universe is going well nowadays.

The Invisible Man

Cecilia seems to have gotten away from her abusive ex until he dies and she is stalked by an invisible man he is certain is him. What an amazing reinvention of this classic monster series. Instead of being terrible like some of the other Universal Monster reboots, this comes up with a new and terrifying angle on the series. Not only is the idea that an invisible man could attack you just horrific to think about, this movie does what all great horrors about and disguise a large message into what appears to be a simple movie. In this film, Cecilia is sent crazy, separated from her family and friends, and beaten up by the invisible man but because he is invisible and allegedly dead, no one sees it. Quite literally. It’s a large metaphor for domestic abuse and it’s done very well and with subtlety which is impressive for a Blumhouse film which can often deal with delicate subjects like this with a hammer. It’s this what turns it from good horror movie to something fantastic that will become a classic remembered for years.

Trolls World Tour

Poppy discovers that there are lots of other trolls that sing different types of music and that she must unite them all to try and stop the rock trolls from taking them all over and forcing them to listen to all music. This was the first film that was meant to be released in cinemas that instead of delaying due to the Coronavirus, they bit the bullet and released it on VOD. And by all reports its been very successful. That said, the film is not that great. The music is for the most part just medleys which are just energy and not much else. The story is fairly predictable for the most part and hits very familiar beats though it hits them pretty well. And I was hoping for a lot more rock considering they are the main villains, though that’s a personal bias rather than anything wrong with the film. The film is incredibly overactive and it will wear any adult watching out though I can see kids enjoying it. In fact, if it wears kids out like it did me, it’s perfect for our current times.

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