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Showing posts from October, 2016

I’m the guy you didn’t count on.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
(SPOILERS) It was probably inevitable that Tom Cruise’s dedication to his declining “brand” meant Jack Reacher would renounce his stone-cold, death-machine mantle almost as soon as he had found his footing. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. As other commentators have noted, with nineteen novels to choose from, what were the chances Cruise would pick the one that softens the character up, giving him a potential daughter and (only ever potential) love interest to pick away at his concealed human side?

But then Cruise, amid his scientological myopia, probably thought he was playing safe, to his strengths, despite Jack Reacher getting a sequel based on the slenderest of threads (courtesy of post-theatrical income streams) and the vocal outcry about the half-pint not being of suitable altitude to fill Reacher’s heavyweight boots. He clearly felt he needed to steer the character further off piste from the self-sufficient introvert, which is hardly lik…

My dad told us that we can’t leave the valley. As long as we stay here we’d be protected.

Z for Zachariah (2015)
(SPOILERS) This adaptation of the posthumously published Robert C O’Brien novel (he was also author of the classic Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) has likely had devotees up in arms, since it veers significantly from the source material (there’s always a 1984 BBC Play for Today for those adherents to fidelity). Rather than a tale of a man and a young woman – a scientist and a person of faith, and the underlying ructions that causes – Z for Zachariah becomes a post-apocalypse-a-trois, as a potential Eden is rudely disturbed by an interloper.

Of course, the Eden was only really an Eden when Ann (Margot Robbie) was there alone in it, making her the Adam of the story. Okay, she was experiencing hardships (she barely survived the previous winter), but her radiation-free idyll, safe from sickness and disease, was tranquil and unsullied. 

It’s only when man arrives, in the form of John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a scientist lacking her belief system and keen to reintrodu…