No justice for Cage or Twilight stars

Film
JUSTICE
Cert: 15

Nicolas Cage stars in this latest action thriller as school teacher Will Gerard, not only plunged into a world where morality blurs, but also plunged into a highly questionable wig. When Cage’s wife Laura (an unremarkable January Jones) is raped and ends up in hospital, a mysterious man named Simon (Guy Pearce) offers to organise to have her attacker “sorted out”. It saves pressing charges and watching his wife relive her ordeal again in court, so Gerard agrees. Allowing Simon’s vigilante organisation to dole out their violent brand of justice turns out, of course, to be a very bad idea.

A single scene in particular sums up Justice. In order to give the go ahead to Simon, Gerard must go to a vending machine and eat a specific candy bar. While this could be vaguely amusing in a fun, cartoony way, Justice takes itself far too seriously.

Director Roger Donaldson (No Way Out) tries to maintain a fast pace, and there’s an alright scene involving a chess game, but everything zips along in a forgettable blur. Failing to thrill and offering some very lazy twists, it never rises above the routine and the faintly ridiculous. Much like Cage’s wig.
Stevie Martin

Film
WEELCOME TO THE RILEYS
Cert: 15

Welcome to the Rileys came out in 2010, but is now on wide release. Its timing for wide release coincides with the release of its star Kristen Stewart’s more famous film: Twilight, Breaking Dawn.

Well, no better way to shake off Twilight than by playing a foul-mouthed stripper trying to have sex with James Gandolfini (The Sopranos). Kristen Stewart gives a warts-and-all performance as Mallory, the call girl with an aversion to hair-washing who develops an unlikely friendship with Doug Riley (Gandolfini) after his own daughter died eight years previously. Having grown apart from his wife (Melissa Leo) since her death, the straight talking Mallory actually starts to help repair their marriage.

As cult as this indie film wants to be, and as impressive as Kristen Stewart is, it’s undeniably nothing more than entertaining melodrama with F words thrown in for added edge.

The reason behind Doug’s affection for Mallory isn’t explored beyond the simplistic idea that he’s replacing his daughter, and darker elements are glossed over. It’s worth a look, however, to see Stewart prove she can act and for the the snappy, witty dialogue.
Stevie Martin

Film
TWILIGHT
Cert: 12A

It doesn’t matter whether the Twilight films – based on the cult bestsellers by Stephenie Meyer – are good or not. The people will come, regardless. And certainly regardless of the scorn that most film critics – including the ones that fall asleep in screenings, snoring over their protuberant guts – tend to lavish on such pieces of Hollywood artifice.

Well, for the uninitiated, non-fans, or indeed any sentient adult, this film can’t be considered anything but bad. Awful, in fact. Eclipse, the third in the series, was tiresome enough (I loved one and two), pointing towards either a collapse or a revival. But as I say, it doesn’t matter. Get R-Patz (Robert Pattinson) as Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan on screen and they could be painting their living room for two hours and still be a boxoffice smash. Throw in Taylor Lautner as scorned lover Jacob (a warewolf) and you have the entire female population under 20 panting in lust.

In London, 3,000 fans gathered at Westfield Stratford for the premiere, many of whom had waited all night for a chance to get a glimpse of a star: A, B or D-list. As for the film’s content, Bella marries Edward and following a night of extreme lust (the first time they have sex – Edward was born 200 years ago, where they had certain codes of honour), she becomes pregnant. However, her human womb struggles to cope with a half-vampire fetus, and all manner of stress, tragedy and battle begins. The plot is outlandish, difficult to make sense of and fairly unrewarding.

But as I said, does it matter? Not a jot.
Zoe Strimpel