Jack Reacher: Never Go Back12A, Dir. Edward Zwick
Tom Cruise is back as Lee Child’s military legend-turned-drifter. This time he’s out to save a young Army Major (Cobie Smoulders) who’s been framed by a military contractor, and a girl who he believes to be his estranged daughter. The first film showed a different side to Cruise’s persona; still an unstoppable one man army, but with a more flawed, human edge. Smoulders makes an impressive counterpart, more ally than damsel in distress, while the addition of potential offspring adds a little bit of peril. Of course, you never quite believe that things are hanging in the balance, but who cares when the chases and Bourne-style fisticuffs come thick and fast? A kind of grittier cousin to the Mission: Impossible films, Never Go Back doesn’t stray much from the Tom Cruise action formula, but that will be just fine for most.
TrollsU, Dir. Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohm
Yes, this is a movie about those toys we all had on our school desks growing up. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake voice two very different Trolls on a mission to save their friends. Crammed with pop covers (apparently supervised by Timberlake himself), it’s an energetic run at a familiar story that begins and ends exactly as you would expect. Quite obviously aimed at youngsters, the children’s TV-esque enthusiasm proves infectious and it would take a hard-hearted viewer to resist cracking a smile. It never threatens to do anything bordering on original, but the combination of Kendrick and Timberlake somehow makes it all come together as only an expensive family animation can.
The success of The Angry Birds Movie means there’s doubtless more of these tie-in movies to come. Trolls may be one of the more forgettable, but while it’s here everyone will be entertained.
|Access exclusive offers and book tickets to hundreds of cultural events at City A.M. Tickets|