It’s been a good couple of months for movie nights, and while it’s hard to find films that will please the entire family, this latest batch generally had us all in agreement. Some films were a disappointment, others met expectations, and a few caught us off guard with how good they were. Here are the films I’ve been watching.
Spiderman: Far From Home
Let’s be real, Spiderman had a tough task of following the highest-grossing film in history. Endgame left fans reeling, and Spiderman had to find a balance between exploring the aftermath of the film while also standing apart as its own entity. Was it a success? Yes, I think it was. Tom Holland has always captured that youthful and mischievous enthusiasm of Spiderman, and here we see Peter Parker facing the realities of what it truly means to be a superhero. No more can he just be the friendly neighbourhood hero, and you feel the burden of this responsibility weighing on his shoulders. Jake Gyllenhaal was a welcome addition to the cast and his chemistry with Tom Holland allowed us to invest in the dynamic between them, making the culminating moments exciting and unpredictable. The post-credit scenes will have major consequences for Spiderman as his safety net is shattered.
The Dark Tower
This film had a world of potential to be a blockbuster. With Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey taking the lead, expectations were naturally going to be high. Unfortunately, while the dynamic between these characters could have been explosive, it all felt a bit lacklustre. It felt like we never really got to explore the universe and the history between the characters. There just wasn’t enough development for us to really engage with the story.
This film flew under the radar for many years, and with its stellar cast, it’s hard to understand how that could have happened. Chris Evans takes the role of reluctant leader as he jumps on the opportunity to seize control of the train whose hierarchical structure sees lower-class citizens struggle for survival. The tension is felt from the start and the visual beauty of this film lies in the structure of the train as the sheer contrast between the carts represents what’s left of this society. There are some surprising narrative twists along the way, ones that looking back are so glaringly obvious it’s hard to imagine how you missed it the first time.
The fact that this film is based on actual events is incredible. Admittedly, I knew very little about the technicalities of this failed mission beforehand and the dedication of the team involved both on earth and in space was inspiring. The tension was palpable even before take-off, with last-minute changes effectively altering the dynamic of our team. The film did an effective job at portraying the tension on ground and in space as public interest before and after the mission, a pressurised environment, and the uncertainty of success weighed heavily on everyone involved in the mission.
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Action at its finest! You can nitpick at the lingering plot holes or insanely unbelievable stunts but if you’re looking for a good action film, then you’re guaranteed to be satisfied by a Mission Impossible film. Tom Cruise is the face of the franchise, but the success of these films would not be what it is without its brilliant supporting cast as the history between them adds a layer of depth to their dynamic. Henry Cavill was a welcome addition to the cast as his character heightened the stakes at risk on this latest mission.
The Maze Runner
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. Having not read the books, I can’t compare the adaptation, but I would say the Maze Runner succeeded in establishing characters we can invest in, an intense journey, and a world of curiosity. The success of the film can also be attributed to the cast as you really grew to believe in the community these boys established, and the clashes in personalities heightened that communal tension but did so without diminishing the curiosity of what lay beyond the maze.
Have you seen any of these films?
What have you been watching recently?