Tag Archives: Paddy Considine

Honour (2014, Shan Khan)

It's been a while since I've seen something to remind me how much I hate a fractured narrative in film. There are the handful of good examples and then the multitude of terrible ones (usually aping one of the good ones). Honour is one of the bad ones. Writer and director Khan wraps the film into a ball, going with bombastic scenes to remind the viewer of their place in the timeline. Unfortunately, the bombast carries over to the rest of the film, which utterly lacks subtext.

Aiysha Hart plays a young Muslim woman with a hideous family. Her mother (Harvey Virdi) hates her for dishonoring the family and controls her also evil, dimwitted brother (Faraz Ayub). They conspire to kill her because she's carrying on with Nikesh Patel. Patel has been lying to Hart about his engagement status and his willingness to be with her. Khan opens the film with some Muslim women getting assaulted on a train–in public, so you know the rest of the world doesn't care–then proceeds to show all Muslim men (and half the women) are awful anyway. Except Shubham Saraf, as the reluctant, well-meaning brother.

But none of the family members have honest relationships so it all feels cheap and exploitative. If Khan had just given Hart a machete and done a proper revenge thriller, it'd have been at least diverting exploitation.

The crappy script and pedestrian direction don't help either.

Hart's appealing, but her character's so lame, it's hard to care.

Big fail.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Written and directed by Shan Khan; director of photography, David Higgs; edited by Beverley Mills; music by Theo Green; production designer, Andy Harris; produced by Nisha Parti and Jason Newmark; released by Entertainment One UK.

Starring Aiysha Hart (Mona), Paddy Considine (Bounty), Faraz Ayub (Kasim), Shubham Saraf (Adel), Harvey Virdi (Mother) and Nikesh Patel (Tanvir).


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Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980 (2009, James Marsh)

This adaptation runs almost ninety minutes (almost) and the source novel is, according to Amazon, 400 pages. So I’m guessing the novel doesn’t read like a disjointed, James Ellroy goes to England, but what do I know, I’ve only seen the movie. But it’d be hard at 400 pages… even with a big font.

There’s a lot good about 1980–Paddy Considine is outstanding in the lead, essentially playing the UK version of the last honest cop (also, not Irish–but still Roman Catholic). The film fails him. But there are very few actors who 1980 doesn’t end up failing. Of the (extended) principals, David Morrissey weathers it best–he all of a sudden grows a character halfway through the film, instead of getting left behind as the revelations ramp up.

The best performances, besides Considine, are supporting, Peter Mullan and Julia Ford. Mullan’s got an extended cameo, Ford’s got one and a half scenes, but both of them make 1980 feel real, instead of like an over-cooked melodrama.

Some of the problem might be Marsh doesn’t make Yorkshire seem like a real place. It feels like there’s a bar, a police station and a handful of other nondescript locations. The script’s not inventive enough to make something of those elements (and Marsh opening with historical news clips doesn’t get him a pass either).

Until the third act, 1980‘s ok, because it’s nothing but Considine’s story.

Once it gets, forcibly, incorporated into the Red Riding whole, it plummets.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by James Marsh; screenplay by Tony Grisoni, based on a novel by David Peace; director of photography, Igor Martinovic; edited by Jinx Godfrey; music by Dickon Hinchliffe; production designer, Tom Burton; produced by Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland and Wendy Brazington; released by Channel 4.

Starring Paddy Considine (Peter Hunter), Maxine Peake (Helen Marshall), Andrew Garfield (Eddie Dunford), David Morrissey (Maurice Jobson), Tony Pitts (John Nolan), Peter Mullan (Martin Laws), Robert Sheehan (B J), Sean Harris (Bob Craven) and Tony Mooney (Tommy Douglas).


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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007, Paul Greengrass)

The only good thing about The Bourne Ultimatum, besides Joan Allen, who can apparently survive (and fluorish in) anything, is how rabidly anti-Republican the film’s details get. The film’s CIA bad guys in this one are using the “war on terror“ to assassinate US citizens. I haven’t read an outcry about it, so I imagine it isn’t my being more adept at recognizing the parallels (or propagandizing), but rather the stupidity of American filmgoers.

But besides that aspect, Ultimatum is a heinous piece of work. For the first half, while nothing happens except a travel video, I kept thinking about Paul Greengrass’s attempt at cinéma vérité, specifically–if it’s supposed to be ultra-real, why is there a musical score blaring the entire time. I mean, it must have occurred to someone, right? I can’t imagine sales of The Bourne Ultimatum score are profitable enough to excuse an enormous conceptual mistake.

It soon becomes clear Ultimatum is following all the set pieces of the second movie (I can’t remember the title right now), only with different details. There’s even the part where the girlfriend’s going to die, only with minor deviations. Then Bourne gets to New York and there’s a neat tie-in to the end of the second movie and then it’s over after a chase scene. It’s not just absent any character development, it’s absent any palpable content.

Watching the film, having seen Matt Damon most recently acting well in Ocean’s Twelve and even better in Syriana, I realized this Bourne performance–absent any humanity–is really a Marky Mark impression. But not Marky Mark in actual films, rather Marky Mark in previews to his films. Or it’s Damon’s audition tape for Terminator 4. After the first half hour or hour or three days, however long the film goes before they get to New York, I kept waiting for Damon to act. And I’m still waiting.

Like I said, Allen is good. I agreed to see the film because David Strathairn’s probably never been bad. And now I can’t make that statement anymore. It’s not his fault; he’s just playing a Republican, so he too is absent any humanity. I felt really bad for him, it’s a considerable slight against his body of work. Albert Finney’s pretty lame too, but his quality resurgence is recent; there have to be some real stinkers in there over the course of his career. Allen and Strathairn really deserve a good movie (a good John Sayles movie maybe). Julia Stiles shows up for a bit and she’s okay. The character revelations about her and Damon are probably illegal but who cares. Scott Glenn has a small role and he’s awful. Greengrass appears not to care whether or not his actors act well. But if he’s missing the thing about there not being a musical score in real life, worrying about acting is a bit too much to ask.

The action scenes are generally terrible. There’s a car chase identical to the one in the second movie, there are some fight scenes (again, probably identical, I wasn’t paying attention–they’re trying to endure). The script’s not simply unimaginative, it’s particularly terrible. It’s obvious and predictable, with terrible dialogue and ludicrous character developments and reactions.

I didn’t expect it to be so boring, but then I didn’t expect it to be a rehash of the second movie either.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Paul Greengrass; written by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi, based on a story by Gilroy and the novel by Robert Ludlum; director of photography, Oliver Wood; edited by Christopher Rouse; music by John Powell; production designer, Peter Wenham; produced by Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley and Paul L. Sandberg; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), Julia Stiles (Nicky Parsons), David Strathairn (Noah Vosen), Scott Glenn (Ezra Kramer), Paddy Considine (Simon Ross), Edgar Ramirez (Paz), Albert Finney (Dr. Albert Hirsch) and Joan Allen (Pamela Landy).


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