Keanu Reeves return to the role of bearded butcher in John Wick: Chapter Two. It’s a rare sequel that improves on the original, with a more even pace and an expansion of the fascinating criminal world established in the first movie. As beautiful as it is thrilling, it’s an action movie that will appeal as much to an arthouse audience as the Friday night six-pack crowd.
The impressive Oscar hopeful Moonlight finally arrives in Irish cinemas. Charting the life of a young man struggling with his identity on the tough streets of Miami, the movie boasts three outstanding performances from the actors portraying him across three stages of his youth, but it will likely be Mahershala Ali who takes home the Best Supporting Actor statuette.
On the other end of the scale is the Oscar nominated atrocity Hidden Figures. This one has an important story to tell – that of the black female mathematicians who worked behind the scenes for NASA during the space race – but fluffs it with a narrative that engages in the sort of misogyny the women concerned fought against.
Michael Keaton was expected to receive a nomination for his role in The Founder, but it never transpired. Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the controversial ‘founder’ of the McDonalds empire. It’s a flatly told tale but Keaton is excellent.
The Great Wall is the first of no doubt many Hollywood-Chinese co-productions, a Matt Damon vs monsters movie set in ancient China. It boasts some great spectacle, but it could badly use an injection of humour.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com