As always, I’ve been playing catch up with a few films that have been sent my way for review. Here are three – two worth watching, and one must avoid:
CHIPS (Warner Brothers) – This big screen film based on the beloved tv series from the late 70s got zero audience and poor reviews when it was released earlier this year, but guess what: this Dax Sheppard-directed film, that co-stars Sheppard and Michael Pena is a hell of a lot of fun. The two have genuine chemistry together as reluctant highway patrol partners who wind up as friends, as they work to take down corrupt members of the California Highway Patrol, led by the always entertaining Vincent D’Onofrio. The humour is fairly low brow, but there are some genuine laughs, and the cast definitely give it their all. While far from a classic, CHIPS deserved better than it got in theaters, and now is the perfect time to catch up with it. And I don’t think you’re going to hear a better line all year than “Shut up and turn down the fucking Toto.”
Life – Putting together Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds in outer space isn’t a bad idea, and there appears to be some real science behind the creature that winds up stalking them and their crewmates in the sci-fi/horror film Life. The film benefits from two things – an ending that you may not see coming, and the rumours that followed its theatrical release that the film serves as a hidden prologue to Sony’s Spider-Man 3 from 2007 featuring the Marvel character Venom. Depending on your point of view, Life is more satisfying that the let-down that was Alien: Covenant.
Absolutely Anything – This sci-fi comedy from Monty Python’s Terry Jones is an absolute disaster, wasting its excellent cast headlined by Simon Pegg (who should have known better) and Kate Beckinsdale. In Absolutely Anything, Pegg’s Neil Clarke is a secondary school teacher who is given the power to do absolutely anything for ten days by the Galactic Council (voiced by the members of Monty Python). The film is absolutely unfunny, but carries with it the sad fact that it features the final voice performance by Robin Williams, who portrays Pegg’s dog. Absolutely avoid.