ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Speed Racer ★★★★
Liable to give you the same kind of sugar rush as a whole bag of jelly sweets, Speed Racer is the long-gestated live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga comic and anime TV series. It’s definitely one for the Haribo demographic, a competitive rally-driving experience whose backstory takes a back seat to the videogame-styled action sequences that clearly hold more interest to Matrix directors The Wachowskis. Dedicated gamers may well find themselves feeling for an imaginary control stick as the races play out, with Emile Hirsch under a black Lego-block hairstyle as Speed Racer, our principled hero, Christina Ricci as his girlfriend and Roger Allam ill-at-ease as an American-accented corporate overlord hoping to fix the results. It’s shallow stuff, but it quickens the pulse, and there is much technical bravado to admire. It is possible to connect emotionally with green-screen movies – Sin City worked for me – but this box-office bomb may test a parent’s resolve.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ★★★★
The plucky youngsters from CS Lewis’s classic fantasy saga set sail to find the seven lords of Telmar in this third instalment of the franchise.
Four Lions ★★★★
Only Chris Morris would have the invention, and the nerve, to find laughs in Islamic extremism, but this tale of hapless suicide bombers targeting the London Marathon is explosive fun.
112 Weddings ★★★
Cameraman Doug Block visits some of the couples whose weddings he has filmed over the past twenty years, and no doubt finds them as blissfully happy as they were on that magical day. Maybe.
House of Wax ★★★
Not the Vincent Price original, but a re-imagining in which Elisha Cuthbert, Paris Hilton and group of glamorous youngsters meet a grisly end. And you’d just be disappointed if we didn’t include the old “how do you tell Paris from the dummy?” gag, wouldn’t you?