Gringo (2018)

I subconsciously had really low expectations for this. I hadn’t seen any trailers for it, didn’t even know it existed until the day of release. It also featured some name actors, which is normally a good sign, but if a film with name actors is released with no fanfare, just after the Oscars, that’s normally a bad sign. It’s a sign the studio has no confidence in the film. It also had Joel Edgerton, who was last seen by me in Red Sparrow (just reread that through and that makes it sound like my reaction to that film was to murder him, rest assured it was not. Or was it?). To my surprise, I actually enjoyed this. It’s flawed, but it’s fun as hell.

David Oyelowo is entertaining in this. He normally takes roles in films like Selma, The Last King Of Scotland, and The Help. You know, really serious films aimed at winning awards. This film shows he can do comedy, and do it incredibly well. He has done comedy before, one of his early films was one called Dog Eat Dog, which I remember enjoying when I was a teen (to give you an idea of how long ago this was; I think it was on VHS), but then again I had crap taste in films then (still do to some extent) so I should probably rewatch it. His character is one of the most sympathetic characters in cinema this year, especially compared to how shitty everybody else is.

Kind of loved the story of this, it was so intricately woven, where it was one misfortune that then led to another one, all these different strings tied together to create a whole image and if you pulled just one away the whole thing would collapse. It bought to mind a Noel Coward farce, only with more guns and drugs. It actually is very much like those old films, where a group of characters (some of whom never even meet) are all trying to get a certain object (which in this case, is a person. Awkward) but they all keep getting in each other’s way which means they all get further and further away. A big criticism is some of the characters could have been fleshed out more, Harry Treadaway’s character, in particular, seemed particularly under-developed. Which is strange as in the opening section he was given a lot to do, but the longer the film went on the more it seemed like the writers kind of forgot about him and didn’t know what to do with him. Shame as despite having no idea who he is as an actor, this performance made me a fan. Has an unexplainable presence on the screen where he just seems to fully own everything his character is and does. Really hope I see him again in more things as he’s definitely got the tools needed to be great, he’d make a brilliant villain in a Marvel film actually. So in summary: watch this if you get the chance, but you don’t need to go out of your way to watch it.

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Walk Like A Panther (2018)

In the review of Finding Your Feet a few days ago, I mentioned how it was incredibly BBC, I felt something similar during this. This film is so ITV I’m surprised it didn’t come with advert breaks and a thirty-minute stoppage where they show local news and weather. I think I enjoyed this film more than I liked it. I found it funny and heartwarming in just the right parts. But I had to ignore two things to enjoy it, one which I don’t think many people would have noticed, and one you can’t help but notice.

First, the one that not many noticed. The entire premise of the film is that British wrestling is a thing of the past and is a dead industry. This would have worked 5 years ago, but the industry is going through a massive resurgence at the moment, to the point that it’s one of the most highly regarded in the world (only behind America, Japan, and Mexico). I know to most people that wouldn’t bother them, but it just seemed like it meant they didn’t do much research. It would be like if someone made a film about someone attempting to bring football to Manchester, or cricket to India. It’s such an easy fix too: set the film in a different time. Set it in the early 2000’s. This would mean having to change the inciting incident (someone filming an attack on their smartphone and uploading it to youtube) but otherwise, you could keep it exactly the same.

The other thing; the performances. They’re slightly panto at times. Occasionally this helps the story, not every film needs to be gritty and realistic. But there are times when it doesn’t mesh with the story they’re telling. It’s a simple story really: a son who idolises his estranged father enlists his help (and the help of the local community) to save a local building that’s central to the ethos of the working class area. A story that’s been told many times (and seemed to be the plot for most British films in the 90’s). You can go slightly cartoonish, but you also need a certain level of seriousness and down to earth-ness to it for it to really work as well as it should.

I realise this must seem really negative and like I disliked it. I didn’t, I dislike that it could have been so much better than it was. There are hints of brilliance in it, Guz Khan and Scroobius Pip make a great double act with unbelievable chemistry, which is weird as they apparently hadn’t met until filming started. It is INCREDIBLY funny in parts, and in more than one way. You have slapstick elements, you have class-based humour, you have absurdists comedy, basically, the comedy draws from such a wide variety of sources that even if you don’t like some of the jokes, more will be along soon that you will like. The relationships between the characters are also great to see, and the stories between them are very compelling. It’s also surprisingly progressive in a lot of ways.

So in summary: a good film, but I wanted a great one.

Lady Bird (2017)

This film will not be for everybody, and that’s okay. If you enjoy this film, you will enjoy it passionately, you will identify with it in a way that you don’t identify with a lot of films. You will feel it is a personal look into your mind. You will feel like the memories contained within are yours. But if you don’t enjoy this film, you will despise every second of it, you will find the characters annoying and unlikeable, you will find the lack of a clear narrative annoying, and the fact it’s not very “film-like” will annoy the crap out of you. This film is not for everybody, and that’s okay. As you can tell by now, I loved it. I loved how it seemed like a modern John Hughes movie. This film has all the archetypes of a classic 80’s Hughes movie: the outcast best friend, the frustrated parent, the two potential love interests (one of whom is a complete prick), prom, the focus on class differences in American culture (which is a subject which rarely pops up in American cinema, which is odd as it’s pretty much the basis of British cinema), and the obvious focus on music which transcends just accompanying the film, and becomes intertwined with it. Also, Molly Ringwald (or to give her her full name: Molly F*cking Ringwald) totally would have nailed this role. The director/writer acknowledged the influence that Pretty In Pink had on this film, and it’s obvious for all to see, but there also seems to be influenced by other films too; Boyhood, Freaks And Geeks etc. And it’s all the better for it. It makes the film seem familiar, so watching it is like welcoming an old friend into your home.

I read an article on BBC news a few weeks ago asking whether this was the most overrated film up for an Academy Award. They came to this conclusion by comparing critical reviews, and audience reviews. It’s got an average critical response of 94 (based on Metacritic reviews), but only a 77 in audience reviews on IMDB (well, a 7.7, but it’s not difficult to translate the scores). I was worried about that, I liked the trailer for this film and didn’t want to be disappointed. After watching this film I can say this: I know why people dislike it. The narrative structure is all over the place, it’s not a particularly beautiful film from a visual standpoint, and nothing really happens. It’s also INCREDIBLE! Kind of reminded me of Ghost World (which if you haven’t seen I highly recommend) in that it’s not so much about the story, but about the characters. I personally loved the visual style too. It made the whole thing look like a Polaroid picture. That, combined with the narrative structure, and the tone of the whole thing, made it seem like it was just a series of recollections from somebody, jumping from one topic to the next, sections missing as they’re not relevant to what they’re talking about at that exact moment. I know to some people that sounds like hell, and considering how often I go on about the importance of story, you’d think I’d hate this too, but it’s just too damn good for me not to love it. I know it’s early in the year, but I know for a fact that come January 2019, this will be on my list of favourite films of 2018. Usually I appreciate films more than I personally love them, this was the opposite; I loved it more than I liked it, but I still liked it a lot.

Red Sparrow (2018)

There’s a scene in this where one of the characters is tied to a chair and has their skin slowly stripped off layer by layer. It’s still less painful than watching this film. Okay, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but there’s a lot of truth in that. I will not look back on this fondly, for multiple reasons. One, it wasted a good cast: Jennifer Lawrence is actually really good, just the film is bad. Same goes for Jeremy Irons et al. The story itself just isn’t good enough. To be an effective film of this genre you need to be one of two things:

  1. Lots of fun and expertly made (John Wick,  Atomic Blonde, the Bourne/Bond series etc)
  2. Incredibly clever, with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster someone makes in a video game.

This was neither, I’m thinking it was aiming more towards the second one but wasn’t quite good enough to do it. I mean, it does have a twist, but it only really effects the final 5 minutes, it doesn’t affect the way you watch the film. You won’t watch it for a second time and delight in the intricate way the ending was set up throughout the film. There are no layers, no hidden depths to the film. Everyone pretty much says what their intentions are, all the time.

I get what they were going for; kind of like an 80’s Sex and Soviet’s style spy film. But they’ve forgotten one thing: those films were fucking terrible. They were badly written, misogynistic as hell, and treated sex the same way virgin fan fiction writers do. It doesn’t even have the decency to look impressive, even The Snowman managed that, and I’m pretty sure the script for that was written on a napkin. Spy films should look crisp and clear, the brutality of the actions contrasting with the stark nature of the surroundings. This just looks dreary, like it’s taking place in Milton Keynes whilst it’s about to rain. These kinds of films deserve to be great, they should take your breath away, and this one doesn’t (although if someone did say they were going to choke me during it, I probably would have accepted the offer as it would have made a nice distraction).

As you can probably tell, I was not a fan of this film. It wasn’t without merit, the performances are good, and the way they set up the films universe was good, it’s just almost everything else which didn’t work. This seems very “first draft”. Like if you looked at it again you could fix it, make a few tweaks here and there, cut out the unnecessary scenes (and at 140 minutes, trust me, there’s A LOT of that), set up the ending better, and you’ll have a pretty damn good film. You could get a somewhat decent film if you edited this differently, but the way it is? Wouldn’t recommend. I wouldn’t even watch this if it got put on netflix. Really disappointing as I had high hopes for this.

Finding Your Feet (2018)

There has a been a small rise in films aimed at the “grey pound” in the last few years, and they’re normally pretty damn good (Exotic Marigold Hotel, for example, was delightful), but they never change the world. I mean, the scripts are nearly always great, but they won’t be your favourite films. On the one hand, it’s nice to see films which aren’t aimed at the 18-25 male demographic where they spend millions on special effects but piece the script together using random words cut from cereal boxes. But I do fear this could lead to “old people” being a genre, so there is the possibility that it could actually pigeonhole an entire generation, so the only films starring people over the age of 50 will be these kinds of films. There is also the risk that as they become more popular, the scripts become less refined, and you have the danger of them just becoming “old people are people too” and being really condescending. It’s one of the great things about this film actually, they’re not written as old people, they’re written as people who have lived a while. There is a difference: if you write a character as elderly, you give them only elderly characteristics, if you write them as someone who has lived, you give them entire backstories full of drunken escapades in their youth. There is a tendency to write characters entirely based on who they are now, and forget how they must have been to lead to this point, and this film should be commended for doing that. It’s a masterclass of character-work, even the way the sets are designed. Celia Imrie’s character has a flat which has so much detail to it it’s almost a character itself.

This is not the greatest film I’ve seen, but it’s enjoyable. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a piece of toast (I compare films to food way more than most people do, I should look into that). By that, I mean that no matter how perfectly it does what it needs to, it will never be your favourite. It sticks to a formula, and as such is kind of restrained by that. You can guess almost every single plot point in this film from the opening 10 minutes. It won’t surprise you at all. But it doesn’t really need to, this is not a film to analyse and pore over, it’s a film to sit and distract yourself, and it does that well. The dialogue is razor sharp, the characters are loveable (and fully fleshed out, even the background ones have minor details to them which help you know them), and it will make you smile. The whole thing is just massively endearing and charming and, I don’t know, warm I guess is the word I’m looking for. You know how certain films have colours attached to them? I’d say this one is orangey red. It’s just comforting and lovely, the kind of film the whole family gathers and watches on Christmas Day, in that post-dinner haze where you’re all too exhausted to move, and someone inevitably falls asleep in the sofa with their Christmas hat still on. It’s incredibly BBC, and I mean that as positive and a negative.

So yeah don’t go out of your way to watch this, but if (actually, when) it comes on iPlayer, watch it immediately. You won’t regret it, plus, you get to see Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall get high, and you won’t get that in Avengers (if that turns out to be wrong, I’ll be amazed).

The Shape Of Water (2017)

Don’t watch this film! I mean it, do not watch this film. It’s one of those films that’s actually impossible to sit down and watch. You do not watch this, you absorb it. You sit back and let it take over every single ounce of your being. You sit there and marvel at the beauty you see before you, this is cinema as art, and is one of the most awe-inspiring things you’ll see all year. Guillermo Del Toro should now be given free reign to make whatever film he wants. Actually, I’d love to see him do an episode of Doctor Who or Black Mirror. Every shot looks like a watercolour painting, full of the majesty of colours and wonder. The music too is superb, you won’t leave the cinema humming the melodies or anything, but it enhances every single scene it’s in, it really compliments the images to the point where it almost seems like the scenes were made to match up with the music, as opposed to the scene coming first and music being decided later.

It’s not just behind the scenes though, the people in front of camera help make this brilliant. Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones deserve every accolade thrown their way. They’re mute characters who have to lead the film, that’s not easy. It could be argued that it’s slightly easier for Sally Hawkins as she at least gets sign language to utilise, but that’s like saying it’s easier to run a marathon with one leg than no legs. It still takes remarkable skill from her. Ordinarily this would be the best performance I see all year, but unfortunately for her, Three Billboards also exists. It’s a shame that both existed in the same year as it meant one had to lose out on deserved awards. Doug Jones is also pretty darn great in this, doing sooooo much with body language that you kind of don’t realise he’s not speaking, he doesn’t need to.

The supporting cast also pulls their weight, obviously since Richard Jenkins got nominated for best supporting actor. Michael Shannon also deserves praise. His character is utterly reprehensible, partly due to the writing, but also due to how he plays it. He completely loses himself in the character, holding absolutely nothing back.

My main issue with this film? It’s really hard to criticise. It’s all so beautiful, everyone is so great, and the story is so heart-warming and emotional, it ties all the loose ends up but also leaves room for different interpretations and questions about the characters. That’s why this review has been so hard to write, it’s difficult to make “this film is amazing!” into a compelling piece of writing. That’s my opinion though, others think differently. Not many others though, mainly Rex Reed from the New York Observer. Who wrote (and I won’t link to it, I don’t want to increase his views):

“This horror film masquerading as a fairy tale is about a mute woman who cleans toilets, scrubs floors and falls in love with a monster from beneath the sea. The pathetic girl is played by the wonderful British actress Sally Hawkins, who specializes in defective creatures herself.”

A few points: 1) it’s not a horror film. At all, it’s a fantasy film. It may use a few horror tropes and conventions, but it’s still at its heart a fantasy film, albeit one aimed at adults.

2) “pathetic girl”. Fuck you. Fuck you in the ear. She’s not pathetic, and if you think that then I worry for you.

3) “defective creatures”. Ok, this is just a horribly offensive comment. Just because someone is mute does not make them a defective creature you ableist asswipe.

The review only goes downhill from there, referring to Get Out as “overrated piece of junk” and getting the director’s name wrong. Look, I know Benicio Del Toro is a good actor, but he’s not a director. Yes, they have similar names, but you can’t call yourself a film reviewer if you can’t distinguish between the two. It would be like getting Billie Joe Armstrong and Billie Jean King confused. I find negative reviews fascinating when they’ve clearly not actually watched the film. The best example of this was Toy Story 3 where the reviewer seemed to only watch the opening 5 minutes, getting the villain wrong, the story wrong, and his final mark wrong. Don’t be like that guy, don’t be wrong. Buy a ticket to Shape Of Water and revel in its greatness, you’ll thank me.

I, Tonya (2017)

For a lot of biopics, my main problem is that because it’s restrained by sticking to reality, it occasionally hampers its creativity. This definitely isn’t the case here. This takes the same approach to reality as “The Big Short” did (Wait a minute, that film also featured Margot Robbie speaking directly to the camera, hmmm, interesting) and is all the better for it. By that I mean it admits that human recollection is flawed, so some scenes/revelations are completely contradictory. Sometimes this happens mid-scene. At one point Margot’s character just turns towards the camera and says “I never did this”. I liked this approach to The Big Short, and I loved it here. Before this film, the only thing I knew about Tonya Harding was The Incident. I actually assumed she was a lot more involved in the incident than she actually was, so I was kind of annoyed when the film was announced as it seemed like they were glorifying someone who didn’t deserve it. Yeah, I was wrong. I mean, she was not exactly the nicest person in the world, but she was not the villain that popular culture has made her out to be. I also knew that after that she was a boxer, and there’s a sex tape of her available. This film touches upon two of those things, which I like. It shows us the effect the incident had on her life as well, it’s good to know that the film-makers had the bravery to do that as most wouldn’t. The fight itself is actually pretty well done as well, not on “Creed” level, but then again few fights are.

The skating itself was really well done as well, to the point where you completely forgot you were watching actors doing it, and instead focused on the scenes themselves. A lot of that is obviously due to Margot Robbie’s performance, she’s just phenomenal in this (would explain the Academy Award nomination), as is the rest of the cast. Whilst we’re on the subject can I just point out how strange it is that Sebastian Stan, who is best known to a lot of people for his role as the Winter Soldier in the Marvel films, is in a film written by someone called Steve Rogers? Am I the only one who finds that funny? Yeah, probably, but meh.

I mentioned earlier how I liked how it played with truth and reality, there’s one exception, one where it made me feel kind of uneasy. Most of the characters are portrayed as somewhat sympathetic, with one exception. Most of the characters are portrayed as somewhat intelligent, with one exception. Most of the characters are portrayed as being slightly blameless, with one exception. And it’s all the same exception: Shawn Eckhardt, who is played BRILLIANTLY by Paul Walter Hauser by the way. I mean, truly brilliant, he adds a lot of character tics that make him really stand out. Anyway, so back on track. Why did I feel slightly uneasy about this character being the main idiot, the main villain really? Because he’s the only one of the main characters who is dead. That feels a bit weird to me. Now, this might be a case of reality being unrealistic. Maybe it was all his fault and he was the dumbest person alive, and a massive prick. But considering how the film itself admits the lies that a lot of the main people involved tell, it feels a bit weird that they seem focused on attacking the one guy who can’t defend himself. It’s very easy to make Jeff Gillooly out to be the idiot villain, I mean he’s been arrested for driving under the influence, and sold his honeymoon sex tape. Although he did save the life of an 81-year woman, so he’s not all bad. That’s the main message of this film; people are complex and truth is subjective. Also, telling a group of judges “suck my dick” is never not funny. Go see this whilst you have the chance.

Game Night (2018)

I saw this as the final film in a 3-film binge at the cinema which also included I, Tonya and The Shape Of Water. So it was a weird contrast, started with two films which have pretty much swept all the awards this season, and then ended with one that definitely didn’t. So it came as a surprise that I was really impressed with a lot in this. Visually it did more than I expected it to. A lot of the establishing shots were set up and lit so that the houses looked more like toy models on a board game. It’s a great visual trick and one that wasn’t actually needed, which makes me appreciate it even more. They could have just done them normally, but the fact they did, was cute and added to the film. This film is actually a lot better in a cinematic sense than you expect, not just with the aforementioned establishing shots, but also the action scenes. They’re not quickly done, the action lingers on and is really well constructed. Shout out has to go a scene involving the characters playing keep-away with a Faberge egg. A seemingly one-shot scene that tracks all the way through a house and involves all the characters at different locations in the house. A remarkable achievement and one that will surely land in my “best scenes of the year” come years end.

So onto the rest of the film. This wasn’t the best film I’ve seen, but it was very very good. Was funny, had more twists than a pretzel, and the performances did what they needed to. It’s basically the cinematic equivalent of a burger, it won’t change your life, and you won’t rush out to consume it again, but it is incredibly enjoyable whilst it lasts, and you will have fond memories of it.

Back to the performances; Billy Magnussen, in particular, was impressive. From what I saw in the trailers, and from his opening scene, I assumed his performance would be “Poundland Alan Tudyk”, but it was a great performance. So more like the Pepsi to Tudyk’s Coca-Cola, not quite the same but enough similarities where you like it anyway. His character is basically a smart idiot, which is always a great character for comedy. Actually, the entire thing is full of well-developed characters. 10 characters are given extensive screen time, they all have their own personalities and quirks. Whilst the film itself doesn’t really lend itself to a sequel, the characters do.

I feel special mention has to go to Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Not only for their performances on their own but also their on-screen chemistry. They make an easily believable onscreen couple, which makes it easier to root for them. Also, thank God this film doesn’t go with the traditional “couple fights after a misunderstanding” sub-plot. No matter what goes on in the film they’re a tight couple, it’s actually genuinely heartwarming and sweet to see such an idyllic vision of love and relationships in modern cinema. The montage where we see their relationship develop and grow is a brilliant piece of relationship-building, very good, very funny, and incredibly sweet.

So, in summary. I’d highly recommend this film, a welcome piece of comedy to watch during the overly serious Oscar season. A fun caper that you can lose yourself in briefly. Buy on DVD if you see it in a 2 for 1 deal.

Black Panther (2018)

Different films inspire different reactions (shocking, I know). That instant gut feeling you have no conscious control over, that just enters your head when you leave a film. Sometimes it’s “that was good”, sometimes it’s “that ending was a real letdown”, my reaction to this can be summed up in just one word:

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Finally! FINALLY, we get a black lead in a mainstream comic book movie of extremely high quality. FINALLY, Marvel has a “personal connection to the hero” villain that really works (and isn’t Loki). FINALLY, a Marvel movie has a great soundtrack, as opposed to a great compilation album. Similar to Wonder Woman last year, this film NEEDED to succeed, and it needed to do so unquestionably. If this was anything less than a massive success then it would have been deemed a failure, and people would have said “well this just proves no films should ever have a black lead”. Thankfully it’s a massive hit, unarguably so.

There’s a reason this film has been a hit: it’s really really good. The script is sound, the characters are all fully formed, there’s none of that “but that character is just a stereotype”, even the minor characters have arcs and motivations. The villain, in particular, is superb. Fantastically written, and blessed with one of the best performances of the year so far (and considering that this is when the “Oscar movies” are released in UK that says a lot). His motivations make sense, you can see why he’s doing what he does. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis also do well in their roles of Tolkein White Guys.

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With Moonlight, Get Out, and now this, there seems to be a real renaissance for mainstream, critically acclaimed black cinema. I usually dislike that term as it tends to just mean “films where the main character is black”. These films are different though, they explore concepts and issues which are specifically black, they’re films where if the main characters weren’t black the stories would be completely different. It helps that this has been brilliantly researched. There are countless nods to African culture throughout, some obvious (the clothing and jewellery), some really subtle (the hair). Yup, even the hair tells a f*cking story in this, EVERYTHING has been meticulously planned and executed.

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I wasn’t joking about the hair

One disappointment is that it doesn’t really continue the overall MCU story arc they have going on. If this film came out earlier this wouldn’t be an issue at all, but this is the final film before Infinity War. Actually, they’ve completely screwed up the order of this phase. It should have been:

  1. Civil War
  2. Guardians Of The Galaxy
  3. Black Panther
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  6. Thor: Ragnarok

This way it slowly sets up the background arc of Thanos gradually becoming a threat, then you have the comedic calm of Spider-Man working as a breather before the chaotic storm of Infinity War. It also introduces the idea of magic later on, which cuts out a lot of “why doesn’t this guy help?”. Also, Guardians would make a great contrast if it came after Civil War. You’d have the story of a team falling apart, and then one about a team gradually getting bigger. This also meant that the fact the soul stone wasn’t in Black Panther isn’t as disappointing to audiences as it is at the moment. It also means the ending of Thor has an actual “holy shit, things are going to get serious really quickly”. As opposed to now, where it’s “holy shit, things are going to get serious in the film after the next one”. See, this film was so good one of the only things I can criticise is the running order of the series. It’s like criticising an album by saying the songs should have been in a different order. Go see this film, then buy it when it comes out.

Darkest Hour (2017)

I should preface this review by pointing out that no matter what I say in this, never let it be said that I didn’t think this film was impressive. The cinematography was superb, the way the shots were composed was a thing of beauty. The acting was magnificent and hard to fault. But the downsides. Over the last few years I’ve noticed I get emotional very easily during films when I watch them at the cinema. It truly doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes during films lately. I felt nothing during this movie. Absolutely nothing. There was not a single genuinely emotive sequence during it. There were moments which had emotive performances, and emotive music, but I never really felt anything whilst watching them. It was all too sterile. It was like an aliens idea of what human emotion would be. There is one exception. There’s a scene near the end where Churchill takes a tube train to Westminster and starts talking to the general public. This scene is emotive. You get to see panic, fear, and hope. As a piece of screenwriting, it’s great, and as a character piece, it’s superb. It’s also bullshit. There’s no evidence that it happened, at all. So in a story set during a period of time where you couldn’t throw a dart out of a zeppelin without hitting an emotive story, this film has to invent something to get an emotive response. There are countless other historical inaccuracies. Some you’d have to be a bit weird to get annoyed about “the trains don’t look exactly the same”, to some which just seem a bit cruel. For example, it paints Neville Chamberlain and Halifax (the person, not the bank) as scheming villains who did their best to destroy Churchill, which is something neither of them even attempted. I have a huge problem with this kind of thing. Because, like it or not, people will be taking lessons from this. Doesn’t matter how many times the writers or directors say “this is mostly embellished”, people will still believe it. For evidence of this look at the damage that Robin Hood has done to King John. This isn’t a fictional character you’re saying these things about, these are real people with actual ancestors still alive today, ancestors who would like to take pride in the actions of their descendants but are unable to because of BS like this. Did you really need to give a real character a villain upgrade just for your film to work? If that’s the case, then your film has a broken concept and doesn’t work. Plus, it’s not as though World War 2 was lacking in villainous characters, you didn’t need to invent one. There’s some stuff which is a bit weirder than that in terms of historical accuracy, one of the main characters wasn’t even in the country at the time of the events. It would be like if you were watching a show about 9/11 and one of the main characters was Justin Bieber.

I know this sounds like a negative review and that that I disliked it. That would be wrong, I did like it. I just didn’t really love it, and everything positive has already been said, and by people much smarter and more eloquent than I am. So going over them again would be a bit pointless.