Well I have to say that last month’s haul of movies is pitiful, so this won’t take long. I’ve been down a YouTube and eBay rabbit hole in the last few weeks and I’ve only got 4 films to yack on about. So here they are, just in the order I watched them, all with Siggy which was nice.
See How They Run (2022) cast and therefore marketed like a Wes Anderson film doesn’t make a dent on his stuff but was quite enjoyable nonetheless. Available on Disney+ in the UK it is a whodunnit based around the 1950s West End theatre production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. You don’t have to have seen the play or read the book (I have done neither, but had a modicum of knowledge about the plot just from various gameshows and podcasts I’ve listened to) but I guess one of the red herrings is supported by the viewers knowledge of the plot of the play. The film is kind of meta in that respect and also with a bit of fourth wall breaking toward the end.
Sam Rockwell gives an enigmatic performance as the lead detective, but it is perhaps Saoirse Ronan as a helpful policewoman who steals the show. There’s a great cast including fellow Anderson alumni Adrien Brody, and British comedy actors Inside Number 9‘s Reece Shearsmith and This Country‘s Charlie Cooper. Writer Mark Chappel has a long pedigree in writing comedy for British TV and there were some nice sublte comedy moments in the film with had a convincing 1950s feel, but little of the stylistic panache of Anderson.
Night Hunter (2019) had blurb on Amazon making comparisons to Silence of the Lambs and I can understand why – the subject matter is unsettling and the story had a kind of 90s feel to it. Stereotypically grumpy cop Marshall (Henry Cavill) has a crappy homelife and is bent on capturing an elusive serial killer and rapist. He joins forces with a duo (Ben Kingsley and Eliana Jones) who honeytrap online sexual predators and deliver vigilante justice. I’m not a huge fan of Ben Kingsley outside of his comedic work on MCU and was pleasantly surprised by his performance.
When a psychologically damaged man is captured in the house where girls have been held prisoner and abused (I had to say “she puts the lotion in the basket” at one point) the film takes an interesting turn. There’s a huge list of Hollywood-isms and tropes that are checked off (hence the 90s feel) with police protocol being flouted for the sake of a good story. Then the stakes are inevitably raised further when Eliana Jones’s character is kidnapped (it was either going to be her or Marshall’s daughter) and the film takes some interesting twists and turns until the final showdown between lawman and perp.
Surge (2020) is perhaps the one film of these four that Siggy probably wished I’d watched on my own. It came highly recommended by a work colleague but I was told to report back that she wanted the hour and a 45 minutes of her life back. I enjoyed it but I guess I was thirsty for any kind of movie action at this point. Ben Wishaw plays another psychologically troubled man off his medication who walks out on his job at an airport to go on a reckless jaunt through London. The wobbly camera makes the film a painful watch but Wishaw’s performance is deserved of his Sundance award.
Enola Holmes 2 (2022) released very recently on Netflix is obviously a sequel to the very enjoyable movie Enola Holmes. Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) is back again in the titular role with Henry Cavill playing her grumpy older brother. He seems to like the grumpy roles. Helena Bonham Carter reprises her role as the mother, but disappointingly isn’t in the film all that much. The story is loosely based around historical fact about girls who work in a match factory in late 19th century London.
Enola is now a struggling detective-for-hire. Just as she is about to give up on the idea she takes on her first official case to find a missing match girl and then quickly becomes involved in a murder case, wanted by the police and in the middle of a conspiracy that even her brother the famous Sherlock Holmes can’t seem to unravel. Like the first film, this sequel is educational, fun and has a bit of fourth wall breaking without it being too silly.