Supernova Cert: 15, 1hr 33mins
Fast & Furious 9 Cert: 12A, 2hrs 25mins
Dogtanian And The Three Muskehounds Cert: U, 1hr 24mins
Every year there are eagerly awaited films that fall a little short of not just their makers’ high expectations but those of critics and awaiting audiences too. Ammonite, Francis Lee’s muddy tale of fossil-hunting and lesbian love, was one and now Supernova, written and directed by actor and film-maker Harry Macqueen, becomes another. It’s good; just not quite good enough.
It still offers considerable attractions, not least being central performances from the reliably watchable Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a gay couple hitting the Lake District in their campervan. Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci) bicker about directions and the right gear to be in – as couples do.
They also discuss the comeback concert that Sam, clearly a pianist of some repute, has agreed to and which provides the excuse for their road trip. What they are far more reluctant to talk about is the slowly emerging fact that Tusker, a writer and novelist, is in the early stages of dementia.
Supernova offers considerable attractions, not least being central performances from the reliably watchable Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a gay couple on a road trip to the Lakes
The two men have contrasting approaches to the illness – the adoring and over-protective Sam is in denial, convinced it is something that can be treated and lived with. Tusker, on the other hand, is more accepting. Described like this, Supernova sounds like a mis-timed cross between Nomadland and The Father, with a dollop of another recent release, Susan Sarandon’s Blackbird, thrown in.
The problem is that’s all too true: even Tusker’s love of astronomy has been anticipated by a very similar scene in Nomadland. Call to mind the many other films dealing with dementia – Still Alice, Away From Her, Nebraska, etc – and this is a film that, for all its gently moving moments and Tucci’s particularly fine performance, struggles to say much that is new.
Fast & Furious 9, by contrast, which even with Covid delays is still the third film from the franchise in less than four years, struggles to say much that is sensible.
The 20th anniversary of the franchise has been marked by the silliest Fast & Furious film yet in which Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron (above) reprise their cameo roles from the eighth film
Although the eight films that precede it have now all merged into some sort of growly, high-speed blur, it seems the 20th anniversary of the franchise has been marked by the silliest Fast & Furious film yet.
The normal laws of physics are ignored to a ludicrous degree, the action is now damagingly over-dependent on visual effects and somehow Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, both actresses who should know better, have been persuaded to reprise their cameo roles from the eighth film. This, surely, is the moment when the franchise ‘jumps the shark’.
With Hobbs and Shaw still presumably recovering from their exertions in the eponymous 2019 spin-off, the spotlight falls, once again, on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) brought – inevitably reluctantly – out of happily married retirement to fight the normal, sub-James Bond stuff. You know – evil megalomaniac, missing doomsday weapon, impending end of the world… Thank goodness he can round up the old gang and chase the distinctly familiar-looking baddie around London, Edinburgh and Tbilisi at high speed. Seems to go on for hours and get sillier by the minute.
Dogtanian And The Three Muskehounds is a Spanish-animated remake of the much-loved TV cartoon from the 1980s which has been re-voiced into English
Dogtanian And The Three Muskehounds is a Spanish-animated remake of the much-loved TV cartoon from the 1980s. It’s been re-voiced into English and remains surprisingly faithful to Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 novel The Three Musketeers, although – accompanying parents will be pleased to know – with all the killing and adultery taken out.
All the musketeers obviously become dogs, Planchet the squire is now a mouse called Pip and the light-fingered Milady is a cat. Goodness knows what the young target audience will make of the scheming Cardinal Richelieu and the complicated chicanery of the plot but it’s quite good fun, in an all-for-one-and-one-for-all sort of way.