Cinemas are dead. At least for now they are. So the Corona pandemic gives an additional boost to all the streaming services which were on a winning streak anyway. So, if you read the interwebz thoroughly and watched enough YouTube (is that even possible, getting enough YouTube?) in the last couple days you surely must have noticed that everybody was talking about 2 movies which just freshly came out.
And since those two movies are acceptable as real, cinematic movies, and there is no real competition on that level right now, I’ll review them both in one go:
Based upon the novel “The Good Shepherd” by C S Forester, this is the thrilling story of the leader of an Allied convoy crossing the North Atlantic in 1942 as he faces relentless attack by a Nazi submarine wolf pack. The leader of the convoy’s destroyer screen is a US Navy commander making his first Atlantic crossing. The story focuses on the his command responsibility as he fights the cold, the relentless night, the brutal sea and his deep fatigue as he chases down the attacking submarines in the deadly game of cat and mouse. The exciting story, a thrilling ride-along with the beleaguered captain, so deeply portrays the elements of battle command that for a long period of time the book was used as a text at the US Naval Academy.
IMDb: 7.2 (!!!)
Hah! And there you have it, right in the synopsis: “the book was used as a text at the US Naval Academy.” And for that purpose it was probably perfect, as is the movie. We get to see all the details and nitty gritty of WW2 naval warfare, presented to us in serviceable but not great CGI and actors acting mostly in front of blue screens.
But okay, the battle is kinda believable and, as it is so relentless, kept me interested during the rather short runtime of only 91 minutes, incl. the end titles. What made the film less interesting and missable was the absence of any character(s).
Don’t get me wrong, Tom Hanks is doing his best trying to blow some live and personal quirks into his commander role, but ultimately stays just a function, just like all his minions.
And his adversary, the nazi wolfpack leader stays just a voice on the radio, we get no shots from the inside of he German U-boat. Grace says the nazi commander was played by Thomas Kretschmann, one of the
most famous German actors right now. And he played a U-boat commander just recently in the terribly woke SJW serial remake of Das Boot (with lesbians!!!). But he obviously only phoned his very few lines in and isn’t even credited in the cast of Greyhound.
That’s cool and all and the non-personification of the enemy usually makes the feeling of imminently looming peril even more urgent. But the well-known dramatic trick didn’t work in Greyhound. Not at all. The direction was just too anaemic, the screenplay (by Hanks) too weak. I didn’t give a shit about anybody, on screen or off.
CONCLUSION: A procedural small scale production of a U-boat hunt without any character. Many cheaply made effects don’t necessarily have any effect on the audience. I guess Tom Hanks is lucky his film was snatched up by AppleTV+, it wouldn’t stand a chance in the theatre.
Enuff of that shite! 😐
Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary.
Now, the second most-talked-about movie right now plays in a whole different league than Greyhound. Not only did Charlize Theron come into her own right as a female action star, this flick is the perfect vehicle for her to show of her impressive stunt skills and acting abilities.
The Old Guard is based on a series of comic books, and sticks very very close to the original material, which is always beneficial if you don’t wanna lose 80% of your audience right away. And that comic doesn’t necessarily mean we’re talking about mice and ducks here should be clear for everybody in the fukn year of your lord 2020!
I fact is Theron’s Andy (originally Andromache, a suffering Trojan woman/widow of Hector, or a Amazon fighter by the same name) a well-rounded and developed character, who wears all the world weariness of a too long existence on her shoulders, right from the get go, so are her gang members and particularly the new recruit Nile, played by KiKi Layne.
Astonishingly many scenes in TOG are character- and dialogue-based, action is only used when needed for the story, not for its own sake. In so far is TOG more intelligent and thinky than your average Bayhem flick, and even more dramatic than the better X-Men movies.
Of course we do need a least one gay couple in every movie these days. Unfortunately it’s not Andy and Nile but Joe and Nicky from her crew. But fortunately their relationship isn’t in-ya-face woke but just natural … or as natural as centuries old comic grandpas can be. 😉
Contrary to the pretty short but repetitive and boring Greyhound, TOG’s 2 hours runtime was too short for me and leaves me wanting more. Fortunately they gave us a afterscene in best Marvel and DC fashion that strongly hints on a sequel, so maybe this will become a series or at least a trilogy or sumfink.
CONCLUSION: A wise-cracking 3,000 years old but fit Charlize Theron, walking around with automatic guns and battle axe! What more can you expect from life?
If YouTube likes it too?