PSIPOOK | reviews | october 03 nutshell reviews



Johnny English
Comedy/US/English (Japanese subtitles)/87mins
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia
Director: Peter Howitt
Universal Pictures

The James Bond films parodied themselves, Austin Powers parodied the parody, so this barely funny spy spoof has little reason to exist. Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is the predictably incompetent spy who is charged with defending the Crown Jewels from mad Frenchie Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovitch) simply because he is the only spy left alive in Britain. There is lots of acting talent here but it is given nothing to do and no decent script to work with. A let down for fans of Atkinson, Malkovitch and comedy.

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: Clark Johnson
Columbia Movies

This is the movie of the hit TV series and unlike many movie updates this one sticks closely to the spirit of the original, foregoing the temptations of digital trickery to be a solid cop movie with real dialogue, a strong plot and characters with shape and motivation. A major criminal falls into police hands but then in front of TV cameras offers $100 million to anyone who can rescue him, an offer that is going to attract every bad guy in the country, so it’s up to Hondo and his team to make sure the villain gets into jail.

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
Action/US/English (Japanese subtitles)/91mins
Starring: Julio Banderas, Lucy Liu, Gregg Henry
Director: Kaos
Warner Bros.

Ballistic is the latest post-Matrix, faux-Hong Kong action flick — all noire out-takes, explosions and incomprehensible plot. For no reason anyone can follow, the mysterious Ms. Sever (Lucy Liu) is demolishing Vancouver. Brooding ex-agent Ecks (Bandera) is drafted to combat her despite being an ex-agent and an alcoholic. After some token conflict to justify the vs. in the title the two team up to battle the main bad guy who is ... oh, it’s too dreary to relate. The movie exists to bring us explosions and high kicks. Plot and acting are irrelevant.

Review by Chris Page

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