Quick Reviews: 'The Two Popes', '6 Underground' | Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Michael Bay
THE TWO POPES
The Two Popes is something that when you explain the premise of it, really doesn’t make you want to watch it. I mean it really is mostly just two popes having a chat for a couple hours and you’re back to how things are now. However there is just enough here to surprise you.
The most surprising thing about the film is that it’s actually quite funny and quirky—that is meant to be a compliment. There’s really no preaching or anything overly religious, instead the dialogue between the popes is full of great banter with a hint of life lessons. Direction by Fernando Meirelles is solid as his two leads Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins are fantastic in their roles while the set decoration and the pop of colour of it are a real treat to witness as well.
As much as the sets look great, it’s a bit hard to experience it due to wonky cinematography and direction. Much of the film’s excitement comes from the two main actors but it’s constantly combined with many disorienting shots of things and surroundings that seem to be there just to exist.
Smileys: Dialogue, set decoration, acting
Frowneys: Cinematography, premise
At the end of the day, it’s quite lovely to see popes just casually having beers and watching football.
6 Underground is Michael Bay-ism at its Michael Bay-est. At its best? Not so much. It’s a loud, obnoxious and insanely difficult viewing experience. This is like taking every wrong lesson from the 'Fast & Furious' franchise and putting it into barely connected storylines.
While it would be easy to just write about all the things that went wrong, it’d be a shame if one didn’t mention the flawless stunt choreography on display here. When you’re dealing with this amount of cars, explosions and even parkour, it needs to look smooth and all of it does. Props to the stunt crew and director Michael Bay for that at least.
Where the movie falls especially flat to the ground, like a committed stuntman, is a mixture of things. First of all, this movie might secure the win in most cuts per minute. It’s laughable and makes you feel like you can’t even blink in two hours. The camera movement makes you feel nauseous rather regularly as there is nothing important to focus on the screen. In competition with the editing for the film's worst element happens to be the soundtrack which is like a bar’s jukebox that different drunken people are using. The songs seem mostly out of place in every instance and none of them really reflect the characters here, led by billionaire Magnet S. Johnson (played by Ryan Reynolds), spy Camille (Mélanie Laurent) and hitman Javier (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), all whom are underserved by the film's script as well.
Smileys: Stunt choreography
Frowneys: Editing, soundtrack, directing, screenplay
Best kept six feet under.