Capsule reviews of films playing the week of Feb. 2 | Film Clips | Creative Loafing Charlotte
Pin It
Submit to Reddit
Favorite

Capsule reviews of films playing the week of Feb. 2 

Page 5 of 6

TANGLED Pixar came into power circa the same time that Disney lost its hold on the toon crown, and while the former animation giant may never reclaim its title, its acquisition of John Lasseter's trendsetting outfit suggests that it at least might be able to ascend from its status as court jester to a more regal standing. Tangled follows last year's The Princess and the Frog (both executive-produced by Lasseter) as an indication that, after years of dreary product (Chicken Little, anyone?), old-school Disney might be making a comeback. Yes, the animation is CGI rather than hand-drawn, but both Frog and Tangled benefit from strong storylines that stir memories of the outfit in its distant prime. In this case, it's a loose retelling of the saga of Rapunzel, she of the loooong golden hair. Forced by an evil woman she believes to be her mother to stay hidden in a tower 24/7, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) reluctantly complies until the day a devil-may-care thief named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) comes along. This one's no classic-in-the-making, but it's certain to remain a best bet for family entertainment, with a pleasing mix of music, mirth and oddball supporting characters. Even the kid-oriented comic relief, Rapunzel's right-hand chameleon, is likely to charm the adults, further designating Tangled as silky-smooth entertainment. ***

THE TOURIST A smug and chilly Angelina Jolie stars as Elise, who's being tracked across Europe by Scotland Yard due to her association with a wanted man named Alexander Pearce. The mysterious Pierce instructs Elise (via letter) to throw the authorities off his trail by befriending a complete stranger and making them think that he's actually Alexander Pearce. Elise settles on vacationing math teacher Frank (a crushingly dull Johnny Depp), but the ruse works too well, as a criminal kingpin (Steven Berkoff) also falls for the deception and orders his goons to kill Elise and capture Frank. I haven't seen France's 2005 Anthony Zimmer, but it's hard to believe it's as clumsily constructed as this idiotic remake. The Tourist is the sort of lazy picture that relies on an absolutely unbelievable coincidence to set the whole story in motion; from there, it only grows sillier, with characters behaving in illogical ways no matter what the situation. Of course, there's also a predictable twist ending, one so goofy that you hope at the outset that the filmmakers will avoid the temptation to go down that road. Instead, they gleefully embrace that temptation, putting the final period on a multiplex trip that's only slightly less annoying than a case of Montezuma's revenge. *1/2

TRON: LEGACY If the hype is to be believed, 1982's TRON was the Gone With the Wind of its day, a Citizen Kane for the modern age, a blockbusting, award-winning blah blah blah. No. TRON was a lightly entertaining movie (and box office underachiever) whose sole claim to fame was its groundbreaking, computer-generated effects. So not surprisingly, the focus for the makers of TRON: Legacy was to create visuals that take us to the next level. But did they have to do so at the expense of virtually every other department? Certainly, the effects are sometimes astounding (although the 3-D immersion is less pronounced than in Avatar), and, for a while, the film offers no small measure of fun. As he searches for Kevin Flynn (TRON star Jeff Bridges), the father who disappeared two decades earlier, Sam Flynn (wooden Garrett Hedlund) finds himself whisked into a digital landscape fraught with danger. The setup is sound and the early action sequences are stirring, but then the film settles into a sameness that allows viewers to focus too intently on the feeble plotting, the tired dialogue and the awful use of the character of TRON himself (returning Bruce Boxleitner). By the time this overlong feature arrives at its anticlimactic denouement, most viewers will be wanting their quarters back. **

Pin It
Submit to Reddit
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

More by Matt Brunson

CL Recommends

More »

Search Events


© 2019 Womack Digital, LLC
Powered by Foundation