Apocalypto (Mel Gibson 2006)

MV5BNTM1NjYyNTY5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjgwNTMzMQ@@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_and so anyway it turns out the best thing about Apocalypto (2006) is not the sensitive, respectful and not-at-all-made-up way Mel Gibson, the mullet-toting Donald Trump of 80s action cinema,[1] depicts an ancient indigenous civilisation, nor is it his bizarre failure to cast white actors in the lead roles (perhaps Tom Cruise, given how much running there is – although surprisingly there is a Stephen Yardley lookalike among Jaguar Paw’s Mayan pursuers), nor is it the way in which catholic cultist Mel Gibson depicts indigenous people as being so obsessed with having nine or ten kids each that they might just as well be catholics, nor is it the way he depicts them as already having violence, disease and slavery so that they might just as well have Europeans around to run all that shit for them, nor is it the way he crams in pretty much every cliché of colonial adventure fiction you can imagine (human sacrifice, escape from sacrifice courtesy of a well-timed solar eclipse, jumping off a waterfall, running into quicksand, pan pipes over slow-motion action, and so on and so on, though sadly there are no rivers full of ‘devil fish’ and no one gets their foot trapped in a giant clam as the tide rises or walks backwards into a giant spider’s web – or escapes from an erupting volcano in a balloon), nor is it the way the to-be-sacrificed captives get painted blue, thus inspiring James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), no, the best thing about Apocalypto is that this DVD jacket is so badly printed that on the back the film seems to be described as a ‘THRILLING FUCK’…

Notes
[1] Steven Seagal, of course, is the lardy, pony-tail toting Donald Trump of 90s action cinema.

Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman 2014)

emily-blunt-edge-of-tomorrow-600x873and so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Edge of Tomorrow (2014) is not the way in which the DVD marketing finally admits that Edge of Tomorrow is a shit title that is nowhere near as good as the tag-line Live. Die. Repeat. and now pretends that the film is actually called Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow, nor is it Emily Blunt, although she is usually the best thing in anything she is in and would be the best thing about Edge of Tomorrow were it not this other thing, no, the best thing about Edge of Tomorrow or whatever the hell we are supposed to call it now is the simple beauty of watching itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny action star Tom Cruise dying horribly over and over again – for most things in life there is Barclaycard, but some things really are priceless…

Jack Reacher (Christopher McQuarrie 2012)

Jack-Reacher-Tom-Cruise-Posterand so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Jack Reacher (2012) – especially since diminutive star and producer Tom Cruise either can’t or won’t follow the rather sage advice hidden in the title of the currently-filming sequel Jack Reacher: Don’t Go Back – is not the clattering sub-Bourne car chase in which our tiny hero careens off cars and kerbs because he is not tall enough to simultaneously reach the pedals and see over the dashboard, but the look on the bantam face of the literally pocket-sized Cruise, so tiny you really can pick him up and carry him around in your breast pocket like a half-smoked Panatela or flashlight pen, when, on what was obviously the first day of shooting, it suddenly dawned on him that he had bought the rights to a series of rather ordinary thrillers featuring a six foot five, 220+ pound Aryan wet-dream of a man, rather than the heart-warming (and, to iddy-biddy Tom, profoundly resonant) triumph-over-adversity tale of a small boy who, like the Lilliputian star, would stretch and stretch and stretch but still not be able to get onto the sofa without being lifted…