Tag Archives: Alicia Vikander

Jason Bourne

Jason_Bourne_(film)

Set twelve years after the events of The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been living off the grid. However when he’s contact by his old ally Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) with new information about the Treadstone project Borune soon finds himself pulled into another conspiracy.

I love the original Bounre trilogy and Jason Bourne is a worthy addition to the franchise. However it’s not as jaw-droppingly amazing as the previous movies. A few new revalations about Bourne’s past and some far-fetched coincidneces drags the film down. But while Jason Bourne doesn’t hit the highs of the series best it’s only because the original trilogy is such a high benchmark to live up to that even the dream team of Greengrass and Damon struggle to reach it.

Damon steps back into Bourne as though he’s never been away and it’s satisfying seeing him fight and strategize his way through the movie. There isn’t an iconic action scene to rival the series best but Greengrass can still produce impressive chases and fight sequences.

If Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassell provide strong but predictable roles to the film their spotlights are stolen by fellow newcomers Alicia Vikander and Riz Ahmed with Vikander’s CIA employee Heather in paticular being a welcome addition with a character who is intelligent, ambitious and determined.

Rating 4/5 – exciting and thrilling if not quite the best in the franchise

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Another week and another tv series adapted for the big screen. This time it’s 60’s American show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But should some things be left in the past?

In 1963, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative IllyaKuryakin (Armie Hamer) are forced to work with each other on a mission that takes them to Rome. With mysterious asset Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) the pair try to trap a pair of Nazi sympathises, find Gaby’s scientist father and save the world. But that’s easier said than done.

I can’t say I was particularly excited when I first heard about this reboot. Or by the trailers that proceeded it. However when I did get round to seeing the film I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t a complete dud. Ok there’s nothing overly original about it but it also has its own easygoing charm about it and director Guy Ritchie injects the film with fun and style.

The leads Cavill and Hamer are good as the adversaries turned reluctant partners. Cavill has fun as CIA agent Solo, perhaps an insight into how his Bond would have been if he had beat Daniel Craig to the role. While even better is Hamer as the angry, serious KBG operative Illya. The two have fun in their sparring and fight scenes together as they try to outdo each other. Vikander is also enjoyable as Gaby and has great chemistry with Hamer.

Ok so it’s still isn’t as good as summer’s other 60’s spy show turned movie franchise Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and I’m sure James Bond won’t have anything to worry about when Spectre is released later this year. The film also starts to drag a bit towards the end. However it is definitely better than I thought it was going to be so I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Rating 3.5/5 – the charasmatic stars helps makes this spy movie stand out from the crowd

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Ex Machina

Alex Garland has previously made a name for himself through his novel The Beach, and his screenplays for 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go. Now in his directorial debut Garland explores the complex relationship between humans and AI technology.

When programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins an opportunity to stay at his employer Nathan’s (Oscar Isaac) secluded house he finds that Nathan wants him to help with his latest project. He has created an AI named Ava (Alicia Vikander) and he wants Caleb to test Ava to see whether she can pass as a human. As Caleb gets closer to Ava he finds himself questioning what is going on around him and who he can ultimately trust.

For the majority of the film we are kept in one location. A stunning house which while beautiful is also cold and isolating (perhaps representing how Ava comes across or to reinforce the isolation that keeps our main characters away from the rest of the world). This is a film less about action and more about characters. Caleb is faced with a question can Ava pass as a human? This opens up questions as to what exactly is human behaviour. Can Oscar’s actions be considered human? Don’t humans have it in them to be cold and calculating as they accuse AI’s of potentially being?

We are left in the company of three main characters for most of the film. All have been well-chosen to suit their roles. Isaac brings intensity to self-proclaimed Genius Nathan. Secretive and full of ego, like Caleb we also cannot be quite sure of his true motives. Gleeson works well as the audience surrogate Caleb, and we are often in the same position as him, never sure who he can trust – Nathan or Ava? The best of an accomplished bunch is Vikander as Ava, beautiful, analytic, we are never quite show about her. Does she have human qualities? We don’t know what her real aims are or how she feels about her inventor and her visitor.

It’s not without flaws, sometimes you wish for a little bit more action to drive the plot, and it can be a bit slow at times. It also treads familiar ground and doesn’t really offer much more than other firlms about artifical intelligence. I think the ending may also divide some people. I liked it but others may disagree. But this is a film worth seeing and then discussing with your friends after to see if you viewed the film differently.

Rating 3.5/5 – smart, gorgeously shot and with three excellent performances

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