Well, it’s taken them literally years, but they’ve finally done it. After many many complete failures and near misses, the DC stable have managed to release a movie that’s a near match for a Marvel flick. I say “near” as in “almost, but not quite.”
The Flash is DC comics resident speeder. Following a lab accident involving lightning and shelf full of chemicals, our hero gains access the Speed Force: an extra dimensional energy field that allows him to move at superhuman speed.
So how fast is he? Faster than Wonder Woman? Why, yes. Faster than Superman? Hell, yes. In fact (and, yes, I know it’s not an actual fact), he can run faster than the speed of light … and this is where the trouble starts. Young Barry (his real name is Barry Allen) discovers that when he breaks the light barrier, he can travel back through time. So, ignoring Bruce Wayne’s sage advice, Barry travels back to the day of his mother’s murder and tries to prevent it.
You know what I’m going to say: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a corker of a movie. Okay, so no surprise there. What was surprising is how good it was. In fact, I’ll go further than that and say it was the best of the three.
It’s the same group of misfits comically led by Chris Pratt, with the addition of Cosmo, a talking (he’s actually telepathic) dog lost from the Soviet space program, and now the security chief of KnowWhere, the Guardians’ headquarters. And we even have a surprise appearance by Adam Warlock.
The focus of the story is Rocket Racoon. Having been critically injured during an attack on KnowWhere, the film takes us back to Rocket’s origin; his transformation at the hands at the hands of the High Evolutionary (a chillingly manic and superb performance from Chukwudi Iwuji), and the Guardians chasing around the galaxy to save him. Yup, the film was really about Rocket, by he spends most of the movie in a coma.
Aside from the comedy moments, what really separates the film from the other Marvel outings was that it was a bit of a tear-jerker; I don’t think I’ve been this invested in animated characters before. And the cruelty of the High Evolutionary has to be seen to be believed. Yes, it was extremely funny, but also extremely sad.
There have been one or two complaints saying that some of the scenes featuring cruelty to animals might be a little over the top for younger views, and I think that’s a fair comment. If you have sensitive youngsters, you might want to see it yourself before taking them along.
The word “curmudgeonly” was invented for Ove, the central character in this extraordinary comedy set in Sweden.
Following the death of his wife, Ove decides to end his life. Unfortunately, everyone else’s life seems to get in the way. One person of his neighbours is pregnant and has a husband who is a little useless; another neighbour has a husband who suffers from dementia; and then there’s the neighbour with the annoying dog. Ove hates all of them, and people who drive BMWs.
So what changes him? Well that’s what the story is about. Ove’s life is detailed through flashbacks which are conveniently kept as separate chapters from the present. A simple trick that makes the whole story easy to follow. Likewise, the prose is simple, straightforward and very funny. And I do mean funny; I found myself laughing out loud at pretty much every page. The characters were well drawn and consistent, occasionally unpredictable, but not in a bad way. Sometimes, people surprise us.
Ove is funny and heartbreaking. A brilliantly exploration of life and loss. Definitely worth a read before the Tom Hanks movie lands.