If I’m honest, this is what I want to see in an action movie released during a pandemic: hideous man-eating extraterrestrials, gunfire, explosions, a plot with holes so big you can drive trucks through … and Chris Pratt.
The premise is somewhat familiar, though it does take it in a slightly unexpected direction: present-day humans are recruited and transported (in bigly numbers) to fight a war some thirty years into the future. Service is compulsory, but all they have to do is fight and survive for seven days, then they’re done and beamed back home. For the folk who’d never seen combat before, seven days didn’t sound like the end of the world … until they saw what they were up against. If you’re a fan of Independence Day then this’ll be right up your street: great adult-ish entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Well this really was a treat. After the enjoyably grim Endgame, Marvel/Disney have given the fans a bit of much-needed light relief.
The film follows Peter Parker on a whirlwind trip around Europe, during which the teenage superhero has to come to terms with the loss of his mentor, raging hormones, and a global threat in the form of elemental monsters from an alternate dimension.
Yes, there’s a lot going on, but the writers have managed to hold it all together (just), without wandering too far from the main ‘beat the bad guys’ plot line.
I think I’m on to Lionel Shriver’s secret: timing, research – and sharp story-telling doesn’t hurt either.
She taps into the single fear that is uppermost in the nation’s mind and crafts a story that drags that fear into an extreme reality. Afraid your kid is going to go postal? Shriver’s got a book for that. Worried that your financial resources will be depleted by a bout of cancer? She’s got a novel for that too.
Right now the middle classes are scared that the ongoing financial crisis will render them destitute by the time they hit retirement age, and right on cue the Shriver literary machine pops out a book about a moderately wealthy family that finds itself increasingly less wealthy as the US economy crashes and the encumbent government decides (unwisely) to default on its international debts.