Alan Dee’s movie preview: 21 And over, All Stars, Dead Man Down
Here’s what the breathless world has been waiting for – Superbad meets The Hangover in a knowingly ‘just crude enough’ comedy.
21 And Over finds sensible student Jeff getting ready for a crucial medical school interview when two old classroom pals turn up out of the blue and haul him off to celebrate his big birthday in style. What can possibly go wrong?
Relunctant Jeff agrees to have just one beer to mark his 21st, but as you would expect it all goes a bit pear-shaped and you can tick off the gross-out comedy ingredients he’ll have to encounter before the inevitable happy-ish ending.
The shining wits who came up with The Hangover story make their directorial debut here and the cast features a bunch of unknowns, which is probably all you need to know.
While we’re on films which are very like films you’ve seen before – and, when you think about it, aren’t they all? – let’s shift attention to All Stars.
Here the key fact to bear in mind is that this comes to you courtesy of the crew that came up with the StreetDance series, so what do you think it’s about?
You’ve got it – feisty kids put together a fab fundraiser to save their after-school club from closure, and as it happens there are some very talented dancers to call on. That’s handy.
This is very much at the High School Musical end of the young song and dance spectrum – it’s got a U certificate and the key players are cute teens full of bright-eyed optimism rather than stroppy young adults strutting their stuff, but otherwise this Brit effort is entirely predictable.
You may recognise leading light Theo Stephenson from the Horrid Henry movie, but otherwise the screen is full of even fresher young faces.
And it’s been a couple of weeks since we had gritty thriller starring a Brit actor who’s not quite on the A-list but is always worth checking out.
Dead Man Down has Colin Farrell as a crook on a revenge mission who teams up with crime victim Noomi Rapace – her from the original Swedish ‘The Girl With’ thrillers based on Stieg Larsson global best-sellers – who also has a few scores to settle.
Director Niels Arden Oplev, who helmed the first film in the Millenium trilogy that made Noomi a star on the big stage, makes his English language debut with this dark and disturbing story that’s light on the normal crime thriller ingredients of big bangs and bloodshed and concentrates instead on menace and mind games. The two leads and baddie Terrence Howard, best known for Second World War aerial adventure Red Tails, are all on top form.