‘Atomic Blonde’ is the much watch film of the summer.

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‘Atomic Blonde’ tells the story of an undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

This is a film that proves that action films, especially period action films, are more than just Tom Cruise running away from things and pulling a vaguely shocked expression. It proves that not only women can hold their own, like that of the recent success of ‘Wonder Woman,’ and Charlize Theron’s Lorraine Broughton is a bisexual woman, but that more films like this should be made. It’s truly a film of the modern age, showing what we’re truly capably if we actually dare to make films like this.

It would be unfair to say Broughton is a female combination of James Bond and Jason Bourne because she’s so much more then that. There’s so much more depth to her character than the dazzling action sequences, especially the one shot on the staircase and the jump out of a window with the extension cord, drinks at the bar, and working as an undercover agent. Director David Leitch, one half of the directing team behind ‘John Wick’ and Deadpool 2, helps bring out her character on screen, showing not only her sensitive side but her strong independence.

What Leitch does, also, is stays away from any tricks with the camera and keeps everything steady unlike what the Bourne films do in making you feel nauseous in its use of hand held camera. Despite the film being a little cliche at times, it proves to be a film that’s ranks above many in it’s genre.

Berlin at the time of the wall coming down in the 80s is the perfect place to host for a spy-thriller and a film of ‘Atomic Blonde’s’ tone. While things are dark and moody, there’s nothing stopping it from bringing to light some comedic moments. This is added to by the plethora of music from the decade, matching up perfectly with the action on screen.

This film is not what it’s advertised to be and that’s the best part because you’re given something so much more amazing. It seems like another spy movie with a great cast and the such, but it’s very much unique. In its hyper-styalised manner, ‘Atomic Blonde’ is an experience in itself and one that won’t be forgotten.

If you’re looking for something action packed to watch with a strong female lead who’s not afraid to take any punches with a kickass soundtrack and costumes, this is for you. Forget about ‘Baby Driver’ with its supposed amazing soundtrack, ‘Atomic Blonde’ beats it in every way.

Film-O-Meter: 9/10.

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‘Deadpool’ is one of the best Marvel films to date and worth the wait.

Deadpool tells the story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary whose subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

This film is a bright shining light amongst the dark, gritty, and more serious adaptions of their comic-book counterparts. They only have a splashing of comedy amongst their more serious tone. And with it’s R-rating, it has the freedom to really show Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) and his alter-ego in all their glory.

I went to see this film with a friend who knew nothing about the character and little knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but this didn’t hinder her enjoyment of the film, although having seen any of the previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (namely the X-Men or even previous Ryan Reynolds outings in The Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine), would’ve certainly helped with the easter eggs that were dotted throughout the film. Either way, this shall be your warning whether you know about the character or not, Deadpool is exactly like the comics –  an extremely over the top and an unapologetically graphic film in all sense of the word (sex, violence, humour, or otherwise).

Wade is chatterbox and not in the way where you just want to punch him in the face for not shutting up. The breaking of the fourth wall, which basically means that he as a character will talk directly to the camera, is seamless, flowing naturally into his character. And within this breaking of this forth wall and talking to us as an audience is the fact that he’s totally aware of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nitpicking over which Professor Xavier he’ll be seeing – the younger in James McAvoy or elder in Patrick Stewart – and how the alternate timelines the more recent X-Men films have become “confusing” to him as a character, and possibly echoing what the audience may be feeling about the future of the present-day versions of the X-Men franchise. The Wade Wilson character even mocks Ryan Reynolds as an actor about his bad decisions in being involved in The Green Lantern. Besides, if anyone was born to play this role, it could be none other than Ryan Reynolds and we couldn’t have had a better person spearheading this spectacular production.

Deadpool isn’t the regular comic-book character we’re used to seeing on screen – he’s crude, violent, definitely not for younger audiences. What makes this film great is that it shows us what we never knew we needed so much and something to break up the dark realities the rest of the comic-book adaptations have shown us. He’s an unforgettable icon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Deadpool is clearly one of the best Marvel films to date and worth the wait.

Film-O-Meter: 8/10.

A step up for Shyamalan.

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Split
 tells the story of three girls who are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

Going into this film and based off the trailer, I knew the only thing that was going to be keeping this film together and the essentially the saving grace of the film was James McAvoy. I was lucky enough to have the chance to see McAvoy perform in the stage version of ‘The Ruling Class’ in which he played a deluded character that thought he was Jesus reincarnated and it really showed his chops as an actor. Because of that, it was long proven to me that he could play a range of crazy. Without McAvoy, Split wouldn’t be the same. He did such an amazing job at creating several distinct personalities and showed the extent of the trauma in his performance. There’s not many actors that could do this well and McAvoy has certainly proved he is someone that can handle something like this.

Split is a little different to the typical kidnapping film, which is a refreshing break, though it may seem like it might fall into cliche’s in its set up. It certainly smashes those expectations and becomes an original screenplay that holds suspense and thrill.

The film is entertaining and enjoyable when it comes down to it but the worth the price of a cinema ticket? Probably not. When compared to the films of Shyamalan since The Sixth Sense, this is a film that is definitely a step up from his previous efforts.

It seems like the last twenty seconds of the film had not only myself but my friend that came to see the film with me completely lost at the appearance of *spoiler* Bruce Willis. We hadn’t seen Unbreakable in which Willis’ appearance was referring to as Shyamalan attempts to create his own universe of films and characters.

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

A film trying to undo the mistakes of ‘X-Men United.’

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X-Men: Apocalypse
 is about the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, and the X-Men uniting to defeat his extinction level plan.

Many of the reviews that have come out about this film have been in the right. The trailer’s made this film look so good, or at least made you excited to for it, but I think by now, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in full swing ever since 2008 with Iron Man and the failings of the DC Universe attempting to launch their own cinematic universes with Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the upcoming Suicide Squad, audiences are starting to feel a bit of superhero fatigue. Well, at least I’m starting to feel a little tired and starting to head for films not so superhero heavy or effects laden, preferring for something simpler and story driven. I only saw this new outing in the long running X-Men franchise out of the respect that I have for the series, despite how tired I’m getting of superhero films.

This is why I love Jeff Nichol’s films so much, especially Midnight Special, where you’re not bombarded by special effects and at heart, it’s a film about family, about something we can really truly relate to with that hint of something other. This is what we need in relation to superheroes, to people with extraordinary talents. Something on the smaller, realer scale instead of something so grand and obtuse where the effects of these large scale battles aren’t taken into account. It’s like they don’t care about the small guy, or if they do, they only care about the small guy in a big way.

X-Men: Apocalypse is a film with so many things happening that sometimes to count for everything happen, the cuts between the scenes are almost jarring at times as scenes are spliced together to account for everyone. There are, at times, where characters are left underdeveloped and uncared for. It makes you think why they were included in the first place if they were only to be treated as extras. This is especially evident for Olivia Munn’s Psylocke, who has the majority of her lines when she’s introduced and hardly speaks a word for the rest of the film, more like a Marvel’s Wonder Woman with her lasso and inability to be written into anymore sense than she’s required to be of aid. This was very prominent also in BvS with Wonder Woman’s character also. I had to do some research into her character post-film because I hardly knew enough about her, craving for a morsel of information I was deprived of in the film.

Angel’s death confused me at the end of the film as his character had a future counterpart played by Ben Foster in the horrible final instalment in the original X-Men trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand. His character in both these films holds a slight confusion as he was a character in his late teens in The Last Stand and appeared again to be so in Apocalypse. At least this was one downfall in the connections between the prequels and present day trilogy that I couldn’t reason. Even Days of Future Past manages to make the links a lot clearer.

Although I do agree with Sophie Turner’s casting as the young Jean Grey, and many of the casting choices of the younger counterparts of the present day X-Men characters, she really just can’t act. Her performance is deadpan and lines delivered emotionless. There was also no indication of any blossoming romance between herself and Scott Summers, whom she ends up with in the present day trilogy. There was, in what I took, some indication of the romance between herself and Wolverine in his cameo when Jean returns some of his memories to him after being released from Stryker’s clutches, but that’s it. If there was less of Jean, only showing the parts needed for her character to develop enough to connect with the present day films, and more of an emphasis on that of someone like Psylocke where this was her first outing, there could’ve been an improvement. What was done with Storm in this film could’ve been done the same with Turner’s Jean Grey although this could have also boiled down to Alexandra Shipp being a far superior actress along with poor scripting.

Out of these prequel films, First Class was the best with the following films slowly falling off the tracks. In the X-Men films to date, it stands along with the original X-Men along with X2: United.It’s worth seeing but hardly anything impressive. It will leave you tired after keeping up with so many characters but not as tired as any of Joss Whedon’s efforts with the Avenger’s films.

Film-O-Meter: 5/10.