Sarina Bellissimo reviews Cold pursuit and Isn't It Romantic
Liam Neeson, doing Liam Neeson isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The only time it was a surprise is when we saw him do it in 2008 in “Taken”. No-one thought of the then fifty six year old as an action hero, but, thanks to “Taken” that is what he has become.
“Taken” worked so well because it was surprising. It jolted us out of our seats because we were seeing something that we had never imagined and never knew we were missing in our cinematic lives.
The problem is that now, with each film Neeson stars in, they are trying to recapture the magic of “Taken” and with each film it becomes less ‘magic’ and it gets more tired as we’ve seen it all before. The stories are not that original. It is always about him trying to right a wrong and save the day.
Unlike in “Taken”, “Cold Pursuit” does not see him trying to rescue a missing child, instead he is trying to exact revenge on the people that took the life of his son.
If you’re looking for action, gore, and excruciating, ‘creative’, deaths, Neeson enjoying himself on screen, with some comedy thrown in, then you’re in for a ‘treat’. It wasn’t for me though. The body count was high, it was far too gruesome and I’m getting tired of the same old same old from Neeson. Some will say this is Neeson’s best film in a long time, others, like me will say it did exactly what the title says – left me feeling cold!
“Cold Pursuit” is in cinemas now.
“Isn’t It Romantic”
In the nineties and early noughties we were inundated with romantic comedies – so much so that this genre was given the title of ‘Rom-Com’. In the beginning the films were original and funny – even if they were very corny, we overlooked that because as Marie Condo would say, “they sparked joy.”
The thing is, after being bombarded with so many of them, they lost their spark and studios stopped investing time and money into them. The only place we seem to be seeing “romantic comedies”, in film now, is between superheroes in whatever superhero franchise we are watching. Hence, when Netflix announced their latest foray into the big budget movie was a romantic comedy, I was very sceptical.
I slowly came on board to this idea when I heard that the cast featured Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine (Wilson’s love interest in the “Pitch Perfect” films) and Priyanka Chopra.
My cynicism was dissipating when I realised that this film was itself actually cynical about all of the rom-coms made before it. The protagonist, Natalie (Wilson), goes on about the fact that no-one’s life is like a rom-com; this genre of film is so toxic and sets up unrealistic expectations when it comes to love. They are always so corny, over the top and formulaic.
So, when she suddenly finds her life changed, after a mugging on the New York subway, and that her life has in fact turned into her worst nightmare, a romantic comedy (“This is not the real world. It’s “The Matrix” for lonely women … I need to get out of here. How do I get to the end?!”), you are actually prepared to go on this corny, over the top and formulaic – but always self aware and self deprecating – adventure with her.
Wilson is a delight to watch in this film. She is loveable, relatable and her usual unique, hilarious self. Her supporting cast add to this gem of a film. Dare I say it, this is Liam Hemsworth at his finest; and as for the re-teaming of Wilson and Devine, that is genius. The comedic timing and chemistry they have jumps off the screen.
“Isn’t It Romantic” boldly makes references and replicates scenes (with it’s own twist) from rom-com classics like “Pretty Woman”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, and “When Harry Met Sally”. It takes great pleasure in putting in the corny voice over, the stereotypical over the top characters and even features some fabulous, not necessary, but so worth while, musical numbers, all the while being set in the rom-com capital of the world, New York City.
I never expected to enjoy this film as much as I did but once I had let my rom-com guard down, I was in love! By the movie’s end I had a massive smile on my face, had laughed out loud so many times and even found myself clapping as the credits rolled (over such a fun musical number).
“Isn’t It Romantic” is out on Netflix on Wednesday 28th February, 2019.