Alan Dee at the movies (12.10.11)
Once more some of Hollywood’s notionally hunky next generation pull on the period pants, silly hats and lace collars, ponce about pretending to be good at sword-fighting and bring the Dumas story to the big screen.
And guess what, this time it’s in 3D.
There must be some formula that says how many years you can leave it since the last underwhelming effort – some of you may recall the 1993 version with Charlie Sheen, the 1972 take with young Michael York, or even 1948’s Gene Kelly vehicle – it’s probably about time for another run at The Count of Monte Cristo, too.
Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief) is D’Artagnan and Matthew Macfadyen gets stuck with the older, grizzlier role of Athos – how time flies, not long ago he would have had a shout at the role of the fresh young duelling ace.
But all they have served up is the same old story with some flashy but pointless special effects.
Christoph Waltz is the baddy, Milla Jovovich is the eye candy and Orlando Bloom is a caddish Brit.
The world economy is on the brink, but there’s still enough cash to create retreads like this – can anyone make sense of this?
> While we’re on the subject of pointless remakes, here comes Footloose, with Kenny Wormald and Dennis Quaid stepping into the shoes so capably filled in 1984 by Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow.
Kids in sleepy town revolt against staid grown-ups and embrace rock and roll, lots of toe-tapping songs, but check out the original.
> Dolphin Tale – did you see what they did there? – features the likes of Harry Connick Jr and Morgan Freeman in a true story of the bond between a boy and an injured dolphin, which comes with 3D bolt-ons. It shamelessly goes for heartwarming and inspirational, and may well leave you with a lump in your throat.
> Moving swiftly on, Real Steel is all giant robots bashing each other up with Hugh Jackman centre stage.
Think Rollerball and Transformers meets Rocky, Director Shawn Levy is better know for family-friendly fodder than tough action movies, and it comes from Disney, so don’t be surprised by the soft centre.