28 May 2015

At The Movies: Slow West, Gemma Bovery, Spy

From At The Movies, 7:30 pm on 28 May 2015

Slow West screenshot

An ailing Simon Morris loses his temper with three films: spy spoof Spy starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham; a frothy French literary joke Gemma Bovery; and Scottish-New Zealand western Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender and Central Otago.

The big picture with Simon Morris

Reviewers, like everyone else, have their good weeks and their bad ones. Some reviews come after an unexpected Lotto win, or a delightful surprise party in honour of our critic, which gives his whole week a rosy glow. These are the times when the most routine action-film, the soppiest romantic comedy and the latest work of Adam Sandler get sympathetic - even glowing - write-ups.

But woe betide any film that happens to come out immediately after three parking tickets, a stubbed toe or a fierce hangover following a delightful surprise party. When a film critic has a bad week, then everyone suffers. This week is a good example.

Whether the ensuing curmudgeonliness coloured my judgement of perfectly harmless movies I might have otherwise given the benefit of the doubt, or whether I was simply infected by a desire to stand up minutes after these films started, I can’t say.

In reverse order, the unlucky short straws were drawn by a formulaic comedy about spies, starring the exhausting Melissa McCarthy; a French pastiche of a famous book I never quite saw the point of; and yet another failed attempt to bring back the western – or in this case, take it to Central Otago.

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