TV: Mr Mercedes Review

July 29, 2018

You probably think I haven’t been watching anything considering the lack of reviews on this site lately, and that’s half right.

There’s no doubt I haven’t been getting my money’s worth with my Cineworld Unlimited Card – I’ve been to five films in four months meaning I’m paying something daft like £15 per visit – but on the other hand, I have been keeping up with plenty of TV shows, and over the next few days will give my thoughts on some of them.

First up is a show I only found out about because of an article on the best TV shows that aren’t on British television.

Mr Mercedes is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel about a retired cop who tries to solve a two-year old case about a multiple homicide involving a car driving in to a crowd of people waiting to attend a jobs fair.

Knowing just how bad some of the recent Stephen King TV adaptations have been, I must admit to approaching Mr Mercedes with a sense of trepidation. Under the Dome, for example, started well enough but should have been wrapped up in one season, while The Mist was such a terrible show that I gave up after four episodes.

Mr Mercedes bucks the trend though, and was an enjoyable watch.

As a story, it retained my interest and unlike so many shows it didn’t begin to drag towards the end or sink in the middle, and that on its own is fine. But where I think the real strength of Mr Mercedes lies is in the characterisation and the quality of the actors bringing them to life.

Brendan Gleeson is the powerhouse of the show, and his portrayal of the hard-drinking ex-cop Bill Hodges is excellent, but the quality in general is very high, from his co-lead Harry Treadaway all the way down to…well I’d just end up naming every cast member because they are all good.

As with most of my reviews, I don’t plan on spoiling the plot for those who have yet to see it, so I will sum it up by saying that it’s definitely worth your time, and that I hope the upcoming second season strays far enough away from the original that it doesn’t become like so many other shows and out-stay its welcome

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Movies: Skyscraper Review

July 15, 2018

There’s a lot about Skyscraper that is ridiculous.

Examples include

  • The cheesy dialogue.
  • The incredibly obvious villains who we’re not supposed to realise are villains.
  • Main character Will Sawyer’s continuous super-human physical fitness in spite of only having one leg and picking up numerous serious injuries on his arms and torso as events unfold.
  • The fact he has one leg for no other reason than so at one point he can rip off and throw it at a door to stop it from closing.
  • The bit where he doesn’t bother to save his daughter at the same time as the rest of his family just so that the film can be dragged out longer.
  • The way the villains tried to steal Will’s tablet at the harbour when they must have known they’d need his facial print to unlock it.
  • The hall of mirrors on the roof that appears to have no functioning purpose to the skyscraper other than setting up the confrontation at the end.
  • The way that the entire film is a set-up for a ‘did you turn it off and on again’ punchline.

I mean…if you really look deeply at it, Skyscraper doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

But I think to come away from it unhappy with its ridiculous elements is mean-spirited.

If you take it for what it is – a daft action movie that combined elements of The Towering Inferno and Die Hard – then it’s perfectly enjoyable. It’s my type of ‘popcorn’ movie.

And it’s an easy watch as well; you won’t get bored, and you’ll have a few laughs.

So this is one that I would recommend.