SETH Rogen and Charlize Theron delivery plenty of com, if not so much rom, in the consistently funny Long Shot, an unlikely mix of sharp satire and broad slapstick.
There are precious few laughs under the waves in the true-life submarine drama Kursk, and no laughs at all in a dismal British horror-comedy that barely merits the description.
DVD Of The Week: Long Shot
(15) 120mins, out now
ODD mix of sly political satire and broad, sweary romcom that works far better than you might think. It starts boldly and brilliantly, with Seth Rogen’s journo infiltrating a gang of far-right nutters (including one who calls himself Aryan Grande) before being co-opted to the campaign team of Washington high-flier Charlize Theron (his former babysitter).
The political stuff is sharp and the slapstick pratfalls well-executed, while the leads share an unexpected chemistry — for the com, if not so much the rom.
The multi-talented supporting cast includes Lisa Kudrow, an almost unrecognisable Andy Serkis and Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk as a feckless huckster-President. June Diane Raphael is every bit as good playing Theron’s House Of Cards-style fixer.
It’s overlong and there are a couple of stretches when the laughs dry up. One fence-sitting sequence that tries to please Democrat and Republican viewers kills the momentum stone-dead. But it absolutely nails the ending. Sometimes long-shots do come off.
Kursk: The Last Mission
(12) 117mins, out now
EFFECTIVE enough take on the 2000 Kursk submarine disaster, adapted from Robert Moore’s book A Time To Die (which hints at how well things pan out for the sailors on board).
Colin Firth plays the Royal Navy skipper whose efforts to help are met with bureaucratic intransigence — embodied by an impossibly craggy Max von Sydow. Spectre’s Lea Seydoux de-glams convincingly as one of the Russian widows-to-be.
Some of the writing is heavy-handed, with lots of explaining and reminiscing about when things were better (meaning better-funded). But the mood is suitably claustrophobic and the scenes of disaster convincingly horrifying. Even before things go south, the film has a mournful, melancholic air, foreshadowing the watery deaths that await these stoic man.
Pair with Chernobyl for an uplifting night’s viewing of Cold War-inflected true-life tragedy.
most read in film
Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle lead stars at glamorous T2 Trainspotting premiere
(15) 89mins, out now
HAM-FISTED, mean-spirited British slasher sex-comedy that never converts its jumble of ill-fitting parts into a coherent whole
Writer-director Danny Morgan — on screen, a sort of chubbier, schlubbier Kris Marshall — plays the virginal man-child targeted by two sisters for witchy goings-on.
It is shouty and sweary but rarely funny, while the four leads share precious little chemistry. Cameos from Dexter Fletcher and Big Narstie barely register.
Not as terrible as Lesbian Vampire Killers, say, but nothing more than listless, can-in-hand, post-pub viewing.