Although you’ll feel shamelessly manipulated by the cheery sports flick “Eddie the Eagle,” you probably won’t mind too much. Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman star in the true story of a somewhat mentally challenged British ski jumper and the drunken ski bum who trains him to compete in the 1988 Olympics. The movie so lightweight that it threatens to blow right off the screen, but the likable stars and good-natured spirit make it a painless time-waster.
Yet again, white guys have the lead roles in a story that takes place in ancient Egypt. In the over-produced fantasy epic “Gods of Egypt,” Scotland’s Gerard Butler and Denmark’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau play gods who battle it out over control of the land of the Nile. The $140 million budget is all eye candy effects, but the gods of screenwriting apparently cursed the convoluted script.
“Triple Nine” is a sleazy but involving crime drama. Some crooked cops are forced by the Russian mob to pull off some complicated heists, but the arrival of an honest rookie officer complicates matters. The strong cast includes Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie and Woody Harrelson, and they’re all too good for this squalid material. There’s lots of intense, violent action, but it’s in service of an unprincipled story.
“Mustang” was one of the nominees for this year’s Best Foreign Language film. Five teenage sisters in a small Turkish town, thought by their elders to be on the path to moral corruption, are forced to leave school and live as virtual prisoners while being trained to be obedient servant wives to local boys. It’s a very involving and heartbreaking story that serves as a bitter commentary on gender roles in contemporary Turkey.
Also opening this week, “Cabin Fever” is a remake of a 2002 horror flick about college kids in the woods who contract a flesh-eating virus.