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10 Movies From The 21st Century That Deserve A Second Chance

30 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Ethan Wilson

Not only is there a difference between seeing a film in a cinema and watching it again later at home, but you yourself are different – older, hopefully wiser, most likely in a different mood than you were on opening night.

Shorn of hype and expectation, you can get on the movie’s wavelength, accept it on its own terms and maybe even come to love it. Away from damaging hatchet jobs performed by internet commentators, you can form your own opinion, which is the only one that matters.

We live in poisonous times, and going to the multiplex just to see if a movie is “really that bad” is doing the film a disservice. The following films might’ve disappointed you but if you tune out all the static and give them another chance, you’ll find they work better second time around.

 

10. The Brothers Grimsby

The Brothers Grimsby is no Borat, but it’s an improvement over Ali G Indahouse, Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous film set in the UK. This time, Cohen plays a slob who discovers that his long lost brother (Mark Strong) is a crack MI6 agent, so if you’ve ever wanted to see the Viz comics version of James Bond, tune in.

Given Baron Cohen’s Hollywood success, some will doubtless claim he has “sold out”, but while there are some cheap shots (such as a Bill Cosby gag) no movie where Daniel Radcliffe and Donald Trump are accidentally infected with AIDS is in any danger of being accused of playing it safe. It’s the kind of take-no-prisoners attitude you’d expect from the creator Borat and Bruno, only this time there’s an actual plot.

If the gags do occasionally play second fiddle to the action, that’s no bad thing because the director is Louis Leterrier of Transporter 2 fame, so in between jokes about welfare queens there are several slickly choreographed chases and shootouts.

 

9. Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four (2015)

Time Out called Fantastic Four a movie of two halves “the first likeable and fun, the second tiresome and loud.” The first 50 minutes seemed to be director Josh Trank’s vision for the film, while the rest was stitched together from existing elements and half-hearted reshoots.

In amongst all the bad wigs and flat drama, there was a good movie struggling to get out, and it looked like a more engaging film than either the 2005 Fantastic Four or its sequel. We never got to see it because Twentieth Century Fox smothered the baby at birth.

If the first half of the released version are anything to go by, it was a movie that took its time building its story and preferred character to elaborate set pieces, leading to a two-hour plus movie that panicked the studio. Or did Fox make the right decision by ordering reshoots? Hopefully, we’ll see Trank’s cut so we can decide for ourselves.

 

8. X-Men Apocalypse

x-men-apocalypse

There’s something very wrong with this sequel: even though the action takes place in the 1980s, none of the characters have aged much since the Cuban Missile Crisis. In a few more years, James McAvoy will have to transform into Patrick Stewart, which becomes less believable with each new movie.

If you can put such qualms aside, then Apocalypse is an otherwise perfectly entertaining entry, neither the best nor the worst in the franchise. There is a neat joke, though: 2016 marked a decade since the overheated The Last Stand nearly derailed the series, so writer Simon Kinberg has a young Jean Grey say “Can we at least agree that the third one is always the worst?” after coming out of a screening of Return Of The Jedi.

With Bryan Singer in the director’s chair, Apocalypse is a worthy follow-up to First Class and Days Of Future Past, and it wisely gives Quicksilver (Evan Peters) more screen time. Overblown ending aside, Singer has a better feel for character and action than any of the other filmmakers who’ve worked on the series, and he delivers another solid movie here.

 

7. The Three Musketeers

Outside of Richard Lester’s Musketeer movies, Alexandre Dumas’ characters have fared poorly on screen, hitting rock bottom in 2001with Peter Hyams’ dull The Musketeer. Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil) was the just the right guy to mount a steampunk version for a modern crowd, and his version was one of the most entertaining in years. It caught the eye of Quentin Tarantino, who named it as one of his favourite films of 2011.

Sadly, American audiences didn’t share his enthusiasm and the $75 million movie struggled to make $20 million during its domestic run, making it one of the year’s biggest flops. There’s plenty to enjoy here, though, including a cast that includes Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort and Christoph Waltz as Richelieu. Even Orlando Bloom’s pretty good as the Duke Of Buckingham.

If you didn’t know you were watching a movie from the director of Resident Evil you’d be able to guess from the action scenes, which are as slick as you’d expect from Anderson. You might argue that they disrespect the laws of physics, but that’s a minor complaint in a movie that just wants to give you a good time.

 

6. Machete Kills

Danny Trejo Machete

Every movie Robert Rodriguez makes has the same mission: it just wants to give you a good time. Alas, the simple act of enjoying Danny Trejo face off against none other than Mel Gibson proved too much for audiences, and Machete Kills had one of the worst theatrical openings ever.

Rodriguez writes, scores, edits and shoots his own films, so you’re seeing one man’s vision on the screen. You might care for it, you might not, but if you don’t then at least have the courtesy not to give him grief for it in a world where Transformers: Age Of Extinction exists.

Besides, there’s a ton of crazy stuff to enjoy: Sofia Vergara and her machine gun bra, a hitman known as El Camaleon (who disguises himself as Walt Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Lady Gaga and Antonio Banderas) and best of all, Madman Mel as a Bond villain with a nice line in hardware (check out his “not perfected yet” molecule blaster).

 

 

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