Quadruple Drabble: Mediocre films by directors who should do better

I have a massive backlog of reviews, and I keep watching new stuff, so there literally aren’t enough days in the year to clear it. In aid of that, here’s three connected quickies — according to wordcounter.net, it should take you less than 90 seconds to read all of them.

The theme, as the title suggests, is directors we have good reason to expect much of, but in this particular instance have let us down. They are Luc Besson, Michael Mann, and (to a lesser extent) Neill Blomkamp.

Here is what they made:

Lucy
Blackhat
Chappie

(Why ‘quadruple’? This post has 100 words too!)

Chappie (2015)

2016 #45
Neill Blomkamp | 115 mins | streaming (HD) | 2.35:1 | USA & South Africa / English | 15 / R

ChappieNeill Blomkamp seems to be on M. Night Shyamalan’s career path: a massively-praised Oscar-nominated breakthrough genre movie, followed by a series of increasingly maligned follow-ups.

His latest is the story of a police robot that gets inducted into South African rap/gang culture. It’s incredibly idiosyncratic, and actually kind of interesting in its oddness and the way it exposes a different culture. So there’s something to be got out of it, but it feels like a failed experiment rather than a successful realisation of a bold idea.

Still, in the homogenised landscape of big-budget sci-fi movies, at least it’s something different.

3 out of 5