In which the most iconic female comic book superhero finally gets a feature film to call her own. Much of this is delightful — Gal Gadot's performance is magnetic, and Patty Jenkins gives the film's engrossing midsection an authentic screwball savor, presenting Gadot's Diana as more frankly sexy than I had been led to expect and keeping sweet, blue-eyed Chris Pine in exactly the right place throughout. It's a shame she's saddled with a typical superhero screenplay that eventually brings…
Well, it's a good time at the movies but not as good as the first one -- it's glossier, more calculated, less gleefully unpredictable. Worse, Vol. 2 feels as hemmed in by expectations as Vol. 1 felt free of them. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes, this is probably still my favorite neighborhood, but the rents are definitely going up, and its old devil-may-care atmosphere and subversive character are being replaced by wave after wave of aggressively upscale feel-good vibes.
At 44, I sometimes feel like I've been growing up for decades while popular culture has been standing still. Radio stations I hear in grocery stores and coffee shops play the same songs that were popular when I was in high school. The comic books and fantasy novels that I read in the 1970s and 1980s (or their derivatives) have become the blockbuster TV and film franchises of the 2010s. Saturday Night Live has been on the air, in sickness…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Soderbergh is as Soderbergh does, and his putative farewell performance at the helm of a studio feature film is the usual tasteful Soderbergh fare, finely directed, with a slightly jazzy achronology to it and its almost pastel color schemes smelling lightly of perfume. For all that, the Manhattan doctor-and-patient tale that unspools here feels overly familiar, but Side Effects makes a case for its existence early on by slyly painting itself as a satire on pharmacological culture. Emily (Rooney Mara),…