Alan Dee’s movie preview (21.09.11)

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IF you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago to nominate the four most depressing words it was possible to see on a film poster, I’d have suggested something along the lines of ‘directed by Michael Bay’ or ‘now in stupendous 3D’.

Not now, though, because on the poster for Killer Elite you’ll find, in no particular order, Statham, Robert, Jason and De Niro.

And yes, I know you could put De Niro down as two words, but you can see where I am coming from.

We all know what we will get from a Jason Statham film – there have been enough of them to get us used to the idea, heaven knows, and that title is a bit of a giveway, too.

So what is one of the greatest screen actors of his generation doing propping up the shaven-headed slugger on the cast list? You tell me.

Former super agent Jason comes out of retirement to rescue his father figure mentor (our Bobby).

The action races all over the world, people fight and shout a lot, and it’s all based on a thriller by that well-known man of letters and bonkers explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

And don’t stand there looking out of the window, Clive Owen, you may be the baddy but you can do a lot better than this, too.

> Steve Carell has been trying to come up with a hit to match The 40-Year-Old Virgin for some time, and Crazy, Stupid, Love, which covers a lot of the same territory, doesn’t get him any closer.

He’s a gawky guy flung back into the dating game after his wife (Julianne Moore, yeah, right) demands a divorce. His guide is Ryan Gosling and predictable comedy of embarrassment fun ensues. There are some decent laughs and lots of famous faces cropping up along the way but you’ll have forgotten the whole thing within half an hour.

> Ryan Gosling steps up to leading man in Drive, but the cars are the stars of this high-octane action debut from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, who bought us Bronson. Ryan is a getaway driver who has to hit the road to escape a double cross, Carey Mulligan is along for the ride, not a great deal of attention is paid to fuel economy or considerate urban driving on the streets of LA.

> Meanwhile Bronsor star Tom Hardy buffs up again for Warrior, as a marine getting in shape for a big cage fighting slapdown with the help of dad Nick Nolte – and facing the prospect of coming up against his own brother, who doesn’t like the game but needs the cash. Testosterone overdose alert.

> Teen surfing champ gets back in the water after being chomped by a shark? And she’s a hot chick? Kerching!

That’s the hope from the people who put together Soul Surfer – based, as they say, on a true story and with AnnaSophia Robb as the girl and Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as her parents. Smart action scenes, lovely location, but if you don’t like a fair sprinkling of God in your triumph over tragedy stories steer clear.