Neil Fox on film: Looper, The Campaign

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LOOPER

Lower down this page today, and lower down the evolutionary ladder, is a piece of awful science fiction tosh, the kind that gives the genre a bad name.

But lo, up here we have a savvy, slick and stylish piece of hokum that beguiles, bewilders and blows the cobwebs away.

Joe is sent back in time, 30 years back, to kill someone on the orders of the mob. The target? A younger version of himself.

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt are both Joe, trying to close ‘the loop’ as it is known, but what if they don’t?

It’s smart moviemaking that is thrilling, and cool, and witty, and demands you keep up.

Rian Johnson exploded onto the scene with Brick, and though the follow up, The Brothers Bloom floundered, this seems him right back where he belongs, changing the mainstream genre film game all over again.

THE CAMPAIGN

Perfectly timed for the imminent US presidential elections comes this decent but not scintillating Will Ferrell comedy.

He stars as a long term congressman facing defeat at the hands of Zach Galifianakis’ local businessman.

A decent cast turn in a decent array of performances but the film wastes a strong premise and sublime leads by settling for the mediocre in terms of laughs and social commentary.

RESIDENT EVIL - RETRIBUTION

Warning, tosh alert – in case you couldn’t guess. The latest instalment in a terrible franchise arrives with no discernible plot, or point, save for Milla Jovovich trying to kill as many undead creatures as possible. Who watches this dross? No, seriously, I would actually really like to know.

HOLY MOTORS

If you can seek out the latest from Leos Carax, you will be treated to a piece of cinematic artistry, both insane and ludicrous, wondrous and unique.

The film follows Monsieur Oscar – an incredible performance by Denis Lavant – a man who takes on different roles during one day of his work around Paris.

His adventures include motion capture sex, kidnapping a supermodel (Eva Mendes) and taking her into the sewer, pretending to be a beggar, killing men and being killed and meeting up with a lost love, played by Kylie Minogue in a beautiful musical sequence.

It’s a visually sumptuous and heartfelt film that deals with death, celebrity, sex, money and the movies and is absolutely unlike anything you will see this, or any year. One of the year’s best.

HUSBANDS

Acclaimed director John Cassavetes’ confounding second film is back in cinemas.

At once it’s impenetrable, messy and brash but equally, it’s a profound and coruscating dissection of masculinity and bravado as three men deal with the passing of their friend by fleeing to London. Incredible performances from Cassavetes, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzarra, and a still relevant resonance, bravura filmmaking from one of the greats.