27 October 2017.
BORG vs McENROE ***1/2
Whether you’re into tennis or not, this is a brilliant look at opposite characters, world-class competition and the confines of celebrity.
Done by Danish director Janus Metz, it covers the crucial years in the early 1980s when Borg was the king of the courts and McEnroe was the up-coming star. Being Nordic, Metz does tend to concentrate more on Borg’s past and his anxieties, but there is also McEnroe’s background, though one would wish for more on him.
The Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason has an uncanny resemblance to Borg, while Shia LeBeouf brings here the intensity and nervousness that was so much a part of McEnroe’s athletic genius plus his bad-boy personality. And the veteran actor Stellan Skarsgard is excellent as Borg’s loyal mentor and coach.
This biopic is actually better than any thriller, for here the excitement and violence are on the inside of their heads.
THOR – RAGNAROK ***1/2
What fun is this latest Marvel installment! We’re lucky to have here a superlative popcorn blockbuster. Chris Hemsworth, as Thor the God of Thunder, is as hunky and gorgeous as ever. But this time he’s also super funny, as is this whole film by Taika Waititi – flippant, tongue-in-cheek in the manner of “Guardians of the Galaxy”. There’s adventure, battles galore, a lot of wonderful repartee and delightful over-acting from the likes of Cate Blanchett as the uber-evil sister come back with a vengeance, bad brother Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins as the King and father of them all.
But the most hilarious is Jeff Goldblum as the funky Grandmaster who so enjoys lording it over his strange domain. His moments with Thor are over-the-top stupendous – won’t they give Oscars for comedy like this? There’s almost a “Gladiator” moment here too. And even mini-cameos with Matt Damon, Scarlet Johansson and Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange – it’s like one loony party with the whole gang present! Even the Hulk is back, in very unstable condition… he and Thor are enemies and buddies, depending on the hero moment. You simply have to see it, there’s too much going on to explain, and it’s all a riot!
(Unfortunately a lot of European critics just don’t get the gist and humor of it all.)
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.