A pair of dull sequels were shot down by two excellent detective dramas this week.
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – This sequel finds Alice grown up but a decision to revisit Wonderland turns out to be a very dangerous one. The Red Queen is completely bonkers and must be opposed and everyone seems to think Alice is the only one who can do it. Far from whimsical this leaden effort tries to mate the John Lewis Carroll’s tale with an action movie but only manages to produce a loud and dull thud. A talented cast is wasted ,though probably a lot richer after participating here, and the culprits include Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Cohen, and Anna Hathaway.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE – Twenty years later we learn the aliens had a secondary attack planned and it’s a whopper. Unfortunately this film plods along at a snail’s pace and lacks any of the jaw dropping visuals of the first entry. Returning are Jeff Goldblum , Vivica Fox, Judd Hirsch, and Bill Pullman.
GUILT – The murder of a young woman in her London apartment, or flat to use the nomenclature of the realm, sparks off an investigation in this 8 part series. This one gets messy in a hurry as the young lady’s private life is opened up and the investigation veers into the sordid underbelly of the city’s sex clubs. The trail goes all the way up to the Royal family and they are not amused. Good stuff that has English actors playing British characters for a change as well as one American, Billy Zane.
THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN – Seventies police dramas don’t get much better than this yarn which finds three detectives in San Francisco called upon to investigate why a killer murdered the passengers on a city bus with a machine gun. the investigation takes the police into a some pretty sordid places on this side of the ocean. The cats is topnotch with Walter Matthau as the depressed head cop and Bruce Dern as his racist partner. The film also features a smart turn by Louis Gossett ,Jr. as a detective who has just about had it with Dern’s character.
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.