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Now showing at Cineworld Chelsea 279,Kings Road,Chelsea,London,London SW3 5EW 0871 200 2000

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Moomins On The Riviera
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • San Andreas
  • Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

Mad Max: Fury Road 4 stars

movie title

Immortan Joe rules the Citadel with an iron fist and he intends to mastermind the propagation of mankind in his own cruel image using five women called The Wives. Imperator Furiosa kidnaps these slaves and flees across the Wasteland. They join forces with Max Rockatansky, who has knowledge of the Wasteland and can help the fugitives find sanctuary in the deadly shifting sands. In the process, Max lights a fuse on a bitter and bloody road war between Furiosa and Immortan Joe.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
  • CastNicholas Hoult, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
  • DirectorGeorge Miller.
  • WriterGeorge Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris.
  • CountryAustralia/
  • Duration120 mins
  • Official sitewww.madmaxmovie.com
  • Release14/05/2015

Fasten your seat belts and hold on white-knuckle tight as writer-director George Miller invites you to an orgy of high-octane auto mayhem that makes Fast & Furious 7 looks like a sedate Sunday afternoon drive. Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth instalment of the post-apocalyptic franchise, delivers a blitzkrieg of propulsive pursuits featuring almost 150 hand-built death machines of every conceivable shape and size.

These thrillingly choreographed sequences of carmageddon build to a jaw-dropping finale, replete with roof-mouthed metronome-like poles that allow road warriors to swoop down and snatch their prey from adjacent vehicles.

If the original Mad Max released in 1979 was soaked in testosterone, Fury Road adds a heady whiff of oestrogen by introducing a badass tribe of warrior women called the Vuvalini, who ride proudly into battle armed with explosive-tipped spears.

One prime specimen is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the enigmatic driver of a mighty 18-wheeler mobile war rig. She reports to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), despotic leader of the Citadel, who is propagating the species in his cruel image using The Wives.

These five enslaved women (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee) are impregnated by Immortan Joe to provide him with a viable male heir. Furiosa kidnaps The Wives and flees across the Wasteland with Immortan Joe and his army in hot pursuit.

Among the chasing horde is shaven-headed, tattooed acolyte Nux (Nicholas Hoult), who believes that death in battle will grant him entry to the warrior paradise of Valhalla. As Nux puts the pedal to the metal, his poisoned blood is replenished by a living donor, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), strapped to the front of the hot rod.

During the chase, Max breaks free from Nux and begrudgingly helps Furiosa and The Wives to evade Immortan Joe's clutches, bound for a lush oasis known as the Green Place.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a tour-de-force of adrenaline-pumping thrills. Computer trickery is kept to a bare minimum: stunt drivers actually performed these mind-boggling feats in real vehicles at dizzying speeds.

When director Miller briefly does take his foot off the accelerator, he hopes we'll be giddy enough on exhaust fumes to care deeply about plot and characterisation. Both sit quietly in the back seat, waiting for the next rev of a V-8 engine.

Hardy perfects an array of grunts and growls in place of dialogue. He's a dull boy though next to Theron's gutsy alpha female, who goes toe-to-toe and trades blow for bone-crunching blow with the grizzled anti-hero, channelling her character's sense of loss into vengeance.

Keays-Byrne takes a leaf out of Hardy's book from The Dark Knight Rises and dons a nightmarish face mask made of horse teeth. Miller's rambunctious ride is heightened by a deafening soundtrack courtesy of Grammy-nominated composer Junkie XL.

You'll feel the teeth rattle in your head as his sonic boom of drums, strings, thrashing electric guitars and a soaring 80-voice choir competes with the crash-bang-wallop of the on-screen carnage.

Moomins On The Riviera 4 stars

Moomin, Moominpappa, Moominmamma, Snorkmaiden and Little My embark on an exciting adventure by sea to the French Riviera. In this sun-kissed playground of the rich and fabulous, there are manifold distractions and Snorkmaiden's head is turned by suave playboy Clark Tresco, which infuriates Moomin. Meanwhile, Moominpappa befriends aristocrat Marquis Mongaga and adopts the name de Moomin in order to impress his new acquaintance.

  • GenreAdaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastNathaniel Parker, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Russell Tovey, Ruth Gibson, Stephanie Winiecki.
  • DirectorXavier Picard.
  • WriterAnnina Enckell, Leslie Stewart, Hanna Hemila, Beata Harju, Xavier Picard.
  • CountryFin/Fr
  • Duration77 mins
  • Official sitewww.moominsontheriviera.com
  • Release22/05/2015

Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson's lovable characters, the Moomins, sprung to life as a comic strip and picture books, then made an indelible mark in the UK as a 1980s stop-motion animated children's television series narrated by Richard Murdoch.

A Japanese anime TV version and a theme park on the island of Kailo followed in the 1990s as part of a merchandising boom that has firmly installed these rotund creatures, who resemble hippopotamuses, in global pop culture. Jansson's inquisitive creations set sail for the big screen in this lovingly hand-drawn animation, based on the original comic strips.

Moomins On The Riviera is a cautionary tale about the corruptive power of greed and jealousy, which takes a few gentle sideswipes at the cult of celebrity and the inflated price of modern art. The inoffensive script maintains a gentle pace, despite the extravagance of the setting with its luxury yachts and speedboats, reminding audiences of all ages that money can't buy the happiness of a family united.

In the aftermath of a pirate shipwreck close to the Moomins' island home, Moominpappa (Nathaniel Parker), Moominmamma (Tracy Ann Oberman), Moomintroll (voiced by Russell Tovey), Snorkmaiden (Stephanie Winiecki) and Little My (Ruth Gibson) embark on an exciting adventure by sea to the French Riviera.

In this sun-kissed playground of the rich and fabulous, there are manifold distractions. "Why do people in the south keep their hedgehogs in the water?" innocently wonders one of the clan, glimpsing a sea anemone in the rippling water.

Snorkmaiden's head is turned first by her Hollywood idol Audrey Glamour (Shelley Blond) and then by suave aristocratic playboy, Clark Tresco (Dave Brown). "Cousin, I need you to take my place in the story. I'm getting married," she coos to Moomintroll in a sweet moment of script in-jokery.

He is particularly infuriated by the skimpiness of Snorkmaiden's two-piece bikini. "You can't wear that!" he scolds. "It's like you're wearing nothing!"

Meanwhile, Moominpappa befriends artist Marquis Mongaga (Philippe Smolikowski) and adopts the name de Moomin in order to impress his new acquaintance. Moominmamma becomes exasperated and retires to the relative calm of the family's trusty boat, hoping that the rest of her brood will come to their senses and remember the family motto - "Live in peace, plant potatoes and dream" - in time for the journey home.

Directed with a light touch by Xavier Picard, Moomins On The Riviera is an entertaining introduction for younger audiences to the cuddly characters, and a nostalgia trip for the rest of us, created with the blessing of Jansson's niece Sophia.

Visuals retain the naive charm of original illustrations, even with the introduction of potentially grown-up scenes like Moominpappa suffering a whiskey-induced hangover. Vocal performances for this dubbed English language version are solid, and the 77-minute running time passes in the blink of an eye.

Pitch Perfect 2 4 stars

movie title

Fat Amy suffers an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in the presence of President Obama, which threatens to bring Barden University's all-female a cappella group into disrepute. In order to restore their pride, the Bellas enter a global singing competition that has never been won by an American group. Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe, Lilly, new recruit Emily and the other Bellas prepare to pitch-slap their talented rivals into submission.

  • GenreComedy, Family, Musical, Romance
  • CastAnna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins.
  • DirectorElizabeth Banks.
  • WriterKay Cannon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration115 mins
  • Official sitewww.pitchperfect2-uk.tumblr.com
  • Release15/05/2015

Lightning almost strikes twice in the eagerly anticipated sequel to the feel-great comedy Pitch Perfect. Actress Elizabeth Banks nestles in the director's chair for this uproarious second outing and she confidently conducts a choir of familiar faces through soaring musical mash-ups and pitch-slapping putdowns.

Screenwriter Kay Cannon, who penned the original, enforces the message of femme power by contriving a spectacular fall from grace for the Barden Bellas in order that her plucky heroines rediscover their sisterly solidarity. Beyonce's anthemic "Run The World (Girls)" is a fitting opener for one medley of redemption, emphasising that while these girls wanna have fun, they won't do so at the expense of friendships or their careers.

Cannon pads out her admittedly flimsy premise with parallel romantic subplots and introduces a Latin American exchange student, whose life-or-death heritage becomes a running joke that limps before the two hours are up.

Thankfully, Rebel Wilson turbo-charges her scenes and is rewarded with the film's only solo - Pat Benatar's power ballad "We Belong" - that builds to a rousing call to arms for the broken-hearted.

Three years after all-female group the Barden Bellas triumphed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the girls perform for President Obama and his wife. Fat Amy (Wilson) suffers a wardrobe malfunction during a Miley Cyrus-themed aerial routine and drags the good name of Barden University into the gutter.

In the wake of Muffgate, commentators John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden (Elizabeth Banks) cast the Bellas into the wilderness and mock Beca (Anna Kendrick) when she claims they can become the first American group to win the World A Cappella Championships.

Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe (Brittany Snow), Stacie (Alexis Knapp), Jessica (Kelley Jakle), Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean), softly spoken beatboxer Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and new recruits Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) and Flo (Chrissie Fit) prepare for musical battle.

However, the path to glory in Copenhagen is blocked by well-drilled reigning champions, Das Sound Machine, led by the statuesque Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) and her right-hand herr Pieter (Flula Borg).

The Bellas' make-or-break performance beckons and Beca frets about her song choices. "You're the most talented person I know," gushes Fat Amy soothingly, "and I've met three of The Wiggles... intimately."

Pitch Perfect 2 hits many of the high notes of the original film. Beca's romance with boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin) is inert in the sequel so the spotlight shifts to Fat Amy's on-off-on-off flirtation with Bumper (Adam DeVine).

Banks and Higgins lasso some of the heartiest guffaws, the latter spewing chauvinism with aplomb as he casually describes the Bellas as "an inspiration to girls all over the country who are too ugly to be cheerleaders".

Musical sequences are choreographed with verve, including a rousing finale that astutely goes back to acca-basics to tug the heartstrings.

San Andreas 3 stars

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma, who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick. Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastCarla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi.
  • DirectorBrad Peyton.
  • WriterCarlton Cuse.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewwws.warnerbros.co.uk/sanandreas/
  • Release28/05/2015

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma, who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick. Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond 3 stars

At the 1964 World Fair, a young boy called Frank Walker takes a magical trip to a world called Tomorrowland in the company of a girl called Athena. Many years later, Frank is a grizzled, world weary inventor, who is haunted by his memories of Tomorrowland and the beautiful Athena. A spirited young woman called Casey Newton, who has also glimpsed this futuristic realm, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment and compels him to venture back to Tomorrowland.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastHugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy.
  • DirectorBrad Bird.
  • WriterBrad Bird, Damon Lindelof.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/tomorrowland
  • Release22/05/2015

For a big budget fantasy which vociferously encourages children to dream, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is disappointingly - and ironically - short on invention and ingenuity. Director Brad Bird, who cast early cinematic spells in animation with The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, engineers a trio of slick set pieces in the opening hour.

In particular, his female protagonist's first glimpse of the titular kingdom is a breath-taking assault on the senses including the haunting image of synchronised divers somersaulting downwards into circular pools of water suspended one above another.

Once the cogs of a preposterous plot begin to whir, any exhilaration quickly dissipates, leaving us to slog through an exceedingly pedestrian second hour that is heavy on exposition and light on wonder. As soon as one character starts ranting about a secret brotherhood founded by Gustave Eiffel, Thomas Edison, Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla - a narrative thread that might have come untangled from Dan Brown's outlandish Da Vinci Code - all hope is lost.

Aside from a pair of duelling robots, casually introduced into the underwhelming finale, it's difficult to see what will hold the attention of young children, who aren't already asleep or kicking the chair in front of them in boredom.

At the 1964 New York World Fair, young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) fails to impress judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) with his misfiring jetpack. However, the boy does catch the eye of an enigmatic girl called Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who gives Frank a lapel pin emblazoned with a capital T that magically grants him access to a parallel dimension called Tomorrowland.

Eventually, Frank is banished from the fantastical realm and his beloved Athena. Many years later, Frank (now played by George Clooney) is a grizzled recluse, haunted by the past.

A spirited young woman called Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who has glimpsed this futuristic realm by touching her own lapel pin, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment.

"You've been manipulated to believe you're part of something incredible," Frank warns Casey as they travel back to Tomorrowland to discover the fairy-tale realm has been corrupted beyond recognition.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond has teasing flashes of the beguiling flight of fantasy that Bird surely intended. A high-speed pursuit with robot assassins around Frank's booby-trap laden home is executed at a breathless pace, and rising star Cassidy from Worsley near Manchester outshines Clooney and Robertson in their underwritten roles.

However, a framing device which allows Frank and Casey to jointly narrate the story - and constantly bicker - grates and is ultimately superfluous. Somewhere between Bird's plodding direction in the second act and his convoluted script co-written by Damon Lindelof, Tomorrowland becomes a test of endurance rather than a pulse-quickening tumble down the rabbit hole of the human spirit.

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