Massive, worldwide drought has resulted in the collapse of governments, economies and communities. Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon [IMDB]) lives on the farmland he worked with his father as a child, hopeful that he can convince the owners of a new pipeline to divert some of its water to his arid land.
An enormous meteorite has struck the North Atlantic. In a few hours the resulting shockwave and firestorm will scrub the Eastern seaboard and much of Europe clean. In a few more, the majority of humanity will be gone. In 11 hours the destruction will converge on Western Australia and complete the eradication of all life on Earth.
One of the greatest, simplest joys in life is to be pleasantly surprised by something unexpected. A favorite meal on an ordinary day or an unexpected visit from an old friend. Or, in this case, an amazing movie that popped up from nowhere.
Before we begin, we must recognize the true hero of this story: Chatty-guy-behind-us. When the movie was sneakily attempting to foreshadow something or self-indulgently tried to build a moment, Chatty-guy was there for us! He heroically defused the tension from key scenes and selflessly, loudly kept us informed of events happening directly in front of us on a giant screen.
The purpose of some films is to make the audience think; to provide discussion topics. They lay out rules, set up pressures and obstacles then examine the reactions of their ridiculously verbose characters. Success might be measured by the time the audience spends discussing the problems posed. It might also result in a violent argument with dear friends!
Peggapalooza! continues with a question that everybody has asked at one time or another: what is happiness? Hector (Simon Pegg [IMDB]) is a stable, dependable psychiatrist. He’s in a stable, dependable relationship with Clara (Rosamund Pike [IMDB]), a stable, dependable marketing consultant. His life is stable and dependable. Warm. Comfortable. Pleasant.
It’s impossible to discuss Simon Pegg without mentioning The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (it’s already been mentioned several times during Peggapalooza). The films are directed by Edgar Wright [IMDB], written by Wright and Simon Pegg [IMDB] and star Pegg and Nick Frost [IMDB].
Cornetto’s, for those unaware, are a popular prepackaged ice-cream treat popular in the United Kingdom. Each of the films in the trilogy features a distinct, thematically appropriate, flavor.
Similar to 2011’s excellent “The Lie” [My Review], this explores how the pressures of life can sometimes force good people to make poor choices and, ultimately, how they deal with the consequences. Here, snarky, unpopular high-schooler Norman (Dan Byrd [IMDB]), has recently dealt with the death of his mother and is now watching his father (Richard Jenkins [IMDB]) succumb painfully to stomach cancer. When berated by a schoolmate about his recent flakiness, he blurts out that he has cancer.
[This is the 600th movie review that I’ve posted. Hooray for arbitrary large, round numbers!]
This is a sequel to the 2013 blockbuster “Olympus has Fallen” [My Review]. That review summarized the movie as, “Action fans will find a lot to like but unfortunately it lacks the soul to make it truly great.” This entry in the increasingly unlikely series could be summed up in much the same way.
This is said to be a sequel, of sorts, to 2008’s big budget found-footage, love-it-or-hate-it epic Cloverfield [IMDB]. If so, the connection is, to be generous, tenuous. The films are vastly different in tone, style and pacing and lack any obvious overlap. They are similar thematically, however. Both focus on small, personal stories occurring on the periphery of enormous, world-altering events.