Friday, 14 August 2015

DVD   REVIEW:   COMPLIANCE

Before Compliance starts we are told that none of the events in the film are exaggerated and that they all happened. This makes the next ninety minutes incredibly unbearable for the audience, as what unravels on the screen is a grotesque depiction of our fear of human conflict coupled with crippling fear of authority's power over us. It's no surprise then that when Craig Zobel's film first screened at Sundance Film Festival it had it's fair share of attendees who walked out of the screening claiming it was glamourising violence against women.

The film tells the true story of an incident which took place in 2004 in a McDonald's in Kentucky. Zobel switches the fast food chain from McDonald's to a fictional ChickWich where Sandra (Ann Dowd), the manager of the fast food chain, receives a call from a man who says he is Officer Daniels and claims that one of her employees, Becky (Dreama Walker), has stolen money from a customer. When questioned Becky claims to be innocent but Daniels persists making Sandra query her employee pushing her to do unimaginable things.

Zobel's masterstroke is creating a sense of claustrophobia by keeping the film restrained by the constraints of the restaurant's office. The small setting creates some intense, uncomfortable viewing that slowly leads up to a truly unbearable finale that will leave you questioning your actions in the same position. Yet, once the film is free of these constraints it doesn't quite know how to bring the film to a close and the pacing that Zobel expertly crafted beforehand quickly falls by the way side. The investigation into Officer Daniels takes all of five minutes and the director spends little time concentrating the story on Becky once she is free. It's disappointing then that a film that works so hard in the first two acts trips and stumbles in it's third. Zobel loses his concentration as the film works towards it's finale. The director shifts his focus from the victim to her perpetrator causing the third act to jar with the previous two. As disappointing as it may be Zobel has still created an important film that wrestles with questions of authority and power yet never reaching to be the film it should be.

3/5

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

FILM   REVIEW:  INSIDE  OUT
Pixar use to rule the animation roost. They broke onto the scene back in 1995 with the critically acclaimed and universally adored Toy Story and then continued to knock it out of the park with the likes of Bugs Life, The Incredibles and Up. But recently they have been consistently dropping the ball with pointless sequels, Cars 2, lackluster prequels, Monsters University and sub par outings, Brave. It hasn't help that Dreamworks have had great success with the brilliant How To Train Your Dragon films and universal have had massive success with their Despicable me franchise. The new kids on the block, Laika, have been showing everyone how it's done too with . Yet many hoped that Pixar's latest offering, Inside Out, was proof that Pixar still have something up their sleeves and in a way they're right.

The film mostly takes place in the mind of 11 year old Riley and the five emotions, Joy (Amy Phoeler), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black). These five have the job of controlling Riley's emotions and feelings, storing her memories and maintaining her personality. And for eleven years they have been doing a great job, having enjoyed a blissful life in Minnesota but when Riley's dad decides to up and move to San Francisco for work her life quickly begins to fall apart as she stops loving hockey, cries in the classroom and discovers broccoli on pizza. It is left up to Joy to save the day. 

There is no doubt that this is one of Pixar's most imaginative and creative films in a long time, not surprising coming from Pete Docter, the director behind Up, but sadly that isn't always a recipe for greatness. The film has two stories running parallel, one taking place outside of Riley's mind and the other taking place within and this forces the film to balance the two, something it never quite achieves. On the outside the story is relateable and emotional but it is on the inside where the story fails. Due to Riley's emotional instability Sadness starts to have a breakdown causing her to contaminate core memories, important memories that are crucial to Riley's mental state, resulting in Sadness and Joy being sucked out of HQ and stuck in long term memory. The writers have a lot of fun with different cerebral concepts such as the subconscious, dreams, train of thought and imaginary friends but the story slowly becomes repetitively irritating as every time Joy and Sadness make to get back to HQ fails again and again. 

Pixar revert back to default mode with their odd pairing trope, think Marlin and Dory or Buzz and Woody or Mike and Scully, which quickly begins to feel stale and overdone. The writers spend so much time concentrating on Joy and Sadness, the other emotions get very little to play with. While Anger and Fear make an hilarious double act with some of the films' funniest lines, Disguist feels underutilised and poorly written. As for everyone in the real world Riley is the only person we spend time with, 

Inside Out continues the studio's traditional of blending adult humour and childish wonderment, the creation of imaginary friend Bing Bong is a joy, allowing children to be entertained with bright colours and cool concepts while adults will be able to laugh at just how well they have portrayed real life in animation. However, the film is in no way a masterpiece. The happily ever after ending doesn't sit well with the complex subject matter the film spends it's whole running time wrestling with and for a film that's premise is so different to your typical animated affair, it's message is as generic as ever. Inside Out creatively overpowers the studio's recent releases but that isn't a difficult task and while many have cited it as one of Pixar's best it reaches for the greatness of Wall-E and Up but sadly, it falls short.

3.5/5

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

FILM  REVIEW:  FANTASTIC  FOUR

What is there to say about Josh Trank's Fantastic Four that hasn't already been said? Not much really. Everyone has said their piece on why they think this take on Marvel's superhero family is one of the worst superhero films ever made, even worse than Batman & Robin, and to some extent it is very easy to see why.

Trank's version of Marvel's first super team sees a young Reed Richards (Miles Teller) headhunted at a school science fair by Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) to join his science programme to crack inter-dimensional travel. Richards gets to work with Franklin's son and daughter, Susan (Kate Mara) and Johnny (Michael B. Jordan), as well as top scientist Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbel). Once the young scientists create the "Quantum gate" they are soon told by the men in suits that they won't get the chance to travel to the other dimensional. In an attempt not to end up like the unforgettable scientists behind the Apollo 11, they travel to the other dimension only to return with new psychical abilities. 

In the first hour it is easy to see what Chronicle director, Josh Trank, was attempting to do with this new incarnation. Instead of the cartoonish, comic book style Tim Story opted for in his 2005 and 2008 films, Trank tries to instill a sense of realism into the story. He tries to examine the question of how people would really react if they woke up with these powers, or physical defects as Susan describes them and that could have been an interesting conceit on which to build a superhero film but it becomes a bit of stretch (pun intended) when Trank applies this to one of Marvel's brightest group of characters.

The first act plays out as an interesting science fiction-cum-horror which is closer to Cronenberg than comic book. It has nice little character touches, the relationship between Reed and Susan has a nice dynamic to it and Doom's disdain towards authority feels believably realistic. We also see an interesting examination in the power shifts of the modern age with parallels drawn with Apple. Reed creates a beta version of his inter-dimensional teleporter in his garage, brings his mind and ideas to a corporation and is quickly used and abused. The director sets solid groundwork on which to progress the film and than the film quickly digresses into something completing different, something far less intelligent and thought provoking.

The story becomes split into two, rather savagely mutilated with an awkward one year later edit,everything after this severely juxtaposes the first act. Gone are the subtle touches, the relationships between characters quickly stales (Grimm never says anything to Susan) and we never see the characters attempt to come to terms with their new powers. Instead they integrate an intrusive story line centering on the military weaponising their powers which never fits in comfortably with what Trank sets up in the first act. It is an interesting idea that feels like it could have been saved for a sequel but ends up reeking of rewrite. And then you have the finale. There is no stronger proof that this film was tampered with by Fox than it's last ten minutes with it's weak action set pieces, sudden heroism and the it's horrifically constructed villain. Victor von Doom's transformation into Doom is dealt with so poorly it's difficult to see how he managed to make the final cut. His powers are never explained (he seems to be able to do literally anything, from moving rocks to blowing up brains Scanner style), his motives for destroying Earth never make any sense and his design and appearance is laughable.  

As an audience we have become to expect a certain style of superhero films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are partly to blame for this. Disney's MCU instill their films with a comical sense of whimsy, bright colours and big action set pieces but with different companies owning different superheros this offers the chance of diversity. Disney have found what works for them but that doesn't mean Fox have to copy the recipe, just look at their X-Men films to see, and Fantastic Four could have paved a way for more interesting, idea driven superhero films. Yet as it stands and disappointingly so, Fantastic Four is creatively too far from the film it should be. Leaving us a final film that hints at what could have been but is ultimately a disappointment.

  1.5/5

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

DVD  REVIEW:  21  AND  OVER

The American college film is a sub-genre riddled with endless clich├ęs and the writers of The Hangover trilogy, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, seem too have a list and are only to eager to tick them all off. Annoying, party animal "mate"? Tick. Too much alcohol? Tick. Ridiculous antics that in no way resemble real life? Big tick. The Hangover films may have been crass, rude and outlandish at times yet they had their moments but 21 and Over makes the trilogy look like the complete works of Chaucer. 

The film follows three school "friends" Miller (Miles Teller), Casey (Skylar Astin) and Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), who for some reason is constantly referred to by his full name no doubt an attempt by the writers to constantly remind us that he is Asian. When Jeff Chang finally turns 21, his old school friends decide to head down to his college and take him on a night he won't ever forget. Yet Jeff Chang's father has other ideas, having organised an interview for medical school first thing in the morning. Cue excessive amounts of drinking, sorority house spanking and circumcising someone with a teddy bear. That last point should tell you enough about the film's comedic sophistication.    

Nothing in this film feels in anyway relatable whether you attended university or not. And while these films tend to take place in a hyper-reality where the idea of a wild night fuelled by too much alcohol, poor judgement and ending in public full frontal nudity (barring a sock covering your manhood) is meant to be idolised for "banter" the idea of having to spend another minute in the company of any of these characters is unbearable. It feels like the wet dream of that gilet wearing, rugby player who use to bunch you in the arm for pointing during freshers. It's annoying, loud and always in your face. 

The fact a group of people read over the script and opted to finance this film with real money and waste people's time is a worry for anyone who likes cinema. How anyone didn't pick up on the racial stereotypes is frankly ridiculous. If you manage to make it to the end of this film without burning the DVD or smashing your television set to pieces and vowing to never watch TV again just in case you ever accidentally come across the film again, you are to be applauded. Even Stifler would want to shut this party down.

0.5/5

Thursday, 23 July 2015

FILM  REVIEW:  MINIONS
Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Chairman Mao and Kim Jong-un, what do all these people have in common? The minions would probably follow them. The minions' existence is solely based on following the most evil leader they find, as the opening, which is the film's best part, shows us as they follow a T-Rex, Dracula and Napoleon but thanks to their clumsiness they can never seem to keep a master for very long. So with no one to follow the minions slowly become depressed and aimless as they hide from the world in their snow cave. But Stuart, along with Kevin and Bob, make the brave decision to leave their cave and find a new master.

There is no getting passed the fact his is a film solely created to entertain children, sure adults can enjoy the childish gibbersish and forget that the film doesn't have a plot but instead is joined together by one catastrophe after another. When the creators of Despicable Me released the first film back in 2010 they never could have guessed how popular their little yellow creations would have come and most of us are still wondering how exactly it happened. The minions in the first film were fun because the small amount of time they had on screen causing mayhem was childishly funny, it was short and sweet. Then the marketing people at Sony realised what they had on their hands, and how much money they could make, so the sequel featured more. Yet Minions' most avoidable flaw is that short is sweet and short this film ain't. While ninety minutes is average for an animation, it is too long for a short, which this film should have been. The first ten minutes are a lot of fun thanks to the use of Geoffrey Rush's voice over and than once we are left in the sole company of the minions and horribly written one dimensional Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) it becomes obvious that no amount of childish gibberish hides the fact these guys can't handle their own film.

With all this in mind it does make it difficult to review the film on the same basis you normally would. This film was never really meant to be enjoyed by adults, it doesn't have the smarts or sophistication of a Pixar film nor the adult undertones that please all age groups. The cynical adult in all of us understand that the film is a marketing ploy in order to rinse as much money as they can out of the little yellow beings, its more like a ninety minute toy commercial than a film, but children seem to lap up the minions' shenanigans. So, who are we as cynical, jaded adults to tell kids what they can and can't enjoy?

2/5

Monday, 6 July 2015

DVD  REVIEW:  THE  KINGS  OF  SUMMER
Throw a stone in Sundance and you are bound to hit a quirky coming of age film. Not just Sundance, cinema has enjoyed a love affair for the sub genre for decades with the likes of The Breakfast Club, Mean Girls and Stand by Me. And it's not surprising, the transition from child to adult is riddled with questions, events, moments and milestones that are intimately personal but universally recognisable and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has managed to bottle all them emotions and feelings into one perfect slice of summer.

The film centres around three boys, Nick Robinson's Joe, Gabriel Basso's Patrick and Moises Arias' bizarre Biagio, who feel misunderstood by their parents and decide to go full Henry David Thoreau and move into the woods, building their own, surprisingly stylish, house. At first the boys have the time of their lives slicing up watermelons in slow motion and drinking beer but when Erin Moriarty's Kelly drops by to hang out the fun soon stops and the troubles of adult life rear their unwelcome heads. 

What director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has created here is a film everyone can relate to. Even if you didn't live anywhere near a woods, especially one as beautiful as this one, everyone at some point in their childhood cooked up a plan to run away from home and make it on their own. While it is difficult to ever imagine any teenager being able to build a house quite like this one, it looks like the inside of an Urban Outfitters with the added extra of a port-a-loo front door, but you simply don't care about the impossibility because the film is so rich with charm and a sense of fun that to nit pick it seems beside the point. It's not there to examined and taken apart, its there to reflect the childish sense of adventure and imagination that we all once had before we got bogged down in university fees and office jobs. 

The three leads are a joy to be around. Robinson's Joe is a hedonistic leader of the group whose strenuous relationship with his father, played by Nick Offerman, and lose of his mother are the catalyst for moving into the wilderness. Basso's Patrick is the rather think things over before jumping head first into things kind of kid and while he gets less to work with than Robinson, his relationship with his best friend is perfectly depicted in a way we can all relate to. Than there is Biagio, a strange looking kid who somehow finds his way into the group after a keg party gone wrong. We have all seen the weird friend character in pretty much every quirky film from here to Napoleon Dynamite but none have been as strangely hilarious as Arias' character. While Joe and Patrick get a funny line here and there, its Biagio who is the film's comedic heart, especially when he breaks out into dance.

For all the film's charm and charisma there is one fault and that the character of Kelly. The girl is a common component of a coming of age story, after all the discovery of the other sex is a major moment in the transitional period, its the problems that the character brings with her in the last third of the film that feel a little too forced and simply there to bring in the third act resolution.

Despite this flaw it does very little to diminish the final product which is a joyous and fun ninety minutes that while feeling very familiar, is so enjoyable its a challenge not to smile all the way through. Vogt-Roberts has managed to capture and project a childhood desire we all fictionalised in our heads growing up while simultaneously wrestling with the notion of what it means to grow up. The film effortlessly balances maturity and childishness, a perfect reflection of teenage years. We all may have let go of that youthful part of us but The Kings of Summer allows us to relish in it once more.

4.8/5

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

WHO  SHOULD  BE  THE  NEXT  BOND? 

I have to confess, I am not a big fan of the Bond franchise. I have seen all twenty three of the franchises' films but never fell in love with the character or his gadgets like many other boys did, give me Snake Plissken over James Bond. But I did lap up Martin Campbell's Casino Royale which seemed to be taking the traditional character of Bond in a different direction and than Quantium of Solace happened and no one was quite sure how any managed to write, direct, produce and edit that film without realising how god damn awful it was. All was redeemed however with Sam Mendes' Skyfall which went onto become Bond's biggest ever earner. For me Skyfall was a step in the right direction but I didn't love it as much as the rest of the world. So while I admit I am not a massive Bond fan I am intrigued and interested to see where the franchise will go when Craig inevitably steps down.  So when recent news broke about the likes of Damian Lewis and Idris Elba being bookies favourites to take over the role, along with endless online speculation, I was intrigued and interested once more so I thought I would write up who I thought should and shouldn't be up for the role.   

SHOULD:

LUKE  EVANS

Luke Evans is one of those actors on the cusp of becoming massive, all he needs is that one big film role and soon enough everyone will know who he is. While Evans has been in big blockbusters like Fast and Furious Six, the first two The Hobbit films and last year's Dracula Untold, as well as being set to play Gaston in the live action remake of The Beauty and the Beast these aren't roles that will make him a household name. He feels, to me anyway, an actor who could be cast in any role Marvel or DC have coming up in the future, so the part of Bond seems like a no brainer. Evans has pretty much everything needed to play Bond, he has the look, charm and the acting talent. Need I say more?    

JACK  O' CONNELL

A few years ago if you told people you reckon Jack O'Connell could be up for the role of Bond they probably would have said "what that mouthy kid from Skins?". But fast forward to 2015 and the Derby born actor has put in some phenomenal performances in Starred Up, '71 and Unbroken, the less said about 300: Rise of an Empire the better. He has proven himself as an actor who can perform on the big stage, so why not give him a chance as Bond? His age wouldn't be an issue, while he is currently twenty four when Craig passes on in 2022, O'Connell will be thirty one which would be around the right age to start a career as an MI6 agent. You could have the first O'Connell Bond finishing his career as a Royal Navy Commander into his first job as a 00' agent.

Some may have an issue with the actor's strong northern twang but he has already proven he can do an American accent in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. You could even keep O'Connell's accent and rather than having Bond as a posh school boy, reboot him as a smart but rebellious kid who made it into Private school based on brains. While it would be a departure from the original text but it would set the new film apart from past films. O'Connell has already been on Hollywood's radar when he recently narrowly missed out on the role of Reeds Richards in Josh Trank's The Fantastic Four being pitted to the post by Miles Teller. O'Connell is one of Britain's brightest young talents, the people clearly love him as he won BAFTA's Rising Star award which is voted by the public, so with Britain behind him and the likes of Angelina Jolie impressed by the young actor, the franchise could have its first Northern Bond.  

DAN  STEVENS

Two words, The Guest. Before last year everyone knew Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley from the world's favourite period drama, Downtown Abbey but thanks to Adam Wingard's excellent slice of action/horror Stevens' career got a serious jab of adrenaline. The Guest starred Stevens as David an ex-Army solider who wins over the family of a deceased friend but it soon becomes clear something is quite right about David. Cue one of last year's best films and a bar fight scene to revel at. It may be a little apprehensive of me to assume Stevens can take on the role of Bond due to one role, which has been his only action role so far, but he was completely convincing as the super solider gone wrong. His role in Downtown Abbey would do him favours with the American crowd who assume all British people sit around sipping tea in stately home gardens. Sub-sequentially he read the Casino Royale audio book back in 2007, so even if he doesn't get the chance to be Bond the big screen at lease his got that, I suppose.    

TOM  HUGHES
First things first, I admit this is a pretty long shot and I wouldn't want to put my money on it but there are a lot of reasons why RADA alumni, Tom Hughes, should be the next Bond. When you look at early depictions of the character by Fleming in The Daily Express, he draws Bond as almost a Basil Rathbone-esque Sherlock holmes, with swept back hair and cheekbones to make Cillian Murphy blush. The author of the original text also likened Bond's appearance to singer and actor, Hoagy Carmichael, who has very similar appearance. While they have deviated from the original appearance of Bond with Daniel Craig, opting for blonde hair rather than the traditional brown, Tom Hughes fits the psychical appearance specifications. The young actor posses the strong cheekbones and despite only being twenty nine, does look older than his years. Fleming also described his literary creation as having "something cold and ruthless" him, a trait that is easily evident in Hughes just by looking at him. 

Hughes is set for success thanks to great turns in the likes of BBC dramas Silk and The Game, so we've already seen what he can do as a spy. As well as roles in the severely underrated Cemetery Junction and BBC thriller Page Eight, where he starred alongside the M, Ralph Fiennes. While he may not be the house hold name you might expect to get cast as Bond, neither was Craig back in 2005 when he was confirmed as the new 00' agent. It'd be interesting to see the producers cast a relative unknown in the role, who unlike the likes of Michael Fassbender or Idris Elba wouldn't have the burden of baggage from past roles. 
   
NICHOLAS  HOULT

Before his turn in teenage drama Skins, Nicholas Hoult was famous for his adorable role in About a Boy as the goofy hat wearing, badly rapping Marcus but the British actor has done a lot of growing up since with roles in the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and the rebooted X-Men franchise. During his recent press tour for Mad Max, Hoult stated his interest in playing Bond, saying:"I think I'm too young! He's (Daniel's) got his film and then one more to go, hasn't he? I'll only be 30, and I think I'd need another few years behind me to play Bond. Maybe a little further down the road, who knows? I mean, I grew up loving James Bond." While Hoult admits to possibly being too young for the role post-Craig, if the producers wanted to go for a young Bond Hoult would be a great actor to pick. While he hasn't done as much as action as some of the other actors on this list, hopefully we will see his Beast get more to do in X-Men: Apocalypse, he has definitely showed he has the acting chops to take on the role of Bond.  

HARRY  TREADAWAY

Harry Treadaway is another relatively unknown, unless you are a fan of Penny Dreadful or managed to catch last year's excellent Honeymoon, but like I have mentioned before Craig was not the household name he has become, so ruling out actors because they are not known may be unwise. Harry Treadaway, not to get confused with his twin brother The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time star Luke, already has links with Bond starring in Penny Dreadful with former Bond Timothy Dalton and former Bond girl, Eva Green. Hanging around an ex-Bond can only be doing the young actor favours. As well, the Exeter born actor has shown what he can offer in the role of Dr. Frankenstein in Sky's television series Penny Dreadful and no doubt the film roles will start rolling in for him soon. If the writers do opt to go for the more traditional middle/upper class background they have done before Treadaway could easily pull that off. 

However, unlike the rest of the actors on this list he has yet to really break out into the mainstream. While he has had roles in the big blockbusters, The Long Ranger and City of Embers, as well as indies such as the Joy Division biopic Control and Fish Tank but he lacks the experience that may be needed taking on such a prestigious and popular franchise. But as I have said before if they plan on shooting the first new Bond in 2022, that would give the actor seven years to take on bigger, more stunt based, roles, if the producers saw something in him.
       
MICHAEL  FASSBENDER

The Fass is the most obvious choice I have made on this list and for good reason. Michael Fassbender is one of, if not the, greatest actor of his generation. Having started his career in small roles in the likes of Zack Snyder's 300, Band of Brothers and Jonah Hex. It wasn't until he starred in the likes of Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglorious Basterds that the Irish actor broke into the mainstream, quickly becoming a fan and critic favourite. It is difficult to argue that Fassbender should take on the role of Bond once you see him as Magneto in both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The role requires the actor to be suave, sophisticated and cruel with a fair few action set pieces thrown in. If you need any more convincing just watch First Class Argentina sequence and you will see what I mean. 

Fassbender is an actor who directors want to keep working with, he has a great working relationship with Steve McQueen, who he worked with on Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave and Justin Kurzel, director of the upcoming Shakespeare adaptation Macbeth, may be signing up to helm the long awaited Assassin's Creed film. Need I say more? 

SAORISE  RONAN
When news broke that they were recasting the Ghostbusters team as all women, there was an out pour of disappointment from a vast majority of people who thought only men could take on the job of saving the world from ghosts. So, if a woman was ever cast as Bond than I am pretty sure Twitter would go into meltdown. But why should the role of Bond be played by just men? Okay, so the original literature is based around a male but adaptation allows for alternation. If the producers were ever going to cast a woman in the role, I am not calling her Jane Bond surely they can be more creative than that, than surely they only have on choice, Saorise Ronan. The twenty one year old Irish actress has starred in more films in her short career than most actors have had. She started acting in feature films in 2007 and since has gone on to working with directors such as Joe Wright (twice), Wes Anderson and Peter Weir, not to mention getting an Oscar nomination at the age of fourteen making her one of the youngest nominees ever. While the actress is only twenty one, making her the youngest on this list, when 2022 comes around Ronan will be twenty eight and will no doubt have an immense range of films added to her catalogue. 

Despite having starred in some really duds like City of Ember and The Host, Ronan as always been the best thing about them and to my mind had never put a foot wrong in a single film, what actor could you say the same about? Her roles in the likes of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Byzantium and How I live Now are solid performances that cement her as the best young actress. She has proven her self again and again but it's her role in Joe Wright's Hanna that made me choose Ronan as potentially becoming the first ever female Bond. To prepare for the role of Hanna, a teenage assassin trained by her father to take down the CIA secret agents sent to eliminate her, Ronan undertook two months of rigorous training that included knife throwing, stick fighting, martial arts and how to shoot a gun. If you have seen the action scenes in Wright's film then you know the training paid off immensely with Ronan proving that it's not only the guys who get to kick ass. Despite having both the acting and action talent to take on the role, it will take a lot of convincing for people to come round to the idea of there being a female Bond and the producers may fear that such a change may alienate fans and after making one of the highest grossing films ever, they will no doubt want to attract as many fans as possible.    

SHOULDN'T

HENRY  CAVILL

Henry Cavill is the luckiest unlucky person in Hollywood. Before he landed the iconic role of Superman in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel he had gone up for the role of Cedric Digory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he was included on a list of who could play Batman in Batman Begins, pitted to the post once more by Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight having been deemed too old and was in the running to play Bond but producers opted to go for Craig, again deeming Cavill too young. But that was way back in the day now, Cavill is thirty two, a lot younger than Craig was when he was cast, so should Cavill be cast as Bond? In my opinion, no. For the simple reason the man cannot act. If producers want to compete with the likes of Jason Bourne, who lets be honest is the reason the Bond films have shifted tonely, than they will require an actor who has the talent and Cavill simply isn't up to the job, just watch him in Man of Steel  The Cold Light of Day. Cavill is so wooden, he has to be weary of friction in case he sets alight. Its indisputable that the Jersey born actor has the looks to play the part and has that preppy boy look about him, the indisputable fact is he is a bad actor.  

TOM  HARDY
Hardy is one of the best actors around at the moment, if it wasn't for Fassbender I would probably say the best, and many have been championing the actor to take on Bond ever since he took on the role of Eames in Christopher Nolan's Inception which saw him take down a whole squad of Cillian Murphy's mind police on a snowy mountain side with ease. Since his break into the mainstream, back in 2010, Hardy has gone to consistently impress in the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road, Locke, The Drop and Warrior. He has has some duds though, This Means War is an abysmal film Hardy no doubt did just for the money and John Hilcoat's Lawless is a disappointing misfire. Yet these two aside, Hardy has been at the top of his game, making chameleonic roles look easy but for me he is not Bond.  

Before you sign a petition for me to get off the internet, hear me out. Hardy is an actor who has become famous for his Brando-esque style performances. He is excellent at playing quiet, brooding characters which doesn't feel like Bond. While Craig's Bond is a more subtle take on the agent, to go for the same again would feel like inability to adapt and may make the producers look like they are trying to hard to hang onto the formula that made Skyfall a billion pound film. Also throughout years of being specualted to take over the role, Hardy seems to have shown very little enthusiasm for doing so which makes you think does he even want it? Hardy's interest seem to be in the more acting heavy roles that allow him to take on challenges and really get to grips with the character he is portraying, which doesn't really stand out as what Bond is.      

ROBERT  PATTINSON

The Cosmopilis star is not an actor I would pick to take on the role of Bond but he appears on this list because he has cropped up on some other top five actors who could play Bond lists I have seen online. Many people dismiss Pattinson as an actor within seconds simply because of his turn as veggie vampire, Edward Cullen, in Twilight which seems to have tainted people's opinion of the actor. But if you look at the actors' post-Twilight you would see an actor who picks his films with precision and a clear determination to work with some of cinema's best talent. He has starred in two David Cronenberg films, the aforementioned Cosmopolis and last year's Map to the Stars, starred alongside Guy Pearce in the excellent The Rover, is set to star in Werner Herzog's latest Queen of the Desert and takes on the role of Dennis Stock, photographer and friend of Dane DeHann's James Dean. Not the roles who would of expected from a man who made his career in a teenage fan favourite. 

I honestly think there is a Oscar winning performance in the actor but taking on the role of Bond is something I just cannot see. Pattinson has proved he has the acting talent to turn his hand to different roles, he lacks the action experience to take on a role such as Bond. As well, judging by his recent film choices, it doesn't feel like it's a role he would want to take on. He has already been attached to a massive franchise and now he is taking offers to work with prestigious directors and taking on more independent, art house films.  


IDRIS  ELBA
First things first, I do not have an issue with the producers someone casting a black actor has Bond, I very nearly put Chiwetel Ejiofor on my should list but he missed out for the same reasons I have put Elba in my shouldn't list. While he is at the top of many people's lists for who should be Bond after Craig, the simple fact is he is too old. Currently Elba is forty two, which is the same age Sean Connery stepped down as Bond, so by 2022 the actor would be fifty one which is far too old to start off as Bond. 

Some people will no doubt argue that they could have Elba playing an older Bond, a secret agent who has spent a good few years as as a spy but we have seen that Danny Glover/Lethal Weapon too old for that shit before with Bond. It is the whole story arc of Craig's Bond. Throughout Skyfall many references, including a not very subtle metaphor using a Turner painting, were made to the agent's age and while it works for Craig's Bond to see it again would be boring. Craig is set to finish his time as Bond at around fifty four, having begun his time as Bond at the age of thirty eight. So if the same time scale applies to Elba he wouldn't be completing his stint as 007 till he was sixty one. And yes, Elba may not look forty but I highly doubt he will be a convincing agent when he is nearly of retirement age. I would love to see the Luther star take on the role as much as anyone else would but it's difficult to get past the actor's age.    

DAMIAN  LEWIS

Damian Lewis has recently thrown his hat into the Bond ring as news surfaced the a few weeks ago that the Homeland star would take over the role after Craig, due to a flurry of bets causing betting companies to slash odds. In the past Lewis lent his voice to Fleming's Diamonds are Forever and has joked that the character's Scottish heritage, featured in Skyfall, has paved the way for a red headed Bond. Jokes aside, Lewis has enough credentials to be Bond, having starred in the likes of Band of Brothers and Homeland but his film catalogue is less impressive. The actor has starred in a surprisingly small amount of films, only sixteen between 1997 to 2015 which include the likes of Stormbreaker, Your Highness and The Sweeney, not exactly what you would expect from a future Bond, especially when compared to the back catalogue of this list. It's not only his back catalogue that brings into question his casting as Bond but like Elba, his age would be a major factor. Lewis is currently forty four which makes him two years older than Elba and I have already explained why Elba's age would be a hindrance. Despite people running to the bookies to put bets on Lewis taking on Bond, I just can't see this casting choice being anything but rumour.