Film Reviews: Amnesia ripples across the pop universe...

YESTERDAY (12A)

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 1:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 11:24 am
Yesterday. Picture PA.

Since Four Weddings And A Funeral in 1994, scriptwriter Richard Curtis has been a taste of honey with beautifully judged romantic comedies of amour fou across the class divide.

Yesterday directed by Danny Boyle should continue that winning streak, casting Himesh Patel and Lily James as best friends, whose paths diverge after a nasty bout of pop culture amnesia ripples across the universe, erasing all memory of The Beatles. I don't want to spoil the party but this is probably my least favourite Curtis script. There are a couple of gorgeous, heart-tugging scenes that did genuinely please, please me including a farewell at a train station that culminates in James' schoolteacher lamenting, "I've wasted half of my life waiting for you to love me". However, something is missing that should make me want to feverishly twist and shout from the rooftops about director Boyle's magical mystery tour.

BRIGHTBURN (15)

Director David Yarovesky's picture puts a sinister, gore-soaked twist on the Superman origin story, engineering a series of grisly deaths as an adopted alien child (Jackson A Dunn) learns how "special" he is and deciphers a transmission from his fallen spacecraft: "Take the world."

A misery-saturated script penned by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, brothers of Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn, mines a rich vein of dark, subversive humour but their narrative drilling is hit-and-miss. Brightburn boasts plenty of splatter including one dislocated jaw and a wince-inducing close-up of a shard of glass in a blinking eye. The tone is uneven - a tug-of-war between parody and slasher pulls hardest in favour of the latter - and characterisation is painfully thin, leaving Dunn to stare eerily into the camera to prickle our fear.

When all else fails, Yarovesky resorts to conventional and not-so-super jump scares.