Film Reviews: Dilemma of Maradona's divided loyalty

DIEGO MARADONA (12A)

Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 9:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 9:50 am
Diego Maradona.

London-born film-maker Asif Kapadia collected a Bafta and an Academy Award for his deeply moving account of the rise and fall of Amy Winehouse, which candidly addressed the singer's battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

In his impeccably constructed new documentary, Kapadia focuses on a deeply divisive figure, who emerged from the rubble of his spectacular self-destruction and has continued to make headlines off the football pitch.

Diego Maradona begins with the footballer's record-breaking 1984 transfer from Barcelona to SSC Napoli and spares few blushes as it chronicles the souring relationship between Maradona and fans until he gains a reputation as the most hated person in Italy.

The intriguing dilemma of Maradona's divided loyalty, exemplified by his captaincy of Argentina against Italy at the 1990 World Cup, isn't fully addressed on screen and remains a tantalising loose thread. On this one occasion, Kapadia's film fails to emulate its charismatic subject and score in front of open goal.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX (12A)

Don't be afraid of the Dark Phoenix. The 12th film in the sprawling X-Men series is a disjointed gallop through genre tropes and predictable narrative twists.

There are plenty of tears on screen but not a single droplet from us as super-powered characters make bold sacrifices for people they love and writer-director Simon Kinberg unleashes a blitzkrieg of spectacular but soulless action sequences to test on-screen alliances to breaking point. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is squandered in a pivotal but thankless supporting role as an otherworldly puppet master, who intends to eradicate mankind from the third rock from the Sun.

Digital effects run riot in a bloated second act that delivers carnage on a grand scale with almost no emotional payoff.