An unexplored spot in Belfast, King Richard on the Nile and above all the threateningly near moon – the cinema tips for February can be summed up in one way or another. Because right at the beginning of the month, Roland Emmerich (66) lets the earth’s moon fall on it with “Moonfall”. A week later, a “death on the Nile” has to be solved before Everybody’s Darling Tom Holland (25) goes on a treasure hunt as video game hero Nathan Drake in “Uncharted”. With the dramas “King Richard” and the highly acclaimed “Belfast” February meanwhile comes to an (auto-)biographical end.
“Moonfall,” February 10
A mysterious force has knocked the moon out of its orbit, putting it on a collision course with Earth. Life as we know it is in danger of being wiped out forever. Just weeks before the looming threat, former astronaut and NASA officer Jo Fowler (Halle Berry, 55) is convinced she knows how to save humanity. But only two comrades-in-arms are on their side: astronaut and ex-colleague Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, 48) and astro expert KC Houseman (John Bradley, 33). The small team embarks on one final mission into space.
Wherever it says Roland Emmerich, it usually contains the full load of Roland Emmerich. This is also the case with his latest prank “Moonfall”. With the obligatory mixture of destruction, action and even more pathos, the German filmmaker once again delivers what his fans love and his critics smile at. It remains questionable how well the disaster film genre will be received by the public in times of the corona pandemic. With Emmerich, one can at least be sure that heroism always triumphs in the end.
“Death on the Nile,” February 10
Belgian detective Hercule Poirot’s (Kenneth Branagh, 61) vacation in Egypt aboard a swanky river steamboat turns into a harrowing search for a murderer when the idyllic honeymoon of a perfect couple comes to an abrupt and tragic end. An emotional chaos unfolds on the steamer that reveals the deadly consequences unleashed by obsessive love.
It’s hard to imagine, but the corona pandemic turned out to be only the second biggest problem in the film “Death on the Nile”. As with so many films, the crisis caused the theatrical release to be postponed several times. Because of one of his leading actors, however, the question arose as to whether “Death on the Nile” could even come to the cinema: We are talking about Armie Hammer (35), against whom a person from his private environment made allegations of abuse. However, it would be highly unfair to reduce the film by and with Kenneth Branagh to this no-fault scandal. However, the question is allowed as to whether the remake of the Agatha Christie material can offer more new things than was the case with “Murder on the Orient Express” from 2017.
“Uncharted,” February 17
Clever thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg, 50) to recover a fortune Ferdinand Magellan lost 500 years ago. What begins as a grand heist operation turns into a fast-paced race across the world for the duo to reach the treasure before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas, 61) who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher all the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand a chance of finding $5 billion worth of loot and maybe even finding Nate’s long-lost brother.
Fans of the popular action-adventure video game series Uncharted are still a little skeptical about the cast of the film adaptation. Because neither the main character Nathan Drake nor the side-kick Sully were cast true to the original with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. The fact that both are significantly younger than the game protagonists doesn’t have to be a disadvantage – after all, if they were successful in cinemas, there would be many more parts of the game series to be filmed. If you don’t know the template, you can also imagine the film as an origin story by Indiana Jones. Only without hat, whip and fear of snakes.
“King Richard,” February 24
Serena Williams (Demi Singleton, 14) and her sister Venus (Saniyya Sidney, 15) become very successful tennis players through the hard training of their father and coach Richard Williams (Will Smith, 53). Richard tries everything to give his daughters a successful sports career, but he has to deal with quite a few prejudices and obstacles along the way. Together with his two daughters he would like to defy these prejudices.
Athlete biographies usually don’t leave much room for maneuver when it comes to narrative. From a nobody, often from a poor background, the protagonists of such films fight their way to the top of the world against all odds. “King Richard” also tells such a story, but more than ever from the point of view of the sponsor of the actual stars. This is unusual, but it managed to delight the critics. At the Golden Globes, Will Smith was awarded “Best Actor” despite well-known competition.
“Belfast,” February 24
Summer 1969 in the Northern Irish capital. Born into a typical working-class family, nine-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill, 11) loves going to the movies, Matchbox cars and his devoted grandparents, as well as having a crush on one of his classmates. But when the socio-political tensions in Belfast escalate and there are outbreaks of violence even in the otherwise harmonious neighborhood, his idyllic childhood comes to an abrupt end. And while his UK-based father (Jamie Dornan, 39) and worried mother (Caitriona Balfe, 42) struggle to secure the family’s future, Buddy has no choice but to slowly grow up.
Kenneth Branagh, the second: The Northern Irishman also directed the film “Belfast”. He has already received an award for his screenplay at the Golden Globes, and the drama also has good chances for the Oscars. Branagh himself called the film “autofictional” with a top cast. Like the main character Buddy, he was born in Belfast and was also nine years old when the film was made. If you already liked the Oscar-winning film “Roma”, you could also make friends with this black and white film.