Saturday 16 June 2012

"Red Lights" (The Guardian 15/06/12)

Red Lights (15) 113 mins ***

Any new movie casting Robert De Niro as a suspected ham has something going for it. Christopher Nolan’s twisty, concept-chewing non-franchise pictures are the obvious inspiration for this supernatural thriller, which dispatches slightly smug psychic investigators Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy on Wire-ish stakeouts; De Niro plays Simon Silver, celebrity spoonbender, Godfather of gee-whizz, and the pair’s ultimate target. Its talkiness – a holdover from director Rodrigo Cortés’ man-in-a-box breakthrough Buried – will likely alienate the Paranormal Activity crowd, and it gets vague away from Weaver’s steely, adult presence: Elizabeth Olsen has rapidly become over-qualified for her tagalong love-interest role, and Submarine’s Craig Roberts floats a shonky American accent as one of Murphy’s protégés. Still, Cortés knows how to engineer both sharp, effective jolts and broader, Insidious-like funhouse business: making unexpected use of Mungo Jerry, it’s the kind of semi-savvy pulp nonsense that’ll do should your first choice be sold out.

Red Lights is in cinemas nationwide.

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