Directed by: Martin Healy, Roisin Guyett-Nicholson, and Michael Bay
Starring: Owen Steinberger, Seán Hayes, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara
Release Date: April 20th, 2017
Runtime: 69 minutes
SOME franchises just don’t know when to die. Some will continue on ad nauseum until every last cent has been squeezed out of its intended audience. Transformers is a case study in such a practice: Michael Bay has been persistently making the series despite its declining quality for well over a decade, and that’s why many raised an eyebrow when he was brought in as the third chair for the latest instalment in the Cop to the Future and Back series. Thankfully, the magic of past films has not gone away.
Joining Bay in the director’s seat are Martin Healy and Roisin Guyett-Nicholson, whose combined eye for detail results in cinematic bliss. This is showcased in the opening scene when protagonist Harvey Price (played this time around by the perpetually American Owen Steinberger) begins his morning routine: we are treated to a full forty minutes of Price’s preparations – we watch as he gets up, combs his teeth, flosses his beard, plucks his nose hairs and picks fluff from his toes.
Lesser critics have dismissed this as “unnecessary” and “boring,” but what they fail to realise is that this is true to life. It brings the handsome ex-cop down to earth and is reminiscent of what Casino Royale did for Bond. He is more real than ever, and he has gum disease.
After this, we are introduced to antagonist Pierre (played by the absurdly tall Seán Hayes), Price’s estranged son from the 1970s who was cloned from an ingrown toenail. He travels to the year 2025 seeking revenge on our no-nonsense cop friend. His plan is simple: raid all the charity shops in Dublin until there are no more grandad clothes left.
The cinematography by Louise Flanagan has to be applauded. After the dismal quality of last year’s Cop to the Future and Back: From Briss to Bedlam, she was faced with an impossible task: to make a franchise infamous for its dismal lighting and set design into pure gold, and she succeeds shot after shot. Even though the actors stumble over their words and appear to slip on impossibly-placed and seemingly never-ending banana peels, they are saved by the ethereal quality of her work.
In conclusion, Cop to the Future and Back: Nightmare On George’s Street is cinema at its purest. A real tour de force for the genre, you’ll leave the theatre asking: “why didn’t we go see Get Out instead?”
In a Nutshell: It’s definitely a film.