While the works of William Shakespeare are adapted nonchalantly and frequently, few can grip the core of his work and shake it into some formidable or intense creation. Macbeth is not just a constant recurrence, but an obvious choice for adaptation. Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender and now Denzel Washington have taken on the role in the past decade. To pick a favourite is difficult, for The Tragedy of Macbeth is yet another interpretation of historic work. Washington has admitted he only has so much time left to work with the greatest, and this pairing with director Joel Coen is a monumental one, a savage and biting turn for Washington who is usually presented as the hero or troubled lead.
Simplicity is the crucial key for The Green Knight. Aside from the eponymous knight and the man whose honour and respect he tests, no other name matters. Intentional or not, David Lowery has gunned down simplicity before, but mixed it up ostentatious predilection for artsy nonsense. A Ghost Story aside, The Green Knight benefits extraordinarily from the text it is based on. Notes of valour and chivalry, the early days of knighthood provide a pivotal backdrop for Dev Patel as he stretches his acting abilities to the limit. Bringing life to Gawain is no small feat, and the unknowability of the original author gives him a broad range of opportunities to apply his own delicate touches to the role and its meaning.
Abandonment and resentment offer up much in the way of desire and dedication for action stars. Gunpowder Milkshake throws a lack of mother and a ruthless upbringing toward Sam (Karen Gillan) and hopes that, with these components, they have an emotionally fragile, ruthless hothead that an audience can adapt with. It takes two to tango as the old saying goes, and to tango with the characters present in this Navot Papushado-directed piece takes a suspension of what we hope for and love about the action genre. Aspirations of John Wick are not just inevitable but expected. Comparisons to that Keanu Reeves modern action classic are not helpful, but they are convenient, especially for Gunpowder Milkshake, which plays like a watered-down piece of Chad Stahelski project.