Reviews: Bohemian Rhapsody and Hunter Killer

Bohemian Rhapsody and Hunter Killer are in cinemas now. Photos: Supplied.
Bohemian Rhapsody and Hunter Killer are in cinemas now. Photos: Supplied.

Bohemian Rhapsody launches into Queen’s story with gusto. 

In 1970, freewheeling university student Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek, Mr Robot) becomes enamoured with rock band Smile. 

After becoming their lead singer, and changing his name to Freddie Mercury, he and the band – Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) – begin their meteoric rise to prominence as Queen. 

Along the way, we meet Mercury’s family, his first girlfriend/best friend Mary (Lucy Boynton), record producers, managers, and lovers. 

Bohemian Rhapsody becomes a cookie-cutter music biopic over the course of 134 minutes. 

Adding in cheesy moments, inaccuracies, and cliches, director Bryan Singer relies too heavily on formula. 

On top of its rise-and-fall storyline, the movie is overstuffed with songs, concerts, twists, and turns. 

On the plus side, the movie wraps up with a sterling re-creation of Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance. 

It also depicts Mercury’s sexuality and eventual diagnosis with sincerity. 

Malek effortlessly embodies the frontman’s on-stage and off-stage personas. 

Overall, Bohemian Rhapsody has its share of nice riffs and false notes. 

Hunter Killer

In acton-thriller Hunter Killer, tensions between the United States and Russia reach boiling point after two submarines are sunk to the bottom of the Barents Sea. 

Only one man can save the day and prevent global catastrophe – Joe Glass (Gerard Butler).

Returning to naval duty, he leads the USS Arkansas into Russian waters. 

Meanwhile, a Navy SEAL team is tasked with saving the Russian President from his deceitful Minister for Defence.

Helmed by Donovan Marsh, Hunter Killer is your average run-of-the-mill action-thriller. 

It wears its influences on its sleeve, whilst failing to have an original bone in its body. 

Whole sequences are lifted from better action movies including The Hunt for Red October and Lone Survivor.

Carried by good looks and charisma, Butler portrays yet another hyper-competent American badass.

Oscar winner Gary Oldman is stranded in a lifeless role, given little to do other than spout exposition and yell. 

Common, Linda Cardellini, and the late Michael Nyqvist are fine in thankless roles.

Fans of the Tom Clancy books or Call of Duty video games might have some fun with this mindless action flick. 

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