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MOVIE: Fighting monsters above and below the water

TWO movies recently released, feature female leads battling disgusting beasts. 

The monsters in question are underwater ghouls and men. 

‘Underwater’ stars Kristen Stewart as an engineer on an drilling station who is one of a few to survive when her rig is hit by an unexplained explosion. 

Being six miles under the sea, the captain, played by Vincent Cassel, decides the crew’s only chance of survival is to walk along the seabed to a nearby undamaged sub-station. 

It’s during this journey that our heroes discover the real reason behind the deadly damage to their marine workplace, a series of undiscovered monstrous beasts that prowl the depths of our oceans. 

If you’re already thinking the setup sounds remarkably like ‘Alien’ or ‘The Abyss’, you’re right. 

There isn’t much new on offer here, but the story may appear original to younger audiences. 

We award it a review score of 2.5 average stars. 

‘Birds of Prey’, starring Margot Robbie as comic book character Harley Quinn, takes place on dry land and unfortunately is firmly rooted there for its almost two hour running time. 

The story, what little there is, never really takes off.  Instead the audience is treated to scene after scene of Harley beating up various types of men, including cops, for no particular reason. Lazy filmmaking that in some way thinks it’s advancing the cause of women.

Perhaps the best film of the week comes from Irish filmmaker Ciaran Cassidy who brings us a fascinating documentary about an infamous American woman with Irish connections, ‘Jihad Jane’. 

Back in 2010, Jane (real name Colleen LaRose), together with a female accomplice, was arrested in Waterford and deported back to the States where she was branded “The new face of terrorism” by the US Government. 

Jane had converted to Islam and was reportedly residing in Ireland while planning an attack on Swedish journalist, Lars Vilks. 

The film tells the fascinating story of Jane and her accomplice in a way that makes us understand their abusive backgrounds, and leaves us feeling more sympathy for them than the target of their attack. A compelling watch. 

Paul O'Rourke 

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