Critical round-up

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LETHAL WEAPON 3

'Not a very interesting film. There isn't a single memorable shot in it that doesn't involve major carnage and you get the feeling that its two stars are now coasting, trapped inside increasingly predictable characterisations.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'A variety show masquerading as a movie. Let us define our terms. A movie is something that moves, both in its individual images and its governing plot momentum. A variety show is a menu of entertainment items composed of colourful but unrelated turns.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Cruder, louder, gorier than its predecessors, this production by Hollywood's arch-vulgarian, Joel Silver, is also much more comic.' Alexander Walker, Standard

'There's enough ideas and jokes per minute to fuel several lesser movies. The best of the summer blockbusters so far.' Nick James, City Limits

THE NEWS BOYS

'This musical about the exploitation of child labour in 1899 chugs along slowly and not unsympathetically, but an unmemorable score and flat lyrics ensure that one never quite gets over a certain embarrassment that the characters are singing rather than speaking to one another.' Nigella Lawson, Daily Telegraph

'This latest attempt to breathe new life into the genre (the Hollywood musical) reaches an unparalleled level of zen-

master dumbness, and is all the more entertaining as a result.' Trevor Johnston, City Limits

'Like some nightmare interbreeding of Oliver] with Annie . . . As tuneless and witless an experience as I have had since the school production I appeared in of Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be. ('A disaster': school magazine.)' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

WAITING

'This comedy of pricked pretensions from Australia is a delight . . . It could be a Robert Altman film re-planted in the Antipodes.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'McKimmie's script swings gaily from comedy of feminist manners to emotional dramas.' Geoff Brown, Times

'An Australian film on the dreaded subject of surrogate pregnancy that does not labour its point too hard . . . Not everything works, but most of it does.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

FREDDIE AS FRO7.

'Unfortunately, this story - about a French frog (no insult intended) who was once a human prince but now works as a secret service agent summoned by the British to find out what is causing national monuments to disappear - is dramatised with some incoherence and no little banality.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'You can never really tell what kids will like, but this would stick in the throat of even the toughest goo-addict.' Harry S Beney, City Limits

'We quail at thoughts of your children's revenge if you subject them to it . . . Dotty plot, drab characterisations, tuneless tunes: back, British animation, to the drawing board.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'From the technical point of view, Freddie is entirely proficient.' Geoff Brown, Times

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