What to watch: Briarpatch Season 1 & VFH & Sonic the Hedgehog

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Rosario Dawson in Briarpatch. (PHOTO: USA NETWORK)
Rosario Dawson in Briarpatch. (PHOTO: USA NETWORK)

BRIARPATCH SEASON 1

This new series produced by Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail stars Rosario Dawson (Sin City) as Allegra Dill, an investigator working for a US senator. She returns to her Texas hometown to investigate the death of her sister – a local cop killed by a car bomb.

But what starts out as a search for a killer turns into an all-consuming fight to bring her corrupt hometown to its knees.

The show is based on the 1984 novel by Ross Thomas and co-stars Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) and Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class).

The first season has a 78% approval rating on reviewsaggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Variety’s Daniel D’Addario writes, “Anchored by a strong Dawson performance and flavoured with wit and a real sense of place, Briarpatch is a charmer. It keeps those aspects of Mr Robot that were most audience-friendly and jettisons the rest.

Stephan Lang in VFH
Stephan Lang in VFH. (PHOTO: JE FILMS)

VFW

Rating: 4,5/5

Action. It’s said that with age comes wisdom, but for the US war veterans in this film it’s a refusal to suffer fools. A group of old-timers (including Stephen Lang and William Sadler) get together at a bar for Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). When a young woman (Sierra McCormick) runs into the bar with a bag of drugs, a gang leader (Travis Hammer) sends his minions to get it back, but unfortunately for him he didn’t take the tough oldsters into account.

This is an entertaining throwback to the low-budget action films of the ’70s and ’80s. It’s in the same vein as Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse movies, but it’s even more old-school skop, skiet en donder with chainsaws, axes and even monster trucks being used. Half the fun is trying to figure out who will remain standing. – PIETER VAN ZYL

2019. 92 MIN. 18VL.

The cast of Sonic
The cast of Sonic the Hedgehog. (PHOTO: PARAMOUNT PICTURES)

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Rating: 3,5/5

Fantasy comedy.

The blue hedgehog’s fans were sceptical when the trailer showed a more life-like but creepy Sonic than his cartoonish videogame look. Luckily the design was fixed.

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is on Earth hiding from those who want to take his powers. When his superspeed accidentally knocks out the power of half the US, it puts mad scientist Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey) on his trail. Luckily Sonic gets help from the local sheriff (X-Men’s James Marsden).

The title character is playful and funny and pairs well with Marsden, while Carrey’s performance is the exact amount of zany to pull off an entertaining villain. This is fun for the whole family, especially if you’re a fan of the games. – FRANCO HAVENGA

2020. 99 MIN. 7-9PG DV. ALSO AVAILABLE ON APPLE TV+.

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