Well. Well. Well. Typically, my intros revolve around my thoughts about the movie in question or some tangentially related information, however, with this film. Damn. This film is something. Allow me explain…
Story: Let me first paint you a picture. Imagine Shutter Island, Momento, Dracula, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo all got together and had a massive baby. Well, that is what we’re dealing with here. The plot is all over the place and not in any good way. It’s crazy, cerebral, cryptic, and just kind of nuts, but all in the wrong ways. There are certainly a few good moments (and a good movie somewhere in there) but the final product is nonsensical and muddled in a mess of a script.
Acting: Dane DeHaan is the star of the show, but unfortunately he is considerably lack luster. I never truly bought his performance and couldn’t relate to his character’s pain and struggles. In fact, his character is just a dick with no redeeming qualities. Jason Isaacs (aka Lucius Malfoy) is also quite forgettable and doesn’t add anything to the mix. Mia Goth rounds out the cast highlights and has a few redeeming moments but overall cannot help the rest of the mess.
Presentation: Negatives first. The sound design and soundtrack is off. Nothing sounds right, and the “main” theme, that is repeated several times throughout the film, is strange…and not in a good way. Strange as in it sounds like it was recorded in a garage…in the 70s. With that being said, the movie looks incredible. It is genuinely a visual masterpiece. There’s a scene where DeHaan is in a pitch black room smoking a cigarette and it looked stunning. If anything, this film gains some points for it’s looks alone and director Gore Verbinski should get some brownie points for it. But just brownie points. Nothing else.
Effect: After watching the trailers, I was expecting a knock-off Shutter Island and there were parts of this film that were like it. And those parts were good. My biggest disappointment with this movie is that it wasn’t more like Shutter Island. Instead, it starts throwing more supernatural aspects and other weird (and unnecessary) plot devices, including some eels and a rape scene. Yeah. It went there.
Other: Finally, this film committed this greatest sin possible. It is a two and a half hour long film that is about an hour too long. There is easily a half hour’s worth of content that can be cut without blinking an eye and another half hour more that could’ve been reworked. It’s like no effort was put into editing it…or anything else for that matter.
Despite the low score I’m giving this film, it is worth the watch if you are a film buff, who would enjoy the way this movie is shot, but for the rest of you, this is a solid pass. Go see John Wick Chapter II or Batman. OR. Just wait for Logan to come out next week.