Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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- domino harvey
- Dot Com Dom
- Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
I admire the picture for the initial audaciousness of its premise, but that rope only gets extended so far. The first half feels like an entry 10-15 years too late for the quirky indie “revisiting the homestead” subgenre, and then it takes a hard left halfway through that may be common knowledge but which I didn’t know about going in and so I’ll spoiler the rest of my comments — and I’m not referring to the initial premise itself, ie that Anne Hathaway can, for some reason, control a monster wreaking havoc on Seoul. So don’t unspoiler if you intend to see the film…
That Jason Sudeikis is clearly crushing on Hathaway and working really hard at it makes sense, since she’s Anne Hathaway. But then the film reveals Sudeikis is a Nice Guy and was trying to buy her affections with gifts and “help” that come with unacknowledged strings, leading to a rejection with a body count higher than most action movies. Okay, there’s some intriguing social commentary in place here then, as also seen in how every man Hathaway has a relationship with, romantic or otherwise, is awful, and of course the most abusive literally has a monstrous hold on her. But I found the complete flip for Sudeikis so sudden and unearned that the film seemed to be missing a good ten minutes of connective tissue solely in service of providing a cheap “jolt” to the audience with the quick turn. Wouldn’t it have been a better film if Sudeikis, or any male character, was more than a cliche (abusive Nice Guy, passive weakling, ineffectual druggie, conceited asshole) and painted with depth that made their function resemble more than props in a lecture, which is all it ends up feeling like? The punches, literal and narrative, don’t land because the film is holding the audience up by, astonishingly, not being legitimately audacious (!) and not respecting us to “get” it without making it completely obvious. I recognize that I am asking for subtlety from what ultimately is a giant monster movie, but watching a movie like this, where the components for it to be so much better are there and unexploited in favor of cheapness, is frustrating. No one cares when a disposable romantic comedy fails to go that extra mile and rests its laurels, but we’re never going to see another movie with this premise again, why waste it on bald finger-wagging, when the same message could have been achieved through more fully-sketched means with the same material (and I say this as someone who agrees with the film’s thesis against Nice Guys, so this isn’t a Red Pill-ready critique).