This first foray into the Mortal Instruments world is a laughably forgettable misfire better left alone, and for the life of me I can’t imagine who will find buying a ticket to visit this City of Bones as money well spent.
“I’m a workaholic movie junkie. I’m going to die young just making films.”
– David Gordon Green
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints doesn’t rewrite the rule book or transform the genre in any way that’s new or different and that’s okay. When a movie is as close to perfectly constructed as this, when the acting is this universally excellent, not being the most original noir in the backwoods Texas hill country is just fine with me.
The fine line that Vaughn and company attempted to walk is blurred considerably, incoming writer/director Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf) more interested in embracing the more exploitive aspects of the narrative instead of having a discussion about the ethically complex societal constructs the existence of these real-life heroes generates. He revels in the blood splatter, lets loose with the ultra-violence, letting things culminate in a showdown between teen boys with daddy issues instead of anything even remotely substantive.
Precious might have been a homerun for Daniels, but I’m starting to think it might be his only one, and while this film certainly improves upon the laughably mediocre The Paperboy (which, it must be admitted, was also exceedingly well acted) it’s flaws are much too glaring and obvious to be laid aside entirely. Still, thanks to the cast, indebted in some respects to Strong’s intelligently layered script, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is worthy of a look, if only to see Winfrey’s triumphant return in all its spellbinding glory.
Paranoia goes exactly where you expect it to and does so with plodding efficiency, Luketic not going out of his way to hide any of the script’s more ludicrous missteps. If not for the talent involved, one imagines this late summer thriller would otherwise have ended up in the straight-to-DVD dustbin. Considering how fast it’s likely to disappear from theatres, it could still potentially end up there sooner rather than later.
Prince Avalanche isn’t loud. It doesn’t bark out its intentions in the first frame or seem interested in being more than the sum of its tiny, intimately woven parts. It’s leisurely paced and doesn’t spell everything out, Green assuming the viewer will be smart enough to put the pieces together for themselves and decide on their own what the final truths as to what Alvin and Lance have experienced and witnessed mean for their respective futures.
While the messaging is on the heavy-handed side, those who agree with Blomkamp’s statements are going to eat up his commentary on class warfare and our collective descent into a dehumanized society by the bucket loads, the filmmaker constructing arguably the most anti one-percent motion picture financed by a major Hollywood studio in recent memory.
In a World… isn’t just born out of LaFontaine’s iconic trailer catchphrase, it lives up to it, and imagining a world that this particular motion picture doesn’t exist within one I personally do not want to ponder.