Korean director Bong Joon-ho's English language debut, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi epic set entirely on a perpetually running train, starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Jamie Bell? How awesome is this going to be? Not awesome at all, actually, dang it. The film has just tremendous amounts of potential, but it just doesn't work. The film is strange and seemingly purposefully distancing, but the film has no energy at all and it seems that it was intended to be at least partially an action film. There's a brilliant thirty minutes or so at about the half point that points up how great the movie could have been; from a brutal ax-swinging melee to a weirdo encounter in a traincar-schoolroom to an intense fight in a steam room, the film just has energy and wackiness to spare. But the film has learned nothing from The Matrix Reloaded; just at the moment when the film should move into a high octane climax, the film stops dead for not one, not two, but THREE interminably long, pretentious monologues, none of which have the emotional or philosophical punch the filmmakers seem to think they do. It's like The Architect scene on steroids. I understand that the film is trying to say some profound things about societal conflict and the wealthy people that pull the strings; well and good, but if you get to the end of your movie and still feel you need a solid twenty minutes of nothing but talking in order to get your point across, you really need to start the heck over. This is probably my biggest movie disappointment of this year, judging in terms of how much I was anticipating the film versus how good it actually was. I've seen worse films this year, but, frankly, not by a whole lot. And none that I had such high hopes for. Dang it. Below Average. Recommended Against. * 1/2 stars.
Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.