I’ll admit two things. 1st, I was high as a kite when I watched this the 1st time. 2nd, this movie was in the “TOP 10 movies of 2016” list of Chris Stuckmann, Jeremy Jahns and Aggresive Comix. Due to these two reasons I thought, “Hey! You know what? I am going to watch this movie again. Maybe, just maybe, I didn’t like it because I didn’t watch it with the right perspective.”
1 hour and 55 minutes later, it’s the same pile of steaming poop that I thought it was before.
Let me just list the few pros that are in this movie:
1. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe play off each other pretty well. With a better script and better direction, a sequel might establish their pair.
2. The colour tone or colour grading(whichever is correct) was very good. It helped establish that 70’s vibe throughout the movie. The cinematography is really good.
And that’s the list. Now I’ll begin the breakdown. As there is no video of this by CinemaSins(and I came to know that after watching the movie), I was taking notes while watching the movie. The initial few points are of the plot. The 1st time I watched it, I had a hard time following the plot so I just jotted it down. So you can ignore that. All the others after that are the things that kept bugging me. You can pin-point the exact moment where I started losing my shit.
SCREENPLAY – The movie begins with the thing I hate the most. Narration. For me, narration should have a role in the movie and not just filler. My favourite narration is from Watchmen. Rorshach’s journal is the device which serves as the narration. Or, narration should be used when the protagonist is narrating the story to other characters. So after that, whenever we hear the narration we can instantly connect that the character is telling a story. Here, who is Healey or March narrating to?? It always bugs me.
The story is pretty simple. These two bumbling detectives are searching for a girl named Amelia and soon they get to know that there is something bigger that is brewing underneath. Pretty good, right? That’s what I thought when I saw the trailer. But when I started watching, after 20 minutes or so, the narrative just begins to drag. It tries to be funny and pushes the characters, without any motive just to get to the big, fat finale.
There are some funny sequences but the characters are meant to look so idiotic that I was doubting that how were they getting any job done. I think that’s the logic that anyone will apply and if you think that I shouldn’t apply logic while watching films, then you might as well jump out the window and leave a note for the police saying,”I was trying to fly”.
DIRECTION – This is the movie Shane Black made after the divisive Iron Man 3. I am among those few people, who liked Iron Man 3. I even liked the twist. Not the one where the Mandarin was a fire-breathing dragon. The one with him being an actor. Also, I liked the fact that Tony spent most of his time re-building from scratch. There was a character arc for Tony. He went from being a dick to being slightly humble.
In this movie, I couldn’t comprehend what the hell was happening. Everything was so erratic that I couldn’t even understand and that is why I didn’t even care. Black went for complete style over substance. I have seen Black’s brand of humour but this wasn’t even sticking for some reason and what the hell is with the 13 year old girl!!! Gosh, I hated every second she was on-screen. She was just there to reiterate everything the audience would be thinking any way. Her inclusion in the movie was way out of place. I think I have pointed out a thing about this girl in my notes and it’s true.
Shane Black just couldn’t decide on a single tone. Sometimes it was comically comedic. Sometimes it was dark comedy and then it dropped to this insane melancholic level. What was he expecting that I am supposed to care that Amelia got shot in the head? Shit, I was glad that I didn’t have to hear her whining anymore.
ACTING – Ryan Gosling was good. I didn’t know he could do comedy so well. I had seen some of his SNL sketches but here he remained in character throughout. Russell Crowe was great too. Every one else can burn in a fiery pit on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
FINAL VERDICT – If you have watched this movie, please tell me what you liked about it. Or don’t, because I have heard enough of that. If you didn’t like something, then please tell me. For those who haven’t watched it yet, don’t watch it. You can send me a gift for saving 2 hours of your life.
Here’s a snapshot of the notes I was making. Sorry for the language.
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