Now, approaching twilight, Eastwood has stripped everything down to its essentials. The picture doesn’t always work, but it works when it has to. It’s a fragile enterprise — lovely to bask in, but liable to fall apart if you stare too hard.
Campion preserves the simplicity of Savage’s prose with the understated ease of her own storytelling, and she even finds a compelling way to navigate the novel’s somewhat outdated dime-store Freudian conceits.
Director Filomarino is onto something here. The warm intimacy of the movie’s early scenes is replaced by such shocking brutality by the end that the violence feels like an emotional correlative, a blood ritual of sorts.
Val is not a gloomy movie at all. Quite the opposite. It’s vibrant, quick, and alive, and Val Kilmer today makes for an entertaining guide, with his hammy facial gestures now doing double duty since he can’t talk.
The clarity of its aspirations just makes the film’s downfall that much more pathetic, like a baseball player pointing to the home run he’s about to hit and then completely whiffing and landing on his ass.
The problem with Joe Bell isn’t that it’s telling Joe’s story; that’s an important (and tragic) tale that should be told. The problem is that it fails to also tell Jadin’s story — even after it makes the point that Jadin’s journey is inextricable from Joe’s.
Like most corporate cinematic endeavors, Space Jam: A New Legacy tries to have it both ways, proclaiming to be on the side of the angels while doing the work of the Devil. It criticizes shameless, money-grubbing attempts to synergize and update beloved classics (as LeBron himself puts it, “This idea is just straight-up bad”) … all the while shamelessly synergizing and updating beloved classics.
So, it’s Edge of Tomorrow meets Interstellar meets Aliens meets Tenet meets Independence Day, with their brains removed. But it’s still tremendous fun, because this thing moves. Let’s face it: If it slowed down, the audience might start asking too many questions. The Tomorrow War is just as stupid as it needs to be.
Getting sucked into these people’s lives means experiencing the story in all its immediacy, sans judgment. Holler is too entertaining and well-made to be overly dour, too full of suspense and throwaway bits of cinematic elegance. It marks the arrival of a major new directorial talent.
Beyond the many jump scares involving aliens and the terrifically terrified-out-of-their-wits performances, what makes A Quiet Place Part II special is the sheer joy we get from feeling like we’re in the hands of a confident filmmaker.