It’s a harrowing and impressive accomplishment (especially considering potential government censorship), and it shows how, in its mad rush toward modernity, China has become a land of haves and have-nots, where income inequality and lack of opportunity have made a mockery of the nation’s purported ideals. Sound familiar?
Sorrentino’s storytelling sometimes seems deliberately obscure, and his film can be as indulgent as the society it chronicles. But as this existential odyssey draws to a close, it sews itself up with the aplomb that only a confident, controlled filmmaker can marshal.
This time the talk was cheap, not witty or sharp. Tarantino the writer let his gift of gab get away from him and didn't give his script a close enough edit. Tarantino the director didn't do enough with the static setting; the flashbacks don't help and the big timeshift that's meant to explain everything that's happened feels incomplete.
A highly entertaining, informative movie about how the subprime mortgage crisis led to a worldwide financial meltdown in 2007-08. The fact that such a movie is so unusual is one big reason why the meltdown occurred and why it easily could happen again.
It feels more like a retreat for all involved, a chance to kick back and bounce some ideas off each other and the surrounding mountains. Several of them stick and give Youth an emotional core that covers the bare spots. Caine and Keitel, old pros on the home stretch, deserve nothing less.
It doesn't all work. The energy and the performances by Cannon, Parris and Hudson can't carry a movie that careens from camp to tragedy to farce without taking a breath. Several scenes could have been cut, particularly a long, dumb take on sex and the Civil War that ends with a horny old goat in Stars-and-Bars skivvies.
Creed is no "Raging Bull" -- it's a little too long and throws in an unnecessary disease to gin up the emotional content of the third act -- but it's surprising proof that iconic franchises that started in the 1970s can be revived in all the right ways.