It is unquestionably Nyong’o’s film, and the 12 Years a Slave actress gives a nerve-flaying double performance. As Adelaide, every facial expression seems to embody an emotion in its purest, uncut form, while her evil double has a twisting, buckling physicality that comes close to avant-garde butoh dance.
Henson is a natural at this kind of broad comedy, and throws herself into the goofy-cringe set-pieces with enough energy to elicit giggles, if not outright guffaws. The result rarely looks like something anyone might want, male or otherwise, but it passes the time, just about.
Despite a wobbly handle on all this, it’s an intriguing film to wrestle with, it’s powerfully acted by Melander and Milonoff, and it sticks out for its undeniable outlandishness. After all, when was the last time a bearded troll baby posted from Finland was the closest thing to salvation?
Marvel films are all about anticipation: they’re designed to make you crave the next helping before you’ve even swallowed the current one. But this is the first in a while that I’ve found myself immediately hungry to revisit.
Boy Erased could have been more sharply etched, all told – there’s something naggingly indistinct about it. But the lessons of Conley’s experience fight manfully, all the same, to punch through and be counted.
As you’d expect from Rodriguez, it has a decent number of pow-wow fight scenes, and sure loves to watch machinery being ripped to shreds. But it's all uncomfortably close to the gruesome Flesh Fair from Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, revamped as an ain’t-it-cool demolition derby with a charm-and-conscience bypass.
Think of Destroyer as film noir with the brightness turned up. Karyn Kusama’s Los Angeles-set thriller has the bleary, beer-dank air of an overlong house party at which the host has just snapped on the lights: fun’s done folks, now check out the mess.