Tag Archives: Thriller

The Adjustment Bureau – they’ll steal your love

In 1999 we saw Thomas Anderson being told to free his mind from the Matrix; now, in 2011, Matt Damon tries to break free of “The Adjustment Bureau” – for love.  Sounds silly and corny, but that’s the best part of this lumbering conspiracy thriller. Continue reading

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“Devil” not that bad

The trailers for Devil proclaim “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” which seems to be a purposeful attempt to disavow Shyamalan’s involvement in the directing, producing, and writing side of things after previous bombs (Lady in the Water, The Happening).  The result: a company called the Night Chronicles, which produces films based on ideas from M. Night that are further developed by other individuals.  Devil, the first of the Night Chronicles, overall manages to stay afloat (though at times some bailing is required).

In the film five strangers hop on an elevator together and once it locks up between floors, tensions flare.  Detective Bowden and the building’s security watch the group devolve into bickering children through a security camera, only able to speak to them through the one way com system.

I say “devolve,” but there isn’t a transition for these people – as soon as they’re aboard the elevator they quickly reveal themselves to be stupid assholes.  Continue reading

Promises Fizzle in “Red Hill”

This film, which could have been a thriller action flick akin to No Country for Old Men, instead devolves into an illogical whimper.

Out in the countryside of Australia, Shane Cooper begins his first day with the local police department.  The day goes to hell when it turns out former local and now escaped prisoner Jimmy Conway is on his way back to town.  With checkpoints erected and a posse gathered, the locals batten down the hatches for the incoming storm.

The film’s worst enemy is a thinking audience, as extraordinary leaps in logic cause the film to stall out.  One guy wastes an opportunity shoot the bad guy; another is bleeding so bad he passes out, but can then ride a horse and lithely dismount; and the number of shotguns pumped for dramatic purposes in this film is just waiting for an internet meme to highlight its absurdity.  Toss in the apparition abilities of the hero and re-inforcements, and the film’s potential at the beginning compared to the disappointment at the end, and it reflects the brutal realities of childrearing in a way that I’m sure is unintentional.

If you’re concerned that I’m just being nit picky, I assure you, I’m not.  The logic issues and the heroic, exposition-heavy conclusion are like sandpaper to your gray matter.  Where the film takes off with moments of  mystery and fear, they are promptly stamped out by discordant events or words that just don’t belong in this film.

Sure, there are bullets and bloodshed, but the thin drama fails to sustain any propulsion and makes it a joyless thrill you could give a shit about.  Tone dictates expectations and the film does not deliver on its promises.

Oh, and did I mention the film has a black panther?  I don’t know why, it just does.