28 August 2020.
This week we have two blockbuster releases trying to get the public back to the big screen. The ploy will probably work, to the detriment of audiences.
One has a big star, but is an extremely dangerous vehicle for young, influenceable minds – I stress that. The other, though highly hyped, is an interminable mess of mind-bending gimmicks that aren’t worthy of its talented director. Sorry to be so adamant about morality and quality, but it is so.
Wait until next week – there is a charmer from Lelouch coming up.
The moral of this story is, just say you’re sorry and mean it.
Simplistic perhaps, but you could boil down this terribly violent and menacing film to that thought, if only to ease the state you will be in after watching it. It illustrates too graphically that in our self-absorbed “me” generation everyone is intent on their own”rights”…
How on earth has our valiant Gladiator become this incredibly vengeful, unhinged man? You say it’s only acting, I say it’s irresponsible of Russell Crowe, an outstanding Oscar-winning actor, and father of two young boys, to make such gratuitous filth that depicts a deranged man haphazardly yet cunningly killing anyone in his path, while car-chasing a woman who honked too long at him when the traffic light turned green. Crowe plays too well this man on a rampage of continuous savagery. This film should have an age-rating of 18+.
Actually the title tells you what you’re in for, as does the horrific start of the film, even before the credits. So you’ve been warned of its brutality. This is in the genre of road-rage movies like the gripping 1993 Michael Douglas vehicle, “ Falling Down”, which had a bit more psychological and social conscience to it.
Unfortunately, the many who are looking for such cheap thrills may delight in this mayhem and even be inspired by it. Since films influence our psyche, whether positively or negatively, this one is all that more dangerous as it is so cleverly written and directed, with throbbing music that adds to its edge-of-the-seat sense of unease. It left me with a headache and a foul mood for the rest of the day. And asking myself why she didn’t simply abandon her car…
Christopher Nolan is a hugely talented director with ingenious and grandiose ideas. Ingenious, as with “Memento” from the year 2000, a film that actually worked backwards in time. It was intriguing and mind-boggling. Then he re-invented the Batman series, making the stories darker and more adult. He then hit us with “Inception” – another brain-teaser, with incredible visual effects of buildings rising and crumbling and moving as we had never seen before, and more time manipulations and philosophical fantasies. He last gave us “Dunkirk”, a magnificent, straightforward recounting of the terrible WWII debacle. It showed Nolan’s supreme control of his craft.
Unfortunately, with “Tenet” he has gone back to his mind games and time control, giving us this blockbuster that’s for the testosterone crowd – incomprehensible scenario, too many jumbled ideas and visual tricks, overdone terror attacks, and constant chases and clashes with no sense to them. There are cars, bullets and people going backwards and forwards. Once again we have the future in the past and vice versa, until you can’t figure out when is where, who is what, and you finally don’t really care…
And as the hero, we get John David Washington, the over-rated son of Denzel, who has little of his father’s charisma and talent, but is riding high on that name. He plays a sort of futuristic James Bond, with too many natty suits but the same expression throughout. The one reliable refuge is Kenneth Branagh playing a ruthless Russian oligarch. It’s a relief to observe his talent and his mastery of the character.
The electronic, pulsing music is loud and jarring, so if you choose to go, don’t forget earplugs.
Look up the films, times and cinemas on cineman.ch.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.