23 February 2014


Hugh Jackman is the movie’s biggest problem. He bulldozes through everything so totally that it creates no resonance for his character’s situation. “Your daughter has been kidnapped? Sure, act like a total asshole and even corrupt your neighbors.” I’m all for making Paul Dano suffer - Daniel Day-Lewis did it best - but torturing him is something else. Jackman simply goes into a downward spiral and it’s more like watching him circle the drain. No resonance to his furor at all. Maria Bello is reduced to the wife debilitated by constant weeping. She and Jackman are nothing but cartoons! Viola Davis is given nothing to do. Terrence Howard is also given so little to do that his side eyes at Jackman by virtue of its subtlety becomes some of the best physical acting in the entire picture! Jake Gyllenhaal - let’s be honest: who the hell thought that naming him Loki was a good idea? - hardly does much and just exists to act as moral relief to Jackman. It’s a chore if you can’t stand its constant self-seriousness. The film really drags itself out for two hours until Melissa Leo steps into the spotlight creating some real drama and tension. She’s the highlight of the movie here. Afterwards, it comes to a flat conclusion the less said the better. I’ll give this to the movie: it withholds the music until the last act. Most of the film plays without a score until then. Roger Deakins' cinematography is the one reason to recommend this movie. It is superb though a pity it doesn’t serve a better movie. I wish I had a better opinion of this one.

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