Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quem deus vult perdere dementat prius

starring Dane deHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan
directed by Josh Trank

I realize I'm not in the target demographic for this movie, which is aimed at pubescent boys and girls who are considering getting slut-tagged, or already are. Went to see it anyway, because there wasn't anything particularly interesting available.

It actually wasn't a bad little movie. The plot is simple: it's a Greek tragedy set in a Seattle, Washington high school. The gimmick of presenting a Hollywood movie as though it were filmed by an amateur with a new videocamera was already hackneyed by the time The Blair Witch Project ended its first run, but it's appropriate to the story and not as irritating as it could have been, especially towards the end when nobody's holding a camera. It's pretty well written, leaving you unable to predict with any confidence what's going to happen next; and there's reasonably good acting from everyone, and great special effects throughout, but one scene in particular I have to applaud: the scene where the three high school boys first learn to fly. (I'm not going to bother explaining how they are able to fly. The plot device used to propel these boys into the air and into the conflict and resolution of the movie is considerably better done than, say, having a radioactive spider bite each one on the ass, but it's just a device, and has no meaning beyond its mere occurrence.) 

But in that one scene, as you see Andrew, Matt and Steve exploring their new-found abilities in the clouds above Seattle, you actually will sense a surge of freedom, of joy, of ecstasy, and of yearning as you watch. In that moment you begin to identify with these three ordinary high-school boys and the improbable developments that bring the move to its crisis. 

Would have been nice, though, if Andrew could have at least gotten laid.

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