2017.01.27 // Filed under: Screen
A humourless action slog for the World of Darkness set. A bit more fighting and a lot less blathering on about bloodlines and whatnot would’ve helped.
Fede Alvarez’s reboot of the Sam Raimi horror classic pretends to add depth with a thinly veiled subtext of demonic possession as metaphor for drug addiction, but it’s drowned out amid a witless torrent of wince-inducing gore — and a thoroughly nasty, cynical tone. I walked out on this halfway through when it first hit cinemas, and after catching up on Netflix I see I didn’t miss much.
Never meet your heroes, the saying goes. That’s basically the second-act hook of this docu-styled dramatisation of writer David Lipsky’s five days in the company of David Foster Wallace for a Rolling Stone profile. It’s part road movie, part conversation, part musing on the things that artists give up of themselves to do the work they do — and the conflicts that throws up between observer and subject.
Jason Segel is engaging as Wallace, embodying his everyman philosopher spirit, or at least that gleaned from his essays and articles — and that’s coming from someone who is most definitely not a fan of Infinite Jest. Jesse Eisenberg is fine as the starstruck hot-shit mag scribe forced to confront what he really wants from this situation. Together they make quite the odd couple. And while the film is far from mind-blowing or revelatory, you won’t be worse off from a couple of hours in their company.
Unless you’re a big DFW fan, in which case you may come away disappointed, and wish you’d never met it.
Post-war Tokyo is the backdrop of this stylish crime mystery as a woman eager to clear her husband’s name over a gangster’s murder finds a believer in a journalist determined to break a case the cops think is all sewn up, which in turn pits the duo against some decidedly noirish characters.
I’m pretty sure Kevin Costner’s character in this is supposed to be funny? Weirdly, I don’t find murderous cretins going round being complete arseholes all that endearing. Shame, as besides the mean spirit, there’s something to Criminal’s silly sci-fi flavoured twist on the Bourne formula.