Monday, June 22, 2020

Two-Paragraph Review: Force of Nature (2020)

Everything about the movie Force of Nature looks cobbled together. From tired-looking and disengaged main actors, especially the abysmally tuned-out Emile Hirsch, to the lame placeholder script about a heist taking place in a run-down building in Puerto Rico during a hurricane. Of course, the runtime of the movie, which is only 90 minutes, actually morphs into something like 180 minutes of crappy action, mixed in with bland character development. The narration jumps from one group of villains or survivors and goes round and round through the film, never picking up speed or any kind of engagement with its protagonists.

The only bright spot of the film is Mel Gibson, who somehow remained awake during his parts and does give the movie a bit of energy where it otherwise has almost none. But, his presence is nowhere near enough to compensate for the gray puddle that is most of this film, even the conceptual parts like the object of the heist. Also, there was an incredible opportunity to mold the entire film into a glorious so-good-that-it’s-bad work of art, but that somehow failed as well. Force of Nature is not laughably bad. It’s just plain, old boring-bad.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Two-Paragraph Review: Midsommar (2019)

If there's a highlight in this movie for me, it's the endless bickering it often showcases and which takes place often and among its different characters. Here, their animosity, hidden feelings, ambitions, cult secrets, and social missteps all come to the forefront in a weird and viscerally uncomfortable feeling. This covers everything in their lives from the moment when Dani and Christian, a university couple with a strained relationship, decide to go with their friends to Sweden and celebrate the summer solstice in an isolated commune.

However, as the main storyline of the film picks up speed - which is essentially the Wicker Man all over again - the movie loses this odd but definite edge it has. To make things worse, the ending itself is completely devoid of talking and focuses only on imagery. In theory, I can see how this should have been a huge, allegory of a deteriorating relationship, but the problem is that it took its sweet time getting there. For me, the same trippy experience exchanged bodily horror for some missed opportunities in domains of poetry and natural celebrations. And that won't do at all. After all, nature hates wasting time - just look at the mayflies.