From time to time, I do review films that are still in the theaters, because people either should see them or avoid them. I review the best of those in the theaters, that absolutely should be seen, and the worst, that use sophisticated marketing and lies to make the film something more than it is, which is the case in this film.
Writer/Director Terrence Malick has blown it on this one. The sets were pretty amazing, shooting in some of the most rich-and-famous houses in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with spectacular swimming pools. And if the movie would have been about architecture, it probably would have gotten an Academy Award.
I got really excited with the brief earthquake scene that shook Christian Bale’s penthouse apartment but, shucks, it never fell. And he goes outside between two tall apartment buildings and touches the ground. I guess he wasn’t thinking about those two apartment buildings falling on his head. But, you know, it’s “art”—it’s not supposed to make sense.
The first thing I said when the earthquake happened at the penthouse apartment was, “It’s time to get the hell out of dodge.” I didn’t need the debauchery for added direction.
And there were only about 20 words in the whole movie, with the exception of Christian Bale talking to himself and a few other stars, like Antonio Banderas & Cate Blanchett, who also added to the confusion. I guess these stars, including Natalie Portman, just wanted to be in a Malick film and they liked the fact they didn’t have to read a script!
We all know how empty the world is. We don’t have to see 2 hours of Christian Bale talking to himself and debauchery to help us realize it. I kept on waiting for someone to really say something. Even the screams of Brian Dennehy got me somewhat excited, but then it just suddenly cut out to a modern-day silent movie.
I usually don’t put newer films on the site, but for anyone who sees this review, I hope I saved you some money and time.~Gabriel of Urantia
*MPAA = Motion Picture Association of America
*4DFR = An alternative, 4th-Dimensional, rating is supplied by the author of this review