Quick Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

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2016’s Batman v Superman is possibly the most criticized film of the last 5–maybe 10–years, and director Zack Snyder knew he had some work to do on the highly-anticipated followup, Justice League–which was already in production by then.

The premise for Batman v Superman sounded cool on paper, but couldn’t possibly be executed without creating an unrealistic series of events. Coupled with Snyder’s tendency to take his films way too seriously, the project just didn’t work. Some would say it was a such a good concept that the filmmakers simply tried too hard to bring it to fruition. But it was inherently flawed from the start. Justice League has no excuse.

When a film desperately tries to fix what was wrong with its predecessor, becoming solely what it thinks people want, it’s a recipe for disaster. The tone has a tendency to get weird because it becomes a paint-by-numbers.

I’m not sure if any film in recent memory has had the amount of skepticism as Justice League prior to its release. Christopher Nolan has all but spoiled our expectations for another good Batman film. Honestly though, we’re not going to get that kind of movie again. And no one is even gong to try.

For those of you who don’t know, Justice League is a film which teams up several of the superheroes from DC Comics, including Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash Gordon. Following the death of Superman, the world faces some alien invasion or something. I dunno. It’s unclear.

This villain is completely CGI and uncompelling, keeping us properly distanced from the situation entirely. Which is a trend throughout this movie. Depth is always either forced or nonexistent.

There’s a scene towards the beginning which has Lois Lane talking to Superman’s mother about how bad Lois misses Superman and griping about her job at the Daily Planet. But why do we even care?? And why is this scene even in the movie?? I immediately tried imagining this film being in a Marvel movie and realized that I couldn’t. It’s more like something out of Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s almost as though the filmmakers are unaware of which direction they’re supposed to be going (we’re with them). They’re so concerned with having cliched drama that they’re fishing for humanity amidst a world that lacks it.

I’ve heard people ask time and again why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a better reputation than the DC Universe. Simply put, they’re better films. Marvel has snappy dialogue, good acting, and they’re a lot more fun. They’re smarter and more self aware. They feature camaraderie between characters. There’s banter and you actually feel like you’re in on some cool exclusive club.

DC lacks personability. They’re also more concerned with finding actors who look the part rather than good charismatic talents. Marvel has Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Hemsworth. DC has Ben Affleck and a bunch of previously unknown actors.

But boy, does it try to be charismatic with Justice League.

Just like the Wonder Woman movie, Justice League relies on one character to give it most of its levity–in this case, Ezra Miller as Flash Gordon. That’s not how this works. It’s like when Lil Wayne thought he could make a rock album simply by having all of his songs be about teenage angst. Just like how that was a misperception of the genre, this is a sore misunderstanding of how movies get to be funny and enjoyable.

The humor is even more cringy because you know why it’s there. I’d rather have two really good jokes than fifty throwaway ones. Especially jokes that are derivative and uninspired. The worst is when Batman (Affleck) tries to get in on the action with his modern straight-man delivery. It’s so odd hearing Batman try to be funny with the bat suit on. To the point where it feels like Affleck is actually performing a parody of Batman instead.

The action is much of the same as its predecessor–mostly boring and confusing. There’s a true sense of contrived intensity.

Batman v Superman had one thing going for it: The mystique of what’s to come. It teases us with cryptic introductions to characters possibly featured in the future (Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman). Of those, we get one origins story–this year’s Wonder Woman. As for the others–they’re all introduced here.

I kinda get why they rushed past all the other origins movies. The studio probably knew that if they didn’t get straight to this film then it may not have gotten made at all.

But there’s no true establishment of these characters in this movie either. If I was sitting in the theater and had no idea who Aquaman was, I wouldn’t care that he’s in this movie because they make no attempt to make you care. i’m not even sure they mention Flash by name.

DC films have a long way to go if they want to compete with Marvel. This year’s Wonder Woman was good. But it also had the luxury of having a different director and not suffering from panicky reshoots following the bombing of Batman v Superman.

There will be people who like Justice League. There are also people who like unoriginal rom-coms that merely go through the motions. Not everyone needs the movie to actually be good.

At first glance, Justice League is better than Batman v Superman. It makes all the obligatory changes. However, it also loses its identity in the process. It doesn’t seem possible, but in reality, Justice League is actually much worse. It’s a film of corrections–empty and uninspired ones. It tries to be self-aware, but ends up being the opposite. I’d be curious to see what Snyder would’ve done with the film if he hadn’t been merely trying to fix what was wrong with the first one. It may not have been great, but at least it would’ve been what he wanted from the beginning. And at least it would’ve been true to itself. Maybe then it would’ve been better.

Twizard Rating: 59

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Quick Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

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As the credits roll, my wife turns and asks me the obligatory, “Did you like it?” All I can say is, “It’s a beautiful film.”

And it is. Goodbye Christopher Robin is about many things, but, at the same time, just one thing, as it’s all tied together perfectly. It’s about living in the moment and appreciating things as they happen. I know, you’re thinking that this theme has been done a million times. But I assure you, never like this. Not with these dynamics. And that’s always the key to a movie going from good to great.

The film tells the story of how Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne came to be. It’s told from the perspective of Milne, played by Domhnall Gleeson, but also particularly from that of his six year old son, Christopher Robin Milne (Will Tilston).

It takes place in England and bridges the gap between both World Wars, showing some before and after for perspective. The father suffers from terrible post traumatic stress disorder from World War I and it affects his writing. He and his family move out of London to the countryside so he can recover. He ends up not writing much there, either–instead, playing with his son. The adventures they go on in the woods surrounding their property inspire in Milne the concept for Winnie the Pooh. His anxiety seems to go away once the fictional bear comes into the picture. And it seems to have the same effect on the rest of the country.

Milne’s wife, Daphne, is played by Margot Robbie in perhaps her most impressive performance yet. Daphne acts selfishly most of the time. Instead of encouraging her husband’s creativity for his own sanity, she does it for herself. So she can have a better life. She punishes him for his own writer’s block. Robbie plays an unlikable woman so well. But instead of putting her into a specific character archetype, the filmmakers make her much more complex than that. She resents her son for the pain he caused her at birth, but at other times displays a genuine sense of love for him. We feel it, but we also see through her eyes, recognizing resentment still in there, deep down.

And that complexity goes for the rest of the film. Nothing is so outrightly obvious. Even the dialogue is free of proverbs and truisms. And the facial expressions are subtly expository. It’s a film that trusts its audience. The nuances run deep. You can watch it again and have the same takeaway, yet notice the different ways its depicted.

A lesser film would have been about how the real life Christopher Robin’s parents were bad parents. But that would be too easy. There is no black and white. His parents are less than decent most of the time, sure, but there’s an awareness of it–at least by his father. And at times it’s like he’s trying to fight it, but just can’t. He goes along with his wife in order to gain her approval.

Gleeson lets you into his psyche every step of the way without holding your hand through it. You have to look carefully at times, but it’s always there.

Director Simon Curtis seamlessly connects the movie’s several interwoven themes. The effects of war, being a child, unintentional fame, loss, regret–or lack thereof.

This film connects with our emotions in a way that most other films don’t. Or can’t. It doesn’t use cheap techniques or cliched scenarios. It’s honest and real. Like life. Maybe even a little more than that.

Twizard Rating: 100

Quick Movie Review: Baywatch (2017)

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There’s proof out there that it doesn’t take comedians to make great comedies. The Baywatch movie isn’t a great comedy. It’s a comedy in intent, and actually has some bits that are really funny, but it’s doesn’t break enough new ground in that department. All of its jokes are derivative and mostly uninspired. It’s never sure what type of comedy it wants to be. The humor is never grounded in anything. It’s just recklessly random insertions into the script.

The film is more concerned with how the characters look rather than actually having a consistent tone and coherent plot–just like the TV show, except this one tries to be funny. But not in a so-bad-it’s-good way that helped make the show so popular in its heyday. There’s more intention here.

The ’90s show was known for its campiness. Fans could only hope that the movie either replicates that tone or parodies it. Unfortunately, it does neither.

Take the 21 Jump Street movie, for example. It’s fully aware at all times of its self-parody. Baywatch may make a joke or two at its own expense, but, considering its flippant style of humor, should be making way more.

Baywatch follows Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon, the head lifeguard of Emerald Bay, Florida, and his attempt to bring down a local drug lord, much to the chagrin of his boss and the local police.

Amidst all this, a new recruit, Matt Brody (Zac Efron), shows up. He’s an Olympic gold-medalist who’s turned into an entitled slacker. He’s constantly butting heads with Mitch, making for more subplots.

It goes back and forth between taking itself too seriously to not taking itself seriously at all. And it’s at its best when it doesn’t try to be witty and acts like an actual action film. The issue is, it never wants to stay that way.

Never quite set in stone, the characters are all over the place, too. One minute they handle a situation one way, then the other it’s totally different.

The script is so uneven, it’s like David Hasselhoff wrote it himself. The dialogue is completely illogical and unrealistic–not in a good way. And it’s full of foreshadowing, which makes it predictable. At times it even seems to conveniently forget about some of its major characters.

It’s pretty easy to shoot holes in the plot. And the main premise involving the drug dealers is convoluted. But honestly, it doesn’t matter because you just accept everything it’s spewing at you.

Some of the best scenes come from Yahya Abdul-Mateen, who plays a local beat cop on the beach. He’s the only actor who seems to always fully grasp what’s supposed to be going on in the script. He’s great.

Baywatch isn’t an unenjoyable movie. It’s longer than it needs to be, but makes itself easy to watch. And fortunately has enough cheap thrills for it not to be a complete waste of time. Yet, as evident with the Fast and Furious films, it could’ve also been so much more.

As an aside, isn’t it weird that Dwayne Johnson never has to cover up his tattoos for any of his roles?

Twizard Rating: 68

Quick Movie Review: Suburbicon (2017)

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Suburbicon is a film consisting of two plots. More like a plot and a subplot. These two exist in the same world, but barely ever intersect. In fact, one could make the case that they aren’t even necessary for each other’s survival. Although, they serve a subtle symbiotic purpose, however contrived it may seem.

The subplot happens first. We arrive in a utopian town in the 1950s, called Suburbicon. News gets around that a black family has moved into the community, and the people there begin protesting. The white people are scared that their “perfect” little town will now become disturbed by the presence of black people.

Across the street from the black family is where our main plot begins. A home invasion kills a woman (Julianne Moore), and nearly kills her husband (Matt Damon), son (Noah Jupe), and twin sister (also Julianne Moore). We’re not sure why it’s happening, but we know we’re about to find out.

There seems to be a lot going on, but the film carefully picks out what’s important in order to drive the plot and build tension. Careful sense is made out of all the chaos.

Amidst a slew of films that attempt to create commentary on racial issues by shoving it in your face, this one tries to keep it in the background. However, it’s not all that subliminal.

Many viewers will no doubt feel a sense of pride for figuring out what statements this film is trying to make. But the truth is, it’s pretty on-the-nose and not hard to analyze properly.

The events with the black family and the protesters outside their house serve no real purpose other than to show irony of ignorant racists becoming the actual source of all the disruptions in their peaceful lives. The crazy people are actually the white Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, and the white townsfolk are violently protesting the normal people who happen to be black. The white people are really the ones we should hate; they’re really the ones causing all the problems–we get it.

If you were previously unaware that racism exists–especially in the 1950s–then this film is for you. Except this film takes that trope to new heights. No new ground is covered in this area, and it isn’t like it’s a true story that needs to be told. At times it seems like the filmmakers (George Clooney, the Coen Brothers, et al) are merely trying to pass off this moral that all white people are bigots.

I probably shouldn’t like this movie, but I do and I can’t quite figure it out. Maybe I just like seeing Matt Damon play a terrible person. Maybe the two likable people in the whole film are actually worth all the trouble. The truth is, it contains a pretty cool murder mystery and I’m a sucker for utopian settings. Suburbicon does a lot of things wrong, but it’s actually still very entertaining as a whole.

Twizard Rating: 87

Quick Movie Review: Thor Ragnarok (2017)

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Marvel has just completed their best year ever, by far. And if you continue their current run back a little further, to 2016’s Doctor Strange, it’s even more impressive (still technically within 365 days of this release).

I really struggled with the 2nd Thor film back in 2013. Sure, it was entertaining, but it was completely forgettable and uninspired.

Thor Ragnarok fixes what’s broken. Barely set on Earth at all, it moves past the fish-out-of-water schtick that runs stale in the last film. This one’s light on its feet and incredibly fun.

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Quick Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

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On the surface, Blade Runner 2049 appears to be yet another action blockbuster. But for those who are familiar with the first movie, you know this is a wrong.

The original 1982 film takes place in 2019 Los Angeles, starring Harrison Ford as a blade runner–a cop who is in charge of tracking down and killing bioengineered beings known as “replicants”. The replicants look and act exactly like humans and were sent to an off-world colony to become slaves. But a small group of them have violently come back to Earth to kill their creators.

Although deep, the first film wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s slow, boring, and had no relatable characters.

The sequel is still set in the same dystopian universe, but 30 years later. For the fans’ sake, it’s very much in the same vein as its predecessor. It’s just as slow, and much longer. But here, it’s much more tolerable. In fact, it’s extremely entertaining, which goes to show that maybe it isn’t even the pacing of the original that makes it so boring.

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Quick Movie Review: On Your Marc (2017)

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If you’re like me and grew up with ’90s Nickelodeon, you have an intrinsic affinity for Marc Summers. He was like the face of the network back in the day, hosting perennial mainstays, like Double Dare, and the more forgotten about What Would You Do? A zeitgeist, if you will. You could say he was my childhood.

Yesterday I had the privilege to attend the world premiere of his documentary, On Your Marc. He was there in person–someone who I’ve always wanted to meet, yet always felt like I have. And that’s where this documentary seems to get it.

I’m not sure how to critique the film as someone who doesn’t know who the man is, because I can’t even imagine what that would be like. But as someone who grew up watching him on my TV set, I can tell this documentary seems to understand what else we’d like to know about someone who’s already an open book.

It isn’t a documentary in the strict biographical sense. Sure, it covers mostly everything in his life–dripping information here and there about meeting his wife, how he was inspired to be in the entertainment industry, his performance as a father when his kids were little, etc.–but focuses mostly on his later career, post-Nickelodeon. It’s not linear, yet you don’t feel robbed of his backstory.

Marc’s dreams in show business are rooted in theater, ever since attending a performance of Fiddler On the Roof as a child. So with this stage show, he’s one step closer to Broadway–a destination that’s never left his sight. As someone with seemingly unattainable goals for my own career in this industry, it tugs at my heart strings. It’s crazy to think that the person you look up to also feels like he hasn’t quite “made it” yet.

The main topics discussed are Summers’ lifelong struggle with OCD, reaching his ultimate career goal, and his recent bout with cancer. The film uses him prepping for his one-man theater show to underlie his story–interspersing it when necessary without focusing on it too much.

But the film isn’t always so serious. In fact, it’s quite funny. It mostly finds the comedy in all of this otherwise deep subject matter, with most of the humor coming from Marc’s natural wit–as he, himself narrates a big chunk of it. After all, Summers was a stand up comedian early on in his career. The documentary actually takes his lead, fitting right into his style.

It’s funny because you never felt before like you didn’t already know the man. He’s naturally such an open and real guy, you feel like you’ve always known him. You almost forget he’s a celebrity. But with this, his vulnerabilities come through even more–making him more real, if even possible.

And it’s all so beautifully candid that you barely even feel like it’s covering much ground. But sure enough, you walk out of the theater with a much more rounded out view of a person you’ve always loved anyway. When you leave, you feel like you may know almost as much as the filmmakers at this point. It’s truly an accomplishment.

The film is written and directed by Mathew Klickstein–a perfect choice. Years ago merely a passionate fan of ’90s Nickelodeon, he’s now the acclaimed author of Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age–since then, becoming good friends with Summers because of it. A genius? Perhaps. I just wish I thought of it first.

Twizard Rating: 90

Quick Movie Review: Battle of the Sexes (2017)

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You would think that an event of this magnitude would’ve gotten the theatrical treatment earlier. Well, that’s probably because the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, itself, wasn’t all that major. Sure, at the time it was a big spectacle, but some 40-odd years later, it’s news to most of us stepping into the theater for the first time.

But the Riggs v King match isn’t really the story the filmmakers want to tell you. In fact, it turns out to be sort of a McGuffin. There wasn’t even really a rivalry between Riggs and King. Most would say she was even aware that his “chauvinistic pig” persona was all an act for publicity. Her true beef was with Jack Kramer, the Executive Director of the ATP. And even that gets undermined because of a story that tries to say too much.

The movie starts off being about the struggle for women’s equal pay in the sport of Tennis, and ends up being more about King’s love life. This is all important to understanding who she is as a person, but only furthers the audience from the true importance of what actually happens historically. Barely anything else is said about King and the Original 9–who, in real life, end up establishing the Women’s Tennis Association. It just gets lost in the shuffle of everything else.

The film shows the other side of the scenario, letting us into the personal life of Riggs as well. To the point where we truly feel bad for him. He’s a gambling-addict who has issues in his relationship with his wife and kids. He has money, but he knows he has little else. We empathize with him. Then they flip the script halfway through–when the Battle of the Sexes match actually enters into the story–and make him somewhat of a villain. Like they weren’t sure exactly how they wanted you to feel about him. Or like they realized they were invoking a little too much pity.

The biggest issue is that this film isn’t quite sure what direction it wants to go. It tries covering too much ground at once–almost like a documentary is supposed to do. But this isn’t a documentary. It’s a scripted film, which has limited perspective and takes longer to say less.

The taboo love story between King and another woman overshadows the “rivalry” between King and Riggs–which is what we came for.

Pushing too many agendas almost does itself a disservice. It details much of King’s unfaithfulness to her husband–often times glorifying it. The more we see of King outside of fighting for women’s rights, the more we realize she’s not all that likable.

While watching the match between her and Riggs, part of me wants him to win. Not because he’s a man, but because I don’t care much for King as a person. Riggs has struggles in his life and he’s easy to root for. However, in the end, I know there’s something bigger at stake. Much bigger than preference over who’s a more likable person.

Those who are actually on the opposition of King winning have a case that even someone half paying attention would wonder why it isn’t addressed. King, at the prime of her career, is playing Riggs, who has been formally retired for over 12 years. Is it all that impressive? Wouldn’t it have shut up the opposition even more if she played, say, the current number 1 male player of the time? It’s an easy case to make, and it’s an odd choice for the filmmakers not to acknowledge this argument. At the very least out of curiosity of how it would’ve been responded to.

Many times when too much ground is covered in a film, things get a little sloppy. The audience tends to notice when small details go uncovered or if things seem out of place. The intent may have been to bombard the audience with an abundance of subplots so that they, in fact, don’t notice the little things.

On the upside, both Stone and Carell do a fine job in each of their respective roles. Stone is almost unrecognizable as King, transforming herself perfectly for the character. And Carell conquers the tumultuous, crazy nature of Riggs, making us both like him and annoyed by him. It’s still not quite enough to prevent this film from reaching its full potential.

Twizard Rating: 70

Quick Movie Review: American Made (2017)

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Tom Cruise often gets stigmatized as a guy who plays the same role a bunch of different times. This may be true in most cases. Some outliers, though, would be his character in the films Collateral, Far and Away, and a few others. And now, moviegoers can throw in American Made.

Cruise plays Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who gets recruited by the CIA to take secretive aerial photos of Central America amidst the Cold War in the late 1970s. He quickly finds himself running drugs to and from the States for the Medellin Cartel and Pablo Escobar.

In his most enjoyable performance in years, Cruise brings a different-than-normal charisma to his role. Usually, he plays a character that can’t be beat. You know he’s always going to be okay in the end. You know that if trouble comes, he’ll get out of it scot free. This is also something that can distance audiences from his characters, often coming off as unrelatable. But in American Made, he’s vulnerable, he’s likable, and he’s actually pretty funny.

There’s a very realistic dose of levity throughout the movie. Not like Wolf of Wall Street, where you feel like the humor is grossly over-exaggerated. Here, it’s as though Seal was an advisor during the script writing.

The special effects are very appropriate to the time being depicted. They feel practical. There are no real big explosions or chase scenes–something else out of the norm for a Tom Cruise film.

While being a statement on politics of the 1980s, American Made is also a lot of fun. It’s commentary is mostly ironic. While you’re laughing at the true events, you’re also realizing that they’re simply that.

The momentum builds the crazier it gets. The events start off slow, and the filmmakers refrain from creating any false suspense early on. Then it gets out of control and you feel it.

The only issue with this film is the lack of conscience of the characters involved. Cruise plays a likable guy. “He’s good people,” I’m pretty sure another character says at one point. Yet, he seems to have no qualms about helping out the supremely violent drug cartel in Colombia. However, he doesn’t seem to be in it for the money, because he’s constantly complaining about having more than he needs. He never really spends any of it. And he also never really makes it seem like he’s doing it because he’s too scared to leave, either. At one point, he expresses concern that he’s transporting weapons, but soon forgets about it, inexplicably. I suppose maybe we are to assume that he’s scared, but he never once seems like it. Whatever it is, it’s not nearly transparent enough for those of us invested.

But the film is really fun. It’s about as political a popcorn film can get without making you think too hard. Its narrative doesn’t skip any beats. And preserving the fluid tone is perhaps why we don’t get too much introspection on the lead character’s behalf–or anyone’s behalf for that matter. It gets its point across without it.

Twizard Rating: 94

Quick Movie Review: mother! (2017)

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Before stepping foot into a theater to watch mother!–if you actually decide to–you must know that this film is entirely an allegory. It’s not meant to be real. It’s meant to be told from the perspective of Mother Nature. I tell you this because if you don’t know this ahead of time, most of you will not understand what’s happening and the film will alienate you before you’re able to read into it.

And there is a lot to read into. This isn’t a film to just decide to throw on. It’s a piece of work. It’s exhausting. Something that you must dedicate some time afterward reflecting upon. Otherwise the 2 hours you spend watching it will be in vain. Or you could just not watch it. Which is what I would suggest.

I don’t mind a metaphorical film. Life of Pi is one of my favorites. But with mother! there is no humanity to tether down the film. You can relate to the protagonist’s plight and suffering, maybe, but not to the protagonist herself. The characters are human in appearance, but hardly act as a human actually would. It’s void of all emotion, dragging on for way too long as you sit there, tired, waiting to find out what the point of it all is.

Jennifer Lawrence plays Mother, who’s married to Javier Bardem’s character, who’s a struggling author. They live alone in a house in the country while Bardem is amidst a creative drought. Things are disrupted when an older married couple intrude on their lives and move in. Before this couple shows up, Lawrence and Bardem’s life together is supposed to be peaceful, but director, Darren Aronofsky, doesn’t really depict it this way. In fact, there is tension and suspense even before the couple shows up.

From there, a series of wild and nauseating events occur that I can’t even fully explain. It basically goes through the story of mankind from Adam and Eve to the apocalypse. It’s 2 hours, but feels like 3. It’s pretentious and honestly, not a film that should be widely distributed. There are art houses for a reason.

Aronofsky is creating an exploitation as someone must actually believe. If he didn’t, he would have no film. Why would he try to satirize followers of a being he doesn’t believe in.

The film isn’t an attack on Christians as much as it is an attack on those who claim to be Christian without knowing why. If it were an attack on Christians, it wouldn’t make much sense because then the film fails to show us what happens to those Christians who do obey and love their Creator. In his vision, there are no good people whatsoever. It depicts followers as mindless, yet doesn’t show what their reward is once they die. It doesn’t show the counterargument.

The metaphor, here, is taken too literally that, at times, we end up laughing at the ridiculousness or becoming frustrated with Lawrence’s willingness to put up with all this for as long as she does.

With all of it so carefully crafted, Aronofsky makes one mistake. Mother Nature isn’t in the Bible. In fact, it seems that he’s made Mother Nature and Mary, the Blessed Mother, as one in the same. Which wouldn’t make much sense because Mary is depicted as patient and kind, constantly vouching for humans’ actions, while his Mother Nature is wrathful and protective of Earth rather than the people living on it.

With films like Life of Pi, the main character is an actual human. We go through the entire film thinking that these events could have actually happened, only to find out at the end that perhaps it was all a metaphor.

mother! is different. The events in this film are so bizarre that we know they’re impossible. Not in a sci-fi kind of way, because a good sci-fi makes you feel like the events could actually happen. The metaphor in mother! is taken way too literally that nothing feels realistic. We sit there waiting for a human reason for why everything is happening, but we slowly get less of one. Metaphors only work when you can relate on a human level. This has the opposite of that.

The film is interesting enough until the second half, when Aronofsky decides to plummet the viewer into his own opinion of religion and Christians, themselves. Bardem’s character writes a piece of work (the Gospels), which is terribly misunderstood by his fans, causing them to go crazy and turn his house into a living hell.

The problem is, Aronofsky is criticizing people for acting upon a misunderstanding, yet he gives us something that is so abstract that it almost begs for us to misunderstand it.

He gives us a, many would say, sacrilegious piece of work all while criticizing those who exploit God. So is he condemning people? Or is he trying to leave it open to interpretation, himself exploiting the Creator?

The worst part is, if a filmmaker wanted to prove these points, he could have done so without making it so head-scratching and convoluted. Maybe then, the audience could actually understand his point. Because this film, unlike the Bible, isn’t significant enough for people to spend their lives trying to figure it out.

Twizard Rating: 42