I will try to make this as spoiler free as possible. If you want me to do a spoiler version, let me know!
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Starring: Tim Roth, Haley Bennett, and Sharlto Copley
I had zero expectations for this film going in. I told one of my friends that I thought it was going to be bad and I was along for the ride. Boy, I was wrong. This is probably the most fun I’ve had in the theater in 2016. Which is saying something because I saw both the Hateful 8 and Deadpool in theaters (before the year, I would’ve guess BvS, but then Zach Snyder happened). It’s a wild ride that stresses its high energy almost to a fault. It is never stopping high energy fun that goes for 90 minutes.
I will say the story has little substance and doesn’t entirely make sense, as much as it wants you to believe it does. It will probably take a second viewing to fully understand it. I enjoyed the fact that even with the faulty story, I cared some about what was going on. I wasn’t too overly impressed with it, but I had fun and that’s what I wanted.
This movie brings the fun like Mad Max: Fury Road. The first person angle along with the protagonist being completely silent brought more energy to the film that I could have imagined. There some parts that it drug just because the audience needed to get their bearings. I thought, as a whole, the film did a good job of establishing what was happening in the big moments and gave enough background to fully understand why things were happening. I like the “glitches” in the system to hide some of the jump cuts. It was a subtle touch that allowed the movie to go forward without dragging along. The last fight sequence is what really impressed me! I was practically at the edge of my seat as it progressed. It’s so awesome and made me want to watch more. I was not expecting that going in.
The main thing that I was not expecting was the sheer amount of comedy in the film. A whole character is dedicated to comic relief and for good reason. With a silent protagonist, things can go dark fairly easily. This film does a nice job of balancing it out to make the audience laugh and stay focused on what is going on, on screen. I thought the way that the main character shakes his head and uses hand motions in a limited way is entertaining and gives the character more emotion that Kristen Bell in Twilight. When one of the characters is fully introduced, the film shows how it can be hilarious. Some parts were over done, but this film needed breaks between the action and the way that they were filmed were interesting and fun.
The main thing that I was expecting was the motion sickness. The trailer does a poor job of keeping people’s food in their stomachs. Its rapid cuts and fast pace were dizzying even after many viewings. The film is NOT this bad. The way that scenes are blended together are nice and coherent. The flow does not disrupt the viewing experience. It still is in first person so if you do get sick easily, I’d recommend not going or sitting in the back. The movie forces you to pay attention because if you’re not fully paying attention, sudden jerks and movements can make your stomach go weak. I only felt a little sick in two particular scenes.
Overall, this is a fun exciting movie that you shouldn’t take too seriously. I would recommend it to someone who play video games frequently or just wants to turn their brain off after a long day. It’s a fun, nonstop, wild ride that I was laughing and enjoying throughout. Please don’t take this movie too seriously, that’s not the point of it.
Score: 7 out of 10