A star studded visual masterpiece that enhances a classic story using top tier vfx and cinematography techniques. First things first, I want to recognize the difficulty of telling a story with the amount of nuance found in this film. Regardless of having the original picture from 1984 and the novel to draw reference from, it’s very impressive that such detail was used to explain this complex narrative. Full transparency, I hadn’t seen the original before today, and also I had to watch this new release twice before writing my review because I was so overloaded with unfamiliar information. Not to mention I had to watch a youtube video explaining to me what the fuck I just watched. All in all, I spent over 7 hours taking this in, and as much as that may sound like an indictment of this film, it’s not. The complexity of the content was just too much for my feeble little mind to comprehend in just one take. That being said, while it is very interesting and unique, it’s not really for me. I can appreciate the world building and visual magnificence of this film, despite a personal lack of interest in the contents of the story.
Zendaya is a gigantic superstar that adds value to every film she’s in, so it’s no surprise that her celebrity was used to market this film, despite barely appearing in the first 130 minutes of the total 155 minute runtime. It was a little unsettling to me, as I expected her character to have more of an impact on the entire story, not just the final act. This isn’t a negative of the film itself, more-so the P&A efforts behind the film. It is pretty clear that her character will be of more importance in part 2, but still, I feel like they didn’t need to trick the audience like that. Having said that, her performance, albeit minor, along with the rest of the performances – was top tier. Timothee Chalamet is THAT dude, and he proved it with a once in a lifetime performance in one of the biggest films on the century so far. He was convincing, captivating, and easy to root for in what will ultimately be the biggest moment of his career. Unless he ends up playing Batman or something. Oscar Isaac (king daddy), Jason Mimoa (an absolute savage in this film), Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stellan Skarsgård (fucking disgusting), Dave Bautista (orc savage), David Dastmalchian (Polka Dot Man), Josh Brolin (the epitome of a man’s man), and Rebecca Ferguson (not nearly old enough to be cast as Chalemet’s mother) round out what was one of the deeper casts I’ve ever seen in a movie. There was clear camaraderie and onscreen chemistry amongst the entire cast, making it easy to be invested in this picture. By the way, every actor mentioned here has a bigger role than Zendaya in this film – everyone should be annoyed about the false advertisement regardless of how much you liked the film.
There’s a lot to unpack here, especially because there are some personal reasons why I didn’t really love this film, but it’s without question one of the most original, unique stories out there, and it was shot nearly to perfection. I have a very similar relationship with the Star Wars films and Game of Thrones, as they are most definitely not my cup of tea, but the quality of the overall product is undeniable.
Also, there’s very clearly supposed to be a part 2 to this film, but it hasn’t been announced yet. Letting the story end here would be a disaster and an epic waste of capital. Don’t let that happen, Warner Bros.
Added to Top 10 Films of 2021 Running List
Added to Top 10 Ensemble Casts of 2021 Running List