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Old 09-11-2016, 11:54 AM   #172
Minion of Satan
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Posts: 5,473

I did genuinely enjoy certain aspects of the visual work and wouldn't deny that his pseudo-experimental diversions were incredibly effective at points, the best example of which probably being that disturbing encounter between the two men locked in a bluish metaphysical stasis. Other attempts were thoroughly hit-and-miss, but what stood out was how overuse of the dark void environment became tired and left its accompanying theme music to transition with it from neatly moody to borderline grating. Ultimately, these sequences were significantly less compelling than they ought to have been to justify turning them into a sort of motif and they rarely amounted to anything more than implied doom treated with the standard product photography you'd get in a perfume advertisement.

Outside of the stylistic touches that ultimately set the film apart from your more standard fare, there wasn't a whole lot to it. Performances ranged from fine to good and the dialogue was inoffensively forgettable, but what passed for a narrative was really quite bad. The story, for all its subtle delivery, amounted to little more than a long-winded reiteration of the science fiction trope that has humanity itself presented as somehow infectious and/or imitable. It clearly wasn't trying to be a plot-driven piece, but the omnipotent alien handlers with a penchant for sportsbikes and leather jumpsuits still struck me as a cringeworthy source of conflict and impossible to take seriously. I also could have done without such heavy reliance upon a deus ex machina style of development whereby surfing Czech heroes, random dudes on buses that seem weirdly cool with fucking semi-catatonic invalids and the bravest truck-driving forest rapist in history proved essential to anything happening at all outside of Scarlett Johansson flirting with Scottish men in a Toyota HiAce before taking them back to Million Privé by Paco Rabanne.

There were some perfectly nice establishing shots and landscape work that'd stand tall amongst the holiday snaps of an experienced amateur photographer, though, to be fair.

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