This is Overrated, the final destination for venting about film on the internet. I’d like to emphasize that this column is intended to be a bit of fun and my aim isn’t to upset anybody. I love film, and don’t enjoy people who hate on people with different opinions, so please take everything here as lightly as possible!
Half of Looper is a tensely exciting science-fiction film centred around a decently nifty time travel premise. The other half is the stuff on the farm. Disregarding the excruciatingly distracting PlayDoh-ish nose-job that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was subjected to, the first act of Rian Johnson’s Looper was at least promising; Baldy Willis threatens to shoot heap of people, Harry from Dumb and Dumber grows a beard and barks orders at bad guys, Paul Dano continues to cement his on-screen presence as the most irritating in the history of cinema.
And then our hero Joe (Gordon-Levitt) somehow stumbles onto the farm property of Sara (Emily Blunt) and Looper inexplicably and upsettingly transforms into a Z-grade Stephen King novel. And for those not of the literature persuasion, Stephen King has written some really shit novels.
Anybody who’d hoped that the peculiar father/son dynamic between Willis and Gordon-Levitt would play out to a satisfying conclusion would go home disappointed. Instead, we were treated to an insipid romance between Joe and Sara as well as the maddening Rainmaker subplot involving Sara’s little turd of a Cid Sid and his Telekinetic abilities.
Apparently, Emily Blunt agreed to do the film after only reading half of the script. Whoopsy daisies.
The Cornetto Trilogy
Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) & The World’s End (2013)
Over the entire course of Edgar Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ I laughed collectively 7 times (6 if you don’t include the time I was laughing about something else that popped into my head which was completely unrelated to any the films). I have the world’s greatest sense of humour. If you follow on from that solid fact logically, you’ll eventually arrive at the conclusion that the fault lies with Wright’s films.
High-concept comedy will often run into problems during the concluding act, because ultimately the premise has to be resolved. It’s no mean feat incorporating comedy and plot. The same problems popped up in this year’s This Is The End, which was very funny up until the plot kicked into gear. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, the films that make up The Cornetto Trilogy, suffer from the same dilemma, and to complicate things further they’re not very funny to begin with.
I want to like Wright’s films. I want to find Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as likeable as everybody else seems to. But ultimately it feels a bit like that time when everybody loved Joy Division except me. Sometimes we were meant to rage against the machine, like nomad Samurai wandering the land, unintentionally disliking things that are otherwise very popular.
Spaced was awesome though.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Denzel Washington is great at playing Denzel Washington as much as the next man, especially when he plays Denzel Washington in a Police Uniform or Denzel Washington in a Criminal Uniform or Denzel Washington in a Lawyer Uniform. My main criticism of the big fella is that if you’re after a character that doesn’t behave like Denzel Washington, you’d be far better off casting an actor who’s got the ability to not act like Denzel Washington. Because Denzel Washington isn’t very good at that.
Update: ReelGood just rewatched Philadelphia and now we feel bad about that last paragraph