I hope god can see his way to forgiving Nicolas Winding Refn for writing and directing something this pretentious. I’ve honestly never watched something that is so up its own arse in my life.
The film runs at an hour and a half though to be honest the plot, such that it is, is so thin that it could have been covered in half an hour.
There are scenes that happen, but then you’re not really sure if they’re part of the film or not. They don’t move the story on, they are never referenced again and most of them end without actually playing out to a conclusion, of any sort.
The shining light and the only thing that stopped me turning it off was Kristin Scott Thomas who is brilliant as the evil mother. She seems to relish the part turning on the vulnerability when required but mostly just being evil.
Ryan Gosling plays an extension of the part he played in Drive, I think he has maybe ten lines in the whole movie and five of those are: “do you want to fight?” Where he proceeds to get his ass handed to him by the bent copper, played by Vithaya Pansringarm, who is really the lead of the movie.
The film is dark, both in story terms and what you actually get on the screen. There are some wonderful shots and wonderful uses of the camera but they aren’t enough to keep you interested or to make up for what is generally just a writer/director on some kind of personal trip.
The pacing is horribly slow, there are times when it seems to build and you wait for the climax that just doesn’t happen, and we all know how frustrating that can be!
I was looking forward to the movie, I wanted to like it more than I liked Drive but I just felt frustrated and confused. The movie isn’t anywhere near as good as you sense if could have been and it’s not that accessible either. We wait to see what the next Refn film brings us.