I really dug this. I mean, I won’t buy it on DVD or anything but it was a great watch. It’s better than the adverts make it seem. I thought it would be kind of a dumb action film but it’s SO much more. The satire in it is spot-on, and won’t date. That’s the trouble with satire sometimes, it can become irrelevant really quickly. This won’t. This will only become irrelevant when one of two things happen: when we reach the time the film is set in (2028), or when poor people start getting treated with respect and dignity. So really this film has ten years of relevance, being set in a society where there are riots because access to water is being denied to people without money (something which a lot of people predict will happen in the future), so the film hits home in terms of satire. The rest of it? The plot is actually really well paced, it builds and progresses at a steady pace, not showing too much too soon, but also not spending so long building up that you end up bored. It looks stunning, the future-dystopian aesthetic showing a great mix of slick and dreary (like a Nick Cave album). The performances? Dave Bautista continues doing what he does, being terrifyingly intimidating with conflicting thoughts in his head. Sterling K Brown somehow manages to feel underused despite being a main character, and Jodie Foster is still a fucking treasure. I was reminded how truly great she is during this film, she wasn’t just acting vocally, or with her face, her entire body was consumed by her character, the way she stood, the way she walked, everything about her was character driven, and shows the difference between a great performer, and one of the greatest performers.
Despite that; Jodie Foster wasn’t my favourite part of the film. My favourite part of the film was the sense that there were other stories in this world. The spin-off potential is huge, everything about the world and the characters seems developed, to the point where if somebody told me it was a comic book adaptation I’d believe them. Even the way characters interact suggest a huge backstory behind their relationship (Batista and Foster in particular.
Now for the negatives; it’s really hard to find negative things about this. Not in a “it’s so brilliant it’s almost perfect” way, but in a “not a lot of it stood out” way. What it does, it does well, but it very does better than that. The plot is simply an excuse for the action scenes at times. I mean, that’s fine, but it would be nice if it tried harder. Also the satire doesn’t go quite as hard as you feel it should, it very quickly becomes just the backdrop, it would be like if Robocop had the exact same setting and atmosphere, but was a movie about golf.
So in summary; very good, but continued the modern trend of “Jeff Goldblum turns up for only 5 minutes”, and makes me disappointed that Sofia Boutella still hasn’t had a film franchise built around her.