Where to begin. Good Lord. This movie actually bypasses bad in the end and just becomes gobsmackingly incredible. Y’know … when people use the phrase “style over substance” it’s usually a lie – it usually means the movie is slick, and though there is a plot and everything, sometimes even a pretty good plot, it doesn’t really amount to anything compared to the beautiful images, beautiful people, killer soundtrack, etc you really came to see. Think, say, much of Michael Bay’s work, or Brian De Palma’s.
I was lead to believe that this movie brings entirely new meaning to the phrase, practically ditching the plot altogether and just delivering a barrage of glossy sex and ultra-violence. It being under the guidance of Michael Mann, I thought, it couldn’t be that bad, could it? Yet I can barely even see the style here – in brief flashes, I’d be almost tempted to say “slick” … but it’s really never prettier than a TV commercial, barely cinematic, hardly artistic in the slightest, it almost feels more like someone pretending to be Michael Mann. I really, truly can’t believe he made this movie.
I’ve heard arguments that the bloody climax justifies the movie’s many failings, and I sat around waiting for this big event. Close to the 2 hour mark I found myself wanting to scream at the screen, “Just f*cking shoot each other already!” When that first bullet that triggers the avalanche goes off, I’m sure there must’ve been a few massive cheers erupted in cinemas. Something finally happens! And it is the best part of the movie. But after the build-up, I’m in no mood to be so generous as to let it be an excuse for the rest. There’s no excuse whatsoever for the sheer complete nothingness of this movie’s first 90 minutes or more.
Oh, and all this plus the weird ‘romantic’ interludes make this the most untentionally hilarious piece of macho bullsh*t I’ve seen since Friday Night Lights. It really is, I hope, the most gigantic mess I’ll see this year. One odd thing I noticed was that the editing style seems to be trying to do the same thing Thelma Schoonmaker did with The Departed; but where that movie was near genius, this is just utterly incoherent. It made me realise all over again how amazing the editing was on that movie.
In a way I’m kinda glad I watched this today, because now I get to say a movie was so much worse than Little Miss Sunshine ‘cos I have to admit I was feeling pretty bad about being as hard on Little Miss as I was, and this truly puts the whole situation in context, lol. Also, I kinda had a weird smirk on my face at the end here as I realised I might have a new worst movie I’ve ever seen to stick on the bottom of some lists. So it’s really not all bad, I guess, lol. I’m strange that way.