Serious pacing problems and an ending that makes no sense...which is really saying something for a frackin' time-travel movie.
Main thing, though, is how unambitious and plodding the whole thing is.
Oh, and the treatment of female characters is pretty regressive, too.
Other than that it was fine.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Whiplash is not so much a film about a bully with a scorched-human-earth policy towards uncovering greatness as it is about an angry young man who continually chooses abuse over love and the potential for greatness over the potential for happiness. The core of the film illustrates a horrific, painful, and dysfunctional teacher-student relationship–one that is the antithesis of everything I’ve learned about teaching in a career of developing students in the liberal arts. But that relationship is, in the final analysis, a symbiotic one.
It feels scandalous, maybe even blasphemous to talk about the Dardennes maturing, getting *better,* and yet I personally feel their last three films, rather than stopping at the moment of epiphany, have soldiered on into more complex narrative denouements that somehow avoid the inevitable conclusions you think you see coming and yet are nevertheless true to the stories they tell. As writers, they are unsurpassed...and there have been moments in the last two films where I've felt the joy of life shared and not just a social studies lesson. It doesn't get any better than this.