bybowes’s review published on Letterboxd:
I can't figure out whether this is exactly the movie I would have made if I'd grown up in Los Angeles, or if this is exactly the movie I would have made if I'd moved to Los Angeles when I was 25, but this movie's stoned sense of wasting the shit out of certain people's time is very near and warmly dear to my heart.
This is not to say it's perfect. The visual textures don't quite jibe with the whole "following your dick around like a divining rod and building cathedrals of bullshit" tone, which is one respect in which you really, really, really don't want to compare this film to INHERENT VICE. Which a *lot* of people have, and which is incredibly unfair to David Robert Mitchell. It's just really mean. I, just, no. Don't. This is an amiable piss take, which is a perfectly fine thing in and of itself. There's no need to bring modern masterpieces into the discussion.
To expand on the "visual textures" thing, I think this kind of film needs slightly more eccentric lens choices and a less smooth sheen, because while the photography looks quite nice and grit/grain is not an inherent virtue (even though it's a virtue in INHERENT VI---fuck, sorry, I'll stop), this is not a movie in which a smooth, commercial texture particularly is in aid of the material. It's another layer of ironic distance in a movie that's already got enough that you need binoculars.
What does work is the casting, which is fabulous, and displays a wonderful sense of the extratextual power of a good character actor. When Patrick Fischler shows up, it speaks really fucking well of the filmmakers that they thought to get Patrick Fischler. Same with Jimmi Simpson. And I would say Andrew Garfield is the perfect axis around which to spin all this shaggy-dog eyebrow waggling. He looks confused and mildly lost for the whole movie, but he's *really* high and apparently constantly tumescent, which pretty much explains it.
If by some unfortunate chance you're reading this deciding whether or not to watch the movie (which is free on Amazon as of the other day), please know there is a significant chance that you are going to find this the most irritating thing you've ever seen in your entire fucking life. If this is the case, I'm truly sorry that I find that so funny.