Dirk van Eck’s review published on Letterboxd:
Taken from the IMDb trivia section: “Christian Bale had no lines to learn and Terrence Malick only gave him the character description. During filming Terrence Malick would use a technique he called ‘torpedoing’ where he would unexpectedly send people into the scene to get a reaction from the actors who were performing.”
… But Christian Bale hardly ever responded to anyone? Ninety percent of the time he is just standing there in silence, perceiving, yet ignoring, the people who talk to, or yell at, him. Hate it when filmmakers do this. It is an over-used ‘technique’ to create a ‘profound’ character — it looks more as if he is simply a mute though. This is made worse by the fact that the whole film seems to be a ‘Malick takes his camera wherever he goes and Bale drops in every now and then’ experiment. An in-between production made to connect the several projects he is running right now (it would not surprise me if he actually used rejected footage from his two upcoming movies in here). I adore The Tree of Life and think To the Wonder is vastly underrated, but Knight of Cups really is too plotless. Malick has gone too far on this one. The only merit is the stunning photography, which is once again amongst the best ever shot. Still looking much forward to his Untitled Project (Weightless?) and the Voyage of Time ‘documentary’.