As with Raising Cain, this is De Palma at his most deranged and I appreciate the film greatly for this fact alone. The opening 13 minute take sets all the pieces into place but the camera is too busy enamoured to Nicholas Cage's corrupt cop to catch the conspiracy that is being constructed outside of the frame. What makes these opening 13 minutes work so well is not only the successful sense of apprehensiveness but the following cuts which distill…
Narratively flawed but immaculately directed, this is truly elemental filmmaking. The storytelling here is filled with narrative gaps and some of the characterisation is shallow, but Shyamalan is covering a lot of material for 100 minutes and hence I don't particularly mind that the narrative elements are a little uneven. Like Mike Thorn points out in his review, I completely forgot about the plot while watching the film and instead was swept away by the gorgeous visuals and expertly blocked…
Thank fuck I didn't pay to see this.
On a second viewing it only really solidified everything I thought the first time around... I don't know what Iñárritu is trying to prove here apart from his own brilliance. He doesn't even understand the filmmakers he blatantly steals from - the rhythms and associative qualities shared between Malick's images and cutting style are grossly misinterpreted here, the savagery completely discordant from the chosen aesthetic.
This is stunt filmmaking, engineered from the…
The exact moment in which Alejandro González Iñárritu shows his full hand comes close to the end of the film - where he holds his camera for a prolonged amount of time on the audience of Keaton's broadway production. As the audience is engulfed in furious applause, it becomes infuriatingly obvious that the film equates to nothing more than two hours of smug self congratulation, produced, written, directed, and most importantly starring Alejandro González "capeshit btfo" Iñárritu. Swapping structural gimmicks for visual ones, it has never been more apparent that Iñárritu has nothing worthwhile to say.