Audie Murphy's eyes alone can reconcile elements of bad performances or budgetary restraints of the b-film, transforming an ill timed gesture from a bit character into yet another chilling moment born from Audie’s ability to identify with the archetype he is asked to “perform”. This is a lesser film than No Name On The Bullet and by no means a directorial masterpiece, but rather a masterpiece of Audie's commanding screen presence, allowing an elevated emotion and realism to creep into the b-film aesthetic. The Bressonian comparisons to performance are on target.
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.