Meek's Cutoff

I turned this off around the midpoint.

I almost regret doing so, because it was such a joy to look at. Gorgeous cinematography. Good use of aspect ratio. Atmosphere was spot-on. Otherwise, it's a chore. Half the movie transpired with hardly any event of consequence occurring. Characters exist as actors and wardrobe. Dialogue is mixed too low to be useful.

Some films exist as stories with plots, others as abstract pieces of symbolism and meaning. Both approaches can work exceptionally well and both approaches can produce some of the medium's finest works. A half-measure between these points is a failure from the start with the surest of guarantees. If you don't want to develop characters and have them preform actions of interest and significance that lead to other actions of significance within a time-frame that evokes tension and conflict with the other characters, then the imagery and editing and other filmic elements need to do the work of delivering the message.

Neither one is done here. The images say as much as the actors, which is precious little. The film is as flat as the desert landscape and twice as dry. Some moments stood out as inspired, yet every one of these polished gems was surrounded with half a dozen slow slogs of vacant repetition standing in place of proper scenes.

This is not a movie. It's a skeleton, existing without the life that cinema demands as a form of art. With no new ideas or themes being expressed as the runtime dripped away like a molasses faucet clogged up in January, nor any evolution or deeper exploration of ideas already presented, I elected to stop wasting my time. Does the movie have anything to say in the second half that is not made abundantly clear in the first 20 minutes?

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