Jason Huang (黃擎元)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Had to travel quite a bit to see this one. Sad that a lot of upcoming A24 films aren't getting the widest release. Been busy so it's hard to make time to catch these films, but I really do want to support them. Fingers crossed for C'mon C'mon and Red Rocket coming near me.
Not gonna lie, been kinda disappointed with the recent slate of A24 films. The 2021 catalog has not been the greatest for me, as I found Zola, The Green Knight, Lamb, The Humans, and this one to be underwhelming. Not to say I dislike them (actually The Humans is the only one I'm more negative on) but I was genuinely hyped for all of them and none of them have lived up to my expectations. Funny enough, I fricking loved After Yang but that shit ain't getting a release till 2022.
I was quite a big fan of the first film, and this film takes a Kiarostami-esque approach to its narrative. Remember the Koker trilogy and how the sequel was sort of a making-of of the first film? This one is kind of the same. We relive Julie's tragedy and how she attempts to cope with it through her art. Her thesis film is a direct retelling of her feelings from the events of the first film, and it becomes very introspective at times, which is cool for sure. However, as the film becomes increasingly meta, it does get harder and harder to latch on to emotionally. The central issue of this film is that it ends up focusing more on Julie's filmmaking process rather than her actual grief, because at times it truly feels like her boyfriend from the first film is barely existent in the events of this film. Perhaps I'm just not big on meta cinema; which may explain why Where is My Friend's House is by far my favorite of the Koker trilogy.
Still, I found lots to like here. A rare and unique sequel for a movie that I didn't know needed a second film. It's a shame Robert Pattinson wasn't able to do this film; it would have brought a lot of A24-bros and hoes into the theater. Last scene was cool though!