The action finale that wowed me upon its initial release continues to leave me cold upon subsequent viewings. The loving genre horseplay that worked so well in Shaun of the Dead is present here, but the line between sly satire and tired stereotypes becomes increasingly blurred as the film wears on. It's long, it's loud, and even Wright's superb sense of staging begins to lose its polish by its end.
I've never seen Clooney try so hard. He has some powerful moments but they continue to feel at odds with his leading-man persona. Likewise, the rest of the cast turn in performances that are individually effective (Viola Davis is particularly outstanding), but don't merge to form an entirely coherent effect. What should be a lyrical and haunting final act ends up feeling rushed and a little off-key.