maxwill’s review published on Letterboxd:
The dreamy, spacey and surreal
urban counterpart to To the Wonder.
Knight of Cups , the newest art-piece-thing from Terrence Malick, at times takes me through an achingly beautiful and spiritual journey of a man failing to live the life he wants to live, while at other times pretty much defines redundancy, and can barely keep me engaged.
To start, I'll say that I think it's fair to say that KoC is less accessible than To The Wonder, which, to be clear, is objectively neither a good or a bad thing.
(Personally I just prefer the slightly more pinpointed focus...
the heart-meltingly beautiful, simple suburban landscapes of To The Wonder and its bone-bare story of love and general feeling for one another within nature.
Yes I fucking adore To the Wonder. Anyone else??)
Knight of Cups, though, seems to be trying (really hard) to be anything but simple in its presentation, yet as far as I can tell is about even less than To the Wonder. It's a film that repeatedly hits you over the head with its one theme of the struggles of a man led down the wrong path of what he thought was or would be the "good life".
Much of the film seems to be not much more than a series of different images and narration, all essentially saying the same thing in extremely similar ways each time. It just feels... random and almost, dare I say, too unprepared/underdeveloped for even a Terrence Malick film.
I can appreciate moments of it, but as a whole experience it just doesn't have enough steam behind it to be a film that I can positively say that I like.
"Knight of Cups" to me, if anything, seems to be indication that this Chivo + Malick thing is running out of steam.
But maybe its just a misstep for them.
Call me an underwhelmed Malick fan.