Sam Meltzer🏳️🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
Did you know? This is actually Bonnie and Clyde 2. They had to replace the lead actor but Jack’s better than Warren Beatty could ever be. This is is one of the few sequels that improves on the original!
This movie feels really ambiguous. Like, nothing about it feels too certain for a while and everything is just so mysterious. There isn’t really a setup, so you are immediately put into this ongoing situation. The use of visual storytelling is something I absolutely admire and adore. Not only does it make the movie more thrilling and intense, but it gives the audience a chance to understand the characters’ actions without using conversation. Chinatown understands how to show the audience a lot through both conversations and the characters’ actions. It’s an extremely immersive experience because of this, and the fact that all the characters feel so unforced and perfectly different adds to the experience so much. The chemistry between Jacky and Faye is something so interesting to see as you watch an uncomfortably and emotionally different duo complete a seemingly difficult task. They’re trying to find out one thing, but there is a lot that they have to uncover before that. This movie is best at having a simple story to begin with, and branching off into an interesting and complex narrative. There are many instances where I was left shocked with either a character’s action or a revealing moment. There is a tense build-up here that is incomparable to any other film. It doesn’t feel like tension is building, you just feel as if you’re watching an interesting story until the twists happen and you begin to realize how everything connects and intertwines. From its performances, directing and especially screenplay, Chinatown is absolutely worthy of the praise it receives.