🇵🇱 Steve G 🇵🇸’s review published on Letterboxd:
Robert Pattinson does it again.
And by "it" I mean being superb in a bad film. Come on, man, it took a long time for me to be interested in you once you'd dragged your arse through the Twilight films, and now you've tasked yourself with the impossible mission of trying to elevate a string of mostly turds to something approaching respectability.
His main problem here is that he's not really in The Devil All the Time very much, his comparatively small role seeming even smaller in a mental energy-sapping 138 minute slog through a sort of Deep South neo-noir melodrama that is served up on to your telly or selected electronic device like dollops of lumpy mashed potato. He can't do anything with this shit, nobody can.
Antonio Campos did what I hoped he wouldn't do, delving more into the sort of detritus he served up with the appalling Simon Killer rather than the measured, if problematic, Christine. Off we go wallowing in the worst tendencies of human kind, embracing the darkness but refusing to go anywhere with it, or making any commentary on it. You know, like a great noir, classic or otherwise, usually does.
There's just absolutely no form to this. It's so lumpen and disconnected that it feels like an anthology at times, with connections formed through chance rather than circumstance and building up to an ending that doesn't really resemble the culmination of anything meaningful. It's miserable but possesses no atmosphere, meaning that it doesn't even feel chilling on the surface.
The cast is stirred in liberally, with every female character boiled away into the vapour of insignificance, especially so in the case of Haley Bennett and Mia Wasikowska. Tom Holland wears a cap low and smokes the odd cig in what I'm sure he thought was a foolproof way of convincing many of his MCU devotees that he has range to his acting outside green screens and soulless money-grabbing. He might have some range but it fucking well isn't here. He's either miscast or misguided in Campos' film, probably both, he just doesn't fit the bill at all.
Then there's a narration that sounds like something out of an episode of Grizzly Adams. I don't remember if Grizzly Adams ever had any narration but if it did, I imagine it would sound a lot like this. It doesn't serve the purpose of easing the difficulties of figuring out the plot here, because there barely is one, so what's it here for?
What's anything in The Devil All the Time here for? It's fucking shit.