The Great Gatsby for the post-Great Depression era. No longer are wealth and power a means to an end, but the end in and of themselves. An end that can never be reached of course, because there’s always more to be had. Where Gatsby is described as “related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away”, Vendig refers to himself simply as an adding machine.
Another entry in the John Wick-subgenre of action movies. But an entry that has enough tweaks to the original formula to make for a very solid and enjoyable movie.
What I like is that the inciting incident isn’t an unprovoked attack on the hero that justifies his rampage. Instead it’s the result of wounded male ego. We also actually get to see some of the aftermath of the violence, nameless henchmen aren’t just disposed of and immediately forgotten.
Decay is everywhere in this film. In the grainy 16mm footage, the tape loops in the soundtrack, the statues and architecture that look both ancient and futuristic, and of course in the story narrated by Tilda Swinton (the only person I could believe to be 2 billion years from the future). But in that decay there is beauty, just as there is beauty in human existence, no matter how brief it is on a cosmic timescale. The sun may have the power to wipe us out, but it is incapable of forming a single thought.