Apostle's interesting-albeit-derivative premise is quickly forgotten as it leads you down a wildly meandering path, relying on stomach-churning gore along the way to leave a lasting impression. At least it has beautiful scenery and a good soundtrack.
"This is cinema as imperfect polemic, not escapism. But as Europe continues to stumble from one political crisis to another, we need powerful reminders like this of what awaits down the road of nationalistic hatred that still tempts too many. Brace yourself, but see it."
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It's very easy to live vicariously through Black '47's nearly-silent protagonist; you'll be cheering in your seat as he metes out brutal justice to a roll-call of British-run Ireland's chief villains, including police officers, landlords, judges, aristocrats, soldiers and religious exploiters. The frequent use of the Irish language, and the film's novel approach to subtitling it, is laudable. Just don't go in to Black '47 expecting anything deeper than revenge porn (in the Tarantino vein, but tamer and lighter on…
Luca Guadagnino deserves some credit for making Suspiria his own; this is neither a shot-for-shot remake nor a particularly faithful one. It's brave to change a classic like this. Unfortunately, the end result is less unique, less beautiful and less haunting than the 1977 original. While Dakota Johnson proves to be very well cast, the new political sub-plot lacks a coherent message and the two-and-half-hour runtime feels totally unnecessary. The saving grace is that it could have been worse.