Friday, May 9, 2014
Ordinarily I'm a big fan of films that could just as well be plays. I love character driven, dialogue driven stories that rely on great actors giving great performances rather than CGI and explosions. And who better to star in, essentially, a one man show that takes place in real time inside a car than Tom Hardy. Hardy is an exceptional actor and a chameleon, looking and sounding so different in every role that it's often hard to recognize it's him. (e.g. 'Bronson', 'Warrior', and 'The Dark Knight Rises'.) This time he plays a man in crisis, dealing with career and family issues over a series of phone calls that all take place during an 85 minute drive. The general consensus of reviewers would have you believe it's a tour de force performance, compelling, moving, and suspenseful. I wish I could agree, but the reality is, as much as I wanted to love it, I just didn't. In fact, it was very hard to stay awake, as Hardy's choice of soft spoken manner of speech kept lulling me off into the nap I so wanted. But I toughed it out, stayed awake, and made it to the end only to discover there was no payoff. I disagree with the consensus. It's a disappointment.
Who is this movie for? Those who want to spend 85 minutes with a soft spoken Tom Hardy on the phone in his car. You could do worse but you could do better. Though this one may actually work better on the small screen as a rental in a few months.