Review – Cosmopolis

                      Rating = ★      Tagline = Avoid

Cosmopolis is easily one of the most monotonous movie experiences I have ever endured. When I finished it, I was curious to what everyone else had thought. After I did some research; it turned out audiences pretty much felt the same way I did. I’m shocked that Rotten Tomatoes scores this a 64%. Any positive reviews I’ve read of this have all said close to the same thing. “It takes multiple viewings to read all the messages deeply layered into the story.” “A statement on capitalism has never been done more subtly.” The movie does have some good ideas, but it’s not worth praise just because it has some ideas. A good deal of movies have something they want to get across – it just doesn’t always work out in an effective way. Here, nothing is executed that well (that’s not even the worst part). To top off all the other problems; you will have to fight hard not to fall asleep. If you stay awake, you will think only of leaving that never ending limo ride.

Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) – 28-year-old multi-billionaire – one day decides to get a hair cut. The trip is long; it is across New York city on a day where the president is in town and a famous rap star’s funereal will be taking place. The traffic is horrendous. On his way to the hair salon, he meets up with many people in his stretch limo. They range from businesspeople, advisers, and his doctor. He occasionally ventures out of the limbo to meet up with his wife or his mistress. Over the course of the day though, it starts to appear someone might want him dead.

David Cronenberg wrote and directed this. You can’t say Cronenberg’s direction is bad; in a way, it’s flawless. DeLillo’s novel has been deemed unfilmable; I agree with that. Without straying from the material, no one can make that story better than it’s done here. I have not read the book (I’ve no intention to), but it seems so out there only a novel could make it at least somewhat interesting. If anyone attempts to do this again make sure to twist things around a bit – I don’t mean to dumb it down. The screenplay was the safety net for this whole thing. It wouldn’t have saved it, but it could have done wonders. With almost the whole movie dealing with two or so people talking in a single space; good dialog is needed. The dialog seemed more concerned about sophisticated words than utilizing them. By know, it is known that Cronenberg dissed The Dark Knight Rises by saying it was silly and boring. He should have said that when he had a better movie coming out.

He doesn’t stay out for long.

Such a unique style is used. Usually when I saw that it’s a compliment. Here though, it couldn’t be more of the opposite. I admire the attempt to try something completely out of the box that it left the factory. But, man did this not work out. Along with the atmosphere being extremely bleak, everything is so bland. It was purposely filmed in a way devoid of any emotion – this is only acceptable if it turned out they were in The Matrix. Anything that would normally bring excitement felt boring as well. People would just talk in that limo and venture out for a couple of minutes at times. We’ve seen movies where most of the time everyone is in one spot. Buried and 127 Hours comes to mind. Most of this movie takes place in a limo. Noting keeps you engaged and you desperately want to leave. I was wishing the limbo crashed every couple of minutes. The style only could have worked if the script was flawless; unfortunately, it’s not.

The acting is hard to explain. I want to say it’s not that great, but I can’t really blame anyone who’s involved. Robert Pattinson is known for the Twilight series. Throughout the years of doing those movies, he has done some things on the side. He could have easily just stuck doing Twilight type stuff. But, he looks for interesting roles in smaller movies. I was interested to see him in this because he got to work with a truly great director. Sadly, this was the wrong project. Pattinson has acting talent; I hope a role comes along where he can fully unleash what is buried somewhere in him. As for the other cast members, they just coast. Whenever anyone talks it’s so bland. A few times someone would speak up, but never with emotion. The entire cast could have been played by anyone; wouldn’t have made any difference.

The biggest problem with Cosmopolisis is its far too tedious. I can’t think of one thing that I liked. Some things I appropriated, but that’s different than actually liking it. So, even if you’re a Cronenberg fan; stay away from this one. People I know who went to see this in the movie theater all walked out. Most of the time I oppose that, but an exception to the rule has presented itself. I’m so glad I didn’t see this in the theater. Most movies – even if I didn’t enjoy it – has an audience that will like it. Like I said, I love some Cronenberg movies, but he missed the target. If you liked this; please comment and tell me why. Give me good reasons too, not the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph. I guess you can rent this if you have trouble going to bed.

13 thoughts on “Review – Cosmopolis

  1. I’d nearly forgotten this one until I read your review–one of your best, might I add. I believe you are the first in the ring of movie bloggers whom I actually follow to review this film. I was, at one point, curious about the film: the 64% grade got me thinking, well, maybe Mr. Pattinson is stepping up his game, and is no longer (*shudder*) Edward Cullen. I guess I can do without it.

    On a side note, I’m not sure I’ll ever watch a Cronenberg film after his comments this summer. Although clearly he was directing his thoughts at TDKR, he claimed that the superhero/comic book genre was silly and for children, as if that was a rule of thumb or something. Yet he directed A History of Violence, which is based on a graphic novel.

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t tell anyone to see this. It’s been a good while since I gave anyhting lower than a one and a half. I never really got why Cronenberg blasted TDKR out of the blue like that.

      If you ever do see a Cronenberg movie sometime in the future, see Eastern Promises. It’s one of those trialers that misleads you a bit though.

      Thanks a lot.

  2. Hi Alec, I didn’t review it but commented I think on 3guys1movie about it. Tedius is the perfect word. Even with Paul Giamatti at the end this story was just too “aren’t we all so smart” smuggness and don’t even get me started on the medical exam. This is one David Cronenberg dud but check out his son’s writing directing in Antiviral. I gave it a 9/10! Really good review Alec.

  3. This movie plain and simply blew! Seriously, barely anything kept me interested one bit and the way everybody talked just pissed me off to the end of no return. Maybe Pattinson has a future as a respectable actor, but dull-ass roles like these aren’t going to help him in the long-run at all. Good review Alec. Huge disappointment from Cronenberg. Big-time, actually.


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