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I had read Mr. Lane's rather negative take on this in the New Yorker, but elected to view it anyway. He has a point in the abstract, but what he fails to mention is that the picture is based on comic books which makes it closer to Sin City than Pulp Fiction (his comparison). That said this is a hyper-violent, paranoid, amoral, loud, beautiful mess. Yet it has enough adrenaline for a multiplex of other movies. And you do get Angelina Jolie (looking a tad too thin for my taste, but still good), James McAvoy, Terence Stamp, Morgan Freeman and Common. Just go to be entertained. If you think about it, it hurts.

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I hated this movie with just about every fiber of my being. The mindless violence didn't bother me (though you can only see so many curving bullets before it gets old) -- but the crass, cruel, mean attitude and contempt to the audience, women, you name it, did. (And I saw Fight Club four times in the theater.) But I realize I'm in the minority on this, though I'm a bit dumbfounded as to why. The Guardian review pretty much sums up my feelings on it.

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I see your point and The Guardian's, viz.,

I have to say I don't think I've seen a film recently which expresses hatred of women quite so openly, and fervently, as this one. In a way, Wes's boss is the most vivid female character in the film, more powerfully and pointedly conceived than the others: more than Wes's horrible, duplicitous girlfriend, who gets to be humiliated by seeing Wes kissing Fox and more than Fox herself, who is basically an honorary male. This is a film where womankind is represented by irrelevant sleek babes and obese comic foils, an ugly whorehouse aesthetic which really does sock over its contempt for femaleness very, very powerfully indeed.

 

I guess I'd buy into this more if virtually all the characters in the film didn't come off as pretty repulsive folks when it's all said and done, so a little sexism seems the least of a fantasy based on comics for teenage boys. The boss gets her comeuppance for her bossness, not her femaleness if you want to get into it. And you could also argue that Fox/Jolie is an empowered woman. The girlfriend is a ditz, but then so is the guy she's cheating on Wes with so both sexes come in for abuse there.

 

I think one problem with the mistreatment of women meme is that the film is pretty obviously an entertainment directed toward teenage boys. Okay, a reviewer might worry about the treatment of women. On the other hand, with a film like A Clockwork Orange no one seemed concerned about the treatment of adults of either sex, and some of what was on display there was pretty raw.

 

I'm also unclear about the "whorehouse aesthetic" and what it is. The sleekest babe by far is Fox, and she doesn't bed anyone. The girlfriend is just a tramp. The boss is sexless really, more obese than male or female. The film is surely more vulnerable to criticism about amoral violence and gratuitous displays of it (see Mr. Lane), not to mention lots of illogic (ditto).

 

All that aside, the pace, the stunts and the computer wizardry are eye boggling. Just sayin'.

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You're definitely right... it's aimed at 12-year-old boys despite being a very hard R. But I think Shoot 'Em Up was a much better, tongue-in-cheek, example of the exact same thing. Not that I'd want to watch that again either.

 

I guess I was more bothered by the crassness of the first half hour than anything else. It takes the same amped-up approach to office scenes as the action, which is a little hard to watch. I also didn't need the f-bomb every third word. Again, I'm no prude but it was just sort of graceless I thought.

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All the grace is in the CGI as when they do that car over another vehicle trick--which is impressive the first time. I suspect the office scenes are based on the comic books. The theater in which I saw the movie was nearly full and the crowd clapped at all the expected places.

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All the grace is in the CGI as when they do that car over another vehicle trick--which is impressive the first time. I suspect the office scenes are based on the comic books. The theater in which I saw the movie was nearly full and the crowd clapped at all the expected places.

 

 

The movie is apparently way toned-down compared to the comic, which features characters bragging about raping celebrities. To each their own, I thought this was garbage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Saw this, and I ascribe to school of thought #2 (garbage, but entertaining). I'd expected more from it as the descriptions made it sound Matrix-y, though this film hadn't a thought in its head. I hate to reduce a film to the pat phrase, "the special effects were great!", but there you go.

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Saw this, and I ascribe to school of thought #2 (garbage, but entertaining). I'd expected more from it as the descriptions made it sound Matrix-y, though this film hadn't a thought in its head. I hate to reduce a film to the pat phrase, "the special effects were great!", but there you go.

Word!

 

[Do peeps still say, "Word"?]

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