Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Rosario Dawson

QuickView: Trance (2013)

“To be yourself you have to constantly remember yourself.”


After opening with an art heist, Trance takes a sudden psychological turn that spins the entire film into one of unreliable perspective as one of the thieves struggles to remember where he stashed a stolen painting. Although this is established early on, there is rarely a way to distinguish fantasy and reality so the audience is dragged along for the ride in a passive role. That would not matter if the film had greater depth than its central conceit but none of the leads are given any character development and only Rosario Dawson has sufficient material to shine. The script is overreliant on twists to keep the viewer engaged, and the result is the inverse — we never trust that there are stakes to anything we see. The writers are able to shift audience sympathies between the characters effectively, though the voiceovers are frequently heavy-handed (“No piece of art is worth a human life”). I do enjoy films that leave aspects open to interpretation, but by the end Trance felt frustratingly inconsequential — a disappointment from a director as capable as Danny Boyle.


QuickView: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie poster

“DC… the house that Batman built. Yeah, what, Superman? Come at me, bro.”


Arguing The Lego Batman Movie‘s ranking amongst DC movies is amusing, but more interesting is that applying The Lego Movie‘s tongue-in-cheek humour to Batman’s storied past has created DC’s closest big screen competitor to Deadpool. It takes swings equally at DC’s successes (Joker describing his plan as “better than the two boats”) and its failures (“What am I gonna do? Get a bunch of criminals together to fight the criminals? That’s a stupid idea.”), as well as highlighting the sociological flaws in supporting a billionaire vigilante. Will Arnett returns to voice Batman largely as a gruff and self-involved caricature. Though we see some loneliness and self-doubt beneath the cowl, it’s not written to be as nuanced as Arnett’s voice acting in the sublime Bojack Horseman. The Joker unsurprisingly takes a central role but the film takes full advantage of Batman’s extensive list of villains, as well as co-opting a few from other franchises with Lego deals. Director Chris McKay was the animation supervisor on The Lego Movie allowing for a seamless transition in visual identity with bright colours and showers of bricks as well as some impressively atmospheric lighting. The (constr)action, however, is far less creative which leads to a disappointingly forgettable third act that will cause fatigue as most adult viewers zone out.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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