MOTHER! and AMERICAN ASSASSIN mini-musings

MOTHER!

 Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem star in Darren Aronofsky's newest film.

Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem star in Darren Aronofsky's newest film.

After seeing Darren Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN for the first time the week before seeing his new film, MOTHER!, I was ready for my mind to be blown and get really scared in a unique way. The marketing added to my excitement, but the final product turned out to be not what I was expecting at all. And that’s okay, because this movie seems extremely difficult to market. The surprise of the “story” was welcome, especially since there are so many ways to interpret the movie as a whole. Most of the theories I could come up with while watching fell apart towards the end, and it wasn’t until I read up on what Aronofsky intended that I truly understood it.

When the second half of the movie kicked in, I became uncomfortable in a bad way and started to hate being in the theater and waiting for the movie to be over. (I point to WHIPLASH and NIGHTCRAWLER when looking for movies that make me uncomfortable in a good way.) Looking back at it with allegory-colored glasses, I have a deeper appreciation of the film as a whole. But please, don’t make me sit through this again.

RATING: WHY DID I WATCH THIS?

(Refer to my rating system HERE!)


AMERICAN ASSASSIN

Playing out like a low-rent, young Jason Bourne, AMERICAN ASSASSIN is meant to start a new franchise for Dylan O’Brien to middling results. Based on a series of novels, O’Brien is fine as Mitch Rapp, an action lead, while Michael Keaton does his best with the material he’s given, and Taylor Kitsch is just there, not doing much as the main villain. There aren’t much stakes for most of the movie, nor do we spend enough time with any of the secondary characters for them to really matter. It’s a shame, because the opening beach sequence is violent, shocking but well-directed and acted. The rest of the movie can’t live up to that, with characters making weird, unexplainable choices.

That’s not to say that the action is bad. There are a few moments of great tension, but not much else to find here. The finale sparks more questions and should have been treated more drastically than how nonchalantly everyone was after what happens. This would probably make for a good TNT Saturday afternoon background movie while cleaning the apartment.

RATING: WHY DID I WATCH THIS?

(Refer to my rating system HERE!)

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