Sunday, May 15, 2016

Now at Netflix Instant: High-Rise (2016)

High-Rise movie poster Tom Hiddleston
High-Rise (2016) - Directed by Ben Wheatley; Written by Amy Jump; Starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss.

By Kenny Howell

High-Rise will spark many a conversation over the next year or so, and it will be conceded with the phrase "you just don't get it".

It is one of those films that is pretty sleek, with a political/sociological message that is ripe for admirers. Unfortunately, the narrative is such a mess that you are going to have some people using that empty space to drop their own conclusions, calling it brilliant, while others, like me, just wish maybe the story was told a little better.

High-Rise is essentially Snowpiercer (a much better movie) in its set up, except in a high rise. The lower classes are on the bottom floors, middle class in the middle, and the elite up top, led by The Architect played by Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), the man who designed the building.

Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) plays Laing, a doctor that finds himself in the middle and is our guide to the world of the high rise. Things devolve very quickly, so much so that the movie doesn't really waste time trying to tell you why. I haven't read the famous J.G. Ballard novel that it was based off of, so I don't know things that may be explained more thoroughly in the book. The movie doesn't really seem to care. It is more about making things look fantastic (which they do), and letting the leads chew up the lavish scenery (which they do).

It's just empty, and filled with things that don't make a whole lot of sense. At least it looks good doing it I guess.

Rating: **

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