For a film said to be Refn's most abrasive and unsettling, controversial and a head-trip, the result feels like an episode of Blue Peter against even Michael Bay's latest movie. Alejandro Jodorowsky has the film dedicated to him, but Only God Forgives has no sense of true courage to be anywhere near as risk taking and completely unconventional as any of his films were. And what makes this fact sorer is that Refn has made two incredible films that WERE what this film wishes it was - Valhalla Rising, which is unnerving, abstract and different, and Fear X which legitimately was career suicide for Refn early in his career and truly brave in what it did. He's gotten safe as a director, to the point this film is an attempt to be abstract but is incredibly generic and hollow. The bright colour saturation is to be expected, never bleeding into your sockets like it should. It forgets that Stanley Kubrick, referencing his cinematography, was just as concerned for his characters' minds even if he could be cold optically. Kristin Scott Thomas's racist and foul mouthed Lady Macbeth with an Oedipal relationship with her surviving son has been seen before in much better work. The film could have been set anywhere and nothing could really be changed.
Unfortunately after the golden egg that was Drive it seems that the borborygmus chime was this time nothing more than ass gravy.
"Solo Dios Perdona" sabe manejar bonitos colores........nada más.
This is not a movie I would sleep on.
So the inception of Rehn's inspiration for Only God Forgives was a man looking at his hands.
Rehn proceeds to wank the screen into an emotional blank for 90 tiring minutes of stylised boredom. Could have just been saved by the inclusion of a karaoke-off between Gosling and Pansringarm. But serious Rehn is too numbing serious after Drive to convert this obnoxious dribble into a legitimate piss-take.
A very personal film about Refn's feelings towards the shitty circumstances of life. The responsibility rests on a God like character who is powerful enough to stop us from ourselves but chooses not to. Instead, he just punishes and this makes Refn FURIOUS. To Refn, f God does exist, he is a tyrant. I may not share his views, but I certainly appreciate his feelings which are told in an abstract and emotional way.
Confession: I was never a fan of Drive. I thought it was amazing in the first half...until it died in the second half. Where Drive had merit, this film has none. It is nothing more than a stylized, hyper-violent, pretentious piece of shit that seems to think it is saying or doing more than it really is. Because Refn made it, you should see it, but I caution you to not go in with high expectations; they won't be met.
deliberately seeking a deep introspective nature and internal struggles, the film is maybe challenging the classical notions of what makes a film work, but i find merit in its unique form.
this was such a disappointment. only thing i really enjoyed was the patterns and lighting.
Devoid of everything that made Drive successful, ranging from interesting characters to sense, and excepting the casting of Ryan Gosling.
Great photography but a bit over the top. Trying to do a Lynchian, Wong Kar Wai slasher movie with a gaudy early '60s Audrey Hepburn aesthetic. Almost hits the mark, but the plot is simple murder and Kristin Scott Thomas is bad. Definitely worth watching in my book.
So disappointed - the only reason I gave it a second star was because of Kristin Scott Thomas's performance | ✮✮
Refn takes the familiar 'brother must avenge brother's death' trope and turns upside down and inside out. People who complain about the gratuitous violence have not seen any 'Die Hard' film where hundreds are murdered without batting an eye. One complaint is that Kristin Scott Thomas's character should have been the lead, Gosling should have taken the backseat.
An awful, detestable film made by an awful, detestable person for awful, detestable people.
This is a Bresson, Suzuki, Wong Kar Wai and Akerman mash up. It didn't quite work well enough as a whole, but the parts that did work, were amazing.
It lost me at "little cum-dumpster".
Yet another in the derailment of the (used to be) interesting cinema of Refn. Much like Tarentino and Nolan, once they got sight of some cash, they starting making films with no artistic, philosophical, or dramatic merit, and instead made "easy to digest" cinema with a singular toe in the water of arthouse cinema so that the kiddos who just can't get into Tarkovsky, Brakhage, or Godard can watch and say they like art
"The killer awoke before dawn.
He put his boots on.
He took a face from the ancient gallery and he walked on down the hall…"
-- The End
Beautiful. It uses its own universe and heightened reality to express moral fables which apply within day to day life