Not to ruin anyone else's pleasure, but i thought the setups, compositions, production design, plotting- almost everything about the movie except the fight scenes- felt totally indifferent, like, let's set a record for how quickly we can make a feature film. i guess you could argue that the film was deliberately stripped down, to get to some kind of genre essence, but i didn't sense enough focus and determination in the direction to give it that alibi. The settings were established so quickly and blandly, they weren't embellished enough in detail or really given any dedicated minimalist clarity. The story was familiar enough to foreclose novelty or surprise but wasn't put across with the vigour that would redeem its cliches. The actors and their characters weren't given enough time to develop into substantial human presences, but then they also weren't shot with the focus that would register them iconically, as striking genre symbols. It's hard to write negative opinions of movies cuz the guy who disagrees with you can always just take your gripes and apply them to a different framework of standards and expectations, and fair enough, I do it all the time. What I guess I'm doing here is triangulating between the poles of someone like Walter Hill (stripped-down and polished genre essence) and someone like Michael Mann (embellished, inflated genre essence) to spell out why I didn't like the movie: it wasn't precise enough OR substantial enough. It's efficiency didn't seem artful to me, it just felt lazy. Nahmsayn?
i wasn't stoked on it. it just seemed like an uncreative compilation of footage. i didn't pick up any rhyme effects or sense of poetic juxtaposition and whatever power there was to the "story arc" was juiced out by the three hour length. also: it was cool how cleaned up the footage was but i seriously doubt all of it had been in 1.85:1.