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review

Posted : 3 months, 2 weeks ago on 31 March 2018 08:08 (A review of )

The first third of the movie is promising. There are impressive scenes and stunts. A twist I didn't see coming in the shape of a character who was not at all what she seemed. It's (mostly) engaging as it works towards a climax. After that, the story is as stagnant as the lives of the main characters.

Where at first I was waiting for the female lead to come to her senses, as the movie progresses it becomes clear neither of the lead characters have any sense. They are two-dimensional and boring. Cliché is heaped upon cliché to propel the story forward. Except it doesn't, it just turns the movie into a weird mix of crime- and melodrama with a whiff of kitchen sink realism.

It seems like the filmmaker wanted to tell a story of obsessional love. But since there is no substance to the relationship of the couple the entire movie revolves around, there is no substance to the film. Every sex scene (supposedly to show their passion for each other) consists of Schoenaerts mechanically drilling his much younger co-star from behind. They have nothing to talk about and the sex only gets him off. How is that any motivation for the girl to turn herself into a self-sacrificing saint? How is that guy worth her or my time? (And did the women's lib movement skip Belgium?)

Another theme in the movie is the tragic, abusive background of Schoenaerts' character. How he himself can't explain his own actions. It all reeks of literary movements like determinism and naturalism. As if he can't help it, it's his background that turned him into a criminal. It could have been excellent material to flesh out a character. Instead it just leads to Schoenaerts making the same face over and over again. If you're going to make a movie about dynamic characters robbing banks and racing cars maybe next time don't mix it with a tale of pre-determined fate that has people stuck like a hamster in a wheel. One pretty much cancels out the other.

The movie looks much better than most movies that come out of the Netherlands (good for you, Belgium). There were definitely people involved who knew what they were doing in terms of the look of the movie, the action sequences, the locations, the way the camera is handled. But ultimately this is a crap story that wastes the talent of its cast and crew.


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