Tyrannosaur (2011) – 3.5/5

Depressing film about miserable people living terrible lives for reasons that are never made clear but we’re nonetheless expected to accept without question. Strong performances and nice cinematography though, but the film is hollow, somewhat one-dimensional, too “by the numbers,” and occasionally a bit dull. It has its moments, but not very many. And what a crazy ending.

The performances are probably the strongest part of the film, but, thanks to the over the top nature of the writing, the characters never feel very real, or the situations for that matter. All the characters are caricatures, because this is a movie of extremes: the extremely angry protagonist, the extremely pathetic, weak-willed woman he befriends, her extremely violent and probably insane religious husband, the extremely unpleasant neighbor with the dog, etc etc.

God. It’s all just too much, and the gritty manner in which it’s shot in implies a certain degree of realism that the film just doesn’t at any point possess. It’s a visual contradiction, in a way, and it’s off-putting. Maybe if the colors had been brighter and the editing looser, it would have worked better, but no. Here, it’s just awkward.

And the characters are pretty inconsistent. Nothing is explained, really. Why is the main character so angry? Because his **SPOILERS** wife died five years ago? Huh? But then he later reveals he sort of had a love hate relationship with her. And it had been five years. Why did her death affect him in such a weird way? He kills his beloved dog in the first five minutes of the movie, for crying out loud. Why? And the woman: one minute, she’s this weak pathetic type who’s afraid of her husband, and the next, she has the ability to stand up to him and ultimately kill him? What!?

And the neighbors’ dog is treated like this big angry destructive thing, but whenever we see it on-screen it just looks scared and confused. Come on. And did he have to kill it too at the end? What’s with this movie and killing dogs? And this movie is called “Tyrannosaur” because his wife was fat? Really? STUPID! **END SPOILERS** Talk about inconsistent, and weird.

Overall, ehh. The movie isn’t terrible. Some of it works, but most of it is all over the place. Good actors doing sub-par, ridiculous material, and it’s a waste. Lots of little things that don’t add up or make sense, or are just too contrived for comfort. And the ending, again, was stupid and unrealistic. The script definitely should have gone through a few more passes before being committed to film. Eh.

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