Carnage (2011) – 3/5

Weird, choppy film that has its moments, and is quite funny at times, but ultimately feels unfit to have been made into a movie. And the acting is all over the place, with Jodie Foster and Christoph Waltz really giving John C. Reilly and Kate Winslet a run for their money, Waltz especially.

Reilly plays the role all wrong, and it’s especially obvious during the scenes where he’s trying to be chummy with Waltz’s character. His emotion is inconsistent with his character’s behavior and dialogue, and it doesn’t work. He’s not a bad actor here, he’s just poorly directed, I think. But Winslet, god, why did she even bother taking the role if she wasn’t going to at least put some effort into it? Just to collect a paycheck? Especially in a script that lives and dies by the strength of its performers? Just lazy, unemotional acting. She’s better than this.

Everything else is okay, not great. The script is very obviously taken from a play, as it’s very location specific and not much happens other than a bunch of people arguing for an hour and a half. The way things play out aren’t always consistent or logical either, and, though entertaining at times, the exchanges the characters have aren’t always the best written. The arguments feel forced at times, especially when the couples start to bicker among themselves, and the ending is extremely unsatisfying, arguably to the point where you start to wonder why the film was made at all if that’s where they were going to choose to leave it.

Overall, not a terrible film, but nothing great. Half decent, mostly thanks to a few hilarious moments here and there. But the acting is choppy at best, the writing is mediocre and strained, and the fact that a movie like this cost 25 million to make, well, that’s the kind of thing that just might make you want to start smashing things in anger. So, I don’t know: good for a laugh or two, but nothing more.

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    • KRow
    • January 15th, 2014

    I also agree that $25 million for a such minimalist film like this is frustrating and even pathetic..a larger waste of money cannot be fathomed

    • KRow
    • January 15th, 2014

    Christoph Waltz held the entire film together..nothing else is worth mentioning

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