I consider myself a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I like him in his best roles, like "Nightcrawler" and "Enemy", and I like him in some of his not-so-good roles, like "Prince of Persia" (which I really liked, but acknowledge the poor quality of), however there are some gaps in my Gyllenhaal repertoire, namely "Donnie Darko". That being said, when I first heard about this movie when it was on the festival circuit last year, I knew that I absolutely wanted to see it.
The film has received some criticism for showing too much of its plot in the trailer. Well, I will say that the trailer does reveal much of the plot, however a lack of knowing what is going on is not essential to the enjoyment of the film, as this is very much a character-driven piece, not a plot-driven piece.
This film is truly about watching Gyllenhaal's character spiral out of control. The film is definitely an enjoyable, yet slightly unsettling ride that I think was very well-made. The cinematography is great in parts, I feel that the writing was pretty well-written. There were some points that I expected the film to take an expected "unexpected" turn, but it didn't, meaning that the plot wasn't exactly predictable. I also loved some of the motifs found in the film, such as that of the lizard and that of the monkeys.
The film was definitely very well acted too. Gyllenhaal, who is one of my favorite actors as I mentioned before, definitely impressed me. He keeps picking up these roles that sound Oscar-worthy, but the films aren't as critically well-received as they should be. His acting brings another layer of complexity to the role, showcasing both the insanity and relatability that he has shown before. Chris Cooper is also great in his supporting role, accenting Gyllenhaal's performance well as a sort-of opposite.
So overall, I was pretty impressed with "Demolition". It was definitely a very good dramedy, as it had me both laughing and feeling sad at the right times. Was it one of the best movies of the year? No, but it was definitely good.
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
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I look at films as if through old red and blue 3D glasses— one lens is as art, one lens is as entertainment.
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